Citizens for Responsible Government reorganizing

Published 9:45 am Saturday, August 7, 2010

To the Editor:

To have a responsible government, the citizens must become informed and involved in the government’s activities. This is a year-round job, not just once a year at the budget hearings.

The best way is to become a part of the Citizens for Responsible Government, which will hold a reorganizational meeting on Tuesday Aug. 10, at 7 p.m. at Southampton High School.

I will give several examples of why it is a year-round effort:

* In the June Southampton County Supervisors’ meeting, the county voted to give a business an interest-free loan for 20 years while the county owes $77 million, on which we have to pay interest. This is especially tough on the people without jobs, those on fixed income and those who own the over 90 homes in the county in foreclosure; they are charged interest and penalty if they don’t pay their taxes on time.

* The board voted no to asking new employees to pay 5 percent for their retirement. The retirement system costs the county approximately $1.7 million annually.

* The county gave some of the sewer workers a pay increase. The new sewer system continues to cost the county big bucks.

* Other things on the list for new spending are a new dog warden, including truck, salary and benefits, and a new dog shelter. Where is all the money coming from? If we had all this money in excess, why couldn’t the tax rate on personal property and real estate rate be lowered?

* At the public budget hearing at the high school, some county officials said they felt abused. When I was young, growing up as one of five boys and was taken to the wood shed, I tried not to do the same thing again. It’s different with the county officials — the spending is still going on.

* The Turner Tract should be complete shortly. Please stay informed and don’t let this property be given away with no return to the county. We have millions of dollars tied up in this site. It seems officials want someone in this site at any cost.

These are just a few examples. There are many more as to why you should be informed and involved in what is happening in the county. I hope to see you at the meeting Tuesday night.

Glenn Updike