If you sell tin-foil hats, you may want to pay a visit to the Wake County Board of Commissioners – I think they may be in need of your services. I have to admit that I don’t spend a tremendous amount of time monitoring the goings on of the Wake Commissioners since we do work all over the state, but Wake is my home, so I do try to pay them some attention. I am sorry I did.
The big headline yesterday was supposed to be the Commission’s vote on a resolution in favor of the discriminatory constitutional amendment on the ballot in May. They ultimately did  vote in favor of the resolution, to the surprise of no one. But to my mind, the real story out of the meeting was the absolutely bizarre behavior by the conservatives on the commission regarding the findings of a sustainability plan  commissioned for the County. If you thought you were watching the Wake Committee on Un-American Activities, you could be forgiven.
From the reaction of Paul Coble, the Chairman of the Commissioners, you would have thought the Marx himself was presenting the findings of the 18-month study sustainability study, which the commission itself ordered, while Mao was advancing the Power Point slides. It isn’t often that one hears the term “United Nations style collectivism” uttered anywhere, but when politicians consider recommendations on the county’s treatment of energy, water and waste management practices, and find insidious traces of “collectivism”, one has to wonder about the motives at work here.
Surely, Wake County is not in danger of becoming the incubator for a communist revival, so it’s probably safe to assume that the conservative objection to sustainability is rooted more in fiscal motives than in genuine concern for the health of our democracy. In fact, at a work session last week , the county manager David Cook said that items aimed at improving the environment are supposed to have a four- to six-year payback.”If it doesn’t make financial sense, generally we don’t do it.” What he meant to say is “short-term financial sense”, but we’ll let him slide. At least he isn’t afraid Sputnik will come crashing through his roof.
Cross-posted from the Action NC blog.