Outgoing Orange County Commissioner Steve Halkiotis has correctly identified a key issue for Orange County residents: the high and growing tax burden. He also comments in this story about the division between Chapel Hill residents and rural residents, which has been an issue for years. That’s great. Problem is, Halkiotis, a proud liberal who looks to government as the first solution, has consistently voted to increase spending and the power of government over Orange residents. In short: he helped create the very environment he now identifies as a problem. Just look the same story for his description of why he ran for commissioner in the first place.

Halkiotis likes to say toilets inspired him to run for public office. Parents had donated used commodes and sinks for a summer baseball league. He just needed $2,500 from the county to get the outdoor restrooms, a press box and a concession stand built.

“People were actually tinkling behind the trees and in the bushes,” Halkiotis said.
But he didn’t get the money from the county.
“I got so angry and so annoyed, I went down and filed for county commissioner,” Halkiotis said.

While I’m with Halkiotis on the need for sanitation, I’m NOT with him that it is the county’s responsibility to provide a press box and concession stand for a summer recreation. That funding should come from private donations from businesses and parents, and it’s clear that was possible.

That said, I wish the commissioner the best as he moves on to renovating and operating a business in the area. Meantime, we Orange County residents are left to face the key issue he has correctly identified: high taxes.