As it should be, the very first page of the FY 2012-2013 Fiscal Year Budget Proposal for Stanly County government includes the Stanly County Seal.
If you are not familiar with the seal just "Google" Stanly County. Among other things you will see the County Seal and the budget proposal on the county website.
After the quality of life decline in Stanly County that we have seen the past 12 or so years, all but one item on the county seal seems to be outdated.
The Stanly County Seal prominently states "A Leader In Progress."
You don't have to be a Stanly County historian or even a resident for very long to know that's outdated. Maybe with the $5+ million local tax dollars the Stanly County Commissioners have spent bickering with ALCOA the county seal should be changed to "A Leader In Lawsuits And Disputes."
Also, the Stanly County Seal proudly displays what our county is known for; Aluminum, Textiles and Agriculture.
Thank goodness for the exception of our large Agriculture industry since the other 2 were the days of ALCOA Aluminum, Wiscassette Mills, E.J. Snyder, Stanly Knitting Mills, American & Efird and Collins & Aikman to name just a few.
According to the Centralina Workforce Development records of 2011, the top 4 employers in Stanly County are #1 STANLY COUNTY SCHOOLS, #2 STANLY REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER, #3 WAL-MART and #4 STANLY COUNTY GOVERNMENT.
The point here is not that we aren't very appreciative of these employers, but it is so obvious that we are missing the much needed taxbase and jobs of the industry sector that we once had.
A great example of recent corporate benefits to a county is the recent $25,000 contribution from ALCOA to the Stanly County Family YMCA.
So, to update the Stanly County Seal, maybe we should replace our days gone by prosperity of Aluminum and of Textiles with 2 of our top 4 employers of today. Who knows, WAL-MART might even pay to get their name on a county seal.
In researching the proposed county revenue budget for FY 2012-2013 it should be noted, like last years adopted budget, that there is no mention of funding from the North Carolina Water Rights Committee.
In a nutshell, what creates some of the mystery about the "committee" is that the Stanly County paid Raleigh Lobbyist Bruce Thompson is on file with the Secretary of State as the Incorporator of the committee. The "gift" from the committee to Stanly County of $50,000 is written from a checking account with Bank of Stanly, with an Albermarle Post Office Address and signed by C.L. Bramlett for "legal fees." The check is dated August 31st, 2011 but Stanly County did not recognize the revenue until a budget amendment was made by the Stanly County Commissioners on April 2nd, 2012.
One reason the county may have had to acknowledge the funds from the N.C. Water Rights Committee in April 2012 would be because all of the county's budgeted funds had been spent and they had some invoices to pay. The funds had to come from either outside the county budget or from a transfer of funds within the budget, so, the N.C. Water Rights Committee funds happen to show up.
You would think the N.C. Water Rights Committee would open their records to the public, especially since they are a non-profit corporation, and put an end to the mystery and rumors surrounding their officers, directors, contributors, benefactors and purpose.
To add to the questions surrounding the Stanly County Commissioners expensive taxpayer dispute with ALCOA is the commissioner's formation of the ALCOA Relicensing Advisory Committee.
This committee was set up August 11th, 2008, under Commissioner Chairman Tony Dennis who was to, also, serve as the ALCOA Relicensing Advisory Committee Chair. The resolution forming the advisory committee states that it will meet weekly and have an appointed recording secretary to maintain minutes of each meeting.
An odd part of the resolution is that the Stanly County Commissioners agreed to "further resolve" that "the committee shall be exempt from the Stanly County Board and Committee guidelines."
Does that part of the resolution mean that this committee, chaired at the time by the Chairman of the County Commissioners Tony Dennis, does not have to play by the rules of local government?
Now, this resolution to create the advisory committee was on the county commissioners agenda and adopted August 11th, 2008 but the last line of the resolution states "this resolution shall be effective as of January 1st, 2007."
Has anybody ever heard of a resolution forming a committee retroactive for 20 months? What's up with that?
Oh yes, there is more to come.....
Former Chairman, Stanly County Board of Commissioners
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