Don’t just say no!

Published 12:07 am Saturday, May 28, 2011

To the Editor:

Don’t just say no!

A group of people in the Beaufort County area have “gotten their orders,” and they were told to just say no to any tax increase.

Unfortunately, some of these people are following those orders without really understanding what they say. Most have probably never been involved in the budget process, and some not even in the governing process. Some are even Republicans using the same methods they usually detest in groups like the unions and left wing extremists. Those methods include threats to remove certain politicians from office if they don’t vote like they tell them to, and criticizing the character and honesty of those that disagree with them.

These “just say no” protesters use their own examples of having to cut personal spending to match their income as reasoning for the Beaufort County government to do the same. This is not a good comparison because, right or wrong, government has taken on the responsibility to protect and serve all the people of the county. The question that needs to be asked is how far do these protesters want the cuts to go? Do they believe our police can get by with fewer officers, less cars, less communication equipment?

Do they believe our social network should be able to care for more of the less fortunate; the very ones hurt the most by this economy, with less money? With limited knowledge of how the schools are financed and managed, how far are they willing to demand cuts in education?

All these question and more are what the county commissioners have to deal with as they try to find a suitable level to fund our county services. I don’t believe there is a single commissioner that wants to raise taxes. From a political position, raising taxes is never a good thing to do! From a personal standpoint, none of them want to pay more taxes either! But, elected officials have an obligation to represent and serve all the citizens. The level of services the county provides has to be decided after much discussion and compromise among all commissioners. It has been my experience that this board of commissioners and the county government they control are, for the most part, knowledgeable and reasonable people who do their best to represent the best interest, at the lowest cost, of the citizens of Beaufort County.

After watching the budget process work, I believe that instead of threats of “do it my way or else,” all activists should be trying to help them make these serious decisions by suggesting ways to cut spending, ways to save money, and ways to get more for less. Every segment of our community has one or more commissioners they can contact and tell them their ideas on how to prevent a tax increase.

Why not get involved in the budget process and make sure you are for something and not just against everything? Don’t just say no!

LARRY BRITT, President
Beaufort County Republican Club