A Libertarian Alternative to the Controversial and Unconstitutional Haywood County Emergency Management Ordinance

Written by James Forrester


The following principles are to be used as the guide and authority for developing specific procedures for dealing with emergencies in the various neighborhoods of Haywood County.


The purpose of this policy is to describe ways for individuals in a geographic area to deal with natural and man made emergencies. The emergencies include, but are not limited to, tornadoes, floods, wind storms, explosions, vehicle accidents, aircraft crashes, earthquakes and land and rock slides where individuals living in that area experience threats to their life, liberty and property.


1. INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS – Individuals have exclusive right to their earned or otherwise accrued property and other resources, and these rights cannot be taken away or infringed for any reason.

2. SPONTANEOUS ORDER – Individuals have a tendency to organize themselves into cohesive and productive groups, working in the interest of its members without dictatorial direction.

3. LAW ENFORCEMENT PERSONNEL – During an emergency, the sheriff of Haywood County and the chief of police of various municipalities will limit their responsibilities to their Constitutional duties which are to protect the life, liberty and property of citizens within their jurisdiction from criminal activity, while other citizens are dealing with non-criminal or natural emergencies.

4. CITIZENS BAND RADIO OPERATORS – Citizen band radio operators and other communications professionals may be recruited to provide assistance as needed.

5. KEY ASSUMPTION – A key assumption in this policy is that citizens are free to act or not to act in any specific manner during an emergency. Furthermore, a citizen may not act to force another citizen to act in any specific way during an emergency.

6. RESPONSIBILITY FOR ACTIONS – During an emergency, citizens – including elected officials – are responsible for their own actions. Actions in violation of another citizen’s rights to his or her property, life or liberty may be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

7. GEOGRAPHIC AREAS – A geographic area may include a precinct, ward or neighborhood. For example, Haywood County could be divided into the following areas: Bethel, Cruso, Waynesville, Hazelwood, Balsalm Gap, Maggie Valley, Soco Gap, White Oak, Clyde, Canton and Jonathan Creek, et.

8. GROUP LEADERS – Each of the above groups may select leaders from among them to coordinate their efforts toward dealing with any emergency. The chain of authority moves from the bottom up and not the top down.

9. PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY OF GROUP LEADERS – The primary responsibility of each area director is to warn citizens of a given area of real or anticipated emergencies or disasters and to assist those in danger to seek and achieve ways and means to achieve their safety.

10. TRAINING AND PREPARATION – Each geographic area within Haywood County will organize groups of individuals who volunteer to be trained in dealing with various disasters or emergencies. This training may comprise first aid, fire and rescue in various areas such as mountains streams, rivers, burning structures or chemical spills.

11. FORCEFUL EVACUATIONS – Possible actions that may be recommended by the group leader include a) evacuations of a certain area posing a particular danger, b) organization of teams to fight fires, or c) organization of teams trained in emergency first aid to rescue citizens from danger.

IN NO INSTANCE will any individual be forced to take part in any recommended action or process. For example, during a forest fire, individuals may be urged to leave their homes for their own safety, but in no case will they be forced to leave. This also applies to floods, mud and land slides, etc.

June Newsletter

June 14th is the day to be at Bearwaters Brewery. From 3pm until 9pm we will be serving burgers made from locally-sourced beef, pouring the brewery’s own beers, and listening to music from local musicians. Your ticket gets you all the burgers you can eat, the money going to the campaign to elect Windy McKinney as Haywood County Commissioner, and every beer purchased sends a dollar to the campaign as well.

Still in the House, controversial fracking bill is mostly under-the-radar
An especially sinister section of S786, which if passed would lift the fracking moratorium in North Carolina next year, is a trampling of the freedom of speech within the bill. As the Sylva Herald reported on May 22nd, 2014: “anyone who revealed what mix of fracking chemicals are used by energy companies could be slapped with a felony criminal charge.” Whether you agree that fracking is detrimental to the environment or not, being unable to disclose the chemicals within the fracking process is a violation of the constitution and a violation of our rights. Senator Jim Davis who represents us here in Haywood County is one of nine sponsors of the bill. The so-called Energy Modernization Act has a very pretty name, but it doesn’t take much scratching to get to a very dirty core.

The Perpetual Lease
Your property is never yours

What do we mean when we say we “own” something? It means we bought it or it was legitimately gifted to us. It means we have control and dominion over that thing. Our cars and our houses and our land, these are examples of things we say we “own,” but in reality, we are in a perpetual lease with the government for these items. Property taxes are the county’s means to paying the bills. What we would like to see happen is less bills to pay and also the option to actually own the property in our possessions. As we head toward November and a hopeful win for Dr McKinney in the race for county commissioner, we are trying to come up with feasible plans to end your government lease. One option we have come up with is to have property taxes end when you reach a certain age. Another is to have property taxes end when you pay a certain amount of years. What should that age be? What should that amount of time be? What are some other options? We need input and ideas that are well outside the box so please come to the next Libertarian Party meeting Tuesday, June 11th, 7pm at Organic Beans at 1110 SoCo Road in Maggie Valley. If you can’t make the meeting, please email us with your ideas!
Haywood Happenings
Local events for furthering freedom

The monthly Haywood County Libertarian Party meeting is June 10th, 2014, 7pm at Organic Beans, 1110 SoCo Road in Maggie Valley.

