everyone can put their crying towels away. And let's get a couple of issues corrected before the big news.
First, payments made are not the "personal" money of the recipients. The funds paid are from public funds; the funds paid come from a portion of the withholding taxes which every worker has deducted from their pay checks. So, in theory and fact, the funds one recieves are not directly taken from some fund in that person's name.
Second, if you read the report, unemotionally, you will note some people were actually underpaid; some people were accurately paid; and in fact, some people were overpaid.
Now, yesterday, it was announced in Raleigh, that our Governor had directed ECS chairperson, Lynn Holmes to work with the Feds in an effort to "waive" overpayments.
A couple of points on that issue.
A. is it fair to all those paid accurately to see those who were overpaid to be allowed to keep the excess payments? Is it fair to all the working force, whose paycheck withholdings fund these payments? Does not seem so. I wonder if even one person who received excess payments stepped forward, when the first check arrived and asked what was amiss? Not likely.
B. Our Governor, this week, sent the Secretary of Revenue packing into another career opportunity. He was the one accountable for all of the income tax processing issues during the past 2 years. He also authorized nearly $100,000 in "commuting" expenses for 2 employees in the Department of Revenue which allowed them to maintain their residences in Charlotte while working in Raleigh. His resignation was accepted on Wednesday.
If our Governor is serious about transparency in Government; if State taxpayers should be entitled to the best performance possible from the heads of the various state departments, then shouldn't Ms. Holmes be sent packing? Shouldn't her resignation be offered and accepted?
Face reality. If the Feds turn down the Governor's plan, then either those who received overpayments will have to return the funds either through reduced future benefits or by writing a check OR, the State will have to make up the $28,000,000 overpaid. At a time when state agencies are being directed to prepare budgets for 2011 with a 15% cut in spending, that may be a tough nut for the State to swallow.
It's past time for these state employees, who draw 6 figure salaries and get health bennies as well as retirement bennies and all of the other state perks, to be held accountable. A weak apology from the head of ESC just does not cut the mustard. And while cleaning out the house, let's send a few of those numerous computer programers and attornies, within ESC packing as well. Chair Person Holmes should not be the only one falling on a sword.
On another note, if the folks, who spent so much time bemoaning the cuts in benefits, spent an equal amount of time at WalMarts, Sams Club, Food Lion, and Toys R Us, just to name a few, submitting employment applications, they might be working; earning a living; and leaving the public entitelment roles.
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