Leadership Changes — By Tommy Purser

I think I was 20 years ahead of my time when, 30 years ago, I lamented the fact that many of our elected officials were more interested in not raising taxes than they were in providing our community what it deserved. At one time, decades ago, members of the county commission refused to raise taxes saying the county could borrow money at a cheaper rate than farmers could so they were saving farmers money by not raising taxes which may have resulted in the farmers having to borrow money.

I could not have disagreed more. By borrowing money, the farmers’ tax bills would go up the following year to pay the interest on the money the county, on their behalf, had borrowed. But my opinion went unheeded.

Today, I see elected officals — many but not all — willing to spend money wisely, to provide the services and equipment the public deserves.

Monday’s Board of Education meeting was a prime example. When ag department leaders Cody Herndon and Todd Claxton came before the board with their needs, they suggested the cheapest way to meet those needs.

But board members seemed to feel, in my opinion, that by pinching pennies unnecessarily, in the long run, they may bring added costs onto the taxpayers. That was a 180 degree turnaround from what I had witnessed decades before. They wanted to make sure the ag department was equipped as it should be as economically as possible. Three decades ago the stance would have been to do it as cheaply as possible.

There’s a huge difference.

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