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.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Mayor to County = No Public Meeting......

After asking to mediate, Mayor Clawson says the town doesn't want to meet in Public. Suggests that a PUBLIC meeting is a "circus".

Since the county seems to believe that secret meetings are a violation of the state's open meeting laws, and the town only wants to meet privately with the county, it looks like this has reached a stalemate. Next move is probably the reallocation of sales taxes - probably at the county's regularly scheduled meeting a week from next Tuesday.

Mayor Clawson's statement:

" We appreciate Chairman Miller’s response to our offer to mediate as-of-yet unidentified problems in the sale of the old high school property. The Town of
Boone is interested in a solution to any problem, not a circus. Our offer stands to enter into mediation with the County. Once it is determined what, if any, specific changes should be considered in our ordinance to assist in the sale, there will be a full and open public hearing for all to weigh in on any proposed solution."

60 comments:

Reader said...

Does this mean the mayor is calling the entire county clowns?

Rick said...

I am willing to accept that I could be wrong in interpreting this but the way I read this the Mayor wants to mediate with the county to find out what the problem is. Once mediation has occured and hopefully a solution found there would be a public hearing to change the ordinance to fix the problem.I assume that's because it takes a public hearing to change an ordinance anyway. So how can you say there would not be a public hearing? I understand about the desire to have public hearings on anything and everything, but in this case it looks to me like the Town believes the only way to get a suggestion on how to change the ordinance to suit the buyer they would need to meet with the County in an environment where they can be frank with each other over what the real issue is and how to solve it. I don't know exactly what is meant by the word circus but the way I read it is that a public hearing where no one knows what the problem is and therefore no one can therefore find a solution would be just a bunch of people on both sides yelling about things neither side knows anything about. Again I just might not understand but the comment reads that way to me. I really just wish the two sides would meet like adults and remedy this problem whatever it is. Does anyone here know exactly what the problem with the ordinance is that is preventing the sale of the property?

Brent P. said...

Hey everyone. I don't have a dog in this fight and am not on one side or the other side, but I do think the county is wrong about mediation being illegal. I've know of it being used by governments before in other NC places where I've lived where there was no legal action threatened. I'm no lawyer and no heavy researcher either but even Wikedpaedia says "In addition to dispute resolution, mediation can function as a means of dispute prevention, such as facilitating the process of contract negotiation. Governments can use mediation to inform and to seek input from stakeholders in formulation or fact-seeking aspects of policy-making."

NewGuy said...

Did Clawson talk to any of the commissioners? Or did she just send this letter to the press? If she doesn't want a "circus", then she should pick up the phone and call Miller!
I don't think anyone is saying that mediation in itself is not legal. The issue here is that North Carolina has an open meetings law which requires - with only a few exceptions- that all meetings be open to the public.

Clawson keeps asking "what's the problem?"....when eveyone else in the area seems to have it pretty well figured out. If she doesn't understand something, let her ask Miller instead of sending letters to the press.

I personally think it's time that the tax distribution be changed - Boone has had an unfair advantage for years- let the other municipalities benefit for a while.




guy faulkes said...

Anytime a quorum of either a town council or a county commission meets, it has to be in public and advertised unless it meets very strict criteria. The only exemptions I know of are personnel mattes, legal matters pertaining to a law suite, or the preliminary actions to purchase property. None of these would seem to apply as personnel matters and purchasing property are not applicable by any stretch of the imagination and a possible lawsuit argument is ludicrous because until they have the meeting or the county makes a decision, there is nothing to sue over.

This illustrates the propensity of the Boone Town Council to either hold illegal meetings or at best questionable meetings.

If the town wishes a conversation before the county makes a decision, it had better get on the ball because the county is under a deadline and time is running out, especially if advertising of the meeting is necessary.

The Legend In Your Mind said...

Why should she pick up the phone when our own Nathan didn't have the class to keep from turning this into a three ring circus? I am in no way endorsing the recent actions of the town of Boone, but the watauga county republicans are being played by the Templeton's. we now have one on the board of commissioners that has proven to be a hypocrite, and his wife is trying to lead the party to support her daddy's business deals. Wake up people. We claim to have a higher standard of ethics than the left, start acting like it. Republicans always lose trying to play by liberal rules. Have some dignity you weak minded sheep.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody think the Legend is a Republican?

