You Said It is a periodic feature of The Mount Airy News, where we share comments we’ve received on Facebook, via Twitter, or on our website, mtairynews.com, on articles and opinion pieces we’ve published. The comments are reproduced verbatim.
Staff writer Bill Colvard recently argued in a column that a New York Times story on Wilkes County showing the community was made up of individuals who have lost hope and direction as industrial jobs have left the country (mirroring to a large degree, its neighbors in Surry and surrounding counties) was a largely accurate and truthful depiction of an economy depressed area. In response, we received these comments on our website, mtairynews.com:
Jody Crawford: BRAVO, Bill Colvard. Bringing a balanced view to the situation in Wilkes and Surry County. To me, this is an example of the huge income gap and the cluelessness of the “haves” (including those in Congress) in all of America.
Ann: Thank you for a very wise and insightful article. The enormous problem of meth and opioid pill addiction, I feel, is symptomatic of the hopelessness felt by so many of Wilkes County’s people. Once upon a time, having a job in the Wilkes County school system was a VERY good thing, with great benefits and a great retirement. Not so anymore! Now, while teachers get raises, those people that make the school run smoothly and feed the kids breakfast and lunch have been told to NEVER expect a raise! People who had a decent job 10 years ago are now making less, and meanwhile, the price of EVERYTHING is going up and up, and up! Back when you and I were in high school, many of our contemporaries could actually quit school at 16, find a GOOD job, and make a good life. Now, college graduates cannot find a decent job. And Meanwhile, Those in Raleigh who supposedly represent us, I believe, do not know that ANY counties West of Forsyth County even exist, with the exception of Mecklinburgh and Burke Counties. So they are not doing ANYTHING toward bringing jobs here. They all go to the cities, and the rural counties can just starve for all they care! And Washington is 99.9% all for stuffing the pockets of all who go there, vowing to represent their constituents. I’d laugh if it were’t so tragic!
KM Ramich: A seasoned and heartfelt recount of the fleeting American dream in hometown USA. You bring the sensitivity of a native son nuanced by your Manhattan sojourn – seemingly a world away from the now commonplace plight of small town America. Congress is worse than clueless as they divert their gaze from the struggling masses to their privileged financiers.
War Eagle: You are so right about Congress being clueless. That pretty much explains why we have a “do nothing Congress”. And personally, I have no reason to think that America will ever be the same America that many of us once knew.
In response to an article by staff writer Tom Joyce, in which he reports the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners is deadlocked on the city’s 2016-17 propsoed budget, and most specifically on the issues of instituting a $15 per vehicle tax and giving city employees an 8 percent average raise, we received these comments:
Larry Stoneman: Concerning the 8% across the board pay raise for city employees: Where are the evaluations of employees that would tell us who is deserving of how much increase? Shouldn’t the city of Mt. Airy be doing evaluations and shouldn’t the pay raises be based on the outcome of the evaluations? That would show who is deserving and how much except for the possibility of cost of living increases across the board of maybe 2-4 %. I can’t support 8% across the board increases. Some increase, based on evaluations I could see. I don’t recall ever having received an 8% pay raise. A call was made to the city managers office to get information, however, the city manager was not available and out of the office until Monday.
NCreader23: “Across the board” payraises are ALWAYS unfair to the lower salaried workers. The raises, if seriously considered, should be graduated with the lower wage workers getting a much higher percentage increase than the highest level workers.