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Opinion Letters

Recently, several hundred clergy gathered at Halifax Mall behind the Legislative Building on Jones Street in Raleigh to protest North Carolina government policies that hurt the poor. I was unable to be present but I want to stand with them in protest. Christian faith is bound, in the example of Jesus Christ, to work for the betterment of the poor and the stranger.

When the world was smaller and local, people took care of the ones who needed help in their midst. Today in Macon County it is impossible for the churches alone to competently care for those folks among us who cannot afford food for their families or heat for their homes. We work hard to support CareNet in the local Methodist churches I serve, but the needs are overwhelming. Many of the people I meet are physically and emotionally unable to provide for themselves. I am alarmed at the cuts to mental health and education that will inevitably lead to greater stress on our law enforcement.


The Republicans promised us jobs and wealth, then give us fewer jobs, fewer opportunities and fewer essential services.

The House Republicans in Raleigh have passed their version of the budget. It cuts taxes on the wealthiest households while eliminating the earned income tax credit, which will hurt almost a million middle income North Carolinians. Their tax plan will reduce revenue for state services, including police, fire, roads, water quality, public education, library services, health care and programs that help the poor.

Reducing taxes is not the end-all be-all solution to N.C.’s issues. It just shifts the burden from those who can afford it to those who are just trying to get by. The GOP tax cuts will most help households earning over $100,000. How many households in Macon County would be ecstatic to live on less than half of that?


I would like to encourage the Macon County Commission to consider fully funding the shortfall the Macon County School Board (MCSB) now faces. I do not know all the reasons the MCSB has found itself in a position to be $1.6 million short for FY 2013/14 but we should not play the blame game at this point. It appears the interim superintendent has done everything possible to make the MCSB work with the allotted funds but it simply will not work without additional funding. As a small business owner, I understand the importance of doing more with less and I do everything possible to manage my expenses in order to stay in business. I think the MCSB will need to better manage their expenses in the future, but the FY 2013/14 budget needs funding to avoid harm to the current delivery of education.


What entity in our community serves the needs of every one of our citizens, whether that person is three years old or has been around for 90 years? And what place is this, which can offer the same level of service to the wealthy and disadvantaged alike? Some organizations or businesses can offer services to a small segment of our population, but only one – our Fontana Regional Library System – can claim to open their doors to everyone.


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