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Strategic campaigning

By Donald E Gillespie, Jr, JD
Posted Tuesday, January 13, 2004

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I have seen a number of posts berating this one or that one as being in the pocket of developers and
questioning the mental capacity or morality of individual commissioners for single votes on zoning issues. My belief is there is little to be gained by ad hominem argument in general. The votes you have you already have. The votes you need you do not have and you lose on the next issue through broadside attacks.

There is little to be gained by ad hominem argument in general.

I spent years on the Guilford Board of Adjustment and chaired a county Zoning/Building permit and fee
structure committee. I have not heard any builder with substantial business interests advocate for slipshod structures. I have seen builders work together to form rational plans for protective ordinances and cost structures to which they themselves will be subject. Often the larger builders proposed minimum requirements or costs of doing business which might exclude smaller, informal, contracters.

Granted, I have not heard a bold proposal to simply set aside land for no development unless it is coupled with some larger plan. But, I would not expect such a proposal.

I believe there is some more appeal through argument which emphasizes safety, availability of resources and appropriate and proportional development rather than absolutist rhetoric. When there is a willing seller and a willing buyer why is your or the public interest involved? Where is the nuisance? Where is the detriment? Simple growth, especially along arteries between population centers, is not good or bad in itself.

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Strategic campaigning

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