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LETTERS / Letter to Watauga Commissioner Billy Kennedy

Mr. Kennedy:
At the BOC meeting Tuesday night, February 19, 2013, I listened to the discussions re: the two main items on your meeting agenda sheet. Of course, these two prominent items were the conflicts with the Town of Boone’s even more onerous UDO stipulations and the Town of Boone’s very questionable and selfish water intake project and the more restrictive watershed regulations that would govern this intake project.
To my dismay, but certainly not to my surprise, the discussions proceeded as I expected. Now, I do not hear very well, but I digitally record these meetings, listen to them more than once, and I read the media reports and write emails and make calls to public officials regarding specific issues.
 Mr. Kennedy, I am going to be very frank with you. (Plus, Mr. Welch, please take note.)

As has been the precedent to an ad nauseam degree, many within the third district are witnessing the same pattern again. Even though you are supposed to represent a rural district, you went out of your way to speak on behalf of the Boone Town Council and their power-grabbing, anti-human, anti-rural, anti-local agenda.

Now, you described the attitude and contents of the proposed resolution as being “confrontational”. However, the sheer overwhelming number of regulations of this UDO, past and proposed, plus the watershed regulations, are even more confrontational, contentious, and discouraging to normal business and farming activities of an heretofore free enterprise system, especially to the rural communities that you allegedly represent.
We see the same ole, almost established misrepresentation and disenfranchisement being pursued as a normal procedure. These so-called ‘rural’ commissioners (who are unfortunately elected, not by the individual district itself, but by the entire county) in the past have also gone out of their way, have made it their personal crusade, to appease and emphasize Boone and ASU’s interests, and too frequently at the great expense and burden of the rural county citizens. This strange behavior, this course of action is certainly not in the interests, let alone the best interests, of the people that you are supposed to represent.
As a rural citizen and modest property owner, I have had it up to my eyeballs with commissioners within the last two decades, who are supposed to represent rural districts, actually, truthfully, and vocally, have spent their constituents’ money extravagantly on the Town of Boone, ASU, for control purposes and their urban interests only.
It is also certainly clear to many rural citizens, and especially those who have longtime, generational roots in this county, that they are considered by their ostensible representatives as being second and third class citizens within their own home county.
Plus, I’ve had Boone residents tell me that, as to job opportunities, ASU students are given first priority over longtime and year-round residents, which is another example of being reduced to second and third class citizenship.
Last year both parties presented candidates for this third district who I knew, without any doubt, would represent only Boone and ASU’s interests, and I for one did not vote for either.

The above paragraphs are not to say that I am supportive of the Watauga County Republican Party. In the fall of 2004, I re-registered as ‘unaffiliated’. Although they claim to adhere to true ‘conservative’ principles and traditional ideals, too many ‘conservatives’ of the Republican party and their leaders have acquiesced unnecessarily to their opposition on too many occasions for these occurrences to be considered accidental or the individual to be labeled as just naive. Also, as to general economic matters, both parties are pursuing the same centralizing and pre-planned agenda, which was pre-determined by a relative few decades ago.

You may counter that my views are not that prevalent, even in the rural areas. Yet, I will answer that in my private discussions with many people over the years, even some Boone residents, they tell me that they are fearful for their jobs (I am not referring to public jobs) or their close relatives’ jobs or positions, if they speak out and definitely if they make appearances before the county boards. Some tell me that they fear if they appear at meetings they will be ridiculed and ignored, and even rudely treated by the board members as some of us have experienced in the past. And some are just totally disillusioned with the entire intimidating governmental and controlled economic system.
I ask you and your fellow commissioners: Are these conditions indicative of a truly free and open society where citizens can willingly voice their opinions publicly without fear of recriminations?
I am not speaking in a mere partisan vein; I have passed this stage long ago. The dire conditions within our district, the county, the country, our Culture, are very, very serious indeed and on the verge of collapse. And when I witness rural representatives, especially local and state, pursuing plans and agenda items that will drastically undermine and even destroy the basic rights, property, and finances of their constituents, then I make no apology if what I say to these representatives is considered by these very officials as being provocative, forceful, and yes, Mr. Kennedy, even “confrontational”.
Sincerely and Disgusted,
 Karen Carter

Bethel Community