Archived Opinion

Partisan local election bill a mistake

Partisan local election bill a mistake

To the Editor:

Municipal elections in Haywood County, which are currently nonpartisan, could soon be conducted on a partisan basis if N.C. House Bill 998 is passed into law. As a local elected official, I pray that doesn’t happen, because if there is anything this world needs less of, it’s partisanship.

In my 6.5 years as an Waynesville alderman, I have come to appreciate that one of the best things about local governance is how close we are to the people we represent. Our kids go to school together. We shop in the same stores and eat at the same restaurants. If you have questions or problems, you call my personal cellphone, not a toll-free number that connects you to a nameless, faceless somebody in an office somewhere. We should steer clear of anything that increases the distance between us and passage of this bill will undoubtedly turn inches into miles. 

It’s not an exaggeration to say that we as a nation are more divided today than at any time since the Civil War, and at a time when solving the ocean of problems we face demands we work together, more partisanship all but guarantees we won’t do that. 

Instead of asking voters to evaluate the people that seek to represent them based on the letter that’s displayed after their names, wouldn’t it be better to judge them on their character and the strength of their ideas? Is the toxicity and gridlock that results from extreme partisanship, played out every day in Raleigh and Washington, D.C., really what we want at the local level in Haywood County? 

We need far less partisanship, not more. Count me as strongly opposed. 

Jon Feichter, Alderman 



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  • If partisan elections are somehow good for Waynesville, then they ought to be good for every municipality in the state. If municipalities controlling development in an extra-territorial jurisdiction is bad for Waynesville or Maggie Valley or Canton or Clyde, then such controls on development should be bad for every municipality in the state.

    The General Assembly ought to be writing laws for the state, not ordinances for individual municipalities.

    posted by Kevin Brock

    Monday, 06/06/2022

  • Thank you. To me, it comes down to all out stealing an election. If the radical right can’t win fairly, just steal the election. It’s a completely dishonest ploy, and needs to be stopped.

    posted by Deni Gottlieb

    Saturday, 06/04/2022

  • Couldn't agree more. We need a good bit less partisanship than more. Pless and Clampitt appear to most be representing themselves than those who elected them as "representatives". Pless claims we need to know the folks we are electing. I think we already have that and adding a party affiliation will NOT help.

    posted by LeroyK

    Wednesday, 06/01/2022

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