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Letters to the editor — Sunday (6-01-08)

What are you doing to improve North?
As a citizen of this community, it frustrated me to read the article in last Sunday’s paper detailing the improvement plan for North Rowan High School. I do not have children in high school, nor do I have any affiliation with North Rowan High School. But after reading the article, I wonder what we, as a community, are doing to help this school succeed.
Is this a situation where you read and then judge and criticize, or is it one where you read and then say, “How can I help?”
For $60,000, the improvement plan seems to come down to the teachers ó how much more they can do and what they need to improve. And to give each teacher 10 to 15 students to mentor? Come on! We’re piling more responsibility on the teachers! Here are kids who need mentoring and guidance from influential adults. Our community is full of such individuals. I bet if you are reading this, you are one of these individuals.
What if we were the mentors, and the teachers taught the curriculum? I challenge you as a reader, before you label a school and pass judgment, to say to yourself, “What can I do to help save a child from failing in school?” The fault does not lie with the teachers. The fault is the absence of attention from OUR community.
ó Lori Yang
Salisbury
Annexation profits
Two entities profit when an annexation occurs: The North Carolina League of Municipalities and city councils. NCLM income is from dues from municipalities, based on population. As the population of municipalities increases, that’s more money the NCLM gets. Is it any wonder that they encourage forced annexations and oppose any changes in the current law? Forced annexations put money in their coffers.
City Councils profit from forced annexations. Often the real reason is ego, control and power. Being the mayor of a larger city confers increased status and money. Controlling the laws and lives of more people brings its own satisfaction to the egotistical. Forcing others to do their bidding and pay taxes is what others seek.
Forced annexation gives city councils more money for their budget. They could raise their tax rate. This is simple and easy to do, but would anger residents who might vote them out. They could expand their tax base within the city limits and increase revenues. This is neither simple nor easy and would require creative management skills. They could manage their city better by increasing efficiency or reducing services. (This is how we would do it.) They could gain additional tax base (revenue) by forcing nearby residents into the city. This would be like you balancing your budget by taking money from neighbors.
The NCLM and cities tell us that forced annexation is about providing services to urban areas. Hogwash! If this were true, then N.C. 150 residents would have been begging for annexation.
Forced annexation is about more money for the NCLM and cities taken from unwilling nearby citizens. Ego, control and power all play a role as well.
ó Larry Wright
Salisbury

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