Laurinburg’s needs versus wants

By: Mark Schenck - Contributing columnist

At the July 18 Laurinburg City Council meeting, we witnessed the clash of two factions, those that need and those that want.

Those that expressed needs cite Laurinburg’s lack of up-dates and repairs to the cities infrastructure.

Areas of concern that have been brought up repeatedly, without solution, are residential areas that are subjected to flooding due to inadequate storm drains. The main transformer supplying the majority of Laurinburg’s electricity is said to be running at near capacity. To avoid a possible catastrophic failure another transformer is said to be needed at a cost of $3 million. Can you imagine waiting for a new transformer to be delivered and setup in this 95-degree weather?

Keeping your automobiles front end aligned is a real challenge considering the series of “speed bump filled streets.” Tree roots have actually grown under the street forcing the pavement to form a speed bump type formation which forces vehicles to their proper lane to avoid them.

Evidently the city government is doing reasonably well in that they were recently able to make the final payment for a major sewer repair loan. But now rather than make the area more attractive to business and retirees by lowering taxes or giving our first-rate police department the tools and personnel to do their job, they choose to jump right back in debt building a new $10 million city building.

But what about the Rainy Day Fund that the state recommended each community hold back in case of a catastrophic event? Another area that seems to be forgotten is “Laurinburg’s long-term strategic plan?” Or is there one? If not, how do we know we’re on the right road if we don’t know where we’re going?

Which brings me to second group, the small group of “wanters” that are convinced that Laurinburg simply must have a glamorous City Hall in order to attract new businesses.

I hate to tell them but when outsiders review the demographics of Laurinburg they look at a city’s attributes relevant to their business venture, such as the: local tax structure, quality of schools, medical facilities, availability of a skilled workforce, cost and availability of utilities and the economic stability of the local government.

Nowhere on any list of local attributes is there a classification to rate how beautiful local municipal buildings are. Municipal buildings are classified as negative assets in that they produce nothing marketable. And besides any new businesses of any size will, more than likely, be locating in the county.

Yet this seems to be one of the main reasons- for the unmitigated arrogance, utter dereliction of sworn duty to represent the will of the people and complete disregard for the constituents that entrusted them as their representatives.

We, (the citizens of the United States), do not have a true democracy, as most of us are aware. When our nation’s government was first formed transportation was difficult and our economy being agrarian based made being away from the farm or plantation was time and profits lost, consequentially it was not possible for all citizens to be present to vote on every issue that needed their attention,

Hence the representative system of governing was adopted.

Failure of representatives to vote the will of their constituents is seen as blatant corruption of our Representative Based Democratic system and usually associated with countries governed by socialism.

Laurinburg’s July city council meeting gave proof to the fact that in Laurinburg, the majority of citizens have no say in what transpires in their city and they have no rights to determine how and why their tax money is spent.

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Mark Schenck

Contributing columnist

Mark Schenck is chairman of the Scotland County Republican Party

Mark Schenck is chairman of the Scotland County Republican Party