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Our opinion: Finding right use for stimulus

We can’t say we’re surprised that a plan to spend $22,000 federal stimulus money on a COVID-19 vaccination education program failed to be approved last week.

And, frankly, we agree with Commissioner Ben Kafferlin, who said the vaccine education program probably wouldn’t have worked because most people’s minds are made up already. Spending money likely wouldn’t have swayed many county residents. Commissioner Jeff Eggleston’s mind was in the right place, but not pursuing the program was the right move. Federal stimulus money is a precious commodity, and spending it on an endeavor that is unlikely to result in additional vaccinations is probably foolish.

While we agree that the program would likely have little effect on the vaccination rate in Warren County, a couple of thoughts expressed by Durbin and Kafferlin are a little concerning for a county that is looking to solve some major problems and reinvent itself at the same time.

Durbin said it was difficult to approve the plan given because she heard almost equal numbers of people supporting and opposing the idea. Kafferlin and Durbin both wondered if it was an appropriate role for county government.

We appreciate the desire to keep government in Warren County as unobtrusive as possible. It’s a trait we wish state and federal officials would mimic. But there will be times when bold action will be required — perhaps on EMS issues in the county, perhaps on a major development project — that push the comfortable notion of Warren County government’s role. Some issues won’t lend themselves to a comfortable consensus on either side.

Give Eggleston credit. He thought outside the box. Solving some of our bigger issues will require such thinking.

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