The NC House committee charged with considering Sen. Dan Soucek's "local bill" to deprive Boone of its ability to hold the Templeton family to certain development ordinances (steep slope ordinance, tops among them) failed in the House committee, 12-15.
Eye witnesses tell us that it was Republican Majority Leader Rep. Edgar Starnes of Caldwell who swayed the vote most passionately in his remarks to the committee. Jeff Templeton also spoke, along with Boone Mayor Andy Ball and Seven Oaks resident Lee Stroupe.
Starnes is a real estate "investor" with property in the Boone ETJ.
Soucek dies in the House, once again.
He faces reelection this November against Democrat Jim Sponenberg, a Lenoir banker.
Rep. Starnes said in the hearing, "This would be the only time in the history of North Carolina that we have removed a town's ETJ authority," Starnes said. "I think it sets a dangerous precedent."
WRAL coverage suggested that several Republican members of the committee made a hasty exit after Starnes spoke, deciding perhaps that it was better to visit the restroom rather than go on the record voting for Mr. Soucek's special interest bill.