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By Donnabeth Leffler

A Quiet and Prudent Holiday Sky

By Donnabeth Leffler Posted July 8, 2011 at 2:52 pm

 While I do consider myself a Savvy Spender, no one who knows me would dispute that I have no problem spending money on fun.  Trips, parties, plays, shoes: all good reasons to open my wallet.  However I have to give props for Savvy Spending to the Town of Chapel Hill for deciding the town couldn’t afford an Independence Day party this year.  

 
Disappointing?  Absolutely.  Responsible?  Also absolutely.  
 
There are those who say difficult times are when we need to come together to celebrate what’s right with our country and, especially, to honor its birth.  I don’t disagree with either of those sentiments.  But these days are filled with tough choices:

-Lucky people with jobs are facing losing some of their public transportation options. 

-Library funding is ever tight with a tense battle over who pays what. 
-High gas prices are likely straining the budgets of every department with a fleet of vehicles.
 
These few examples don’t even take into account state money that’s also contracting.  The brief  list also excludes the declining home values that will affect the property taxes that fill the coffers and/or dissuade potential home buyers because the cost of living here is just too high.
 
As the Chapelboro.com/WCHL news team noted in its coverage of the lack of the annual fireworks festivities at Kenan Stadium the holiday weekend coincided with the start of the new fiscal year.  This is not the time to put any additional strain on what will be an already strained budget.
I am among the 15-20,000 people who missed having the party (and that number doesn’t include those who watch from their porch), but in a time when the national political stage is filled with theatrics and polarizing stances, it’s a pleasure to have local leaders who can make tough decisions out of competence and foresight.   It would have been fun to spend $30,000 on a birthday party for my favorite country but I’m proud to be living in a town where having fun at the expense of other priorities is no way to celebrate. 
I know many people disagree with this decision and I’d love to hear from you (and all you wonderful readers who agree!) at Donnabeth@Chapelboro.com. Or comment below and let’s start a dialogue about spending priorities.  I know you have an opinion!  Let’s show those state and national politicians that it’s possible to respectfully disagree.
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