sam's notes

notes on government, sports and popular culture

Monday, May 15, 2006

.....I just reviewed the tape of the Guilford County commissioners discussion regarding $1 million in economic incentives for Roy Carroll's redevelopment of the Wachovia Building.

I didn't figure the vote would be along strict party lines. Commissioners Linda Shaw and Mike Winstead were "maybes," while Billy Yow and Steve Arnold were definite "nos."


"I have to say that, in my 20 years as an elected official, nothing surprises me more that how quickly, and how easily, elected officials will line up to give money to the most successful and wealthy among us."

Arnold's suggestion for equal justice under the law:

"Anyone who adds to the tax base, anyone who adds to their house, anyone who adds to the ad valorem value to a particular piece of property, should be due the same benefit. That would be equal justice."

But then there's Democrat Kirk Perkins, who voted "no" along with Yow and Arnold.

Perkins has an interesting point of view:

"What the county is doing is giving Mr. Carroll incentives to compete against other projects downtown. I don't think the role of government is to subsidize one company to compete against another. I don't think basic equity and fairness can be abandoned no matter how good the project looks."

In their comments before the vote, Perkins, Yow and Arnold wished Carroll well and thanked him for taking on such a project. After all, you'd have to be some kind of a nut not to wish this project to succeed. But it's a moot point now. The county has signed off on incentives, and there's little doubt the city will do the same.


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