Category Archives: FINANCE

Money can’t buy teachers’ love

Good principals trump compensation, as factor in teacher retention rates By Dr. Terry Stoops John Locke Foundation RALEIGH — If you watch the evening news broadcasts or read the local paper, you have been told that more educators than ever are leaving North Carolina to teach elsewhere because the N.C. General Assembly “slashed” public school funding. Most of these stories, however, omit key facts and research findings that would otherwise undermine their ideologically motivated tales of woe. The state legislature recently approved an $8.5 billion K-12 education budget. Compar…

Money missing in Bayboro

Town clerk under investigation Town of Bayboro Town Hall. (File Photo) BAYBORO – Charges have not yet been brought, but officials confirmed Wednesday that the former Town of Bayboro clerk, Mary Potter, is being investigated for possible misappropriation of town funds. In a statement e-mailed to this newspaper, Pamlico County Sheriff Chris Davis wrote: The Pamlico County Sheriff’s Office is investigating several allegations involving the Finance Officer / Town Clerk for the Town of Bayboro. As this investigation continues, we will be releasing more information; however, we are n…

Wall Street Journal praises North Carolina

Editor’s note: This commentary, written by Stephen Moore of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative ‘think tank’ based in Washington, D.C., recently appeared on the website of the Wall Street Journal: “Four years ago North Carolina’s unemployment rate was above 10 percent and the state still bore the effects of its battering in the recession. Many rural towns faced jobless rates of more than 20 percent. But in 2013 a combination of the biggest tax-rate reductions in the state’s history and a gutsy but controversial unemployment-insurance reform supercharged the state’…

Nursing home care, costly and confusing

By David Silver | Department of Finance, East Carolina University | Special to the County Compass David Silver Editor’s note: As the face of health care changes in this country, the County Compass intends to feature articles, written by experts, on a number of relevant topics. Mom had a stroke and now she needs nursing home care for the rest of her life. How can we afford that? How can I make sure that my kids don’t have to pay to take care of me if I need to go to a nursing home? Will the nursing home take my house? If you don’t have a high fixed-monthly income, a lot of money in the bank, or a good long-…

$22 million jail likely topic at County Comission retreat

By Betty Murphy | Special to the County Compass WASHINGTON, N.C. – If you are a regular Compass reader, you are no stranger to the ongoing battle of the proposed new jail for Beaufort County – where to locate it, how to finance it, public involvement in the process, and whether a new jail is even needed. The Beaufort County Board of Commissioners will hold its annual retreat Feb. 20 and 21 at the North Carolina Estuarium located on the town’s waterfront. Thursday’s session runs from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. while Friday’s second day begins at 9 a.m. and adjourns at 3 p.m. The meeting is open to th…

MidSouth Golf declares bankruptcy

Owner of amenities owes community big bucks By Penny Zibula | Staff Writer FAIRFIELD HARBOUR – Last month, MidSouth Golf filed for voluntary Chapter 11 in North Carolina Eastern Bankruptcy Court, essentially throwing a wrench into this community’s efforts to collect a court-ordered award of $1.45 million. The Myrtle Beach-based company owns Fairfield Harbour’s amenities, including Harbour Pointe Golf Course and the now-closed Shoreline Course. In a 2009 civil trial, a jury ruled MidSouth owed the community damages for its failure to properly maintain the two courses, swimmin…

Dissident property owners must pay dues

By Jeff Aydelette | Staff Writer FAIRFIELD HARBOUR – A lawsuit filed by a dozen property owners – meant to justify their collective refusal to pay homeowners’ dues since March of 2012 – backfired last month when Superior Court Judge Jay D. Hockenbury ruled in favor of the Fairfield Harbour Property Owners Association, the defendants in the case. Both sides agreed to waive a jury trial, in favor of Hockenbury hearing the case solo. The judge’s decision, released Dec. 16, gives the Association a green light to pursue foreclosure on almost 50 parcels, including 29 owned by Landcon, In…

Quantitative Easing begins to harden

By Jeff Aydelette | Staff Writer WASHINGTON, DC – Five years of unprecedented money printing, a process known as Quantitative Easing, and perhaps the biggest driver of rising stock prices, will slowly ‘taper’ over coming months. In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, the Federal Reserve announced its decision to gently cut back on its huge monthly purchases of U.S. Treasury debt and mortgage-backed securities, which have had the effect of pumping $85 billion of newly minted dollars into the economy each month. Experts say the drastic measures by the nation’s central bank…

Fed shutdown affects county

By Jeff Aydelette | Staff Writer BAYBORO – Pamlico County is being forced to make do with $10,300 less in weekly revenue, according to Finance Officer Mary Jane Westphal, who told elected officials Monday night that county government may be forced to tap savings in order to make up the shortfall. The culprit? Well, the Congressional budget impasse, of course, proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that Uncle Sam’s financial tentacles are long and deep, if even remote Pamlico County feels the effects of the federal squabble. In a handout to the county commissioners, Westphal noted that ‘Fed…

Big bag program costly for town to implement

Commissioner Warren Johnson and Town Manager Wyatt Cutler demonstrate a ‘vegetative debris’ bag, one of 565 that the town recently purchased. By Jeff Aydelette | Staff Writer ORIENTAL – Town Commissioner Warren Johnson, known for having a sharp pencil when it comes to municipal finances, got a bit hot under the collar Tuesday night. Johnson was upset with the town’s $4,000 purchase of ‘vegetative debris’ bags. And to drive home his point, Johnson enlisted the assistance of Town Manager Wyatt Cutler as the pair unveiled one of the large, polyester fabric containers. “We cou…