First foul on new Maggie board

Mar 06, 2014

Just because government boards stay within their legal boundaries, doesn’t mean they are operating in the spirit of openness.

Maggie Valley Board of Aldermen was completely within its right to discuss its appointment to the Haywood County Tourist Development Authority on Feb. 26 during a regular board meeting. However, if board members wanted to be completely open in their process of replacing their appointment, they would have placed the specific item on the agenda instead of bringing it up during “other business.”

For anyone there listening to the discussion, it is easy to assume the board members already had their minds made up about ousting representative Rob Edwards and replacing him with Alderman Mike Eveland. That means board members could have been having these discussions outside of a public meeting.

Even if the issue had come up after the agenda was already set, the more open way to handle it would have been to discuss the issue but not take a vote on it until the next meeting.

To make matters worse, Edwards had to be notified about his replacement by a reporter the morning after the meeting. Not one town official had bothered to contact Edwards regarding his appointment before making the decision to replace him.

Mayor Ron DeSimone pointed out during the meeting that the town’s representative on the TDA should represent the interest of the board and not people in the community.  That leads us to believe the board was unsatisfied with recent comments Edwards made at a TDA meeting about the proposed increase to the occupancy tax, which raised questions about the action. Board members also said the decision to change the appointment had nothing to do with Edwards’ job performance, but no one’s buying that story either.

Everyone knows the Maggie Valley board is in favor of the idea of increasing the occupancy tax to fund tourism-related infrastructure, with the exception of Alderman Phillip Wight. It appears the board is just trying to stifle any dissent on the issue. If not, why wouldn’t they just call Edwards and explain that he is there to represent the board?

We don’t know for sure whether the board had ulterior motives on this issue, but hasty decisions without public notice only leads to distrust. In the future, we hope the board will always air on the side of openness because honesty is always the easiest route if there is nothing to hide.

Comments (4)
Posted by: Scott Lilly | Mar 06, 2014 18:33

A brilliant opinion, unnamed author.



Posted by: Allen Alsbrooks | Mar 07, 2014 13:26

The clowns can't stifle me. This action is wrong. It is underhanded. It is dirty. It is evidence of how business of the people is being handled for the future.

 



Posted by: Scott Lilly | Mar 07, 2014 13:34

Would it me the NC Attorney General that would investigate the matter to see if local government officials are breaking any laws?



Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Mar 08, 2014 09:19

             Too often OUR duly elected representatives chose to ignore their duties as proscribed under OUR shared Constitutions. Expeciency is easy. It can result in subversion and oppression.

              Get yourself educated in what rules/regulations govern local board. Inform them of such. More than likely they will not be happy with the revelation of their ignorance(my experience), whether by failure to take the time to actually learn the rules they are to obey or outright rejection of such. They may retaliate(my experience). Contact ACLU. Cite civil rights violations. Do not cite monetary loss. Once a civil liberties violation has been established, then a lawsuit can be filed in civil court affecting monetary loss. ACLU doesn't handle monetary losses. They don't charge for their services either. $20.00 membership fee up front usualy. They do get awarded their costs by the court which will be a federal court not a local one as civil rights are a federal issue.

            Good luck,

 

               C.Z.



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