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Back You are here: Home Opinion Opinion Section Letters to the Editor Controversy Lately in Carolina Beach Over Three Issues...

Controversy Lately in Carolina Beach Over Three Issues...

Dear Editor,
There has been much controversy lately in Carolina Beach over three issues. The first of these is a proposal for a community swimming pool.  I have tried to keep an open mind on this subject and I have listened to or read all conversations and correspondence on the topic that I came across.  
Being a retired businessman of over 35 years, I have witnessed how surveys can be intentionally manipulated to achieve a desired response.  
I don't recall ever seeing a survey written with such a one-sided slant as the one mailed to Carolina Beach residents drafted in strong support of using taxpayer funds to construct and maintain a community swimming pool. Most of all I hate that taxpayer money was expended on this unfair and biased survey, as well as on "consultant fees" without a mandate from the citizens. 
The second issue is the use of taxpayer money to pay for medical and, I believe, dental  insurance benefits for our town council members and mayor.
These are benefits, oddly enough, approved solely by a previous or current council and mayor.  The current council and mayor have the authority and the civic responsibility to repeal the law/ordinance that established these benefits, but have steadfastly refused to do so. 
As has been stated often and accurately, our mayor and council persons are part-time employees of the town. With very few exceptions, if any, no town of similar size and government structure (part-time council and mayor) pays for medical and dental insurance for it's council and mayor. 
Additionally, few if any private corporations pay for such benefits for part-time employees.  It's not commercially reasonable and it's not competitive. 
Common sense states: 'It's a part-time job.  Pay for your own insurance."
The third issue is pay raises given to our council members and mayor. The authority and amount of such raises come solely from, guess who, our council and mayor.
This smells like a financial version of the fox guarding the hen house, especially when you consider that only two of the five members of this group were elected into their position by the citizens of Carolina Beach.
Now, "Fair is fair" and "right is right".  If the citizens of Carolina Beach are a) in favor of using taxpayer funds for the construction costs and annual expenses (not to mention injury and accidental drowning risks)
related to the community swimming pool, and, b) allowing the council and mayor to vote their own taxpayer funded pay raises, insurance and possibly other benefits, then so be it.  But the only publicly fair way to memorialize this authority and let the "public sun" shine on these issues will be to allow the citizens to vote on each item as individual referendums during the upcoming election.
Any fair-minded council person, mayor and citizen person should be agreeable to this resolution.  Let's do it!!!
Jimmy Ramsey,
Carolina Beach, NC