Monday, December 8, 2008


When he was campaigning in the Democratic primary, Pete Ferguson was firm in his conviction that more could be cut from the Stark County budget.

He couldn't provide the specifics. But he was confident there was still slack to be cut.

Well, Commissioner-elect Ferguson will have his chance to comb county operations for cost-cutting opportunities.

Could it be that Ferguson has a magic pair of eyes that enable him to spot excessive spending that neither Commissioners Bosley, Harmon and Vignos have been able to discern?

Stark County operated on $58 million plus revenue in 2007. In 2009 it is slated to be about $52 million. Five or so million is a lot of cutting to do.

Of course, Ferguson could vote to impose the Commissioner Bosley proposal to increase the county sales/use tax by a net 1/4 of a percent and then not have to do any cutting at all. If he votes to impose the additional tax, it will be interesting to see how he get from his Democratic primary position of "there are more cuts that can be made" to "no there aren't" and Stark County needs additional revenue. Isn't this an example of the box some politicians put themselves in?

The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) is skeptical that Ferguson can find anything to cut. More power to him, if he can. But it is one thing to engage in campaign rhetoric and it is another to have to deliver.

Whether it is the judges, the Veterans Commission, the Board of Elections or Sheriff Swanson, Ferguson can be sure that the budgetary pressures "upward" will be the reality he has to deal with.

Is Ferguson up to handling the political realities of holding office?

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