Handing out attawaytogos, shame on yous

It’s been a busy month in Bladen County, with town and county governments addressing budgets for the 2018-19 fiscal year, the two high schools handing out diplomas to the Class of 2018 and some special achievements.

Following is our designations for the good, with an attawaytogo, and the not-so-good, with a …

— SHAME ON YOU: Topping the list is Bladen County Schools Superintendent Robert Taylor taking a reported two-week vacation to Germany during the final two weeks of the 2018-19 fiscal year budget talks with the Bladen County Board of Commissioners. His absence this week probably helped to fuel the cancellation of a final budget workshop for the county next week and prompted the passage of the budget on Monday.

It’s discouraging that Taylor chose to be some 4,400 miles away as word of seven teachers losing their jobs because of the closing of Booker T. Washington and state budget cuts was reaching county commissioners’ ears.

There are probably a handful of important dates a school superintendent should be present, and the final leg of budget discussions is certainly one of them.

— ATTAWAYTOGO: We can’t give enough applause, kudos and support to Sincere Smith, an East Bladen graduate who was drafted in the 32nd round of the Major League Baseball amateur draft by the New York Yankees.

The three-sport Eagles star is now in Tampa, Fla., with the Gulf Coast League Yankees after officially signing his rookie contract on Monday.

We join the rest of this community in wishing “Skippy” well.

— ATTAWAYTOGO: As we do every year, we applaud the more than 250 seniors who made up the Class of 2018 at East Bladen and West Bladen high schools. After receiving their diplomas last weekend, those graduates will scatter in numerous directions — from the workforce to higher education to the military and others.

Our best wishes for a successful, adventurous and healthy future go out to them all.

— SHAME ON YOU: To the Chemours Company, who gave area residents hope for answers by scheduling a community meeting in St. Pauls recently, then frustrating them further with little more than a rehearsed company line that gave little information and no definitive answers.

Instead, a lineup of presentations followed by hand-picked questions written by area residents didn’t seem to satisfy anyone who is continuing to deal with water contaminated by the company over the past 12 months.

— ATTAWAYTOGO: To the Elizabethtown Town Council for a trio of projects — the demolition of the former Jessup Motors building to make way for the new downtown fire station and EMS facility; putting the Tory Hole Park project on the fast track; and getting the $1.6 million Phase II of the downtown revitalization effort moving forward.

— ATTAWAYTOGO: To the Bladen County Board of Commissioners and Economic Development Director Chuck Heustess for pushing a plan to build a 26,490-square-foot industrial spec building at the Industrial Park that will immediately attract new business to the county.

— SHAME ON YOU: To the individual or group of individuals who gave any credibility to the proposal for beer and wine sales in the town of Bladenboro. Voters there have defeated the issue a number of times already, making any further push a waste of time at best and even more ridiculous.

We will take this opportunity to give the Bladenboro Town Council two thumbs up for not allowing the request for a referendum to get past them.

— ATTAWAYTOGO: To the Cupp family of Elizabethtown for winning the Reese’s Company social media contest as the nation’s Most Outrageous Fans — sealed by the name of the family’s youngest daughter, Reese E. Cupp.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

“There are two great days in every person’s life — the day we are born and the day we discover why.” (William Barclay)