My View – June 2015

After sitting through the first meeting of “budget season,” it occurred to me that living in Jacksonville is a “bargain.” Please don’t get me wrong; I don’t like paying taxes any more than the next guy and certainly expect public employees to take their duties seriously by never wasting public money.

However, when you consider Jacksonville’s tax base ($1.84/1000 assessed value) is the second-lowest in Jackson County, and that our quality of life is one of the highest in the State, one should be grateful that our city staffers, elected leaders and volunteer budget committee members are working so hard to manage our limited city resources so well. It’s gratifying knowing those involved in formulating strategic plans and realistic budgets are working together to insure our town’s fiscal future and quality of life are both secure.

So, next time you…

turn-on your water faucet and enjoy safe, clean drinking water, realize managing 38 miles of water pipes and pump stations isn’t cheap…nor is buying thousands of acre feet of water every year

suspect something’s amiss in your neighborhood and call the police…and a friendly officer arrives within seconds to investigate, know your tax dollars help keep you safer

drive on any portion of our 28 miles of city streets, know the pot holes you never saw in the first place were filled by a caring Public Works crew member

call 911 with a medical emergency and the fire department paramedics show-up in less than 3 minutes—ready, willing and able to save your life, that fast responses require serious resources

enjoy watching your kids play on the swings or water park at Doc Griffin Park, know the fun was possible from your tax dollars

take an amazing hike on a Woodlands or Forest Park trail, remember your tax dollars helped fund the walk

admire the preservation of the Courthouse, take a tour of the Beekman House or Beekman Bank, understand maintaining historic buildings and keeping history alive takes time and money

As we head into summer “high season,” please join me in thanking our city employees and the army of volunteers working with them to make a difference in our Small Town with Big Atmosphere!