Financial short falls create tough situations for governments in ways that can mimic a business. 

That is what Chickasha is facing right now. We will have a revenue shortfall. There is no way around that. 

Yet, we must maintain a balanced budget in order to survive. And similarly to a private business when money isn't coming in the front door, funds exiting the backdoor have to be curtailed. 

With that in mind we commend Mayor Hank Ross for making the tough decision to eliminate seven positions. Laying employees off is never easy whether it's in the public or private sector, but sadly it is a necessary fact of life. 

The truth is we, the citizens of Chickasha, are partially responsible for the loss of these seven jobs. It's easy to claim the city mismanaged money, or could have been more efficient, but such arguments ignore the truth, and that is less revenue is coming into the city right now. 

Times are tough. The economy isn't great in Oklahoma, and Chickasha is burdened by our current downturn more so than many other communities. People are tightening their belts and sales tax receipts are down. Most of the state is facing a similar battle.   

But when that is coupled with the loss of a 7/32 percent sales tax there is no way to prevent expense reduction. 

We doubt many voters thought about people losing their jobs when a tax that equated to 22 cents on every $100 spent was eliminated, but it is an unfortunate reality. The loss of the tax created an estimated $600,000 revenue shortfall. 

Less money means less jobs. 

That being said, Ross should also be commended for removing positions that are not filled by first responders. The Chickasha Police Department and Chickasha Fire Department constitute about 60 percent of the city's annual budget, so cutting from either of these areas would have been the easiest financial solution. But that's not where the money was saved. 

No one likes to pay taxes. We understand that and we sympathize with voters. Taxes can be ridiculous. 

However, when a small tax could have saved seven local jobs it's time to give some thought to the longterm ramifications of our actions.

 

Editorials are a consensus of the editorial board of The Express-Star

This Week's Circulars