From Matt Hughes.

A key principle of conservatives has always been that the government closest to the people is more responsive to the needs of the people and better connected. However, lately that principle is nothing more than a hollow talking point.

In the last few months, Raleigh Republicans have taken Asheville’s city water system; moved to make local non-partisan elections partisan; invalidated the Dix property lease from the City of Raleigh; and is in the process of taking Charlotte-Douglas International Airport from the authority of the City of Charlotte.

Of course, there’s also our own local examples of the General Assembly refusing to re-authorize Chapel Hill’s voter owned election program and members of the General Assembly attempting to invalidate local ordinances against public smoking.

Our local leaders better understand the needs of our communities and craft policies which respond to those needs and are in line with the values of those communities. It it appears if leaders in Raleigh do not trust those who are closest to the people to govern effectively. Yet they expect local government to take on more responsibilities with fewer resources and even fewer choices.

Perhaps it is best summed up by saying that GOP leaders in Raleigh do not trust folks like our local elected leaders because they don’t like advocating policies they don’t like.

Let’s keep important local policy decision making where it belongs — locally — and urge leadership in Raleigh to focus on the real issues effecting our state like high unemployment, strengthening our education system, and covering the uninsured in our state.

— Matt Hughes