As voters head to the polls in Mecklenburg County in large numbers starting today with all early voting sites now open, there is one question on every ballot that deserves a resounding 'NO' vote.
Mecklenburg County Commissioners put a question on this year's ballot to extend their terms from 2-years to 4-years starting with next year's elections. The question of putting it on the ballot was put forward by Commssioner George Dunlap and approved this past July by a vote of 7-2.
Only Commissioners Matthew Ridenhour and Pat Cotham voted against the idea.
Supporters use the same old justifications that are trotted out every time this kind of idea comes up locally. "Everybody else is doing it" and "it would be easier for us elected officials" are the reasons they give.
Just because most counties in North Carolina have 4-year terms is really pretty meaningless if you give it more than 2 seconds worth of thought. The old adage "if your friend jumps off a bridge would you do it too?" comes to mind.
As for making it easier on commissioners, that too should get the blunt retort of "so what!?!?" If commissioners don't want to run every two years, then don't run! Let someone else who does want to be accountable to the voters have the job.
Mecklenburg County has had multiple major issues facing it in recent years. The tax revaluation and the I77 HOT lanes as examples. Do you really want to give Commissioners more time between elections if they make the wrong dicisions on these issues?
For me, the answer to that is a resounding "No!"