The Wilmington City Council is in an interesting political bit of hypocrisy. They are avid lefties that allow sectarian prayers while saying they don’t. It’s kind of funny when you hear these passionate Christian prayers at their meeting while knowing that most of the council adhere to a party platform that wants to get rid of such things in government. And they’re being called out (StarNews):
The American Humanist Association is accusing the Wilmington City Council of violating the constitution by holding sectarian prayers before meetings. It’s obvious the council has a preference for Christian prayers, William Burgess, director of AHA’s legal center, said.
City attorney Bill Wolok is hilarious in his response: ”We’re not going to stop the invocation,” City Attorney Bill Wolak said. “We don’t’ have to.” Wolak said the council cannot control what people say when they are mid-prayer.
And then the hilarity will ensue. . stay tuned. Righteous indignation? LOLRead full article » No Comments »
That is essentially what the StarNews addresses in four separate articles. Worth noting is that the people quoted are more inclined to see Government as the need rather than the possible hindrance. Here’s a condensed version of the StarNews rundown:
1) Quality of life – ”The larger industries … could not care less about the quality of life” because they aren’t relocating a large number of executives, said Jim Bradshaw, Brunswick County Economic Development Commission director. “They are looking at incentives, labor force and work force training.” But it does matter to smaller companies? ”Often times they are relocating from one part of the country to another,” Bradshaw said. “They will be moving families themselves and employees.”
Bradshaw goes on to explain that it’s basically about incentives and how fast the state can give away taxpayer dollars, but he never says “taxpayer,” not even a single time!
2) How other areas attract business – Here there is yet another defense of incentives citing Person County attracting both Eaton and GKN. All three deals (GKN) – one last year with an expansion of Eaton Corp. and another in 2007 by Force Protection Inc. – totaled about 520 jobs in a county with fewer than 40,000 residents.
The story cites NC incentives program, but neglects to mention that both Eaton and GKN laid off hundreds of folks in the Lee County area with other incentives that ran out. Typical of only giving the “good” version and neglecting to tell the whole story. But taking in BOTH parts of the story would have shown that both companies made a business decision that had really nothing to do with government.
The story also points to “government assisted” organizations: WBD’s budget is nearly $1 million – most of it from private funds. . But it has a contract with New Hanover County for economic development work worth about $134,000 and with the city of Wilmington for about $80,000. Tax-dollars = $214k
Brunswick and parts of Columbus counties are handled by the Brunswick Economic Development Commission, a government agency headed by Jim Bradshaw with a roughly $400,000 (tax dollars) annual budget.
3) Utilities and Infrastructure – This article dealt with water/sewer, BIG roads, railroads, the port and airports. Not a mention of traffic or local road quality.
4) AND FINALLY: Regulations and taxes, but they refer to it as “lawmakers, officials, looking to attract business” – Legislators have made changes to environmental regulatory processes and they are continuing to look at tax reform to help give the state a competitive edge. Hmm. . . finally, an admission that regulations and taxes affect business.
Other notables show up in the story, the ever reclusive Chamber of Commerce in Wilmington makes an appearance with its director Connie Majure-Rhett. Making the permitting process easier would also help, Majure-Rhett said. While it varies in each county and city, New Hanover and Wilmington, especially, have been called out for being tough to work with. ”What would help is if we had an asset where all the answers were to apply (for permits), and there was a timeline with a good estimate of how long (they) take,” Majure-Rhett said.