LETTER: Proposal is example of power struggle

Mar. 13, 2013 @ 04:58 AM

To the Editor:

I am inclined to agree with both Bob Bridwell and Bob Joyce that the change in COG [Council of Governments] arrangements doesn’t make sense. I am realistic enough to recognize that this legislature is going to do what it wants regardless of what the core constituents are saying.

That being said, I think there are worse things that being attached to the Charlotte region. It is obvious that the two major engines for economic growth in North Carolina are the Metrolina and Triangle regions. (Witness the announcement of MetLife.) I think it is better than being in the Fayetteville area, as the hoped for return from BRAC has been a disappointment to say the least, and the sequestration may make it even worse. I also think it is incumbent on Moore, Chatham, Randolph and Lee to strongly support the improvement of roads to Charlotte and its airport.

Fortunately, there is movement on this front; both the four-laning of the Highway 24-27 corridor and U.S. 64 bypass of Asheboro are moving toward reality. If the COG can keep this moving, there is a real possibility that by 2020, Sanfordians can reach Douglas Airport in less than two hours — without toll roads!

I’d like to make one more comment on this brouhaha. Despite the first native of Charlotte being elected governor since the 1920s, somebody in Raleigh has decided to bloody Charlotte’s nose. There are several bills moving in the legislature with just this purpose. The COG proposal is a poorly disguised example of this power struggle. That doesn't bother me too much, Charlotte is big enough and has enough power to take care of itself, though I worry about the long-term effect on the aforementioned economic powerhouse. (Is the Triangle next?)

What is bothersome is that we seem to have been drawn into this struggle without our consent. To quote the old adage, we don’t have a dog in this fight. I would hope our legislators would separate their sudden dislike to Charlotte from bills that can have a detrimental effect on other areas of the state that do not have that kind of power. It seems we have legislators bent on pleasing their leadership rather than representing their area. That is the most discouraging fact of a very strange bill.

Steve Underwood