To the Editor,
After reading in The Robesonian about the pay package for county commissioners, I’m reminded that this election is not about Democrat or Republican, it’s about common sense. All of us in District 7 should be proud of our commissioner, Tom Taylor, for shedding some light on the exorbitant cost to the taxpayers, which many of us knew nothing about until Mr. Taylor opened our eyes.
The health insurance provided to the commissioners for free is not a problem, but for their whole family is a travesty. Especially when compared with the surrounding counties and taking into consideration that Robeson is the poorest county in the state.
The $700 a month mileage allowance might not sound outlandish until you do the math: At $3.75 per gallon and let’s say 25 miles per gallon, a person would have to drive 153 miles every day on county business — 365 days a year — to warrant $700 a month. Startin’ to get a little stinky, huh?
The $40,000 a year allowance for discretionary spending that is allowed to build up needs to be looked at also. Reducing the amount of money available on a yearly basis to $20,000 won’t do anything to help the county. What will help is using that money for county needs rather than just sitting there drawing interest. If a commissioner spends $10,000 in a year on his district, then the next year that $10,000 should be replenished. All discretionary funds should be kept in a general fund with no more than $40,000 per year available to each commissioner, by request and voted on.
It is well known in District 7 that Tom Taylor uses this money to support volunteer fire departments, libraries and other worthwhile needs contributing to the betterment of Robeson County. The other commissioners would do well to follow his example.
I hope the county manager and staff are swift in their analysis of this growing seed of discontent.
Remember, common sense, that’s what this election is all about.