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Letters to the editor — Thursday (5-22-14)

Compassionate leadership needed
I was at the public hearing at the County Commissioners’ meeting last night but did not have an opportunity to speak. I would like to add my two cents here.
In my work with horses I often discuss the importance of leadership and teamwork. The horse herd functions as a fluid unit, and leadership is determined by the ability to produce positive outcomes. In the herd, the leader does not benefit at the expense of others, but rather takes more responsibility to provide for the well being of the entire herd.
Our county leadership could use some of this philosophy. Last night I was appalled when Craig Pierce said that he had heard from “those people” enough. The agenda was set and the voice of the people was an inconvenience. His tone and language were degrading, far from the compassionate leadership that is to me an ideal.
I do not know what is best to do with the West End Plaza. I remember when that mall was built. My friends and I spent many hours at that shopping mecca, going to movies at the Salisbury Mall Cinemas, followed by burgers and shakes at McDonalds. I hope that something can be done with the space that will be of benefit to the community.
The way the commissioners handled the purchase of the mall is reprehensible, but you can’t unscramble an egg. I do hope that the current leadership will allow the future leadership to make decisions as to the best use of the space. I have lost my trust in the County Board of Commissioners, with the exception of Jon Barber. I do not feel that the majority of them have the best interest of the people in their hearts, but that they have an agenda of their own and will bulldoze forward if allowed.
— Stacey Carter
Rowan County

Unable to speak
Seventy-three Rowan County citizens signed up to speak against the county’s Local Government Commission debt application. I was one of them and, since I’m not going to be able to share my point of view with the commissioners, I thought this might be a better way. Nine citizens signed up to speak in favor of the application.
The Tea Party Team limited the public hearing to five citizens who will speak against and five citizens who will speak in favor. Unlike before when it comes to issues such as prayer — “as many of you can sign up to speak, we’ll be here all night if we have to,” to paraphrase Chairman Sides.
One of those five in favor was commission candidate Greg Edds; candidate Richard Locklear was opposed. Mr. Locklear spoke in the public comment and not in the LCG Public Hearing section.
Our county paid too much for the Salisbury Mall out of its fund balance and that money must be replaced or the county reserve funds will drop below the level required by state law. Such a negative downgrading might jeopardize school construction projects. So that’s it — are you going to hold the school projects hostage so you can continue with your pet project: The Mall?
The Joint Planning Committee has started its meetings. Commissioner Mike Caskey and school board member Josh Wagner will serve as co-chairs. I will keep the faith and hope that the joint committee between the County Commission and the Board of Education will work out. Although being chaired by two tea partiers, it’s going to be a tough sell.
As Garrison Keillor would say: “When you wage war on the public schools, you’re attacking the mortar that holds the community together. You’re not a conservative, you’re a vandal.”
Someone else is on record tying the Mall spending with school funding, and the voters in the GOP primary decided, overwhelmingly, that he does not represent the interests of county.
— Mark Lyerly
Salisbury

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