After going through its second session on preparing the 2013 municipal budget, Forks Township Supervisor John O'Neil made a pronouncement to his colleagues that no one expected to hear.
"What we're doing is a Band-Aid fix," O'Neil said. "We've got issues that we need to address. But this is a Band-Aid fix."
O'Neil and township officials are trying to hold the line on taxes, trying to ensure that a tax hike isn't passed on to residents. But while that might be admirable during these tough economic times, O'Neil believes supervisors need to think about the future.
"We've got to put money toward capital," he said. "Otherwise, it's going to come back and bite you."
Finance Director Jim Farley quickly agreed with O'Neil.
"This is the third Band-Aid fix we've done," Farley said. "You're short-selling yourself on capital and labor. It's going to be a challenge for the police and public works. Everyone is tightening their belts. But at some point, you have to say enough is enough."
In these budget talks, the police and public works departments would be shorthanded with both not filling open positions.
Supervisor David Billings said "we need to figure out long term."
Billings said township officials need to come up with department staffing models over the next few years.
"We need a three-to-four-year outlook," he said.
Township officials will hold another meeting about the municipal budget on Nov. 1.