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The High Point arts council was asking for a very large amount of money compared to what the county usually gives nonprofits, and that $200,000 was on top of $50,000 that the county gave the group in the budget adopted in June. The commissioners gave out the money with virtually no information on the project, in the middle of the budget year a time when those types of requests are almost never made, much less granted.
With a Republican board taking over control of Guilford County
at the beginning of December, now is the last time for the old guard to spend money whether it be on pet projects, raises or anything else Fox and the Democratically controlled board favor.
At the same time, those who rely on county services but who don't have friends in high places such as destitute drug addicts with no other safety net have had funding taken away. Up until a few weeks ago, addicts with no other line of recourse were receiving outpatient drug treatment services from Guilford County
. However, in late October, about the same time the raises were being put into effect, those addicts were told to go fend for themselves because county funding had dried up for outpatient drug treatment at the Guilford County
Substance Abuse Treatment Center on West Wendover Avenue.
Fox, Alston and other top county officials say constantly that Guilford County
is in a dire financial situation. However, anytime they or other connected county officials need funding for something a top new county position for a friend, large retirement bonuses for themselves and other top officials, money for a well-connected nonprofit Fox, Alston and the commissioners in charge always seem to be able to somehow pull the money out of thin air or find it in some hidden recess of the county's $587 million budget.
One of the last changes made by the Guilford County
Board of Commissioners to the 2012-2013 budget before adopting it was to remove money proposed that would have funded 3 percent merit pay raises for all county employees this year. That change meant that, once again, county employees wouldn't be getting merit raises. No funds for merit pay increases were included in Guilford County
budgets adopted in 2009, 2010, 2011 or 2012.