Cut the Flowers, Not Budgets
I respond to the ludicrous front-page story about "Money Needed to Buy Traffic Circle Flowers" (June 7). I am truly embarrassed to admit I live in Pinehurst where this has become a priority amid the national recession and an unprecedented state budget crisis.
Rep. Boles, I respectfully dispute your statement that putting on a "pretty face" is what we need to do at this time. With the N.C. House seriously considering more than $4 billion in cuts to education and health and human services, the frivolity of planting flowers at the Traffic Circle cannot be overstated.
In Health and Human Services alone, the proposed state budget cuts, when federal matching dollars are taken into account, will equal over $3 billion.
These HHS cuts will result in an actual reduction of services to people with developmental disabilities, mental illness and substance abuse, increased homelessness (yes, even in Pinehurst), increased family and individual crisis situations, and job losses for thousands of people.
In education, the cuts will increase class size, eliminate thousands of teaching positions and most support services and end all inclusion programs and enhanced services for students with disabilities.
These cuts will destabilize our education and social service network with unintended consequences too horrific to imagine!
Pretty flowers will not be able to mask the long lines at the Food Bank, crisis agencies, churches, shelters and agencies like The Arc. That ought to give tourism a real boost in Moore County!
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