Many years ago, when Macon County had amassed an immense Fund Balance, it was claimed that we benefitted by all the interest that the county was earning. That was an excuse, not a reason.
At the time, the county was not chartered as a bank or a money market manager. It was not their job then to sit on the peoples’ money, and it still isn’t. And, as we all know, interest earnings are nearly insignificant, so that excuse is out the window.
In an article appearing in one of the area’s newspapers on May 8, Commissioner Ronnie Beale was quoted as saying, “I’m very proud of our fund balance. It gives us latitude. It’s not just like Monopoly money.” While I have no idea what the reference to Monopoly money means, I get the shivers when I hear an influential commissioner saying, “It gives us latitude.”
I don’t want our county government to have the “latitude” to spend our money with every hair brained idea that comes down the pike. If the commission wants to spend our money, which is the bulk of their job, let them put their ideas into the budget and let the people have an opportunity to speak on the subject, instead of being blindsided by items like the Parker Meadows fiasco. Bailing out bad loans should not be a function of Macon County’s government.
The county should return the unnecessary taxes collected as a result of the 1.5 mil tax increase of 2010 by lowering next year’s rate by 4.5 mils. If they say they can’t afford it, they are not telling the truth.
Les Slater — Franklin, N.C.