Our View: Ups and Downs - Pat McCrory; City Council

Jan. 04, 2013 @ 12:50 AM

THUMBS UP to soon-to-be N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory and his new administration for modifying their plans for McCrory’s  Saturday swearing in ceremony. Originally, the event would have amounted basically to a private ceremony. It will be held in the old State Capitol building in Raleigh, and it’s set a week earlier than usual so McCrory is in office when the General Assembly arrives next week. That’s a logical reason for the timing.
However, McCrory and his folks initially had planned to allow only family, some friends and other state officials and just one news reporter and one television camera to cover the event. That’s not a plan that provides much “open government” that McCrory campaigned for as the Republican candidate for governor. Because of that, the governor-elect — who grew up in Jamestown and graduated from Ragsdale High School — was headed for receiving a THUMBS DOWN here today.
But McCrory and his folks did respond to complaints and have arranged for more public access to the ceremony. Certainly, a crowd of onlookers won’t be able to file into the Capitol Building, but at least some additional media will be able to cover the event so Tarheel State residents can watch and read about it. Of course, the following weekend, the nearly full slate of traditional inaugural activities will be held. Some are open to ticket-holders only, but many are open to the public at no charge. Let’s hope McCrory will maintain a commitment to openness in office.

THUMBS DOWN to telephone callers who, while leaving a phone message, fly through uttering their phone number when they request a return call. And yes, we plead guilty to doing that sometimes, too. We all should remember to speak plainly and slowly enough for the person receiving the message to hear clearly, especially the call-back number.

THUMBS UP to High Point leaders for their decision not to get involved with local regulation and taxation of video-gaming parlors that most commonly are known as “sweepstakes” businesses. City Council debated the issue sometime back and decided that because of all the legal issues being fought over on the state level, it might not be a good idea for the city to get involved. Council members turned out to be correct on this. If the city had opted for local regulation and taxation and budgeted money anticipated from sweepstakes tax revenues, the recent court decision that bans the establishments most likely would have impacted the city financially.