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Fudging the numbers and misplacing the blame
A Column by the Editor
posted April 12, 2010
COLUMN – The people who continue to stick
their hands out for taxpayers dollars like spoiled children demanding
candy at the grocery store are at it again. They are all too important
not to be handed free money. So what if the county employees have not
had raises in over five years. Who cares if Sheriff’s patrol vehicles
have exceeded the mileage of those that can be used for emergency
response vehicles? “Whaaaa! I want my free money!” is all I hear.
I actually had a conversation with one of the Piedmont Tech staff after
the April 6 county council meeting when she confronted me as to why I
was against, “higher education.” I calmly stated I was not against
higher education and explained the dire shape the county is in as far
as revenues (cutting $680,000 last year and nearly $225,000 this year)
and the effects it is having on being able to operate the county.
I explained quite accurately that the Sheriff needs at least six patrol
cars that are past or at their maximum mileage to be used to respond to
someone breaking into your house and that if there were “extra funds”
(of which there are none) it should go to “needs not wants”. Her reply?
“Well, they still run don’t they?”
How do you argue with someone who refuses to address the facts?
I also love the emails, letters, and posters claiming that the
Edgefield County Council is “closing Piedmont Tech”.
That is a false statement. Only Piedmont Tech can close Piedmont Tech,
and if you take a gander at their financials they are in far better
financial shape than Edgefield County.
After all, they are a “business” (not a school) and businesses are
there to make a profit, even if it takes your tax dollars being
directed away from basic county operations, including law enforcement,
to increase their profit margins and bottom line.
The truth is Piedmont Tech does not need the money from Edgefield
County to stay open, much less be in a position to demand double the
funding over last year with the threat “they” would close the Edgefield
campus if their demands are not met.
Of their $32 million in assets listed, according
to their 2009
financial statement, $9 million was “unrestricted”, meaning it
spent on whatever they so chose. Including keeping the Edgefield campus
open if “they” wanted to with zero dollars from the county.
Maybe the question should be phrased, what does Piedmont Tech have
against county law enforcement, taxpayers and county employees? Why are
they being so “greedy”?
The Edgefield Civic League (Tompkins Library) is also in line with
their hands out wanting their usual $17,500, which was cut to $7,000 in
the current budget cycle. Even though they are well aware of the
county’s dwindling revenues for the upcoming year they want the full
Why not, Piedmont Tech is demanding nearly $100,000, double what they
were able to squeeze out of the taxpayers last year.
In the case of the Tompkins Library, they boast over “650 members”,
most of who write letters saying how “vital” the library is and how it
must stay open by the use of taxpayers dollars, although many members
do not pay taxes in Edgefield County.
Not to mention, if these same 650 people who deem the Tompkins Library
so import would pay $26 in additional dues there would be no need for
the county taxpayer to pick up “their” tab. I guess it all comes down
to how important the Tompkins Library is when it depends on whose
pocket the money is coming from.
I, for one, am sick and tired of the “I deserve” because “I am” crowd.
If your business cannot survive without taxpayer dollars it should
close. If your hobby cannot be sustained from your own pocket it should
close. And if they all close it is not because of the Edgefield County
Council, it is because your business plan failed. It is not the
county’s job to keep you in business. That is your job.
Place the blame where it belongs.
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