Update: NC House Votes Down Amendment Changing Cabarrus County C - myfoxcarolinas.com

Update: NC House Votes Down Amendment Changing Cabarrus County Commission

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The North Carolina House on Tuesday afternoon voted down an amendment that would change the structure of the Cabarrus County Commission. State Senator Fletcher Hartsell filed an amendment to temporarily change the number of Cabarrus County commissioners from five to seven, specifically naming two people to fill the new seats.

Hartsell said he believes when three lame-duck commissioners voted a couple of weeks ago to make major cuts to the county budget, it was an “in your face” to the voters. He says over the years there has also been talk of increasing the number of Cabarrus County commissioners, so that, combined with the budget issue, are two reasons he says he tacked on an amendment to change the number of commission seats. The amendment specifies Grace Mynatt and Diane Honeycutt, the top two vote getters in the May primary for county commission, would step in to fill the new seats.

The NC House of Representatives was scheduled to take up the amendment Monday night. The vote was postponed until Tuesday afternoon. Cabarrus County State House Representative Larry Pittman said, “Whoever wins the election will be seated at the proper time. No one is trying to prevent that. Nothing that has happened justifies this act of playing fast and loose with the law.” He added that Hartsell’s amendment is against the law and “horrendous.”

Catawba College political science professor Dr. Michael Bitzer said Hartsell’s amendment is constitutional. Bitzer said, “This is politics. Welcome to it. It is particularly when you’re talking about ‘all politics is local,’ this is a pure sign of that particular saying. Within political parties, particularly the Republican Party, we have seen differences between what we call the Establishment Republicans and the Tea Party Republicans. I think this dynamic, we see it at the national level. We see it at the state level. I think this is showing us that it is indeed very much at the local level as well.”

Representative Pittman vows to fight the amendment by urging his House colleagues to vote it down.

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