We should get more city reports

Lebanon’s leadership, specifically Mayor Philip Craighead, should be commended for providing The Democrat this week with valuable information pertaining to plans for drainage and paving upgrades throughout the city.
Oct 13, 2012
 Photo: Mary Hinds • Lebanon Democrat

A city worker repairs a culvert and drain system along Caruthers Avenue at the railroad tracks on Thursday in Lebanon.

Lebanon’s leadership, specifically Mayor Philip Craighead, should be commended for providing The Democrat this week with valuable information pertaining to plans for drainage and paving upgrades throughout the city.
Numerous pages make up the detailed lists of needs the city has in both categories to help fix flood-prone areas and keep our vehicles running smoothly. They are listed by priority with those projects needing the most immediate attention at the top. Certainly these reports are a work in progress as needs get met, projects are created and additional problem areas are identified.
With the Lebanon City Council’s help last week, work started on aleviating a number of the city’s problem areas where heavy rains can cause flooding. The council allocated $100,000 for each ward, for a total of $600,000, to fixing a large number of flood-prone areas throughout the city.
It’s an effort that should be praised, and we have used this space in the past to do so.
According to city leaders promoting a proposed 1/2-cent sales tax increase, – aptly called Pennies for Progress – many more of these drainage and paving  projects will reportedly have the funding to see completion if voters choose to enact it Nov. 6.
While it’s arguable the city has taken the steps to be the most fiscally conservative it can to generate the money needed for these much-needed projects, the council has seen to it the additional tax revenues raised would be spent specifically on drainage and paving projects, along with filling the city’s rainy-day fund. After all, that’s where the $600,000 came from to immediately fix drainage problems.
But $2.5 million of the estimated $3.5 million in additional sales tax revenues generated would be used to shore up a big hole in the city’s budget. With a history of budget shortfalls, we wonder whether this would become the norm rather than the exception in future years. Something like that would only hinder progress on these much-needed paving and drainage projects.
One thing is certain, however. The openness of Lebanon’s government in providing plans for these projects is refreshing. It allows The Democrat the opportunity to report this information to the public, thus creating a better working relationship between the people and its leaders.
We need more openness like this.

 

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