A couple of thoughts on the county budget hearing this morning: 1. I was pleased that the county employees are going to get a decent raise this year from the excess funds the county is receiving. During the lean years the employees were promised that they would be taken care of when times got better and I am glad that the promise is being kept. 2. We are continuing in large part to kick problems down the road. There are critical infrastructure needs in every part of the county and little provision is being made for most of them. It does look like stormwater will finally be addressed and the transfer station at the landfill replaced. 3. I was very pleased with the stand Sara Commander and Bill Chapman took regarding the TDC. The TDC is necessary and has done a fine job in the past bringing tourists to the county. However, the current infrastructure cannot support additional visitors and our residents are being forced from the beaches due to overcrowding. Instead of spending more and more money on advertising we could spend those millions on purchasing land for accesses and parking so locals can once again go to the beach. A reduction in bed tax rates and extending the bed tax countywide were also discussed. The Budget will be discussed again at 2pm Tuesday in South Walton.