A room of one’s own? A waste of taxpayers’ money

It appears that our county commissioners could not care less that taxpayers don’t want to go deeper in debt in the worst economy in years.

They want seven new offices, plus a larger meeting room and a few other spaces at a total cost of $464,400, not including more furnishings and electronics. The meeting room would only add 28 more seats. The old meeting room is not the best but it's fine for now.

Now that we will have district elections late next year, the sensible thing to do would be to allow the two commissioners in each district to rent and share an office. A constituent might even donate the space rent-free to the commissioner, or the commissioner could make arrangements with the library or fire department to use a room every other week to meet with the residents of his or her district.

If [people] needed to talk to their commissioner, they wouldn’t have to drive all the way to Asheville to do it. Commissioner Bailey says he works in his office daily. Just think how nice it would be if his office were located in his district near where he lived. I believe it would be appropriate to keep the chairman’s office downtown.

Chairman Gantt says the job will employ construction workers in a slow economy. That it will, but the construction company hires the workers, and all I have seen on city or county construction projects the last few years were foreigners who move from job to job with the company. My well-qualified grandson talked to the supervisor of a big construction job about work and when the boss learned my grandson couldn't speak Spanish he told him he couldn't use him. More jobs, my foot.

Just because Chairman Gantt thinks it’s the right thing to do doesn’t mean it's the right thing to do.

— Peggy Bennett


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Webmaster
Mountain Xpress Webmaster Follow me @MXWebTeam

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

One thought on “A room of one’s own? A waste of taxpayers’ money

  1. J

    Great letter.

    Ms. Bennett offers what is clearly the greener solution. If the commissioners didn’t have to travel as far, they could use multi-modal transportation and consume less gas, or ride a bike. I know a lot of people who’d pay money to see Bill Stanley ride a bike.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.