The Moore County Board of Commissioners held their February 5 meeting on the 2nd floor of the old courthouse in Carthage, NC. During the public hearing, Mr. Charles Cooper presented a petition and request to the Board that the Commissioners pass a resolution similar to those passed by counties elsewhere in NC and other states protecting Moore County citizens from un-Constitutional and illegitmate federal laws, executive orders, regulations, or actions designed to infringe upon Second Amendment rights.
Other employee recognition, routine items of business, and requests were handled. The most interesting -- and most troubling -- was a request from the local "Farm to Table" organization for Board "support" and funding. The organization is trying to expand their program to enable sales of local produce to local institutions and restaurants. In order to do so, they need to build a "distribution center" and to purchase a fleet of delivery trucks. In order to accomplish this, the organization must secure federal and state grants and bank loans amounting to over $1M. In order to qualify for such grants and loans, the organization must obtain County support and funding for an "independent third party 'feasiblity study'" which would show that the vision and goals of the Farm to Table program are feasible, achievable, and economically viable.
The Commissioners were obviously having difficulty committing to the requested support and funding without a re-examination of their current budget and financial projections.
But, we citizens should be asking: why should our local governments be, once again, subsidizing a particular set of businesses? If these farms are not viable without constant public assistance, what is the problem? Why cannot these farms be successful on their own without contant taxpayer infusions through subsidies, grants, government assistance, and special favors?
The folks making the request answered that question themselves. The state and federal regulations for food handling, storage and packaging are so overbearing, so onerous, that only the largest agriconglomerates can afford the costs. The small farmers cannot hope to comply with the outrageous regulations and still be economically viable. The large agri-corporations have lobbied and "partnered" with the state and federal regulators to devise complex regulations that favor big business (and build big government) while putting small business competition out of business.
Rather than our County spending taxpayer money to build a shared "distribution center" that, through public subsidization can "afford" to comply with out-of-control regulations, why not just eliminate the stupid regulations? Problem solved. And we taxpayers get to keep more of our own money. And the state and federal bureaucracies don't get to grow their own powers and size using strings attached to grant monies and subsidy funding.... When will common sense return?
The meeting agenda and packet may be found at: westknollwoodprecinct.com/uploads/7/8/5/8/7858119/20130205_mc_boc_meeting_packet.pdf