As with my public interaction with the previous board of commissioners, my comments and criticism have nothing to do with any of the commissioners personally. I offer my opinions of their actions as the official governing body for Rutherford County, and mean no personal disrespect or insult - Zoran
The Letter To The Editor Jan 06 2011
To the editor:
This past Monday was the first county commissioners’ meeting of 2011, and obvious differences could be seen due to the new make up of the board.
I would like to thank all the commissioners for their detailed questions on each topic presented in that meeting. It was very informative and it made the presentations easier to understand because of the questions the commissioners asked.
However, speaking as someone who made fiscal discipline a primary point in supporting and voting for candidates, I unfortunately have to put this past meeting in the “failed” bucket.
The board unanimously decided to sink us into an additional $730,000 worth of debt. $200,000 of it was for the sheriff’s office and the rest for county IT purchases.
Both worthy goals, neither worth going into additional debt for. Especially since not even a peep was heard about paying for this with cutbacks and restraint in other areas of county government spending. The excuses that “it was in the budget” and “debt is smarter than cash” no longer carry much weight.
It is a failure because this last election was most clearly about fiscal responsibility, government debt control and jobs. While the Daniel Road project borrowing was the most public issue of our local election, it most certainly was not the only action item we voted the new commissioners into office. The Daniel Road spending freeze, was only a symbol of what must happen on an ongoing basis, no matter how difficult the decisions may be.
We all know that it is easy to borrow and pay for sheriff’s vehicles, software and so on. Our past board of commissioners did that part quite well. They were replaced because of it.
Now that a new board has been put in place by voters-taxpayers, a new commitment has to be demonstrated. Re-evaluate every single request for debt spending, pay for these requests with current funds, and get us started on the road to fiscal sanity. Sadly, it is not what we saw at this past commissioners’ meeting.
This is a bad sign of what we may see at the state and federal government levels. Our state legislature is dealing with an enormous budget shortfall, and the U.S. Congress will have to look into increasing the federal government’s debt ceiling yet again.
Neither problem will be solved without some hard and courageous choices by the newly elected majority, who I hope understand that borrowing more money is not the solution they were elected to bring.
As we enter 2011 in Rutherford County, the sad reality is: John Maynard Keynes: 1, U.S. Founders: 0.
Yes, we are keeping score.
Zoran Naskov, Rutherfordton
* The Digital Courier Letter To The Editor Web Page
* The Rutherford912 Candidate Pledge
* The Municipal Debt Bubble - January 2011 Issue of Reason Magazine
* The States in Crisis - The "John Locke Foundation's" John Hood - 2011 Winter Issue of National Affairs
* Debt Ceiling Debate Reveals GOP-Tea Party Fault Lines - US World and News Report January 3rd 2011
* "The sense among new members is that, for a significant number of them, a vote to raise the debt ceiling would be unconscionable in light of their campaign promises...You can make history not with your words, but with your actions."