EDITOR’S DESK: ‘They’ need to do more
They're not featured stories this issue. They're just two short pieces under the “Volunteering” heading on Page 5. But I have no doubt that the kind of message that's in
those stories - appeals for citizens to step forward and give even more help to programs that were once a greater province of government - will be repeated in the
months to come.
On a national level, there's story after story about credit concerns, stock market instability, mortgage rates and trillion-dollar bailouts. Anyone who can predict where all that's leading ought to be in our next president's cabinet.
Here on the Westside, closer to home, it's easier to make assessments. The drooping economy has reduced the revenue to local governments, and their requests in the last election for taxes to make up the difference fell on deaf ears to a populace that has revenue reductions of their own. And we don't even get to vote on that proposed 19 percent utility rate increase. Just put it under the tree with everything else, Santa.
But coming back to the original point, whether we like it or not, we have a situation right now where many of the services or attractions we value are almost literally hanging by a thread. Everyday I see people helping out at their schools or parks or driving for Silver Key or cleaning the highways or fixing drainages or, yes, baking scones for Rock Ledge Ranch. Before, such work was often accompanied by plentiful government support. What we're seeing now is that support diminishing.
One of the typical comments I've heard, mostly during years as a trail volunteer, is from passersby seeing a problem and saying, "When are they going to fix that?" I think those passersby need to get the knack. In down times like these, if you want it, they needs to become you.