Recently, a writer for the Writer’s Workshop of Sullivan County blamed the downfall of Sullivan County on the Catskill hotel owners and the “good ole boy” politics and “what’s in it for me,” attitudes of that age.
But in terms of the present, laying blame and citing past mistakes is not helpful to fixing the problems at hand. We need to figure out how to get our area economically healthy again in 2013.
And the starting point for that is an examination of the high cost and how our local governments meet the needs of the people of Sullivan County.
Here’s the basic fix to get our taxes down and our economy going again: Sullivan County taxpayers can’t afford to pay for the services being provided by our local governments anymore-and they need to be downsized.
Our local government, as opposed to the state or Federal Governments, should be and can be run more like a business. And it’s imperative that addressing the “business” requirements that leads to profitability, like cutting costs, needs to come first.
Much like a corporate restructuring, downsizing and making government more efficient would reduce taxes and duplication of services.
With that said, you must understand that the “business” is just not the county government, but all of the towns and villages together that make up Sullivan County.
So I say start making these important changes if you want to see results. “Change equals Resistance. When Resistance is Overcome, Change equals Progress”
Here’s where the resistance has always been. If you streamline and consolidate government services, there could be many layoffs. But it must get done to get back to a point where the “Business” would be manageable and profitable.
In Sullivan County, we have the highest scores on all of the bad lists: Social Services, Welfare, Unemployment, our terrible real estate market, dropping enrollment in our schools, fewer young professionals moving in, tremendous senior citizen population moving into the county, businesses leaving and so on.
Is this want we want in Sullivan County, to be the Welfare County? To be the county that continues to give away benefit after benefit? The County that is at the top of a list no one really wants to be on?
We need to stop paying out and start having an income again. We need to stop inviting the poor to settle here from other parts of the country because the benefits are so good.
Sure we have friends and neighbors that need things, but at this point, it is out of control in our community.
If you do not have it, then you cannot give it.
The only way to change it is for our leaders to “put on your man panties” and stop supporting this welfare industry, which we can’t afford anymore.
In terms of welfare, Sullivan County is paying out too much, providing too many services, and we have created too many jobs dependent on the welfare industry.
If a business that must make a profit does not have the income then the bills do not get paid and then it ultimately goes out of business.
So the only way to get rid of the trash is take it to a place where it belongs. In the current entitlement scenario, people feel they come to Sullivan County to get all of the free stuff that they are “entitled” to.
It’s like we are paying high salaries to workers that would be entitled to no more than minimum wage. It’s as if Sullivan County is a McDonalds where we are paying the fast food workers high wages and providing the best and most of benefits so that a Happy Meal would cost $25.00 to purchase.
It’s time for Sullivan County to “get down to business.” Cut and consolidate government and reduce taxes so that we all, including the poor, can afford to purchase truly happy meals in the future.