Feb. 7 Letters to the editor

Black Mountain News

In defense of Clemson University

A local newspaper, the Asheville Citizen-Times recently published a letter condemning Clemson University, attempting to devastate its heritage and change its name because two of its major founders were plantation owners of their time in history and used slave labor. 

If we are now going to engage in this form of heritage cleansing perhaps we should start at the top by re-naming the city of Washington, DC, the George Washington Bridge in New York, and tearing down the Washington Monument. Then move on to destroying the Jefferson Memorial and remove his name form major landmarks and highly respected institutions of learning. 

The records show that both Washington and Jefferson owned hundreds of slaves.

Most of us have elements in our heritage that are not supported by our personal values today. That is our history. One of the great dangers in our society today is the effort to destroy knowledge and respect for our historical past, both the good and the bad.

In the past Clemson was an honorable family name. It is now the highly respected name of a great institution. 

It is the name that gives significance and respect on over 150,000 Clemson diplomas.

Perry Sprawls

Clemson Class of 1956, M61, Ph.D.68

Black Mountain 

Government "by the people, for the people"

Elected Officials should serve only the time for which they are elected, no more. Black Mountain Aldermen and Montreat Commissioners were elected to serve 4-year terms.

Black Mountain Aldermen elected in 2015 and 2017 (or appointed to fill out unexpired terms) and Montreat Commissioners, elected in 2015 and 2017, each passed resolutions in late 2018 to extend their own term in office to 5 years.

This effectively disenfranchises Black Mountain and Montreat citizens during this fifth year.

How did this come to be? In 2018, General Assembly voted to break Asheville into districts and move Asheville’s voting cycle from odd to even years. Buncombe County members of the General Assembly reached out to the other county municipalities inquiring if they would also like to be on the even year cycle.

It was originally thought that this would provide a cost savings to the towns.

Weaverville and Woodfin opted to stay on the odd year election cycle. Black Mountain, Montreat and Biltmore Forest voted to go the even year cycle.

Several mechanisms were available to make this change. One was to hold elections in both 2019 and 2021 for one year terms, forming a bridge to the even year cycle.

This was not the method chosen, instead the sitting councils of both Black Mountain and Montreat chose, by majority vote, to self-elect themselves for a fifth year.

There is still time for this to be re-evaluated by the municipalities and changed as the resolutions have yet to be submitted and approved by the 2019 NC General Assembly.

If an individual wishes to serve for an additional year, applaud them, encourage them to run again. Others may also wish to serve and they too should have that opportunity. The electorate then makes the choice, not the currently serving elected officials.

Attend  council meetings and contact Montreat Commissioners, Black Mountain Aldermen, and  Buncombe County Members of the NC General Assembly opposing the self-addition of a 5th year to the 4 year terms.

Support the principle that government should be “by the people, for the people."

Mary McPhail Standaert 

Mary Nell Todd


Susan Leive

Michael Neder

Black Mountain