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Grin and bear it on tough decisions

Sometimes, you just have to grin and bear it. That’s what Lincoln County supervisors eventually decided to do when it came to the county budget.

With a tax increase on the table, the board was hesitant to vote in favor of a budget for the next fiscal year that starts Oct. 1.

At a budget meeting this week, there was plenty of hand-wringing and stalling. Supervisors appeared to be in agreement that the county needed the extra revenue a tax increase will bring, but no one wanted to vote for it.

Like most elected officials, they did not want to go on record voting for a tax increase.

But the county’s infrastructure is in need, and state leaders have made it clear those needs won’t be funded by an increase in the fuel tax.

So supervisors did the only thing in their power to generate more revenue for roads and bridges. But they weren’t happy about it.

A motion to approve a budget with the tax increase failed to get a second for several minutes. At one point, board president Jerry Wilson walked out while the motion awaited more action.

Finally, supervisor Eddie Brown seconded the motion and the board voted 4-1 in favor of it. Supervisor Doug Falvey voted against it.

It took nearly 40 minutes to arrive at the 4-1 vote.

Supervisors will probably hear some complaints from taxpayers in their districts, but that goes with the territory. Being an elected official requires difficult decisions, this being one of them.

Finding enough money to keep roads and bridges in good condition will continue to be a challenge for rural counties. The elected officials tasked with operating those counties better get used to making difficult decisions.