Quotes tell the story of 2013

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 31, 2013

“Defendant’s invocation practice has the primary purpose and effect of promoting and advancing one particular faith, Christianity.” — ACLU lawsuit, against Rowan County Board of Commissioners

“We think that it’s not just a matter of principle for this county. It’s a matter of principle for the state of North Carolina, every county in North Carolina and the United States.” — Jim Sides, county commission chairman, on fighting the lawsuit

“There was a dropout prevention program when I was growing up called farming. If you didn’t go to school, that’s what you did.” — Elijah Peterson, inducted into the Livingstone College Leaders Hall of Fame

“I often like to refer to him as the Hood Seminary Moses, because he has brought it from a mighty long way.” — Bishop Richard K. Thompson, Hood Seminary Trustees, on President Albert Aymer’s retirement

“This is not us versus them. This is about economic development.” — Jim Sides, Rowan Commission chair, on de-annexing airport

“It’s about power, and it’s about control. There, I said it.” — Brian Miller, Salisbury City Council, on airport de-annexation

“I will work with anybody. Nobody is going to accuse Paul Woodson of not working with the county commissioners.” — Mayor Paul Woodson, on working with the county on a business incubator
“The sun is not going to raise its prices.” — Philanthopist Fred Stanback, offering to donate $150,000 to install solar panels for a new, downtown school central office

“Bobby felt — me, too — that God had given us this little bit of heaven on earth.” — Margaret Jones, owner, J&M Florist, on how she and her husband regarded their business

“We will continue to clear the remaining hurdles. They cannot be any bigger than the giant crater you saw at South Main.” — Doug Paris, city manager, on site for a downtown school central office

“It’s a heartbreak when you lose something, and you know you’re not going to get it back.” — Brian Davis, Historic Salisbury Foundation, on fire that destroyed Grimes Mill

“Oxyphenbutazone.” — Jill Connery, citing the high-scoring word that helped Trinity Oaks team win Scrabble Scramble

“Either our elected bodies step up to plate to resolve the problems that face our communities or we’ll continue to dig ourselves deeper into a hole that we cannot get out of.” — John Barber, Rowan commissioner, at mediation session over school budget

“You don’t want to go up on taxes but when 911 is called, you want the fire department to be there.” — Fire Chief Clark Mackey, on raising Enochville’s fire tax from 6 cents to 7 cents
“Our town hall is something our citizens can be proud of. … [E]specially with government, sometimes you get what you pay for.” — Lee Withers, town councilman, on China Grove’s new facilities

“I’ve lived in my grandfather’s county. Now it’s time to live in my grandson’s county.” — L.A. Overcash, school board member, at hearing on new central office for the Rowan-Salisbury School System

“Every teacher puts their heart and soul into it. … But the very foundational benefits of being a teacher are being stripped away.” — Ron Turbyfill, educator, on protesting legislature’s actions on education

“We … normally receive full cooperation from parents who want to find their missing children, without involving an attorney.” — Capt. John Sifford, Rowan Sheriff’s Office, on Erica Parsons case

“Honestly I expected a whole lot of nothing, as far as reaction. … Maybe, maybe I’m ignorant, maybe I’m naive, but I didn’t.” — N.C. Rep. Carl Ford, commenting on backlash from the Defense of Religion resolution he sponsored

“If you could get 300,000 square feet of office space for $1.5 million, that would be an unbelievable buy.” — Gary Page, county manager, on minimum bid for Salisbury Mall property

“If one person had given me one valid, logical reason for not purchasing the mall, I would have changed my mind.” — Chad Mitchell, Rowan County commissioner, on voting to buy Salisbury Mall for $3.425 million

“Good to meet you all. We out.” Justin Bieber, after photo shoot at N.C. Transportation Museum
“We can’t let three people in Rowan County tell us what to do.” — John Castor, Christian, on plaintiffs in lawsuit that seeks to stop commissioners’ sectarian prayers during official meetings

“I would prefer that the federal government spend a little more money working on the economy and illegal immigration instead of pandering over these frivolous lawsuits on voter rights.” — N.C. Rep. Harry Warren, R-Rowan, on U.S. Justice Department’s suit over new voter ID law

“We’re putting in $3.5 million into your economy over the next 10 years above anything you give us. We’re not asking that you give us a free ride.” — Chuck Ward, Gildan Yarns president, to Rowan County commissioners

“I truly appreciate Commissioner (Craig) Pierce’s elevating this issue for consideration and possible solution.” — School Board Chairman Richard Miller, on county commissioner offering list of potential sites for school central office

“I would say this to you, Mr. City Manager. When you become a county commissioner, you can have that decision. But until then, it’s none of your damn business.” — Craig Pierce, vice chair, Rowan County Board of Commissioners, to Doug Paris at a Rowan County GOP Men’s Breakfast

“There’s absolutely no doubt that teacher compensation needs to be improved, but … many positive changes are being made in public education that are not being communicated effectively …” — N.C. Rep. Harry Warren, R-Rowan, touring West Rowan High during walk-in day

“God only gives special children to special people.” — Anonymous stranger, who paid the restaurant tab as Ashley and Jason England were having dinner with sons Logan and Riley, who has epilepsy

“I don’t know what your experience has been with public schools, but teachers don’t throw away a lot.” — Kay Wright Norman, Rowan-Salisbury School Board, on school materials found in county recycling center

“We believe America is a great place to come, but other cultures coming to America have greatness in them.” — Liliana Spears, Speaking at Meet Your Neighbor Forum on race relations

“While I appreciate your perspective on this issue, I am a little concerned that you persist on giving advice when it is not solicited.” — Jim Sides, chairman, Rowan County Board of Commissioners, responding to inspection chief Pete Bogle’s email about advantages of the downtown central office site

“Bad things always seem to happen to good people.” — Alan Moon, on shooting of friend and neighbor Marcus Kauffman during home robbery

“The only thing short with me is my height.” — Mary Ponds, promising to be an energetic alderman, after 14 years as Granite Quarry mayor

The good guys always had white horses.” — Tzena Wicker, daughter, on the horse-drawn hearse at Charles Rufty’s funeral

“… You don’t get what you wish for but what you work for.” — James Taylor, RowanWorks board, on economic development efforts