Peoples, Scott, Arbogast best choices

Published 7:53 pm Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It is easy to form opinions based on stories one hears on the street. It is galling, however, when those stories have completely flipped the truth on its head.

Such are the stories told by those who wish to unseat the Tryon mayor and incumbent council members. Falsehoods are told of fiscal mismanagement. The opposite is true. When Mayor Alan Peoples took office, Tryon was nearly $1.7 million in debt, due to the fiscal carelessness of the previous administration, which had not even read the towns audit report.

In eight years, to put the town right again, Peoples and council reduced the town workforce from 46 to 36 employees. Police vehicles went from seven to four. The town manager and town hall no longer have any vehicles. Radio-read water meters were installed, reducing positions from two to one in that department. New equipment was purchased to reduce yearly maintenance costs and to allow the town to do for itself what it had been paying contractors to do.

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Energy efficiencies have been sought in town hall, and vacant spaces rented out. Spaces on the radio tower on Tryon Peak were rented out. Grants were sought and repeatedly won for town improvements.

Why then are these false stories being told? Because the majority of council supports annexation of residential properties surrounding Tryon. They believe those who benefit from town-subsidized services the water system, fire department, Harmon Field and recycling must help pay. The current council has done its job, planning for the future, facing up to the facts: 3% inflation every year and only 1.2% growth in revenue, a negative slide of $114,000 over the past eight years. Tryons health affects property values in the entire area.

We support Mayor Peoples and councilman Jim Scott in their reelection bids for their work on the towns behalf. For the second open council seat, we support Doug Arbogast, who has done so much for the downtown already as a business owner and civic leader. JB