Just got back from the Board of Commissioners Public Hearing on the Budget. I was only there for the public comments but those 10 minutes provided a good insight into what we’re up against in the battle for dignity over dependency.

Manny Medeiros spoke about how disgraceful it is to see our government encouraging people to get on the public dole when they should be encouraging people to be self sufficient. On cue, a few speakers later, the Vice Chair of the Dare County Transportation System (DCTS) had his turn at the mic and provided a great window into big government mentality. He talked about the need to better fund the DCTS so that it can grow. He cited the ‘need’ in the community by telling us of a young woman he met who works as a receptionist. Her and hubby have only one car. Hubby has to drive wife a half hour to work and then turn around and drive himself to work each day. The Vice Chair promptly told the young woman about the DCTS and how it could help her by driving her to and from work. To use a favorite expression of my mother’s: Now if this doesn’t just take the cake! Here is this couple who are taking care of their family with dignity and relying on themselves and here comes the government offering to take our tax dollars so that this couple can come to depend on the government for transportation. They are doing it on their own! Leave them alone! It’s not like they are aged and infirm and alone and have no other options. These people are managing. Let them have their dignity for goodness sake.

I grew up without my father. My mother worked seven days a week to feed and clothe me and my brothers. She refused to go on public assistance opting to take care of her family on her own. How proud I am of her and the values she gave us. How much of a stronger person I am today because of her example. Let us not rob other people of the dignity that comes with making it on your own.

Sadly, though, that is not the mentality in Manteo. They don’t see that, under the guise of helping people, they are creating dependency. And they want to use our tax dollars to fund that dependency. This is a lose/lose scenario. If we want to change this thinking, we’ve got to find replacements for some of these Board members, especially the ones who consider themselves Republicans.