The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Opinion & Letters to the Editor

July 31, 2013

Stanly County tax dollars at work

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 — Editor’s Note: This column is the first of a series that will feature the inner workings of the county and how the tax payer’s dollars are being put to work.

During my campaign for a seat on the Stanly County Board of Commissioners I stated plans to work a day a month in various sectors of our county government if elected. I also promised  to write a column and put together a blog to inform you, the taxpayers, on how your money is being spent. The plan is not original.

Bob Graham, when he was in the Florida Senate, was challenged by a teacher to work a day in her shoes.  That challenge led Graham to start working a day a month with his constituents. He continued the practice when he served two-terms as Florida’s Governor and three-terms as a United States Senator. Senator Graham ended up with 386 work days throughout his political career.

I always felt Graham’s plan was a great idea. Some cynics called it a publicity stunt. I’m sure there was some truth to that, however, the knowledge he gained from the work days made him a better legislator.

Twenty-six years ago, when I ran for a seat on the Sebring City Council, I made the same promise. I figured working in the various city departments would be a great way to better understand how tax dollars are spent. Since I lost two bids for a spot on my hometown’s governmental body, I was unable to put the idea into practice.

Since being sworn in as a Stanly County commissioner, I have been able to fulfill my campaign promise by working and visiting  various aspects of our  local government. So far I have spent time at Stanly Community College, took a three-hour tour at the City of Albemarle landfill, set traps and picked up dogs and cats with  Animal Control officers, went on restaurant inspections, took a CPR Class for county employees and shelved books at the Locust Library.

A busy spring at work and the time it has taken to get comfortable in my position on the Board of Commissioners has slowed down my writing. Now it’s time to catch up with some articles and put together a blog.

The time I have spent in the field has been very valuable when it came time to make decisions. Working with the crew in Animal Control gave me a better understanding of the need for a new Animal Control Ordinance. After months of fine tuning, the new ordinance was passed and went into effect on July 3.

Also, in conversations with county employees, many pointed out that they had not received a Cost of Living Adjustment since 2008. During our recent budget talks, one of the last things my fellow commissioners and I  discussed  was whether to give county employees a 1.5 percent or 2.5 percent COLA pay increase. After much discussion, we figured out how to come up with the money to give a much overdue 2.5 percent increase.

Stay tuned, there’s more writing to come. My next column will be about my day with Animal Control and the story of the rabid bobcat.


Peter Asciutto is on the Stanly County Board of Commissioners.  Comments can be sent to pasciutto


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Opinion & Letters to the Editor
  • D.G. Martin Read others’ views to be better informed, decide for yourself

    “I don’t read The Washington Post. That is not where I get my ideas.”

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Patrick Gannon This isn’t medical marijuana

    As state legislators debated allowing the use of an extract from marijuana plants to treat seizure disorders over the past couple of weeks, it was evident that social conservatives – there are many of them in the General Assembly – felt a tinge of unease about it, even as almost every one of them voted yes.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Doug Creamer Friends and contentment

    Last week I made my annual trip up the mountain to Sparta. My friends have a secluded home near a babbling brook. Their home and property are a haven for peace. It’s a two-plus hour ride to their home that doesn’t feel that long because I look so forward to my time with this great couple. When I arrive, the conversation seems to pick up right where we left it the last time we saw each other.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thanks for the honest deed

    I would like to thank the person that found my wallet in the parking lot of Harris Teeter on July 23 and turned it in to the Albemarle Police.

    July 29, 2014

  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • We need your help

    Hurray for the Albemarle City Council. Council plans to battle N.C. Department of Transportation’s ranking of all 13 projects in Stanly County to the bottom of their priority list. Council is setting up petitions in various city buildings for citizens to sign.

    July 28, 2014

  • Council asks veterans to seek office

    The terms of office for the leaders of the Stanly County Veterans Council ended June 30. A call is being sent to veterans council members requesting candidates for the four elective offices of the council. A meeting has been set for 6:30 p.m. Aug. 12 at the DAV building. All council members are urged to attend.

    July 28, 2014

  • Mike Walden The gains and gaps in our economy

    Twice a year, I pull out my cloudy crystal ball and attempt to make some predictions about the direction and pace of the North Carolina economy. I just finished my latest effort and, as usual, the results are a combination of pluses and minuses.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jason O. Boyd Yellow journalism takes on new form, people are dumber for it

    Time to get on the soapbox for a few minutes.
    Let me clear my throat. Eh ... hem!
    People are dumb.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brent Laurenz Special election adds to the mix

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    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

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