Monkey Business Update: Fear and Loathing in Haywood County

monkeyHaywood County is a quiet, sleepy locale in the western North Carolina mountains.  It’s a rarity for that region — a Democrat stronghold.  Lately, its politics have become quite a raucous affair.

Local Tea Party activists took over the county Republican Party organization.  A Republican activist managed to pull off a shocking upset and win November’s election for county tax collector. (Yes, Haywood County is the last in the state to elect a tax collector.) Right before the Republican was to be sworn in on December 1, the Democrat-dominated county board of commissioners decided to raise his bond to $410,000 from the $100,000 amount the outgoing Democrat tax collector had to obtain.  The Republican, beset with a few personal financial issues in his distant past, had some challenges in getting the county’s insurance company to cover him for $410,000.  Therefore, the county government declined to swear in the Republican, and kept the defeated incumbent onboard to continue in his duties. Never mind the election results, and state law, and all of those other trivial things.  So, as you can imagine, this did not sit well with some folks in the county. 

Haywood County resident Monroe Miller — also an activist with the local Tea Party and county GOP — addressed the county commissioners on this matter at their December 15th meeting.  (Miller is the first speaker in the public comment time at the beginning of the meeting.)   I watched the tape of Miller’s presentation.  He was very professional, very civil, and had all kinds of facts, details, and citations to support his presentation.  How did the commissioners react?  Here’s what DEMOCRAT commissioner Kirk Kirkpatrick had to say (at about the 8:30 mark on the video):haywood

[…] “I want to say that I’m thankful for being in this county and being here Christmas. And every person here. Even Mr. Miller. I’m happy for him. Every time I think about him, I’m thankful that when times are hard for me, that I could be him.  And I’m not.”

For those of you who are native to the South, I think that is a variation of that old saying “Bless Your Heart.”   Instead of showing disgust at these rude comments, the rest of the commissioners can be seen on the video giggling like school girls. What did Miller do to earn Kirkpatrick’s wrath?

Miller made the case that the county government may have violated state law on numerous occasions in the hubbub over the tax collector position.

  1. Miller cited NCGS 105-373, which requires tax collectors to provide a “settlement” detailing their official records at the end of their tenure. Miller said he had made a public information request for the incumbent Democrat’s settlements for (1) the official end of his term of office, and (2) the end of his interim tenure on December 8.  According to Miller, the county manager had denied his request.
  2. Miller also cited NCGS 153a-76, which says a county government cannot assign duties from one office to another, especially when those duties are conferred on the original office by law. THAT is what the county apparently did during the interim period while the Republican’s bond situation was being debated and handled. Miller points out that the statutes allow a tax collector to take office and perform all duties, except collecting taxes, without a bond being in place. 
  3. Miller also pointed out one more alleged transgression committed by the county: “You cannot appoint a person to an elected office, except for a sheriff under certain circumstances.”

Republican Mike Matthewsdownload (19) finally obtained the $410,000 bond coverage and was sworn in on December 8.  Miller noted that there has been no public disclosure as to (1) why bond was raised for Matthews AND Finance Department director Julie Davis, and (2) when that was approved.

Democrats are quick to point out that Matthews’s personal financial position required a higher bond.  That sounds like a perfect argument for making the office appointed.  Anyone who is a duly registered voter AND a legal resident of the county can run for the position. What do you do? Open the personal finance records of all of the candidates to the voters? What do you do in the case of someone with financial issues getting elected to this job? You can’t very well just dismiss the will of the voters — especially if no actual law has been broken.  

9 thoughts on “Monkey Business Update: Fear and Loathing in Haywood County

  1. These shenanigans are happening all over the state. Someone please explain to the Governor and the GOP lead General Assembly why the grass roots are so upset when they appoint Democrats. Will they ever listen?

    1. That has been a shocker in this administration, the number of non-Republicans appointed, and the difficulty that GOP activists seem to have getting appointed to much of anything. It is a very different approach than in the Martin or Holshouser administrations and it is wearing thin with the GOP grassroots.

    2. Why should the GOP listen to conservatives, when they can always count on the gutless lackeys in the “Clothespin Brigade” to keep voting for them?

      They’ll change, when conservatives make them suffer for their offenses. They’re not hurting, yet.

      Make ’em howl.

  2. I would like to make a comment about the Mr. Monroe Miller who spoke here at the Commissioners Meeting. Mr. Miller is a champion for the rights of the people here in Haywood , In Addition to his tireless efforts in Supporting the Haywood GOP , Mr. Miller spends Much of his time helping others who have found themselves facing this tyrannical Haywood County Government, wither it be helping someone with their property taxes, home foreclosures, regulations, our any other road block these Socialists throw in front of the citizens of this county.
    When the County raised my Property Taxes 327% on a 980 sq. ft. home Built in 1919 and the Vice Chair of the Haywood County Commissioners J. W. “KIRK” KIRKPATRICK, III, publicly , on camera at a Commissioners meeting caller for me to leave the County if I did not like it….It was Mr. Miller who came to my house camera in hand along with representatives from Raleigh and Haywood County to do whatever he could to help. My hat is off to Mr. Miller I consider him a true friend, and Haywood County needs more Patriots like Mr. Miller.
    As for Commissioner J. W. “KIRK” KIRKPATRICK, III he is nothing but an extreme left wing socialist , Who thinks the people in Haywood are to stupid to think for themselves, and it is his job to pursue his new world order, agenda 21 , ideals , and rule every aspect of your life. As you can see in His Agenda 21 tribute Called
    “”The Haywood County Emergency Management Ordnance “”
    As can be seen in these great Daily Haymaker articles
    By Brant Clifton

  3. In Haywood County the office of Tax Assessor and Collector is and was doing something very interesting.Instead of the County Commissioners raising property taxes to increase revenues they have the tax assessor raise the rate randomly on property to increase revenue.So,a home next to a another can have a higher rate.So you or your neighbor could be paying a much higher tax for virtually the same home.I did not read this reported in any newspaper in NC.The current republican assessor who had trouble being sworn in found this out and was elected easily when he exposed this small detail.Now if the commissioners want to increase revenues they will have to increase property taxes and face the voters.

    1. How can I find out if this is happening in my county?

      I live in a hard-core Democrat citadel, where being a Democrat is a requirement for getting “saved.”

      I doubt I’ll get much help from the Assessor.

      1. You will have to goto the tax listings website in your county and do a search.Just start on your own street and compare your property tax against your neighbors.Then go out from there.

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