EDITORíS DESK: County leaders let us down

       Watching the county budget disaster unfold is like a bad dream where everything keeps getting worse. At least you can wake up from a dream. Unfortunately, county savings schemes that potentially include shutting down the Bear Creek Nature Center and selling Bear Creek Park are all too real. Well find out more Monday, June 2 when the county commissioners are scheduled to vote on the matter.
       But the question that keeps coming back is: How could such a thing have been allowed to happen? We elect public officials to look out for their sphere of government. How many of the commissioners initially ran for office with flyers containing such statements as "proven leadership... planner for the future... a person you can trust..."? And yet for the past several years these people we decided to trust have provided no leadership and no planning in the area that mattered most: keeping county government solvent.
       Saying all this especially hurts because by definition it encompasses an elected official I think highly of. County Commissioner Sallie Clark, also a Westside resident and businesswoman, has shown herself over the years to be uniquely caring, straightforward and accessible to Westsiders in particular and constituents in general. And I trust her to do all she can to salvage this situation. But Sallie is also a loyal member of a political party, one that has controlled county government for decades. And it is evident that party - responding to people's general loathing of taxes and big government - shied away from a tax hike early on, even when the handwriting (in red ink!) was becoming increasingly larger on the wall. And now that handwriting is as big as, well... Bear Creek Park.

- K.J.