Spend Wisely

Recent observations of Fairfield County Council meetings point to clear opportunities to improve our quality of life, without spending more money. In other words, an inadequate vetting process for County expenditures only results in a lower quality of life for the citizens because it diverts resources from more worthy projects. We have missed out on far too many quality of life improvements because previous Fairfield Councils have made far too many hasty decisions which have diverted much of our tax dollars to unworthy projects.

Monday nights’ meeting demonstrates Council is moving in the right direction but not fast enough. The good news is Council did ask some probing questions during the presentation of $600,000 in expense proposals. The bad news was Council should have raised more questions to protect our resources. It was disheartening to see so little scrutiny given to $600,000 worth of proposals. Too often answers were accepted without validation. For example, what sources were used to validate the useful longevity of the discussed equipment? Adding another couple of useful years to equipment means more money to be used for projects to improve citizen lives and that is what effective government should do.

Going forward, we expect this Council to always perform its duty of being reflective and prudent resource stewards. Council should completely resolve all pertinent proposal issues (ex: Is it in the budget, who does it impact, is it a need or a want, how much, what are the alternatives) prior to approving costly proposals. Additionally, all proposal requests should be required to be accompanied by qualitative answers to these kinds of questions. By the way, these are the same kinds of questions we ask every day as we struggle to manage our personal budgets. Simply, Council should methodically prepare for all votes like they were spending their own money.

Randy Bright

Ridgeway