The citizens of Parkersburg need to be aware of the realities surrounding the financial status of the city. Here are a few of the more onerous statistics from the 2011-2012 budget:
We, as citizens, need to decide what level of service we are willing to pay for, and our elected officials need to stop spending money they don't have. What should be the priorities of the city? The city's population has dropped from a peak of about 50,000 to 35,000; however, the budget keeps expanding. For the year 2008-2009, the city's budget was $21.8 million. In 2012-2013, the city has a budget of $25.5 million, an increase over this time of almost 17 percent.
This letter is not intended to support any candidate for office. The purpose of this letter is to spur you, as editor, to educate your reporters on the financial issues that should be addressed in covering the financial decisions made by our elected officials and in questioning our candidates for office. We need solutions for a terribly big problem, and we can't wait much longer.
Edward P. McDonough
EDITOR'S NOTE: Ed McDonough was a former Parkersburg City Councilman.