Now that mean ol' Commissioner Amy Broyles ran off the Devon Group from building the Carter community a new elementary school, and the administration somehow managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, there probably won't be a whole lot to talk about during Monday's commission meeting.
But, I imagine some folks might bring up county Mayor Tim Burchett's plan to dole out $41,000 in coin that was left over from last year's budget to five local non-profits.
The big dog said he wants to divvy up the money (using defined service contracts or whatever) for the Alzheimer’s Association, Sertoma Center, Cerebral Palsy Center, Shangrila Therapeutic Academy of Riding and the East Technology Access Center.
Apparently they were on “the list” to get some scratch, but didn't. I asked Burchett about his choices and he said Broyles specifically asked him about the cerebral palsy center and he thinks Chairman Mike Hammond also mentioned the organization.
“These were groups that had applied in the past and they're reputable and do great work, and I was glad we were able to (provide the money),” he said. "The sertoma center employs special needs folks who probably wouldn't have another chance in another work environment.”
Yeah, that's cool, I said to him, but aren't you always talking about paying off the boogie man? (That's the county's debt to you new readers.) You stiffed the old folks who wanted to ride the bus for free. Why not use this money for something else?
He responded: “These are worthwhile organizations that actually do work that other groups don't. And they take care of our neediest population. If there's any one segment of our society that government should look after, these are the groups that are helpless. And I'll defend that position every day. To go out and see these groups – the people who work with these groups have a gift and I'm glad there are people in our community who look after people like that."
The mayor also said that “in the scheme of things” the $41,000, in a more than $600 million annual spending plan, “is a very small percentage.”
“Yes, that's a whole lot of money, but it's a whole lot of more money to these groups,” he said. “And if we didn't spend the money, then the taxpayers in some shape, form or fashion would probably have to pay more.”
OK, sounds fair. But, I just know that someone is going to complain.