Libertarian County Commissioner Candidate Dr Windy McKinney did not face a primary on May 6th and will be on the November ballot along with a number of other contenders, three of which are incumbents.
NC Libertarian News
Across the state

LPNC helps in the fight to end gerrymandering.

Sean Haugh won the first-ever primary in North Carolina between Libertarian candidates for US Senate on May 6th against Tom D’Annunzio and is our alternative as he says to “more wars and more debt.”
National Libertarian News
Across the country

The Free State Project’s 11th Annual Porcfest is June 22-29, 2014.

Toddler injured in no-knock police raid.

What a bunch of killjoys in Austin, Texas.
Copyright © 2014 Haywood County Libertarian Party, All rights reserved.

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Haywood County Commissioner

Regional Governments Undermine our Constitutional Republic

Written by Windy McKinney

As Americans, we are proud to have a constitutional republic. This means that government’s power is derived from its citizens who are entitled to vote, and our elected officials and representatives are held accountable to those citizens, subject to the Constitution. This makes our government unique and special, shows the brilliance of our founding fathers, and allows for the flexibility necessary to adapt to the changing contexts of time. However, there is currently a system of government in place that is set to undermine the power of our constitutional republic, with leaders who are put in place by appointment, rather than elected. These appointments occur at all levels of government; local, regional, state, national and international, and few people – even among the well informed – even know about it.

We can see this process happening close to home, where North Carolina is broken into sixteen separate regions – featured below – represented by sixteen “Councils of Government” (COGs). The North Carolina Councils of Government (NCCOG or the North Carolina Regional Councils of Government) are a confederation of county and municipal governments, which work together at a regional level to promote certain initiatives, as established by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1972.

North Carolina Councils of Government Regional Map

North Carolina Councils of Government Regional Map

The regions of North Carolina are named as follows:
A Southwestern Planning Commission
B Land of Sky Regional Council
C Isothermal Planning & Development Commission
D High Country Council of Governments
E Western Piedmont Council
F Centralina Council of Governments
G Piedmont Triad Regional Council
J Triangle J Council of Governments
K Kerr-Tar Council of Governments
L Upper Coastal Plain Council
M Mid-Carolina Council of Governments
N Lumber River Council of Governments
O Cape Fear Council of Governments
P Eastern Carolina Council
Q Mid-East Commission
R Albemarle Commission

The far west counties of North Carolina make up region A, which is under the Southwestern Planning Commission, and includes Haywood, Clay, Macon, Graham, Jackson, Cherokee and Swain Counties, along with the sovereign nation of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians.2 Although this is not widely known, each of the seven counties are an official part of this region, in an agreement called the Economic Opportunity Initiative, or “Opt-In” for short.


The Southwestern Commission, which has been around for 42 years, is chaired by Gavin Brown, also mayor of Waynesville in Haywood County.


According to the Southwestern Commission website:

“COGs blanket the entire United States and are alternatively known by many terms; regional commissions, councils of local government, area-wide planning districts, lead regional organizations, and economic development regions. Whatever the name, each is structured similarly and serves a similar purpose- to assist and provide technical support for local governments within the region, ensuring that they partner with one another toward regional goals.”

This agency helps to manage community and economic development, land and water conservation, transportation planning, communications and the development of a workforce. Funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission, The Federal Highways Administration and the North Carolina Department of Transportation, their goal is to get the seven counties of region A to collaborate on a vision of economic growth, while maintaining the natural beauty of the area and the cultural values of the people. Creating a regional identity which uses networking to include job training, shared contingency funding, travel infrastructure, grant writing, sharing of resources, tourism marketing, websites, and clustering of similar industries they are, according to Gavin Brown, working to “create a legacy” for the future development of the region.

One well known project is Corridor K, which is a four-lane highway set to connect Asheville to Chattanooga. These plans would bring “connectivity” to the region, by building Corridor K through the remote mountains of western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee. The move has been controversial, because it goes through some of the most pristine wilderness areas in western NC. Other projects include Mountainwise, the NC Vitality Index, Advantage West, Smoky Mountain Host, and expanding broadband connectivity across the region, through such companies as Drake Enterprises.

Important people in moving the goals of the Southwestern Commission forward are the aforementioned Gavin Brown, mayor of Waynesville, the chancellor of Western Carolina University David Belcher, and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, under the auspices of chief and vice-chief Michell Hicks and Larry Blythe, as well as by entrepreneurs such as Phil Drake of Drake Enterprises in Macon County, contractors Phillips & Jordan, Inc. and Duke Energy‘s Fred Alexander, and conservationists such as those of the Land Trust of the Little Tennessee. Importantly, much of the planning that has been done for this agency has been completed by people who were not elected to their posts, and are therefore not accountable to the people of the region they are said to represent. Also, while proponents will say that the meetings that were held to discuss this initiative were open to the public, no one I surveyed in Haywood County had heard anything about the commission, knew that they were in region A, or had any real knowledge of what the Council of Governments are.

So, what are the advantages to living under the auspices of the Southwestern Commission?

