Pinehurst’s John Marcum is one of three GOP candidates seeking the district 29 NC Senate seat this year. Marcum is working hard to convince GOP activists to vote for him in May. One problem he may have in doing that is a letter he wrote to our Nobel Prize-winning local paper in 2010 endorsing a Democrat candidate:
As people head for the polls, it is well to remember that we were recently denied our right to vote on one of the largest bond issues in the history of Moore County. This was on a $52 million bond for a huge detention center in Carthage and some utility improvements. As a result of this expenditure and our declining property values, a large increase in our tax rate is certain. Our ability to pay for other needed improvements, such as a new courthouse and school improvements, are also in question.
William Garner is running as a newcomer for the Board of Commissioners and would bring some needed balance to the board. His opponent, Jimmy Melton, has been unresponsive to public concerns and engaged in shameless bloc voting to support unwise spending increases. In contrast, Garner appears to have several advantages
Garner is well educated, a good family man and a successful businessman. He is well known in Pinebluff as a tireless volunteer in the park system and as a councilman. He is very supportive of public safety, court facilities and school needs. With his MBA training he will insist on careful planning to accommodate these needs within our funding constraints. In particular, he will work with the other commissioners to restore good governance and the people’s right to be heard on major spending issues.
Change is needed urgently in the Board of Commissioners. Garner is a solid conservative and good citizen who deserves the trust of Moore County voters whether Democrat, Republican or tea party. Vote for change and Garner!
The first two paragraphs of his letter have little basis in fact. First, there is no right — only an option — to vote on bond issues. There are two routes to take on bond issues. One, where there is a public vote, puts the citizenry at risk of being subjected to a tax increase in the case of cost overruns or revenue shortfalls. The second route is the one the commissioners took. It’s much safer — avoiding a lot of risk for county finances and taxpayers. If the project in question runs runs into financial trouble, the creditors merely take possession of the project.
Second, a review of official AUDITED county records show county spending on a downward trend since 2009. Third, the debt Marcum references is amortized over 40 years. County budget projections show there being more than enough revenue to meet debt repayment obligations (without requiring a tax increase). Fourth, school improvements are up to the school board and the superintendent, whose pot of money comes mostly from the state.
(Also, for the record, Republican incumbent Melton was easily reelected in 2010. )
A Republican candidate getting too cozy with Democrats was a source of concern here in Moore County not too long ago. I believe the controversy involved one of our former state legislators. (What WAS his name?)