I can respect the desire for nice living conditions. However, I cannot say that a time of economic hardship in the state of North Carolina is a good time to be planning extensive renovations to bathrooms, especially if your name is Gov. Pat McCrory.
According to the Associated Press, McCrory plans to remodel six bathrooms in his private living area at the historic downtown Raleigh manor. The same report states that a written estimate regarding the project shows that state taxpayers will contribute more than $100,000 for upgrades to the master bathroom of the manor, which include new marble, woodwork, bath fixtures and a ventilated water closet. McCrory spokeswoman Kim Genardo issued a statement saying the scope of the work was scaled back from the originally projected $230,000. The project will now strictly be focusing on repairing potential code violations, remediating mold and fixing broken faucets, Genardo said in her statement.But it’s still troubling to think that McCrory’s personal priorities are in remodeling bathrooms when there are much more serious economic issues occurring in the state. The unemployment rate in North Carolina is 8.7 percent. Only five states have a higher rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. McCrory should be focusing his time on looking into ways to stimulate the state job market instead of worrying about the conditions of bathrooms.Should funding not be used for job placement programs and other useful tools for unemployed citizens in the state? Apparently, it’s OK for citizens to fund McCrory’s home improvement projects. WCNC in Charlotte reports that recent demands for tightening of budgets for public schools and social programs have been high on McCrory’s priority list, so why not finish solving those first?Democrats have been quick to jump on this situation as a chance to accuse McCrory of having misplaced priorities, according to the News & Observer. McCrory and his cohorts don’t see it as having misplaced priorities, however. They continue to defend the decision by reiterating that it has been a long time since the bathrooms have been renovated. According to the News & Observer, the bathrooms have not been updated since the 1970s. That doesn’t mean that it is acceptable for McCrory to focus on something so trivial when there are larger issues at hand. Living with outdated bathrooms should be a small price for McCrory to pay to help the state he serves. Hopefully, McCrory enjoys the fresh new bathrooms and also has time to reflect on how taxpayer money could be better utilized for the benefit of the state.
Opinion: CORY SPIERS, Opinion editor