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Rhino Times - 2017-07-27
Magazines / Newspapers | Government 2017-07-27 00:00:00
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    Vol. V No. 30 Greensboro, North Carolina www.rhinotimes.com Thursday, July 27, 2017 Surprise Resignation Closes County Board of Elections John Hammer Raises Plus Four-Year Terms Equals 38 City Council Candidates plus Under The Hammer, Uncle Orson Reviews Everything AND MORE

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    2 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, July 27, 2017 | www.rhinotimes.com THE WEEKLY Hammer The Weekly Hammer Making a Man’s by John Hammer Every member of the Greensboro City Council should be required to attend a Board of Adjustment meeting. For some reason, these meetings are not televised, perhaps because the belief is that no one would voluntarily Home His Hassle sit down and watch a Board of Adjustment meeting – the name alone makes your eyelids get heavy. But the reason the councilmembers should all have to attend a meeting is not to punish them, but for city councilmembers to see how they are punishing the people of Greensboro with outdated and nonsensical laws. The good news is that the current Board of Adjustment realizes that the zoning laws in Greensboro don’t make a lick of sense and regularly grants variances for those who pay the money and take the time to come to a meeting. Board of Adjustment member Chuck Truby often apologizes to people for the inconvenience of having to apply for and receive a variance for something like increasing the size of their front porch. In the past, the city staff has come to meetings to argue against a homeowner being able to add a porch, a closet or a carport, but that has stopped. Now the staff presents the issue, the property owner explains the problem, the Board of Adjustment votes to grant the variance and everybody goes home happy. The problem is the absurdity of the laws for which variances are being granted. The crazy front setback for singlefamily homes is still in effect. Why is it crazy? Because it can be different for every house on the block, and a lot of homes are out of compliance right now. If your house happens to be closer to the street than the houses on either side, your house is most likely out of compliance, which means that if you need to fix your front porch and do anything more serious than painting, you may be required to get a variance. The front setback in singlefamily residential zoning districts is determined by measuring the setbacks of the two houses on either side and figuring the mean setback. So if the two houses on one side are 100 feet back from the street and the two houses on the other side are 20 (continued on page 12) Cooper Caved To Newspaper Lobby by John Hammer The liberal mainstream newspapers like to attack lobbyists, except when the lobbyists are working for the mainstream newspapers. The mainstream newspapers successfully lobbied North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and convinced him to veto a bill sponsored by state Sen. Trudy Wade that took away a special exemption for newspaper carriers and a state-mandated monopoly on legally required advertising in paid circulation newspapers. If it were any other industry the mainstream media would be highly in favor of Wade’s bill. In fact, the Charlotte Observer and Raleigh News & Observer ran a series of articles about the abuse of independent contractors in the construction industry. The mainstream newspapers are opposed to other industries using independent contractors when the workers should be classified as employees, but the same newspapers lobbied hard to keep the special exemption for newspapers as state law. Why should newspaper carriers alone be singled out by the state government as not being employees? What Wade’s bill would have done is required newspapers to abide by the same laws as every other industry when determining whether a person is an employee or an independent contractor. Newspapers don’t have to be concerned about those laws when it comes to newspaper carriers. Even if a carrier meets all the requirements of an employee, because of a special exemption in state law that applies only to newspapers, carriers are not employees. So they do not have to be paid like employees or receive the benefits of an employee. It’s a great deal for newspapers and no doubt a lot of other industries, like the construction industry, would love to have such an exemption for themselves. The problem other industries have is that their lobby in Raleigh is not as powerful as the newspaper lobby. The advertising portion of the existing law is, if anything, more egregious. Any legal advertisement that is required by state law has to be placed in a newspaper with paid circulation. Municipalities, counties and the state government are required to run millions of dollars worth of advertising every year to advertise such things as public hearings, and those ads have to be placed in