The Legend In Your Mind said...

I don't care what you think, you weak kneed Rhino. I've been a true conservative longer than your mother wished she had just read a book that night.

Anonymous said...

Classy guy, huh?

The Legend In Your Mind said...

More class than you will ever comprehend

The Legend In Your Mind said...

Is someone censoring the speech on this site?

Johnny Rico said...

Rick said:

" I don't know exactly what is meant by the word circus but the way I read it is that a public hearing where no one knows what the problem is and therefore no one can therefore find a solution would be just a bunch of people on both sides yelling"

I know what it means, and I'll help you out a bit since you're having trouble interpreting. The word "circus' by liberal socialist sheep Clawson means she doesn't want the public to witness, firsthand, the subterfuge and dishonesty stemming from the Boone Town Council. Therefore, Clawson wishes to engage in non-transparency outside the public view to shield liberal socialists from the inevitable tough questions that conservatives will ask. Does that help clear it up for you?

Your ole pal

Johnny Rico

PS Anyone who gives a politician a pass is complicit in the fleecing of citizens.

Johnny Rico said...

Brent P. said:

"but I do think the county is wrong about mediation being illegal"

Here's a real winner. We have Brent P. totally disregarding the fact that the liberal socialist Town Council is avoiding the public by trying to draw attention to a minor point of mediation possibly not being illegal. Who cares if mediation is illegal or not? The greater issue is why Clawson doesn't want to answer to the public. Your sidestepping of the real issue here show's either your support for the Town Council or your ignorance of the importance of transparency in government, or both. I think it's both.

Your ole pal

Johnny Rico

Sarah Smith-DePaul

Johnny Rico said...

Legend in an Idiots Mind said:

"turning this into a three ring circus?"

So meeting in secret, without oversight of the public, is a three ring circus now? Not sure how you arrive at this conclusion, but Marx, Lennin and Stalin all three would love you.

What's a three ring circus is the Town Council, led by liberal oppressor Clawson, avoiding their public masters. They don't want to answer any tough questions (sort of like their hero hussein obumma). LOL. This ought to be interesting....

Johnny Rico said...

Legend in an idiots mind said:

"I've been a true conservative longer than your mother wished she had just read a book that night"

Yes, very true, she didn't realize anything was happening so she relaxed with a book. Compensation again my friend? LOL!!!!!!

Stings don't it

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your two cents legend or Deborah, or Casey, or Nate. You are all so interchangeable these days.

Rick said...

I am coming to accept now that the town will lose the $2 million. I think that's where all this is headed. I talked to a past Boone Town Council member about this yesterday. I don't know if its a good idea to post his name here but he is a Republican, a moderate like me, and served for many years in Boone government. He is also very angry with the County. He also believes the town's ordinances are in some ways "too narrow" but he also believes there is no way an independent town government can allow itself to be held hostage. We talked about what the loss of $2 million would do. Its not pretty and will require a massive cutback in everything from police to trash pickup. He expects the town will also have to let go of the movie theater and perhaps the old post office. He even said the town would probably need to cut out all its nightime lighting. If those of you here think this is a good plan for either our party or the lives of those who live in Boone or who work or do business here, I would respectfully disagree. Again I wish saner heads would prevail.

Anonymous said...

I have a question I'm hoping someone here can answer. I am a member of one of the fire departments in Watauga. I am hearing a sales tax redistribution method to ad valorum will reduce the amount of money going to the fire departments. Has this been included in the projected loss for changing the tax distribution? How will this money be made up or will we just take a hit? From what I have read this is something that has to be worked out with individual fire departments but nothing seems to be in the works. I have tried to get an answer from County offices but have not heard back. From what I have read the County says it will only lose $200,000 from the change in sales tax, but the estimates I am hearing from a loss to the fire districts is much, much more. Does anyone know?

Anonymous said...

