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In a book on the nature of state legislatures, the journalist Frank Trippett coined the term “true constituency” to explain why so many politicians act as badly as they do.

U.S. Forest Service rangers got an earful from Swain County residents last week during a public hearing regarding the proposed Forest Management Plan.

Assuming a legislative override of Gov. Roy Cooper’s budget veto — which happened as The Smoky Mountain News went to press June 27 — North Carolinians could be in for a slew of tax cuts that will save state residents by one estimate more than $530 million over two years when they take effect in 2019.

Haywood County’s 2017 property revaluation was like a bucket of cold water in the face of every local government official in the county, but nowhere more so than Maggie Valley.

The Macon County commissioners have some challenges in balancing the proposed 2017-18 budget, but County Manager Derek Roland said those challenges are the same ones every local government is facing right now.

With an annual budget of only about $2.9 million, the town of Bryson City doesn’t have much wiggle room when it comes to cutting expenses or allocating funds for major projects.

A recent designation by the North Carolina Department of Commerce could have a detrimental impact on Haywood County’s economic development efforts.

Each year, counties and municipalities must pass their upcoming year’s budget by July 1.

A recovering economy and low unemployment along with a 30 percent increase in tourist spending since 2011 has kept Haywood County in decent financial shape, but a few large expenses — married with the everyday needs of a 60,000-resident county — means a tax hike may be coming.

While many local school districts are struggling to make ends meet these days, Swain County Schools is facing a much steeper battle to qualify for state and federal funds the district feels its students deserve. 

“We’re struggling as most boards are trying to look at our financial situation and fund things we crucially need,” said Superintendent Sam Pattillo.

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  • Books that help bridge the political divide
    Books that help bridge the political divide Time for spring-cleaning.  The basement apartment in which I live could use a deep cleaning: dusting, washing, vacuuming. It’s tidy enough — chaos and I were never friends — but stacks of papers need sorting, bookcases beg to see their occupants removed and the shelves…
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