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Moore County Commissioners At Odds Over New Voting Law

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PINEHURST, N.C. — A new state law has created a dispute among Moore County commissioners.

When county commissioners meet next month, no votes can be taken without four of the five members present. The new law applies only to Moore County and expires when the new board takes office in December.

Michael Holden and Colin McKenzie sought a state law to keep a lame-duck commission from making decisions with a simple majority vote.

"If everyone is so excited about this, what exactly were they planning to do because we didn't do anything. We just said you can't do something unless you involve us in the decision," he said.

Rep. Richard Morgan, R-Moore, sponsored the bill at the request of Holden and McKenzie.

"Actually, I stand by the legislation. It seems like it was the right thing to do," Morgan said.

Sen. Ellie Kinnaird, who represents Moore County, said she was unaware of the politics and controversy surrounding the issue.

"I am really sad because I still do represent Moore County and it is unfortunate and I greatly regret that it happened," Kinnaird said.

Chairman Paul Helms lost his re-election bid in September. He was the only county commissioner to not be re-elected. Fellow Commissioner David Cummings thinks the state law is ridiculous.

"Chairman Helms has served this county well for 16 years and for them to think that we, as a group, may do something that would be detrimental to the county in the last two months in office is ridiculous," Cummings said.

Helms said the only item remaining on his agenda is the half-cent local sales tax option, which Holden and McKenzie oppose as well as Morgan.

"I have not heard from anybody in Moore County. Of course, the reason I didn't hear now that I found out and did some investigation is that there was no public discussion, no debate. [It was] not openly announced until after it was done," Kinnaird said.

The new Moore County Board of Commissioners takes office Dec. 2.


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