Five swung, missed with attorney hire

Most communities, regardless of size and location, succumb to a certain degree of “brain drain” — which is the result of young adults who decide for a variety of reasons, including an urge to move on or a lack of opportunity, to take their talents elsewhere.

It’s a phenomenon that has been going on throughout the country for decades.

Brandi Jones Bullock is a good case in point.

A 1996 graduate of Scot High School, Bullock earned her bachelor’s degree in history from the University of North Carolina and, in 2000, began teaching social studies in Durham. She then decided to go to law school, where she graduated from North Carolina Central School of Law in 2013.

But the urge to come home was gnawing at her, so she soon established her own practice in Laurinburg and commuted for 18 months before moving back.

Over the past several weeks, Bullock was one of two qualified finalists for the Scotland County Board of Education’s vacant attorney position — and was a 5-2 loser in a vote by the Committee of the Whole.

We will applaud the two members who voted for Bullock, each of whom have said they were hoping for a hometown individual in the position. That’s a worthy ingredient when voting between two candidates, either of whom would serve the school district well.

While we have no problem with the qualifications and experience brought to the county by Eva DuBuisson, a Raleigh attorney who has served as the school board’s interim attorney since January, we think the Committee of the Whole missed out on a valuable opportunity to hire and work with a qualified hometown product.

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Kudos to city officials

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We were happy to hear that Scotland County Parks & Rec Director Bryan Graham’s presentation to the Laurinburg City Council on Tuesday on the quarter-cent sales tax referendum was well-received.

If passed, the referendum, which will go before voters on the Nov. 6 ballot, would be used to operate the county’s proposed multi-generational center. A quarter-cent sales tax could bring in about $700,000 to the county.

The proposed facility has been estimated to cost between $8 million and $13 million.

We will reiterate that passage of the sales tax referendum would be a positive for Scotland County as a whole, since it is vital in bringing such a facility to the county. Despite being labeled a sales tax, we think it would be the fairest and least noticed form of tax that would quickly build the revenue coffers — and we are confident county officials will be accountable for using that revenue exactly as they have been saying.

It’s worth emphasizing again that voting for the sales tax referendum in November will be a positive vote for the future of Scotland County.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

“A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.” (Plato)