Former County Commissioner Keith Honeycutt's letter in today's Watauga Democrat caught our attention and prompts this response:
1. If letters to the editor were pitches in a baseball game, and if we were calling the balls & strikes, this one would be low and inside. Dude, that was just nasty, both the tone of it and the targeting for your scorn, aimed at the newest elected member of the Boone Town Council (and beyond her, the entire Town of Boone).
2. In four years on the County Commission – and we sat in on many, many of those meetings -- you rarely passed up an opportunity to bash the Town of Boone as a threat to freedom, civilization, and the pursuit of happiness. Fair enough, if that's the way you see the county seat and our largest municipality, but your long pattern of overt hostility makes us wonder when exactly the town licked all the sugar off your lollipop. (And can't somebody buy this child another lollipop?)
3. The Town of Boone did not cause the County Commission to run the bill up into the several tens of millions of dollars on the new high school. That is wholly the County Commission's deal. Councilwoman Aycock is quite correct in pointing out that the County is asking town residents in effect to pay twice, both their assessed county taxes AND the slack from waiving what the county evidently sees as a nuisance. In the scheme of things, $82,000 or even $100,000 is small potatoes compared to – what? – the $39 million total price tag. Yet from the tone and text of your letter, a semi-informed bystander might think it was the evil empire of Boone that ran the bill up to $39 million. It was not.
4. This is not about saving a small amount of money off the total bill so much as it's about bullying the town.
5. You seem awfully protective of the prerogatives of the County Commission, curiously invested, even, in protecting its dignity (which is all in a huff, evidently annoyed and insulted by town fees) ... when you, in fact, while you were on the County Commission and could have done something to further a new school, you would never vote to raise the necessary money to build it. At least, you voted no every time, didn't you, on the several county budgets that included modest tax increases to pay for the new school? We don't know about anybody else, but we're not inclined to trust the fiduciary piety of someone who says he wants a good education for all but who doesn't want to pay for it.
5. Sorry, but this letter has "surrogate" written all over it. That election is over -- happened last fall -- and your guys lost.