• 66°

Surry supervisors flunk Math 101

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

Surry County, a county with a population of 6,000, more or less, in incredibly difficult economic times has, according to The Smithfield Times, county leadership looking for a 6% tax raise to cover upward of half a million dollars in new county personnel and a proposed 5% raise for county staff. And that is just the beginning.

There is a $294,000 increase in funding for the school system to give teachers and staff a 5% salary increase plus a $182,000 increase in debt service to cover money borrowed last year. Where does this fiscal insanity end?

Supervisor Timothy Calhoun of the Surry District suggested cuts could be made in the county’s local funding for the school system. I agree, absolutely, but what about the county? There are five supervisors and a county administrator sitting at that table. Is it possible that not even one of them considered that just maybe they should cut expenses? Just maybe they should stop borrowing money? Is it possible they really think the working, taxpaying people in this county have bottomless pockets?

What common-sense reason can be given for hiring new county personnel? What common-sense reason can be given for a 5% raise for county or school staff? Our county government is ignoring the “elephant in the room.” What is going to take place when Dominion has to shut down the Hog Island nuclear power plant? You know, the plant that pays most of this county’s taxes?

It is going to happen, sooner rather than later. These solar farms have a useful life of 20 to 25 years and do not produce energy when the sun is not shining. Has this board ever seriously considered that eventuality?

Has this board or any of the previous ones put aside monies for the future? I wouldn’t be happy, but I could live with a tax increase of 2% or 3%, but it looks like you have put yourselves in the inescapable position of having to “pay the piper.” The problem is, you’re going to have to pay “him” with our money!

 

Helen Eggleston

Wakefield