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Faircloth’s hypocrisy

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John Faircloth

N.C. General Assembly

With all due respect to John Faircloth, I don’t get it.

Faircloth, a High Point Republican, is the only member of the Guilford County state House delegation who does not oppose state Sen. Trudy Wade’s attempt to overhaul the Greensboro City Council.

Faircloth — who proudly fought for a referendum that allowed High Point voters to approve council changes there — won’t say yet whether he supports Greensboro voters being granted that same opportunity.

Faircloth says he won’t decide his stance until the bill, SB 36, gets a hearing in Raleigh before the House Elections Committee on April 16.

“It’s only fair to get it to committee to hear both sides,” Faircloth said.

But that’s not the point. And he knows that.

Whatever cases are made for and against Wade’s bill on April 16 — and there is a compelling case against it — local voters should have the chance to decide the outcome, not lawmakers who don’t live in Greensboro.

The House lawmakers who do live here already have made it clear that they either oppose the bill outright or believe it should be put before the voters.

Faircloth, meanwhile, remains decisive only in his indecisiveness.

When I asked him his views two weeks ago, when a church full of about 300 people in Greensboro said they oppose the bill, he said pretty much the same stuff about studying and waiting.

But here’s the thing: What would Faircloth do if the roles were reversed?

What would he do if a lawmaker from Greensboro were the lone, and possibly decisive, holdout preventing High Point voters from choosing for themselves how their City Council would be structured?

How would he act on a bill that the High Point council had unanimously opposed (as Greensboro’s has in the case of SB 36) and that only a handful in the High Point community had publicly endorsed — even as hundreds have kept saying they detest it?

To put this as gently as possible, it’s not really Faircloth’s business how Greensboro elects its City Council — just as it shouldn’t be up to some guy in Greensboro to determine how High Point conducts its affairs.

If Faircloth ultimately supports SB 36 without a referendum, this not only would not look bad, it would look hypocritical.

And it would be an unnecessary setback in High Point-Greensboro relations.

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