To the Editor:
I have had a lot of people comment to me lately about government budgets on every level and what has gone wrong. There are two great issues that I believe must be considered as factors in the failures to balance a budget.
First, for many years, we had a booming economy. With that came higher incomes, which generated higher disposable incomes. Businesses flourished on the available disposable income and the tax base grew. This gave governments money to not only pay their mandated expenses but also to add services not required, to which citizens became accustomed.
Second, too often elected officials who chose the paths of spending had no real training on a budget, but were often elected for their personalities or other unrelated virtues. Because taxes are paid in arrears in Illinois, increases were often held until after elections for current budgets.
Now the overall dollars paid in wages in America have dropped in relation to the number of workers, and many officials fear withdrawing services for fear of not being re-elected. This is why I have proposed two measures for the DeKalb County Board: the reduction of County Board pay to $1 per meeting; and the examination of elimination of the board altogether at a future date. I am also proposing zero-based budgeting, which means examining the need for each programming and its funding levels each year.
We have many people living in our community who face losing their homes and have lost their higher-paying jobs. Elected officials should set the standard and be the first to take a cut in pay, not the last.
Samuel-Louis Bandy, Jr.
Republican candidate, DeKalb County Board, District 9