Southampton budget cuts could put nail in coffin

Published 9:50 am Wednesday, April 25, 2012

To the Editor:

As a teacher with Southampton County Public Schools, I attended the Board of Supervisors meeting on April 18.

However, as I listened to county organizations plead for a revision of the proposed budget, I quickly shifted from teacher to a mortified 23-year-old citizen.

As the Board of Supervisors meeting continued, only one section of the auditorium lent the board applause as four supervisors seemingly ignored the overwhelming majority of pleas for revision. While that one section has a right to their opinion, the board must realize that Southampton County comprises other citizens who must be taken into consideration.

The Board of Supervisors should not be so greatly influenced by one group, especially when a large portion of the county that will be affected by proposed cuts are not of age to vote. It is clear that the long-term consequences due to what the board is proposing may be insurmountable, and the individuals who must contend with new conditions are of the younger population.

It is time for the young adults of Southampton to make their presence and opinion known to those who govern us. Young citizens can no longer indulge in the ignorance that our community continues to blissfully accept.

Our newly elected government must realize that while a balanced budget during their first term of office looks nice on paper, it will result in catastrophe for this community. Southampton citizens are well aware that cuts must be made; however, I believe we are also aware that a complete handicapping of our community is irresponsible. It is possible that cuts may be phased in over a three-year period, while simultaneously allowing for the smallest of tax increases to help bear the burden.

Southampton is quickly becoming a dying community with no appeal for young people such as myself. If the current proposed budget is passed, the coffin is closed further and young citizens will slowly escape in an attempt to solidify their future success.

With that being said, I call my fellow young adults to action. Make your voices heard.

Hattie Francis