A political action committee calling itself “The Village Action Team” debuted in an ad on page 2a of this morning’s edition of The Pilot. The ad indicates that the group will be endorsing Nancy Roy Fiorillo for mayor, Mark Parson for Council, and John Cashion for Council.
Its web site indicates the group is trying to position itself as an educational tool and a force for change:
The economy is down – we have empty stores in the heart of the Village – and the Resort can no longer rely on corporate outings to bring large numbers of people into the Village.
Therefore, the election for Village Council this Fall is a critical one.
We need strong leadership, good organization, and wise decision making.
As thoughtful citizens, we must be informed and we must VOTE.
A group called the Village Action Team (VAT) has been formed in order to explain what we believe are the Village’s major problem areas, and, to get out the vote. It is hoped that each and every citizen will carefully evaluate the current situation and vote for the quality of leadership that can create a solid future in the best Pinehurst tradition.
Okay. That sounds like a lot of the boilerplate you hear from EVERY candidate running for local office EVERY YEAR EVERYWHERE.
Let’s look at the slate from the perspective of it being a force for “change”:
Mark Parson: I don’t know him. From all accounts I hear, he is a pretty good guy. In a video on his website, Parson recalls a telephone call from Village Manager Andy Wilkison from eighteen months earlier, informing Parson that he had been appointed to a vacant seat on the council. Parson says:
I got the job. I’ve had the job for eighteen months, and I need your vote to continue on.
OK. Sounds like you’re offering more of what you’ve been doing. Why weren’t you beating the drums for all of this positive change over the last 18 months? What will you be doing different from what you’ve been saying and doing as a member of the council for the last 18 months?
Nancy Roy Fiorillo: This is an ambitious lady. She retired from the government in 2002. In 2008, she ran for county commissioner. In 2009, she ran for village council. In 2011, she is running for mayor.
Her background is in planning and zoning. Pinehurst’s planning and zoning operation is notorious for its adversarial stances and obstruction: harrassing people trying to build stuff, and basically making up stuff. She has been a major force within the planning community here in Moore County and elsewhere. She has been on the council for two years now. Why hasn’t she been speaking up — or doing something — about the problems within Pinehurst’s planning and zoning operation?
A lot of seniors in the area have grown to know and love Fiorillo through her operation of a Southern Pines bridge club. So, she has a respectable, sizeable, enthusiastic following. But, in all seriousness, what does she have to offer Pinehurst, as a whole, that is different from what’s been going on?
John Cashion: This guy is the real question mark on the slate. As far as I can tell, his community involvement has stopped at the gates of Pinewild. His inclusion on the slate is clearly a “bone” tossed to Buck Kernan, a retired Army general and Pinewild community leader, who is also one of the founding organizers of the VAT.
This has all the appearances of one social / political clique trying to overthrow another social / political clique. On the face of it, it appears to have very little to do with bringing serious positive change to the village and the way it does business.
If you want to close the sale, you need to tell us more.