I and many others will agree to disagree with the newspaper's editorial staff regarding the referendum on whether to appoint or elect Beaufort County's treasurer and auditor. I recently saw a bumper sticker that stated, "The more you let government do for you the more they can take." I, for one, will do everything I can to ensure that does not happen.
As most everyone knows, this referendum will not affect the current auditor or myself, but it is something I am strongly against, and I am concerned about the long-term future of the taxpayers of Beaufort County. There are several items at issue here:
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Apathy of an electorate will always be a factor in elections, but I believe the people of our county have shown they are involved and concerned with the quality and abilities of their elected officials and desire to make the decision for themselves. I would encourage County Council and other county elected officials to work together in a transparent manner to establish expectations and lines of responsibility and communication so that we may better serve those who elected us instead of asking the electorate to surrender their right to choose.
The auditor and treasurer may not be under the authority of the county administrator, but we are under the authority of the people of this county, as is every other elected official; we have a responsibility to work together to successfully fulfill our obligations.
Asking a capable and active electorate to vote on eliminating their right to vote, increasing the power of County Council and reducing the county's checks and balances, instead of attempting to improve the functions of county government, is inappropriate and shows the disconnect between government and its people.