Taking Away Your (Library) Card

The City of  Columbus and Lowdnes County have been engaged in an open war for about a year. They’ve squabbled over the language of the restaurant tax, which resulted in significant reduction in the amount of money allocated to the Columbus Visitor’s Bureau. Then they argued over who should pay for the maintenance of the soccer fields, which the county recently agreed to manage. Next, they fought over whether or not the language of tax agreements would reduce the millage devoted to Columbus Public Schools. Now, they’re bickering over whether or not the city is footing its fair share of costs associated with running the library.

In short, you could argue that county leaders believe that the people running the city are guilty of mis-, mal-, or nonfeasance, or that they’re generally incapable, or both. Or you could argue that people in the county merely want their money to be spent in the county. Regardless, the conflicts hurt area residents where they will feel it most painfully and for the longest amount of time: the institutions dedicated to educating and improving the lives of young people.

If people in the county want continued growth and development in the county to continue, starving the city for tax revenues is hardly the wisest policy to pursue in the long term. Conversely, the city needs to be more transparent regarding the wisdom of its stewardship. Both parties are to blame. As with any divorce, the children will suffer the most.

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7 Responses to Taking Away Your (Library) Card

  1. Ezra McWilliams says:

    I feel that the county and the people that live in Columbus should compromise. The people in this county would love to see progress I am sure, but they have to put in the work necessary to progress, and the county leaders should listen to their constituents. Education should come first because you have the superstars of tomorrow under “your’ tutelage, so if you want Columbus to thrive and be around for years to come, then you should get your priorities in line.

  2. Alicia Argrett says:

    I don’t know much about Columbus or Lowdnes County, but I do know that one of these umbrellas is over another. The ambiguous responsibilities are understandable. Columbus, however, is a just one piece of Lowdnes County. The endgames of all these squabbles should be what is best for both the city of Columbus and the county of Lowdnes. How these residents will be affected should take precedence over how the annual budget report looks at the end of the year. More concise jurisdiction of responsibilities is what needs to be written out and discussed to prevent this problem to prolong into the future. I hope they get it together soon 🙂

  3. X says:

    Funding for education has always been an issue everywhere. People that are paying the taxes do want their good tax money to be spent on the county. Those that are elected do have some ability to govern their city and county, but the decisions they make impact the residents, and often, they have opinions on the changes that happen. The political discussions need to make more progress for the better of the city; improving educational facilities such as public schools, libraries, or museums is a good way to spend the tax money.

  4. Emily says:

    These squabbles will only hurt the city and the county. This friction will make it harder to make decisions that will be the best for the people. That’s what the city and county aren’t thinking about. These fights will effect the people living in the county and city. The people and their children are what’s most important, not who gets the most money.

  5. Erin says:

    Cutting funding for things like schools and libraries is not a good decision in my opinion. Not everyone has the opportunity to send their kids to schools with private funding, so they have to take the next best choice, which is public school. The children are the future so it makes absolutely no sense to give them less money than they need. If the adults now want reliable people to run things when they are old and elderly, they should find somewhere else to cut funding from.

  6. Catherine Li says:

    As a young person of society, it is very important to me that the country, state, and county are investing money into my education and anything that could help. I sincerely agree that these squabbles of tax and money will greatly impact my future, and I don’t even have a say. Looking to a more expanded spectrum, Mississippi as a whole has problems with deciding what to use its tax revenues on. Somehow, public school funding is always being cut which, in my opinion, is a horrible mistake. Lack of education is a big reason why Mississippi is incapable of catching up with the “smarter” states who generate more revenue and aren’t struggling with poverty and obesity. These policymakers in Mississippi cut taxes for things like public school, education, and libraries and wonder why Mississippi is constantly last in education and first in poverty.

  7. Zakkaria says:

    Agreeing with Ezra, I believe the best option, especially on the children’s behalf, would be for the county and city to come to a compromise. At the end of the day, we’re trying to assist in bettering the future of us kids. I truly believe the issue with them being reluctant about investing their tax revenues into the Columbus Public Schools and the library, is the most selfish thing people of higher authority could do. The children’s well-being should be an absolute priority.

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