On May 5, 2005, the Denton Record Chronicle published an editorial titled: Its Official: Were Governed by Idiots. The newspaper bemoaned the inability of the Legislature to achieve any progress on public education issues while wasting time on frivolous issues like cheerleader routines. The same message could be easily applied to county issues.
The Legislature has approached school finance reform as an untouchable challenge because it will require more money in taxes. Every proposed state tax adjustment requires additional funding from strong lobbying interests and political campaign contributors.
Unable to bring themselves to deal with public school finance realities, legislators are tempted to find support and public distraction through restrictions on county and city revenue. These revenue cap bills provide an opportunity to proclaim themselves Champions of the Taxpayer without assuming any responsibility. Mandates and inflation may rage unchecked, but legislators will feel secure with another campaign slogan.
If this strategy succeeds, county officials and their taxpayers will pay the price. Maybe it is time that we adopted a more active political role in this process.
For more information, please call me at 800-733-0699.