Efforts wasted on distractions in Maggie

Sep 04, 2013

Maggie Valley Board of Aldermen continued to waste time on distractions instead of real issues during an Aug. 29 meeting.

Aldermen Phillip Wight and Mike Matthews attempted to set a process in motion to remove Mayor Ron DeSimone from office. While they claimed removing the mayor was not their goal — that is the purpose of an “amotion” hearing.

Wight and Matthews claimed constituents were complaining about the mayor’s misconduct, though no one in the audience of the meeting knew the allegations in question. Not one member of the audience voiced a complaint about the mayor’s behavior during the public comment portion of the meeting, yet the two aldermen were insistent the issues needed to be aired at a public meeting.

The issues have been talked about at public meetings for several months. Those same complaints were submitted to the district attorney, the State Bureau of Investigations and the sheriff — who found no evidence of criminal behavior.

Repeating these allegations, whether founded or not, seems to be a poor use of the board’s time with so many other pressing issues. The time and energy Wight and Matthews spent into researching the rarely used “amotion” could have been better spent strategizing how to improve the town’s economy.

Move Maggie Forward has been a project that a majority of businesses are in favor of and that the Chamber of Commerce is working toward making happen. But the implementation of the plan would take a financial investment from the town — one issue that hasn’t been discussed by the board at a public meeting.

The two aldermen were not granted their request for an amotion hearing because, like most decisions in Maggie Valley lately, the vote was 2-2. The constant split votes are the real problem and it won’t be solved until the election is held this November. The town needs a full and functioning board that will make the best decisions for the taxpayers and businesses.

With many tourism attractions and a majority of the hotels, Maggie Valley is an important part of the entire county’s economy. If Maggie doesn’t succeed, it will affect everyone. It is more important than ever for business owners and town officials to put aside bickering and work toward a common goal.

We encourage Maggie Valley residents to vote for the candidates who you believe will be able to compromise and work together for the betterment of the town. If you don’t like actions taken by an alderman or the mayor, this is the time to voice that complaint — with a ballot.

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