Southampton should be run like a business

Published 9:48 am Friday, March 2, 2012

To the Editor:

In Tony Clark’s article (“Sharing services good place to start,” Feb. 19), he shared with us some ideas concerning Southampton County teachers doing with less and performing better.

All of us are always concerned when we are faced with higher taxes. Every time taxes are raised, I do with less for I have to adjust my personal budget.

Our past Board of Supervisors provided the school board with every increase they asked for until Southampton County has a debt load they can’t pay. Our present Board of Supervisors is now faced with trying to pay this debt back. At the present time the school board receives 55 cents out of every tax dollar that is collected in the county.

As one of the new supervisors pointed out to me, we don’t have any say as to how the school board spends its money; we only have the privilege of giving to them.

Teachers in Southampton County need to ask the School Board and superintendent “why is our pay less?” The past supervisors provided the money. Where did this money go? Only the School Board can answer these questions.

Just maybe there is too much money spent at the administrative level. You think! Teachers should show up in large numbers at the School Board meetings. Find out where your money is being spent. Ask questions of your School Board and superintendent.

Mr. Clark asked, “Where do we make cuts?” “What impacts will cuts have on the community?”

I ask, “What will raising taxes mean to the community?”

We already have the highest personal property tax of any locality around plus the 13th highest real estate tax in the state.

Companies will not consider Southampton County for the tax base is too high. Individuals will not locate in Southampton County for real estate tax is too high.

The old Board of Supervisors gave a two percent increase in salaries to all employees, which amounts to a $430,000 tax increase yearly. They could’ve given employees a one-time bonus, and this wouldn’t have elevated taxes forever.

Yes, our old Board of Supervisors dug a hole for all of us providing the school board with everything they wanted. Now, our present board will have to be the bad guys and try to cut in every way possible whether it be the school board, sheriff’s department or just a plain cut straight across the board.

I say to the new Board of Supervisors go to it and do whatever it takes to get this county back on the right track. Run this county as a business and not a charity.

Linda Vick