Just when you start to think the news reporting can't get any more fictitious, you are proven WRONG. Sometimes, it's a real challenge to be aware of the truth and have to endure reading this garbage in our local papers. Where do we start?
1. DD via Jack Schurlknight, not "Council", proposed the bonuses.
2. DD knew he did not qualify for the bonus from the 2011 discussions of the same matter.
3. Councilman Callanan initially pointed out DD's disqualification.
4. Considering the facts, it MUST be "about the money".
"Council" did NOT come up with the idea of giving this "Christmas bonus", either this year or last year. The bright idea was presented by the mouth of Jack Schurlknight, Chairman of the Finance Committee, no doubt directed by our esteemed Supervisor. It would appear DD couldn't resist dipping into the taxpayers' pockets just one more time before he loses exclusive control of the money pot in January.
Either DD is suffering from some kind of memory disorder or he thinks the taxpayers are. Last December, when the "bonus" issue was raised, he learned that, by law, he did not qualify to receive any such bonuses. There was a huge discussion of this issue reported in the newspaper. Only after it became a political issue, did he announce that, if he should receive any bonus, he would donate it to charity.
The P&C reported today that the Berkeley County attorney was the one who brought up the subject of DD not being allowed to accept any bonuses. This statement is factually incorrect. The truth is that, both last year and this, Councilman Callanan reminded everyone that SC law forbids DD from receiving any bonuses. Again this year, the attorney "checked" the law to verify Mr. Callanan's contention. Again this year, she found it to be true. (Maybe we could suggest she make a note for next December.)
One elected official is quoted as saying the issue of bonuses "is not about the money". Yea, right.
Some people think it's always a great idea to give our loyal county workers and officials a raise or a bonus. Well, it would be if we didn't have to factor in the issue of the big picture. The fact is that we are facing a potential economic disaster, not just locally but nationally. WHEN, not IF the bottom falls out, these same people supporting the extra spending will be left standing there with a surprised look on their faces.
Since the last reassessment five years ago, real property values have DECREASED by as much as 30%. Property assessments for tax purposes are supposed to reflect market values. We have seen this happen countless times in the past. When market values of property go up, so do property taxes. To a sane mind, it would naturally follow that property taxes SHOULD decrease in a depressed market. BUT, we have it on good authority that the Assessor's office has been given instructions that this eventuality is not to happen. That 30% of revenue is to be retained at all cost. Undoubtedly, that goal will be achieved.
So, in the 2014 tax cycle, here stands the taxpayer facing the same high County property tax bill he faced in each of the last five years. In addition to this burden, we know the School District is imposing a new backbreaking tax bite to support its spendthrift bond issue. Thus, we see insult piled on top of injury. None of these bandits have given any consideration as to where the beleaguered taxpayer is supposed to get all this extra money. Simply put, we have a formula for disaster. Has anyone ever heard about 1929? The economy collapsed; folks lost their jobs; these same folks had no money with which to pay property taxes; and, consequently, countless people lost their homes. Considering the economic atmosphere of today, this history has a distinct possibility, if not probability, of repeating itself.
The County employees and the elected officials receive their paychecks with money paid by the taxpayers of BC. The majority of these folks have tunnel vision and can only see today. All they think about is, Oh Goodie, we're getting a Christmas bonus. If the employees of today could see beyond the end of their noses, they would be more concerned that BC government is MILLIONS of dollars in arrears in payments to the state retirement fund. This effects not only their retirement money but also their medical insurance. If that fund goes broke, where will the present and future retirees be then?
If the economic ship hits the sand, who will think the $2.4 MILLION waterline to serve less than 10 families, the purchase of the $1.6 MILLION swampland..excuse me, Fairground, the MILLIONS of DOLLARS spent on Economic Development that's not developing, or all these gifts from Santa were a good idea? Oh, wait a minute, being as DD's leadership is responsible for all this spending and debt, if push comes to shove, we all know he will step up to the plate and donate to the support of the County all that he has accrued over the last 6 years, to assure you that your homes will be safe. And, least we forget, pigs can fly.