MTYT: Ocean Isle Beach Mayor talks about voting in the State House

Guest MTYT for 7/6/10
Debbie Smith, Mayor Ocean Isle Beach

In America, the democratic process is the key cornerstone of our existence.  We are privileged to be able to elect people to represent us, and bring forth our issues.  We also expect them to vote for or against ideas, projects and policies proposed by others.

Unfortunately that is not how things work in the North Carolina House of Representatives.  Senate Bill 832, which passed the Senate by a wide bipartisan margin, would allow a simple erosion control structure known as a terminal groin at just a few already-manipulated inlets along our 320 mile coast.  It has strong support from Representatives in the coastal region.  It would allow us to do what others have already done in NC and elsewhere.   

This effective tool was fully vetted by the Coastal Resources Commission, at the request of the Legislature.  Folks from the region have visited their Representatives in Raleigh, sent emails and letters, made hundreds of phone calls.  This matter has significant support.

But despite all that, the legislation has been held up by one Member of the House, Speaker Joe Hackney, the only Member who seems to have a vote on this issue.  The other 119 Members will not get a vote.

All the folks we have elected to the State House should get the chance to vote, not just the Speaker.  Or why do we taxpayers send them to Raleigh at all?