To the Editor,
I would like to compliment The Robesonian, Editor Donnie Douglas and his staff for bringing out the information on the commissioners’ salary, benefits and discretionary fund. That is the most important job of a news organization — keeping the citizens informed.
I doubt most of us living in Robeson County can attend all of the commissioner meetings, so we rely on the newspaper for information. We hear all the time about wanting transparency in local, state and national government, yet we hear a commissioner complain that The Robesonian is being divisive for informing the public. Did The Robesonian misrepresent the salaries, the discretionary funds, the retirement fund and travel expenses or write anything that was not true? No. It informed the public and for that the newspaper should be commended. To put the commissioners’ salary into perspective, it is higher than our state senator who represents two counties.
Almost all commissioners gave $1,000 of taxpayer money to each fire department in his district; why not put that in the budget? They gave money to schools; why not put that in the budget? How many have seen signs at schools and other locations, saying donated by “commissioner?” Shouldn’t it have said donated by the “Taxpayers of Robeson County”? Robeson County has one of the highest crime rates in the state. How many police officers would $320,000 a year put on the road?
Citizens can go to the Robeson County Administration Office at 701 N. Elm St. and, for a few dollars, request a copy of how their commissioner spent his discretionary funds. You may agree or not agree, but you have the right to know.