This blog,originally founded by Blogger, who is listed in Marquis Who's Who and is a recipient of the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. He holds a theological degree and a doctorate in Counseling Psychology. Taught Psychology for 32 years and is now Professor Emeritus. Is a board-certified psychologist and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in his profession. Ministered as a chaplain, and pastored Baptist and Episcopal churches. Publications cover the integration of psychology and theology. Served in the Army, the Merchant Marines and the Peace Corps.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

County AGAIN responds to town.....NO PRIVATE MEETING!

According to a just posted update on the Watauga Democrat, the county has, once again, written the town that they will NOT hold a private meeting but will meet ONLY in compliance with the NC Open Meetings Law.

See County letter here

I am losing count but I think this may be the forth or fifth time that the town has been told this. The position of the county has been that the open meetings laws would not allow the closed session that the town has asked for. BOC Chairman Miller (an attorney) and County Attorney "Four" Eggers have stated this position over and over again - the North Carolina School Of Government has CONFIRMED that the county position is correct. Yet, the town continues to refuse to meet public

It's probably too late now (as Mayor Clawson has stated) The change in tax distribution determination must be in Raleigh by April 30 - and no public meeting has yet been scheduled. In order to schedule one, at least 48 hours notice must be given to citizens.


Johnny Rico said...

Any liberals want to pontificate on the Towns blatant refusal to engage in transparency and integration with the public? Kind of hard to argue with stupidity isn't it? LOL!! The County Commissioners are eating the Town Council's lunch!!!!!

Your ole pal

Billy-Ann Pasqualle

Anonymous said...

Is the GOP meeting tomorrow night? Usually an email is sent out. Was an email sent out lastt month? I use to get them. Just wondering if my email is acting up, or maybe my address was accedently removed. Not sure what is going on.If anyone knows please let me know waht time and where. Thanks for the help.

Reader said...

The more I've been thinking about this tax issue, my question would be, why are the developers not building in the county? I don't mind driving out of town to shop...and a lot of students like being out of the town limits to live. I hear there will be another Dollar General in Deep Gap, besides the one in Vilas. Out of town seems the way to go with developing in my opinion.

I, as well as many of the population of Watauga, go out of town to shop. It's a shame we have to give our sales tax revenue to Wilkes, Winston or even Hickory when we could be spending our money in our own county. That's how the cookie crumbles...and it's crumbling all around the council, attorney and town manager.

guy faulkes said...

Reader, it is a combination of logistics and economics.

Infrastructure for a development in this day and age is cost prohibitive.

For most developments other than small ones or single family lots large enough to function with septic, you need a local sewer system. These arr e expensive, but even more prohibitive is they are heavily regulated.

You also have to consider access. There are many hoops though which you have to jump with the DOT. Unless the development is located on a main road, such as 321 or 421, then you will have problems with those that oppose it by saying the road cannot handle the traffic. This is currently being said about the proposed business park and has in the past stopped developments as it did for one on 105,

Being located out in the county any distance form ASU is not as conducive for student housing as you may think. Access to the school and parking are at a premium. Convenience for the varied scheduling of classes has to be considered. If the students are to inconvenienced, then they will not live there and the developer will lose his butt. Granted, a large enough development could alleviate this by providing mass transportation or using Applecart. However, it is still a risk that must be considered.

Finally, if you are in what many consider a short commute to the college, you are probably in the ETJ. This puts you under town control and leaves you petty much disenfranchised as to the decisions made about your investment. The Town of Boone is not only famous for changing horses in the middle of the steam, but for shooting the horse if they do not like the detestation.

Retail shopping is more feasible, but you are basically talking about a strip mall. For it to be feasible, there has to be one or two large stores that are destination tenants which bring in people that will also shop the smaller stores that are necessary to make the project economically feasible. These kinds of stores have pretty strict criteria about where they place tier franchises. They are not easily met in many cases.

To sum it up, an investment in a development like we are talking about is risky at the best of times. Under the present conditions, it is more like suicide.

Reader said...

I understand your point of view, Guy. Was just thinking of housing for everyone, not just the students. Maybe the money the other towns will receive could be a draw for other businesses.

Now the town needs to start liquidating some assets to make up for the loss. We don't need to suffer. As we liquidate to stay afloat everyday, they need to do this as well.

NewGuy said...

I am of the opinion that the free market works! Any housing that is built is going to add to the housing inventory in the area. If students find the new development desirable and affordable, they will move into those units. If they vacate other units to do so, then those vacated units become available - if too many are available for the market to support, prices per unit will drop in reaction to the decrease in demand.

