County should think hard on parks director

We don’t disagree with the premise espoused by some county officials that a new county parks director could improve communication between the parks and county leadership and improve some day-to-day efficiencies in the management of county-owned parks and recreational facilities.

However, Alpena County has had some serious financial challenges in recent years, and we believe county officials ought to think long and hard before creating any new positions.

Although the county managed to grow its general fund cash savings account slightly at the close of the 2021 budget year, that account is still down nearly $500,000 — or about 10% — from 2018. That happened because the county spent more money than it took in and had to dig into savings to cover the difference.

At the start of the current fiscal year, the county had enough money in the bank to cover about 41% of its annual expenses, a very healthy amount.

But concerns remain, with the county projecting a $1.4 million budget shortfall in the current budget year.

If that projected amount holds true, the county would end this year with enough money in the bank to cover 29% of its annual expenses — still healthy, but a significant drop that the county can’t sustain year over year.

Against that backdrop, the county ought to consider long and hard whether adding a new management-level employee is the right move.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today