Speaking of political fights, a doozy is getting ready to break loose in Carthage at the highest levels of county government. One of our faithful readers, who happens to work on the county staff, has been taking part in a thorough, forensic audit of the county budget. She’s already filled us in on a few of her more interesting findings.
For a number of years, there has been a $68,000 line item in the budget under “Salaries” for a “director” position at “Keep Moore County Beautiful.” If you go to the KMCB web site, you see a description of the group as “non-government” and “non-profit.” If it is a “non-government” organization, why is there a line item for its director’s salary in the county budget?
There is also a yearly line item of $50,000 for “dues” to The Triangle J Council of Governments in Raleigh. What do county taxpayers get in return for those dues? My source says the dues allow Moore County the privilege of applying for grants through Triangle J. (For the record, Moore County already employs a grant writer who can apply for any grant the county needs WITHOUT the assistance of Triangle J.)
My source also tells me County Commissioner Tim Lea is on Triangle J’s board of directors. Lea reportedly gets reimbursed by the county above and beyond that $50,000 for his monthly travels to Raleigh for Triangle J events.
My source showed me documents detailing a recent payment of $16,273 by Moore County to Triangle J. What did Moore County get for that money? According to my county government source, we got an application packet that allows our county the opportunity to apply for grants. Wow. $16-grand for the opportunity to apply for government grants.
My source also raises questions about the necessity of the county funding a “county information officer.”
I understand that my source and other staffers have shared this information with at least two commissioners — one of whom plans to raise these matters publicly in an open meeting in the near future.