Mountain Resources Commission goes on chopping block

In 2009, the N.C. General Assembly passed legislation that sought to encourage “quality growth and development” while preserving the natural resources and farmland of Western North Carolina. Less than three years later, the current session of the Legislature is now proposing to eliminate the Mountain Resources Commission that was established to oversee those goals, according to Rep. Ray Rapp of Mars Hill.

According to “Ray’s Raleigh Report,” emailed by his office today, a newly minted draft bill of the “Boards & Commissions Efficiency Act of 2012” would eliminate or reduce membership for some 102 of the state’s boards, commissions, and task forces or committees. The Mountain Resources Commission is on the elimination list. Currently chaired by David Gantt, Buncombe County commission chair (who could not be reached for comment), the commission also includes Buncombe County representatives Jim Coman, chairman of the Buncombe County Soil & Water Board of Supervisors, and Bob Shepherd, who serves on the Council of Advisors of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, along with residents of other mountain counties and several ex officio members from WNC organizations.

Also slated for elimination is the Mountain Area Resources Technical Advisory Council, originally created by the same enabling legislation as the MRC. Its members, appointed by the MRC, are to include “environmental, engineering, planning, and state and local government professionals with expertise and experience” to contribute to the commission’s work.

The draft bill’s wording calls for elimination of “certain state boards and commissions that have not met recently, are duplicative, or are not deemed critical. The list includes, along with the MRC (which has been meeting regularly since 2010, mostly recently on April 20 of this year), a range of groups such the Governor’s Advisory Council on Aging, the N.C. Child Fatality Taskforce, the Committee on Dropout Prevention, NC Housing Partnership, NC Sustainable Local Food Advisory Council, Mine Safety and Health Advisory Council; Legislative Commission on Methamphetamine Abuse, NC Small Business Contractors Authority, and the NC Travel and Tourism Board—to name just a few. The full list is given below.

As a draft bill, the proposal has not yet been submitted for action and does not have a bill number at this time. Stay tuned.

by Nelda Holder, contributing editor

Boards & Commission currently proposed to be eliminated:
Governor’s Advisory Council on Aging
N.C. Agricultural Hall of Fame Board of Directors
N.C. Agriculture and Forestry Awareness Study Commission
America’s Four Hundredth Anniversary Commission
Commission of Anatomy
N.C. Apprenticeship Council
N.C. Art Society, INC.
Beaver Damage Control Advisory Board
Consumer and Advocacy Advisory Committee for the Blind
Blount St. Historic District Oversight Committee
N.C. Brain Injury Advisory Council
N.C. Capital Planning Commission
N.C. Center for Nursing
N.C. Child Fatality Taskforce
N.C. Community Development Council
Continuing Education Advisory Committee
N.C. Board of Correction
N.C. Courts Commission
Governor’s Crime Commission
Committee on Dropout Prevention
Drought Management Advisory Council
Edenton Historical Commission
Secretary of State’s Advisory Council on Electronic Notary Standards
Electronic Recording Council
Employment Security Advisory Councils
North Carolina Farmworker Council
Justus-Warren Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Task Force
N.C. Housing Partnership
Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies
Interagency Coordinating Council of Children from Birth to Five with Disabilities and their Families
Governor’s Management Council
Legislative Commission on Methamphetamine Abuse
Mine Safety and Health Advisory Council
Motor Vehicle Dealer’s Advisory Board
Mountain Area Resources Technical Advisory Council
Mountain Resources Commission
Board of Public Telecommunications Commissioners of the N.C. Agency for Public Telecommunications
Board of Directors Certification Entity for Phase II Settlement Fund Certification Board
N.C. Small Business Contractor Authority
N.C. Sustainable Communities Task Force
N.C. Sustainable Local Food Advisory Council
Joint Legislative Commission on the Department of Transportation Disadvantaged Minority-Owned and Women Owned Proprietors
Commission to Study the Governance and Adequacy of the Investment Authority of Various State-owned Funds for Purposes of
    Enhancing the Return on Investments
“More at Four” Pre-K Taskforce
National Heritage Area Designation Committee
Pilot Accreditations Advisory Board
Public Funding of State Elections Commission
Legislative Commission on Global Climate Change





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