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A gentleman's incomplete.

   Rather than go at each other hammer and tongs, the Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority [the "control Collinsboard" to its friends] has politely asked County Executive Chris Collins [right] to take another run at his four-year budget plan.
   The Buffalo News Opinion section appreciates the board's conciliatory gesture, and agrees that Collins needs to go back to the drawing board to fill in a lot of details in a plan that has a lot of hope in it.
- Accept the challenge
   Board members reasonably hope their gesture will be much more productive than a whack upside the head, which in this case would have been an immediate vote of the control board to return itself to "hard" status. Retaking control over the county's contracting, borrowing and hiring might, as control board members suggested last week, well have caused the county executive to dig in his heels and refuse to make any changes in a future-years budget plan which, the control board correctly argues, doesn't really add up.

   And, as the Rolling Stones might say to Collins, "You're not the only ship adrift on this ocean":
- Loudoun uses education reserves to help fill shortfall - The Washington Post
   Loudoun County [Va.] budget officers dipped into public school reserves to help fill a $28 million revenue shortfall this week, surprising the School Board, which was saving money for the lean years expected ahead.
- County budget cuts mean less help for battered, abused - KOMO/SeattlePI.com
   The King County [Wash.] Council is considering a budget that would slash funding for its 16 agencies that provide domestic violence and sexual assault help by 80 percent, from $400,000 to $50,000. And sex assault victims fear the cuts will wipe out the resources they rely on.
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Jackson County trims proposed budget by $10.5 million - The Kansas City Star
   Jackson County [Mo.] has closed a $10.5 million budget gap for 2009 and is working on tightening even more in its soon-to-be-unveiled 2010 budget. Most important, county officials said Monday, they achieved the budget cuts with few involuntary layoffs.
- Sacramento supervisors win minor concessions, lay off 77 workers - The Sacramento Bee
   Those concessions amount to $195,000 in the general fund – not nearly enough to make up for the $4.6 million in savings the county executive's office had expected from the reduced work hours.

-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News

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