Touted as a way of increasing and protecting our regional identity, linking communities that were once geographically isolated makes them stronger and more interdependent. This “regional compact” creates a regional self-reliance, according WCU chancellor David O. Belcher, who has called the 21st century the “Era of the Region”. Regional management also makes growth planned and organized, rather than haphazard and spontaneous. As Mike Edwards, of the Graham County Board of County Commissioners stated at the last Opt-In Summit, held May 7, 2014 in Cherokee, “rural prosperity depends on regional strength.” Advocates are supporting Farmers’ Markets and the Farm to Table movement, and counties that have less of a tax base are able to get the support of more populous counties, while attracting tourism to the region with the large amount of federal lands in those counties – mainly national forests. Land and water are protected, people are connected to resources, travel through remote parts of Western NC and Eastern Tennessee becomes easier, we protect our Native American and Appalachian heritage, and everyone has access to the internet.

Ideally, having a strong regional identity makes the region more economically viable and with potentially less dependence on big government, right? And ideally, our region’s best interests would be at the forefront of all initiatives. Of course, we all want clean water and to preserve our cultural and environmental heritage. We all want good jobs and to travel quickly across the area. Surely, if our region is to be well served by this regional council, these goals would feature prominently.

The potential problem with this scheme is the implementation of these policies.

First of all, there is no option to “opt out”. This is a progressive plan that builds on itself, but has no policy in place for backing out, and no contingency for ending this progression or sunset on the initiative. This seems irresponsible.

Most importantly, who is the overseer of this plan?

A state commission determines who is appointed to positions of power within the region. As mentioned earlier, local entrepreneurs and conservationists have powerful roles in the implementation of Opt-In, and they are chosen by elected officials, but not the electorate. This takes power away from the counties and the region, and puts it into the hands of the state. Also, there is potential danger in that much of the funding comes from the state and federal governments. Government money is not free, it comes from the pockets of tax payers. Equally as important: it always comes with strings attached, and therefore it actually guarantees less local control over where the money goes and how it is spent. Tied to this, certain companies and charities will get tax breaks for their part in this scheme, which leads to murky corporate welfare schemes (for example, see the advisory committee listed here).

Also, this puts both elected and unelected members of government in control of conservation and therefore in control of land use, which is a clear violation of personal property rights, can potentially restrict freedom of movement, and is dangerous to the concept of individual sovereignty. And while conservation is an important value, surely the private sector and individuals can do what is needed, without government’s intervention into the practices of farmers, hikers, swimmers, etc. At the very least, environmental measures and land use should be voted on by the people who live, work and thrive on the lands in question.

This brings us to perhaps the most glaring of potential problems with this initiative: its ties to a shadow government with no accountability among the people who are said to be represented. This can be seen by taking a step back from the Southwestern Commission and again looking at the bigger picture of regional leadership throughout the state, the southeast, and the nation.

We have seen how Regional Councils of Government exist across the state, and how here in North Carolina there are sixteen such regions. As might be expected, these regional councils are all subordinate to the North Carolina State Council of Government. You might be surprised to learn however, that every state in the United States is composed of similar regions, all of which answer to their own State Council of Government, and that those State Councils of Government are themselves subordinate to a regional Council of Government that has been established at the behest of a national commission – The Council of State Governments. So, at the national level Council of State Governments is divided up into five regions or spheres of operation, which are Washington D.C., Eastern Regional, Midwest, Southern Legislative, and West.

We are in the Southern Legislative Council, based in Atlanta and founded in 1947, along with Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

The Southern Legislative Council:

Southeastern Legislative Conference

Southeastern Legislative Conference

While the leaders of this Southern Legislative Council are senators and representatives from some of the states within the region, not one of them was elected to be a part of this council by the people who live within this region. They were appointed by the national committee, and the people who live in the region they represent know little or nothing about this organization. None of the leaders hail from North or South Carolina, nor from Mississippi, Florida, Missouri, or Texas. The “representation” here appears to do little to really represent the culture and people of the people within the region at all.

While having appointed committee members is not unusual for state and national government, these regional leaders however do have a direct effect on government policy. According to the SLC website:

“policy makers have vast amounts of information available to them at the click of a button, but only a limited amount of time to sift through it. Rely on the… Southern Legislative Conference to serve as your filter… Our funding source, primarily that of the U.S. states and territories, ensures that our research and analysis is driven by policymakers’ needs. As an independent, policy-focused organization, you can depend on a product of the highest caliber.”

The information they provide is to serve elected legislators in how to form the policies within their own states, and to serve as a conduit to pass on information from the council’s own overseers. As mentioned earlier, these regional leaders take their orders from the national Council of State Government, so the policies implemented by such organizations such as the Southwestern Commission, the overseers of our region, are not necessarily related to the needs of the local people at all, but rather a national, or perhaps global, agenda.

The affiliate committees that serve the Southern Legislative Conference, are exactly the same as those of the Council of State Governments. In fact, the SLC website links directly to the CSG website for the list of affiliates. These affiliate committees feature members who are again unelected, and serve on boards that are eerily similar to those which serve the UN’s Agenda 21.

The Southwestern Commission also appears to be right on board with the objectives of these committees. For example, consider the partnership between the Southwestern Commission and the Mountain Landscapes Initiative, and then compare relationship to Chapter 7 of the Agenda 21 initiative, and the UN partnership with the Wildlands Project.3 These projects have determined that human development is contrary to a healthy ecosystem, and suggest the movement of people into cities so that land use can be managed by those who know better. For example, consider the UN commission known as the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) which claims to be the “world’s leading association of cities and local governments dedicated to sustainable development,” and applauds the fact that through its own efforts, “by 2050, two-thirds of all humans will be living in cities.” Initiatives in North Carolina against the ICLEI and the removal of rural people into cities have been taken to the General Assembly, to little avail. For example, see Bill Draft 2011-LB-428 [v.1] (04/12).

