Majority should not deny minority right to propose resolutions

Published 6:07 pm Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Democratic members of the Polk County Board of Commissioners were wrong to remove from the agenda Monday, April 2 a resolution proposed by Tom Pack in favor of a marriage amendment to the State of North Carolina’s constitution.
We understand the resolution proposed by the Republican commissioners stated that the board of commissioners supported both citizens’ rights to vote on the issue and the state’s amendment as a whole. Because the resolution was proposed a month before a Democratic commissioner primary, some could argue the move was political, and that’s unfortunate.
This understandably created conflict for those commissioners who believe voters should have a say in the issue but who may disagree with the amendment itself and/or that the commission should vote on such an amendment in the first place.
As far as we are concerned, the county should not support such an amendment and we’ll explain why a bit later. What also concerns us, however, is the Democrats’ move to strike the agenda item. To us, this essentially says the majority of the board has the power to strip the minority’s right to bring up issues they feel are important to constituents within Polk County. If a commissioner thinks the county should vote on a proposal of any kind, they have the right to put the item on the agenda and hold a vote.
If the Democrats had a problem with the resolution proposed, we believe there were ways they could have attempted to either vote against the resolution itself or amend the resolution as proposed.
The state is giving voters the right May 8 to make a choice as to whether marriage should be defined as solely between a man and a woman. A statewide vote is the only proper way for such a decision to be made. We believe it would be imprudent for the county board of commissioners to represent Polk County as being in support of the amendment. Not all of your constituents are for the amendment and not all are against.
The Tryon Daily Bulletin staff neither endorses nor decries the marriage amendment proposed to the constitution of the State of North Carolina. Our staff members fall on both sides of the debate, just as many Polk County residents do, and we choose to respect all of our employees’ viewpoints and beliefs.
— Editorial staff, Tryon Daily Bulletin