EDITORIAL: For the Record
Friday's editorial erred in saying the Southern Pines Town Council "voted" not to put former Gov. James Holshouser on the town's long-range planning advisory committee.
The decision against Holshouser -- like those for or against other candidates -- was made on an informal basis after long discussion. The official confirmation vote on committee members comes Monday.
The Pilot otherwise stands by its editorial, while offering this additional background:
During the discussion last week, Mayor Mike Haney and Councilman Fred Walden supported the appointment of Holshouser. Councilman David Woodruff spoke out against it, saying he liked Holshouser but felt the council was being "manipulated" by five former mayors who endorsed the former governor in a letter. Member Abigail Dowd opposed Holshouser on the grounds that he was "too political" and that other committee members might defer to him because of his prominence.
Though Mayor Pro Tem Chris Smithson did not join Woodruff and Dowd in their outspoken opposition, he did express concerns during the pro-and-con debate that putting the former governor on the committee might make some people see it as a board of insiders and that objections might be raised to Holshouser because of his past lobbying for the development community.
Smithson said on Friday that he was unwilling to put anyone on the board that other council members felt so strongly against. He said he "went in fully prepared to approve him (Holshouser) if that's the way things seemed to be leaning," though he gave no public indication of that position during the six-hour discussion.
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