A tough time to deal with a lemon | NevadaAppeal.com

A tough time to deal with a lemon

We’ve all purchased a lemon at some point in our lives, whether it’s a car, appliance or other item. We eventually shrug our shoulders, take the hit and move on.

But Carson City’s lemon, a $400,000 payroll system, is a little harder to dismiss because fixing or replacing it will likely eat up a good chunk of the savings the city has eked out of its departments through innovative ideas, including employee buyouts, and hard work.

Even with those savings, city residents will be digging deeper to pay their utility bills following a 1 percent increase in electric and natural gas franchise fees, expected to bring in $1 million a year.

Every dollar is important when you’ve got a $600,000 budget shortfall, a laundry list of problems to address and uncertainties about the future stability of your retail tax base.

Despite those budget woes, we like that the city isn’t shortchanging its commitment to battling the meth problem and is moving forward with two deputies to fight drug-related crimes, another prosecutor and funding for Partnership Carson City, a group that has made great gains in the battle against the drug.

And, to their credit, supervisors declined to increase their pay recently, something that would have sent a troubling message to residents.

We don’t know what the answers are for the payroll system that never lived up to expectations – continue to pour money into fixing it, buy another system or contract out. But we hope the city seeks out plenty of good advice from qualified people before making a decision (and different people than those who advised buying this system in the first place). And it seems to us that anyone who’s ever owned a lemon usually sheds few tears on the day it’s hauled to the dump.