letters to the editor
Sweeping change needed at the DOT
I enjoyed the Post’s excellent editorial (Feb. 8) on the politics and inefficiency of the N.C. Department of Transportation. You failed to mention that along with the $152.4 million auditors found wasted by NCDOT in unnecessary construction costs is the $150 million that the Democrat-controlled legislature takes out of NCDOT gas tax revenues every year to fund pet projects. The new bridges over the Yadkin River are estimated to cost $450 to $500 million. If the legislature simply left the $150 million that they steal every year from the NCDOT budget in place, we could pay for the bridges in three years.
The construction and repair issues are further complicated by the Equity Funding requirement rammed through by the smaller, less populated counties down East. The “Inequity Funding” rule forces NCDOT to match dollar for dollar everything spent in densely populated areas like ours, with the same road funding in sparsely populated counties. That’s why counties where there are more deer than people have four lane roads, and we can’t get desperately needed bridges built and Charlotte can’t get its beltway finished.
We need a sweeping political change across North Carolina to clean up the NCDOT, to throw out the rascals who are stealing our gas tax money, and to stop penalizing densely populated counties and cities. Next time you drive to the beach, enjoy the wide, empty roads east of Raleigh. Then think of our crowded, congested roads and thank the rascals who control the legislature. Just don’t hit a deer down there.
ó Tony Hilton
Use highway funds
for allotted purposeWe must wake up and not allow the bureaucrats in Raleigh to pull the wool over our eyes! We are too smart to allow this to continue to happen! I’m referring to the crazy notion that we are going to have to succumb to having a toll bridge over the Yadkin River in order to pay for it. Don’t you think that with the second to the highest gas tax in the Southeast, at 30.15 cents per gallon, there would be enough in the Highway Trust Fund to finance this absolute necessity to our I-85 corridor? “But, no,” say our bureaucrats!
Let me tell you in plain English what has happened. A minimum of $172 million has been removed from the Highway Trust Fund each year since its inception! This total amount diverted from our Highway Trust Fund comes to almost $4 billion, according to NCGO! In addition to this amount, for the past four straight years prior to 2007, North Carolina has enjoyed budget surpluses amounting to around $3.5 billion! When you add these two amounts, that’s $7.5 billion!
Isn’t that enough without having to dig deeper into our own pockets to pay for this bridge? You bureaucrats should be ashamed to try to convince your own families and neighbors that a toll bridge is the only answer! I want some answers to my questions about accountability and trust that we citizens have placed in you! You’ve already told us that the longer we wait, the more it will cost. So, we don’t want to wait for your committees to keep analyzing so that the cost is even greater.
We want you to go ahead and use these allotted funds for this bridge that is long overdue! We don’t want to keep delaying this project until the bridge is unsafe, or even collapses! I am serious about this, and I believe everyone in Rowan County would agree that it’s time to start the building and stop talking nonsense about toll bridges!
ó Linda Cook
Residents don’t need
city’s ‘amenities’I have been a resident since 2006 in one of the neighborhoods that would be impacted by the city’s proposed annexation.
I bought in the neighborhood because I flat out did not want to live in the city limits of Salisbury.
Why should we have to pay double for “amenities” that we already receive from the tax dollars we already pay? We have police coverage from the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office and the Highway Patrol, fire coverage from Locke Fire Department right down the street, water at no charge and trash collection.
I personally feel my well and septic system are sufficient, and I really don’t mind paying a monthly fee for trash collection, something we would be paying extra for above and beyond our new taxes anyway. Again, if public water and trash pickup were important to me, I would have bought in the city in the first place.
So what exactly are we getting by being residents of the city? I know what the city would be getting … more tax base, no more, no less.
I personally find it absolutely despicable that we are on the verge of being forced to live within city limits, something I feel most of us have tried to avoid by living in the county in the first place.
Also, a public forum or hearing would have been a diplomatic gesture toward the residents of these neighborhoods before the intent of this annexation was released.
I truly hope those opposed to this annexation voice their concerns as well.
ó Mat Benjamin
Ready to sign up
for taxpayer revoltI read the Feb. 9 editorial about the waste of millions of dollars by the N.C. DOT. It was a great article, and I appreciate the work of the Post, but it also frustrates me. My great, great, great, great, great grandfather, who happens to be buried in the Old English Cemetery, lived under the only government he had, which was the king of England. He was taxed beyond reason and got nothing or very little from his government, so he and some others took musket in hand and changed their government.
Now, if we don’t like it that our government steals us blind, and is corrupt from top to bottom, and gives little for all the taxes that are collected, we say “we are in a democracy, so change our government by voting.” That doesn’t happen. I have lived and voted under Democrats and Republicans, and the stealing, lying, cheating, graft and other atrocities continue on and on.
I appreciate your reporting and exposure, but where are the crusaders? If I stole $5, I would be tried and convicted, so how do they keep stealing from us and keep their jobs? I am as tired of this mistreatment by state and federal government as my ancestor must have been, so please tell me in one of your articles how to really and honestly change the situation, short of taking musket in hand. If there is a place to sign up, I am ready.
ó James P. Harris Jr.
Waiting for help
in China GroveI live on Bare Street in China Grove. I had to run the water line back to my house myself. Then the city put three other houses on the water pipe. The city took in the money, and then they charged me for sewage for 30 years, even though I didn’t have sewage service. The city will not run water or sewage on this street, even though I live only four and a half blocks from the square.
I am 86 years old, and I have kept up this street myself with a pick and a shovel. Six other people also live on this street. The water line has been leaking for three years.
ó Will Leazer
The first time I met Mike McDuffie, he strolled into a Christian Education Committee meeting, took a seat between two... read more