Friday, September 08, 2006

Anti-School Petition a 'Misreading' of the Law

Scott Nicholson's article in today's Watauga Democrat RE whether a locally generated petition in opposition to a new high school can succeed in derailing the project ... is an interesting read. Nicholson paraphrases David Lawrence, local government guru with the
Institute of Government in Chapel Hill:
Lawrence is familiar with Watauga's high school funding situation and believes the petition is invalid. He said assuming a successful petition would force a bond referendum and put the decision in voters' hands was "a misreading of the statute."

Lawrence said he didn't believe the county government would be bound to it and could still issue certificates of participation and that there was no mechanism to force the county to purchase bonds instead. He said voters had recourse by choosing their candidates in elections.

There are few greater authorities on N.C. procedures. When you reach David Lawrence, you've reached the top of the heap.

Lawrence's suggestion for a remedy, in lieu of a successful petition, is winning the fall elections. For the anti-new school crowd, that's a far less appetizing prospect than ginning up an emotional bond issue referendum ... mainly because five out of the six people running for County Commission have come out in favor of a new school. So who are they gonna vote for? Only James Coffey is anti, though he's plenty cagey about it. And then there's Keith Honeycutt, who's waffled all over the place but is currently basking in the impression among moderates that he's been behind it all along. He's just never been able to bring himself to cast an actual vote for funding it.

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