Monday, June 12, 2006

Defending Mike Easley

Two high-ranking state government officials beg to differ with my June 2 item, “Governor envy,” (several items below this one) in which I said I wished N.C. Gov. Mike Easley sounded more like the way Rhode Island Gov. Donald Carcieri had sounded in speaking to the Congress for the New Urbanism in Providence, R.I., on June 2.

Carcieri talked about the importance of preserving his state’s historic communities from unwise development – he used CVS as an example of unattractive building – and criticized the way interstate highways has been allowed to destroy neighborhoods. “I just believe people are attracted to attractive places,” he said.

N.C. Transportation Secretary Lyndo Tippett and William Ross, secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, sent this response in praise of Easley’s actions in environmental and community preservation:

It is indeed troubling that Mary Newsom (“Governor Envy”) would write about an issue in which she has not done her homework. She said that while she does not know much about Rhode Island Gov. Donald Carcieri, she wishes the comments he made recently concerning environmental and community preservation were also espoused by Gov. Mike Easley.

A speech is one thing, but when it comes to action, Gov. Easley’s record speaks clearly of his work to preserve North Carolina’s natural resources and communities while recognizing the struggle to cope with explosive growth.

We would not want you to just take our word for it. Here is what others say about the Easley administration’s effective work. The Innovation in American Government Awards honored the state in 2003 for its Ecosystem Enhancement Program, one of the nation’s top 50 new governmental initiatives. Through this program, the state has committed its resources to restore, enhance and protect its wetlands and waterways. It combines an existing wetlands-restoration initiative by the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources with
ongoing environmental efforts by the N.C. Department of Transportation. Since 2003, the two agencies have demonstrated national leadership in working together to provide for the state’s transportation needs while protecting and enhancing the environment.

Last year the Federal Highway Administration recognized the state with three of 11 awards it made for environmental excellence:

– Excellence in Environmental Research for the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Environmental Research Program’s work to improve knowledge of transportation’s effects on the natural environment and communities.

– Excellence in Scenic Byways for the state Department of Transportation’s efforts to create and expand the state Scenic Byways program.

– Excellence in Non-Motorized Transportation for the Reedy Creek Greenway and I-440 pedestrian bridge in Wake County.

Through One North Carolina Naturally, Gov. Easley’s statewide land and water initiative, more than 420,000 acres of land have been preserved, including the addition of nearly 40,000 acres to the park system. Just this year, Gov. Easley has been fighting to stop the federal government from selling National Forest lands in the state, protesting federal plans for oil and gas leasing off our coast, moving to protect 174,000 acres of National Forest lands from potential Bush administration rules changes to allow development and adding 77,000 acres of land to be protected from development.

Gov. Easley’s latest budget proposals call for more spending to make sure that there is greater compliance with habitat protection along our coast, expands efforts to control sediment and erosion and seeks greater efforts to protect the public in locating solid waste treatment and disposal facilities. In addition, he proposes spending $15 million to purchase land to expand the Chimney Rock tract in Hickory Nut Gorge State Park.

These and other ongoing efforts are just the way North Carolina goes about its business and would do any state and any governor proud. Whether facing billion-dollar budget shortfalls or facing exploding population growth, Gov. Easley keeps the protection of our state’s natural resources at the top of his priorities.


Anonymous said...

magmfI appreciate your point Mary. Of course we expect Mr.Tippett and Mr.Ross to pat themselves on the back to exhaustion. There is so much more that could and should be done. No one should take pride in the way our state has pandered to developers at the expense of our infrastructure, our natural beauty, and overall clean environment. Please don't roll over for these hacks.

Anonymous said...

While I truly appreciate Bill Ross and company's comments about Easley's environmental record, I'd be curious to see comparable bullet points of accomplishments related exclusively to anti-sprawl efforts, promoting sustainable growth in dense areas, and historic preservation.

Ocean NC said...

I think the Gov. has great concern about development - at least on coast........

Anonymous said...

Easley gets a sweetheart deal from land developers that he in turn appoints to state posts.

He belongs in Federal prison with Black and Basnight.

What a disgrace.

Anonymous said...

Easley is a disgrace all right! But not for the lack of anti-sprawl efforts or pandering to sustainable growth etc...

Easley robs the Hwy Trust Fund for General Fund Programs to buy votes. Easley raised property taxes in every county in the state by witholding sales tax money due the counties. To cover the loss property taxes were raised but Easley and the Gang didn't do it. Easley hijacked School construction funds from the lottery for other projects.

Easley and Black are peas in the political pod of cashing campaign checks and perks of office into personal gain and vote purchasing by granting benefits and perks.

And NC deserves him because it elected him not once but twice.

It ain't always about growth and for job performance you could find Easley's equal in almost any sleazy corner.

Anonymous said...

Hooray for SC Gov. Mark Sanford.

He had the courage yesterday to veto their ENTIRE state budget because lawmakers were tying pork spending that the gov cut back into other needed spending.

He is quickly emerging as the front-runner in the new fiscally conservative movement this country needs to toss out the crooked pork barrel spenders like Easley and Black (and lets face it, virtually every other politician of ANY party).

Charlotte should be VERY worried about Mark Sanford. He will no doubt eliminate some major tax in SC, like property taxes (he wants the completely eliminated) or slashed income taxes.

Just having slightly lower taxes in Union, Iredell, etc. have caused a mass exodus from Mecklenburg county, and something major in SC would no doubt do the same.

Rick said...

SC Governor Sanford has the right ideas and apparently the character to stand behind them. His veto was a great thing. However, before we knight him as the fiscally conservative savior, realize his fight has not been completely victorious.

He may want to eliminate some major tax, but I doubt the SC legislature will give him the chance.

From his own website:

"A report released this week by the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) showed South Carolina's budget has grown by 25 percent over last year and this year - the third highest rate in the nation and almost double the national average. This year's proposed budget is almost $750 million above the previous budget high-water mark that people talk of "getting back to," and the total budget has moved consistently upward from $15 billion to $19 billion since 2002."

Anonymous said...

Defend Mike Easley?


Corruption, cronyism, back office deals, tax and spend, spending out of control, the highest income taxes in the souteast....

Yup, Mary, her sounds like a real hero to liberals.

Anonymous said...

Emphasize, highest tax in the SOUTHEAST. Weak argument considering how much better taxes are here than other parts of the country. Is it a coincidence that we are also one of the more progressive and enlightened states in the Southeast too? Tell me how much better the quality o life is in Alabama or Mississippi before you bring up that argument again.

Anonymous said...

If Tax Rate = Enlightenment

Then Quality of Life = Government Programs (Socialism)

It follows Enlightenment = Socialism

I'll take my individual freedoms and care for my own quality of life, thank-you.

Anonymous said...


Ever been to Alabama?

One of the lowest taxed states in the country has more high tech engineers per capita than any other. They have a great qaulity of life there, too. A little ironic for people from NC to make indirect 'redneck' comments about Alabama. Look in the mirror.

NC's taxes are OUT OF CONTROL. Out state budget has grown at a rate FAR higher than the population.

More big government programs, more spending, a laughable lottery (this hasn't worked anywhere, and only makes the firm running the lottery rich), and illegal immigration out of control.

Meanwhile the governor is exchange state posts for cheap investment property.

He belongs in prison.

Anonymous said...

tibia money tibia gold tibia item runescape money runescape gold tibia money tibia gold runescape gold runescape accounts tibia gold tibia money runescape money runescape gp buy runescape gold tibia gold tibia item buy runescape money runescape gold runescape items tibia money tibia gold