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Wednesday, 20 October 2010 20:05

Ron Robinson must just know it all

Written by 

To the Editor:

Who is Ron Robinson? He must be someone who has powers beyond those of the mortals he wants to “educate.” He has never been to a meet the candidate’s event, forum, or any other event where he could really be informed about which he speaks, yet magically he knows all about what is in the minds and hearts of the opposition commissioner candidates.

He even knows that Cody Elders is one person instead of two (wrong). He knows that Cody, Debnam and Elders said they supported an early revaluation of property (a flat-out lie) even when they were all opposed to that because it was a waste of the taxpayer’s money. He knows that they want to turn over our beautiful mountains over to evil private enterprise that “would treat our mountains like coal mine operators treat the mountains of West Virginia,” (a lie) even though all of them supported sensible controls. 

Most sensible people would think it was wrong for government to make 25 to 30 percent of anyone’s land worthless. How much of grandpa’s land do you want big brother to manage for you Ron? How much green space and steeper land do you want to donate to the county but continue to pay the taxes? Just how much of these mountains do you actually own — 1,000 acres, 500 acres, 50 acres, 10 acres (am I getting closer)? How much do you claim? Are the owners of that property aware that it is really yours? Maybe you should just claim what land the state, federal, and local governments own in Jackson County, which is around 50 percent.

Mr. Robinson also must be an economics guru as is our current commissioner’s chairman, Brian McMahan. They seem to think that government salaries or any government expenditure does not “drain” county revenue. They seem to think there is a pool of money that is not depleted if you take some out of it.

Or they could just slap a 1 percent land transfer tax on us so they can have more to spend.

My friends, when it takes the average property tax bill of over 100 Jackson County citizens to pay the salary (not counting perks and benefits) of County Manager Ken Westmoreland, that is a drain by any definition.  The ignorance of simple economics by these two would be amusing if one of them was not holding our purse strings. 

Ron “knows” that the county expenditures have been reduced by 10 percent over the last year when in reality it is less than 5 percent. Could the $2 million (25 percent) fall in sales tax revenue have anything to do with that? That fall in sales tax revenue makes up over 3 percent of the total budget. He “knows” that Jackson County owns shiny vehicles.   Apparently he does not know we own around 200 of them — many of which are driven for personal use, even though they are non-emergency vehicles. How much does gas, tires, oil, insurance, depreciation, etc. cost each taxpayer? Ask Ron, he must know.

He “knows” that the county can’t break up massive building projects into smaller ones, allowing our local contractors to obtain bonding to bid on the jobs. He “knows” that no contractor west of Charlotte was found to be qualified to build the building at SCC. He “knows” that Jackson County had to contribute no money toward the construction of the building at SCC even though it is listed as a line item on the 2010-2011 budget.

Ralph Slaughter

Jackson County

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