From the President
Have you ever looked at the back of County Progress and read what Texas News Reviews has to say statewide? It amazes me that virtually every region has the same issues going on…work on the courthouse, bridge replacements, and the clubhouse leader either working on the jail or building a new one. I would like to see the time when commissioners courts could build a park, walking trail, bicycle path, or something for the good people of the county. I look at what we have to do for the criminal element and what we spend, and it really bothers me that we can’t take care of our good taxpayers and give them their due course.
I have visited with several officials lately about their property valuations and hear about the same thing – either flat or gone down. I know we are starting to work on budgets or are in the middle of budget preparation, and this will be a big factor in determining which way to go on purchases, salary increases, and setting our tax rates. It is going to be a most interesting year for the budget process.
Killeen and Bell County recently hosted the North & East Texas annual meeting, and they did an outstanding job. I would like to compliment Bell County Judge Jon Burrows and his fellow officers for a wonderful conference and the Bell County Commissioners Court for putting on an outstanding Host Court night. We are thankful to our vendors for their wonderful participation; please support them as they support us. We had some fun activities…and DID I MENTION MY TEAM WON FIRST PLACE IN THE GOLF TOURNAMENT? I am impressed with all the associations and the shows they put on. We should all thank the officers and staff for the effort they put forth.
I recently looked at a 1957 issue of Time Magazine which included a “1957 Year in Review.” I know it’s going to be hard for some of the younger people to identify with these numbers, but let me throw some at you. The average income in 1957 was a whopping $4,594.00; I did not miss a zero on this. A brand spanking new car sold for the astronomical price of $2,157.00, and that’s without air conditioning or fender skirts. A brand new house cost $12,225.00. I bet the interest payments are about the same now as they were then. A gallon of gas was 24 cents, and a gallon of milk $1 dollar plus a few green stamps if you shopped at the right store. Gold was $35.00 per ounce, and the price of silver was 90 cents per ounce. The life expectancy was 69.6 years, and Miss America was Marian McKnight of South Carolina; she is about 73 if she is still alive. I know you have all been waiting for this one: The minimum wage was $1.00 per hour. By the way, Dwight Eisenhower was president, and Richard Nixon was vice president!
With all that said, how would you like to set your budget on those numbers? Just think what you could do for the price of an iPod phone, flat screen television, Ford-150 pickup, or a 10-pound rib roast. Good luck on your budget process!