Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Knee-Capping the Town of Boone

At their meeting this morning, the Republican majority of the Watauga County Commission made their intent clear, as far as the Town of Boone is concerned: ill will and open warfare.

The Commission has statutory right to appoint Extra Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) members to both the Boone Area Planning Board and the Board of Adjustments (BOA), a quasi-judicial board that rules on certain zoning requests and complaints.

The Commission this morning appointed Jeff Templeton to the Planning Board.

And despite three qualified nominations made by the Town of Boone for a regular and an alternate seat on the Board of Adjustments, the Commission chose to appoint two men who had (1) not applied and (2) whose sole qualifications appear to be their conservative politics and open hostility to the town's land-use planning.

But there's more. The alternate appointment for the ETJ position to the Board of Adjustments is a man who lives in the town of Boone, not in the ETJ. To make that appointment legal, the three Republicans on the Commission had to make a "finding" that there were no qualified applicants in the ETJ, when all three of the people recommended for the positions by the Town of Boone are not only obviously qualified but very qualified, with experience on various planning taskforces or with higher education in that or related fields.

So what disqualified them from appointment to the Board of Adjustment? With regard to Harvard Ayers, nominated to the regular ETJ seat on the BOA, Nathan Miller said, My problem with Ayers is that he agrees with the town's planning ordinances.

Commissioner Vince Gable chimed in that the other two applicants, Robert Goddard (who has previous experience on a planning board, a zoning board, and a board of adjustment) and Cameron Lippard (who has considerable college work in rural and urban development) were disqualified too because they agree with Boone's zoning and development regs.

The men who were appointed (including obviously the alternate ETJ member of the BOA put in place because there were no "qualified" applicants), were chosen for their politics.

(For the record, Commissioner Jim Deal argued that the appointment of a resident of Boone to an ETJ seat violated the spirit of the statute, and he did vote against it. The vote was 3-1, with Futrelle absent.)

There you have it. Boone is to have Tea Party obstructionists appointed to any body that does any land-use planning.

Meanwhile, these same Republican commissioners are angling to get Boone taxpayers to cough up water it doesn't currently have, but may have in the future, in order to do massive development in Deep Gap, which is likely to make a handful of people rich, though not including the general citizens of Boone, who are disdained because they have zoning but whose resources are coveted openly and without embarrassment by men who never pass up an opportunity to sneer at the town and complain about its style of self-government.


Lynne (not Mason) said...

These commissioners wouldn't know "qualified" if it rose up and bit them on the ass. As for the water, I'm a Boone taxpayer. Why should the Town use my Boone tax dollars to run water into Deep Gap, an area without so much as a whiff of development control? I'll swear this: I'll vote against any Town Council member or commissioner who runs water into Deep Gap with no land use controls.

Anonymous said...

Is this the statute we're looking at?:

§160A‑362. Extraterritorial representation. "If there is an insufficient number of qualified residents of the area to meet membership requirements, the board of county commissioners may appoint as many other residents of the county as necessary to make up the requisite number."

If this is the correct statute, then I think the County's attorney is as dim as bulb as the commissioners are.

If you read this statute in its context, I don't believe "qualified" means qualified as to personal experience or resume. Rather it means "qualified" as in living in the appropriate area for appointment.

The Town should sue.

get it right said...

The ETJ representative isn't supposed to represent the Town of Boone. He is supposed to represent residents of the county, both inside and outside the ETJ That is why the COUNTY commissioners appoint him, not the town council.

The water is already going to be coming through Deep Gap from the new intake, which is located in the county. Maybe the county should charge the town for the raw water?

Pam Williamson said...

I checked the statute. The commissioners and their attorney are absolutely incorrect in their interpretation. The word "qualified" clearly means that the appointment must live within the boundaries of the ETJ. The commissioners cannot just pluck someone else from wherever they want. If the appointment is to represent the ETJ, it must come from within the ETJ boundaries and cannot come from within the Town limits. The Town should not accept this appointment in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

get it right, you are wrong. Read the statute. The ETJ representative is supposed to represent and come from the ETJ. He or she cannot come from the town limits.