Which leads one to wonder where exactly the hierarchy of unelected officials who run our country and our region ends… And how high this shadow government, that is meant to represent us without our consent goes?

It is not hard to imagine that the vast majority of people in region A want a pristine ecosystem and a natural environment. Most people are chagrined at the pollution and mismanagement of resources we see and hear about from the nightly news. However, it does not follow that a policy maker in the UN better understands land management than the people who actually live and flourish in these ecosystems, alongside nature, and are completely invested in their success, as they have been for centuries. It does not follow that those people should have NO say in how to manage their own resources.

Part of the problem here is the belief that cultural and ecological conservation are mutually exclusive, and that government has a moral compass that allows it to dictate land use. Allowing government to legislate how people use their own land is a clear violation of property rights. Patronizing citizens into complying with government dictates is not the only solution to our environmental problems, and denies the intelligence and understanding of the American people. Most citizens do want to preserve our cultural and environmental integrity, and given the facts about how to do so, they would. Get cronyism out of politics and let the people determine for themselves where they fit in the conservation picture, let them devise their own creative solutions to problems which directly effect them.

The goal of creating a regional identity is a sound one, and the idea of having a network in Western NC that helps people achieve their goals using local produce, ideas and people is an alluring one. By creating a solid regional identity, Western NC could have a wider sway with which to promote itself, have greater buying and selling power, and the freedom to trade as a powerhouse within NC, but also across state lines with other regions especially in East TN, Northern GA and SC.

Conserving cultural and ecological heritage is ideal, and helps the region maintain what makes it unique. This is valuable not only as a celebration of a distinctive culture, but also in that it makes the region attractive as a tourist destination. However, the people of the region have found their own ways of doing this, without being told by a national committee of unelected and self interested bureaucrats what is valuable about the region and why it is special. Bureaucrats would have people believe that they want better for the citizens than they want for themselves. Advocacy is about education, and need not include government at all. People are perfectly capable of working together where there are needs and demands to be met, such as protecting local farmers and waterways, without intervention and overreach from the state.

For further information, see:

On the role of the NC Councils of Government: http://www.nccommerce.com/rd; http://www.ncruralcenter.org/; and/or http://www.ncregions.org/

For information on the county level organizational structures, see for example the Macon County Economic Development Commission at http://maconworks.com/, Graham Revitalization Economic Action Team at http://grahamcounty.net/great/great.htm.

The Community Foundation, Southwestern Commission, and WNC Alliance all came together to create the Mountain Landscape Initiative, with a “tool box” for implementing controlled land use. This “Mountain Landscapes Initiative and the Region A Toolbox” can be seen at http://sustainablecommunitiesleadershipacademy.org/resources/?page=13

Dr. Dan Eichenbaum has compiled a pretty extensive list of sources on the local implementation of Agenda 21, from a wide array of perspectives, available at http://drdansfreedomforum.com/resources-2/.

For The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, Article 8a-e, see

“Taking Liberty: How private property in America is being abolished.” by Michael S. Coffman, PhD in
Range Magazine, Fall 2005, pp. 30-38.

Libertarian Party of North Carolina

NC Libertarian Party Convention

The Libertarian Party of NC held its annual convention April 4-6 in Durham, NC. A weekend of politics, philosophical discussion and good fun ensued. This year there are 12 Libertarian candidates for office in NC, one of which will be eliminated in the US Senate primary. Some time was given over to a press conference for the candidates, their speeches and helping them with campaign strategy.

Other notable events included:

Dr. Jim Lark, professor at the University of Virginia, and LNC regional representative gave an inspiring and motivating speech on “The Libertarian Party: Where We Are, Where We Are Going”. A very energetic and interesting speaker, he focused on the positives in the Libertarian movement. He was clear that although the numbers of registered Libertarians are growing slowly, they are growing, and so are the numbers unaffiliated voters, as both the “legacy parties” are losing voters to outdated policies. He also pointed out that the liberty movement is changing the face of politics, and therefore changing the policies of those legacy parties in their efforts to stay ahead of the curve. For example, the movement to legalize marijuana and our firm focus on the Constitution as the strict basis for law has now become mainstream in political language and in courting the American public. For more on Dr. Lark, see http://people.virginia.edu/~jwl3s/homepage.html

Jay Gladieux from the NC Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform gave a talk dubbed “End Gerrymandering Now” which described how the parties in power maintain their power through unfair and unwarranted redistricting, so that each district continually produces the same politicians, often unopposed. This is yet another obstacle to Libertarians in gaining power here in NC, as districts are amended to keep those in power in power, without regard to county or regional boundaries. You can learn more by checking out their website: www.endgerrymanderingnow.org

Rachel Mills, former strategist for the Ron Paul Campaign, spoke on “Smart Politics” where she warned the Libertarian purists in the crowd away from alienating other groups that carry a similar message, but vary in some details. According to her advice, Libertarians should choose a few core values that never waiver, and then align themselves with groups that carry the same core values, and not worry about the minor differences between themselves and others. She compared the power of the rather small group of evangelical Christians in America (26%) with those who identify with libertarian principles (22%). Our goal should be to have as much power over politics as they do, with relatively similar small numbers. Afterall, she says, politicians are very vary about angering the evangelicals, they are just too important. They do this by embracing people who share common core values, without being so strict with membership that they are marginalized.

