There has been a lot of talk this week about the closing of the Gadsden County Social Security office in Quincy.
A lot of people are appalled that the federal government would shut down this office.
Last month there was a story in The Herald that included the shutting down of the office.
Granted, it was not on the front page and was part an article about TCC Trustee Chairman Eugene Lamb.
He was in Washington, D.C. concerning community college issues but had the opportunity to bring up the proposed office closing with U.S. Representative Steve Southerland.
In the story, dated February 18, it was written: “Lamb said that in addition to the issues pertaining to community colleges, he was able to speak personally with U.S. Representative Steve Southerland about the possible closing of the Quincy Social Security office. Southerland, Lamb said, expressed concern over the closing and said he would follow up on the issue.”
So the word was out nearly a month ago that the local office was on the chopping block, and published in this paper.
It is frustrating that the office will be closed, especially in a county where so many have transportation issues.
This office, I understand, is the only office in North Florida that is being closed.
Now for the meat of this issue.
Our Congress – the Senate and House of Representatives – decide this country’s spending. Currently the Senate is controlled by the Democrats and the House by the Republicans.
Once the spending is set (passed by both the House and Senate) it is then up to the executive branch to administer the funding.
As it is with all presidents, once they take office they appoint people to positions throughout the government.
President Barack Obama appointed Carolyn W. Colvin as acting U.S. Commissioner of Social Security in February of 2013.
Her predecessor, Michael J. Astrue, was sworn in as Commissioner of Social Security on February 12, 2007 for a six-year term which ended January 19, 2013.
Colvin oversees operations of the Social Security Administration and makes decisions both directly and indirectly.
In our case it is not the local, or even regional administrators who decided to close the Gadsden County office, but Washington.
Why they singled out Gadsden County of all places to close, is beyond me.
Maybe at some point we may find out, but in the meantime Gadsden County residents should let Washington know we want to keep this office open.