a newspaper with paid circulation. Other advertisements required by state law, such as home foreclosures and estate disclosures, must be placed in a newspaper with paid circulation. Wade’s bill would have, in Guilford County, allowed those government ads and legally required advertising to be placed on the Guilford County website. The major newspapers argued – with no evidence to support it – that the information is more accessible to people in a newspaper rather than on the county website. But smaller newspapers were more honest. The publisher of the Jamestown News said that paper would go out of business if people weren’t forced by law to advertise in it. The fact that public notices that are supposed to notify the people of the county can legally be placed in a newspaper like the Jamestown News, with a circulation of at most a couple of thousand in a county of 500,000, proves how ridiculous this law is in today’s world. The Jamestown News meets the requirements of the current law, and I do have a dog in this fight because the Rhino Times, with an estimated 10 times the circulation of the Jamestown News, which doesn’t publish its circulation figures, doesn’t meet the requirements because the Rhino Times is free. If the idea is to get the information to the public, which is more accessible – a free publication or a paid circulation publication? Wade’s bill would have allowed Guilford County to set up a program to run both government and legal advertising on the Guilford County (continued on page 21)

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    www.rhinotimes.com | Thursday, July 27, 2017 | RHINO TIMES 3 table of CONTENTS 2 WEEKLY HAMMER BY JOHN HAMMER 6 SURPRISE RESIGNATION CLOSES BOARD OF ELECTIONS ON THE SPOT BY SCOTT D. YOST 8 COUNCIL RAISES PLUS FOUR-YEAR TERMS EQUALS 38 CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES BY JOHN HAMMER 10 NEW LAW MAY ALLOW COUNTY TO TURN DELINQUENTS INTO COLD HARD CASH BY SCOTT D. YOST 13 NATTY GREENE’S GETTING INTO THE SPIN OF THINGS AT REVOLUTION MILL BY JOHN HAMMER 15 UNCLE ORSON BY ORSON SCOTT CARD 23 YOST COLUMN BY SCOTT D. YOST 35 UNDER THE HAMMER BY JOHN HAMMER 4 RHINO SHORTS 4 SUDOKU 14 RHINOS AROUND WORLD 17 REAL ESTATE 18 NYT CROSSWORD 19 PUZZLE ANSWERS 19 CHILDREN’S SCHEDULE 21 SOUND OF THE BEEP 28 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR HARDWOOD LAMINATE AREA RUGS CARPET VINYL TILE 336-288-6643 336-288-6643 Any Size Rooms! Cover: Kayne Fisher at the grand opening of Natty Greene’s Kitchen+Market at Revolution Mill on Yanceyville Street. Story on page 12. Photo by John Hammer EDITOR-IN-CHIEF John Hammer PUBLISHER Roy Carroll GENERAL MANAGER Joann Zollo INCLUDES Installation! Pad! Moving Furniture! Take Up & Disposal! managing editor ELAINE HAMMER county editor SCOTT D. YOST contributing editor ORSON SCOTT CARD creative director ANTHONY COUNCIL advertising consultants DONNA GOODWIN 216 West Market Street, Greensboro NC 27401 P.O. Box 9023, Greensboro NC 27429 | (336) 763-4170 (336) 763-2585 fax | sales@rhinotimes.com | www.rhinotimes.com Mobile Showroom A + This sale can not be combined with any other offers. See store for details. Call Today & We’re On Our Way! 1 Year Interest Free Financing! on approved credit Area’s Largest selection of Pet Friendly flooring 1yr INTEREST FREE financing on approved credit Greensboro • Wilmington • Myrtle Beach 336-288-6643 2837 Battleground Avenue, Greensboro • Mon-Fri 8am-6pm • Sat 10am-4pm

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    4 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, July 27, 2017 | www.rhinotimes.com RHINO SHORTS by John Hammer It appears television viewers will believe anything. The show was hyped as Michael Phelps swimming against a great white shark and viewers were disappointed that it turned out to be Phelps swimming against a computer generated shark, not a real shark. From the numerous comments, it appears that people actually thought Phelps was going to be in one lane and a shark in the other. Maybe they thought the shark would be standing on the blocks next to Phelps and both dive in the water at the same moment, who knows? Did they think someone had trained a great white shark to swim up and down a swimming pool staying in its lane, making a flip turn and coming back? But it appears many viewers were disappointed that Phelps and the shark were not swimming side by side. Did anyone worry about the safety of Phelps being in the water with a shark that is known to have no moral compunctions about attacking and eating human beings? Weather like we have had the last week always makes me wonder about the wisdom of my ancestors who moved to North Carolina, not only before air conditioning but before fans and screens, and back when any hot meals were cooked on wood stoves. The house I grew up in wasn’t air conditioned, but we did have fans and screens. If I could only have one I’d take the screens over fans any day. But it’s hard to imagine thinking that the Southern US would be a nice place to live back