Affordable housing? Build enough units to meet the demand and the upward pressure on prices will be reduced. AND, the units students vacate in order to move into these new "student housing" units will become available for "work force housing". How many students are currently sharing quarters in single family homes or other housing units that would be very suitable for work force housing?

guy faulkes said...

NewGuy, the fee market always works when it is allowed to do so. It cannot when the process is hampered by over regulation such as that of the Town of Boone. If they keep supply low, then demand will always overshadow it but cannot be satisfied due to the inflated cost of increasing supply.

NewGuy said...

"NewGuy, the fee market always works when it is allowed to do so."

Precisely, Guy! And while some regulation might be acceptable, or even desirable - restricting developers based on a governmental determination as to what is "needed" crosses that line. It's disturbing to see arguments based on such "logic" as "Boone doesn't need more student housing", or "We don't NEED another Walgreens"!

Next we will have the Boone Town Council meeting to decide what products WalMart should carry more of and which should be eliminated based on the town's idea of what Boone residents "need".

You would think that, having seen the successes of American free enterprise and the failure of the economies in those country's with a government "planned" economy, the lesson would be clear.

Reader said...

Guy and New Guy, I agree! Free enterprise is the only way for competition to thrive. I was just pointing out the outskirts could be built up as well. I'm all for Mr. Templeton getting the property for housing and doing with it as he wishes, it's his money.

Apparently, the mayor nor the council have ever been up in an airplane over Boone. They are but a speck on this land mass they call quaint and overgrown.

guy faulkes said...

"You would think that, having seen the successes of American free enterprise and the failure of the economies in those country's with a government "planned" economy, the lesson would be clear."

Not to a tyrant or out of control martinet.

NewGuy said...

Reader...The complex being built on Poplar Grove Road is outside of the town's jurisdiction and is the result of Boone making construction so difficult in their "territory". This development will provide housing for just under 900 students.

Of course, when you build in the outlying areas you have to develop your own infrastructure - sewer, water, etc AND you are going to add to the commuter traffic in a way that wouldn't happen if development was more practical near campus.

Look at who benefits by restricting convenient housing for students! Every landlord with a sub standard unit, or an owner renting out a single family home to students, is able to charge high rents because the supply of competitive housing is being choked!

Once sufficient student housing is provided, competition will require price reductions for the less desirable units.
This is how "affordable housing"
is achieved!

Every action taken by the town of Boone is designed to keep prices high for 'in town' properties. Steep slope regulation; view shed ordnances, and the recent "work force housing" restrictions all combine to keep the existing inventory from free market competition. Making it more expensive (or impossible) to develop in Boone eliminates the competition and the owners of the existing homes have less competition when it comes to rental prices and/or home sales!

Developments away from the campus and the downtown business area are adding to the inventory - but - they don't have the impact on rental costs in the closer in areas than housing convenient to campus would have.

guy faulkes said...

New Guy, does all of this make sense as the comprehensive plan calls for walkable communities and avoiding sprawl?

NewGuy said...

What makes sense Guy, is that when you drive new development out of town, the existing "in town" inventory can maintain higher rental prices.

Putting a Walgreens across from Bill's Garage on King Street makes sense if "walkability" is a factor....but doesn't make sense if the central planners seek to determine what businesses should be allowed to operate based on their perception of what the town "needs".

Of course the proposed Walgreens's would not represent the high standards required to maintain the "character" of King street as epitomized by Bill's Garage, Hippy Hill, and the various t-shirt shops and tattoo parlors that represent what Boone seems to want.

And let's not forget the panhandling on the streets; the lounging around on the town's sidewalks forcing pedestrians to step over or walk around the 'loungers ' - this is apparently the "character" Boone wants to preserve. Certainly a new Walgreen's would do nothing to preserve that 'run down, shabby chic' look that we are striving for.

Doug said...

Thoughts on Walgreens:

Honestly, why do the Planners and company hold these hearings?

Their decision-making model is clear cut:

Development, improvement, growth, business = NO.

Increased regulation, anti-development, anti-ASU = YES.

And it took 4 hours to come to this decision!?! I knew the outcome before the question was asked - everyone did.

But then again, their meetings always take forever - planning all aspects of citizen's lives is hard work. How could we function without the Tree Board and Meatless Mondays? (Lord help us.)

Facing a much smaller budget going forward, one would think the Planners would be interested in expanding their tax base? Of course such thinking requires at least a 6th grader's understaning of finance.

Anonymous said...

Doug, do you think that the town planners are merely incompetent? Or are they acting on behalf of someone's financial interests?