It has been nearly seven months and Chautauqua County officials have yet to discuss or take action on a potential $13 million deficit facing its 2013 budget.
They have, however, spent money they do not have during that time. Some of those funds have gone to the Chautauqua County Home - $1.5 million worth, Chautauqua Lake for its weed issues and a sweet 22 percent pay increase for part-time employees.
What happens next? Readers who follow the Mayville dysfunction know the answer far too well.
Within the next 30 days, the parade of excuses will begin. It will start with the high cost of Medicaid. Then it will be the rising cost of pensions and health care. Finally, it will come down to two overused words we hear far too often in autumn: unfunded mandates.
For some reason, many Chautauqua County officials think that blaming Albany for its woes is acceptable. Frankly, we in this corner have become tired of it.
Warnings of the 2013 budget deficit were sounded last December. So why will the "unfunded mandates" excuse parade begin soon?
Because it is easier for local leaders to blame Albany than to look back at seven months of bad decisions - or doing nothing until the fall - to fix the problem.
Have county officials controlled spending this year? Not if they approved funding overly generous pay raises, the eradication of lake weeds or put cash toward the county home money pit.
Area leaders have made decisions here in our hometowns that have cost this region millions of dollars every year.
County residents must not fall for the "unfunded mandates" excuse. If we do, we have given those lawmakers and officials an audience.
That can be dangerous. It ultimately leads to not solving the real problems and, potentially, excuse parades for years to come.
And we all know that cliche when it comes to politicians: they all love a parade.