Watchdog Report   Craven County Board of Commissioners meeting, October 2, 2017  

This meeting clearly demonstrated how our federal government is headed for the economic ruin of America.  Two requests for approval to apply for federal transportation grants were approved, and yet another placed on hold for further consideration.  That last grant proposal was to hire a Mobility Manager (duties not clearly defined), and the grant provides funding for the new hire’s salary and benefits for only the first year. (We all know that is how government staff grows.  Slick, isn’t it?)  The director asking for the new position assured the board that federal funding would provide 80% of the funding and the state MIGHT pick up another 10%.
The next group of grants (hate that word) described $32.5 million dollars of federal funding available for disaster recovery program activities to benefit “income eligible” residents that received uninsured storm damage from Hurricane Matthew.  Craven is eligible for a maximum of $1 million.  (Commissioner Jones was hopeful that people who had already taken care of the problems themselves could be reimbursed).  I don’t question the need, BUT HOW MUCH OF LIFE’S PROBLEMS ARE TO BE SOLVED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT?
The Director of Economic Development presented a good sales pitch presentation designed to attract industry to Craven County during which Commissioner Dacey began angling for County construction of a spec industrial building to attract an occupant.  I’m sure that would be offered at a bargain price to attract jobs.  Perhaps state and federal grant money could be obtained, too.  After all, it’s only taxpayer money.
My point is not that these federal and state grants do no good, but THINK.  All this goes on in our county for two meetings a month for month after month and year after year.  The same things go on in most of the local governments across the U.S.!  THAT IS WHY AMERICA IS $20 TRILLION DOLLARS IN DEBT!  DEBT PASSED ON TO OUR CHILDREN, GRANDCHILDREN, AND PROBABLY OUR GREAT-GRANDCHILDREN!  Would you willingly put your children in debt???
Back to the meeting…
The solid waste contact was discussed.  That is the one in which compensation to the contractor providing the service exceeds the charges by the county to the user.  (Not that that’s all bad; at least ALL citizens need this service, not just a favored few.  Plus, the more it costs citizens to get rid of waste, the more people will litter, and that’s a significant problem in Craven County already.) The present contractor asked the Board for approval to sell its contract to another provider.  That provider was not the low bidder when the contract was let, but now is willing to provide the service at the price of the low bidder because they will be operating from a closer location due to other aspects of the deal between the contractors.  It was approved.
The groups asking for a referendum from the Board asking North Carolina to approve the Equal Right Amendment and those seeking more protection for animals subject to cruelty are making good headway with the Commissions due to large turnouts of their groups at recent meetings of the Board.  They continued to be present and vocal at this meeting.
Respectfully submitted,
Hal James
CCTA Watchdog Committee Chairman

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