County supervisors should give plan to save taxpayer dollars a try

Published 6:42 pm Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. is taking one more shot at getting the Warren County Board of Supervisors to look at a plan to put Vicksburg Warren County on a fixed monthly budget.

The mayor Monday appointed a three-member committee to meet with county officials to discuss the plan and try and find a resolution to put the plan in operation. Flaggs believes he is the problem with getting the supervisors to seriously examine the plan, and appointing the committee would resolve the perceived problem by removing him from the process.

“I think when the messenger gets involved in the message, it’s time for the messenger to get out,” he said. “I think they’re (the board) shooting at me, but they’re not hitting me. So rather than me be the factor why we’re not getting anything productive, I remove myself,” he said. “When I find myself to be part of the problem, I find the solution is to remove myself.”

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Is the mayor’s support of the fixed budget plan the problem? It is hard to tell. We hope the supervisors are not fighting this plan because it was brought up and supported by the mayor. That’s petty politics, which have no place when it comes to operating government or a vital operation like emergency communications. And we would hope the supervisors are above such behavior.

So far, the supervisors’ objections to the plan surround the concerns over amending their recent fiscal 2019 budget and a perceived negative effect on public safety that they raised in September when the plan was introduced.

As we pointed out then, there would be no need to amend the county’s budget.

According to the county’s numbers released in September at a 911 Commission meeting, the city’s share of 911 salaries for fiscal 2019 is projected at $619,682, while the county is expected to pay $333,675. Under the fixed amount plan, the city’s cost would be $552,000 — a savings of $67,682. The county would save $25,675.

This is a plan that is still worth studying, and the supervisors would do well to take a close look at it. Maybe with the mayor now out of the picture they’ll be more receptive. As we said before, this would be the time to examine ways to more efficiently run the 911 program and reduce overtime costs while keeping up service.