in those days before people had either. I know that people are skiing in July because of global warming, but not being a global warming fanatic, I have problems when global warming results in colder temperatures and more snow. Sunday night, like a lot of people in Guilford County, my mother was without electricity. I was over there for a couple of hours and it reminded me once again of just how vulnerable we are to disruptions in the electrical system. A modern house without electricity is a lot like a cave. The office building the Rhino Times is in on West Market Street was built in the mid-1880s, before electricity was prevalent, and every room has a source of natural light. Modern buildings aren’t built like that at all. There is a lot of talk in Washington about upgrading our infrastructure, and it also needs to be protected. One of the reasons Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said he vetoed the state budget was that the personal income tax rate was lowered from 5.5 percent to 5.25 percent in 2019. In Illinois, the Democratic state legislature raised the personal income tax rate from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent, which was considered an outrageous increase. But even with that increase the income tax would still be lower than what North Carolina is lowering the rate to in 2019. It’s simply an indication of how out of control the taxes in North Carolina had become under the century of Democratic rule. Here’s a fun fact: Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and current President Donald Trump were all born in 1946. All are technically baby boomers, as is former President Barack Obama, who was born in 1961. Former President Lyndon Johnson, who took office after John Kennedy was assassinated, seemed to me at the time like this really tired old man who was replacing the vibrant, youthful Kennedy. Johnson was 57 when he took office, which doesn’t seem that old. Obama who doesn’t look old to me, is 55. Hyper-Sudoku Speed Bump by Dave Coverly The New York Times

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    www.rhinotimes.com | Thursday, July 27, 2017 | RHINO TIMES 5

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    6 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, July 27, 2017 | www.rhinotimes.com Surprise Resignation Closes County Board of Elections on the Spot by Scott D. Yost Guilford County Board of Elections Member Don Wendelken has resigned from that board and, by doing so, effectively put the county’s board completely out of business. Wendelken’s resignation – combined with a new state law that just went into effect – means that Guilford County’s election board no longer has enough members to meet and conduct business legally, and the board will not get any new members until North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, the state legislature and the North Carolina Supreme Court work out their state election board issues. Members of the Guilford County Board of Elections are appointed by the state elections board – now called the Bipartisan State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement. Until that state board is appointed, there is no one who can appoint new members to the Guilford County Board of Elections – or to any other county elections boards in North Carolina for that matter. The remaining members of the Guilford County elections board are Jim Kimel, a Democrat, and Kathryn Lindley, the board’s Republican chair. In recent legislation, the North Carolina General Assembly created a newly structured elections board, one that was combined with a state ethics board, but Cooper has argued that that move was unconstitutional. The courts upheld the new elections and ethics board, and now Cooper – and everyone else – is waiting on a decision on the matter from the state Supreme Court. In the meantime, the governor hasn’t appointed any members to the new elections and ethics board that the legislature created. Wendelken announced his decision to resign at the Tuesday, July 18 Board of Elections meeting and the implications of that decision were felt immediately by surprised election officials. Wendelken said he made up his mind to step down shortly before the meeting. “I was driving in to the meeting and I just decided,” Wendelken said. Under the former state law, before Photo by Scott D. Yost The Guilford County Board of Elections, Don Wendelken (left), Chair Kathryn Lindley and Jim Kimel, at a meeting in November 2016. the new law took effect on July 18, the elections boards in each of the state’s 100 counties consisted of three members. Two members could conduct a board’s business because those two constituted a quorum before July 18. However, under the new law, all county elections boards in the state are four-member boards. Every other year in July, newly appointed elections board members take seats on county boards across the state; however, this year everything is at a standstill as the court battle wages at the state level. Under the