Talking trash fees

Published 9:34 am Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Linda Beatty should know better.

When the Boykins Town Council was asked back in 2007 whether or not the town’s trash collection fee — just $4.50 per month — should be made mandatory, the council voted 3-2 in favor of the fee.

Beatty was one of the dissenting votes. Since then she has continued to serve the town as an elected official and has become its vice mayor.

And she’s refused to pay that fee for 21 months. She and 11 others owe Boykins more than $1,100.

It’s befuddling how an elected official — someone who has been entrusted with the reins of government by her constituents and is supposed to be leading by example — can so blatantly thumb her nose at the very people who put her in office.

What’s even more puzzling is that as an employee of the Southampton County Clerk’s office, Beatty must see hundreds of people every year who come in to pay fees they would rather not pay.

But while those people may not agree with the fees, they understand that it is their civic duty to pay them. They understand that if enough of them did not pay their fees, it would be a hardship on the government that provides services to them, causing more harm than good.

No one disputes that Beatty is a citizen, too, and has a right to express her opinion, but elevating her dispute with the town to this point is irresponsible.

We’ll be interested to see if the judge in her case agrees.