What constituent service actually looks like

Moore County delegation to the NC General Assembly — pay close attention.

State Rep. Charlie Miller (R-Brunswick) has introduced a bill doing away with The City of Southport‘s extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ).  ETJs are much loved by elected municipal officials, town managers, and town planners.  They give that crew all kinds of power over property just outside of town — and the property owners have little to no power to resist.

The property owners in the ETJ can’t vote in municipal elections. Their property IS outside of town.  But they still have to live by whatever is dreamed up inside city hall.  It’s the same principle the folks in Boston were motivated by that time they threw all the British tea into the harbor. Having folks you can’t vote for shove all kinds of unpleasant stuff shoved down your throat. 

In Moore County – especially in Pinehurst – we have more than our fair share of cranky, relocated, geriatric busybodies who take great pleasure in lording over other people. Try to build something on your property around Pinehurst and you’ll have an angry elderly mob coming after you as though you are an agent of Satan.  The old fogies have killed off a number of proposed projects with their noise. I always thought that – if you want to control what happens on a piece of property, beyond zoning ordinances already on the books –  you should buy it.  (I’m in the minority on that one around here.)

I can imagine that Southport has the same problem we do here in Moore County — loud old folks from points northward who have little respect for property rights.

It appears that, if this passes, the folks in Southport’s current ETJ would simply have their planning and zoning matters transferred to Brunswick County.   Local bills – like Miller’s — tend to pass the General Assembly quite easily if there are no objections from any local senators or representatives.

Sounds pretty easy, eh? Well, our local delegation to Raleigh folded and ran from the local NIMBY cabal. Their friends in elected town offices down here expressed concern at losing control over these outside-of-town residents.  (The residents in the current ETJ would simply be folded into the planning domain of Moore County government. It’s not as though anarchy would reign.)

So, the Moore County version of Miller’s bill got quietly pulled and turned into a “study” — which means it will be put in limbo for a long time, and eventually forgotten about. Studies are a great way of getting rid of things you want to go away yesterday. 

So, senator McGinnis and reps. Moss, Sauls, and Jackson — keep a close eye on Rep. Miller.  (He seems to have the hang of this constituent service thing. )