Budget for Future Needs

In May, Senator Romney introduced legislation requiring disaster funding to be included in the nation’s budget rather than sticking with the current “we’ll just borrow money to pay for disasters if they happen” plan.

While Highland has made improvements, we still operate on too much of a “we’ll figure out how to pay for it if it happens” approach for too many things.

Our city buildings, for example, do not have funds set aside for their major maintenance needs. Although we don’t know when these costs will come, we know they will.

This is part of the reason why a recent General Fund study commissioned by the city had such a terrifying conclusion — that Highland would only be able to pay 93% of its bills in FY 2022.

If you own a home and don’t have money set aside for major maintenance, when the roof needs to be replaced you’ll have a choice between borrowing the money and spending your retirement savings to pay for it. Both are expensive options. It’s cheaper to put a little away every month so you’re ready when the big expense hits.

By failing to budget for major maintenance and other emergency needs, we aren’t saving money. We’re actually costing the city money in the long run, and we’re passing that higher cost down the road to future years.

That’s how Washington does things. It’s not the Highland way.