Consolidation of localities not a good idea

Published 9:27 am Wednesday, May 11, 2011

To the Editor:

I have read with amusement Steve Stewart’s editorials concerning consolidation of the Franklin and Southampton governments and schools.

The source of my amusement is that in my opinion the only attention Mr. Stewart’s paper has for the county is when he has big plans for us.

Now Dr. Robert Edwards writes (“Time to get serious, study consolidation,” Friday, April 29), saying that people are begging for petitions to be drafted to get a consolidation study to be done. I am writing to let you know I am not on that list.

Furthermore, the accusations that petty high school-like rivalries are the reason for resistance to this are misleading, untrue and just plain silly. The people of Franklin are my neighbors, fellow church members and my friends. It does not make me hostile if I don’t want our localities to merge.

As a county resident it is my belief that there is no economic benefit to this for the county. It would actually be quite the opposite. Over the last 15 to 20 years, county residents were asked to sacrifice to put a school infrastructure in place that would take care of our children.

The citizens have done just that — four new schools have been built, and we are in good shape. Your plans suggest that county residents, who have done their part, would have to do it again because you will not consolidate without having to build more schools. This is just one example of my opposition, but it is enough for me.

Neither government/school system is perfect. Both have their own unique problems. Combining the two won’t make the problems go away; they just hand them off. It is the job of both government/school systems to govern and manage responsibly. It is the job of the paper to report the news responsibly.

Bobby Cumbey