Like many mayors in North Carolina, I have become concerned about the continued power plays by Republicans in Raleigh to topple local control in our communities. From major metro areas to small towns, there is a clear effort to interfere with and seize our local assets.
Because of Republican legislative action, small towns across the state are likely to lose access to needed financial resources for their water and sewer systems. If rural towns are unable to maintain and modernize their water systems, they may be forced to become candidates for privatization of their own assets, which could lead to higher rates, a lack of transparency and less democracy.
This year Republican lawmakers acted against the Asheville water system, the Charlotte airport and the Wake County school board in the first of what will become many efforts as Republicans fly in the face of their supposed opposition to “big government” at the expense of local control.
Republican legislators should answer why they favor programs that subvert local control and that will potentially lead to the privatization of public assets at the expense of democratic input and governance. Both our urban and rural areas deserve these answers.
Pittsboro mayor, chairman of the N.C. Democratic Party