Letters to the Editor: April 13

Stop with the rhetoric

Rep. Frank McGuirt has again chosen politics over policy. His answer to the budget crisis in North Carolina is blaming Republicans and raising taxes.

This legislature inherited more than a $2-billion budget shortfall because past legislatures took money from education, transportation and the lottery to fund big government schemes.

The Department of Public Instruction has more than 2,300 employees. This bloated bureaucracy has 100 directors, most make $90,000 a year or more, who spend tax money on unnecessary make-up work for our teachers. Do you really think we should give them even more money?

Last year CMS laid off hundreds of teachers and assistants because of the budget crisis, but brought them back within weeks. They have now announced a multi-million dollar plan to give iPads to students and plan to spend $2 billion.

In Union County, almost every classroom has Smart Board technology. Why do we put Smart Boards before smart teachers in the classroom? Where are our priorities?

Increasing taxes, especially sales taxes, make the poor poorer. North Carolina is one of the highest taxed in the Southeast; our roads are in bad shape, our jails overflowing and our schools are begging for more money. The interest on our debt is now the fourth largest drain on state tax money. What a terrible legacy for our children.

We need a fundamental overhaul of how education is delivered and we need to focus on keeping smart teachers in the classroom. We must review transportation, foodservice and construction and renovation for schools so we do what we have to do and not what we would like to do. Advanced technology is important, but it doesn’t teach our kids, smart, effective teachers do.

Stop with the rhetoric and come up with answers, policies and action. Our teachers and teacher aides deserve better.

D. Craig Horn
Representative, District 68
North Carolina General Assembly

Urge county to fund schools

Last Tuesday (April 3) our school board voted to cut 455 teaching positions in response to the $10-million budget cut for next year imposed by the county commissioners.

These cuts equal to 55 teachers and 350 teaching assistants who will be out of a job come next August.

In other news, earlier this year, county commissioners signed the lease for the CMC Union hospital for a $54-million windfall for the county.

To review, we are doing less to make our children successful due to a $10-million budget cut. The county gets an extra $54 million for the hospital lease.

I cannot be the only one to see a problem here.

Just a few weeks ago, our commissioners began discussions to cut our property tax by half a penny. While this will only add up to an extra $15 to $20 a year for you and me, it will be a huge savings for the land developers who are major contributors to our commissioners’ campaign funds.

Our children’s future lose, big land developers win.

Makes perfect sense to me!

I encourage all of you to please contact our county commissioners and urge them to restore that $10-million cut to the school budget to keep teachers in our classrooms, to help our children succeed.

Ken Skorupski
Indian Trail

Wake up Marvin

Be it known, and it can be documented, that our village council is sneaking “concealed” items under cover of broader issues; scheduling meetings during working hours, usually with minimal notice, to limit public attendance.

Aforementioned “concealed” items refer to operations of Marvin Creek gates on a private road. Council members forced this topic on the planning board’s agenda, despite dormancy since 2008, without true interest in their views. Proving, again, they operate on personal agendas, voting 3-1 (Councilman Overby opposing) to ignore the planning board’s unanimous recommendation against a “no gates in Marvin” amendment that the council plans to push through at their next meeting. Their disregard for recommendations from advisory board volunteers and residents is contemptuous of trust placed in this governing body and public at large.

Does council have jurisdiction to regulate gating of private streets? No. In fact, the village attorney, planning board and even the council itself indicate no current village ordinances regulate gates, yet they have written a blank check to the village attorney to do whatever it takes to have them removed – spending tax payer money to fight tax payers! For what purpose?

How many thousands of dollars have already been spent prior to any public vote? Now, thousands more will be spent unjustly.

This council’s egregious behavior brings deeper understanding to the overwhelming mega-majority of residents who voted against joining Marvin (85 percent of all residents) in the council’s forced annexation proposals last summer. They said ‘no’ to additional taxes for little-to-no services and oversight of this council – hindsight now shows us their wisdom.
The council has called an open public meting Monday, April 16, at 7 p.m. at Banks Presbyterian Church, 1004 New Town Road.

Please join me in attending.

Lori Handler
Embarrassed Marvin Taxpayer

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4 Responses

  1. Ken, your comments are just short of laughable. If it wasn’t so serious, I would laugh. Is the solution always more money and more taxes? Where does the madness end? The board of education controls allocation and until they put teachers first, I say don’t give them a dime more because they will just give administrators more raises and send their pawns (teachers and parents) back to do their dirty work for them. It is a pathetic scheme and will continue until some puts the blame where it belongs….the board of education. Don’t give them a pass!

