County has many options for cutting budget

Published 9:56 am Saturday, May 22, 2010

To the Editor:

As usual, Walt Brown monopolized the Southampton County Board of Supervisors’ meeting Wednesday night.

He proposed to cut expenditures such as a pickup truck that had already been cut from the budget and $51,000 in school funding that had already been cut before the proposed budget was published. He was also in the dark about the trash situation in the county — the fact that 5 percent of the trash is hauled to a dumping site other than Southeaster Public Service Authority.

Supervisor Ronald West was on target about taxpayers’ pulling in the supervisors’ credit card. The Board of Supervisors has maxed out its credit. Cut this spending now or we are going to be bankrupt.

Members of the board seemed to be unaware that area employers have cut their workforces greatly or reduced the hours that employees are working. People cannot pay their rent and are behind on their electric bills, yet now the county is proposing more taxes on their vehicles, their only means of transportation to work.

Several years ago the state mandated that all state employees take a day off without pay. The county can do the same. How are we the citizens going to pay back this $77 million in debt hanging over our heads?

County Administrator Mike Johnson’s proposals are warranted in some areas but are still not the answer. What the board needs to do is cut the budget 2 percent across the board and let every department do its own cutting, even if it means a position. If we do not have the money to give, then they will find a place to cut.

Why do we need two county planners? We need to hire a budget analyst. Why do we need so many in the Building Department when no building is going on? Why do we need pay an increase in benefit costs? Let the employees absorb this increase.

At the beginning of Wednesday’s meeting, it appeared that the citizens had finally gotten the attention of the board members: Stop spending and cut. At the end, they had let Mr. Brown confuse all by monopolizing and choosing his own agenda.

Mr. Brown, don’t you realize you are supposed to be representing the people in the Newsoms District? Go back and read the names on the petition submitted to the board Monday night. See if you recognize the names of your constituents.

Linda Vick