Pilot Mountain News

Letter to the Editor

To the editor,

Living in Pilot Mountain for going on 12 years this, is the worst budget ever put forth. It seems the new Town Manger and a couple of Town Commissioners have a tax and spend mentality. We are lucky to have commissioners Needham and Bell, and the Mayor to try and temper this mentality. So far the town manger’s budget wants to raise the water/sewer, property, and garbage rates. When will it stop? When will the cost of running this town make it unattractive to perspective home buyers?

There are many things in the budget that need to be reconsidered. Do we need two pieces of new equipment for the town crew while one of our police cars have over 200,000 miles on it ? Why are we looking at new piece of equipment (backhoe) when a used low hour replacement could save thousands of dollars? When questioned on equipment maintenance, and the lack there of, one commissioner quipped “they haven’t had a raise in six years, maybe that would help with that”. This begs the question, how much in raises do we need in this commissioners mind to keep up with simple equipment maintenance? And under what metric will we determine these raises. Is it a flat fee? The same commissioner quipped well “they will all quit”, in these hard economic times, when our town is on a collision course with financial calamity, are raises and bonuses needed? A $9-14 dollar job with full benefits is very desirable to many qualified workers. If an employee is that unhappy, they need to find a job that they are happy with, not only for their benefit, also for the benefit of the town. Are raises needed yes, at this time no.

The Public Library in Pilot Mountain, one of the shining stars of our town. It was bequeathed a gift of stock many years ago, and the stock was sold for $30,000 dollars a short time ago. The town is giving their gift back to them, as part of their normal budget; not above their normal budget but part of their budget. In many town resident’s minds this was a gift to the Public Library not to the town’s general fund money. Again, the same town commissioner wants to cut the funding to the library. We need to maintain and strengthen the library, not cut funding, take way gifts meant for them, and diminish a valued part of our town.

The town manager and one town commissioner would like to hire a compliance officer. This officer would cost in upwards of $35,000 a year, and that is just part time (20 hours a week). They site thousand’s of dollars in bank penalties for this needed person. So in the minds of the town manager and one town commissioner a $35,000 employee is needed to correct a few thousand dollar problem.

There was no talk of Depot Street in this budget or needed police cars, computer equipment and other officer related safety equipment

I encourage every citizen of Pilot Mountain to come to Monday’s meeting and help save our town from a tax and spend mentality. The town meeting is Monday the 22nd at 6 p.m. Also: Notice of Special Meeting of the Town of Pilot Mountain Board of Commissioners at Town Hall —Visitor’s Center (124 W. Main Street) on June 22 at 1 p.m.

Frank Nichols

Pilot Mountain