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Letters to the editor – Monday (7-14-08)

Columnist lacks a clear view of faith, Constitution
Reg Henry showed a lack of depth and understanding in his July 10 column titled “Mr. Obama, rebuild this wall!”
He admits that his family had a confused spiritual base; I agree. A person who has a strong faith operates according to the world view taught by that faith. A person who has a weak faith is not anchored by any particular world view and therefore will waver and respond unpredictably when faced with various situations. This is why it is important for voters to try to understand by what faith (i.e. world view) a potential leader will be influenced when making decisions.
Mr. Henry further showed a lack of understanding regarding the supposed “wall of separation” between church and state. No such “wall” was intended by our nation’s founders. This was a casual reference in a personal letter written to a friend by Thomas Jefferson ó the phrase is not found or implied in our Constitution; however many of those seeking to “change” the basis on which our country was founded have picked upon this phrase to advance their own agenda.
Mr. Henry’s lack of understanding reflects the lack of understanding exhibited by many Obama supporters. When choosing a leader for our nation, I believe we should do all we can to understand what world view (or lack thereof) influences that person so that we can better understand how that leader may react when important decisions need to be made. Please do your research and vote responsibly!
ó Jackie Shaw
Salisbury
Land-use plan is waste of tax funds
I have been reading with great surprise the latest forward progress of the county land-use plan.
With countywide zoning, who needs it? It’s a waste. Just tighten the zoning rules and make amendments where needed, and you don’t have to waste taxpayer money on this useless document.
I didn’t give it much thought until I received my latest state Ag Review online and read where the LandTrust for Central North Carolina gets some of its money and where it spends it. It has all come clear to me now. You get on a committee, toot your horn and say let’s save my farmland, and the money falls to you from the state. By my standards, they call that a conflict of interest, but that seems to run like a raging river in this county. Shame on the Rollans farm for collecting $135,271 (through a state farmland preservation grant to the LandTrust) so you can keep growing hay. Knox farm, shame on you for the $25,000 just to have a lawyer draw up some documents. If that lawyer has anything to do with the county, shame on him, too. Why didn’t you use some of that $370,000 you got back in 2004?
I don’t see how you guys sleep at night taking taxpayers’ money for something you should be able to afford without it. In any other business, if you can’t afford to stay in business then you have to go out and find something else. And the Starnes farm, $367,000 to you, also?
I just wish more citizens would watch where our dollars go and stand up and say enough is enough. Land preservation is needed, but subsidizing someone for going into his own chosen profession is wrong. OK, new county manager and our new county commissioners after election time, I want a decrease in my county taxes.
ó Rick Morris
Salisbury
Nothing poetic about annexation
Wish that I were William Shakespeare and could write so eloquently as to bring happiness to the eyes of the readers even if I can’t change certain hearts in their quest for more money. It’s been battered around by many a writer, but the bottom line is, forced annexation is about money. It’s not done by evil people, nor are these people feeling their oats on some kind of power rush.It’s about money and money alone. If they annex, then they have more money to help keep their own taxes lower. If they don’t annex, then their own taxes will increase. Simple as that.
People on fixed income living in the county cannot annex people into their communities to get more money to pay these taxes and pay for these services they don’t need. Do the math, as I have done. If you’re on a fixed income and are annexed, you are most likely going to lose one out of 12 months of income to the costs of living in the city. Not to mention with having to come up with several thousand dollars to hook up to the sewage system.
Here’s a challenge to city councils across the state. Go ahead with your annex. But instead of informal meetings, go to each person’s door and sit down with them and look at their budgets and discuss it with them. Look at the fear in their eyes and hear the tears in their voices.
Meet that soldier who just got back from Iraq and tell him he has no vote on this. Talk to that young couple who just had a baby and tell them that now with their new taxes they will have to move, or because they cannot sell the home, dump it on the bank. Look in the news. Does this sound familiar?
To annex or not to forcibly annex should not be the question in any world.
ó Michael Savicki
Lexington
Why not follow these examples?
Both Salisbury, Md., and Salisbury, England, start with a core strategy plan, which regulates and guides development, balancing the protection of the districts’ environment and heritage with the needs of the residents. Neither forcibly annex their neighbors’ land.
In Salisbury, Md., one of the states which has learned that it need not use force in order to annex and grow, a petition for annexation is filed with the city. For a major annexation to begin, an annexation agreement is negotiated between the property owner and the governing body of the municipality. There is a fee schedule for annexation requests, depending upon the size of the area to be annexed, which is paid to the city at the time that the annexation petition is filed.
In Salisbury, Md., the annexation procedures and principles state that “Annexation is a city building event. … .It is worth noting that cities and towns do not typically pursue annexation. … Instead, cities and towns … respond and react to annexation petitions/ requests from property owners.”
On the rare occasions when the city does proactively seek to annex property, principled negotiation is used, which includes multi-party discussions and agreements. The city must obtain consent from the owners of not less than 25 percent of the assessed value of real property in the area and from 25 percent of the people who both reside and are registered to vote in the area to be annexed.
Forty-five other U.S. states have similar policies.
Why not North Carolina?
Why not Salisbury, N.C.?
ó Marie Howell
Salisbury (unincorporated Rowan County)

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