Certain vital local services must be be provided by our government. There is always tension between the need for services and the burden of paying for them. But especially within a town with a population as small as Rush, with its very limited tax base, there needs to be regular rigorous scrutiny of the methods by which those services are fulfilled. Is every method as efficient as it needs to be to conserve costs?
It is an unfortunate fact of life that governmentally controlled operations have a tendency to lose efficiency over time while becoming padded with expenditures that are not strictly necessary – not justified by what is needed to serve the needs of the actual population size. In a town as small as Rush, any backslide from a rigorous approach to efficiency has an out-sized impact because everything costs so much these days: equipment, maintenance, supplies, payroll – you name it. The consequence, proportionally speaking, is that excess capacity is even more excessively costly.
Creeping inefficiency is particularly likely to occur when the government has been under the exclusive control of one party for decades. Without a strict, conscientious focus on the fundamental responsibility of serving the entire populace in the most efficient manner possible (in order to mitigate the tax burden), a tendency to see the hold on power as an end in itself can develop, and along with it a self-centered complacency and a sense of entitlement. This opens the door to various kinds of padding.
Right-sized government is based on a scrupulous foundation of obligation to the citizens; a diligent attention to, and management of, the financial details; and a studious and fiscally conservative eye on the future – both as a smart planning posture and in order not to unfairly shift burden to the next generation.
A high level of competence is also a prerequisite. An under-resourced delivery of services is also inefficient, just in a different way than an over-resourced one is. (Still not right-sized.) So this is another area where a collaborative attitude is vital – collective intelligence and expertise, along with a variety of perspectives, will bring that high level of competence.