In whose name? Haywood commissioners asking for trouble in prayer case
Just days after an important ruling from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on legislator-led prayer, Haywood County and its municipalities quickly moved to comply with the specifics of the ruling, but fell dramatically short in complying with the general principles that underlie the separation between church and state in American Government.
The letter and the spirit: Local governments wrestle with prayer
Public prayer in government has long been a contentious issue, but a recent court ruling has North Carolina municipalities scrambling to comply with both the letter and the spirit of the law while awaiting the challenges and changes that will inevitably come.
“I think towns that have practices similar to Rowan County will have to keep an eye on how the case progresses,” said William Morgan, Canton’s town attorney for the past three years.
Jackson launches citizen’s academy
Jackson County residents will have the chance to get grounded in local government with the launch of a citizen’s academy this fall, an endeavor that county commissioners approved unanimously during their July 17 meeting.
Get a peek behind the curtains of Maggie Valley government
A new program by the Town of Maggie Valley offers citizens a candid look at what the town does, how it does it and how it pays for it.
Empowering women to run for office
Women have a lot of internal dialogue when considering a run for public office — I don’t have time. I have a full-time job and a family to take care of at home. I don’t know enough about the issues. I don’t have the name recognition. I don’t have a college degree. Who would vote for me? I’m a woman.
Looking for more ideology, less politics
As the holidays drew to a close, I began preparing for the reporting we will do on the upcoming session of the North Carolina General Assembly and kept watching President-elect Trump and the Congress — Republicans and Democrats alike — jousting on several fronts.
In this still politically charged post-election atmosphere, I found myself trying to define my own beliefs and establish my own footing, as I know countless ideological debates lie ahead. Why do I support certain actions, programs and leaders over others? When did my fundamental political beliefs come together to form the basis of what I believe today?
A look at how local governments utilize the web
Having a website used to be an added bonus for local governments, but now it has become a necessity and the public and the press have higher expectations for online services and transparency.
Governments get graded
Online presence a must for modern government
The Smoky Mountain News editorial team decided to evaluate and score the websites of four Western North Carolina counties, six municipalities and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to see whether local governments are failing, meeting or exceeding those expectations.
Governments get graded
Journalists responsible for news gathering in a rugged and mountainous four-county (Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain), 2,111-square-mile swath of Western North Carolina that happens to contain two sovereign nations, 11 towns, 32 unincorporated communities, 44 townships, 150,000 people, and the most visited national park in the country often rely on local government websites and the accuracy and timeliness of the information contained therein.
Maggie Valley website biggest bang for the buck
Years ago, the Town of Maggie Valley used to be known as a place where governance didn’t always take place in full sunshine.
Canton plans to beef up town website
The Town of Canton’s website was the subject of discussion during recent budget hearings, as some questioned the need for spending $25,000 (plus $5,000 for marketing) on a new one.