It's no surprise that Rick would find another Boone resident who would prefer to keep sales tax revenue flowing to Boone.

Johnny Rico said...

(P)Rick said,

"he is a Republican, a moderate like me....."

In other words you're saying you're a standard liberal. Maybe not the raging occupy wall street kind, but a liberal nonetheless. There is no such thing as a moderate - that's just a method to ensure our out of control government continues to fleece America. McCain claims to be a moderate as does Joe Manchin of West Virginia (demoturd) and both will vote your Constitutional Rights away in a hurry. Good job on trying to cover up your liberal tendencies.

Johnny Rico said...

Looks like the usual cast of liberal clowns have been outed once again. That certainly didn't take long. Any of you liberal socialist sheep lemmings care to take issue with my essential truths? LOL!!! This ought to be interesting!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I am not certain of this, but my understanding is that the Fire Departments would see an INCREASE - that the sales tax redistribution would include more money for the FD's directly from sales taxes.

Rick said...

I voted my straight Republican ticket in the last election. I did vote for two democrat school board candidates. In the last municipal race, all running were Democrats. I voted for one, a newcomer. If you think people who vote this way are liberals instead of part of our Republican base you are very wrong. Run us off and see what you have left.

Anonymous said...

Rick for Town Council!

NewGuy said...

I think Boone's citizens need to ask themselves why their mayor wants her discussions with the county to be private? What is there that needs to be said that can't be said in front of the taxpayers who they are supposed to be representing?

Boone seems to conduct more business in "private sessions" than they do in front of the citizens.

Clawson elaborated that the mediation is not intended to be open to the public.
Below is from previous WatDemocrat article


On Thursday, Board of Commissioners Chairman Nathan Miller said he would be interested in sitting down with the Town Council -- but he wouldn't do it in private, and he wouldn't want a mediator.


Miller said he believed the boards would violate North Carolina's open meetings laws if they met behind closed doors for this purpose.
See article here:

http://www2.wataugademocrat.com/News/story/Boone-calls-for-mediation-with-county-id-010997

Rick said...

As for the meeting being private or open, I don't care one way or the other. I am thinking the Town wants it private because they think thats the only way things can be worked out in such a highly charged political climate. They may be right on that. Lets just find a solution.

NewGuy said...

As I see it, there is no option for a private meeting since the law seems to preclude that. This leaves only the option of meeting where the public can attend....and, apparently Mayor Clawson has rejected that option. At least she has told the newspapers that......I haven't seen a letter responding to the county's offer to meet next week so I don't know for sure that she has rejected anything - at least not by communicating with the county.

Jus' Sayin' said...

To be fair, they recently passed a resolution declaring Monday's as "Meatless Monday's" and they did it without any closed sessions. At least, none that we know of!

Johnny Rico said...

(P)Rick said:

" If you think people who vote this way are liberals instead of part of our Republican base you are very wrong. Run us off and see what you have left."

You went from drawing attention away from Mayor Clawson's decision to prohibit transparency in government to telling us how moderate you are. Then, because you fear you will be called on this glaringly obvious tactic of moderates and the left (same thing) you threaten to run away. How about answering the original questions posed to you before turning tail and running?

Here it is again my "moderate" friend. How do you give a pass to Mayor Clawson's decision to keep the public in the dark concerning the Boone Town Council's decision making process on an issue of importance to everyone? I'd like to hear how you support non-transparency in government. Mayor Clawson is acting like her mentor, hussein obummer, and you give her another pass like typical moderates enjoy doing. In other words, you're a liberal.

Your ole pal

Claire Hillman-Sachs

Johnny Rico

Tough questions, tough questions

Johnny Rico said...

Oh and one more thing (P)Rick. You asked what we'll have left if you quit this site due to not answering tough questions. The answer is: CONSERVATIVES.

Johnny "Stinger" Rico said...

(P)Rick said:

"As for the meeting being private or open, I don't care one way or the other"

Here's the icing on the cake!!!! WTF???? You don't care about transparency in government? This is how bills like obummacare get rammed down our throats. Are you one of those "well find out what's in it after its passed" kind of guys? You call yourself a Republitard, yet you trust Demoturds to make decisions for you without even a semblance of public scrutiny. You're even more stupid than I originally thought. Typical liberal socialist sheep - follow until your enslavement becomes your only reality.

