Friday, September 16, 2011
WHAT? ME WORRY
There are certain things in life that we know as indicators. For instance one of the things you can deduce when you see cactus and mesquite dying is that it is dry, and most likely dry for a long time. Granted it could be herbicide or other factors causing the problems, but when you take a look at the entire picture you quickly can see drought probably has some effect on what you are seeing.
There are many indicators or signs of tough times ahead for Milam County and Central Texas. If you listen to the weather pundits we are in for several more years of hot dry weather. Of course that could change overnight. After all, this is Texas.
There is no argument that production agriculture is a major part of the local Milam County economy. In fact agriculture provides for a majority of the dollar turnover in the local area economy. Prolonged drought certainly does not bode well for an already impacted sector of the economy.
Luminant is a major partner in the local economy and in the current 2012 tax year will provide for just under 32% of the total Milam County appraised values. The lawsuit they have filed could result in lower values either ordered by the court or negotiated through mediation.
Now, with all the previous being said one can easily figure that the two major economic factors in the local economy are at best iffy for the next 12 or more months. Take into consideration as well that the national economy is said to be entering another recession. FOX news states that one in three national economists say the country will be going into another recession. Persoanlly, on the local basis I say we are already there.
Then we read in last Thursday's local papers the county will wind up with a surplus at the end of this year. Remember, in January, or maybe it was February the same media reported we were already 1.5 million in the hole. What a difference a few months can make. Or, maybe it is just how you interpret the indicators.
I also noted in the budget hearing and later in the local news that Judge Barkemeyer said that the issues with the economy and the potential negative effects of the Luminant law suit on county finances were somethng that we should not worry about at this time. The court would do whatever it needed to do to meet the challenge. So evidently he is not too worried.
I believe that in any situation you have to have a "Plan B" just in case the best does not come to pass. I believe a lack of leadership is being shown when you see a potential wreck down the road and simply stay the course. It is much easier to meet the challenge with a plan than react to the challenge with no plan.
Quit honestly I am concerned; worried. Things do not look good down the road and if Luminant gets even some of what they want Milam County will suffer. What makes me worry even more is that those that are in charge seem to be betting on the best possible results rather than contemplating something less than the best. I just hope for all our sakes they are right.