“It’s more like somebody casing a bank.”By
Sen. Martin Nesbitt (Dem) spoke at the end of the League of Women Voters forum in Asheville about the fate of Asheville’s water system on March 13, 2012.
The “Dr. Mumpower” Nesbitt refers to is former Asheville city councilman and former NC-11 congressional candidate, Carl Mumpower, a Republican. The “Chuck” that Nesbitt addresses is Rep. Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson), representing a House committee Rep. Tim Moffitt (R-Buncombe) set up to study whether or not the state should transfer control of the $177 million water system from the city of Asheville to a new regional commission controlled by the state. That would be the one in House Bill 488 introduced this week by Moffitt, McGrady and freshman Rep. Nathan Ramsey (R-Buncombe). Everyone opposing the deal knew the “study” was kabuki theater.
Since then, the city of Asheville was threatened for daring to put the transfer to a vote of the people in a nonbinding referendum. (Voters said no to the transfer by over 85 percent.) Nearly 50 North Carolina cities and towns from Murphy to Manteo saw the handwriting on the wall. They all passed a resolution by the nonpartisan League of Municipalities opposing the “forced taking” of municipal infrastructure.
Since then, state legislators – including players from the original water study committee – sponsored bills for the forced transfer of the Asheville Regional Airport from the city of Asheville, Charlotte-Douglas Airport from the city of Charlotte (citing the Asheville transfer as precedent), and the Dorthea Dix property from the city of Raleigh.
Matthews Republican, Rep. Bill Brawley, a principal sponsor of the Charlotte airport bill, explains why Republican leaders feel they must take control from locally elected officials, “We are changing the management of publicly owned assets from people who use them for the benefit of a few to protect the rights of the many.”
You may now replay the Nesbitt video above.
Slamming North Carolina’s cities, Brawley continued, “They want to have the right to do whatever they want. ‘Arrogant’ is a word I would use.”
Since last year, resident along I-77 north of Charlotte have opposed Brawley’s plan to install High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes to I-77 north of downtown Charlotte. The all-Republican Iredell County Board of Commissioners voted to oppose him.
(Cross-posted from BlueNC.)