Pitt County has six commissioner districts, each with a representative. We also have three representatives who serve two districts each, which gives us a total of nine commissioners.
District 4, the westernmost of our districts and the one for which I'm the Democratic candidate, is currently represented by Mark Owens, who is retiring from the Board of Commissioners in December.
Mary Perkins Williams represents District 2, most of which is north of the Tar River.
Charles Farley represents District 3, which runs along the south side of the Tar River.
Glen Webb represents District 6, the southernmost district. Representing two districts each are Melvin McLawhorn, Tom Coulson, and Beth Ward.
Pitt County is a big business, well-run by professionals. It's the Board of Commissioners' job to make sure that this business operates in a fiscally sound manner, and that the individual departments within are properly funded.
Here's how most of our tax money was spent last year:
education: $45+ million
gov ops: $40+ million
public safety: $45+ million
human services: $51+ million
cultural, rec, environment protection: $10 million
All together, our expenses were $185,973,041.
Tax revenues of $90.5 million accounted for about half of last year's revenues of $179,373,772.
We had an operating deficit of nearly $6.5 million. Our fund balance for 2017 was the lowest it's been since 2014 though still within the target range of 18-20% of annual expenses.
In August 2018, we learned that somehow three properties owned by the county, the city and Vidant health had bee misclassified as taxabale properties, a “coding error” that resulted in a $612,480 loss in projected revenues for the current fiscal year.
While what we lost in projected revenue is not enough money to affect the county’s fund balance, it’s also more than Town of Fountain spends in a year.
We can do better—we must do better.