Poor Thing

typingmonkeylarge11.jpgI don’t know about you, but I really don’t want to read Tammy Hall apologists lament how she couldn’t keep up with the Joneses on her meager $84,000 county commission salary.

In my morning paper today I read quotes from a Hall donor and supporter who described her as a good person, somehow led astray because of her association with high rollers.

Hall, in case you’ve been living in Siberia or under a rock, has entered into a plea agreement with the Feds admitting she misappropriated (stole) around $34,000 from her re-election campaign account in 2010. Her transgression was not only a violation of the trust county voters had placed in her since 2004, when she was first elected a Lee County commissioner, it was a direct slap in the face for every county resident who struggles – honestly – to make ends meet.

You see it seems poor Tammy was only trying to live the lifestyle to which she wished to become accustomed. See she ran in circles with millionaires, and the poor thing could not be expected to make ends meet on the miserly few dollars the taxpayers paid her.

Well folks how about a dose of reality?

In 2010, the year Hall dipped into campaign funds, the average household income in Lee County was $43,936 – just over half the salary those same people paid Hall.

That’s for a household. Including those with moms and dads and kids. Hall is a household of one.

Granted the number is skewed a little by retirees with fixed incomes, but you get the drift. Lee County can be a very hard place.

The per capita income by the way – that average a Lee County individual had coming in in 2010 – was $24,669.

Those numbers come directly from Lee County’s own web site.

That Hall’s millionaire circle of acquaintances has a limited grasp of what living in the ‘real’ Lee County is like, and that Hall decided she wanted to live a Maserati and lobster lifestyle when the Chevy and hamburger taxpayers were paying ‘only’ for a steak and Cadillac existence are not excuses for what she did.

In fact it may say a lot about the disconnect between government and those who pay for it. County commissioners make not quite double what the average county household gets by on. They make well over three times what the average county wage earner gets.

So cancel the pity party.

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6 comments

  1. prsanibel

    Traditionally many other commissioners have operated our county budget like Tammy Hall did her personal. Stashes of funds here and there and moved around for their individual spending desires and refusal to accept/understand that Lee County needs to face some fiscal responsibility?

  2. Dave Urich

    It seems that Tammi’s usage of her campaign funds might be the “tip of the iceberg” since she signed a plea agreement admitting to that transgression! I am adopting a “wait & see” attitude before I make up my mind. Yours, Dave U.

  3. Nick White

    I’m with you, Charlie! According to the article in the News-Press this morning, the first mortgage she had on her property could be paid with chicken feed. Then she went about spending more than she earned and paying the difference by refinancing the house,increasing her debt load and the percent of income that had to be paid in interest. This sounds exactly like the way we are running our local, state and federal governments today. There is a lesson to be learned here.

  4. Steve sherman

    Tammy’s free spending lifestyle certainly does not inspire confidence in her ability to budget properly for our county and by association the same applies to our other commissioner. No pity for Tammy.

  5. Stephanie Keyes

    The tip of the iceberg is a good comment, Dave! That is what many believe…..I am sure 2014 will be quite interesting no doubt! Charlie–what do your Tally spies tell you about our next appointee?

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