The civic minded among us

Published 6:00 am Monday, May 22, 2017

LaGrange is a city that prides itself on – well – civic pride.

Groups like Kiwanis, Rotary and too many others to count work hard year after year to make our community a better place to live, but that civic pride cannot end with a luncheon or a fund raiser or even the best program for local youth. Civic pride also means being involved and informed about arguably one of the longest standing civic groups of all: local government.

This week local leaders at both the city and county levels will be reviewing their budgets in public hearings to ensure that everything from paychecks to sidewalks are accounted for in their budgets, but due to a series of unfortunate decisions, residents of both the city and the county can only go to one of those meetings.

The city’s May 23 date to review the budget has been set for months, with the 8 a.m. time announcement a practical necessity in order to give the city council time to review the entire budget in time for their regular evening meeting.

The county’s meeting time has however undergone a series of changes, with the previously announced May 9 hearing still posted on the website over the weekend. It too will occur on this Tuesday though at 9 a.m., and residents are encouraged to attend.

There is an old reporting adage that goes, if you want a story, then just follow the money, but on Tuesday when both the city and county gather to review their annual budgets, we hope to see far more then just LaGrange’s press listening in on how local tax dollars are being spent.

The budget is your money that your elected officials are doing their best to manage, but deciding what to fund and how much cannot and should not occur in a vacuum.

It is up to the civic minded among us to listen and hold our leaders accountable for how those funds are spent.