SCAC is not a form of county government

Dear Editor,

There is a misconception by the overwhelming majority of county residents who think that the Stokes County Arts Council is part of county government, when in fact it’s not!

First off there is no doubt that the Stokes County Arts Council (SCAC) does a great job in contributing to the “Arts” in Stokes County, but what many people don’t know is that SCAC is not a division of nor a department of Stokes County Government. The Stokes County Arts Council is a 501c3 nonprofit organization, a private not a public entity.

With Stokes County budget being tightened to the point that services and equipment is suffering why are the tax payers paying two county employees to work for an organization that has nothing to do with the Stokes County Government itself?

The salaries and compensation total $98,000 a year which includes their salary, medical, dental, vacation and retirement paid for by county taxes. Over the course of their gifted employment to the Arts Council it’s estimated that Stokes County Tax Payers have spent $750,000.00 – $1,400,000.00. When has it ever been the practice of county government to supply county employees to run private businesses or nonprofit organizations?

For those in Stokes County who want less government spending like EA Timm, his wife and the Tea Party why have they not expressed their displeasure in the commissioners using tax payer money and supplying county employees for a private organization?

Where is the fiscal responsibility to the tax payers?

Moreover, why can’t the Stokes County Arts Council supply its own employees like other 501c3 organizations? Should the Stokes County Commissioners start supplying and paying for Stokes County employees to work for other 501c3 organizations that are based in Stokes County? I’m sure they would love to have taxpayers pay the salaries of their staffs!

Everyone is going to tout at how much the SCAC does for the county and what it brings to the community. That is true, just as this article in the Stokes News concerning the Arts Council and Stokes Co. School system the other week, yet you can’t say that it could not do the same if it hired its own employees. If Eddy McGee and the other county employee like working for the SCAC so much, they can quit their county jobs and work directly for them! Thus, relieving the county taxpayer of these costs!

Why aren’t these two employees working in other areas that are short on staffing within the county government itself or better yet let SCAC hire them taking the burden off the tax payer so we can use that $98,000 a year and the projected million over the next decade for a couple of needed teacher positions, school building maintenance or replace a 20+ year-old ambulance?

Steven Hewett

King, NC