Think before making a taxpayer-backed loan

To the Editor:

“When asked about the likelihood of the AM radio station surviving in today’s advertising landscape, Jackson County commissioners said they were relying on the financial projections provided by the prospective radio owner.”

This excerpt is from the Dec. 7, 2011, The Smoky Mountain News. What part of this sounds quote like a good idea? Does anyone else out there think just a little more research on this prospective business venture should be studied by some impartial parties as to whether loaning this money in this direction is a good idea or not, rather than relying on the financial projections of the “proposed owner of the business?”

Why doesn’t the “proposed business” get the money loan from a bank like everyone else would have to?

There are businesses in this county in operation currently, with employees, that could use the money just to keep operating as they are. Why are we gambling tax money on a prospective business that could fail and default on the money? For a few jobs? If it fails and the company files bankruptcy, we never see a return on the money … and what is the interest rates on the tax money loaned?

Seems like local politics has become a business of banking with all the loaning of money going on.  We have new recreation centers being built, school add-ons, loans to bring the train back, the paper mill and now the AM radio.

Yet look at the county as a whole, businesses are closing left and right, there are no future job opportunities for the children, and not much for them to do now. Elderly have no new nursing homes being built (think about this baby boomers, it is gonna get crowded ). Poverty and poor housing are everywhere.

What happened to the idea of just holding on to money, saving money till you need it for something immediately pressing? Then maybe the county won’t have to get a loan from somewhere.

Remember when a variance was given to the big eyesore hotel across from Wal-mart … bad idea, no research. How about trucking Jackson County’s garbage to Georgia, breaking the contract with Macon County to help save on landfill costs — all right before the price of fuel costs went up. Now it costs more to truck to Georgia and Macon County will never have us back, and we don’t even have our own landfill. And then there is the airport in Jackson County.  

Before all the loaning and releasing of funds, in this terrible economy shouldn’t there be more research done to see if these ideas are actually good ideas to spend our money on, or should I say invest our money in? How about the crazy idea of just having a surplus of funds on hand?

Kelly Timco

Jackson County Taxpayer

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