published Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Dalton mayor's good example

With our president, Congress, governors, state legislatures, local governments and many individuals facing public or personal financial problems, you surely noted the story on the front of Sunday's Times Free Press about how Mayor David Pennington of nearby Dalton, Ga., has faced his government's troubles.

Pennington isn't in public office for the salary. It's only $7,000 a year, and he donates that to Dalton State College. His other job is an insurance business.

But his city and his fellow residents of "the carpet capital of the world" have faced tough times economically. "I knew one of our problems is that we are taxed to death," the mayor said. So over the past few years, he led his City Council to cut spending by millions of dollars!

It certainly wasn't easy, or popular with some. Spending cuts rarely are. It meant, for example, eliminating dozens of city jobs. But Dalton's fiscal picture is brighter today.

Some people run for office to be popular, to have a job and so forth. But some run, are elected and then really serve by doing a responsible job for the people.

You can judge in which category Dalton's mayor fits.

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