Your ole pal

Gary Dodson

Johnny Rico

Craig Dillensburg

Stings don't it!

PS You remind of the liberal poster I called !PLOP!. LOL!!!!

Johnny Rico said...

Why would anyone want to go "meatless"? That's dumb. How about "Saladless Saturdays" for those who don't like or believe in produce? How about a resolution calling for "White Lightning" Wednesdays in lieu of our Appalachian Culture and Heritage? What a bunch of liberal sheep dolts on the Town Council.

Now that we're talking about dolts, the repuliturd Watauga County Commissioners are equally as worthless as the Town Council. The commissioners may not take rights away (except for tax increases), but they don't gain you back any either. Therefore, they are as much a problem as the liberals they replaced. How about the Commissioners DO SOMETHING!!! DO SOMETHING!!!! Something like putting power in the hands of the people for once. Vote the liberal Republican Commissioners out of office and replace at once.

Jus' Sayin' said...

Vegetableless Vednesday?
Fruitless Friday?
Taco-less Tuesday?

Rick said...

Okay. I get the message. This site is apparently not for me.

NewGuy said...

Rick, I disagree. I find your comments to be worthwhile and I hope you will stay around and continue to share your thoughts with us!





Anonymous said...

Ignore the child/bully Rick and continue to post.

Johnny Rico said...

(P)Rick,

"Okay. I get the message. This site is apparently not for me"

Exactly. You don't want to answer to the transparency question, and you run away exactly as I predicted. Good riddance.

My friends, did I not call it exactly as it played out? LOL!!! Sort of like I predicted that demoturds and repulitards would come together on fiscal cliff talks and vote to fund unemployment benefits for Americans so those Americans wouldn't turn on gainfully employed illegal aliens for work. I called it to a tee.

(P)Rick - how long have you been a closet sheap/liberal? Were you raised that way or did you hit your head on something growing up? Either way, a waste to society.

Ben Clarksdale

Johnny Rico said...

And now the clowns resort to posting anonymously when Rico shows up. Typical.

guy faulkes said...

All I can say is those that cannot take heat avoid the kitchen.

If you feel your position is worth defending, do so. To not defend it causes it to be irrelevant.

The open meetings law is well defined but is often ignored or bypassed by political subterfuge by the Town of Bone. It looks like they will not be able to avoid it this time.

My question to Rick is why Boone should be the benefit of a method that gives it a larger share of sales tax revenues than other entities. Is it because of a large student population that pays no property taxes? Does this not harm those in other communities that do pay such taxes without an inflated population?

Granted people that own property in Boone also pay property taxes, but they would still receive their fair share under the other system.

Johnny Rico said...

Notice how the liberals flee when held to a standard. They were asked, simply, to justify their defense of a government engaged in secret meetings and non-transparency. This seemingly easy task is beyond them. LOL!! That was easy!!! I won.

Your ole pal

Johnny Rico

Jody Aristas

Rick said...

As I understand it you can either distribute the sales tax revenues by population or property value. This doesn't have anything to do with property taxes. Those are a different animal altogether. Most students do not pay property taxes but they pay sales taxes just like all the rest of us do. I don't know but I strongly suspect most of the sales taxes are collected in Boone since that's where most of the people live and/or work. That's where they buy groceries, buy lunch, or go to a movie. Should the sales tax be redistributed towards those with higher property values instead, then the money is shifted to the richer areas, but not to areas where the most people live. Beech mountain only has a couple of hundred people living there. In other words we can either put most revenue in areas where more police are needed, the roads are more traveled, there's more trash, etc. Or we can put the money where fewer people live but where the property is worth more. This is why county residents lose funds too unless Mr. Miller is able to cut a deal with the richer towns to give some back. The value of the homes in the county for the most part are worth less than the values of the homes in Beech and Blowing Rock.

Blogger said...

