Fort Mill Times

Anyone here have an abacus?

Remember the term "voodoo economics?" That sound you hear is someone shaking some bones over Tega Cay's proposed $5 million budget.

A draft of the plan calls for taking approximately $123,000 out of the city's contingency fund to balance the budget, leaving a paltry $6,318 in reserve in case of an emergency.

But that's not the worst of it.

City officials are seriously considering a plan to stabilize its finances that relies on a projected $600,000-plus in revenue from business license fees.

In this economy?

Hedging its bet against the property taxes it expected to collect by now is part of the reason the city is in this mess. There's more. Officials are also talking about the possibility of pulling money from the Tega Cay Utility Department. The problem there is the department already owes the city more than $300,000.

If all else fails, the city could trade on its good credit rating and borrow up to $400,000, according to the plan. An emergency loan bailed the city out at the beginning of the year, a maneuver that first raised a red flag over the city's ledger.

That's a tricky thing, borrowing. Not only does it become a crutch, but servicing that debt tends to create a vicious cycle. Just ask anyone trapped in the web of paying only the minimum due on their credit card. Also, a good credit rating can be fleeting. Banks are notorious for raising the interest rate on major borrowers showing signs of fiscal instability even if that borrower has a good track record of paying back its debts.

The city also is looking to cut its expenses through salary freezes and reductions and mandatory furloughs.

We empathize with the affected employees and we're glad no layoffs are in the plan, but it seems the city can do more to find savings. We'd like to see some thought given to long term reductions, such as expenditures for energy, for example.

Unless someone has a pretty powerful mojo hand to play, it seems the best thing the council could do is fold its cards and come up with a better plan as opposed to gambling with the city's future.

Lady Bulldogs perfect

Perfection is nearly impossible to achieve in just about every sector, but particularly on the playing field.

That's why the 11-0 season turned in by the Gold Hill Middle School girls soccer team is so special.

It's the first perfect season in any sport in school history.

As the season progressed and the wins mounted, the girls seemed immune to any pressure as a perfect season appeared possible. They ramped up their game and won by increasingly impressive margins.

That says much about the girls, their parents and their coaches.

Congratulations to Head Coach Bill Johnson, his staff and all the Lady Bulldogs who will cherish the feeling of perfection for the rest of their lives.

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