Mecklenburg redistricting fiasco is strongest argument yet for home rule

As many of you know, the state legislature took it upon itself to ram through its own map for Mecklenburg County commission districts. The reason? Republicans on a citizens' commission were upset that one of the maps under consideration would have split the towns in the southeastern part of the county into two districts.

Whatever you may think about what the citizen board was considering, this strongarm act by the legislature is yet more proof North Carolina needs to bring local government into the 21st century. Specifically, we need local home rule.

For years, the laws governing local government have been broadly construed. Unfortunately, this episode proved how short this falls of real home rule. Let Charlotte run Charlotte, Raleigh run Raleigh and Greensboro run Greensboro. It would also save valuable time for the legislature.

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The N&R covers the Guilford angle

Harsh words for the Bergermeister:

Guilford County was double-crossed this week by arrogant legislators who put power ahead of people.

With this action, Senate leader Phil Berger broke his agreement to let Guilford commissioners draw their own districts. Commissioners had held a series of open meetings in June and July, invited public input, invested staff time and posted proposed maps on the county website. They conducted a hearing Thursday, which went on as scheduled, though somewhat forlornly since the legislature had just pre-empted the reason for it.

Berger and his associates clearly weren't interested in public opinion and made no effort to hear from residents of Guilford County. Berger did say he intervened because of reports -- from unnamed people -- that the Democratic-majority Board of Commissioners wasn't going to pass a fair plan.

Same thing happened in Buncombe...

...on steroids. Freshman Rep. Tim Moffit (Republican) not only pushed through a local bill drawing district lines. Up to now, all Buncombe County commissioners ran at-large, and there was no impetus to change that.

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

Dems did the same thing in 1990 or 2000

I don't remember which year it was but the Democratic Legislature overturned voter approved dictricts here in Mecklenburg. Not sure of the reason.