Rick, you wrote "Okay. I get the message. This site is apparently not for me" Rick I don't know what you were responding to, but you have been doing a good job so I hope you will stay.

Rick said...

Thank you Blogger.

guy faulkes said...

If you do not think peppery values have anything to do with property taxes, Rick, then you must not have ever paid any or have never been through a reevaluation.

I do not care where in the county the taxes were collected. I care a little about where the people live that paid them. I care a lot about seeing the revenues from these taxes fairly distributed.

In my opinion allowing Boone to use its inflated student population to gain more than its share of revenue from sales taxes to discriminate against those that own properties outside of Boone is not fair because it causes those in other municipalities to have higher municipal proeprty taxes. At least the property value method treats those that have the most skin in the game in the same manner.

If the value of homes is higher in one place than another, is it not logical to believe that the other purchases made by the people that own these properties might also be higher than the norm, at least to some degree?

This is why sales tax instead of an income tax would be preferable.

The county can maintain its fair share merely by adjusting the other funding it gives to municipalities.

oatz said...

Just a thought did Clawson mail the letter to all ASU students?

Rich said...

I guess I didn't express myself very well. Of course property values relate to property taxes. But we are not talking about property taxes, we are talking about sales taxes. I pay plenty of both. The county cannot adjust what it gives to any municipality in the sales tax distribution. It has to negotiate with the town to get them to give some some money back. As for the rest of it all I guess we just have to agree to disagree. I believe the sales taxes should go where the people are. You believe the sales taxes should go where the property value is. Thats okay. We can disagree.

Johnny Rico said...

(P)Rick,

I thought you were running away? I guess we cannot be so lucky, but I'm kind of glad so I can continue to call you out on your inability to answer simple questions. You started this post talking about the need for mediation. Now you're talking about sales and property taxes and shying completely away from the original subject.

Again, since you "have no dog in the fight" how do you support non-transparency in government? You would rather have Communist Clawson conduct a secret meeting rather than govern out in the open. Your name suits you!!!! Typical liberal socialist - try and offline and change the subject when called on something.

I won!!!

Your ole pal

Gary Greason

Johnny Rico

Rick said...

I do have a dog in the fight. What made you think I didnt?

Happily Married said...

Watauga Conservatives - Stay Classy!! You tear one of your own to shreds. You have no tolerance and only believe in your black/white world. If you are not a hard core conservative you can only be one other thing - a flaming liberal. Even republicans call out their own from time to time. Anyone here have the balls (Other than JR) to admonish folks like JR and Sark for their very black and white approach and bully tactics?

guy faulkes said...

Rick, if the county gives the municipalities that get an increase in sales tax revenue less in discretionary funds (the funds used for various projects inside the city limits) so that the county comes out even or even slightly in the plus column, then equitably will have been reached. The inflated impact of students with no skin in the game as property owners will have been removed. The towns can choose whether or not to replace these funds for any project funding cut by the county. After all, most municipalities will still have more revenue to work with.

If the county does this, they do not have to reach an agreement with any municipality. It is up to the municipality how to use the sales tax revenue.

Rick said...

Only Blowing Rock and Beech Mountain will have additional revenues. Everyone else, including the county, loses funds. But its all good. I'm sure Blowing Rock and Beech Mountain will be more than happy to come on over to Boone and use their new funds to provide the extra police, trash pickup, etc. that is essential in a college town.

NewGuy said...

Rick, with respect - I'm not sure that only BRock and Beech Mountain would gain...I think news preports have indicated that Seven Devils would also gain....as for the county, it's a little less clear.

If the changes to sales tax distribution do go thru, I believe the various fire districts will all gain directly from the sales tax changes - but, at the same time would not receive ALL of the county funding they currently receive from property taxes. I haven't seen or heard any specifics as to which FD's would gain how much - but I have heard that it's likely they would ALL gain. (although some more than others).

And let's not jump to the conclusion that Boone wouldn't still continue to receive the largest share of the sales tax revenues. Their share would be less than at present, but still would be the highest share of any.

And, I would bet that Blowing Rock collects a higher percentage of all sales taxes collected than what they receive back under the current allocations.

