Throwing money down the drain

Published 6:23 pm Friday, January 24, 2014

To the editor:
We appreciate the Tryon Daily Bulletin article on the status of combining the county’s ordinances into the Unified Development Ordinance (aka UDO) that was debated during the last election.
Per the Bulletin article, commissioner Tom Pack said that the voters chose the action of stopping the UDO, by their having elected them.  Commissioners Pack and Owens had approved spending $74,167.75 in county tax dollars for the UDO before they used it as their election platform by misrepresenting it to voters as a grab of property rights in taking fellow commissioners’ words and stances out of true context without telling voters that the $74,167.75 would be thrown down the drain.
Dale Holland, the county’s consultant for the visioning plan explained at a commissioner meeting that the visioning process would ultimately result in a set of ordinances that puts the visioning process into effect so commissioners Pack and Owens knew that without the last step of the UDO, there would be no point in going through the visioning process.
The money they had voted to use included both the visioning plan and the UDO and they attended some UDO planning meetings as well as participated in the actual UDO creation.
Commissioners and planning boards have worked on having a Mountain Ridge Protection Ordinance, MRPO and UDO and over 74 thousand tax dollars have already been spent, yet the county still needs to protect the slopes. When they rescinded the slope ordinance they left absolutely nothing in place.
The ramification of this with roads, streams, property values, taxes, fire safety issues, and wildlife altogether is more than loss of aesthetic value.  Damage to these mountains due to irresponsible land governing may have unintended consequences that robs future generations of enjoying this asset without costly repairs, if restoration is even possible.
Can we have respect for our local government if they show disrespect to former commissioners and the public by making misrepresentations and omissions of truth their primary basis for obtaining Commissioner seats?  Can we afford to throw $74,167.75 down the drain?
– Ted and Julie Perkins, Tryon

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