The DA isn’t giving up on the budget fight. He called me yesterday about the brouhaha over his referendum idea, we engaged in a genial debate that went nowhere, and then he made a salient point. The Commissioners Court has ordered a 10 percent cut across the board to meet a $58 million shortfall. That’s a lazy way of downsizing. Any business — such as ours, for example — that has to downsize works from a set of priorities. Most governments, such as the City of Dallas, do, too. (Can anyone imagine City Manager Mary Suhm ordering an across-the-board cut to meet her $100 million deficit?) Are the DA’s office and the Sheriff’s Department in the same league as the District Clerk’s office or the commissioners’ own road-and-bridge allocations? Shouldn’t the commissioners have rolled up their sleeves and put pencil to paper?
Yes, the DA went off the reservation. (He did meet his deadline for cuts, by the way.) But when he settled down — and in our conversation he was reasonable and self-deprecating — his argument made sense.