Monday, February 11, 2013

The War on North Carolina's Municipalities

Hattip to the political reporters at WRAL for gathering some of the evidence that the new Republican majority in the NC General Assembly are targeting the state's cities and towns for revenge:
The Charlotte Observer reports on a rough start to the legislative session for the Queen City: "But barely two weeks into a new legislative session, Charlotte officials find themselves scrambling to fend off unexpected threats from Raleigh. At stake is nothing less than money for light-rail expansion, control of Charlotte Douglas International Airport and, possibly, the future of the Carolina Panthers." Meanwhile, the Citizen-Times reports on Asheville's struggles with the legislature: "City officials have hired lobbyists, enlisted the aid of N.C. League of Municipalities and gotten support from 40 local governments statewide in their fight to keep control of Asheville’s water system. But it’s anyone’s guess whether that will matter much to the Republican-controlled General Assembly, which is engaged in disputes with cities and towns on a range of issues — from control over airports to decisions on land use."
They didn't mention Boone and the assault that Sen. Dan Soucek made last year to divest the city of its Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ), and his promise at the time to keep trying.

It looks on the face of it that the constitutional amendment that the Republicans have introduced to make it virtually impossible for a city to grow through annexation (requiring a two-thirds majority vote of the citizens involved) would also simply eliminate all ETJs, with this single sentence:
No city, town, or other governmental subdivision may exercise any jurisdiction beyond the corporate limits.
A change to the state's constitution will require a vote of the people, and perhaps a majority of this state's voters now view its towns and cities as the enemy (as do the Tea Party in Watauga County).

Maybe so. But guaranteed, they haven't thought through the ramifications of this war.


Anonymous said...

Get ready to cry yourself a river.

Boone shoots itself in the foot with the water intake project:

A constitutional amendment that would end ETJs:

Read the last sentence of the underlined part.

johnbyjohn said...

If the Democrats had tried to do anything like this at the state level, the cries of "Big Government" would have been deafening. But when the Republicans try to punish liberal places like Asheville and Boone, what's deafening is the silence!