Also, if the County wants water in Deep Gap, then the county should pay for it.

Frank said...

The town is already paying for the land and building of the intake get it (wrong). Maybe the county taxpayers would like to chip in if they want water in Deep Gap.

amjp said...

What a bunch of self-serving enemies of the (real) people! And Jeff Templeton! EEK!
How about a recall election?

Fred said...

If the individuals who were appointed did not even apply, then isn't there an additional procedural issue here?
If not, then why bother with any application process at all?

Just wonderin'

Anonymous in Boone said...

Nathan Miller said, My problem with Ayers is that he agrees with the town's planning ordinances.

Nathan Miller is the least qualified of the lot. Plus he lied to me personally when he ran and I asked him outright if he was going to be a partisan player or someone who was really all about no tax increases and sound fiscal management (which is why I voted for him). He has disappointed me to no end.

Anonymous said...

Move along. Nothing to see here. Just another crop of Republican TeaBagger elected officials who don't give a rat's ass about right or wrong or qualified or what's best for anyone but themselves.

Anonymous said...

Why don't the Commissioners anoint someone King and make the rich landowners Dukes? Then, we can all save money. No need for government anymore. It is a Tea Party dream isn't it, no government?
Templeton, hope he knows the meaning of recluse.

Anonymous said...

Everyone gets it now, right? The Teapublican Party only cares about the laws or Constitution if it suits them. When it doesn't, to hell with it.

get it right said...

To the fifth poster:

Did you not understand the second post? The ordinance was quoted.

The applicants had to apply to the county, not the town.

It does not matter who paid for the intake. The water comes from both Watauga and Ashe Counties. The Department of the Interior charges for water coming off property under their control. Why can't the counties, especailly as properties in both counties are effected by the watershed protection act?

Anonymous said...

Get it right got it wrong. Ashe and Watauga counties don't own the water, you dimwit. As a Boone taxpayer I'm more than happy if the Repubs manage to kill off the water intake. Maybe the mountain beauty can last another generation if development is stymied by their knee jerk opposition to all things Boone.

Anonymous said...

The Commissioners are elected to represent the county and further it's interests.

It is not elected to rubber stamp the Boone Town Council.

get it right said...

So, if no one owns the water, then there is no need for watershed regulations?

You can't have it both ways.

Anonymous said...

"The Commissioners are elected to represent the county and further it's interests. It is not elected to rubber stamp the Boone Town Council."


The County can put in whomever they please but the person has to live in the ETJ area. The county commissioners, like it or not, have to follow the law.

right back at you said...

§160A‑362. Extraterritorial representation. "If there is an insufficient number of qualified residents of the area to meet membership requirements, the board of county commissioners may appoint as many other residents of the county as necessary to make up the requisite number."


Anonymous said...

The preceding was the state ordinance. Here is the Town of Boone Ordinance.

Town of Boone Unified Development Ordinance 3-26 Part V Board of Adjustment
Section 43. Appointment and Terms of the Board of Adjustment
[a] There shall be a Board of Adjustment consisting of eight (8) regular members and eight (8) alternates. Alternates shall serve on the board in the absence or temporary disqualification of any regular member or to fill a vacancy pending appointment of a member. Each alternate, while attending any regular or special meeting of the board and serving on behalf of any regular member, shall have and may exercise all the powers and duties of a regular member. Five (5) regular members and five (5) alternates shall reside within the town and shall be appointed by the Council (hereafter, “resident members”). Three (3) regular members and three (3) alternates shall reside within the town's ETJ and shall be appointed by the Watauga County Board of Commissioners. The Council shall suggest two nominees to the Watauga County Board of Commissioners for each appointment. (In accordance with N.C. Gen. Stat. §160A-362, the town must provide a means of proportional representation based on population for residents of the ETJ. There shall be at all times at least one representative of the ETJ on the Board of Adjustment. Each additional member must be appointed to the Board of Adjustment to achieve proportional representation only when the population of the entire extraterritorial planning area constitutes a full fraction of the town’s population divided by the total membership of the Board of Adjustment). If, despite good faith efforts, enough residents of the ETJ cannot be found to fill the seats reserved for residents of such area, then the Watauga County Board of Commissioners may appoint other residents of the county (including residents of the town) to fill these seats.

