September Tuesday in North Carolina

Tuesday Thoughts …

I recently wrote an email to the Wake Forest Town Commissioners and Sig Hutchison, commending them on the new section of greenway that is just about completed in town. I was pretty excited about it because it means I can ride my bike from our previously isolated island of a neighborhood (no sidewalks, no commercial businesses nearby), through another neighborhood, access the Heritage portion of the greenway and essentially get to most points in town from it. The high school, the grocery stores, even the shops on Main Street.  This is kind of big – the email, I mean. Usually when I write emails, it’s to complain.

I got exactly two responses back – from Brian Pate and Sig Hutchison.  Perhaps Wake Forest commissioners get a lot of emails and don’t have time to respond. Perhaps Mayor Jones, who has said in the past that she’s uncertain about the necessity of the greenway, felt it appropriate to abstain. Perhaps some of them are too busy putting up Vote for Me in November signs and didn’t have time. Perhaps they all looked up my address and realized that I don’t live in corporate limits, don’t pay taxes to the town, and therefore am not worthy of a response. I don’t know. But I mean, it was a nice email. I thought I’d rate.

The N&O has been running articles about the Wake County Register of Deeds office.  Specifically the fact that over $2 million has gone missing over the last several years. Apparently, the office tasked with regular audits of these county offices hadn’t gotten around to actually auditing the Register of Deeds office. In 14 years. Because they felt it seemed like a pretty well-run office and they didn’t see the need. Even though in 2016 it was discovered that another staff member in the office had embezzled $50,000.

Certain county commissioners, didn’t seem to think the auditors really would have picked up on anything anyway because, you know, auditing is hard and the money went missing in such small increments. You know, because usually embezzlement happens in very big, obvious increments.

The investigation has been going on now since February and a lot of people, including the county manager, seem to be doing some serious dragging of their feet.  Some commissioners are frustrated by the pace of the investigation. Others feel like it’s going just fine.

Ummmm.  Maybe this sort of thing happens up north as well. I’m sure it does. But the response from county officials has been underwhelming, yes? Is that a southern thing? They screwed up, they’re under scrutiny, so now everyone’s all just calm down, now y’all – we don’t know what happened, this is not a big deal, let’s be polite about this. Let’s go have some barbecue and talk about vinegar vs. tomato for a while instead.

Forgive me, but when there’s a whole county office that’s not doing the job that’s actually in its title and $2 million has gone missing, and there’s no outrage from county commissioners, but those same county commissioners are calling for yet another potential property tax increase, I’m not feeling like being polite. I mean, what?


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