Archive for March, 2012

Deserts First, Meat and Potatoes Later

Posted in Taxes and Managment, Uncategorized on March 15, 2012 by seaweavermarine

There was much discussion on the revised BOCC procedural guide on the 3/13/12 meeting.  Much of it was centered around minor language. I am unhappy to report that the meat and potatoes will still be served in the last portions of all meeting while the pony shows and deserts will still be served first.

How can any Government body expect citizen involvement, if the substantive issues are corraled into the late hours of a week night?….(oh)….

All one need to do is review the last portions of any meeting video and you can witness first hand the Commissioners excusing themselves over errors and omissions due to “it’s getting late”.  Is this the hour we want our elected officials making critical judgments?  What a pity the board opted not to  have the course served in reverse order when everyone is sharp…including the citizens…on a week night.

cw

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A word on Definitions and the Marriage Amendment

Posted in Uncategorized on March 15, 2012 by seaweavermarine

Corruption of definitions will chain us all.

If we cannot agree what words mean, will will not be able to have a coherent conversation as we will be talking past each other.

While I like the definition of Marriage as it always has been, I cannot vote for the Marriage amendment as it limits the freedoms of gay individuals by not allowing them some mechanism to legally join in the eyes of the law.

Chris Weaver

The Amendment and “explanation”…. (explanation(shaking head)…this is not good government)

http://www.co.orange.nc.us/elect/documents/constitutionalamendmentexplanation.pdf

Letter to the BoCC on Weapons Ordinance

Posted in Uncategorized on March 13, 2012 by seaweavermarine

Abstract

On February 7th, the BoCC put forth a weapons ban on the consent agenda. It was removed due to concerns from the public who had short notice and the minor concerns of Board members over the inclusion of pocket knives. There was much  Board discussion that in the view of the concerned public was ambiguous, false and presumptuous in mixing the characteristics of criminals with those of lawful citizens. There was open discussion by the Board to allow all interested parties to participate in the process of crafting the ordinance. That interest of citizen participation appears to have evaporated.

At the February 21st Board meeting there was a petition by the Vice Chair to return the item to regular agenda with out a community meeting on the matter.  On March 6th this was denied by the Chair in favor of more review and return to regular agenda at least by summer vacation with no plans of community meeting in the interim.

From email exchanges with members of staff there is no indication this matter will find itself in a venue where actual dialog may occur as we were lead to believe.

It is in the interest of shared information and transparency and expediency in Government that we ask three things:

  • A community meeting to discuss the ordinance
  • To better understand the scrutiny of, dedication of, and commitment of CWP holders, we ask that the BoCC , Attorney, and Manger all receive CWP provided free of charge. The offer for CWP stands for all county employees at the regular rate.
  • That this matter not be pushed out to a date in which we are all distracted by other events.

BOCC,CountyManagerand Attorney,                                            2/15/2012

Gun owners, both conceal carry and open carry have questions surrounding the Boards initiation of a Ban on all properties of the County.

  1. What is the intention of the proposed ordinance?
  2. What data is the BOCC using to determine that the proposed Ordinance will fulfill the intention stated in question # 1?
  3. How does disarming conceal weapons holders make any park safer? Permitted weapons holders have no criminal records; they have finger
    prints on file with the sheriff; their medical records are reviewed for mental stability; and they have been instructed and tested in gun safety, legal use of force and pistol shooting accuracy.

Gun owners of OrangeCounty would like to hear why the Board of Orange County Commissioners wish to pass a weapons ban that seeks to rescind the liberties granted to the citizens of the state by the North Carolina Legislature by HB650. While the bill did make narrow allowances for Counties to limit these liberties from specific areas, these allowances were not intended to negate the intent of the law by preventing law abiding citizens the ability to defend life and family on the entirety of public property.

The initial draft of the proposed Weapons ban was included in consent agenda and went so far as to include pocket knives. This action of combining such an important issue into an omnibus package creates the appearance that the recommendation may have been  put forth with little regard or understanding of the scrutiny permitted citizens subject themselves to obtain this permit and the great commitment in which they carry this responsibility. This was reinforced when Members of the Board openly questioned why this was not put on the regular agenda.

