Letters to the editor

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 24, 2008

from the past
In response to Steve Blount’s Jan. 21 column, I would agree that perspective is important when reviewing the challenges facing county government. One huge challenge involves cleaning up miscalculations from the visions of the not too distant past.
Mr. Blount relinquished his county commission seat in 2006 just after the Russell-gate fiasco. As you may recall, former county manager Tim Russell was fired when it was disclosed that he had hired an investigator to follow citizens. Steve Blount supported Russell regardless. During his 12-year tenure on the board, Mr. Blount also supported the ballpark and the Summit Corporate Center, along with the Keith Corporation marketing contract. At the airport, Mr. Blount helped Tim Russell develop the infamous Standard Aero lease. Each cost taxpayers a bundle without bringing in appreciable business or jobs. Perspective is relevant. Since Mr. Blount mentioned education, it’s essential to remember that many new schools have been built. Additionally, education collects over a quarter of the county’s budget and yet student test scores lag. The current Board of Commissioners is working to clean up mistakes from leadership that focused on those so called elephants ó another way of saying tax and spend with few questions.
Along with charting a new course and correcting mistakes of the past, the Board of Commissioners is forging ahead with plans at the airport including extending the runway and developing a master plan ó this in spite of the city of Salisbury quietly annexing the airport, which basically duplicates the tax bill of tenants and discourages new investment.
Although the Board of Commissioners unanimously opposes forced annexation, the city passed a resolution on Jan. 15 of their future annexation intentions. Essentially, Salisbury plans to double in size. The map is available at the city offices. Is your home in their sights?
ó David Hall
Mt. Ulla
Beastly fears
I live half a mile from the former Metrolina Wildlife Park, soon to be Tiger World. To my knowledge, there was only one person killed in the United States by tigers in 2007. News coming from San Francisco concerning the fatality at the zoo now seems to point toward misconduct of the people involved in the accident, which led to the attack.
The new owner will be putting much more money, time, security devices and employees into the site. With all of the flack that the former owner received, remember, it was a monkey that walked out of the zoo years ago. After some time on the loose, Sydney was caught, returned and was spooked by a news crew cameraman whom he then proceeded to attack and bite. I much more fear drunk drivers, over-aggressive drivers or drivers using cell phones who are not paying attention to their driving than I do Tiger World. I know it only takes one mistake to cause an accident, but between bad and irresponsible drivers and big cats, I’ll take my chances with the cats who will be behind high, angled fences. Too bad we can’t contain all of the aforementioned drivers.
ó Terry Trammell