Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Commissioner Honeycutt, Pushing Phoniness to New Heights

County Commission candidate Keith Honeycutt has a new website up, and we didn't have to read past the second paragraph to find ... let's be charitable and call them misrepresentations:

1. Mr. Honeycutt writes, "I have helped develop a comprehensive plan for all areas of growth and development."

FACT: No such "comprehensive plan" exists, so far as the county's Planning and Inspections Department is concerned. As we've been advocating for comprehensive planning in Watauga County since a Maymead asphalt plant on the New River threatened established neighborhoods back in 1997, we've met with nothing but scorn and anti-zoning rhetoric from Mr. Honeycutt. If there's a comprehensive plan that Mr. Honeycutt worked on, we'd ask him to produce it for public inspection.

2. Mr. Honeycutt writes, "I have been working closely with the school board to develop plans for a new Watauga High School."

FACT: Though Mr. Honeycutt did serve as one of two County Commissioners on the taskforce charged with developing a plan for a new high school, his "support" for education has been empty. Over the course of the last four years he has managed either to vote against increased school funding OR he simply played hooky.

In 2005, he voted against the budget which contained the 4.5 cent tax increase dedicated to raising a cash reserve for a new high school. He piously said at the time that he supported education; he just couldn't bring himself to actually DO anything concrete for education. Talk's cheap. In Mr. Honeycutt's case, it's also way easier.

In 2003, Honeycutt joined such education visionaries as James Coffey, Allen Trivette, and David Blust in voting for a stupid 2-cent TAX REDUCTION measure, which ended up hurting disproportionately the school system and the sheriff's office. At the public hearing on this proposed budget in May 2003, at least one citizen offered a personal check for $32, which he calculated to be his tax saving under the proposed budget, and requested that it be given to the school system since the commissioners were cutting the school budget for THEIR STUPID 2-CENT TAX CUT. School Board Chair Andy Reese spoke about the "impasse" between the school board and the county commissioners over school funding. And there sat Honeycutt, scarcely the model of cooperation with the school board he now claims to be. (Watauga Democrat, 21 May 2003, p. 1 ... we're reduced to citing sources this way, since the Watauga Democrat's on-line search engine is sooo weak.)

This year, on the most crucial budget vote of all -- as far as a new high school is concerned -- what does Mr. Honeycutt do? He skips the meeting. Bails out. Doesn't bother to show up. Why? Because to vote for school funding in the 2006 budget will get his right-wing masters mad at him. Now he's claiming support for the new high school when he's NEVER LIFTED HIS LITTLE PINKY FOR IT.

Oh, he's for education ... just so long as no one finds out how he's actually conducted himself on the Board of Commissioners. He's "pro education" the same way he's "pro environment."

3. But for our favorite piece of empty rhetoric, Mr. Honeycutt writes, "Last but not least, we must continue to help people to realize the great American dream of home ownership. I believe this can be accomplished by a concentrated effort from everyone in the county. This will take a united countywide commitment to help better the lives of others."

FACT: Just how, exactly, is he proposing to help people "realize ... home ownership." What was his explanation again? "This can be accomplished by a concentrated effort from everyone in the county." If we squeeze our eyes tightly shut and clench our teeth and ball our hands into fists and WISH FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING ... it'll come to pass? What the hay is he talking about? "A united countywide commitment"? What would that be, a great big bake sale?

He has nothing to run on, so he's just making stuff up. Like his great supposed "comprehensive plan."

Are people going to let him get away with this mendacious hypocrisy?

Especially when we have an actual good candidate running against him?

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