Commissioners split on borrowing without vote of the People | Beaufort County Now | Beaufort County Commissioners split 3 to 3 on a resolution setting county policy that no major borrowing would be done without a vote of the citizens in a bond referendum. | Beaufort County Commissioners, Beaufort County, bond referendum, state Constitution, Commissioner Frankie Waters, Hood Richardson, Stan Deatherage, Randy Walker
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Publisher's Note: I generally do not publish commentary posts under mostly straight news categories, but I did this one because of the knowledge level of, and the abject honesty of reporting by this individual posting - Conservative Voter
Beaufort County Commissioners split 3 to 3 on a resolution setting county policy that no major borrowing would be done without a vote of the citizens in a bond referendum. The proposed resolution was to set policy to not borrow money without such a referendum except in the very narrow and temporary situations allowed in the state Constitution, and reject any borrowing under a state stature that purports to permit other avenues of borrowing that are not sanctioned by the state Constitution.
The county commissioners' discussion and vote regarding the resolution in support of borrowing large sums of money by referendum: Above.
Those voting to restrict county borrowing to what is allowing under the state Constitution, requiring a bond referendum of the people for long term borrowing, were fiscally conservative commissioners Hood Richardson, Stan Deatherage, and Randy Walker. Opposing the resolution, and therefore supporting borrowing without voter approval, were liberal commissioners John Rebholz, Jerry Langley, and Ed Booth. Rebholz purports to be a Republican but the other three are open Democrats.
Commissioner Frankie Waters, a usual ally of Jerry Langley was absent, so the motion failed on a tie vote.
The county manager openly entered debate against the motion. As an employee / bureaucrat, rather than an elected commissioner, that interference in this matter was highly improper.
The last time there was a push by liberal commissioners to build a big new jail, they tried to go around the state Constitution and borrow money from another source without a bond referendum of the citizens. That failed when the lender then approached rejected their loan, partly due to the lack of public support for what they were doing. Jerry Langley has publicly declared on more than one occasion that they would borrow money without submitting it to a public vote in order to build his big new jail. Langley openly admits that the public would vote it down.
Liberal tax and spend "Republican" John Rebholz has now cast his lot with Langley to thumb their nose at meaningful public involvement in borrowing money for their jail project. They want to put a lot of debt on our taxpayers without giving the taxpayers any say in it.
This resolution to request the NC General Assembly to begin the process of a NC Constitutional Referendum to develop the ability to recall themselves back into session by a simple majority vote seemed like a good idea at the time, but failed on a 3 to 3 split vote.