Editorial: Havelock draws its line in the sand at library

Published: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 at 03:55 PM.

Well, the truth of the matter is that in government taxpayers often pay for things they don’t use or will never use. In the strictest sense, when our forefathers began forming this nation, they never envisioned tax money being used to pay for a library. Of course, they never envisioned tax money being used to pay for health care or unemployment or food stamps either.

No doubt, this was a difficult budget year for the city, which hasn’t seen any sort of growth in a few years, and in fact, may face a future with declining growth as federal cuts impact Cherry Point. With that type of uncertainty, as well as the anticipated loss of about $100,000 from state action that removes business license fees, city leaders decided not to provide $47,000 that the library had requested to fill out its budget. That leaves the library scrambling as to how it will make ends meet. Personnel cuts as well as reductions in operational hours are the likely results.

Funding the library would have meant a tax increase of six-tenths of a penny on property owners — not much in the grand scheme of things, but city leaders wanted to make a point. In these hard and uncertain economic times, every penny — even fractions of a penny — is important to residents. And the city has simply grown tired of paying for what it feels are county services.

The argument between the city and county over funding shows no signs of ending soon. The two sides can’t iron out their differences. Even a behind-closed-doors meeting between county and city leaders last year did not produce any tangible results.

Simply put, in the argument over funding, city leaders drew their line in the sand, and that line runs right in front of the Havelock-Craven County Public Library.

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