Expect Commission To OK Referendum

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 16, 2013

Two male cardinals were fighting on the deck Monday — staking their competing territorial claims closest to our bird feeder. During the coldest days of winter, a dozen cardinals ate peacefully alongside each other. Now that spring is here, the male cardinals attack their own reflection in the window so wary are they of competitors.
The feather fight reminded me of the Davie County Board of Commissioners and the Board of Education. Their sap has been up for years over what to do about Davie High.
The board of education and Superintendent Darrin Hartness have a promising new plan — building a new school on Farmington Road and converting part of the old campus into a recreational center. The newest part of the facility will be converted into the school administration building.
Hartness has done his homework. The plan looks solid. There has been a groundswell of public support. It seems reasonable that a referendum — soundly defeated in two other attempts — could actually pass this time.
Only the board of commissioners can call for the referendum. Presented with the school board’s request for a $50 million referendum last week, the commissioners demurred.
Two favored it. Three had to think about it. One was distracted by the new budget due in July. One thought it would save money to have the bond referendum in May 2014 — kicking the eventual solution down the road another year.
While their 2013-14 budget is important, they can certainly multi-task long enough to give the school board’s request a proper audience. Postponing the referendum — delaying the opening of the new school if the vote is positive — to save money on poll worker fees seems foolish.
 “I don’t think there’s anything bigger than the high school issue,” commissioner Terry Renegar said.
 Indeed, that is the topic that has consumed us for a decade.
Despite their history, expect the commissioners to put the issue on the ballot. Otherwise, they would demonstrate distrust in the voters, and the sorry condition of the high school will be on their shoulders.
They might flutter about like my misguided cardinals for a few weeks more, but the commissioners will soon fall in line and authorize the referendum in November. Give it to the voters.

He has some growing up to do — N.C. Rep. Harry Warren of Rowan County — before he’s ready for the political big leagues. He sponsored a resolution in the General Assembly recently that caused a brief international stir — seeming to advocate the establishment of religion.
A House committee quickly killed his resolution, but not before news of it had circulated far and wide.
Forget the 1st Amendment’s admonition. Forget everything you learned in middle school civics class. Warren wants his Rowan County commissioners to be able to pray unrestricted.
General Assembly leaders quickly put the resolution out of its misery.
The Salisbury solon then began his explaining. He didn’t …