The Transylvania Times -

Please Do The Right Thing


December 25, 2017

Transylvania County is building a new courthouse. As a county employee, I would like to feel excited that the county to which I have chosen to devote my life is moving forward into a new era. Unfortunately, I am holding my breath and hoping the county commissioners will do the right thing with respect to the 300 or so folks like me who work for this county. I have talked to lots of fellow workers regarding the new courthouse, and they too remember how the last big county project — the $24 million state-of-the-art jail — affected their lives, in that the county froze all employee salaries for nearly five years.

If Transylvania County can’t afford to take care of the people who give their lives to keep this county going, can they really afford to build a new jail? Or a new courthouse? During those five years, I saw some excellent employees simply throw in the towel and go to other counties for employment.

I feel at a loss for what to do. Part of me wants to give up and go to another county as well, but another part of me wants to believe Transylvania County will see that all county employees are trusting the county commissioners will do the right thing. These are difficult times financially, and if you are not progressing in pay — even minimally —you are moving in reverse as prices continue to rise. My wife is a schoolteacher, and even on two salaries we struggle to keep afloat.

A person does not choose a life in public service to get rich; they simply want to give of themselves to their community, and as a result they put their trust in the hands of politicians. As the holiday season approaches, I would love to feel excited and confident in my job, but I find myself fearful instead, remembering the salary freeze just a few years ago.

With much respect, I am asking our county commissioners to please do the right thing in regard to county employee salaries, and help us to progress as our county progresses.

Bruce L. Grooms



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