The keynote address of the convention was T.J. Rohr’s speech “Yes You Can – Get Elected and Govern Effectively as a Libertarian”. As Lenoir City councilman for 11 years, and mayor pro-tem, TJ has been able to maintain his position despite being the sole Libertarian on a council of seven, and has earned enough respect from his fellow councilmen to be elected as their mayor pro-tem. Although they do not always agree with him, and he is often the odd man out, they respect his perspective, and often let him effect the way they do business. His main point of advice: do not be afraid to stand against state and federal mandates, grants, taxation and zoning, but always be able to offer suitable alternatives to these policies. See more about him at www.electtjrohr.com

Perhaps the most interesting event of the convention was the U.S. Senate Candidate Forum, with long time Libertarian Sean Haugh and relative new comer entrepreneur and business owner Tim D’Annuzio, moderated by Barry Smith, the associate editor of the Carolina Journal. Both men were very articulate, well-informed, cordial and sincere, but varied in opinion on some key issues. Haugh has been with both the national and state Libertarian Party since the 80s, has been a member of the executive committee for both, and has run as a Libertarian before. With a good mixture of humor and passion, he maintained a classical Libertarian stance on all the issues, straight from the party’s platform. His main issue was “ending all war” both foreign and domestic. D’Annuzio, was very poised, charming and charismatic in his tailored suit, expressing a more conservative point-of-view, asserting strong Christian values, believing that the nation needs to be guided by these principles. While not opposed to the legalization of cannabis, he worried about the cost of addiction and crime rates associated with other drugs, and therefore did not advocate the legalization of all drugs. He also was very clear in stressing the need for tighter border control and did not completely oppose drone warfare, although he did overall advocate a non-interventionist foreign policy. He clearly articulated his resolute convictions toward upholding constitutional principles, and his belief that these principles apply to everyone from conception. Controversially, he also spoke of his own regard for Republican Greg Brannon, who is also running for the US Senate seat and will face a primary against Tom Tillis, causing some consternation among the Libertarian purists in the crowd. His point: Brannon is much more closely aligned with constitutional government than Kay Hagan, and much more likely to win, so if he needed to give his support over to Greg Brannon he would. You can watch the debate at www.lpnc.org.

windy mckinney

With Great Freedom Comes Great Responsibility.

Libertarians often use the tagline “More Freedom – Less Government” but I would qualify this statement, adding to this “Individual Responsibility”. I say this because on the one hand, less government means getting the government out of the minutiae of our personal lives. Having smaller government means that an individual has more control over the details of their own lives; such as choosing how to spend their own money, without cumbersome regulations and taxation, such as choosing the best means of protecting themselves, of healing themselves, and whether or not they marry and to whom. Less government would give us greater control over our children’s education, therefore giving government no means or right to indoctrinate our children, and would help to keep government from fighting secret wars in our name. Less government means less taxation, less government control and therefore more freedom.

On the other hand, less government also means that we have take responsibility for the services offered by government for ourselves. We have a responsibility to spend our money wisely, protect ourselves, get involved in our children’s education, buy local and contribute to our communities to make them stronger without government intervention. This is an important way of preventing the potential tyranny of big government. If we want to keep government from encroaching on our personal lives, we have to be able to survive without its overreach, without its overtures of “help”. Critics of the libertarian philosophy say that the desire for personal freedom is selfish and focused solely on the needs and wants of the individual. However, I believe that personal freedom and individual responsibility are concepts that actually empower a community by creating an atmosphere where people can flourish naturally, according to the aptitudes and demands of the people within that community. Given time and space away from dependence on government, individuality is the opportunity and right to be anything to anyone you chose, to determine your own strengths and weaknesses, to determine how to generate your own wealth or not. This model works best within a community, where people are stronger working together, and we are allowed to fulfill our own potential alongside others fulfilling theirs in partnership.

I submit that by reading this commentary, by being willing to follow this line of reasoning, by being on this site at all, you are engaging with your community and showing that you care about its future. By being involved in solutions rather than problems you are creating an atmosphere of responsibility. When you buy from the farmer’s market, help your neighbor, shop local, donate to your local church, or get involved with politics, you are being active in and taking responsibility for your community.

Being involved locally is the key to making the political process work because local communities are where the grass root movements that shake the entire nation begin. Communities are where we turn in times of personal disaster. You community is where your friends and family are, and where their friends and family are. When big government fails, our community is where we land, where we turn for solace and where we are best able to actualize ourselves and our full potential.

So if we want to get government out of our lives, we have to take the power back. We have to maintain our independence and focus on our community. This is where we have real power and can truly contribute to the betterment of our society. It is where we live, where the eat, where we grow and where we build our lives. It is where land when the rest of the world falls into disrepair. Government “for the people, by the people” begins here, at the local level. We need to be invested in our community, our neighbors, our families, and make our mark. We need to take a united stand, and be so strong that we cannot be shaken. By taking back our communities, we begin to take back our government and our rights, one strong step at a time.


My Take On The Emergency Management Ordinance

The Haywood County Emergency Management Ordinance was signed into effect November 16, 2009 by J.W. “Kirk” Kirkpatrick, then chairman of the board of county commissioners, from a motion made by Mike Swanger (the present chairman) and seconded by commissioner Kevin Ensley. It appears that very few people know about this ordinance, and even fewer are aware of the fact that their commissioners are signing away their rights.

