Letters from readers, April 25

Apr 24, 2014

Don’t slant political coverage

To the editor:

I cannot believe how biased the reporting of the Haywood County Commissioner race has become.

I am a conservative independent, and what I would like is unbiased reporting from both newspapers. With this kind of biased reporting of the candidates for Haywood County Commissioner, anyone would think that you were trying to become as bad as the New York Times.

Please keep your biased reporting to your editorial policy and not your news section. As far as the news coverage in the other newspaper is concerned, I guess you get what you pay for.

Now The Mountaineer is another story. I do not like paying for propaganda. Just do your job without slanting the news.

Al Goodis

Waynesville

Editor’s note: The only commissioner candidate coverage so far in The Mountaineer was in Wednesday’s paper. Each candidate received the same questionnaire and the same word limit instructions. The answers were printed ver batim.

 

Broaden the pool

To the editor:

To serve Maggie Valley as mayor, commissioner or on a board or to have any input count, one must reside within the city limits of Maggie Valley.  If you owned half the town, paying taxes but do not reside within the town limits you have no say.

Maggie Valley is limiting their pool of talent.  If the town wants new blood, they will need to change the rules.

Kathleen Bridges

Waynesville and Naples, Florida

 

Corruption charges questionable

To the editor:

In regard to the letter about the corruption and incompetence in Maggie Valley government, a sloppy government can result in compounded problems; so will unfair accusations.

Corruption means: guilty of dishonest practices or lacking integrity.  Just by reading The Mountaineer over the past year or two, I can accuse Maggie Valley elected officials of at times being lots of things: unorganized, strangely motivated, sly, and perhaps lacking the procedural or disciplined skill to run a properly structured government body.  But corrupt?

I’m not ready to jump on that ship just yet.

Incompetence is an easier charge to make, defined as lacking qualification or ability or even mentally deficient.

In some cases, it’s understandable that a person sitting in the Alderman/Mayor chair on day-1 would not have the experience to perform.  But please do afford these elected leaders their due respect.

Nobody would volunteer for public service with bad intentions. Perhaps the charge to Maggie Valley leaders should be changed to “misguided” when referring to the 50 percent TDA tax increase.  Maggie Valley donates the lion’s share to the county’s tourism fund but the majority of the county outside of Maggie Valley decides where/how that money will be used.  Yes, having local leaders willfully send tax money out of town for an undefined purpose is questionable.  Some might even say incompetent.  But not corrupt — unless you consider the 1% zip code kickback from the TDA tax that in some ways could be considered (legal) bribery for those that support the arrangement.  Or a quorum of officials discussing the topic in private in violation of Open Meetings Laws.  Or to purposefully violate rules to swap-out TDA board members to put “their guy” in.

Expect and demand the highest integrity and performance from your elected leaders.  If they fall short, call them on it.  Let’s save the term “corrupt” for instances where it’s really deserved.

Scott Lilly

Mt. Holly

 

Comments (5)
Posted by: Scott Lilly | Apr 25, 2014 09:17

Ms. Bridges, if you don't claim "primary residence" in Haywood County, you don't vote there and therefore you also can't participate in local government.  It would be hard to attend the meetings from out of town anyway.  My best advice to you is to find a likeminded neighbor that doesn't typically vote and get them to go cast a vote.  (With voter ID laws now in effect, you can't actually go vote for them!)  There is a high percentage of "half-backs" or "snowbirds" or people who just live in Haywood perhaps half the year.  Since we don't vote, the least local government can do is keep us in mind as a courtesy.  It would be interesting if local government had an "advisory person" who is one of these part-time residency people that could be a part of the action without actually having any (inappropriate) authority.  My property was abandoned for years before I bought it, invested in it, and now bring my family there often to spend in the local economy while looking for that special retirement home one day.  I have a mortgage outside of Haywood that is the only thing keeping my primary residence elsewhere.



Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Apr 25, 2014 09:58

                 No one could legally vote for another person. Ever! That is voter fraud.

                  Nor does any person have a right of representation other than in their stated district of residency. To do so is also voter fraud.

                   You do have rights you inherited from your "creator" that are inalienable and go with you wherever you go, as quite well enscribed in OUR Constitutions and quite well defined in the 14th amendment.

 

          Mr. Lilly,

 

           There are a large number of "abandoned" properties that need attention. Many have a house/blds that could be saved with effort. We have looked into it and unfortunetly, most are owned by parties not interested in doing anything whatsoever. Several parties were not even willing to talk about sale and or rescue of house. I hate seeing old homes just rot away when they could be used to someone's advantage.

                This is a county wide problem that could be addressed.

 

                 C.Z.

 

                C.Z.



Posted by: Grass Roots WNC | Apr 28, 2014 23:18

Ms. Bridges, the discussion came up last year amidst the changes made to voter registration - because some college kids were allowed to 'declare' where they lived while many property owners were 'fixed' to the location where they 'lay their head' according to a very old law. It seemed like a good argument to say that a tax payer might be allowed to 'declare' (only one location as) their legal voting residence. Even if that location was not where they lay their head at night. But they did not entertain that change in the NC General Assembly last year.

It would allow more people to serve in the municipality where they invest.



Posted by: Scott Lilly | Apr 29, 2014 10:42

(Mr. or Ms. ?) "Grass Roots" -- A very interesting concept using college kids as the precedent.  It makes sense.  I wonder:

1) Would the mortgage companies pick up on that and change the rules so that instead of "primary residence" they change to "where you are registered to vote"?

2) How would families with children work in selecting the school for their kids?  Home?  Or home-away-from-home?

3) How would it be excluded for businesses?  If you live outside of town but have a business (or part of a business) in town, does the logic break down?

 

Town-to-town within NC between primary and secondary residence, I'll bet this is easier to consider than state-to-state or property that is not a residence.



Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Apr 30, 2014 09:23

               Primary place of residence is the key. Primarily college kids spend their time where they reside. Regardless, it is a choice if there are more than one residence. Most vote where they reside. There is no evidence of any widespread voter fraud whereby a voter votes in multiple districts nor non and/or improperly registered persons voting illegally on purpose. Except for the republican woman in Colorado who did so to prove how easy it was. Most certainly it is. But! there is a large price to be paid if any such thing occurs. And! The overwhelming majority of US are not criminally engaged in voter fraud whatsoever. And the very few that are are criminally prosecuted for a federal violation like that republican woman from Colorado. Who would risk that just to express their opinion in representation?

    Irregardless, this does not disallow anyone from exercising their Constitutionally protected Natural right to engage their govt. whether local, state or federal.

 

           C.Z.

 

                   C.Z.



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