new law now in effect, the Guilford County Board of Elections has four positions and two of those are vacant and will not be filled until the state works through its issues. About a half dozen other counties across North Carolina are in the same situation, and that number will only grow as long as there is no state elections board in place to appoint members of county boards. Wendelken surprised county election officials when, at the end of the otherwise routine meeting, he announced he was leaving after four years on the board. At the meeting, Wendelken didn’t say why he was stepping down. When asked about his decision later, the Republican board member did hint that this move might help force the new Democratic governor’s hand. “I just feel like it’s time to move on,” he said at first. However, then Wendelken added, “But if Cooper doesn’t want to make appointments – well, I just feel like he’s going to be forced to make appointments sooner or later.” Wendelken also said that, if board members in other counties resign, that might create a situation where it simply isn’t possible to hold elections across the state. Guilford County Board of Elections Director Charlie Collicutt said Wendelken’s resignation certainly does place his Guilford County elections office in an interesting position. “The state board of elections’ general counsel said their interpretation of the statute is that the current board carries over,” Collicutt said. “However, as of today, there is no one to appoint a new member or [appoint] the whole board. So, technically what we have is a fourmember board with two vacancies. Let’s say that Don had not resigned – then they would need three to pass anything. Don resigning makes it so this board cannot meet with a quorum.” Collicutt said that, for the immediate future, at least, his office has sufficient board guidance and approval already in place to proceed with normal election steps as the 2017 municipal elections fast approach. Collicutt said he was glad that, before Wendelken resigned, the (continued on page 9)

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    www.rhinotimes.com | Thursday, July 27, 2017 | RHINO TIMES 7

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    8 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, July 27, 2017 | www.rhinotimes.com Council Raises Plus Four-Year Terms Equals 38 City Council Candidates by John Hammer Filing for the Greensboro City Council election ended Friday, July 21 at noon, and 38 candidates have filed to run. That includes 15 running for the three at-large seats. It’s the most candidates who have ever fi led to run in a City Council election. But don’t let that fool you. According to people that follow city politics, the most likely outcome of the election is that the same City Council will be seated at the dais in 2018 as in 2017. There is a primary in every race. The City Council races are nonpartisan, so the top two vote-getters in the mayor’s race and the fi ve district races will face each other in the general election. In the at-large race the top six votegetters will be in the general election, and out of those six, the top three will be elected to the City Council. In the at-large race voters can vote for three candidates in the primary and in the general election. But voters don’t have to vote for three and often a candidate will ask supporters to only vote for him or her. It’s called a single-shot vote and it gives that one vote more weight. This may come into play in the at-large primary with 15 candidates. All nine members of the City Council are running, including District 2 City Councilmember Goldie Wells, appointed to replace Councilmember Jamal Fox, who resigned on July 18 because he is moving to Portland, Oregon. Some councilmembers said one reason they were supporting Wells was because she wasn’t running in the election, and she had not fi led when she was appointed on Tuesday, July 18. Wells fi led on Friday. She said she wasn’t planning on running, but when she heard some of the candidates speak at a forum for those who had applied to be appointed to Fox’s seat, she didn’t think they had a good grasp of what District 2 needed. Wells fi ling makes the District 2 race one of the most interesting because former City Councilmember Jim Kee has also fi led for District 2. Wells served as the District 2 councilmember (continued on page 30) At Large Marikay Abuzuaiter (incumbent) Irving David Allen M.A. Bakie Michael L. (Mike) Barber (incumbent) T. Dianne Bellamy Small Jodi Bennett-Bradshaw Tijuana B. Hayes Sylvine Hill James Ingram Dan Jackson Yvonne Johnson (incumbent) Michelle Kennedy Andy Nelson Lindy Perry-Garnette Dave Wils 5 4 Mayor John T. Brown Diane Moffett Nancy Barakat Vaughan (incumbent) District 1 Sharon Hightower (incumbent) Devin King Charles Patton Jr. Paula Ritter-Lipscomb District 2 Felicia Angus C.J. Brinson Jim Kee Tim Vincent Goldie Wells (incumbent) 3 2 1 Greensboro City Council Candidates by District District 3 Antuan Marsh Craig Martin Payton McGarry Justin Outling (incumbent) District 4 Andrew Belford Nancy Hoffmann (incumbent) Gary Kenton District 5 Salvatore Leone Tanner Lucas Tammi Thurm Tony Wilkins (incumbent)

