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Opinion Letters ‘Kicking it down the road’ is not working

At times when difficult decisions are being considered, leaders may seek the counsel of community minded, experienced individuals for input and clarification of concepts and ideas pertaining to the problem at hand. With this obtained information, experience and opinions, the elected leadership can move forward and make a decision of what would be best for the community as a whole. What has happened here?

A published letter from one of our commissioners expressed dissatisfaction with the outcome of the recommendations the planning board was generating. This is another setback for Macon County. Attacking the messenger (planning board) and not dealing with the message is a form of political deflection. The phrase "kicking it down the road" has been used by many individuals during this discussion. Tabling, postponing, shirking, seems to be the rule of the day in our community over the steep slope issue. Months, if not years of studies, committees, expert opinions and board resolutions have generated ideas and solutions for safe development in our region. The North Carolina geological map locating dangerous potential slide areas and costing the taxpayers over a half million dollars was also developed during this time period. Frequently, the question of not having enough specialist or expert input for our particular situation is another point of deflection. How many “experts” do you need to screw in a lightbulb? As many as it takes, until we get the answer we want to hear?

What’s now on the table is to “change the planning board” so that we can hopefully get an answer for the steep slope question that certain individuals in this county prefer to hear. The negative attacks and wasted use of qualified individuals in our county on this issue is astounding. I believe we should utilize the data, specialists, and hard work that is already available to our leadership and make a decision. Attacking the messenger and hoping for a different message is not fair to the community.

Tom Harris — Franklin, N.C.





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