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Striking two balances

   A local focus for today's Buffalo News editorials.

   The lead, "County sees a surplus," welcomes news that Erie County government will run a budget surplus of anywhere from $5 million to $10 million, not long after a deficit had been predicted. The figureCollins that won't be nailed down for certain for several more weeks. The reason may take even longer.

The county executive says it’s skill. The county comptroller says it’s luck. We just say it’s good news.

   Either way, County Executive Chris Collins [right] is right to stash into reserves whatever extra cash the county does have when the books close. It will help ease future burdens on taxpayers and improve the county's credit rating.

   The second, "Justice is served," praises Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita [left] for not playing Sedita any favorites in the case of a now-former judge and a disgraced attorney who cooked up a failed scheme to beat a DWI rap. The judge has resigned and the attorney faces both jail time and disbarment.

Widespread knowledge, or even suspicion, that the system can be manipulated by those in the know, or by those taking advantage of who they know, seriously damages the credibility the system must have if it is to sift truth from falsehood, establish guilt, proclaim innocence and mete out the proper consequences.

Also on today's Opinion pages:
- University at Buffalo student Melody Mercedes has a problem with plans to balance the New York state budget on the backs of the state's university students.
- My View contributor Cyntiha J. Wittcop will always wonder what would have become of her brother if he had not died 35 years ago.
- Columnists Eugene Robinson and Susan Estrich suggest that the people who have run America's economy into the ground should sit down, shut up and take their medicine.
- While pundit George F. Will opines profoundly on "Sex and cheeseburgers." [That should get people to click through.]

-- George Pyle/Editorial Writer     

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