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    TAYLOR'S DISCOUNT TIRE www.rhinotimes.com | Thursday, July 27, 2017 | RHINO TIMES 9 surprise (continued from page 6) Guilford County Board of Elections took care of a lot of business needed for the coming weeks. “We’re not alone now with having two members,” Collicutt said. “There are other counties in this state with two members. We did get some unanimous votes on some things we needed to get moving toward the municipal elections, so I’m not hamstrung or anything like that at this time.” Collicutt said Kimel and Lindley could get together and listen to elections staff, but the two couldn’t take any action. Wendelken said he’ll greatly miss working with his fellow board members and with the election board staff. “These guys are great,” he said. “I mean superb.” He said Guilford County’s elections operations were top-notch, as good as any in the state, and he added that Collicutt was doing a great job. “He is always a man of his word – he does what he says and he wants everything to be 100 percent right,” Wendelken said. “And, if something doesn’t go right, he fixes it.” Collicutt also had some kind words for Wendelken as well as for the two remaining board members. “We’ve gotten along well,” Charlie said. “We’ve been very happy with the board that we’ve had.” Wendelken, a co-owner of a hotel furnishings business, has run for local office several times, including an unsuccessful run in 2012 for a seat on the Guilford County Board of Commissioners. Lindley said she wished Wendelken was not stepping down and she said he’d been a calming influence for the county’s election board. “He was the kind of neutral person on the board,” she said. “He kept the two of us moderated.” Lindley said that, before the meeting, Wendelken told her he wanted a moment at the end to speak, and she said, when she heard that request, she suspected he might resign. “I did not know, but when I heard he wanted to speak before the end of the meeting, I thought: I’m not going to let him speak.” When the July 18 meeting was wrapping up and Wendelken finally spoke his piece, it was the thing Lindley didn’t want to hear. “It’s been a pleasure working with everybody, but I’m resigning after the meeting,” Wendelken told the board members in the small election’s conference room on the first floor of the Old Guilford County Court House. “I enjoyed it deeply, learned a lot, and both sides have always been respectful,” Wendelken said. “It’s been fun and I’ll tell you what – it’s been a real valuable lesson understanding how both sides work, how government works, how protesters work and how people in polling places work.” Lindley, who was suddenly the chair of a board that cannot meet, joked: “Your resignation is not accepted. She added, “That means we can’t do any more business between now and when they do make new appointments.” Wendelken said elections officials would still see him around even though he wouldn’t be on the board. In the past, state governors have appointed a five-member North Carolina State Board of Elections, which has in turn appointed the county boards across the state – with each board having two members of the governor’s party and one member of the opposing party. Now, the state board of elections has been combined with the state’s ethics board into an eight-member board with four Democrats and four Republicans. That new state board and ethics board was to have been appointed two months ago and then, last week, it would have appointed the new local elections boards; however, Cooper is fighting the Republican lawmakers’ change in court and it’s not clear when new state and county boards will be appointed. Count on us to keep you on the go with our expert service and the long-lasting value of MICHELIN ® tires. More miles. With the safety you expect. THE NEW MICHELIN ® DEFENDER ® TIRE. Taylor’s Discount Tire 2100 E. Cone Blvd STOP IN TODAY! Fair, honest pricing Family owned and operated TAYLORSDISCOUNTTIRE.COM (336) 375-8883 MON - FRI 7:30 - 5:30, SAT 6:00 - 12:30 NO HIDDEN TIRE INSTALLATION FEES NO HIDDEN TPMS RESET FEES FREE ROTATION AND BALANCE FOR LIFE OF TIRES Life never stops moving. So take on every mile – and be there for every moment – with Michelin’s longest-lasting tire. * * Based on commissioned third-party wear test results in tire size 225/55R17 97H vs. Goodyear® Assurance® TripleTred™ All-Season and Continental® TrueContact™ tires in size 225/55R17 97H, and Pirelli® P4™ Four Seasons+ tire in size 225/55R17 97T, on a 2016 Chevrolet Malibu; and in tire size 205/55R16 91H vs. Bridgestone® Turanza™ Serenity Plus tire in size 205/55R16 91H on a 2015 Honda Civic. Actual on-road results may vary. Copyright © 2017 Michelin North America, Inc. All rights reserved. The Michelin Man is a registered trademark owned by Michelin North America, Inc.

