Political notebook: Foxx meets with Edds during congressional recess
With Congress on an August recess, U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-5, on Thursday met with County Commissioners Chairman Greg Edds to discuss ongoing projects and funding needs in Rowan.
Among the topics discussed were education, a runway extension at the Rowan County Airport and various economic development projects across the area, according to Foxx.
“During this August recess, I’m trying to do things I normally don’t have the chance to do,” Foxx said. “It’s important to keep up, in general, with what is going on in my district and be cognizant of the planning that’s going on locally.”
The meeting likely won’t immediately mean any increase in funding for Rowan County projects. Years ago, earmarks were banned following criticism that they were being used for unnecessary, pet projects.
Foxx, however, suggested she could be an advocate for Rowan’s projects.
“She certainly has the ear of the (Federal Aviation Administration) and can get us an audience of organizations that might be able to help,” Edds said, referencing Rowan’s Airport extension project.
Engineers have completed much of the paperwork for the runway extension, but funding still hasn’t been finalized.
Foxx said she plans to visit with other elected officials and local leaders during the August recess.
Registered voters up slightly for two municipal races
Only one municipality in Rowan County will have a significantly larger voter base in 2015 elections than 2013.
Statistics provided by the Rowan County Board of Elections show only Salisbury as having a larger voter base in 2015 than 2013. In Salisbury, 20,777 people are eligible to vote in the 2015 city council race. That’s up 30 people from the 2013 elections and a few hundred over the 2011 elections.
Other municipalities, with the exception of Cleveland, are losing voters. Board of Elections records show one more voter had registered as of this week when compared to 2013. Cleveland’s total number of registered voters for the 2015 elections is 564, according to elections records.
China Grove’s voting precinct is the largest, excluding Salisbury, in Rowan County. A total of 2,415 voters will be eligible to participate in China Grove’s municipal races, but that’s 34 less people than the number that were registered in 2013.
City council races aren’t partisan, but an unavoidable statistics about Salisbury’s registered voters is party affiliation. Salisbury is overwhelmingly a Democratic city. Democrats represent the largest single portion of the voter base in all but one precinct. In that precinct — Franklin — only 16 people are eligible to vote. A plurality of voters are registered Republican in the Franklin precinct.
In several Salisbury precincts, registered Democrats represent hundreds more voters than Republicans. The overwhelming majority is most noticeable in the West Ward Three precinct, where there are 1,882 Democrats and 73 Republicans. A total of 479 people are registered unaffiliated in the precinct, which starts on South Ellis Street near downtown and ends just behind the former Salisbury Mall.
Spencer is a similar case to Salisbury, with 985 Democrats and 521 Republicans.
Most other precincts have more Democrats than Republicans.
McCrory signs 26 bills into law
Gov. Pat McCrory this week signed a total of 26 bills into law.
The bills apply to a number of different topics and have various effective dates. McCrory’s long list of signed bills includes:
• House Bill 134, which exempts minors from prosecution for solicitation of prostitution in the same manner they are currently exempt from the charge of prostitution.
• House Bill 553, which prohibits cities and counties from adopting ordinances regulating standard of care for farm animals.
• House Bill 774, which authorizes medical professionals other than a physician to monitor lethal injection for death penalty executions and clarifies that matters relating to executions are not subject to rulemaking.
• Senate Bill 192, which allows domestic violence protective orders, civil no-contact orders, and involuntary commitment orders to be transmitted by electronic and facsimile transmission.
• Senate Bill 345, which limits the period of time a vehicle can be impounded after a collision to 20 days unless a court order provides otherwise.
Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.