The Transylvania Times -

Reverse Courthouse Decision


November 23, 2017

The decision by the county commissioners on the future of the county courthouse is an egregious example of muddled thinking and impoverished political leadership. It is the result of a poorly thought through economic analysis at best, or a clumsy attempt to pander to the law and order establishment, as the perceived priority of their electorate, or possibly something worse.

Clearly, the numbers do not stack up. The cost of the option to upgrade the current facility has not been satisfactorily evaluated or exposed to public review. There should be an independent financial review of the competing build options and a referendum.

The decision to relocate the courthouse to a site adjacent to the county correctional facility is misguided. It would lead to a massive additional tax burden and a disproportionate use of county staff time and focus over a protracted period.

The Transylvania Times guest column article published on Nov. 20, written by Brian Stretcher, comprehensively demolishes the operational arguments (safety and capacity) used in favor of the Morris Road location. These arguments were rightly exposed as fatuous and postulated by commissioners, some of whom will quite likely have reached their office term limits by the time the resulting tax bills roll into the mail boxes of Brevard taxpayers.

Mayor Harris should rethink his response to the court house decision. From my viewpoint, if he was quoted accurately in The Transylvania Times article, he has given a free pass to the county. He and his constituents will inherit a white elephant building and another gaping tooth storefront in due course. The business community will surely take a dim view at the next election.

Thirty one million dollars would be better spent on the county’s K-12 education, drug abuse prevention, and adult vocational programs. All of these are screaming priorities when compared to this unnecessary vanity project.

Brevard is the county seat. It is the now the key economic locus of the county, since the demise of large scale manufacturing in Transylvania. It deserves far greater consideration. This decision needs to be reversed.

Gregory Ayres

Pisgah Forest


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