The Emergency Management Ordinance for Haywood County is part of a larger state and national scheme to protect citizens during a state of emergency. Haywood County’s version of the ordinance sets up a hierarchy of control during such times, with the chair person of the board of commissioners at the top and the other commissioners just under that. While the chairperson of the board determines a state of emergency for the county (presently Mark Swanger), the ordinance also establishes an Emergency Management Planning Committee, appointed by the commissioners, and sets up the role of the sheriff and county manager during this time, as well as the control of resources within the county.

Outside of the debate on whether we actually need an emergency management scheme here in the county or not, there are a few very alarming parts of the ordinance, which should cause every innocent citizen concern.

In my view, the most important part is §31.07, some of which reads:

(1) “the existence of a state of disaster may be proclaimed by the County Chairperson without public notice…”


(4b) The county manager has the authority “…to take such action and give such directions to law enforcement officers and agencies as may be reasonable and necessary for the purpose of securing compliance with the provisions of this chapter…”


(4d) as well as to “…relieve any public official having… responsibilities under this chapter of such responsibilities for willful failure to obey an order, rule or regulation adopted pursuant to this chapter” .


(4e) The county manager also has the authority to “…direct and compel the evacuation of all or part of the population from any stricken or threatened area within the County, to prescribe routes, modes of transportation, and destinations in connection with evacuation; and to control ingress and egress of a disaster area, the movement of persons within the area, and the occupancy of premises therein…”


(4f) and to “…establish a system of economic controls over all resources, materials and services to include food, clothing, shelter, fuel, rents and wages, including the administration and enforcement of any rationing, price freezing or similar state/federal order or regulation..”


(4g) and “…to regulate and control the flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic, the congregation of persons in public places or buildings, lights and noises of all kinds…”

So, according to §31.07, sections 1-4 the county manager, under the auspices of the board of commissioners, can do whatever it takes to make sure that the public complies with all emergency measures. He/she can fire any public official who refuses to obey his/her will and can control all movement within the county, including the method of transportation, as well as the entrances and exits of the county. He/she can also determine where people may stay during an emergency, in what numbers, and control all “materials” and “resources” including – but not limited to – your food, clothing, home, gasoline, income, etc, and can ration these at his/her own discretion. One wonders what else could be considered a county “resource”? Your car? Your guns? I find it upsetting that while §31.03 defines the terms used throughout the document, what is meant by the terms “materials” and “resources” are left undefined at any point.

Perhaps the most alarming part of this entire document are sections i and j, which state that the county manager has the authority during a state of emergency (under the supervision of the county chairperson):

“To perform and exercise such other functions, powers and duties as are necessary to promote and secure the safety and protection of the civilian population… [and] to procure, by purchase, condemnation, seizure or by other means to construct, lease, transport, store, maintain, renovate or distribute materials and facilities for emergency management without regard to the limitation of any existing law.”

This statement seeks to override the Constitution of both the US and NC, and gives the county the power to condemn its citizens in order to seize their “materials” for redistribution. While this is clearly not ethical, it is also not legal, as it violates the fourth amendment to the US Constitution, which protects citizens against property seizure as well as Article I:5 of the NC Constitution which states that: “every citizen of this State owes paramount allegiance to the Constitution and government of the United States, and no law or ordinance of the State in contravention or subversion thereof can have any binding force.”

But wait, there’s more. In the case of a hazardous material spill, §31.08 gives the Haywood County Emergency Management Director the authority to “enter public or private property, with or without the owner’s consent”, which again violates the fourth amendment, and §31.10 states that any official acting with regard to this ordinance during an emergency cannot be held liable for any damages to a person or their property.

I was fortunate enough to have had a meeting with Haywood County Sheriff Greg Christopher in April 2014, where I had an opportunity to voice my concerns with him. This ordinance can not be enforced without his support as the highest ranking official in the county, and as an Oathkeeper, he is bound by his honor to uphold the Constitution. He declined the use of his position as sheriff to engage in the illegal seizure of private property, as well as the use his service weapon to enforce this unconstitutional ordinance. He stated that if there were actually an emergency on the scale mentioned above, the last thing he would be worried about is taking private property from citizens. His concern was for the safety of the public, and he did not feel that taking their resources was the best way to keep them safe. He also expressed some level of wonder at the extent of the ordinance, and said he would discuss it with the commissioners.

I wonder, if the government’s role, as established by the Constitution of the US, is to protect the rights and property of its citizens, then why in the world are our elected officials signing away our rights? Serious reconsideration needs to be taken with this ordinance. Maybe some Haywood County citizens find these measures necessary during an emergency – but surely something as sweeping as this needs to go to referendum before our rights are threatened without our knowledge. Again, I refer to the state Constitution of North Carolina, Article I:9 which states that it cannot be amended outside of the electoral process. I suggest that our county officials become more comfortable with the referenda process before becoming so comfortable with unconstitutional executive orders. Early in 2014, Denny King brought this unconstitutional ordinance to my attention, and has worked tirelessly to bring it to light for the people of Haywood County. Without his vigilance, I am sure that the public would have very little idea that their elected officials are willing to suspend their rights without consulting them.

