TO: Watauga BOC and NRSA members:
In regard to the New River Service Authority impasse, it is increasingly apparent that this situation needs to be solved and brought to a satisfactory and just conclusion as soon as possible. However, this Watauga County citizen does not perceive the Watauga BOC or the current NRSA board making any progress or attempting to make any genuine good faith effort towards solutions to bring this dilemma to a successful, honorable, and equitable end as speedily as possible.
With lawsuits pending, as a concerned taxpaying citizen with some degree of common sense, this citizen cannot fathom, to any extent, the legal advice, as far as this citizen can understand, given to the BOC and others by the BOC attorney. As this citizen looks at the dubious county finances and past reckless spending, huge unprecedented debts, and other continuing and increasing costs, to risk further legal expense due to these possible lawsuits and judgments, it seems that the best solution is for the BOC and New River Service Authorty to accept their responsibilities, honor their obligations, and try to reach an agreement with those filing the lawsuits. And it is quite evident that the fund balances are still more than ample to meet these obligations without risking the possibility of increasing those obligations much more so in the future.
The BOC and NRSA failure to recognize their responsibilities, and so far, maintain an antagonistic attitude towards the other parties involved, is beyond reason. However, one cannot help but suspect that maybe these two governmental bodies may use, or may be using, this continuing dispute, allowing this situation to worsen and generating more costs, as an excuse to raise our taxes in one form or another or in all categories. Many county citizens have suspected for some time that county officials, elected, appointed, or county staff, are projecting this plan of action, if not in the actual process currently.
For the BOC to be planning tax increases, by whatever means, at this time of continuing economic uncertainty, rising inflation, and high unemployment and underemployment figures, displays a serious lack of sensitivity towards struggling county citizens by the BOC and other county officials. It is apparent that the governmental bureaucracy’s policy and attitude, at any level, is that these bureaucracies must be maintained and even increased, despite the deteriorating conditions within the private sector. Some officials and candidates claim that they, the elected and appointed officials, are looking after the citizens best interests and are doing a good job, yet that claim is simply not true. Many of us perceive too much evidence to the contrary over the span of too many years.
Again, to the BOC and the NRSA, it seems to this ordinary taxpaying citizen that you should face up to your responsiblities and obligations now and settle this disagreement honorably before you incur more costs to an already overburdened and angry citizenry.
Madeline K. Carter