by Sam Hieb
A couple of articles in today’s local papers of record display the mentality on the part of government and media that taxpayers have to deal with around here.
For starters, you have Guilford County’s $300,000 grant to Piedmont Triad International Airport Authority to promote airline service. But note the N&R article translates the grant into “community support”:
Piedmont Triad International Airport has a finely tuned pitch when it asks an airline to serve the region.
But until now, it didn’t have proof that the community was eager to see more service.
With a $300,000 grant from Guilford County, however, PTI has a stronger case, said executive director Ted Johnson .
“They know the airport wants them,” Johnson said. “But does the community want them?”
Note, too, that the article states that Guilford County commissioners awarded the grant on Thursday. I don’t when they did it; I looked at the agenda for last Thursday’s meeting and didn’t see such an item listed. So the grant obviously wasn’t awarded following a public hearing. Look, I realize that residents of Guilford County probably do want increased passenger service out of PTIA, but please raise your hand if you personally contacted your county commissioner and authorized him to provide the airport with more public money toward that end.
Then there’s this Journal article on Surry County’s consideration of a 5 percent tax on car rentals fund PART service. I love this passage:
Stokes has been a member of PART since 2005, Chairman Leon Inman said. It doesn’t cost anything for a county to join, but members who want to have bus service and park-and-ride lots have to pay.
And who’s doing the paying? Anyone in Surry County who rents a car or, in the case of Randolph County, anyone who owns a car. That’s me and you, figuratively speaking. Somehow that fact is lost in translation.