The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

February 18, 2009

Reserve fund is needed

Tuesday, February 17, 2009 — I read with some interest the Report to the People offered to us recently and knowing of my interest in our local government’s desire to steal ALCOA’s hydroelectric generation facilities, I looked for the expenditures of our tax money for lawyers, ad hoc committees, payments for services and travel that dealt with those efforts. Needless to say there are no references.

Special appropriations making up 8 percent or $5,138,705 of the proposed budget seems to be the only category other than education not covered in the report that could be paying for these shenanigans. I would suggest that a detailed report on how this money is being or is going to be spent should be covered and where and to whom it is allocated.

The Cassandra of the Commissioners is that ALCOA is going to kill us all if the commissioners don’t abscond with their property. So, it would seem to me that these “Special Appropriations and Trans-fers” should be well documented as to how we are going to be “saved” from ALCOA.

Maybe Mr. Dunevant could bless us with another epistle on how the county commissioner’s plan to do pay for all of this salvation.

My second observation is that dealing with the difficult economic times and the somewhat dubious plans the federals propose to “fix it all,” I don’t see any line item or category for reserved funds. I would think that at least 3 percent ($1,927,014) should be held in reserve. If the failed collections of taxes for one reason or another occurs, that would at least provide a little cushion.

Or is it that you are going to preclude the “opportunity” and use the SA&T; funds as a reserve, thus protecting us “countymen” if the national depression continues or worsens. I think it would be prudent to do so, don’t you?

If we stop the “stealing opportunity” and apply 8 percent (5 percent + 3 percent) to a needed contingency reserve the great county of Stanly would have some insulation to the encroaching major economic recession.

It has been dully noted by economists all over the spectrum that what we are allowing our government to do with TARP and Stimulus is not going to abate anything.

In fact, it is almost the same attempt that Hoover and FDR tried at the onset of the 1930-1940 Depression that led to a second major recession in 1937-1938. Didn’t work then and an awful lot of learned men say it won’t work now. But that is another discussion that should be covered separately.

The point is that you commissioners have a duty to run our local government prudently as our appointed (elected) stewards with diligence and forethought.

In my own tiny economic operation, I know that during hard times my money cannot be spent on willy-nilly daydreams. A reserve is needed to handle unforeseen situations and those things that are truly needed.

Why can’t we do the same in our local government(s)?

Thomas M. McCluskey

New London