Since Denny King has made this ordinance an important part of his campaign for Haywood County commissioner, there have been many meetings to discuss the problems with it, including the Libertarian Party of Haywood County’s monthly meetings in March and August, and a town hall meeting called by Mr. King, with many concerned citizens. Non incumbent candidates for Haywood County Commissioner, including myself, Mr. King and Phillip Wight have all publicly agreed to do everything in our power to rescind this ordinance when voted in as Haywood County Commissioner, and adopt a much more citizen friendly plan. I have embraced James Forrester’s Libertarian alternative, and have taken much positive feedback with it. I look forward to hearing more.

For more information on the debate, see my opinion piece in the Smoky Mountain News, and chairman Mark Swanger’s response.



Making Government Work

According to the Declaration of Independence, government only exists “by the consent of the governed”. This assumes that there is a social contract between the people and their government, and the system was intended to be a balance between what we do for government and what government does for us. You pay your taxes, you are paying attention and involved in your community, and I believe that when you are engaged, vigilant and responsible, you are contributing to our society and when you vote, you are doing your part to make the system work the way it was intended to.

When you speak up, the very least the government should do is listen.

However, it appears that the county’s commissioners are not interested in listening. Each commissioners meeting allows for public comment, but contrary to its purpose, this is not a forum for listening to the concerns of the people. The public comment section of the meeting allows for a three-minute comment, and the commissioners themselves rebut the comment. Not only is the process sterile and intimidating, but the audience can only hear the rebuttal, and the commentator is not permitted to respond. This is not a proper forum for listening to the concerns of the people who contribute to their government. Without them, government would not exist, and as such elected officials need to show more respect for their constituents.

Toward that end, I propose that we open up our local government, and make it more accessible to the people it is meant to represent. Not only should they be listening to the people, but elected officials should be held accountable for their decisions. I suggest a town hall style meeting be held every quarter at a centrally located venue, such as local fire houses or high schools. The meeting should be casual and friendly, and not intimidating, in order to encourage healthy discussion and debate.

I also suggest that the Haywood County government website be set up with a forum to address issues brought up by the constituents. My own website has such a forum. It is a great way to measure interest in certain topics.

Perhaps most importantly, I believe that the important decisions regarding the county should go to referendum. Let the people affected by these decisions raise their voice in making them. If the people of Waynesville and Lake Junaluska decide that they agree with annexation, then why not let them say so? If the people agree to privatizing government services, then why are we afraid to hear them say so? Article 1:9 of the NC Constitution states that elections should be “frequent” “for redress of grievances and for amending and strengthening the laws.” This being stated, Haywood County officials should encourage healthy discussion and debate among the people. Surely this would make difficult decisions easier? If our politicians are to be held accountable for their decisions, should it not be a solace for them to know that they followed the will of the people? Otherwise, how can elected officials claim to truly represent the people when they are not listening?

We must take back our local government and demand to be heard. Government will never represent the people if they do not demand it.

Therefore, I am proposing that we engage with our government. It is meant to represent us, meant to be “for the people, by the people.” Politicians often complain about the low voter turn out, but surely if people really felt like they could make a difference they would vote!

I want to help you (us!) make this change. I am here to demand that government work for us – as it was meant to. I am here to represent you, my community, in this battle and those that follow. Real representation protects the rights of individuals, it does not amend those rights at its own behest. Real representation means listening to those upon whom government is built, and acting according to the needs of the people, not the needs of government. Real representation allows for free trade – it does not restrict trade, pick winners and losers or represent special interests.

How can government ever truly represent the people, when so many are disengaged, and do not lend their voice?

One problem that active Libertarians have grown used to is that many libertarian leaning citizens are so disillusioned with the government that they have dropped out – they do not feel that government represents them, and many feel that a government could never represent them. Government is the enemy because government takes rights from the people, rather than protecting them.

There are also others who do not even care about the government, what it does, and who is in charge. I know many people who feel this way because they feel powerless against the machinery of government, they are powerless to effect it.

My goal is to engage our community – the larger community – and make our local government as truly representational as possible. I believe we can change the system if we engage the disengaged. It takes all of us to build the kind of community that we want to live in.

April Newsletter

March 2014 Newsletter

Haywood LP Runs Candidate

Dr Windy McKinney challenges the status quo

February 24, Waynesville, NC – The Libertarian Party of Haywood County will be running its first candidate in the November 2014 elections. Historian and writer Windy McKinney has now filed as the Libertarian candidate for county commissioner. Dr. McKinney grew up just outside of Waynesville and attended Tuscola High School before attaining a Bachelor’s Degree at UNC-Asheville in History and Literature. After living and working in Asheville, she later moved to the United Kingdom, achieving a Master’s Degree in Medieval Studies at the University of Kent, Canterbury, UK and a doctorate from the University of York, in York, UK. She has since returned to Haywood County, and thinks the county is ready for a Libertarian candidate, “to change politics as usual.”

Running on the Libertarian party’s platform of limited government, Dr. McKinney sees herself taking a different approach to politics than that of her predecessors by maintaining a citizen-focused candidacy. Her campaign calls for political and fiscal accountability to the citizens of Haywood County, and she believes that elected officials should show a great deal respect toward the people whom they serve. Part of this tact is a focus on the economic prosperity that is needed to keep businesses, jobs (and thus our best and brightest) here in Haywood County. Therefore, she will be taking a firm stance against property taxation and pushing back those government regulations which encumber local businesses and burden local farmers. She is also considering ways in which government mechanisms can run more efficiently in order to pay off the county’s millions of dollars of debt, which she says will “free future generations of Haywood County residents from tax hikes, and put our local government back into the hands of the people.”

