Transparency, inclusion vital for good county government
Just a few months ago the John Locke Foundation recognized Rowan County government as being one of the most transparent government entities in the state. Transparency is a critical ingredient in the recipe for good government. When conducting the business of the public, whether a minor issue or a major issue, we must continue to conduct ourselves as a County Commission in a transparent manner. This means our business must be conducted in the sunshine in front of the public and media with advance public notice. I will not support anything else.
Inclusion is also a critical ingredient to the recipe for good government. When all stakeholders are at the table and have the ability to participate in a meeting, better decisions are made. When the public comes to our meetings and shares their opinions, we as a County Commission make better decisions. When conducting the business of the public, whether a minor or major issue, we must continue to conduct ourselves as a County Commission in an inclusive manner. I will not support anything else.
I want to thank everyone who came to the public hearing and shared their opinion on the school central office. From the Salisbury business owner, to the school employee subject to these conditions, to the average Joe … each of your comments was valued by me and helps me and the other commissioners make a more informed decision.
Any meeting on the central office will have advance notice so the public can attend. Media will be invited. If there is a joint meeting on the central office, it will include participation by all stakeholders including the Salisbury City Council who have expended funds on this project. As a county commissioner, I require this of our county government.
I will advocate for continued transparency and inclusion in county government. Both are vital ingredients in the recipe for good government.
— Jon S. Barber
Jon Barber serves on the Rowan County Board of Commissioners.
A three-ring circus
I could hardly believe what I read on the front page of today’s (12/4/12) Salisbury Post. Top story was the selection of Jim Sides as the newly elected chairman for the Rowan County Board of Commissioners; this came as no surprise. However, I was stunned that Craig Pierce, one of the new kids on the board, was chosen as vice chairman. I wasn’t even bothered by that news too much — until I read the story at the bottom of Page 1 of the same newspaper — “Commissioners delay central office vote” — and saw that the motion was made by Mr. Pierce, with the other new kid on the board seconding the motion…delay, delay, delay. How much longer will this decision be postponed? A significant amount of money has already been spent while trying to decide what type structure and where it should be built — all the while, dragging this project along for years. At long last, I thought South Main Street was the final destination for the new Rowan-Salisbury Schools central office, but now that seems not to be the case — no closure to this matter.
Even more interesting, and also on the front page of today’s Salisbury Post, was the photograph of the removal of fuel equipment and storage tanks from the South Main Street site. It would seem to me that this excavating would not take place until a final decision has been made by the Board of Commissioners, with the input of the new school board.
These three articles (with conflicting information) all appear on the same page of our local newspaper and, therefore, further confuses the Rowan County citizens about the future of ever having a new Administrative Office. What are the taxpayers in Rowan to make of this “three-ring-circus act”? It resembles what is currently going on in Washington, D.C., with no decisions being made. Time is wasting, and also funds, while our elected officials bicker and stall any progress on this project. Get crackin’ and provide some solutions. This closure would be a welcome Christmas gift to the folks in Rowan from those in boardroom offices. I feel as though I am expressing the opinions of many others by forwarding this letter to you.
— Sandra Cody
Our congressional ‘royalty’
The political landscape has not changed since the recent presidential election. Congressional royalty, buttressed by legions of self-serving minions, maintain their standards of self-interest despite impending danger to the realm. Contrary to aspirations engendered by the Magna Carta in 1215 and centuries of royal proclamations evolving to a broad franchise, nobility remains in control of our government under the guise of the “democratic process”.
Whether one believes in Beards Economic Origins of the American Revolution or the idealistic approach of Jefferson, the U.S. Constitution has been hijacked by interests opposed to “the people’s business.” The hopes of the Declaration of Independence succumbed to practical and unregulated desires and demands of those desirous of maintaining lifelong tenure.
We, the people, must make the 535 “court” members residing in Washington responsible and subject to the will of the citizenry, who should not be treated as subjects devoid of legal and constitutional rights. While a legal opportunity exists through the vote, the possibility and probability of the aforementioned leaving the Capital after a term or two is unrealistic. An attempt to limit baronial and royal privilege has been discussed in the Congressional Reform Act of 2012, listing the objections of the American people to their abuses, but has gone nowhere.
One wonders why Congress amended the Constitution to allow the president only two terms. He/she will view one’s actions through the prism of how to win a second term. A suggestion: if a president had one six-year term without the opportunity of re-election, would the president have the needed leverage to look after the nation and not fear the multitude of sins President Washington saw in Hamilton and Jefferson?
If we refused to re-elect congressmen or senators, they would be independent of political and economic interests so corrosive to a nation enduring the trauma of a fiscal crisis. Since the royalty will not voluntarily surrender their privileges and it is virtually impossible to compel term limits, Americans must take control of both parties. If not …
— Arthur Steinberg