After reading aloud about a dozen e-mails that support his position on the budget — most, if not all, thanking him for his newsletter, etc. — he again pointed to media members as being responsible for the lack of citizens speaking to the board about the budget. None of his e-mailers came to the meeting Monday night, and one speaker, after Commissioner Jeff Hare cleared the air a bit about his and Gilroy's assertions, demonstrated just how much attention he has paid to town government in the last six months or so.
"Jeff Howe, is it?" he asked when addressing Hare.
He then returned to the podium and said he wasn't aware that the vast majority of his property tax bill goes to Mecklenburg County and not to the town. He then asked, that being the case, can't the town go to the county and ask for some of its money back?
Now why didn't anyone else think about that sooner?
Other than Gilroy's e-mails, the rest of the commissioners said they received very little unsolicited input on the budget. That lone speaker proved the point Finance Director Jackie Huffman made two weeks ago, that keeping the public hearing open for one more meeting wouldn't generate any additional appreciable input.
Somehow, that, too, must be the media's fault.
Even when Talkers take some personal time, the wonderful world of the weird and wacky keeps spinning. Down at the beach for some long anticipated R&R, one Talker in particular discovered that even in the calmness of coastal communities, oddities of life can keep tongues wagging.
Tiny little Oak Island, for instance, was a hotbed of headline-grabbing hullaballoo when in the span of just a few hours the porch of a rental home collapsed during a family photo op and a private firm's small helicopter ditched in the ocean not far from shore — close enough to a small fishing boat for startled fisherman to pluck out two stunned but surprisingly unharmed catches of the day.
But those events, which would usually compete for top billing in just about any news cycle, were overshadowed in short order. Seems a head honcho of Oak Island's water rescue unit had an auto mishap soon after the helicopter splashed down in the vicinity of the response zone. His vehicle was spotted bumping another, shoving it a few feet, before quickly departing the area.
Turns out, instead of racing to the emergency, the first responder was trying to skedaddle from the scene. When confronted later at his home, still sitting in his car, the runaway rescuer registered a .14 on the breathalyzer, well over the .08 limit for intoxicated driving.
But still, the story doesn't end. In explaining his behavior, the distraught deputy explained he had drifted into a drinking binge while mourning the loss of his pet. The beloved Yorkshire Terrier had been the victim of a tragic nail trimming mishap hours before at the grooming salon.
Talkers could try, but there's really no way to make this stuff up.