Local government obsessed with law enforcement spending

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, September 29, 2016

To the editor:

In the 4.5 years that I have lived in Polk county, I have noticed that the local fire department has gotten a very expensive new vehicle for the chief, the Columbus police dept. has received one or two new motorcycles (gifted), which I have never seen on the road, but now have a larger storage space for these unused items configured into the current Columbus police department expansion. The new 60 bed jail facility, which is itself unneeded and excessive, will cost $13.5 million, to be built on 22 acres that have been purchased for over $2 million dollars. Who pays $2 million for 22 acres in Polk county? Will the county be selling jail space?

Now, after reading the article in the TDB on the financing, and the four cent sales tax increase that will pay the 15 year note, it is evident from the comments by commissioners cited in the article, that the tax increase will not go away after the 15 year note is paid, but will be “earmarked elsewhere,” and “if the county got wealthy and no longer needed the tax increase then a future board can approve a budget without the four cents.” Ha! Good one. Getting rid of that excessive tax is not a joke, commissioners.

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The writers of the Andy Griffith show couldn’t have asked for a better plot and script. The only thing missing is Barney’s set of goggles for his motorcycle and sidecar. We already have the motorcycle(s). In a community of retirees and artists, the obsession of the local government with local government, namely law enforcement, their heavy handed tactics and oppressive stance (roadblocks and checkpoints), is almost laughable, if it weren’t obvious that people and businesses are leaving Tryon for greener pastures. 

The local government is for the government, by the government, and of the government, I can’t recall one effort being made on behalf of the citizens of Tryon or Polk County, if there have been any in my 4.5 years here, they pale in comparison to the money time and effort expended on behalf of the “ins” in the local establishment.

Waste the money of your citizenry on something they can at least participate in, if you want to waste it, a recreational complex, community center, or health center. Something/anything for the people?

~ Chris Friday, Tryon, N.C.