It would help if you people did some research before you posted.

Anonymous said...

KEEP READING. "Qualified" means that the person recommended lives in the district. There are plenty of applicants living in the district. The Town of Boone, in fact, presented names of three of them. It does NOT mean "qualified" as to experience. The commissioners have to appoint someone from the ETJ. You are an idiot.

Anonymous said...

The Town will not be able to seat this appointment. It is clear from the statutes the person must be from ETJ area unless there is no one willing to serve from that area. Which apparently was not the case. The above poster is correct. The county attorney is not the brightest bulb (to put it mildly).

get it right said...

The Town submitted one applicant for the regular member to the ETJ and one for the alternative member. I do not know where these people live. It does not matter as the state statute trumps the town.

The Town doe not seat these ETJ members. They do not get to make the appointment. The county does and has.

Anonymous said...

GET IT RIGHT! I AM TALKING ABOUT THE STATE STATUTE. HAVE YOU READ IT? WHY CAN'T YOU UNDERSTAND IT? The commissioners appointed someone from outside the ETJ for an ETJ position. They cannot do that unless there is no one willing to serve from the ETJ which, as you point out, there was. They could appoint someone of their preference, but that person HAD TO LIVE IN THE ETJ for that position. WHAT ABOUT THIS DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND? Jesus.

get it right said...

Where in the statue does it say one must appoint an unqualified person that lives in the ETJ or even a lesser qualified person?

Frank said...

get it right...

As has been repeatedly pointed out here the word "Qualified" in the statute does NOT mean qualified in terms of experience or education. The word "qualified" means living in the designated area. You are "qualified" in this instance, for example, by living in the area that is to be represented on the board. If the position is open for a "Boone" appointment, the applicant is only qualified if she lives in Boone. If the appointment is for the ETJ area, the applicant is only qualified if she lives in the ETJ area. A Boone resident cannot be appointed for an ETJ seat, and an ETJ resident cannot be appointed to a Boone seat. That's what qualified means.

Not Really said...

Can we recall these fools, please?

I live in the ETJ and know all three of the candidates put forward by the Town of Boone. All are perfectly qualified and I would trust them to represent my interests as an ETJ resident. I can't say the same about the puppets that the commissioners have chosen to appoint.

Everyone who is outraged at this, please remember to get out and vote in every election. This is why it matters.

Anonymous said...

Well, all you have to do is run for the County Commission and win. You can then appoint members to the ETJ boards. You should be glad for the opportunity as the ETJ rules you but you have no right to run for the town council or vote for those that can run for the offices that directly effect you.

Anonymous said...

JW, I hope you post this.

I'll tell you guys something that myself and many others believe is very unfair as to who is qualified to run for commissioner. How are the district lines laid out? They abut right up to the Town of Boone. According to the county laws, someone who lives very close to Boone, I mean just east of the 105 Bypass, is qualified to run for commissioner and represent rural western communities like Cove Creek, Bethel, Forest Grove, Beaver Dam, etc. Any candidate, who grew up in Boone and lives within spitting distance of Boone, is qualified to run for commissioner as rural communities' representative! Therefore, a rural area of several communities can actually have NO representation at all on the Watauga County BOC. The Town of Boone, ASU, etc. can and does have too much influence and control over the whole County. We say, this grossly unfair, no representation situation, should be changed.

TO HELL WITH BOONE! TO HELL WITH ASU! You and your arrogant proponents have too damn much control over the entire county.