Thumbs Up


To Michael and Katherine Thorpe, the two folks most responsible for the Surry County Agriculatural Fair going on this week at Veterans Memorial Park in Mount Airy.

That thumbs up should be extended to all of the volunteers who work with the Thorpes in putting on the fair, but especially to the two of them. From traveling the country to study other fairs, attending classes and seminars learning how to put on a larger, better fair, to working nearly 24-hour shifts during the week of the fair, the Thorpes are willing to do just about any amount of work to make the event a success.

And that is much to the benefit of Surry County and the surrounding communities.

*****

To the Surry County Board of Commissioners and the leadership at the county’s social services office for hiring a fraud investigator a year ago. As we reported in Friday’s paper, nearly $400,000 worth of Food Stamp fraud has been uncovered since then. While much of that was accidental in nature, that still represents a large amount of money taxpayers shouldn’t be paying, and hiring the investigator is going a long way toward eliminating that loss.

*****

One thumb up and one thumb down to our state legislature.

The Thumbs Up is for eventually leaving some critical funding in the state budget. Among the items and programs being funded are pay for teacher assistants in the state’s public schools, funding for driver’s education programs in public high schools, and for re-instituting, at least in part, the important historic property tax credit.

Thumbs Down for the ridiculous delay in finally approving the budget that was due to be in place by July 1. While a delay might be acceptable if there was a significant issue requiring legislators to stand their ground — even if painful or unpopular — but this time it was mostly political grandstanding, chest thumping, and finger-wagging. In the end, we got a budget that wasn’t hugely different from what was proposed months ago. Most of us would be fired from our jobs if we were that late on key projects, yet legislators play around with state finances, and people’s lives, as if they fear no real consequence.

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