Presnell polishes her wood sense

Unlike some other people I could name, I would like to congratulate State Rep. Michele Presnell, R-Burnsville, on her “Friend of Forestry” award from the North Carolina Forestry Association, which she recently skipped a candidates’ debate in Marshall to accept.

Good for you, Michele! You earned it! Don’t listen to the haters!

The emotional ladies of the Madison County League of Women Voters are apparently bent out of shape because the debate with Democratic challenger Dean Hicks was scheduled months in advance and people came from the far corners of the district to attend.

Well, boo hoo hoo.

What was Presnell supposed to do? Keep track of her many appointments on some sort of calendar? Send an assistant to accept the timber award so she wouldn’t have to stiff all the people sitting in that drafty auditorium who could have been home watching television? (I speak from some personal knowledge here.)

Ask the forestry association to move the award to another night of its three-day convention? How was any of that even possible? Besides, I think folks got a fair idea of Presnell’s legislative abilities just by looking at her empty chair. So no harm done.

And, sure, people might question why somebody who got a “zero” rating from the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters deserves to be honored by the corporate stewards of our forest heritage. But no one worked harder on this year’s campaign to frustrate “green certification” in state construction, which, had it succeeded, would have helped protect clear-cutting, chemical-spraying and other brawny practices in our all-too-pristine forests for years to come.

So, people can just get off her case about missing that one measly debate. I do hope, however, that no other public-spirited organization is planning to honor Presnell for her legislative achievements soon, so she won’t have to ditch any more speaking engagements at the last minute.

And just in case she does show up in the future, here’s a tip: Wear your “World’s Greatest Grandma” sweater, Michele. We rustics are very impressed by prestigious awards.

Peter Robbins

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