Garner: Opinion

Editorial: Lobbyist decision has us scratching our heads

We were surprised to learn that the Town of Garner has decided to hire its own lobbyist and we have to wonder just how necessary an expense that was.

The town will pay former mayor Sam Bridges $28,000 to serve as the town’s salesman in the General Assembly.

As Garner grows, there’s no doubt the actions of the General Assembly will have a greater impact on the town. But we believe the town has always enjoyed good relations with its elected state leaders and we believe the best way to effectively communicate needs and concerns is on a personal level, not through an intermediary.

There is no doubt Bridges will have Garner’s best interests at heart, but we can’t help but believe the money being spent by the town on a professional lobbyist could be better spent in other ways such as improvements in town parks or the creation of new ball fields or even paying down the town’s bond debt.

At this point, though, the decision is made. Council members should look closely to see that the town is getting a real return on its investment. If they aren’t, the contract needs to be a one-and-done affair.