To the Editor:
The race is on now that Labor Day has come and gone. For a while we will hear good points about the candidates and what wonderful character they have. They will then take off the gloves and share negatives about their opponents whether true or not. The negative messages have already begun toward our Jackson County commissioners Brian McMahan, chairman, Tom Massie, vice chairman, and William Shelton.
So, let me point out some positives about these three commissioners who have remained thoughtful, reasonable and responsive during several challenging years for Jackson County. They have kept our taxes among the lowest in the state, not just Western North Carolina, at 28 cents per $100. That includes funding of emergency services through the fire tax. While keeping taxes low, they have maintained a strong public-safety record, developed and enforced improved mountain and building codes and ordinances, have brought entry level salaries in line with other counties, staffed the county with professional talent and have supported services needed by our veterans, seniors, battered women and children and hungry neighbors.
Regarding mountain ordinances, our commissioners were responsive in listening to all sides before making thoughtful decisions that were considered reasonable for conscientious developers and those living in these beautiful mountains. No other county has come close to using such a collaborative process as our commissioners. They have staffed county offices with capable civil servants who responded to our needs while building our home here on East Fork. The planning group and inspectors were friendly, came quickly when needed and were informed and helpful when on site. We never experienced a delay due to county servants while building our home.
I am proud to live in this county of my grandparents and hope we keep the good commissioners we have rather than experimenting with folks who think all government is bad and the only solution to our problems is cutting taxes and letting those in need fend for themselves. I know conservatives mean well, but their solutions will do us more harm than good in Jackson County. If you see a conservative ask him or her, “what services are you going to eliminate first?”
Let’s keep Brian McMahan, Tom Massie and William Shelton our commissioners and make Jackson County a place for our grandchildren to be proud of.