I have been waiting to see if any citizens in Greenbrier Co. would voice their opinions about the 1.3 million dollars that was given to the New River Community College. I have lived here all my life and used to work in the Assessors office and know pretty well how the tax system works in Greenbrier County.
Around 84 to 85 cents on every tax dollar collected in this county goes to the school system. The 15-to 16 cents left over after that is what EVERYTHING else has to operate on. The Court House and all offices associated within. So, when you realize that, you realize just how important these 1.3 million tax dollars ARE to the County.
Two of the Commissioners decide to “GIVE” this money to the school to fund a pool for the community. Betty Crookshanks and Karen Lobban pushed through this deal against the judgement of Mike McClung, the other Commissioner, and others who brought the law suit. This was an entirely illegal use of these funds. These bed tax funds were collected from The Greenbrier and other motels and strict rules apply as to how this money is to be used. I do not understand how we the voters let a decision that involves so much of our tax money be made by TWO people that in my opinion had NO right to do so. 1.3 million tax dollars is a tremendous amount of money. This should have been voted on by the County citizens, and not at a Special Election. None of the Commissioners have any professional financial expertise. There should be a mandatory limit as to the amount the Commissioners are allowed to give to ANYONE. When large sums of money are in question, let the taxpayer vote on it! Exactly what was the big hurry that this money was so hastily thrown to the New River College? Maybe Betty Crookshanks and Karen Lobban would like to answer that for the tax payers of Greenbrier Co.? How many lawsuits can the citizens of Greenbrier Co. be expected to pay for?
I read the Oct. 15 Daily News and low and behold, the “Board of Governors” of New River met and they decided NOT TO GIVE BACK THE MONEY! The chair member, David Nalker voted to send 0 dollars back to the County, and the Board agreed. I am never surprised by greed in general. But, one thing I think this “Board” forgot about. That money belongs to the taxpayers of Greenbrier County. If I was on that “Board” I would give real hard thought to this decision. The people of this community are the basis for your school. They are hard working people that deserve to be given the respect they have earned by paying their taxes and expecting fair treatment in return. I seriously think that by keeping this 1.3 million dollars, it is like you are biting the hands that feed you! I thought that the purpose of your College coming into being was to serve the people of this area, not the other way around. Isn’t THAT what it all boils down to? This is a very shameful situation for the County to be going through. All over money.
This whole fiasco that has been going on reminds me of the sorry example of politicians that have been dragging the entire country through the gutters lately. Just about the same thing exactly. Someone needs to put their big boy pants on and start acting like grown ups.
James G. Livesay
P.S. Yes, the two Commissioners made a mistake, but should the citizens of Greenbrier Co. be punished? You want to sue someone, sue the two Commissioners responsible for this mess, they make great money for what little they do!