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Put your money where your mouth is

A Column by the Editor
web posted April 6, 2009
COLUMN – I have to say I stand amazed at the audacity of so many who suckle at the teat of our county government when the county is trying to provide for basic services and still cannot find the money. $17,500 for the Tompkins Library, $45,000 for Piedmont Tech, and the list is growing. Meanwhile, the county has already cut one job and with another $200,000 in cuts from the state expected, giving more money away will result in the loss of more jobs, fewer services, and higher taxes. Excuse me if I call this kind of thinking ignorant, but only a fool would raise taxes to give our hard-earned tax dollars away in such dire financial times.

Just how arrogant do you have to be to think your private entity is so much more important than the operation of our county? County employees are already being hit with a reduction in pay ($94 deducted for the cost of provided insurance) and asking that more be taken away from them, and therefore the citizens, shows a condescending arrogance I have never witnessed before.
The Edgefield County Council is struggling to fund basic operations with lower than ever projected revenues and these organizations obviously could care less about our county. In fact they are basically demanding being handed free money. The insanity must end now.

I plan to list every single agency that is asking for money, and how much, so that the taxpayers of this county can see who wants to take your tax dollars during this crisis. They are not “friends” of the county; they are leaches sucking the blood out of our county with total disregard for our difficult financial situation.

Many of those who are funded by the county during prosperous times recognize the situation the county is in and have not requested the reinstitution of funding. Those are the true friends of the county and include the Edgefield County Law Officers Association’s Get Hooked on Fishing not Drugs program and Women in Unity among others. I intend on listing all these organizations as well so that those who would like to donate to worth well causes can see who has the best interest of the county at heart before you write out that check.

If those who support the NGO’s (non-governmental organizations and non-profits) actually want to see them flourish during tough economic times, they should rise to the occasion. To offset the cut in the funding to the Get Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs program, EdgefieldDaily.com will increase its funding nearly 50% this year to cover the cut in funding by the county. EdgefieldDaily.com is already one of the main corporate sponsors of the event.

That’s putting your money where your mouth is.

The reported members of the Tompkins Library, “over 650” according to them, could kick in a measly $26 each and cover the cost of the lost funding. If the services they render are so vital and so important to those who use the facility, is a $26 donation going to place members in the poor house? Or are they just “poor mouth”?

The vote by County Councilman Chairman Monroe Kneece, Vice-chairman Willie Bright, and Councilman Norman Dorn to restore $17,500 in funding for the Edgefield County Civic League (Tompkins Library) is shameful and an embarrassment as those purporting to be “stewards” of our tax dollars. If they have a brain among them they will vote to remove all the giveaways at Tuesday night’s first reading of the proposed budget.

One thing is for sure, the vote on the budget Tuesday night will show who represents the taxpayers and county workers of this county and who supports the politically connected. With severe cuts in revenues the rubber is finally hitting the road. It will be interesting to see where our “county leaders” loyalties rest.


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