Editorial: Local legislators must focus on growth, opportunity, not micro-managing local government
Posted November 4, 2016
A CBC Editorial: Friday, Nov. 4, 2016; Editorial# 8077
The following is the opinion of Capitol Broadcasting
The Triangle NEEDS representatives in the General Assembly who are interested in the people that elected them. Public schools, higher education, infrastructure improvements, dealing with a huge growth rate, supporting the research environment and enhancing the quality of life for everyone should be their focus.
The area DOES NOT NEED legislators obsessed with dictating to the county commissions, school boards, city and town councils in the area. Nor does it need lawmakers who want to impose their own rigid social and behavioral agendas on the rest of us.
The crowd in the legislature that passed HB2, slashed taxes on the rich and shifted the burden to the middle class has had their unfettered way for the last six years. Their paternalistic, trickle down policies have hurt the overwhelming majority of hard-working North Carolinians. Our state is treading water and is no longer an engine of opportunity.
As we’ve seen most recently with the Costar Group’s decision to take 730 jobs to Virginia -- and not North Carolina, our misguided social-engineering legislature comes at a high price. Even though the state offered CoStar millions more than Virginia in tax breaks and other incentives, HB2 was a deal breaker. The state and Gov. McCrory have even become the subject of sarcastic ridicule in Virginia.
North Carolina’s brand is broken and the Triangle is paying more than its share of the price. You would think that this area’s legislators would fight back, but that simply has not been the case.
Incumbent state Sens. Chad Barefoot, Tamara Barrington and John Alexander along with Reps. Chris Malone, Nelson Dollar, Marilyn Avila and Gary Pendleton seem to think they were elected to the Raleigh City Council, the Wake County Commission or the Wake School Board. They spend more time micro-managing local governments than helping them. Not to mention all their actions have resulted in needless and expensive litigation (particularly dictating county commission and school board districts), confused citizens and local officials and have distracted from focusing on the very real needs Triangle communities must confront.
For those who may not think the need is urgent, consider this:
- Wake and Durham counties are among the nation’s 100 fastest growing
- Every day, Wake County adds 62 more people to the population – 22,630 a year. That’s equal to emptying out the entire population of Kinston every year and moving them to Wake County.
These newcomers need jobs, schools, parks, housing, basic utilities and public safety services. And yes, they need the kind of quality of life that comes with thriving metropolitan areas.
The needless meddling needs to stop. Elect legislators that will support the Triangle.