A Better East Texas: Tyler budget challenge

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Well the going is tough for the governing bodies in East Texas and specifically Tyler and Smith County. Both the Tyler City Council and the Smith County Commissioners Court are in the middle of hammering out budget proposals for next year - but what a difference between the two bodies. The Tyler City Council is facing a 4 point 8 million dollar shortfall and the county is facing a 9 point 2 million dollar shortfall - a big difference.  But the even bigger difference is the fact that the city council seems to be unified in how to deal with the shortfall while the county commissioners give the appearance of every commissioner for him or herself. Commissioners are deeply divided on how to address the shortfall – a property tax increase or a cut in services.  There is a lot of finger pointing in the commissioner's court and, while neither position of city councilman or county commissioner is for the faint of heart, the commissioners need to get unified. The division that exists is only eroding further the confidence residents have in the court's ability to manage county business and with a another jail bond proposal coming before voters they need to inspire confidence. So maybe commissioner need to borrow a page from the city council's playbook but either way, in the end, they must come together and that will make for a better East Texas.