It was a full house for Tuesday night's budget meeting at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center. (Photo: WBOC)
SALISBURY, Md.- A public budget hearing on Wicomico County's 2013 fiscal year budget brought a full house to the Midway Room of the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center in Salisbury on Tuesday night.
Most people who spoke with WBOC prior to the meeting said they were not thrilled about the idea of a proposed 7 cent countywide property tax increase. Others said when it comes to the public schools, that extra expense is worth it.
One busy Salisbury mom, Ty Randall, certainly has her hands full. Besides being a wife and mother, she is also PTA vice president at North Salisbury Elementary School, a mental health therapist and part time teacher.
But she made time for the budget hearing.
"Our voices need to be heard," Randall explained. "We need to send a message to the community members, to the leaders, that we value our public education system and that we're not supporting any budget cuts from our education system."
But the money has to come from somewhere and Robert and Lois Wagner of Fruitland say they do not want it coming from their pockets.
"It seems to me there must be another way that we can get what we want and maybe if they could cut back on their expenses a little bit more," said Mrs. Wagner.
The couple has been working the land at their home in Fruitland for 55 years. They say they are already taxed enough and worry the public hearing won't make a difference.
"They know good and well that we don't want them raised and then after a couple of meetings, I've been through it down here in Fruitland, then they raise the taxes without any more to do," Mr. Wagner said.
County Councilman John Hall said all opinions do matter.
"The state has pretty much relegated what the county will have to do to maintain even a minimum amount that we're giving the school board, but we'll certainly listen," he said.
Dr. Carolyn Elmore with the Wicomico County Board of Education said the county needs to do more when it comes to its schools.
"We're all in this together but we have lost ground in the state of Maryland as far as support for public education and we need to make that up," she said.
Monday, May 20 2013 2:38 PM EDT2013-05-20 18:38:55 GMT
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