MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – The work gets serious, starting now.
The City of Memphis, and the Shelby County Commission have started dealing with their budgets.
This is the most important thing members of both groups do every year, at least in my opinion.
It often results in wild last-minute antics.
Just a few years ago, former Shelby County Commissioner Walter Bailey tried to get raises for commissioners, city council members, and elected officials into the budget.
Bailey is one of the last politicians, maybe on Earth, who wears being a liberal as a badge of honor.
He has been known to wait until the last minute to try and slide things through quickly.
Walter Bailey makes no bones about it, saying he is in favor of a tax increase to give employees a raise, or to better fund schools.
He was term-limited out of office last year.
The budget can be a time where political deals are worked out right in front of you.
Watch in council or commission chambers, when members meet behind their desks and try to reach compromise.
It happens, a lot. Don’t let anyone fool you.
The old saying is true, by the way. You can’t get something for nothing.
It takes your money to pay for road paving, pothole filling, MATA, Pre-Kindergarten plans. These things don’t pay for themselves.
Politicians can’t just amble over to the money tree and pluck off a few million for these things.
It results in the decade-old fight, what is causing the population to stagnate, or even drop in Memphis.
One group says high taxes, one group says crime and education.
No one is ever satisfied about a budget.
It’s just another in a long line of Memphis things that others just wouldn’t understand.