City-supported business unfair to other stores

February 10, 2014

To the editor:

The city council’s plan to build a restaurant/cafeteria is perhaps the worst, most destructive idea I have ever heard.

The Gene McLaurin administration spent some amount of taxpayer money to start up the restaurant across from the Methodist church. No account of how much was lost by the city, if anything, was ever disclosed, but the entire mess was a total failure.

Now a dying county (the lost of 1.7 percent of the popular every 10 years for 30 years) in need of entrepreneurial venture capital is saying if you spend your money, blood, sweat and tears to start a business and you succeed we will take the taxes you have paid and put someone in business to compete with you.

Would Steve Morris like the city to decide we need another jewelry store downtown and build one beside him, or Bennett Deane if the city bankrolled an insurance agency beside his, or a barber shop or a financial services company?

This is local government gone awry. Every restaurant in the city, from McDonald’s to whatever stands to lose some revenue to this project.

Why the surprise about cost when John Massey proudly told me face to face that due to his interpretation of the job of code enforcement every contract bids 30 percent more on a job in Rockingham than anywhere else in the county?

Let me assure the 212 people that voted for me for mayor that while Falling Creek Park has no funds to fully operate, even in the midst of some of the most at-risk youth in the city; and as long as the ball fields remain not built and seniors and others struggle to pay their taxes, this insanity would have never even gotten on the agenda if I were mayor.

David Browder