January 30, 2009

Socialsim in Southern Shores

I had been trying to ignore this story but when this email came charging Southern Shores Mayor Don Smith with being a socialist I decided to share it.
You can read a whole lot more about this issue in the excellent coverage in the Southern Shores Times.

Please Help Save Our Volunteer Fire Department

The Southern Shores Volunteer Fire Department is a non-profit corporation that has served the Town of Southern Shores and Martin's Point for nearly 30 years. On January 20th, The Southern Shores Town Council, in a political dispute about control and power, gave the Fire Department an ultimatum to sign an unbalanced and unfair contract or risk being taken over by the Town.
The Mayor says that this is about fiscal conservatism and lower taxes.
That's Not True! The current structure provides the most cost effective Fire Department in the Outer Banks. This year alone, Southern Shores Volunteer Firefighters contributed more than 15,000 hours of their time to provide=2 0Fire and Rescue services that would cost millions without them.
The Mayor says that the Fire Department is demanding a 69% increase in funding for next year.
Not Even Close! The Fire Department has not submitted a budget request since it is not yet even due! He dishonestly made his numbers up to take control of the Fire Department. The Southern Shores portion of the Fire Department budget for the fiscal year 2008-2009 is only 16% higher than it was in FY 1997-1998. During that same 11-year period the Town Budget has grown by 76%!
The Mayor says that the Town has negotiated in good faith with the Fire Department.
Wrong! Despite numerous documented attempts by the Fire Department, the Town has refused to negotiate a contract.
The Mayor says that the Fire Department has spent a lot of money without consulting the Town.
Incorrect! The Fire Department has p rojected its capital needs for years and has informed the Town of major items for more than 5 years. Last year, the Fire Department presented a 5-year strategic plan with expected dates for capital expenses and has kept that schedule. The Town, however, does not have a plan.
The Mayor refers to the Fire Department as "Formerly Volunteer."
That's Just Deceptive! Last year, in response to the increasing administrative workload of running a Fire Department while meeting new requirements and regulations, the Volunteer Membership of the Fire Department voted by an overwhelming majority of 85% to hire a paid Fire Chief. They also chose to hire the existing Chief, who had been elected by the majority of the members 4 years in a row. Except for the Chief and a part time Administrative Assistant, all of the 60 members of the Fire Department, including the Board of Directors are Volunteers.
Why Would the Mayor Tell You Things That Are Not True?
He wants control. He even wants to control the tax rate and spending of tax money raised from Martin's Point so that he can shift costs.
He wants to control the assets of the Fire Department to help balance a Town Budget that is out of control. He and other Council members were elected after promising Capital Improvements and Lower Taxes.
Have your taxes gone down? No!
Have the Streets and Canals been fixed? No!
Have Services been cut? Yes! Lifeguards, Chipping, Public Works, Codes & Police among others.
Yet Town administrative salaries have gone up sharply and the Formerly Volunteer Mayor and Council receive monthly stipends.
The Mayor is simply not as good as his word.
What do they call it when Government takes over private companies? Socialism!
Please help us stop this dishonest attempt to socialize our Volunteer Fire Department. We need your help to prevent the loss of our Volunteers. We need you to help prevent unnecessary increases in your property insurance and the cost of your Fire Rescue services.
Please act today an d call or email the following Council Members and tell them to:
"Stop Trying to Ruin Our Volunteer Fire Department and Leave Martin's Point's Money Alone"
Don Smith- 252-261-4093 donmsm@embarqmail.com
Jody Hess- 252-261-0102 
Brian McDonald- 252-255-5118 
Jim Pfizenmayer - 252-261-0643 
Kevin Stroud- 252-261-8464
Sponsored by Southern Shores Taxpayers for Honesty in Government



At 5:12 PM, Blogger Russ said...

As Arte Johnson used to say on "Laugh-In", verrry interesting!

At 7:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, Bob, what's your point;
other than you've always had this "thing" against anything that is Southern Shores?

At 9:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you are going to promote the "cry of socalism" in SS, you should be more careful in your spelling of the word. Do a spell check, please.

At 7:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

am extremely astounded at the tone of this letter. http://southernshorestimes.blogspot.com/

I do not believe it is necessary for the average citizen of Southern Shores to "take sides" in this issue; because it is obvious there are extreme childishness attitudes prevailing on both sides of this matter. And, it all goes back further than a "fire department contractual" issue. It is petty politics at its worse. The people of Southern Shores should not have to suffer through this. Shame on the Volunteer Fire Department and Shame on the Town Council.

Ray Midgett
154 Duck Woods Drive

At 5:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don Smith is still the mayor of S. Shores? Oh my.


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