LETTER: Who is giving Stone his marching orders?

Apr. 10, 2013 @ 04:59 AM

To the Editor:

The arrogance of Rep. [Mike] Stone (House District 51) in introducing House Bill 490 to change the nonpartisan elections of the Sanford City Council and the Lee County Board of Education to partisan elections without consulting or even notifying these locally elected boards is very disturbing. In addition, Rep. [Deb] McManus (House District 54), who represents the majority of people in Sanford, was neither notified nor consulted about the bill. Rep. Stone’s total disregard for his colleague in the House, and for the Sanford City Council and the Lee County Board of Education, is giving the back of his hand to the people of Sanford and Lee County.

Why has Rep. Stone proposed such a radical change, and done it without an opportunity for the citizens that he is supposed to represent to offer input? The bill, first introduced in a special 4 p.m. Monday session, was sent to the House Elections Committee on Wednesday, April 3. It passed and was sent to the floor of the House of Representatives, where it could be considered for a vote on Thursday, April 5.

When I attended a recent town hall meeting to hear Rep. Stone and Sen. Rabin talk about what was going on in the current legislative session, Rep. Stone was asked by a member of the audience if he planned to sponsor any legislation. He replied that he would like to do something about an amendment to balance the budget in Washington. I suppose he had in mind a resolution from the General Assembly. He said nothing, however, about citizens requesting partisan elections for Sanford City Council and the Lee County Board of Education.

Changing the city council and the school board from nonpartisan to partisan could have profound consequences. Who directed Rep. Stone to introduce HB 490 and the other bill he introduced Wednesday to remove the school board’s responsibility for appointing four members to the Central Carolina Community College Board of Trustees and give it to the Lee County Board of Commissioners? Who is giving Rep. Stone his marching orders? Certainly not many citizens in Lee County.

Ann McCracken, Chair

Lee County Democratic Party