Allen, Liner seeking Craven County board seat

Published: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 07:28 PM.

“I felt like the city of Havelock and this end of the county was getting no representation or no voice speaking for this end of the county, and I felt we needed to have a voice to be heard,” Liner said. “I think there are a number of issues that brought it for me, but the key issue was the withdrawal of funding for the congregate meals program for the seniors both here in Havelock and in Harlowe. To take and isolate a portion of the county, I think, was unfair.”

Allen said a committee within the Craven County Department of Social Services made the recommendation to end the meals program based on federal and state guidelines.

“They set the priorities on where the money should go,” Allen said. “They tell us this is our budget and this is what we have to do to maintain the program and that was what happened to the congregate meals. They would maybe order 15 meals and four people would show up. What do you do with the rest of the meals? And that happened a lot.

“When the congregate meals program started in Havelock, I was right in the middle of it. As a matter of fact I was one of the servers behind the line to feed the first several congregate meals so I played what I thought was a supportive role in the congregate meals. I was very disappointed when it happened that way in Harlowe and Havelock, but they had to cut back somewhere.”

Liner said another issue he has is what he calls an unfair funding formula for the Havelock library. He said Havelock pays about $54,000 to $59,000 per budget year to keep the library operational, a far higher percentage than Cove City and Vanceboro pay for county libraries to operate in their cities.

“The library is a county library. No argument,” Liner said. “It’s theirs. It’s all theirs, but over the years, to keep it operational, Havelock has stepped forward to keep it open with a 35/65 percent cut. It goes back to the formulation of how they came up with figures to provide money. It doesn’t make sense that Cove City, Vanceboro gets the same amount of money that Havelock receives, but they are not required to put in any other funding of their own. Havelock puts in anywhere from $54,000 to $59,000 to keep it operational. I would like to see that completely changed. An equitable share needs to be looked at.”

Liner said an unwritten understanding is that the Havelock library budget is divided, with Havelock paying 35 percent and the county providing 65 percent.

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