Another concern that will be addressed by McKinney includes standing against the county commissioner-approved Emergency Management Ordinance which allows the county to take and use the personal property of citizens – such as guns and vehicles – during times of county emergency. She will also be taking an assertive stance against state and federally mandated regulations which limit the Constitutional rights of citizens, and advocating the removal of Common Core from North Carolina’s statewide school curriculum.

Dr. McKinney does not feel that politicians have a mandate for making decisions for their constituents, and advocates community outreach and referendum in order to stay in line with the will of the people. She plans to create a network in which local communities can give feed back to their county leaders their concerns, issues, complaints and suggestions. As part of this outreach, she is inviting input from the public, and has invited all interested citizens to raise their concerns with her via email at windyforhaywoodcommissioner@gmail.com She is also inviting the public to learn more about her campaign, and the work of the Libertarian Party of Haywood County, by joining the party’s regular meetings at 7pm every second Wednesday of each month, at Organic Beans in Maggie Valley, 3676 Soco Rd. Their next meeting will be held on March 12.

Emergency Management Ordinance

Your property is yours–unless the county needs it

Adopted in 2009, the Emergency Management Ordinance outlines what constitutes an emergency and how county officials are to respond in emergency situations.  That may make some folks sleep well at night, knowing that Haywood is ready for whatever crisis may come our way; however, a particular section of the statute is disturbing to those of us who value liberty over security.  § 31.07 (4) (j) allows the county manager to “procure, by purchase, condemnation, seizure or by other means to construct, lease, transport, store, maintain, renovate or distribute materials and facilities for emergency management without regard to the limitation of any existing law.”  The ambiguity for what constitutes an emergency and the wording of this particular section, “without regard to the limitation of any existing law,” are alarming as the county manager and whomever the county manager authorizes to do so may theoretically take any possession from any individual at any time.  Now, obviously, the board of commissioners would argue, willy-nilly seizure of personal property was not their intent in penning this statute.  As benign as their intentions may have been, the commissioners still managed to pass into law an ordinance which gives the government absolute power, and as Lord Acton so eloquently pointed out nearly 150 years ago, “power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”  While the government seeks to protect us by empowering itself and simultaneously undermining our liberty, the Libertarian Party strives to limit the reach of government and expand personal freedom as you know best how to take care of you and yours. Rewording of the Emergency Management Ordinance is a top priority of the McKinney Campaign.


This is how much money the folks who run the county say is available to operate this year.  And the same folks have spent every single penny.  While we as individuals are encouraged from birth to “save, save, save,” why is the same not expected of government?  Consistently government spends as much money as is available or more, and Haywood county is allowed to go into debt to an amount over $500 million dollars.  While the county debt is currently $64.8 million dollars in debt, nowhere near the legal limit, that is still almost an entire year’s worth of operation.  One focus of the McKinney campaign is to lower Haywood County’s debt and to make the county government operate with higher fiscal responsibility, something the lawn-obsessed commissioners need a lesson on.

McKinney Receives iCaucus Endorsement

Haywood County’s Libertarian candidate for commissioner Dr Windy McKinney was endorsed by iCaucus.  To learn more about this organization and what this endorsement means please visit the iCaucus website.

NC Libertarian News

Across the state

The North Carolina Libertarian Party is holding their annual convention in Durham April 4-6

National Libertarian News

Across the country

Porcfest (porcupine+festival) is in its 11th year as of this June 22-29.  Based out of Lancaster, New Hamshire, Porcfest is “the most exciting liberty event of the year.”

Libertarian Ideals

Easy enough for a five-year-old to grasp

Bill Clinton won the presidential election against George H W Bush in 1992 with the help of the slogan “it’s the economy, stupid,” a variation of the maxim, “keep it simple, stupid.”  The reality is that neither Democrats nor Republicans have simplified any government process since that time, and the acronym KISS has been nothing but lip service from the federal level all the way down to local government.  While Democrats and Republicans claim to be vastly different from one another, the rapidity and voracity at which each seek to expand the government tells a different story, a story of fraternal twins grappling for power.  Each party has an ideology that it seeks to impose upon the population.  While the ideologies may differ, seeking the use of government to enforce those ideologies is the same and comes at an ever-increasing cost to the American taxpayer.

A succinct, seven-page party platform exists on the Libertarian Party’s website; therefore, it seems redundant to reinvent the wheel when explaining the essence of Libertarianism.  David Boaz the executive vice president of the Cato Institute further truncates Libertarian principles with the help of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten‘s author Robert Fulghum summing it up to:  “don’t hit other people, don’t take their stuff, and keep your promises.” Simple.  The beauty of simplicity is its intrinsic, secondary characteristic of transparency, a quality voters seek but seldom find as they admittedly and cynically consider themselves choosing between the lesser of two evils on election day.  Americans are so cynical toward politics-as-usual that a common response to the question, “if you’re deeply dissatisfied with the status quo, why not join the Libertarian Party?” is that “the Libertarian Party can’t win.”  Well, 144 elected officials and counting says differently; additionally,the Libertarian Party is the fastest-growing political party in the US–not surprising as Libertarian principles are founded upon the ideals espoused by those folks who started our great country.  A kindergarten classroom is not hampered by cynicism and neither should the political process.  If you are interested in politics that a child can understand rather than childish politics, you have a home with the Libertarian Party.  Slough your cynicism and join the Haywood Spring.