Budget Up for Approval

The Swansboro Board of Commissioners is likely to approve the town’s $4.3 million budget for the new fiscal year during a public hearing tomorrow night at Town Hall.

As far as I know, nothing much has changed since I first described the proposed budget and my objections to it in a blog post here a few weeks ago. I still intend to vote against it.

I won’t detail all the reasons why. You can go back and re-read them if you like. To summarize, the budget simply makes policy choices that I don’t agree with. It prioritizes extraordinary future expenses over current staff needs, devalues our expert legal services and, most importantly, moves toward ending free health insurance for our employees. We will become one of the few local governments in the state that require employees to pay a portion of their insurance premium, which I fear will make it harder for us to attract good employees and keep the ones we have.

The commissioners will also consider approving an Economic Development Strategic Plan that’s been almost two years in the making. Drafted by a committee of residents with considerable public input, the plan has four basic principles: Develop as a connected community, improve and protect the town’s natural environment, foster and improve the town’s sense of place and actively recruit new businesses and support the expansion of existing businesses.

The meeting starts at 6 p.m. Hope to see you there.