In a couple of weeks, leaders from Havelock are expected to sit down and talk with leaders from Craven County.
It’s our belief that the commissioners who sit on both of these government boards believe they are doing work in the best interests of the people. We don’t believe any of these elected officials sit around all day and think of how they can get others angry and upset by the decisions they make. They truly believe the decisions they make and the votes they cast will benefit the good people of these areas.
Yet, it seems of late that the decisions have left angry or upset feelings, if not among residents then maybe among the commissioners themselves.
There have been long running disputes about funding in Havelock, and it could very well be a situation in which no one really knows from where it started. Still, some in Havelock believe they have been short-changed by the county, literally.
As an example, some in Havelock feel the county is not supporting the Havelock Fire and Rescue Department enough financially. Havelock ambulances respond to emergency calls from Adams Creek and Harlowe to Carolina Pines, Stately Pines and even Catfish Lake Road. It’s a wide area to cover, especially when most of it is outside of Havelock’s city limits.
Some in Havelock also feel the county does not do enough to support the Havelock Recreation Department, which serves residents inside the city as well as many just outside the city limits who pay no city property taxes.
Those battles between city and county have been fought for years. After all, many in Havelock feel the county doesn’t realize anything exists east of the Trent River.
And now add to the fuel the two latest controversies over the senior meals program and funding for computers at the Havelock-Craven County Public Library.
Funding for the senior congregate meals program was cut in Havelock and Harlowe, yet it was kept in place in New Bern. Many in Havelock and Harlowe felt that cuts should have been spread throughout the county instead of having their programs targeted for elimination. Those in Havelock and Harlowe were told they could drive to New Bern to participate in the meals program, the idea of which offends many on the east side of the Trent River.
As for funding of the Havelock-Craven County Public Library computers, we wonder if we’ll ever know the exact truth as to what happened here. The bottom line is that the library sought $10,000. Havelock supplied $4,000, and the county did not supply any money. Again, many in Havelock feel that this was another example of a lack of county support in what should be a county-supported operation.
We hope the upcoming meeting between the two boards on Aug. 19 allows both sides to clear the air and clear up any miscommunication among the commissioners. We hope they make real progress on the issues that face both the county and Havelock. Budgets are tight and there is no sign of the economy picking up anytime soon, meaning the need for cooperation and new ideas is crucial.
After all, we’ll all be better off if both sides work together for what’s best for Havelock and Craven County residents alike.