Letters to the Editor

Commerce park deal another taxpayer bailout

I certainly agree with the Jan. 28 letter regarding the proposed purchase by Beaufort County of the Beaufort Commerce Park and questions that still linger.

Your story in the Feb. 3 edition certainly didn't answer many of the questions raised. If County Council member Jerry Stewart truly believes the Lowcountry Economic Network, which owns the park, has provided council with "more than ample" information, perhaps that ample information should be shared with the taxpayers before the final vote by council. His assertion that council members who continue to question the network are seeking to micromanage the public-private nonprofit group sounds a bit arrogant. Perhaps the group needs to be micromanaged if its solution to avoiding a default on the mortgage is to ask the taxpayers to buy the property, which the group has had no success in marketing.

Is there a conflict of interest here with Stewart being the board chairman of this public-private network? What is the financial health of the network? Where does its funding come from? Are there a balance sheet and an income-and-expense statement available for the public to peruse? Perhaps the network should use the $270,000 it already receives from the taxpayers annually to make the mortgage payments.

This proposal has a distinct aroma about it. Once again, the taxpayers are called on to bail out a private company.

Pam Wooten Beaufort

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