To the Editor,
Let’s make sure we have the facts correct about who “opened our eyes” concerning excessive benefits, salary, travel allowances, and discretionary spending funds allocated by our county commissioners to themselves. In his letter to the editor, Mr. Dan Gola, praises Commissioner Tom Taylor for being the first to question these exorbitant expenditures financed by Robeson County taxpayers.
The facts and record indicate otherwise. Investigation into recent interest in these issues reveals that local citizens have been the ones raising these questions to county leaders. Personally, I have seen several letters to The Robesonian over the past few months. Until The Robesonian began investigating accusations of wasteful spending, no county commissioner had voiced any concern. The budgets over the last 10 years, which have steadily increased the compensations and “slush funds,” were approved with Mr. Taylor’s support.
He is on record as being aware of this problem 10 years ago, yet he has never taken any action to address it until now. While most citizens of Robeson County struggled financially and continued to watch our local economy decline, the commissioners’ salaries rose from 12th- to fourth-highest in the state on his watch. How do we justify these facts to the taxpayers of Robeson County considering we are the poorest county in North Carolina?
I, too, hope the county manager and staff are swift in their analysis and report. After years of complaints, it’s about time. I pray that these employees of the commissioners feel no undue pressure that could affect their objectivity as they go about this important task.
Mr. Harrell is the Republican candidate running against Tom Taylor in the District 7 race for the county Board of Commissioners on Nov. 6 — editor.