Commissioner: Why I voted ‘Nay’

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, May 23, 2018

A primary concern I have as a Polk County commissioner is making sure that we are, at all times, providing proper funding for fire, EMS and law enforcement protection to the citizens of our county.

Now we are also being faced with providing ever increasing emergency protection services to Tryon International Equestrian Center, a high impact commercial event center.

On April 16, I voted against the irrevocable “20 Year Development Agreement” between TIEC and Polk County for several reasons. A primary reason for my “Nay” vote was that, in my opinion, there were not proper safeguards included to make sure that taxpayers in our county would not face future tax increases (in property and/or fire districts) to ensure the necessary levels of funding for the emergency services needed at the high impact, for profit, commercial facility of TIEC.

Even though I regret that I was unable to convince my fellow commissioners to delay the vote for approval until all the loose ends were tied up, I can guarantee the citizens of Polk that your interests will always be first and foremost. Therefore, I will never vote to approve any property or fire district tax increases that are being triggered by the demands of TIEC.

As always, I am available for further discussion on this or any issue related to Polk County. The most effective way to contact me is on my cell, 828-230-1278.

Ray Gasperson, Polk County commissioner