Jan
23

The NCGA Regrets To Inform You…

By

Republicans will regret merging water system, MSD, writes Steve Rasmussen in the new Mountain Xpress.

If Reps. Tim Moffitt, Chuck McGrady and the NC General Assembly succeed in expropriating Asheville’s water system, the mandated merger with MSD will lead to more urban sprawl, Rasmussen predicts, once control of water and sewer line extension is in the hands of a regional authority. The move will spawn a political arms race on a new battlefield for developers and smart growth supporters. Rasmussen writes,

Crowded, contentious public hearings will routinely overflow MSD’s meeting room. Green activists will accuse board members of rubber-stamping applications from greedy out-of-state developers; tea party activists will claim the board is conspiring with the U.N. to impose Agenda 21. Brutal political machinations will ensue, fueled by costly fundraising campaigns to elect city council members, town aldermen and county commissioners who’ll make the board appointments each side wants. In comparison, the intergovernmental bickering that tore apart our Regional Water Agency a decade ago will look like a backyard pool party.

Messrs. Moffitt and McGrady send their regrets.


Comments

  1. Doug Gibson says:

    I don’t know that they’ll regret the merger on this basis. In fact, I think having angry citizens coming up against an unelected and unaccountable board is actually what this is all about. It would work a lot like the regional transportation council that’s supposed to be making decisions about I-240. Yes, the connector will drive up to 10 lanes through West Asheville, but if you live in Hendersonville (or Waynesville, which also has representation), you probably don’t care as long as people keep moving.

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  2. Yesterday, the North Carolina League of Municipalities chose their #1 Advocacy Goal for 2013:

    “Oppose legislation that weakens or removes local control over public utility systems, specifically including municipal water and/or sewer systems.”

    http://www.nclm.org/SiteCollectionDocuments/Legislative/2013-01-25%20FINAL%20ADVOCACY%20GOALS.pdf

    Sign the petition, read the League Resolution against the Forced Transfer of Municipal-Owned Water Systems, and learn more at:

    http://SaveOurWaterWNC.com/

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  3. TJ says:

    Barry:

    Done and done!

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  4. Doug Gibson says:

    Honestly, the only hope I have in all this is that Pat McCrory, having been a mayor, is more likely than not to listen to the League of Municipalities. But Mecklenburg’s water system has been regionalized for a while now, so I’m not sure that’s going to help.

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  5. The difference being that Charlotte-Mecklenberg Utilities is controlled by the City of Charlotte.

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  6. Doug Gibson says:

    Really? I didn’t know that. So maybe there’s hope there after all. From a historical perspective, this is a pretty fascinating moment, and it could be a watershed: does McCrory side with his rural base or with the growing urban centers? Unlike the legislature, he has to get a majority across the entire state.

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  7. Gordon Smith says:

    Meanwhile, in Wake County:

    State Rep. Paul Stam of Apex, House Speaker pro tempore, said Wednesday that he expects the GOP-led legislature to pass new laws that would allow the Wake County Board of Commissioners to take over ownership of schools from the Board of Education and to require that some Wake school board seats be elected on a countywide basis.

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