Make a difference on Nov. 8

Published 9:29 am Wednesday, October 26, 2011

To the Editor:

Southampton County is suffering from an absence of leadership. We have seen our current Board of Supervisors make decision after decision resulting in a $69 million debt.

Each year we, the taxpayers of Southampton, have to pay service on that debt, and each year the county wants to spend more. This vicious cycle needs to be stopped.

Our board has gambled our money on speculative ventures, bought properties we had no use for, and spent our money on a myriad of other frivolous (but expensive) things with little forethought to the county’s bottom line.

I think they sometimes forget it’s not their money or government money, it’s our money, the taxpayers of Southampton County.

I know many millions of dollars have been cut from the county budget, but with the economic climate as it is we should do more. The working (and earning) environment has changed, and so too should our county government.

Our county government should not be in the business of business — no venture capital, no land deals, just governing. They should be providing a climate that invites and promotes business development in our community. Instead they have created a tax climate that is one of the highest in the state.

What we need is leadership, new leadership, leadership that will make the tough decisions that are best for the county. Leadership that will question those who use taxpayer money and know that each tax dollar has been spent well.

We don’t have a tax problem in our county; we have a spending problem and we can change that.

With elections coming in November, we have the chance to look at those who are supposed to represent us and to see if they are part of the solution or part of our spending problem. The short answer — the board can’t spend without a majority.

On Nov. 8 we have the opportunity to change the way Southampton County does business and spends our money.

Jay O’Berry