The Code as drafted seeks to ban CWP from entire Parks. This is an over reach of State Law Code 14.415.23 which specifically states the sites with in a park County MAY disallow access to by Permitted weapons holders. We would ask the BOCC to review the in depth work of  Brandon V. Zuidema, Chief of Police of Garner who guided Garner’s code into law. It is the maximum limit of restrictions by local government over lawfully licensed Concealed Weapon Permitted Citizens. (link below).

http://www.garnernc.gov/Publications/Administration/TownCouncil/FINAL%20AGENDA%2011-22-11.pdf

We are pleased that the BOCC did pull the item from consent agenda and has publicly stated their desire to seek more input on the issue from the community prior to returning it to regular agenda. However it now appears the Board no longer wishes for separate community meeting where real dialog may take place.

We wish to see the ban dropped altogether. As noted and reflected in the Garner Code, the maximum restriction that may be imposed by the county are the specific zones with in a park per the definition of 14.415.23. This however, would have the effect of subjecting a Permitted Parent to a possible felony for stepping onto the play ground or ball field to aid a hurt child. We find this is unacceptable.

In the interest of having the BOCC  make the best informed decision in considering  limiting their movements of permitted citizens, the gun owners of Orange County and Fire Arms Instructor Jason McDonald offer the entire Board of Orange County Commissioners, the County Manager and County Attorney a Concealed Weapons Permitting Class free of charge. At the same time we offer this class to every employee ofOrangeCountyat the regular rate.

As lawful Citizens we have agreed to make small concessions in liberty to live under the rule of Law. The greatest portion of that agreement is to abide by rules crafted by our fully informed elected representatives. The elected representatives of State Legislature have seen fit to trust the lawful citizen in allowing greater exercise in the natural right of protecting our liberty. We hope the elected members of the Board of Orange County Commissioners will take advantage of this offer to gain insight to the States reasoning and rationale to trust the permitted citizen. We feel such training would provide the Board with the best informed data in their consideration of restricting the citizen’s ability to protect themselves from the actions of criminals.

As initially indicated by the commissioners, we are still looking forward to working with the board on this and the inclusion of all interested parties of the public in the matter.

Sincerely,

Chris Weaver, Scott Tutor, Gaylord O. Shepherd, A. Scott Broaddus, Alex Arab, Katie Smith,

 

Fred Said…or didn’t….

Posted in In the media, Uncategorized on March 9, 2012 by seaweavermarine

Reply To Fred Black, Political Science Commentator

http://www.chapelboro.com/It%EF%BF%BD-%EF%BF%BD-%EF%BF%BD-s—Political—Science-/9707959?pid=224880

“After the election, someone will claim they didn’t vote because they didn’t know anything about the candidates,” 
(sound of head on desk(but smiling))  Fred! You could not bear to name ONE?

  “What’s interesting this year is that, in some of our races, winning the Democratic primary will not be tantamount to being elected, as there are seats where the winning Democrat will face the winning Republican in the general election”
Oh it could not be that interesting…! Again…not one was mentioned. Perhaps this is indicative of the “old way”
Or as interesting as there never has been a Republican on the Board in it’s history…In terms of political science this deviation alone should inaugurate a disquisition itself! Alas that is another column in… science!

 “I can’t help but see Newton’s “action – reaction” thing at work here”
The other tangent alluded to but not embarked upon is the political gerrymandering of district one always determining district two’s representation (and the perils of Stevens v Bartlett in accordance). This purposeful structuring for a high false discovery rate and intentional variance of results leads me to consider perhaps we are observing but the fist half of Newtons law set into motion and as yet to find equilibrium since the actions of Fredrick N. Strudwick in 1871.

141 years is a long time for an opposite reaction. Perhaps it simply(amazingly) a deviation from isochronism which could land someone a Nobel Prize had they a category for political physics!

Surprise? Revaluation hurts revenue, taxes go up

Posted in Uncategorized on March 2, 2012 by seaweavermarine

At the March 2nd Capitol Improvement Planning Work session for Orange County there was a long list of desired expenditures. These were plans and needs that every county must attend to in order to maintain the best environment for the citizens. Unfortunately, tucked into the meeting near the end, was the inclusion of some unsettling news.

