IN MY OPINION-
Well hello everyone!
Yes, I have been gone for a few months but it was for as good cause. I have been working with a group called Protect Matthews and even spoke on Matthews Talks. If you have not heard by now I am running for Matthews Commissioner. I am a firm believer in transparency. As a Matthews native I have seen many changes and sadly history shows current and past council members have participated in dishonesty, denying facts, bogus condemnation, lack of transparency, attack on citizens, citizens questioning pay to play, but most importantly (excluding Mayor Pro Tem John Higdon) our First Amendment right for freedom of speech is under attack by this current council.
On Tuesday August 20, 2019 the 8th Community Forum was held and everyone was in attendance except Jason Majewski candidate for mayor and Allen Crosby candidate for commissioner. The forum was to increase the people’s awareness of biases, racial prejudices, hatred; and to develop strategies to improve community relations here in Matthews.
I have two beef’s from Tuesday’s night forum so let’s begin.
1. This was an interesting night and as I listened to Mayor Paul Bailey describing his version of racial divide I was amazed. I believe in honest government so as he began to talk of how it takes leadership, sensitivity, what’s in you heart, work together as a group speech I was dumbfounded. He followed up with how he follows that creed. Which I found very interesting and hypocritical. Why? You may remember when Mr. Bailey served on Charlotte Mecklenburg School Board he was called out for a racial posting on his Facebook page and had to apologize for his very hateful action. As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words.
2. During the forum a citizen questioned she had heard someone on the council say that affordable housing in Matthews was 450.000.00. After a discussion of cost and income in Matthews and no one had ever heard that, Commissioner Jeff Miller stated that commissioners currently make 5,500.00. Once again we have a statement that is misleading to the public. This is a typical game that is played. Yes, commissioners make 5,500.00, but this is for a year. The amount per term is 11,000.00 which he voted on July 13, 2015 to increase and was approved as part of an employee compensation plan. Due to the increase our elected officials are being compensated competitively according to a market survey. I would like to point out, commissioners are not employees they are elected officials so to raise our taxes and include this in the “employee compensation plan” is not being very transparent. Also, lets not forget the increase commissioners gave themselves in 2017 for the Technology Allowance fund and let’s not forget all items purchased become ‘their’ personal property.
It would be an honor to serve the community that I love. Please check out my website voteginahoover.com. Thank you so much for your time and support of MATTHEWS WATCH. Please remember to vote on November 5th.
Thank you, Gina Hoover
ON A DIFFERENT NOTE …….
Wondering were your tax increase is going? Well, once again Town Manager Hazen Blodgett received a salary increase. This year was his largest ever. On July 22, 2019 the Town Board approved an eleven percent pay increase. Bringing his salary to $163,780.00 from $147,400.00. He still receives his $85.00 monthly cell phone allowance and $350.00 monthly car allowance. Along with Mr. Blodgett our Town Attorney Charles Buckley also received a rate increase. You may remember Town of Matthews v. Wright. A bogus condemnation that was ruled in court as being for the “well-connected” of Matthews. On December 10, 2007 Mr. Buckley even stated “there are seven other residents on that street (Home Place) and all of them need this to be a public street, and the Town had taken action to make it a public street. They would not be able to sell their houses until they abut a public street” Sounds to me he knew Home Place was private and yet he spent over 20 years pursuing this, not to mention keeping a citizen from entering the Town Hall. If you’re asking yourself did the Mayor and Commissioner’s know of this? Yes, before the vote I sent a friendly reminder once again and all voted to renew Buckley’s contract with an increase.
Let’s not forget we also received a property tax increase and Mecklenburg County tax increase. Don’t you just feel all warm and fuzzy inside.