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Thanks from United Way

On behalf of the United Way of Lincoln County, its Board of Directors, the 14 partner agencies we help to support and the individuals in Lincoln County that they serve, I say a heartfelt “thank you to our community” and “way to go!”
Some highlights of the caring and compassion shown by our own, for our own include: 1,215 contributors to the campaign, $364,236.78 in pledges and donations raised and an 8.9 percent increase over last year’s campaign.
Our smallest gift this year was 28 cents. This contribution was made by an anonymous individual, who taped it to the campaign-tracking thermometer located on the Court House Lawn in Lincolnton. Our largest individual donor, Brew and Jacqueline Barron from Denver, gave $10,000. Our largest corporate gift came from the Timken Company, and the largest workplace campaign this year was Duke Energy and its employees. To all of these individuals and companies who contributed to this year’s campaign, thank you! Together we can do so much more.
I also want to acknowledge and say thank you to our Pacesetters. They set the pace and tone for the campaign and got us off to a running start. These companies include Actavis, Carolinas Healthcare System, BB&T Bank, Carolina Trust Bank, First Federal Savings Bank, Lincoln County Schools, The Timken Company, City of Lincolnton, Lincoln County Government and Harris Teeter, Denver/Lincolnton. Together this group got us off to a rousing start, by raising over $107,000. Due to years of a down economy and with so much need, our campaign goal this year was a lofty $375,000. We achieved over 97 percent of this ambitious goal. Again, thank you! When the need is there, the citizens of Lincoln County really know how to answer the call. Finally, I also want to say thank you to the 107 individuals who volunteered over 800 hours of their time. They contributed to our coat drive, prom dress drive, Share the Warmth project, teen board Christmas Angel Tree, Salem Industries luncheon and various in-kind donations.
The bad news is that with over 1,215 donors to this year’s campaign, it would cost United Way $595.35 to send individual thank you letters to everyone. So, we are hopeful the donor community will support our decision not to do that. However, we appreciate the Lincoln Times-News for allowing United Way the opportunity to say thank you to everyone who contributed this year. This will allow us to put this $595.35 to use in the community, further helping the people who need it most. Every dollar raised and saved stays right here in our community, helping the citizens of Lincoln County. Together we are making a difference. Give-Advocate-Volunteer-Live United.
Thank you Lincoln County!
Kathy Vinzant
Executive Director
United Way of Lincoln County
Bill Lampley
Campaign Chair 2013
Board President 2014

Frivolous waste of taxpayer funds should cease at City Hall

Albert Einstein said, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Although state statue requires municipalities to adopt a fiscal budget by July 1, Councilmen Martin Eaddy eloquently stated at an earlier city council meeting his frustration regarding a couple of our councilmen’s unwillingness to listen to voters’ opposition to the garbage tax.
With City Manager Jeff Emory proposing an over $29 million dollar budget for fiscal year 2014-2015, don’t our taxpayers have a right to be kept in the loop? That’s why it’s my recommendation City Council schedule a minimum of two publicized budget public hearings on the following dates: June 5, where Emory and the City Council would actually listen and remember it’s taxpayer money, not city money, and trim wasteful spending based on taxpayer feedback. Copies of the revised budget would be available to taxpayers prior to a second public budget hearing, and a second public budget hearing would be held on June 12 for Emory and Council to demonstrate their listening skills by deleting unnecessary taxpayer funded revenue and expenditures by millions of dollars. Those essential services such as fire, police and public works would be exempt from decreased funding. Taxpayers would have an opportunity to speak about these changes and additional recommendations.
If the budget wasn’t adopted on June 19, it would still allow adequate time for a copy to arrive in Raleigh.
Last month, at the city council public budget hearing, Eaddy questioned spending a quarter of a million taxpayer dollars for mowing grass on city property and adjacent city streets and sidewalks. From a cost-benefit analysis, why doesn’t Emory contact Department of Corrections to explore the feasibility of nonviolent prisoners mowing and weed eating city property, with the exception of our parks and water/waste treatment plants? Ironically, when our fire chief inquired about whether the city had implemented a hiring freeze to fill firefighter vacancies, Emory was noncommittal.
Contrary to previous ambiguities and misstatements by former City Business and Community Development director Brad Guth, I learned from a series of telephone calls to the N.C. Department of Commerce and documents that a full-time main street manager is not required to be a city employee. They can be employed by one of the non-profit organizations (i.e. Chamber or LEDA). To achieve Main Street designation status, a grant application is submitted, processed, and approved without any Department of Commerce staff visiting the applicant’s city.
Einstein’s definition of insanity will become a reality with our mayor, and three councilmen endorsing Emory’s proposal of retaining BCDD as a taxpayer funded, $218,300 department . Taxpayers are encouraged to attend and speak at City Council’s June 5 public hearing at 7 p.m. You will need to arrive early and sign up to speak.
Robert A. Tomlinson

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