Pay tribute to the heroes
Americans live today in a relatively peaceful country, virtually free of terrorist bombs and attacks, because of aggressive policies that began 12 years ago in response to al-Qaida’s suicide bombing of the World Trade Center towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
As the country remembers this Wednesday the fallen heroes of Sept. 11, 2001, it is time to once again pay tribute to the thousands of victims — including those firefighters, police officers and other heroes who gave their lives while trying to help the victims.
To many of us it seems like yesterday that we witnessed on television the horrifying footage of hijacked airliners, filled with jet fuel, as they crashed first into the north tower and then 17 minutes later, the second tower.
Since those terrible attacks, more than 30,000 men and women from Wisconsin stepped up to serve in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places in support of the Global War on Terror. More than 100 of these brave men and women paid the ultimate sacrifice — along with more than 5,000 of their comrades.
The troops, volunteer soldiers who enlisted to serve this country, are among our nation’s newest veterans. They deserve a soldier’s welcome, the admiration of thankful Americans and every bit of the support they need to readjust to civilian life.
Heightened national security has impacted the privacy of many Americans and forever changed the boarding protocol for major airlines, all in the name of protecting U.S. citizens from another tragic, deadly attack.
And again we remember that the price of freedom — whether it is lives or tax dollars or inconvenience — is far from free.
Vilas should break cycle
Vilas County is in dire financial straits today, still working to eliminate a budget shortfall of more than $1 million next year, because of decisions in past years where they bought down the levy with general fund money instead of making the tougher decisions on spending cuts.
Every time a government entity uses surplus equity from the general fund to finance recurring expenses, they are setting themselves up for future struggles. General fund money should only be used for one-time expenses, like a major purchase or program start-up, unless the government body plans on dipping into surplus every year.
And that’s where Vilas County is today, once again proposing to take $549,000 from the general fund to buy down next year’s tax levy to meet state revenue caps. They are also proposing short-term borrowing of another $500,000, which is just as short-sighted as taking from the general fund.
Eventually, Vilas will have to figure out how to spend within its means under state revenue caps if the county is truly serious about bringing this cycle to a conclusion. They also should go after increased grants for county/tribal law enforcement, as Vilas shoulders a unique and significant financial burden.
Behind the editorial ‘we’
Members of the Vilas County News-Review editorial board include Publisher Kurt Krueger, Editor Gary Ridderbusch and Assistant Editor Anthony Drew.
|Tuesday, September 10, 2013 12:05 PM|