Joining two problems may create one solution

Where two problems exist, maybe one solution can be found for both.

The problems?

Despite the bad economy, taxes - like death - continue. Yet people have less money and are trying to stretch every dollar.

The other problem is that because of the bad economy, the county is cutting back too.

However, the county government still has the same workload as it did during better times, only now because of employee furloughs, it has less work hours in which to do it.

Yet the first problem - the taxes - must be paid by Barnwell County residents, or more, bigger, problems ensue.

In the mid-1990s, York County government enacted a unique program called SeniorWorks in which senior citizens could perform fill-in work for the county government to work off a percentage of their county property taxes. Senior citizens filled in county offices handling tasks that fitted their level of work and/or education experience. Often just having someone who could help answer phones, file papers or run errands helped the regular county employees.

York County was able to maintain a certain level of service to its citizens while the senior citizens earned discounts on their taxes.

The idea was to give senior citizens - many of whom were on fixed incomes - a break on their county taxes and make their Social Security and retirement benefit checks stretch a little farther.

Perhaps this program could be adapted to Barnwell County for all its residents (not just senior citizens) where they could less the impact of inevitable taxes in these tight times. Even if the county had citizens do nothing more than perform a litter patrol, it would help the area in terms of making it more presentable for industrial recruitment.

Perhaps two problems can come together to form one solution.