So now all 5 County Commissioners have put in their own "hard earned" money to buy ads to try and convince voters of why their two cohorts, up for reelection next Tuesday, deserve your vote. The ads are in the newspaper and have hit the radio airwaves with "Let's Get The Facts Right."
The ad headline is "catchy" and whether or not they meant for it to be misleading is a matter of opinion, but you know the saying "you can cover up dog mess, but it still stinks" sure comes to mind.
Too bad there isn't time to combat these newspaper and radio ads with "Let's Explain The Facts Right."
In fact #1, the 5 commissioners, in an effort to salvage the campaigns of their 2 friends Tony Dennis and Jann Lowder, claim that they have "never sued" ALCOA.
Well, technically, that's true but it's misleading by $5+ million Stanly County Taxpayer dollars that have been spent and authorized by the Stanly County Commissioners to prevent ALCOA and APGI from renewing their license to operate the dams.
Also, the County Commissioners in their advertising effort failed to mention that while the taxpayers of Stanly County continue to pay daily for the Commissioners enormous legal battle, with whomever, that ALCOA continues daily to operate the dams and continues to profit from those operations.
For the taxpayers, the lawsuit means cuts to education, cuts to schools, cuts to other county departments, etc. and surely what must now be an almost depleted county fund balance or "savings account."
In fact #2 the County Commissioners state they didn't vote AGAINST Clean Tech.
Well, technically, that's true too. Their minutes in open public sessions don't reflect an actual vote AGAINST Clean Tech.
To "Explain the Facts Right" the County Commissioners didn't vote FOR Clean Tech either.
So, the Clean Tech offer to the Stanly County Commissioners for the people of Stanly County of 450+ jobs, millions of investment in our tax base, reimbursement of the county's $5+ million dollars legal expense and a special yearly allocation to the Stanly County Schools was withdrawn and moved on elsewhere.
Looking at fact #3, the County Commissioners rightly claim, in open session anyway, that they have never voted AGAINST jobs.
Again, that's true, as far as we know, of their official actions when not behind closed doors.
On the other hand, there is no evidence that they have aggressively voted FOR new jobs either. Demographic data shows unemployment for Stanly County was 4.9% in 2007 and that unemployment had increased to 10.6% in 2011. Data for 2012 was not available.
Fact #4 is the ole Closed Door Session excuse.
It's plain and simple, you play this trump card when you want to keep specifically authorized items out of the public meeting. It's certainly legal and may, very well, be the correct move for issues of personnel, etc but closed door sessions are an option for the County Commissioners not a requirement. It takes a vote of the majority to go into closed session.
A closed door session breeds mistrust, speculation and spin. The public outcry over the County Commissioners dispute with ALCOA and the Clean Tech proposal are two good examples of taking the option of a closed door session over conducting the peoples business in the open. Doing the peoples business in the open is referred to as the "Sunshine Law" but it sure doesn't seem like that's the rule of order with the current County Commissioners.
Finally, several more "facts" from the 10 years Demographic Data of Stanly County:
*In 2002 the population for Stanly County was 58,791. Ten years later, in 2011, the population for Stanly County was 59,761. A growth of 970 people.
*In 2002 the median age in Stanly County was 37.2 years old. Ten years later, in 2011, the median age for Stanly County is 40.0 years old.
*In 2002 the school enrollment in Stanly County was 10,204 students, Ten years later, in 2011, the school enrollment in Stanly County was 9,053 students.
Any way you slice this pie, Stanly County is going backwards.
On Tuesday, May 8th, you can vote to agree or disagree with the direction of Stanly County.
Former Chairman, Stanly County Board of Commissioners