Michael Bobbitt: Zoning and Redistricting

As September starts I reminded myself to post two thoughts to the readership of Home In Henderson. This September the voters and land owners of Vance County are facing two significant changes. One change has permanent impact on land use in this county. One change will require 10, or 20 or 30 years to reverse.

On September 12, our County Commissioners will sit and listen to the groaning and crowing on zoning. Unless there is a moment of wisdom to touch at least three commissioners the de’facto money power of the county and the Section 8 land barons will successfully assume total control of all land in the county by instituting zoning. Zoning is little more than government control of private lands. The movement towards zoning reemerged in earnest when the de’facto money power reclaimed voting control of county affairs in last November’s election.

Following the zoning comes re-districting of the county’s voting districts. Two weeks ago the at county commissioner’s public workshop the county attorney presented new district voting maps to the commissioners present, certain county managers, two elected school board members and myself. The county attorney stated that this is the first re-districting of voters since 1987 and is the result of the growth within the county. After the workshop, I asked and was told we could not have all or some at large commissioners it is forbidden by a court order. If the county is not allowed that why is the city? I have been unable to find the specific rule or court decision that forbids the county from at large commissioners.

Following the re-districting work session I ask one commissioner, who I assumed was open minded and amenable to discussing zoning, if the voters should be allowed the right to establish zoning (government domination of land use). This commissioner said and I paraphrase, I know all that needs to be known about zoning and what is good for the citizens of my district. This commissioner had learned that their district experienced little change therefore assured re-election when the next vote is caste.

Zoning will impact landowners’ choices beyond the life times of everyone reading this posting. Re-districting of the voting districts will seal the fate of all voters for the next one or two censuses. In less than one month two major changes to our county could be enacted in the hallowed chambers of a commissioners’ meeting.

As we go placidly into this year’s summer ending holiday, give thought to how Louis Edwards would end his posting on HiH again I will paraphrase; we get what deserve through our own inaction.

Michael Bobbitt