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Economic development isn’t easy, as shown by the Carroll County Board of Supervisors’ many false starts.
The Wired Road that was to bring high speed Internet to the citizens was such poor technology that even the schools switched to another provider.
The 125 jobs promised for Ameripumps haven’t come.
The Market Village of upscale shops is another metal building and has required additional loans from the county to the lawsuit-threatening developer who continues to miss deadlines.
The sewer going to Galax rather than Hillsville, disregarding both engineering recommendations and the needs of Hillsville.
Providing sewer and water to Exit 19 before buying the land, thus paying much more than necessary (paying twice) while providing windfall profits to the owners.
But a far more serious concern has been the process by which this board has operated. The past board’s infighting was disruptive but at least it was open and gave all sides a chance to be heard.
The current board has streaks of more than 100 consecutive unanimous votes. (Sheep don’t get along that well).
Opposition has been eliminated and the citizens taken out of government.
There was the public hearing where citizens overwhelmingly objected to the road to nowhere, followed by the board vote in favor of it.
They appointed the county administrator as director of the Public Service Authority and appointed themselves, with one exception, to seats on the PSA, eliminating the chance for others to have input into their multi-million dollar borrowing.
The board is working for the administrator rather than for the citizens. They defended him when it became public knowledge that he twice had private land dealings with developers of Wildwood while negotiating for the county.
They discussed ethical and legal questions about this conflict of interest in closed session and when informed of errors in their information, made no effort to reconsider.
Did democracy die when Chairman Littrell silenced a citizen (me), refusing to allow comments during citizen time?
We cannot afford four more years of this.
We are fortunate that there is a great selection of youth, experience and dedication running against them.