Editorial: Bad choice doesn’t need final chapter

May. 08, 2013 @ 05:27 PM

In a day and age when those of us outside of the Beltway are lamenting a “kick the can” approach to decision making, we lament at hints local governments may be learning the new dance step.

Responsibility with the public’s trust and money is a monumental task. From elected officials to managers to employees, everybody has a role.

The Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments also has a role, and within it, there has been a failure. An audit revealed it, and the problem could have been prevented. There has been a correction, one which it is hoped is going to last forever.

But if the 21 entities who are the council do not step forward, and deliver a hit in the pinch, then forever will be done sooner rather than later.

The council has to find and replace money that was in an account it should not have been in. Creating a new account has been corrected. Unless there have been unlawful actions, which a board probe and an annual audit confirm did not happen, blame isn’t the issue. Correction and prevention of a repeat are the issue.

Because of its status, Kerr-Tar cannot incur debt and has one means to finding money — asking those comprising it, the county and municipal governments.

They’ve done that, asking for enough to cover the replenishment, and to regain operating footing. The $311,367 price tag is high. Rest assured, one leadership group has already swallowed hard before handing out that request.

Now, cities and counties in Region K not only have lumps in their throats, their jaws are dropped. It is the end of the budget year, money is lean, others have requests and closing time — literally, for Kerr-Tar — is here.

We do not fault anyone wanting all relevant information before choosing. We believe choices of support pending others’ actions lack true meaning.

Kerr-Tar is vital for the region. The accomplishments are many, varied and impact us all regardless of whether we can see, touch or realize it.

Seeing this need as Kerr-Tar’s problem is not an accurate depiction. It is our community’s need.

We endorse all 21 governments making necessary adjustments as they close out their fiscal year to provide for the citizens.