First came the library defenders, now it’s landscaping advocates asking for mercy. The blowback of the Mount Airy city council’s ranking of essential a municipal services is that those who see their items of choice at the bottom are alarmed at what the final budget could produce. It started when former commissioner Tom Bagnal pleaded the council to spare library cuts, since that was among the items on the bottom of list.
This month Downtown Mount Airy Inc., a board that represents Main Street merchants, made a formal plea to the council not to cut landscaping in the downtown district, saying it greatly enhances their business and is a source of civic pride. Few would argue with either of those statements, but the question on the council’s mind is whether it’s a benefit that should be borne by general taxpayers.
There’s other potential services eyed for cutbacks, from certain benefits for city employees to sidewalk repairs to recreation programs for teens and senior citizens. We’ll find out in the next month which of those services has its own advocacy group.