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    10 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, July 27, 2017 | www.rhinotimes.com New Law May Allow County To Turn Delinquents Into Cold Hard Cash The Guilford County Juvenile Detention Center at 15 Lockheed Ct. Photo by Elaine Hammer by Scott D. Yost The State of North Carolina has now joined the rest of the country in treating 16- and 17-year-olds in the criminal justice system as juveniles rather than adults – and that could mean big changes for Guilford County government in everything from the jails to court services to the school system. The most obvious change – once the law takes effect in 2019 – is that many 16- and 17-year-olds kept in Guilford County’s two jails would instead be held in the Juvenile Detention Center at 15 Lockheed Ct. near Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA). Guilford County already has the largest center in the state for youth offenders and it’s possible that that 44- bed facility could nearly double in size and become a big revenue generator for the county if county leaders decide that’s the right course of action. Currently, the state pays Guilford County $122 a day to hold juveniles from other counties, and Guilford County gets another $122 a day from the local governments that send the juveniles here for safekeeping. That totals $244 a day for the county. Guilford County Manager Marty Lawing said the new law change certainly means Guilford County should take a serious look at expanding its facility – especially if the state is going to help pay for that expansion to meet the new demand. Even before the law passed, Guilford County was considering expanding its Juvenile Detention Center to address the large statewide need for more juvenile detention beds, but now that move looks even more appealing. “We’re one of the biggest in the state,” Lawing said of the existing facility. “If the daily reimbursement rate from the state stays the same or goes up, then I think it would pay us to expand; but, really, part of that formula would be how much in capital dollars would we get from the state for capital expansion. Would it be 100 percent? Would it be 50 percent? That would have a big impact on the feasibility of it.” The county manager said one thing that needs to take place in the coming months is solid “coordination” across the state between local governments that run juvenile detention centers. He said that they need to collectively decide which ones should expand. “I haven’t seen final numbers since we are closing out [the fiscal year] but there is a chance our revenue exceeds our cash – it did last year,” Lawing said of Guilford County’s juvenile detention facility. “We used to not break even at all until we started taking in kids from other counties. And Forsyth County closed their facility, so they are sending those kids to us.” He said the current state budget for 2017-2018 doesn’t include money to pay for Guilford’s potential expansion but those dollars might be included in coming years. “I don’t think there’s any money in there this year to help counties unless it’s hidden in pockets,” Lawing said. “Hopefully the DOC [North Carolina Department of Corrections] will pull all the counties together and say, ‘OK, who’s interested in expanding? What are the conditions in your facility? Is it designed to expand? Do you have the land? Who’s going to want to do this?’” Guilford County Attorney Mark Payne said some things he’s heard suggest the state will help the counties bear the cost of the new legislation. “Every time I heard a discussion about the General Assembly, they were asked, ‘Are you going to include a hold harmless clause’ and it’s my understanding that that is going to be taken seriously by the General Assembly.” Payne said it’s not known what the state legislators will decide but those discussions have been promising in that regard. North Carolina Rep. Jon Hardister said that state legislators were very interested in addressing the costs that counties and cities will incur as a result of the implementation of the law. “We don’t want this to be an unfunded mandate; we want this to be a partnership,” Hardister said this week. He said that the state was planning to work with counties, cities and others affected over the next couple of years to assess the costs of the change as it is implemented. “That’s why we put the effective (continued on next page)

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