  2. As usual Representative Horn does not have his facts correct. In his Letter To The Editor (printed in the April 13-19 2012 Union County Weekly) he fails to mention that the funds used to purchase the smart boards came through the fundraising efforts of the local PTA’s in each school. In other words the parents of each school bought the smart boards for the classrooms. This is in addition to the supplies which the parents of the district he represents purchase each year for classrooms using their own personal funds because the State, County and School Board knowingly underfund the schools on the western part of Union County. It is the legislature’s job to pay the teachers using our tax dollars. And pay them what they are worth, they are our greatest asset. Maybe Representative Horn should actually spend some time in the schools of Union County to better understand the personal commitment parents make in volunteering their time to fill positions which are vacant because of the lack of funding by the state and county governments in addition to committing their personal resources to make sure our schools stay at their high achievement level.

    Also, as usual, Representative Horn fails to provide a solution to the school funding problem. His response in the aforementioned Letter To The Editor, as well as in the recent town hall meetings he has been attending, is to blame the previous legislature for the problem and say that we need to fix the system. Not once has Representative Horn provided a single idea on how to either fund our schools now or fix them in the future.

    To use Representative Horn’s own words “before I was elected I was a simple turkey farmer”. Maybe this “simple turkey farmer” is in over his head and we need to elect someone to represent us in Raleigh who understands what is going on in his district and also someone who provides potential solutions to the problems we face, not someone who provides the usual political rhetoric. I write this letter knowing that the Representative will probably resort to personal attacks on me, as he does with anyone who disagrees with him.

    Respectfully,
    Steven Alameda
    Union County Resident

  3. Marvin Creek residents have shown in 2 traffic studies (2008 and 2011) that we have a severe traffic problem that has emerged with the growth that has taken place in the last 7 years. On my street in Marvin Creek (Kindling Wood Lane) we have almost 20,000 cars per month. That’s just Kindling Wood not Wheatfield that people use to race on. WE are residental and my road is very curvy. We have had accidents-.-one major. I still carry the pictures because it is one of our elementary bus stops! We have gone to the council many times. They come back with no solutions. We asked for a gate and the administrator told us to go ahead. We worked with them for months and now the Village Council has gotten involved. What for? Why are they doing this now? Canterfied Creek said that they need us for convience but it takes just as long and is just about the same distance to go to Marvin School road. We just want to keep our kids safe. They can not play safely in the front yard. Adults are dodging cars so that we can mow the yard. And the buses are honking to stop cars from hitting children when they are getting on and off the bus. They, the bus drivers, have their lights on and their arm and stop sign out. This campaing againist Marvin Creek is a disgrace. We all need to responsibly and constantly be looking for useful and thought ou plans to help the all the citizens in this area to contend with the way our village and surrounding areas should be planned out in the future and with the emerging traffice patterns that are taking over. Thank you. Sincerely, Melinda Nielsen 704-843-2208

  4. Ms. Nuelson,
    How would the gate have stopped the Marvin Creek resident that ran into your mailbox? We all know that it was a teen driver, from inside Marvin Creek, that hit your mailbox. A scary tragedy for sure! – but please stop your neighbors from obsessing over one elitist, hypocritical and transparent solution.
    Here’s the truth. No one likes your solution because it’s elitist. It’s saying to every local in the surrounding neighborhood (notice I wrote local neighborhood because we are supposed to be one COMMUNITY!…) that Marvin Creek residents DESERVE to go through but no one else does. We ALL pay for your roads. If you want a FAIR, unoffensive solution, close it off completely. I bet your neighbors won’t want to do that. Why? Because THEY want the convenience and I’m betting you do to. Stop looking for special treatment. If it’s really about the safety of families, close off the road to everyone. If Marvin Creek residents want the convenience then it stays open for everyone — simple! The children can’t be all that important if Marvin Creek resident still want the state-maintained roads for themselves, but want to keep everyone else out. You’d think we were living in Krakow! This solution, my dear, is elitism and hypocrisy at it’s best!! And what no one is telling y’all is that it is a grossly anti-social and rude measure on the part of Marvin Creek who apparently think their excrement is odorless.