The Curry Coastal Pilot

Unless something drastic changes in the next week, Curry County's financial situation will take another clear step toward disaster. The deadline will pass for putting some kind of a proposal before voters in November.

That leaves only an election in May 2013 for voter approval of tax revenue to keep county government functioning after June 2013.

That the current board of commissioners is stymied over what to do is not surprising. Two of the three were defeated in the May election, and feel that their advocacy for a tax of some sort cost them their jobs. Besides, this train wreck will happen after their watch is over.

So they invited the next potential commissioners to give them advice.

What is terribly disappointing, however, is that three of the candidates seeking to replace them ducked an opportunity to publicly offer their ideas at this crucial time. The fourth, while offering ideas, didn't offer much hope, and wanted to give up at least one of the solutions keeping the county budget running until next June.

Barring a successful write-in campaign, two of those four candidates will be at the controls when the county's treasury goes dry. If they are no-shows in a leadership role now, when they could make a difference, what will they be like after they take office in January, and when the county goes broke in July?

Granted, there are no easy answers. Despite years of lobbying and spending cuts, service cuts and failed ballot measures, debate and reorganization, the traditional funding for county government is going away. There are no more foreseeable state or federal funding bailouts. We must choose, soon, between paying for some sort of local funding package or giving up local control of the services provided by our county government.