|Manteo Mayor Jamie Daniels|
Tate Johnson, Executive Director of the Governor's Eastern Office in New Bern, NC told EyeonDare he had the task of contacting mayors in 23 eastern counties. Johnson said his goal was to get the endorsement of at least two mayors from each county, and he chose Southern Shores and Manteo in the County of Dare.
It was at this point that EyeonDare thinks the matter became a little sticky. "We weren't trying to mislead anyone," said Johnson, adding that "we can't do anything about what kind of spin the press might put on this." (See WECT TV6 story here)
Johnson said he felt sure that each mayor fully understood that the Governor was asking for support of her proposed sales tax increase.
|Southern Shores Mayor|
On the other hand, Southern Shores Mayor, Hal Denny told EyeonDare he understood that his signing of the letter was an endorsement of the tax increase and he thought it was OK for him to make that assertion without consulting his town board. Like Daniels, Denny said he quickly returned the letter and thought no more about it. (You can read the letter here)
EyeonDare isn't trying to throw darts at Governor Perdue over her proposed sales tax increase and offers no opinion on the merits thereof, or for the need of additional funding for education in our State.
(Read Governor Perdue's statement on education here)
However, this writer thinks the residents of Southern Shores and Manteo should take their respective mayor to task for the shortsighted way they responded to the Governor's request. Why did they not take the request before their town boards? Folks, this was an invitation to endorse a TAX INCREASE, not an invitation to some ribbon cutting. It is clear to EyeonDare that both mayors, and perhaps others on the list, acted irresponsibly by signing the letter without official board approval.
Johnson told EyeonDare that he thought a lot towns did not allow their mayors to sign any document on behalf of the town without full board approval. In fact, Johnson said that one mayor he called for a signature immediately brought the matter before the full board and they voted not to allow a signature.
Well, EyeonDare says, "Don't we do things differently here in Dare County".