Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 5, 2007

This isn’t the time
for another tax hike
The Post’s editorial in Sunday’s paper on the county commission’s approval of a tax increase deserves a response.
Like most Rowan citizens, I believe funding for education is important, as well as many other worthy projects, including jobs initiatives. However, this tax increase comes at the wrong time, and that is why I voted against it. Rowan families are feeling threats of layoffs and shrinking paychecks. Mortgage payments for many families increase when their mortgage companies raise escrows to cover the added taxes. Countless families will get those higher house payments each month on top of increased amounts for groceries, gas, insurance and more. What kind of future will that be?
Bankruptcies, foreclosures and page after page of delinquent tax listings fill the newspaper. Economic times are hard for a broad spectrum of our citizens, not just our families. All you have to do is look around.
The solution should be for Rowan County’s commission to tighten its belt. The budget cuts I proposed at our last meeting can lead to no property tax increase for many Rowan citizens. The amount needed for us to trim the proposed budget is $1.9 million, but the benefit for Rowan citizens will outweigh the temporary pain to education, the Economic Development Commission and other places where reductions can be made.
In the long run, cutting taxes is a good strategy to help citizens as well as encourage business to come to a county with lower, not higher, property taxes. Why can’t Rowan County help all business owners by keeping property taxes as low as possible? What a novel thought ó expand and recruit business through fair tax treatment for all!
We need to cut our taxes, not increase them.
ó Tina Hall
Mt. Ulla
Editor note: Tina Hall serves on the Rowan County Board of Commissioners.
More of the same
Well, here we go again with the same commissioners saying the same thing about the budget for next year. Jim Sides and Tina Hall should record their comments and pass them out each time to save time at the meetings as long as they are in their seats. We know they are going to vote against everything that might move this county ahead. Thank goodness we still have three commissioners who see that we need a LITTLE more to move ahead a LITTLE and treat our employees a LITTLE better.
I notice that one suggestion was to cut money for the Rescue Squad. We need to be grateful for this group who are mostly volunteers who put their life on the line for us almost every day.
And the commissioners need to learn when to talk and when not to talk. We already have a bad reputation for potential industries coming here. A comment was made how the loss of jobs at Freightliner would cause the commissioners to look more closely at incentives. Every person at Freightliner knew this was coming for several years; it was not a surprise. We need to be thankful for the jobs that are still there and more that will return when orders improve. Even Mr. Chamberlain said he was looking for an incentive to vote against but had not seen one yet, and we can all hope this idea remains.
Please show up and state your feelings at the budget hearings, as the small group of naysayers that support nothing will be there, as they always are. Our county needs some positive publicity and postive ideas. Come and give yours at the meeting June 11.
ó Ralph Walton
All students valued
Recently the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education considered how to relieve space pressures at the new Koontz Elementary School. This was brought to the board’s attention by the school’s PTA officers who see moving students to another school with empty classrooms as a logical solution. In the board’s discussion, comments were made implying that the children to be moved were “at-risk” and wanted by neither school.
Let me make it clear to all Koontz children and parents that the staff does value each of our students. We see them as children of promise, not ones at risk of failure. I know the PTA officers feel that way, too. Otherwise, why have they worked so hard to raise thousands of dollars to benefit all the children? The PTA leaders sincerely believe that by moving some children, others will benefit by allowing the school to use its Title I resources to create additional classes to reduce class sizes.
I am pleased that the school board did not take action to move any of my children. I believe that alternative uses of some of our space and personnel can allow us to reduce pupil-teacher ratios. Yes, moving some students would be an easy solution for the adults, but it would be the students who pay the price by having to be moved again.
We are relieved to have the hardest parts of building a new school culture behind us. We are dismayed that so many people think that Koontz School is somehow destined to be a failure. For all who care to see, much growth in student achievement and conduct has occurred in the past 10 months. I am proud to be the principal of the dedicated staff and promising students whose mutual efforts have brought this about.
ó Dr. Robert Heffern
Send PBH a message
John Burke is on the board of PBH representing Rowan County ó why? He has never been in a Rowan Homes group home, only visited the office once wanting IRS information, never talked with the residents, family members or defended keeping Rowan Homes.
You would think that the board members from Rowan would fight to keep a local agency operating. His answer is, well, managers can keep their jobs ó yes, and work for Cabarrus County.
Rowan County residents, you can go to the PBH Web site and get the names of the Rowan board members. I ask you to write each of them and let them know you want them to fight for Rowan Homes. We are in the last month. The state is looking into PBH’s actions, and we are in the court of appeals, but will the answers come too late for the residents?
I have been to the Rowan Homes office on a regular basis. No employee has mentioned the potential loss of their jobs, but they are concerned about each resident’s well-being. They have continued to fight for the residents, not themselves.
Since Dec. 13, my son has experienced serious health issues over this issue PBH presented with no warning. Isn’t it sad that a 29-year-old who has lived securely and been so happy now is on blood-pressure medicine, has had a flare-up of Crohn’s disease and has lost weight? As a parent, I find it very upsetting. He is lucky to have a home to come back to, but he likes to live independently. He enjoys going to the office, talking sports with Mr. Laurens and interacting with employees whom he considers friends.
One last thing: I have e-mailed PBH requesting John Burke be removed from the board representing Rowan. Won’t you join me?
ó Debbie Martin
Look around you young man and you will see people as I saw people. Some people I saw were going places and it looked as though they didnt even have to spend a dime to do it. It was just done. I saw other people too, who seemed to run into as many problems as there was sand at the beach.
There’s a trick to this that you may or may or you may not see. All you have to do is stopand look.
There are people who go though their whole lives not looking one day ahead. They do not see the consequences of their actions even if that action is simply choosing a lane at a stop light. People who look ahead, even when simply choosing a lane at a stoplight, will eventually get farther and farther ahead with less and less expense. Less expense on their bodies and on their souls.
These peopleare the people you see who are taking great summer vacations and who spending as much as they want to on good food, souvenirs, and fun. The people you see at the head of the checkout line, and at the front of the free gift lines, are the people who stop and think ahead. Stop for one minute right now and see how far ahead you can see, and see if there is one decision that you can make right now that is better just because you stopped for one minute to consider the alternative to what you were going to do. Just try.
This is something that I had to see through my own young eyes and then figure out on my own over years. Sometimes you may think that you’re going crazy, but eventually, you’ll begin to see patterns that will make sense to you and that will make your life much easier and more profitable. I tell you this not as advice, but as some one whispering to you a secret of life.
ó Tony Phillips