Letter: The truth about Ben Griffin

Mar. 10, 2014 @ 02:43 PM

To the editor:

It’s time to tell the truth about Ben Griffin while he was chairman of the board of county commissioners.

While he was chairman, our debt went from $59 million to $39 million. He inherited a budget of $78 million and the budget was reduced to as low as $66 million while he was chairman. Through refinancing and paying off debt, our annual interest fell over half from $2.708 million to $887,000 annually. He always increased school funding yearly when other counties were cutting their school budgets. In no way through cutting costs were any of the county services harmed.

Regarding a recent letter to the editor in the News-Topic about the water system on N.C. 268, the individual stated that the county lost $15 million, but the truth is the county paid only $900,000 of the purchase price and the Clean Water Management Trust Fund paid $685,000 for water easements it still has. The property later sold for $550,000.

Property taxes were cut approximately 4.5 percent. Every year during his term, we never went over budget and money in reserves more than doubled. Also, three used heavy-duty ambulances were purchased for $67,000, saving the county more than $500,000 — today these three ambulances are among the best in the fleet.

I’m voting for Ben. How about you?

Dianne Safford

Granite Falls