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This is what you get without a line item budget

Coming from a family of newspaper people and public servants, it was great to read the recent story (Asheville Citizen-Times June 6 online) on (former Buncombe County manager) Wanda Greene. At the same time it was disgusting to see the latest revelations regarding Greene.

Her power, greed, arrogance, avarice, lack of honor/integrity, and the lack of oversight are almost unbelievable. Also almost unbelievable is the fact that she never furnished a line item budget to all of the commissioners over the years. And that no one - commissioners, top county management, department heads and external contracted auditors - apparently ever questioned that.

In my 40 years with local, state, and federal justice agencies (plus 15 years nonprofit), I never worked at, nor heard of, a public agency without a line item budget. How can you be a good and accountable steward of the public's hard earned tax dollars with out it?  Wouldn't much of this have come to light much earlier with it?

Bill McGuire

Black Mountain

Thanking Ingles for opportunities it provides to students

I want to take a moment to thank Ingles for the opportunities it provides many of our Owen High School students.  At the Black Mountain Ingles, a large number of the young employees are students that attend Owen and work part-time. Ingles teaches these kids employment skills that they are learning for the first time, giving them the discipline that will make them more competitive job candidates in their upcoming careers.

But Ingles’s participation in our students’ lives goes beyond first-time hiring.  The company has also provided support and a sense of community for its young employees. 

Just recently, Black Mountain Ingles managers Danny Barnwell, Ryan Ellis and Glen Rice, along with Ingles corporate HR Manager Paul Hugart, all attended the Owen High School senior awards ceremony, both to honor students who had won Ingles scholarships and celebrate others whom they had mentored in Ingles stores.  Through actions like these, Ingles has become an invaluable partner for our area’s young people, helping to cultivate the growth and development of future leaders in the Swannanoa Valley.

So thank you again, Ingles, for this generous gift to the Owen District!

Beth Frith

Black Mountain

Investing in Black Mountain's charm is cost-effective

Given the fact that charm is our major industry, and given some recent anti-charm developments around town, I advocate bricking or cobblestoning Cherry Street, which would greatly enhance its charm. Some 50 residents, including merchants on Cherry Street, agree. 

I have passed this idea on to town government. Costly, yes, but so is the diminishing of our town’s lucrative charm. If you agree, please let your approval be known.

David Madden

Black Mountain

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