Longford County Council headquarters
Positive, progressive and broken-just some of the conflicting messages to come from Monday's annual council finance meeting as councillors picked the economic bones out of Budget 2020, writes Liam Cosgrove.
“We need to be able to sell a good story and this is the biggest budget in the history of Longford County Council,” extolled a jubilant Cllr Gerard Farrell.
His party colleague Cllr Peggy Nolan followed suit, insisting local taxpayers remained “front and centre” in every financial decision taken at local authority level.
But there were cautionary and, at times, sobering words too from the likes of Cllrs Mark Casey (Ind) and Fianna Fáil's Joe Flaherty.
“We (Council) are actually down €7m and its the people of this county and local taxpayers who are paying for it,” argued Cllr Casey.
“(Commercial) rates are an astonishing €9.3m,” said Cllr Flaherty.
“No wonder why we can't put it up. The model of funding for local government is broken.”