ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (WNCN) – Some of Rocky Mount’s city council members are considering using money from their taxpayer-funded budget to send Christmas cards to residents.
Councilor Lige Daughtridge caught wind of the tradition last year and called it “self-serving” and wasteful.
“The first reaction is that the best way to spend taxpayer money?” asked Daughtridge, who represents Ward 5.
Daughtridge said council members are allotted a $3,000 budget. When asked what he would say to those who believed sending cards helps lift people’s spirits, he responded: “There’s something to be said for that, but with social media, you can do the same thing at no cost at all.”
“If we sent these Christmas cards, if every council member and the mayor did it, I would estimate it would be about $20,000,” he added.
With 19.2 percent of people in Rocky Mount living in poverty, Daughtridge said he would rather see money spent toward repairing roads or donating it to non-profits like United Community Ministries that help the homeless and feed the hungry in Rocky Mount.
“It would help a great deal because I know that we are providing an essential service to the community,” said Linda Brinson, Executive Director of United Community Ministries.
Daughtridge said he doesn’t plan on spending his budget money. It’s unclear what happens to that money if it’s not spent.
“Why does each council member need $3,000 is my question,” he said. “I think once this is done, we need to know how much we spent on holiday cards.”