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Commissioners Back 'Constitutional Rights' Resolution – Transylvania County, NC


Last updated 1/27/2021 at 3:57pm

During its regular meeting Monday, the Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution declaring Transylvania as a “Constitutional Rights Protected County.”

Prior to the approval, Commission Chairman Jason Chappell said he initiated the resolution (see below) that was being considered. His concerns, he said, started with the Virginia General Assembly passing laws and getting people’s “attention.” Last year, the Virginia General Assembly approved several bills related to gun control. Chappell said he would have preferred to have passed the resolution a year ago, but it “wasn’t possible.”

He said staff, commissioners and the county’s attorneys worked through the previous weekend on the resolution. Transylvania County Sheriff David Mahoney was also consulted on the proposed ordinance and supported it.

According to a memo from County Manager Jaime Laughter, local elected bodies in North Carolina may adopt resolutions for many various purposes and objectives. This can include urging for action at a higher level of government; recognizing persons or organizations; reflecting support for causes or principles, declaring a position on issues of interest or for other similar purposes, the memo said.

In early 2020, the memo said, 71 of 100 North Carolina counties elected to adopt 2nd Amendment Resolutions in various forms, as reported by the North State Journal in February 2020.

During public comments, Richard G. “Duke” Woodhull Jr. spoke supporting the resolution. The county also received a “ton” of emails, Chappell said, supporting or opposing the resolution.

Several, along with Woodhull’s comments, were included in the meeting minutes (see below).

Commissioner Teresa McCall, who made the motion to approve the resolution, said the feedback she’s received amounted to 10 to one in support.

“I can’t think of any other time in our history that this is more important,” she said.

Commissioner Larry Chapman said he “can’t imagine anyone coming out opposed to what we are trying to do here.”

He then read out a response he gave to someone who, he said, was basically “attacking” the commissioners: “We are considering this resolution to show our support for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, which are under constant assault by the hate America left in our country. I am sure you see what is going on with the attacks on our First Amendment rights, such as free speech and, specifically, anything concerning our Second Amendment rights. Currently, 71 counties across the state North Carolina have passed similar resolutions, which I totally support. Does it make any difference? I don’t know, but I want our citizens to know that if we pass it, that the Transylvania County Board of Commissioners are totally committed to respecting these Constitutional rights of our citizens. And as a 30-year Marine Corp veteran I will continue to totally support our liberties and rights that have made our nation the envy of the world. I will speak out any way I can. Thousands of brave women and men have fought and died, so that we can enjoy these liberties and freedoms. You may feel it is a waste of time, but I do not. It is never a waste of time to show support for our great nation.”

Commissioner David Guice said the final version of the resolution is different from the initial version and the resolutions approved by other counties vary in length, etc. He encouraged the public to look “very closely” at the resolution, noting that it supports “the whole of the Constitution” and is similar to the “oaths” taken by commissioners and other elected officials.

Editor’s note: The Transylvania Board of Commissioners approved the following resolution Monday during its regular meeting:

Resolution Reconfirming That Transylvania County, N.C., Will Support And Maintain The Constitution Of The United States, Including All Amendments Thereto, As Well As The Constitution Of North Carolina; And All Laws Which Are Consistent Therewith

Be it known that after over 230 years the United States of America continues to be the longest ongoing constitutional republic in the world.

WHEREAS, after gaining independence this nation adopted as the “supreme law of the land,” the United States Constitution which is the basis of this miracle of America; and

WHEREAS, the Constitution’s opening phrase sets rules and parameters for a three-branch form of representative government; and

WHEREAS, the first 10 amendments, known as the “Bill of Rights,” were adopted with the stated purposes that “extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution”; and

WHEREAS, 17 other amendments were later adopted; and

WHEREAS, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, rights to peaceably assemble, rights to due process under the law and “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” are some of the multiple rights preserved in the Bill of Rights; and

WHEREAS, equal rights for men and women and civil rights for all citizens regardless of race, color, religion, sex or national origin are secured by the Constitution and the laws enacted pursuant thereto; and

WHEREAS, ALL RIGHTS contained in the United States Constitution are held in highest esteem, and PROTECTED by Transylvania County, and;

WHEREAS, the Transylvania County Board of Commissioners are in opposition to any proposed law that infringes upon the constitutional rights of the County’s citizens and, specifically, the 2nd Amendment, but not inclusive to it only;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Transylvania County Board of Commissioners declares Transylvania County a “CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS PROTECTING COUNTY’’ by affirming our oath of office to support and maintain the Constitution and laws of the United States, and the Constitution and laws of North Carolina not inconsistent therewith.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Transylvania County Board of Commissioners opposes any efforts by any entity to infringe on, or take from the Constitution. We declare that Transylvania County government will use all its powers to defend and protect the constitutional rights of its citizens.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Transylvania County Board of Commissioners implores all its citizens to exercise the right to vote in elections as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Transylvania County Board of Commissioners implores the N.C. legislature and the U.S. Congress to use all its powers and authority to protect our citizens’ freedoms under the Constitution of the United States, to reject any proposed law or regulation that will infringe, may infringe or place any burden on the Constitution of the United States and its citizens.

Let it be known, Transylvania County North Carolina declares itself a CONSTITUTION PROTECTING COUNTY.

Adopted by the Transylvania County Board of County Commissioners

This the 25th day of January, 2021.

More from the meeting will appear in Monday’s paper.


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