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Residents share their concerns at meeting

Jan. 08, 2014 @ 07:03 AM

MILTON -- State delegates Carol Miller and Kelli Sobonya heard from local residents Tuesday evening during a town hall meeting at Shonet's Country Cafe.

About 20 people attended and voiced their opinions on everything from government regulation to immigration to education to the state delegates as well as state senator Evan Jenkins.

"We wanted to do this so we could get input on what [residents] think is important for the legislature to be doing," Miller said.

"We go around and talk to Rotary Clubs and Lion's Clubs about our goals for the 60-day legislative session, but this allows us to hear from people," Sobonya added. "It's all meant to gauge their concerns."

Many people spoke out about extensive government regulation, saying it is contributing to the downfall of the country. Speaking candidly, Sobonya said the state regulation can be ridiculous.

"Every year, there is regulation this tall," Sobonya said bringing her hand up to the level of her midsection. "They had stacks of regulations and rules governing a haircut. They were going to write [cosmetologists] up if they had a smudge on their baseboard. As long as there are not roaches crawling around or there's not a public safety situation, why do we have to focus on that?"

She said legislation has also been introduced in the past that would limit the amount of television children watch in daycare and require teenage girls to get the HPV vaccination.

"These are things that should be between a parent and their child care provider or a doctor and their patient," she said.

Many residents also spoke about what they perceive as government waste.

One woman said she was frustrated that people with whom she went to high school are getting more money through public assistance than what she makes at a full-time county job. She wanted to know if there could be cap on how long people received welfare and food stamps or if they would have to show their identification to use their food stamps.

Others said they are upset that jail inmates receive good quality meals.

"It costs $50 a day to incarcerate an inmate," Sobonya said. "They have a meat product every meal. They eat better than senior citizens."

The majority of residents said they were fed up with the government.

"Our family members didn't go to foreign lands for what's going on right now," one man said. "My grandpa would be upset if he were sitting here today."

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