Letter: County leaders need to be accountable

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 14, 2007

Watching the Rowan County Commissioners in action is a bit like watching a bad fighter trying to dazzle an opponent with fancy footwork. They spent close to $300,000 (more than a quarter of a million) to make the problem of our former county manager go away. They consider an ordinance requiring adult businesses to pay a $25,000 application fee, despite the county attorney saying it would be illegal. Who will foot the legal bills when it is challenged?

Now, they act surprised when the county’s schools get a failing grade. One would think they kept as close a watch on a multi-million dollar government-run operation as they do on flippy little do-dads flying over local businesses. On top of that, some citizens believe schools are failing because President Bush is not throwing enough money behind his “No Child Left Behind” policy. Maybe we should scrap the whole thing, let the schools leave the kids behind (as they were allowed to do before) and give back the more than $225 billion that the federal government has given out to our public schools over the last four years years.

Does the writer (of a letter to the Post) believe the taxpayers have no right to expect results for the estimated $745 billion (2001-2002 school year) spent in local state and federal taxes to educate our children in this country? This year it will no doubt top $1 trillion. From the level of our local governments to the high halls of Congress, we have politicians whose primary job is covering their behinds, yet they act as if they were vital to the health and well being of our communities.

Funny how the moment something goes wrong they are quick to look surprised and cry “I wasn’t told!” We elect these people on their promises of better accountability, moral guidance and open government.

Sorry, but it ain’t happening.

— Hansel Bumgarner