Matthews commissioners say they’re tired of legislators in Raleigh overstepping their bounds and they have passed a resolution telling them so.
Monday night the seven member town board unanimously passed a “Resolution Opposing Legislation That Diminishes Local Governmental Control.”
The resolution specifically mentions N.C. House Bill 2 that was passed on March 23 in special session to nullify the Charlotte City’s Council vote a month earlier that approved a local ordinance prohibiting discrimination against the LGBT community.
But Matthews Mayor Jim Taylor says his town’s resolution has nothing to do with that specific issue.
“ The general assembly came in and turned over a local ordinance. Whether you are in favor of Charlotte’s ordinance or not is irrelevant. The issue of local control is the overwhelming issue of the town of Matthews,” Taylor said.
“Raleigh continues to come in and put its thumb on a lot of things where it doesn’t belong.”
The Matthews resolution cites a number of other examples that Taylor says shows state government’s overreach into local matters including: shifting control of Asheville’s water system; overturning local governments’ bans on guns in public parks; and restricting local governments’ regulations on development and home design.
Taylor said the state’s billboard ordinance, which allows billboard owners to clear trees and vegetation around their signs regardless of local ordinances, and the removal of protest petitions from zoning cases are two more examples of state government taking control away from local municipalities.
“It’s the theme of what’s been happening in Raleigh for the last three or four years. Every time we turn around, they are trying to prevent us from doing something that is best for our jurisdiction,” Taylor said.
He said the local jurisdictions should have to suffer the consequences of their decisions, if there are consequences, and Raleigh should steer clear of matters of local concern.
“Over the years Raleigh has tried to solve situations with a broad brush rather than dealing with specific instances. This is another example of them taking away the ability of the local elected officials to control the destiny of the people that put them in office,” Taylor said.
Melinda Johnston is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.