Letters to the editor – Thursday (5-5-2011)
Cabarrus offers example of creative cost-cutting
Every time I open the newspaper, I read about the demand to raise taxes in order to bring in the same amount of revenue. People have lost their jobs, taken pay cuts and canít afford higher taxes. All our elected officials, whether city or county, need to look for new ways to cut back. Maybe you need to consider the following as one way to cut back.
ěThe Cabarrus County Board of Education reviewed a proposal at its work session on Monday that would reduce the number of vehicles driven home by system employees.The estimated savings for parking 90 out of more than 120 vehicles could be up to about $107,300, according to the plan.î
Gas prices continue to climb. Why should taxpayers carry the burden of city or county employees driving home system-owned vehicles. Wake up, people … itís time for change.
ó Peggy Brendle
Clarification on arts funding
It was not until this morning (May 4) that I read the full article by Karissa Minn about the Monday county commissioners meeting. I was horrified to see that I had been misquoted, contrary to the intended message by each of the speakers in support of arts funding!
To be clear, the Rowan County arts organizations Waterworks Visual Arts Center, Piedmont Players and Salisbury-Rowan Symphony Society are in agreement that our budgets can be cut as much as 10 percent without severely hampering our ability to share our gifts of art, theater and music with the community. To quote Reid Leonard, artistic director of the Piedmont Players, ěThese are difficult economic times, and we in the arts community recognize the need for ALL to sacrifice. A cut of 10 percent may be necessary but the arts are too valuable … to be totally cut from the budget.î
To quote me, ěA cut of 10 percent CAN be absorbed by the arts community …î
ó Linda Jones
Jones is the business manager for the Salisbury Symphony.
Save anti-smoking programs
This is in response to the proposed budget in the House and Senate to abolish the NC Health & Wellness Trust Fund. This would cut the TRU (youth tobacco prevention program) in North Carolina.
There are 53,000 fewer youth smokers than in 2003 when HWTF tobacco prevention programs began. The middle school smoking rate in North Carolina has been cut by more than half since HWTF efforts began (from 9.3 percent to 4.3 percent) and the high school smoking rate has dropped by a third (from 27.3 percent to 16.7 percent). (Data is based on North Carolina Youth Tobacco Survey, 2007.)
These are the lowest rates ever recorded in our stateís history.
Thanks to the efforts of the HWTF, more than 28,000 people enrolled in QuitlineNC, the only free cessation resource for smokers in the entire state. I have supported and been a volunteer with TRU events in Rowan County, and I can say this program is needed. It has has made a difference in Rowan County as well as statewide. You may be familiar with the current TV commercials that feature a young girlís thoughts about her dad, a smoker, dying from lung cancer. In another, a 32-year-old male died the day before Thanksgiving from stage IV lung cancer and left behind a wife and 3-year-old son. Can you imagine? He will never see his son grow up.
This is serious, and it will be a dark day in North Carolina and a big disappointment to Rowan County TRU teens if this budget is passed as is. Please contact state Sen. Andrew Brock (919-715-0690) and Governor Perdue (800-662-7952) and tell them not to abolish this worthy program and funding.
ó Brian Gray