Managers did well in taking precautionary measures.

Published 10:43 am Wednesday, December 3, 2008

When things go wrong, we don’t hesitate to give the county manager a call.

If taxes are raised or if we don’t like the amount of money being spent on a certain project, there is no hesitation to let our county manager know. And that’s as it should be. They are public servants.

It is our bet, however, that Wayne Jenkins, Zee Lamb nor Loria Williams will not get a single telephone call extolling their virtues for the important steps they have taken in the last few months.

With the state expecting monumental shortfalls, it is important that county governments act quickly so they don’t take a huge hit. Fortunately, Northampton, Bertie and Hertford counties (in order of their managers listed above), have leaders who stepped forward to make that happen.

Nobody wants to see county government cut budgets they have already established. It means that something the commissioners believed was important in June likely will not happen now. It’s sometimes a hard pill to swallow to stand in line in a government office an extra 10 minutes because a position wasn’t filled.

That’s the price of keeping government running during a time when our entire fiscal structure is showing cracks. That’s what happens when county managers and county commissioners decide to take proactive steps.

All three managers and their respective boards could have chosen to wait until the end of the year and let the fund balance foot the bill and then raise taxes next year. Fortunately for the citizens of their counties, they did not. They bit the bullet now and made decisions that may be hard for the present, but are in our best long-term interest.

Good job, managers – and thank you.