Let's also not forget that ASU has a police force of it's own with arrest powers and with police authority in the town of Boone. This force is not funded by local Boone taxes but they do take at least part of the workload off the Boone PD.

guy faulkes said...

I know you are being sarcastic, Rick, but my point is that Blowing Rock and Beech Mountain have been treated unfairly by the population method of distributing sales tax monies because of the student population in Boone. It is up to Boone to provide its own services. It is not the responsibility of BR or BM to provide services for students that also cost the entire bounty for services they receive.

Maybe Boone should investigate obtaining property tax from the automobiles that state law requires to be registered in the county where one legally resides.

As stated before, the county can change the discretionary funds it gives things inside the municipal limits and lose nothing.

Rick said...

It would be interesting to know which town collects the most sales tax and their percentage of return. I'll bet Boone actually gets back less than its percentage collected but don't know. That is something that should be looked into. I dont know much about the fire departments but from what I can read on that it seems the fire departments would also collect funds based on property value not population. That would certainly be a problem. Im sure the commissioners have something figured out on that too. It is a can of worms and it is opened.

HappyAppy said...

Personally, I don't see anything wrong with a little meditation. I think if we all meditated a little bit more before making these big decisions, we'd all be better off...

NewGuy said...

I would expect that Boone and Blowing Rock both collect more in sales taxes than they receive back. They are the business centers but people from the unincorporated areas (and from outside Watauga county) are shopping in those business centers. Look at the number of restaurants in B.Rock that collect sales taxes - certainly a lot more restaurants (and other retail shops) than what the year around B.Rock population could support.

As far as I know FD's are currently funded from property taxes which are based on property values..

NewGuy said...

Happy...you should tell that to the mayor of Boone who went to the press and to the voters with her request for mediation BUT who refused to actually meet if the public was allowed to observe!

Rick said...

All we can do is guess about who pulls in the most sales taxes and who gets back more or less percentages than they collect. It would be nice to know. This is the kind of thing that should be thoroughly explored before making such a proposition, not after. I think there's one thing we're all forgetting. We might all have a different view of whether the sales tax distribution should remain the same or change, and I am sure there are very good reasons for looking at the issue closely and hearing from everyone about it. But that's not whats happening here. The Commissioners aren't putting fourth research and reasons for looking at this. They are using this issue as extortion. Mr. Miller has said so himself in the link I will try to put at the bottom of this (hope it works.) No one ever talked about this during the elections last year. Had they done so I might well have voted very differently. No one ever suggested the county gather information about this and see what the best thing is to do. So all the talk now about whether its a good thing or a bad thing is really useless since no one seems interested in really looking into the issue only looking at threatening Boone with it. The County Commissioners are supposed to represent Boone citizens to but it is clear they couldnt care less. Here is the link http://www.hcpress.com/news/watauga-commissioners-to-discuss-switching-sales-tax-distribution-method-boone-would-lose-2m-in-revenues.html

NewGuy said...

That would have been a good point for the mayor to bring up at the meeting - had she agreed to meet.

Reader said...

Rick, you can look the data up on NC Dept. of Revenue site.

As a business owner, we see all kinds of people from different areas of the county spending money with us. Boone's population, without students...around 4000 or less, probably less. I didn't realize Deep Gap had around 2500. Not sure how many residents in the other little communities, though I might be surprised.

The trouble I see with our town council, they don't realize the businesses are the ones who collect the taxes. We are why they have money to spend. If businesses weren't here, they'd have no money to purchase their post office, theatres, etc. Yet, they constantly want to add restrictions. They lost quite a businesses when widening of 421 came about and it was a hardship for most of us to stay afloat. Yet, more restrictions for new construction.

I am for redistribution. Go for it. County residents are no less important than the town residents. I'm sure the fire departments would love to have the money that's been wasted by the town council in previous years. I don't know how much equipment cost, but the money they spent on fighting Templeton, might have purchased something they needed to save a life. But of course, the council doesn't think of such things and their attorney who advises them. Thankfully, they will be held accountable one day for their wrongdoings.

And I see Templeton did pull his offer.