Meeting cancellation raises questions

First Posted: 10/13/2009

The Mount Airy Board of Commissioners has taken the unusual step of canceling its meeting this week, meaning it will not meet again until after the Nov. 3 mayoral election.
According to Mayor Jack Loftis, who is not running for re-election, there was not enough business to bother with a meeting.
However, the timing of the decision leaves a bad taste.
The mayoral race, which was recently whittled from four candidates to two in the Oct. 6 primary, has been marked by a level of civility between candidates often unseen in elections. Much to their credit, those running for office have focused on the issues, rather than personalities.
In forums on those very issues, the citys spending and budgeting practices have come into question. The idea that present and past leadership may not have done enough for the city has been broached. And it would seem a few of the city leaders have taken umbrage at such implications, defending themselves and their practices even though they are not the ones up for re-election.
Quite frankly, it strikes us as good and healthy that public leadership whether it be at the local, state, or national level be questioned. That very act could validate what the leadership is doing. It could likewise bring to light practices which may not be in the best interest of city residents. Either way, we believe such examination is good and healthy and should be welcome by those in public service.
Which brings us back to the cancellation of Thursdays meeting. One has to question if its simply because those on the commission dont want to risk more questions or criticisms of their work that might yet come up during the political race. Once the mayoral race is done, perhaps those in power hope those questions will fade.
The mayor said it was the consensus of the other board members that the meeting should be canceled because of little business to be conducted. However, at least one commissioner Jon Cawley said he does not believe the gathering should be canceled, and he expressed that opinion to City Manager Don Brookshire.
Even if we dont have a lot of things that we need to inform people on, I think its always good to listen to the citizens, Cawley said. He is right, and we hope whichever candidate wins the mayors race will remember that.

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