Tuesday, February 14, 2012

On Skip Alston and Guilford County Finances

"Conservatives for Guilford County...met with Budget Director Mike Halford at a member’s house in November for a session with their “Fat Cutting Team.” Commissioners Billy Yow and Paul Gibson attended.

Commissioners Chairman Melvin “Skip” Alston said the PAC was going too far.

"...if we start sending our staff members to the houses of everyone who has questions about the county, where does it stop?” [Alston said]

Jeff Hyde, one of the founders of Conservative for Guilford County, said Alston’s concern is misplaced.

“First of all, Skip Alston is the Simkins PAC,” Hyde said. “It’s not like he doesn’t have that meeting with them every day."

Hyde said the invitation to Halford came after Commissioner Kirk Perkins challenged members of the group to tell the commissioners where they should make cuts to the budget.

“So, we took his challenge,” Hyde said. “We put together a group and now there are, I would say, 45 people who are involved in looking at different departments close up, learning about the mission of that department and seeing where it could be cut.”

Halford said he welcomes questions from whatever group but bows out when it becomes political.

Alston has suggested the county hold a series of public budget meetings for all residents.

...Halford said that may be more important this year. “We’re facing serious budget issues and some serious policy questions this year,” he said."

Joe Killian

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