Amendment Would Temporarily Tip The Scales Of Power In Cabarrus

A bill put into play by Senator Fletcher Hartsell (R-36) appears to be trying to manipulate the balance of power on the Cabarrus county Board of Commissioners.  The NC Senate passed his amendment this week that would temporarily shift the number of Cabarrus Commissioners from 5 to 7 by adding Diane Honeycutt and Sue Mynatt temporarily. The amendment is part of a bill (HB 1218 / SB 844) that would alter the charter of the city of Monroe in Union County.

The Cabarrus Board of Commissioners was a hot topic during the primary season. Folks should bear in mind that Diane Honeycutt was one of the candidates using the strategy of getting Democrats to party switch to vote for her in the primary. The move to push her and Mynatt into their roles before their term begins is rooted in one thing: counter-balancing the Tea party influence. The Independent Journal sees the same power play at work; emphasis added is mine:

Honeycutt said she was disappointed with the changes to the budget and the way the changes were handled with no input from the staff or the community.

“That was probably the least transparent governing action I have seen,” Honeycutt said.

“I would love for one of those three commissioners to answer why they didn’t have their discussion before the public comments to give people a chance to hear what they were doing. I would love an answer to that. Don’t think I’ll get one, but I would love one.”

Hartsell’s proposal to add two seats to the board and to appoint Honeycutt and Mynatt to the board immediately would effectively swing the balance of power on the board away from the Tea Party, which controls three of the five seats now.

I would love to have heard the discussion of this amendment. The public voted to give you a specific term starting on a specific date, Ms. Honeycutt. Are you not bound by the same standards you bind others to? It would seem that Ms. Honeycutt and Ms. Mynatt are just fine when a Senator does an end run around the voters when it’s for them.  [Read: Cabarrus GOP Denounces 2 Candidates]

As for Senator Hartsell, is this a case of the enemy of my enemy is my friend?  Is this a ‘By Any Means Necessary‘ type move? Cabarrus Conservative Alliance thinks so and aren’t mincing words:

 

Citizens of Cabarrus County are asked to contact all members of the North Carolina House of Representatives and respectfully request that they vote to “NOT CONCUR” with the senate version of HB1218 when it comes back to the house.

So Cabarrus County Senator Fletcher Hartsell is at it again. He is attempting to pull another quick one on the citizens of the county.

Does anyone remember the political shenanigans involved with the Cab. Health Alliance Building and the Odell Community extra territorial annexation, all brought to you courtesy of “SPECIAL INTEREST” Senator Fletcher Hartsell ?

Well he’s up to his old tricks once again via political maneuvering to now change how elected representatives, in this case Cabarrus County Commission members take their duly elected seats.

Senator Hartsell is pushing through an amendment to a totally non applicable bill to “TEMPORARILY” seat two of the three newly elected commissioners before their terms actually begin by expanding the number of commissioners on the County Commission board to 7 members only till December then revert back to 5 thereafter.

Actual Bill language: “SECTION 2.(a)
The Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners is increased by two members from the effective date of this section through the first Monday in December of 2014.

Ms. Diane Honeycutt and Ms. Grace Mynatt are appointed to fill those two seats, and shall take the oath of office at the first regular meeting of the said Board of Commissioners following the effective date of this section.
SECTION 2.(b) This section is effective when it becomes law, and expires on the first Monday in December, of 2014.
SECTION 3. This act is effective when it becomes law.”.”

All this is being done without any input from the voters, except for a certain select group of people who obviously have the ear of this Senator.

This causes one to ask what’s the motivation behind this?

Who’s spearheading the whole matter?

What are they planning to foist upon the voters between now and December that “can’t wait” for the newly elected Commissioners to take their seats at the proper time?

It seems as though the Cabarrus Jobs Now people are not satisfied telling out and out lies about sitting County Commissioners in order to get their “Political Operative” candidates elected. They have now gotten the ear and assistance of one proven “SPECIAL INTEREST” Senator Fletcher Hartsell and convinced him to make up SPECIAL new rules to fit their SPECIAL INTERESTS and get two of their “SPECIAL INTEREST Commissioners” seated early in direct opposition to NC General Statutes.

§ 153A – 26. Oath of office. {On the first Monday in December following each general election at which county officers
are elected, the persons who have been elected to county office in that election shall assemble at the regular meeting place of the board of commissioners. At that time each such officer shall take and subscribe the oath of office. }

These statutes provide for an orderly and timely transition of power and responsibilities. Our sitting Commissioners were elected(and in the case of one Appointed to complete the unexpired term) to serve the citizens until the “First Monday in December following each general election at which county officers are elected.”

Citizens of Cabarrus County are asked to contact all members of the North Carolina House of Representatives and respectfully request that they vote to “NOT CONCUR” with the senate version of HB1218 when it comes back to the house.

It’s time for the truly Conservative voices of Cabarrus County to tell the truth and speak out against the lies being propagated by Cabarrus Jobs Now and their “SPECIAL INTEREST CANDIDATES!”

 UPDATE 6-29-14:  Independent Tribune has a second article up.  

Hartsell: ‘Will of the people’ at stake in county board / Pittman: Hartsell move appalling.

Money quotes:

“The June 16, 2014, budget action is a clear in-your-face to the voters of Cabarrus County,” Hartsell said Saturday.

So the answer to what Hartsell deems as an “in-your-face” to voters move is another “in-your-face” move by basically subverting the election process?

“The amendment simply expedites the will of the people by naming the top two of the people’s choice to join the three lame ducks so that a more orderly transition can occur,” Hartsell said.

Weak rationalization for a blatant overreach. There’s a process involved otherwise a primary would be the actual election?

Pittman, a Republican representing District 82, said the way the amendment was handled was improperly because neither he nor Rep. Carl Ford, a Republican representing District 76, was consulted when the effort first began.

Pittman said local bills are not supposed to be considered during the short session unless the entire delegation agrees to it.

So, one of Hartsell’s rationalizations for installing commissioners before the election can happen was that the current commissioners didn’t follow procedure in order to get their way, yet here is Senator Hartsell not following procedure to get his way? Awesome hypocrisy there.

“As Rep. Ford and I began to tell other members about what has been done, they were appalled and outraged at such dishonorable conduct,” Pittman wrote. “Many of them found the very idea of having the Legislature appoint anyone as members of the County Commission who have not yet even been officially elected utterly appalling.”

It is appalling. This has an executive order/ go around Congress feel to it.

*This article has been updated

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About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a freelance journalist and is currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
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1 Response to Amendment Would Temporarily Tip The Scales Of Power In Cabarrus

  1. Doug Drake says:

    Thanks for posting this, glad to see honest reporting out here in the net…

    Like

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