Big fish eat little fish, the strong prey upon the weak, and the knowledgeable quarry the ignorant.
Scotland County’s dismal economic, education and health metrics are self-imposed, the result of poor choices made over decades. Some say we’ve gone down about as far down as we can go, but we’re here to assure you things can and are about to get much worse.
Scotland County and Laurinburg are rapidly headed toward a financial disaster that will be virtually impossible to recover from. Few will be spared. Pain, misery, devastation and suffering will be wide spread.
1. Laurinburg’s new Municipal Building
Laurinburg City Council, along with City Manager Charles Nichols, remains committed to constructing a new Municipal Building. What started as a $5.5 million boondoggle is now projected to cost $9.7 million. Before it’s over, this figure can be expected to balloon to around $20 million. Laurinburg has no money, so taxpayers will foot the bill over the coming 40 years. Think taxes are high now, just wait.
Many believe City Council is out of touch, not listening to citizen input, defying ‘the will of the people’. There’s truth here to be sure, but is this the real story?
Despite knowing there’s a good chance three out five could be turned out of office come November 2017, Council continues to pull hard on the reigns, recklessly galloping ahead, dragging Laurinburg into the abyss at full tilt. Why?
Politicians have a finely tuned, innate ability to hear and understand exactly what voters want, and don’t. Their political careers depend upon this talent. What they actually do, is of course another matter, often driven by dark, murky forces and nefarious agendas.
Mayor Block optimistically opined in a recent article: “It is doubtful that there is enough time to get a new building up in this amount of time”, (meaning before three of Council can be turned out in 2017) and makes reference to ‘concrete slabs’ that are growing weeds over in Bennettsville after officials there got turned out of office for a similar offense.
Even if the Mayor is right, it will be of little consequence and no consolation, for the disaster that’s about to befall Laurinburg will be profound and long lasting. Everyone standing will be cut down.
The speed at which things are proceeding makes it all but certain the new Municipal Building’s construction will be far enough along by the time a new City Council majority could be seated, that it will be all but impossible to halt.
The old City Hall will be nothing but a memory, and millions in borrowed money will have been spent. Hefty cancellation fees and penalties endemic to all construction contracts will make it prohibitively expensive to put on the brakes. There won’t be any turning back. Mayor Block is naive to postulate otherwise.
Present Council will also no doubt be sure to insert a poison pill into City Manager Charles Nichols’ employment contract, making it financially untenable that a new Council majority could dismiss Nichols without taxpayers having to pony up for an expensive golden parachute.
If the new Municipal Building project isn’t halted soon, a full blown disaster will ensue. Every property owner, business and taxpayer will be impacted for decades to come.
2. Scotland County Economic Development
Following a highly paid get acquainted period, Economic Development Director, Mark Ward, has decided the best way to precede forward is by continuing to go backward.
Despite the fact that the old model of taking taxpayer money from one pocket and stuffing in the other to ‘buy jobs’ has failed miserably every time it’s been tried, Ward insists he can pull a rabbit out of the hat this time. He can’t!
Scotland County is blessed in that it is well positioned to attract the real family wage jobs of tomorrow that we desperately need. We’ve been so far down in the hole for so long that we don’t have the ‘sunk’ and ‘legacy’ costs many other struggling counties face should they decide a change in course is necessary. This clean slate has tremendous value, but only if we have the vision, clarity and courage to grab hold and make it happen.
Every day we spend heading in the present direction translates to lost opportunity and taxpayer money flushed down the toilet.
3. Scotland County Schools
Scotland County’s School Board remains committed to consolidating, remodeling and building a new $41 million school. Since the average new school in America now costs $80 million, we’re guessing our new school will cost at least that.
Remodeling existing schools will cost tens of millions more and busing students to outlying facilities will add millions on top of that.
How any of this is supposed to rectify the County’s absolutely horrible ‘educational’ metrics is anybody’s guess.
This nation was built in one room school houses. Today’s dysfunctional, bloated public education system simply can’t compete. Here’s a test 8th grade students were required to master over 100 years ago, before being permitted to advance to high school. Few of today’s high school or even college graduates could pass this test. Can You?
Throughout human history, ignorance, serfdom and enslavement have been the norm. Education and knowledge were reserved for a privileged few at the top of the food chain. Universal public education promised to ameliorate this condition.
Unfortunately, it was co-opted and used to mold the lower classes into compliant, obedient worker bees that don’t complain, protest, need slave masters or even overseers. Constant brainwashing with trendy political agendas assures victims aren’t even unaware of their own enslavement. Talk about progressive! Contented cows really do produce better milk.
This social engineering model worked well until the Internet began offering ‘knowledge on demand’ to all who seek it. Ignorance and enslavement would now be strictly by choice.
‘You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink’. Given a choice, most prefer to remain ignorant, seeking diversion through sports, entertainment, gaming, social media, drugs and porn. Those wanting to keep us enslaved prefer things this way too, guaranteeing a never ending smorgasbord of trash, filth and sleaze.
Today’s public education system is going to collapse. Can Scotland County taxpayers afford to support something that won’t even be around in 40 years when the bonds are finally retired?
Follow the Money
What do the above schemes, scams, hoaxes and cons all have in common?
If you and we want to advance some pet project, we must invest our own money, if necessary enlisting investors to take the leap into the unknown with us. Politicians on the other hand, don’t need to risk their own money. They spend money collected from us under duress, at gunpoint if necessary, sharing the spoils with kin, cronies and fellow kleptocrats.
“Every politician deserves two terms, one in office, the second in prison.” Mark Twain
Scotland County and Laurinburg elected officials are out to put us in bonded debt to the tune of about $150 million. It’s a big job, and honestly, this bunch doesn’t appear smart enough to accomplish such a big mission. We’re guessing they’ve got some serious help.
The question is: Who’s pulling the puppet’s strings? Who’s really driving this bus?
In case you haven’t been following the news, thousands of jobs have disappeared in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area when employers skedaddled after exhausting the taxpayer funded incentives that drove them there in the first place.
Architects, contractors and vendors are hungry for projects like Laurinburg’s new Municipal Building, let alone the County’s proposed new school + expensive re-model of existing facilities.
Virtually every dollar spent on these projects will depart Scotland County as fast as the checks can be cut. Those of us left behind will face a mountain of debt that’s guaranteed to depress business activity and property values for decades. Skyrocketing taxes will kill any hopes of job creation or community revitalization.
Government officials sell out citizens, voters and communities every day without so much as blinking an eye. Lucrative ‘consulting jobs’ for family and kin are just one time tested bait dangled before those hoping to become part of the revolving door’s never ending rotation.
Have Laurinburg Council members, County Commissioners and School Board become so bedazzled by the brilliance thirty pieces of silver casts that they’re blind to their responsibilities and the consequences of reckless, negligent behavior?
Who has offered what to whom? Answer this question, and our guess is we’ll all be a lot closer to the wizard who’s pulling the strings.
What Can We Do?
If we’re going to wake up, now’s the time, before we go over the edge.
It’s time to circle the wagons. We’re armed with a powerful weapon our forefathers could never have dreamed of, the Internet.
Cockroaches scramble when light shines upon them. It’s your future. It’s up to you!
Related Articles: What Happens When We Buy Jobs? School Consolidation Discussion Misses the Mark County Considering Tax Rate Reduction Affiliate Disclosure: Some links on this page may be affiliate links which, if used to purchase products, would yield a small commission to CarolinaCrossroads.News. This is how we support our website and efforts to bring you the news and information we believe are important to our viewers. Thank you for your support. You can reach Carolina Crossroads News at (888) 472-7555 or send us an email.
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