Writer has had enough with city leaders

To the Editor,

After retiring from the Air Force and Postal Service I just wanted to settle down and enjoy my retirement years with no responsibilities and nothing on my mind. Then one day I read an article in the Mount Airy Newspaper concerning the Spencer property. The article got my dander up, not only because the city used my tax dollars to speculate on real estate, but also the devious way they went about bidding on the property.

I thought to myself, how can elected officials be respected when they operate in such a shady manner? From that moment on the situation has spiraled down, out of control. I have since found out there are many “shady” characters in Mayberry who try to use taxpayer’s money for their personal benefit.

Later I read another article in the paper stating certain properties were in the path of progress for a plan to change the town and spend millions on Spencer. One of the properties belonged to a friend of mine. I immediately called my friend and asked him what was going on?

The really staggering fact is my friend was clueless about anything concerning his property. The city and RDC hadn’t even discussed the planning with these property owners. What kind of way is this to conduct business and instill trust in our city government? It’s like the tactics the Chicago mafia would use in running our city.

On a positive note, we did get some results from the city when it came to making external changes to the looks of horrible apartments on West Lebanon Street. But it took many citizens complaints and many man-hours of pushing each step of the way. It’s like the citizens are doing the job the city employees are paid to do. Even after all that time and effort exerted on improving the looks of city rental property, we still don’t go inside rental property to assure the compliance with codes for the safety of the residents.

It seems Mount Airy is selective about which codes and laws it will obey and enforce. Presently the town doesn’t even have a city codes inspector and not even a job posting to fill the position. I blame poor city management at the very top for this sad situation. It seems they are too busy justifying more pay raises for city employees, who already make more money then private sector equivalents, then complying with written laws.

I use to be very involved in the commissioners meeting and interested in showing my support for the way the city is run. But after all the time, effort, and mental aggravation, I have stopped being involved. It just doesn’t seem to do any good since in my opinion, three of the commissioner are doing whatever they want in making decisions that will eventually ruin this town financially.

I don’t like the decisions the three have been making concerning the spending of my tax dollars. I don’t like the fact that it’s been proven by facts and figures that the Spencer and Barter proposals will be financial disasters, but they ignore such facts. I don’t like the clandestine ways they go about conducting what should be public business. I don’t like the three ignoring what the majority of city residents want and voting for their or their friends’ personal interest and agendas. And for those using spiritual guidance, they must be praying to Buddha or Mohammad.

No one likes taxes raised at any level of government. The city manager miscalculates the budget most every year and we end up with a surplus. The three commissioners disregarded all the figures and facts comparing Mount Airy with other North Carolina cities. They went ahead and voted to raise taxes by an unheard of rate. How can they justify such a hefty tax increase? Another example of bad judgement and poor management.

I suggest these three commissioners start planning on retiring or finding another occupation before the next election cycle. I will not vote for them and will encourage everyone I know to do likewise. It is unfortunate those three have placed this town in such dire financial straits because they won’t use common sense and judgement in making decisions that effect the entire town and the way my tax dollars are spent.

Tom Snow

Mount Airy