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New Hanover Co. school bonds in, permitting changes out

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Hundreds of people showed up at tonight's New Hanover County Commission meeting. On the agenda, everything from school bonds to special use permits.

The agenda item that brought everyone out was a hearing to discuss the way special use permits are approved. The County Commission in a tie vote, which killed the plan, decided they will not be making changes to the process at this time.

The county planners said loosening the restrictions on the existing permitting process would make it making the process easier for new and existing businesses. Opponents to the changes said they overlooked environmental restrictions and favor big business over the public at large.

Also on the agenda was the approval of $160 million worth of school bonds to be on the ballot in November. The school system requested the bonds as a way to fund 14 high-priority projects, including a new elementary school and renovations to existing school buildings.

"I think the voters, the parents in the county and other concerned citizens, they realize the importance of the education system," New Hanover County School Board Chair Don Hayes said. "I think we have a good system here, a growing system, and any time you grow, I think you're going to have additional needs."

County Commission Chair Woody White acknowledged the improvements will cost property taxpayers in the end. It could increase property taxes about four cents for every $100.

The voters, of course, will make the final decision in November.

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Well..

I won't vote for it simply because NHC needs to spend our tax dollars MORE WISELY instead of asking for MORE MORE MORE! I'm done! My salary hasn't increased in 5 years and taxes and health care cost increases are DECREASING my pay along with more expenses all around me. Even looks like Obama's promise on skyrocketing electric costs might be coming our way soon. NO MORE...I can't keep doing it!

From all appearances

it appears Commissioner Berger was MIA. Here was one instance in which he could have broken the tie vote and perhaps had a stronger message for the public.

Well, he's gone in December; perhaps he's job hunting.

Schools or Jails - pay now or cry later.

Schools or Jails - pay for one or the other. Kids who don't learn can't work and will end up in the justice system and the welfare system. If we can't give our children a 1st class education, how are they going to be able to get the jobs that will build our future? If we are worried about the future, we must turn around and look behind us. Those kids are the future. If we don't invest in them now, what are we going to do with them when they are jobless, aimless, no account bums sponging off their parents the rest of their lives? We have to train our children to be good citizens. To be givers instead of takers. That costs money. We need to put our money where our values are. Every dollar spent on school is three dollars saved in the justice system. I would rather pay upfront.

not so much about schools

for me it's not so much about whether I or my family will use the facilities the county wishes to build/restore, it's about stewardship. We just had a $164 MILLION dollar bond to help out the community college and the biggest thing we got in return for that was a $54 million Fine Arts Building. Excuse me? Why does a community college need a Fine Arts building? I can see a state of the art healthcare training facility, I can see a state of the art technology building but with so many other arts facilities in town that have to practically drag people in off of the street to sell enough tickets to break even, why do we need a 1500 seat theater? In flush times, I'd still find it wasteful but in lean times it is unconscionable. So now we're being asked for millions more. Are we building state of the art greenhouses at the schools to teach about agriculture and to supplement food services or will we have high tech athletic stadiums? Will we spend $50 million making a building more energy efficient to save $1000 in electricity a year? (do that math on the recapture point on that). I'm sure it will get presented as renovating delapidated buildings and units like the Cape Fear bond was. Yet once there is money in hand we'll have super high end glass architecture, plasma screens and state of the art gymnasiums/athletic fields, high tech sound systems in school theaters rather than utilitarian, cost effective repairs. I definitely think most of the buildings could use some serious work but rarely are those things the only things addressed and frequently the baby is thrown out with the bath water. People are careless when it's not their own money they are spending.

More expenses for home owners

Wilmington is raising taxes, CFPU is raising rates, now New Hanover County (if they get the vote), lets not forget insurance rate adjustments. How much more are homeowners expected to do? stagnant wages and a bad economy are not helping it seems every time you turn around we are asked to dole out more money,when does it stop? Gas is $3.60 a gallon food prices are getting to the point that you have to finance a pack of pork chops.
It seems if you work hard and try to have something for retirement you are punished monetarily.
I understand the need for schools but what about all of with no children ,why should we have to pay for this? It seems if you use something then you should pay for it but if you do not use it, it really is not fair.
Let the people that choose to have kids pay for it.
I pay fees to the county for my cars,my cats and property I own why not make it the same for kids?
I am sure the above statement is going to freak people out but man if they keeping keep putting their hand in my pocket all they are going to get is lint and that's not theory or philosophy but the honest truth.

Since this potential cost is

Since this potential cost is in the form of a proposed bond referendum, the best thing you can do is to vote against it and encourage others to do the same.

There are a lot of things that we are forced to pay for when we pay taxes. The government has run amok with that for a long time. Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of choice when it comes to that.

Taxes

I understand your point of view in not paying for schools when you don't have a child enrolled. However, a well educated populous provides great benefits for the community as a whole. Even if you receive no direct benefits from the public schools, you receive indirect benefits in the form of a better educated workforce. Also, I am sure some childless couples help pay for your education (if you went to public school).

We have to be careful to say we should not pay taxes for some things and not others. Say someone does not want to pay for the Iraq/Afghanistan wars. Should they be permitted to not pay taxes for the military? Say I live downtown and walk everywhere. Why should I for roads?

This is why we vote. If you don't like these taxes, vote against them or vote for politicians that will vote against them. If you want more money for schools, vote for the tax increase.

better educated than whom?

At 48th in the nation I say we are getting the short end of the stick to begin with
wars are for national security
if you do not drive you do not have a car you do not buy gas which funds the gas tax,
A better educated workforce how does that help me I pay full price for all the goods and services I consume.
I am not saying that I am against education. I am just saying why and when did I who chose not to have kids or even get to have the fun of making them become responsible to pay for them ? do I ask the public at large to care for my cats? I think not I would be ridiculed for doing so and rightly so if I did.
Let all these people that want kids pay for them. Just because you can fertilize and egg does not mean you should.
Lets look at this way if you want a car you work and pay for it if you can't you lose the car.
if somebody chooses to have a Kid and cannot pay for it we whom make sound decisions are expected to step up and kick in the cash how is that right?
And please can anyone tell me where in the constitution does it say anyone has a right to a free education any constitutional scholars out there?

NC Constitution

It is in the North Carolina State Constitution. Here is the part about a right to a free education.

The General Assembly shall provide by taxation and otherwise for a general and uniform system of free public schools, which shall be maintained at least nine months in every year, and wherein equal opportunities shall be provided for all students.

Linky--http://www.ncleg.net/Legislation/constitution/article9.html

Your comments about schools

Your comments about schools didn't freak me out because that's something I've been saying for years....anyone that has a child/children in the school system should be required to pay a user fee, I don't see anything wrong with that. Now I guess I've freaked a lot of people out too!!