Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
Marty Carlson has a new column in the November Forum entitled Deficit Not New. In the column she answers the question everyone is asking – ‘how did this deficit just pop up and we knew nothing about it?’.
“That would be because we were not paying attention”, Marty answers. She points out the history of the deficit, the continued rolling back of tax rates even as the city was getting into trouble, the appropriation of surplus funds for the last couple of years and warnings from some people of the impending problems.
Rather than blame the mayor and members of the council, people should first point the finger at themselves. That is absolutely true, but it is a damning truth that cuts both ways.
The simple truth is that the people trusted the mayor and council to take care of their business and they also trusted them to keep them informed. I think Marty, while correct in her assessment of the inattention of the people, is being a little too kind to the mayor and council.
The simple lesson learned is that the people shouldn’t trust their public officials to do what is right, they should monitor them and make sure that they do so.
As I pointed out in another blog post, the December 2007 minutes of the meeting of the council in which they discussed the budget for 2008 states that "Public Hearing for the 2008 City of Bossier City Budgets. Joe Buffington, City Finance Director, explained some of the major budget items. Hearing nothing from the public, the Public Hearing was closed." .