Saturday, May 27, 2006

More on county government's fuel mess

Greg Travis spouts off again on "peak oil" at the Bloomington Alternative and ties it in with the county's fuel fiasco. Travis scolds the Herald-Times for advocating "spending ever-more money on gasoline." Thanks to the budget that his wife Sophia helped push through the County Council last summer, the Sheriff's department will run out of money for gas next month without additional funding.

For a minute, let's put aside all the arguments Greg Travis presents about "peak oil" and assume his doom-and-gloom forecast is right. All of that is irrelevant to the problems the Democrats have created for county government. The bottom line here is that there is absolutely nothing that county government in Monroe County, Indiana can actually do about "peak oil" or the crisis Greg Travis sees coming. County government is completely powerless to do anything about "peak oil".

Even if county government did not use one drop of gasoline for the rest of the year, it would make no real impact on overall consumption of oil and will not delay the alleged coming crisis of "peak oil". Greg and Sophia Travis, Mark Stoops, and the rest of the "Green Democrats" need to realize that we live in a gasoline-driven world and that county government has no choice but to conform to the rules of that world.

Law enforcement is an essential function of county government and needs to be fully funded. This does not mean that county government should not look for ways to be more fuel-efficient and to save money, but it does mean that the County Council must approach the budget with a realistic vision. Leftist environmental dogma about national and international policy has no place in county budgetary policy, and voters should bounce Mark Stoops out of office this year and then fire Sophia Travis in 2008.

Meanwhile, if Sheriff Sharp is going to be complaining to the council that he should be allowed to tell his deputies not to take their cars home, then he should lead by example. He is not doing that now. I passed by the Sheriff's residence today as I was walking the dog, and noticed his automobile in front of his home. I think the deputies in the Sheriff's Department will be less unhappy with the loss of their take-home vehicle benefit if Sheriff Sharp takes the first step himself.

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