The ease of check writing

Published 7:32 pm Thursday, August 16, 2018

A message was sent out Thursday morning to residents in Beaufort County. The message conveyed to the public that 911 service was out — if those in need had an emergency, they could call an alternate number.

It was good work by the staff of Beaufort County Emergency Services to get the word out and let residents know they were on top of the outage and working to get it corrected. It was, indeed, corrected by 3:50 the same afternoon.

Such an event isn’t commonplace, but it does get one thinking. What if there was no 911 service? What if no telecommunicator was there to dispatch the call to police, sheriff’s office  or the various fire departments throughout the county?

Extrapolating from there: what if there were no law enforcement officers or trained firefighters to respond to an emergency?

The “what if” game could go on forever: what if there were no organized schools to educate local children? How much different would life be if there was no one to build and maintain roads, traffic lights, stop signs and more? How much danger would people face if there were no building inspectors to make sure a building was constructed safely? What if there was no infrastructure for water, electricity and sewage systems and their maintenance?

That would be a very bleak life.

Such is the work of everyday men and women, to build and maintain the infrastructure that is so much a part of daily life that we forget it even exists — until it’s not there.

Many people wonder where their tax dollars go once they’ve disappeared from their checking accounts. Many people resent having to pay taxes at all. But it’s directly proportionate: no taxes equals no services. Severely cut taxes equal severely cut services.

It’s a simple equation. So when tax bills come out next week — which they will — take a moment to think of the services that dollar amount on the bill is providing. It make might writing that check a little easier.