LETTER: Raleigh's micromanagement is unwarranted, unwanted

Sep. 19, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

To the Editor:

Like many mayors in North Carolina, I have become increasingly concerned about the continued power plays by Republicans in Raleigh to topple local control in our communities. From major metro areas to small towns, like my town of Pittsboro, there is a clear effort at hand to both interfere with and seize our local assets.

Because of Republican legislative action this session, small towns across the state are likely to lose access to needed financial resources for their water and sewer systems. If rural towns are unable to maintain and modernize their water systems, they may be forced to become candidates for privatization of their own assets, which could lead to higher rates, a lack of transparency and less democracy in our local communities.

This year, the Republican legislature has already taken action against the Asheville water system, the Charlotte airport and the Wake County School Board in what will become the first of many takeovers as Republicans continue to fly in the face of their supposed opposition to "big government" at the expense of local control in our towns and cities.

Republican legislators should directly answer why they are favoring programs around the state that subvert local control and will potentially lead to the privatization of public assets at the expense of democratic input and governance. Both our urban and rural areas deserve these answers.

Gov. McCrory and Republican legislators should stop micromanaging local assets and end this era of "Raleigh knows best" micromanagement. It is unwarranted and unwanted.

Mayor Randy Voller, Pittsboro

(Randy Voller is also chair of the N.C. Democratic Party)