Bite the bullet, so to speak

Published 7:50 pm Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Dashing news from Selma City Hall has that the city must cut $85,000 more from its budget.

The news came just as Council President Dr. Geraldine Allen presented new cuts that totaled more than $200,000, which everyone believed was the optimum goal.

Among some of the recommendations to further cut the budget: Not allowing employees to use city-owned cars outside of work for non-emergencies.

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This is a good idea. We’ve seen some city employees take home vehicles to their out-of-county residences. And while we understand the need for quick response in times of city emergencies, we also cringe at the possible abuse the quick access to taxpayers’ fuel and vehicles could bring.

We understand the conundrum this action could create for some public safety employees. Certainly, marked cars in neighborhoods could act as deterrents to crime. And detectives with take-home cars would have to drive to the police station, switch to a patrol car and then respond to a scene.

But considering the drop in sales tax revenue to support city services and considering the hard times that are on us, it seems a more important point to save salaries and jobs than have a car sitting in someone’s driveway overnight to keep criminals at bay.

The cutting isn’t over yet. We encourage a public work session, a thorough going over of the numbers and cuts.

After all, this won’t last forever.