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The nightmare ends as Tom Balya exits

| Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011

Rather than exit with any class, departing Westmoreland County Commissioner Tom Balya, in his final budget fight, firmly planted his thumb to his nose and furiously waggled his fingers in a farewell salute to the public he supposedly served.

Mr. Balya and fellow Democrat Commissioner Ted Kopas (the latter now relegated to minority party status) slapped together a 2012 lame-duck budget that, in willy-nilly fashion, slashed spending by 15 percent.

After all, Balya insisted, that's what Charles Anderson and Tyler Courtney, the new Republican majority -- the first in more than half-a-century and sworn into office on Tuesday -- campaigned for.

What hypocrisy. The same Democrat duo a year ago threatened a government shutdown when Mr. Anderson didn't buckle to the Democrats' thuggish demands.

And, to be clear, what Anderson and Mr. Courtney championed was an end to Democrats' deficit spending plans with multimillion-dollar shortfalls -- "budgeting" that in the private sector would get any chief financial officer booted.

So, what consideration to Westmoreland County residents went into this new, slapdash fiscal blueprint• It threatens regular sessions of the county's courts but advances some pet projects, says Anderson, who voted against it. Oh, and there's a raise for unionized county employees.

That's "responsible" budgeting, Tom Balya-style. Thank goodness that Westmoreland County's long nightmare finally is over.

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