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Thanks, 4.4 Millions

Congratulations to the Spokane County commissioners and other stewards of the county’s finances.

Five years ago, the county’s reserve funds had fallen to $517,000, so low that Wall Street analysts threatened to downgrade the county’s AA bond rating - a move that would have cost taxpayers plenty.

Since then, a combination of good fortune and hard work has turned things around. The county ends this year with $4.4 million in reserve - double the amount budgeted at the beginning of the year. And, next year’s budget aims to keep the reserve at $4.4 million, which is close to the $5 million reserve the budget enjoyed in 1990, before hard times hit.

Credit goes to Commissioners Kate McCaslin, Phil Harris and John Roskelley, who day in and day out have scoured every line item in the budget, making tough cuts and saying no to a lot of good causes. Also, County Treasurer Linda Wolverton deserves a hand for managing local government accounts in a manner that raised $1 million more than expected from investment income. Revenue from a strengthening economy helped as well.

This is a big achievement. It’s a reminder that our public servants, when they’re not in the spotlight battling over the high-profile issues of our day, are still working away in the trenches on the gritty details that make for lean, efficient, stable government.

, DataTimes The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = John Webster/For the editorial board

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