COLUMN: A rare, but beautiful occurrence

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I can’t tell if someone is a Democrat or Republican just by looking at them. Some people say they can, but I can’t. 

The conference room at the County Administration Building being filled as it was this past Monday evening for the Mitchell County Board of Commissioners meeting is a wonderful occurrence – one both residents and elected officials should be glad to see. It’s Democracy at work. I saw those people in that room and standing out in the hall. I didn’t see Democrats or Republicans. I saw citizens. I saw concerned citizens. 

Many people may have forgotten that these meetings are called commissioners meetings, but in reality, these meetings are ours. They belong to the taxpaying electorate of Mitchell County.

Having an open, transparent government is integral to a thriving, vibrant community. 

Our elected officials having independent thoughts is just as crucial. How can our local government officials be open and transparent with the citizens they were elected to represent when it is abundantly clear they haven’t been open and transparent with each other? 

Members of the public attending a public hearing and expressing their concerns about a decision made by our leaders isn’t political. It’s their right. 


Brandon Roberts is publisher and editor of the Mitchell News-Journal. He can be reached by email at or by calling 828-765-7169.

The MItchell News

Mailing Address: PO Box 339 
Spruce Pine, NC 28777 
Phone: 828-765-7169
Fax: 828-765-1616