Lenoir County: Stealing and spending

By William R. Toler

In an effort to steal more money…I mean…raise revenue, Lenoir County Commissioners are going straight to the state.County_Lenoir

A bill proposed earlier this week would allow a slight increase (.25 percent) in the local sales tax, according to NewsChannel 12.

The problem is, county residents voted down the increase back in November. 64 percent of voters were against the increase. It was also defeated in a 2007 ballot intitiative.

Representative George Graham, who sponsored the bill, said the sales tax increase would be prefered over a raise in the property tax.

So what we have here is a problem often seen the political system: so-called representatives doing something against the will of the people.

When the people wouldn’t give them what they wanted, they went to a larger governmental body to run roughshod over the people.

When I posted the story on my Facebook wall, someone suggested simply voting out those that are proposing the measure in the next election. By that time, the damage will have already been done.

Plus, there’s no guarantee that whoever gets voted in, won’t pull similar stunts…or worse.

Another governmental system in Lenoir County is also stepping up it’s small-time tyranny.

The board of education is considering installing a GPS tracking system to monitor its 141-bus fleet.

And what excuse are school officials using to justify the $5000 per month expenditure? You guessed it: safety.

“Our main concern is student and driver safety,” Brent Williams, executive director of operations, told NewsChannel 12. “We have a management system to create bus routes…but this will allow us to have the accountabilty to know where buses actually are.”

The bureaucrat also said: “It’s like a big brother watching over you.”

That’s right…he actually used the term “big brother”…but of course he meant it in the nicest way possible.

“They know where you’re at not in a negative sense, but in a positive sense,” he said.

Parents get to join in the tracking fun through a “parent portal”, allowing them to determine arrival times.

But Lenoir County residents need not worry about their property tax dollars going toward this system. It’s being paid for by the state department of education, so all North Carolinians can share the burden.

Williams added that it could eliminate wasted mileage by having bus drivers use the tracker as a payroll system.

As with most government ideas, it will more than likely cost more stolen money than it saves.

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