News Reviews issues star ratings of one (for an unfavorable assessment) through five (for a great assessment) on select issues in Haywood County.
Lake Junaluska 5K
Lake Junaluska is such an asset to Haywood County and chances are a majority of county residents have been able to benefit from its amenities — the walking trail for exercise, the pool, a church service or other event at Stuart Auditorium or the Bethea Welcome Center for a community meeting. But unless you live at Lake Junaluska, you’re probably not contributing to keeping those valuable resources.
That being said, kudos to Ed Green and other Friends of the Lake for organizing the annual 5K to raise money to maintain the grounds we all enjoy. While many of use the lake as a public park, no tax dollars go into the maintenance, which runs up to $400,000 each year. We encourage everyone to show their appreciation for the lake by signing up to participate in the 5k on April 19. Registration costs $25 — a small price to pay for all the lake provides for the community. Or, perhaps running just isn’t your thing. Donations are thankfully accepted.
Let’s move to consider solutions
It’s always good to see people from different political parties come together in an effort to solve problems. Anytime we can find common ground to work forward from, we should do so. That’s why the idea behind the non-incumbent candidate meeting should be commended.
The issues covered, however, were narrowly framed and and short on solutions. Additionally, some of the information presented was downright incorrect, and other stances were ill-thought out.
Serving as a leader in Haywood County means you serve all the people and will be responsible for issues beyond private property rights, tax cuts and debt.
For candidates focusing on tax cuts and debt reductions, the broader picture of what will be eliminated needs to be addressed. Let’s hope these answers emerge during future meetings.
Police seize sweepstakes machines
Local law enforcement recently seized 34 gaming machines from local sweepstakes parlors in the county. We understand that law enforcement can’t be selective in the laws they enforce, which is why it is important for the law to be re-examined. Right now, these machines are being dealt with on a case-by-case basis, which means a judge could potentially say these particular gaming machines are legal. If that turns out to be the case, we are wasting our valuable resources (officers, detectives, time and money) to haul off and store these machines whenever they pop up all over the county. We encourage legislators to make the language of the law more black or white when it comes to video game gambling. Otherwise, our officers will have to continue to use resources to battle sweepstakes instead of other pressing community problems.