It'll be interesting to watch from the sidelines this year as local governments struggle with varying degrees of budget difficulty, while state officials prepare for a second straight year of healthy growth and, therefore, more money to spend.

Up on Lincoln Boulevard in OKC, it's estimated we'll have an additional $314 million in growth revenues. This after a year in which legislators funded most everything they found a need for, maximized the contribution to the state's rainy day fund, and then cut checks in the form of rebates to give some of that largesse back to the state's residents.

Add Moore to communities on the growth trend. The explosion in retail development in that city will certainly help city coffers. To the south, Norman's elected and hired managers are struggling to balance growing needs with flattening revenues. Further to the south, Noble will likely turn to the voters to replace some components of an aging ambulance fleet because the city budget doesn't hold room for such significant purchases.

The opposing budgetary situations will make for some interesting discussions and political wrangling that will take place. Seems kind of odd from our viewpoint. No matter if there's a lot of money to spend ... or a little ... you can be sure of three things: (1) There will never be enough to do all that everyone wants, (2) the taxpayers will pretty much always want a lot, but still maintain government is too large, and (3) no matter what, it's going to get more political than it should and a decent idea can become a horrible idea and hotly debated in an election year.

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