A recent column by Kirk Ross in the Chapel Hill News makes very clear how increasingly relevant the N.C. General Assembly's shenanigans are to us here at the local level. In the past, many have debated the utility of municipal and county governments weighing in with symbolic resoluitions about state and national issues. Well pardon my French, but sh*t just got real in Raleigh this summer.
As President Reagan once said, “there you go again.”
The Republican legislative leaders and Governor McCrory have agreed on a so-called tax reform plan that will soon make it to the Governor’s desk and break their very promise to pass a revenue neutral and broad reform plan. What this plan is is a raw deal for North Carolina by saying one thing and doing another.
Just one more thing, I know, but this hits close to home for me from my past Justice United work and the great cooperation we received from governments in OC.
PROHIBIT CERTAIN CONTRACT REQUIREMENTS BY LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
SECTION 5.(a) G.S. 153A‑449 reads as rewritten:
"§ 153A‑449. Contracts with private entities.
A county may contract with and appropriate money to any person, association, or corporation, in order to carry out any public purpose that the county is authorized by law to engage in. A county may not require a private contractor under this section to abide by any restriction that the county could not impose on all employers in the county, such as paying minimum wage or providing paid sick leave to its employees, as a condition of bidding on a contract."
SECTION 5.(b) G.S. 160A‑20.1 reads as rewritten:
"§ 160A‑20.1. Contracts with private entities.
Today the North Carolina Court of Appeals reversed a trial court ruling from last year that placed an injunction on Chapel Hill's ability to enforce its Towing from Private Lots Ordinance. The law requires signage, provides for limits on fees, and requires multiple forms of payment be accepted by the towing company. This is a big victory, not only for Chapel Hill, but for every community in North Carolina that regulates this kind of activity (Durham, Raleigh, Asheville, Charlotte, to name a few). It is especially welcomed following last year's NC Supreme Court decision in Lanvale v. Cabarrus County that had county and municipal officials concerned about how far local governments could go in implementing local ordinances to protect its citizens. (Not to mention the War on Cities the Gen Assembly has been fighting for the last several years). Here's a link to the decision. Very interesting read.
I'm pretty sure that no other municipality in North Carolina could have done business from prison in Raleigh tonight. But Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton (who helped instigate Mega Moral Monday) as well as Alderpeople Michelle Johnson, Damon Seils, and Sammy Slade all committed civil disobedience with about 140 other people - including Chapel Hill Town Council Member Donna Bell and OP Editor Molly De Marco - by refusing to leave the rotunda in the N.C. General Assembly.
Among the 1,000 protesters outside the NCGA were a quorum of Orange County Commissioners (Bernadette Pelissier, Penny Rich, Renee Price, and Mark Dorosin), a Carrboro Alderperson (Randee Haven-O'Donnell), OP regular Mark Marcoplos, and two more OP editors (Travis Crayton and myself).
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