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Eric Maddox Statement-

CITY / COUNTY ISSUE: MY OPINION - I have been asked by folks to offer my opinion; and I also feel it is important for constituents to always know where my thoughts are on not only issues like this but/and any and all others pertaining to our county’s business. Although I will remain respectfully silent on specific things that I’ve been asked by legal not to discuss; I do want to offer up my opinion on a few other items; to include the process of how the situation between the city and the county was (and is) being handled.


Why can’t a county mayor truly partner with a city mayor, located in the same county, to discuss the issue at hand – and work this out? A city statement released recently mentioned that the county is not willing to meet at the table. Speaking just for me; that does not include me - personally. No matter which side is more in the “right”; or what my own opinion is on the actual issue; if it were my choice; all 18 Commissioners, County Mayor, City Council Members and City Mayor would go into a room and talk this out like responsible grown folks should. It is a shame that this can’t be simply worked out in such a manner (face to face). Not to mention the legal hamster wheel that we are now on; wasting tax payer’s money (and a whole lot of it). The only true winners right now are the legal teams for each side. It’s truly sad.

It is my own belief that we are in this situation because of pride; plain and simple. I feel that true diplomacy has not taken place yet; although some involved say it has. If both sides would have come (or would come) to the table with an open mind, to at least empathize with the other; lay out and look at all the facts – and discuss it; I feel that this could have been (or could be) worked out.

In addition; it was mentioned in a city statement that the county is “punishing” the city citizens by “initiating a fee to the City’s Public Works Department for taking tires to the County’s tire disposal center”, and “city residents were informed that they could not take their trash to a Bedford County convenience center, if they took it there in a City issued trash container”. Lastly the city’s statement says “Bedford County officials notified the City that they could no longer acquire topsoil from the County’s dirt pit, to be used by the City’s Parks and Recreation Department”. Folks; if all of this is accurate and true; this is concerning. I personally never voted on / for such action and would not support / stand for it. Although we are two separate bodies of government; we are still all one body of ELECTED representatives SERVING one county. One county full of hard-working people that shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not those that they ELECTED to do the job, are performing those duties effectively and efficiently; all while having the best interest of every constituent is at heart.

Folks; is separate funding needed for separate services in both the city and county (based on citizen needs)? Sure; but the county and city should always strive to be in lock step – working harmoniously together for the overall good of everyone within the boundaries of Bedford County. And yes; this obviously includes the education of our youth. We should also be setting an example for our youth; regarding how our county/city government should work together – and currently; in my humble opinion; this is not a good one to follow.

Lastly; and thankfully; I will say that I do believe and sense that both all city and county officials want what is best for our youth and the schools. To state otherwise by either side is unhealthy and inaccurate.

It is time (actually way past time) that level heads come to the table and work toward a solution. That is my firm suggestion.

THE PEOPLE’s best interests should always be put first (in this issue and all others); and that should always trump pride and any potential self-serving agendas that may exist.