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Letters to the editor – Friday (5-6-2011)

Carter spent his life in selfless service
With the recent passing of Don Carter, Salisbury lost a traditional, old-school gentleman in every sense of the word. I had known Don from the time I started to work at Summersett Funeral Home in 1954. I was a wet-behind-the-ears teenager at the ripe old age of 15.
My father had died when I was 12, and my mother sometimes worked two jobs just to keep a roof over our heads. I was a latch-key kid before it became typical. Don became a mentor, and I followed his example, learning how to dress appropriately, serve as a funeral director and apprentice embalmer. At that time, the funeral homes operated 24-hour ambulance service, so a sense of teamwork and camaraderie existed among the staff that I would only find again in the military. After a short time, I brought most of my clothes and personal belongings to the funeral home at the old West Council Street location and virtually lived there.
Don began to allow me to drive the funeral cars in the rear parking lot of Summersettís. He eventually encouraged me to get my learnerís permit, taking me in his personal car to the Highway Patrol station to do so. After I turned 16, he would take me to the patrol station to practice parallel parking, a big thing for new licensees in those days. Don guided me through the entire process until I got my license.
There were other instances where Don went the extra mile to help the other young men who worked at Summersett. He had a young family then, and he and his wife, Margaret, provided excellent examples of what a family should be.
Don spent his life in selfless service to others. His is not a death that should be mourned, but a wonderful life that should be celebrated. God bless you, Don Carter. You will live on in the memories of those of us who cherish our association and friendship with you.
ó Bill Ward
Salisbury
Salisbury finances
First, I am not a city resident. I live in an area of the county that successfully turned down the offer to join up several years ago. In Thursdayís paper, it states council members want more information about revenue and subscriber projections from Fibrant. Is this the same council that decided their city residents would not be given a chance to approve this venture in the first place?
City residents have the right to know just how far in the future will it take for Fibrant to break even if it ever will. The city is not the first locality to offer this service. Iíve been told in one case, one municipally has spent $100 million doing something similar, that it probably will never break even and a large part of their budget is being used to pay for it. Leaders there even looked at selling it but the current value of the investment now is $40 million.
Of course, all of the cityís financial problems this budget year canít be laid at Fibrantís feet. But you just have to ask this one question: if the cityís voters had been given the chance to approve this, would this have been avoided? Every year it takes Fibrant to at least break even adds a financial burden on every department in the city and of course the silent city taxpayer. Now the money has been spent and has to be paid back with interest. How many current and future jobs will be cut and cuts to the other city departments in the future can be expected if this investment doesnít perform as originally expected. Of course, you can always pay higher taxes and fees on everything. In the end, that always seems to be the solution that is taken.
ó Robert N. Stone
Salisbury

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