Beaufort, N.C.

Feb. 23, 2021

TO THE EDITOR:

So many things are wrong with the county signing on to NC House Bill 51, starting with the secret way it was done with no notice or invitation for comment. But I will focus now on two problems.

First - Public Notices must be public, placed where they can be noticed! It is well known that Carteret is sadly low in the percentage of its residents who have access to the internet.

Legal notices that affect people’s lives, calls for bids on property for sale by the county, etc. will not be seen by anyone who is not on the computer looking for them every day. Construction, repair and maintenance projects and other county openings will not be seen by local small businesses who need the work. So, county officials will say “No bids received” and hand the jobs to someone they already know. "No bids received" on that property; someone will get a bargain.

Second - We need our newspaper! Just the Coastal Living section of last Wed. News-Times has lively news stories and photos of: 1. the drive-by parade honoring Tabbie Nance who has done so much for education here. 2. Carteret Community College honoring top achievers during a Black History Month celebration. 3. Budsin Electric Boats receiving a governor’s award for top rural exporter. 4.The popular Empty Bowls fundraiser against hunger coming up. There are three pages of sports news: winners in basketball, lacrosse and a motorcycle race.

Read about a West Carteret track and field star who was recruited by NC State and earned an appointment to the Air Force Academy. Also a page of public notices, a page of classified ads.

No big deal? Access to information is a Big Deal. Celebrating winners and successes is a big deal to local friends and families. So is promoting non-profits and civic organizations and local businesses.

Newspapers are struggling. The county should be doing what it can to save ours, not competing with it. There should be no thought of dropping public notices from the newspaper anytime in the next two years. Meanwhile, a website can be started and tried. It will take time and many paid hours to iron out the kinks. I have studied the text of the bill (available online) including all the complicated requirements for maintaining a public notices website.

The bill does not require participating counties to put notices online. It only allows it - instead of, or along with, newspapers. We can do both. The money saved by not using the newspaper would be so tiny. Why brag about saving money if it does not mean lower taxes for citizens?

The job of county officials is to carefully use the budget it has to achieve the most improvement in the standard of living for its constituents.

SERIOUSLY CONCERNED

(3) comments

DeadBolt

These rocket scientists give more 'free money', yours and mine, without consent , to the dog pound in Newport every year, and those nuts there stole from them. [yawn]

mpjeep

Our county commissioners are saying they will save money by taking notices out of our local newspaper.

Reminds me of a guy whose wife said she was going out to buy a $100,000 Mercedes and came back with a $50,000 Buick telling her husband she just saved $50,000.

Or every time my wife goes to Belks, coming home and telling me what she bought, and how much she saved. Right!

As to our Commissioners: A Broken Clock is Right Two Times a Day. It’s Your Turn to get this Right for the Citizens. Keep Notices in Our Newspaper.

Sandman

Well written mpjeep. But you know as well as I do that no responses will be returned to anybody by these public servants. They are going to continue to piggyback with other counties because they will do what they think is right and not have any concerns of how the taxpayers and the public feels about it. They will continue to throw away money for nonsense and continue to do things the way that they want and turn their backs on the very people who’s tax dollars pay their salaries. Now that is wasteful spending.

Welcome to the discussion.

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