Tax Administrator, Jenkins Crayton, unveiled his department’s projections for the property revaluations slated for next year. While Mr. Crayton was as jovial as he could under the circumstances, his news was wrapped in dark humor. If the revaluations occur as planned in 2013 there will be a net loss of revenue to the county and municipalities and the only way to fix this is through is raising taxes.

None of this should be a surprise to anyone. Most property owners have realized their property values have dropped, but the board members seemed surprised at the news. Perhaps it was the way Mr. Crayton applied his power point presentation, flipping back and forth between maps of the property sales of the past four years that surprised the Board. Perhaps it was the truth in the numbers instead, as well as Mr Crayton’s statement that is the boards’ responsibility of dealing with it (in an election year).

The County Manager empathized with the great burden of the board in having to explain to the Orange County Citizens that as their property values went down, their taxes were going up. He then joked that Valerie Foushee would not have to deal with the impact this since she was not running for county office. Commissioner Yuhasz then commented we should use the term “raising rates”, rather “raising taxes”. In my humble opinion, as an OrangeCountycitizen, using terms that mask an outcome sounds like intentional lack of transparency. The fastest way to the truth is to call things by their real name: This would be a Tax Increase. Mr. Yuhasz also jokingly asked to defer the revaluation.

Mr. Crayton seemed ready for this. He noted seventeen other counties have chosen not to proceed with their revaluations. The board seemed to find some security in this. What got lost… was his comment that twenty one “brave” counties have decided to do their revaluation in 2009, and now there are only four planning to do this next year. This includes Orange…unless the politically easy route is taken, and that is “kicking the can down the road” which can have detrimental effects when it is finally addressed.

If the County does not order the revaluation which will show our taxes are too high for our property’s fair market value, the effect is paying over paying the county. If the County does not order the revaluation for everyone, it means property owners individually asking for a readjustment. That is a hodgepodge method that the citizens are not deserving of.

While the County certainly appears to be caught off guard, most Citizens understand the shape the economy is in and have made adjustments and hard choices to cope. Now it is the County’s turn. They can tax citizens at the correct market value for our property and raise taxes to make up the difference; or they can tax property owners at the incorrect market value and charge Citizens more than they should. Neither one is acceptable.

The Board needs to find the “bravery” Mr Clayton spoke of and proceed with revaluations for fair taxation, and start making hard budget decisions to avoid raising taxes. Ten million dollars is only about 5% of the approved Budget last year, many Citizens are living with greater reductions that that.

Mr Crayton paints a surreal story at the beginning of his presentation. Apparently no one in Orange thought the bad economy was going to touch them back in 2009. Well it is here. Due to a lack of conservation and frugality the county has no reserves to carry it through and laundry list of things to pay for.

This meeting started with, and devoted much of the night’s discussion to a wish list for the future(3.5 hrs), and not the reality of shortcomings(23min). Priorities certainly seem out of balance.

Kudos to Elizabeth Friend who stayed late and filed this report containing the 23 min. audio(some members do not get close to the mics and are extremely hard to hear)

http://www.chapelboro.com/OC-Tax-Assessor–As-Home-Prices-Go-Down–Tax-Bills/12430628?pid=&commentId=

Reply to Chapelboro News
http://www.chapelboro.com/Chapel-Hill-Property-Values-Drop-But-Tax-Rate-Coul/12854099?commentId=6425438&PHPSESSID=a03cac8fa5949d619e23ebf66457da96

Mrs. Pease…what is being talked about is every TAXPAYER being over charged, County and Municipal Governments becoming cozy with the money and not wishing to change their 4 year spending habits…JUST AS Orange County Taxpayers have had to do. It’s the real world out here. This news was available over a month ago and was presented at the County Capitol Improvements Work Session…which was…2.5 hours of spending planning for the next 10 years…followed by the news from OC Tax Collector of the shortfall in revenue…if Values are PROPERLY adjusted. Seems some in government might need to forgo Cable TV and eating out for a bit…just like people in the real world. http://wp.me/p2acSb-3w Chris Weaver

 

5/11/2012

The county has decided to continue overcharging rather than tighten up their belts.
http://www.co.orange.nc.us/OCCLERKS/1205157a.pdf