County Commissioner Sue Gold is the new chair of the Curry County Board of Commissioners, and we look forward to her outline of the board’s goals for 2018 in a State of the County address soon.
Last year, when Commissioner Tom Huxley was voted in as chair, he didn’t outline any goals for more than a month — although Commissioner Court Boice jumped in and outlined his and Gold noted a few of her own.
When Huxley finally submitted a State of the County address as a consent calendar item he begrudgingly read at a later meeting, it merely listed items the county had done the year before.
The only forward-thinking item was that he’d hoped to outsource county administrative services to Gold Beach, but that idea fizzled amid discussion (by the board) about its expense and, (in the public’s eye) impropriety.
Without that blueprint, the county didn’t accomplish much in 2017.
New audio visual and high-tech computer equipment was installed last year. Most of the time it doesn’t work. Live feeds of meetings are down more often than not, and the videos aren’t posted until late Friday afternoon, two days after regular commissioner meetings.
Huxley, who was behind acquisition of the equipment and services the county pays to make them work, has even talked about destroying the videos after a year.
Sure, much of 2017 was monopolized by the Chetco Bar Fire, and the blame game is just getting underway. But prior to the fire in July, commissioners had six months to address more pressing issues — not agenda routing slips, Robert’s Rules of Order, travel policies and meeting decorum.
The biggest elephant in the room? The budget.
Last year was bad enough. This year’s going to be brutal; in the end, it might be entire departments that are cut.
Everyone knows it’s a revenue shortfall. Everyone knows Curry County residents abhor property taxes — taxes of any sort, really.
Federal talks, as usual, are going nowhere on timber-sales tax revenues to get money in county coffers. Talk of a sales tax is starting anew. Boice has tried to interest his cohorts in a restaurant tax, to no avail.
It’s time commissioners step away from petty political grievances and actually get some work done. Knuckle down, consider each others’ ideas, show some initiative and leadership.
The only real thing the board should focus on this year is getting its money issues solved.
That should make for a very short State of the County address.