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Planning board member resigns
Wants the focus to be on rezoning affidavit
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Forsyth County News

Joe Moses has resigned his post of three years on Forsyth County’s planning board as he continues to work toward the passage of a rezoning affidavit.

“I think I can be more effective from the outside,” Moses said Monday. “I think I’ve accomplished all I can accomplish in the atmosphere that I’m working in on the planning commission.”

He felt that at least some of the current five-member panel had “conspired” to stop his latest effort, a rezoning affidavit that would require corporations to name individuals involved to reduce potential for conflicts of interest and increase transparency in the process.

“I’ve been busting my butt to try to get this initiative passed,” Moses said. “Guess what happened last month? The powers that be, which would be the board of commissioners and the planning commissioners, made a decision — it looked like — to make this about [me], not about the initiative.”

Moses, a retired dentist, was appointed to the panel in November 2010 by County Commissioner Jim Boff. Moses said he hopes his decision to step down will return attention to the proposal at hand.

He resigned just days before the county commission was slated to discuss the affidavit that he championed as an “open government proposal.”

The proposal calls for rezoning applicants or property owners who are corporate entities to file an affidavit naming the corporate stockholders, officers and directors.

The planning board rejected the initiative during its Nov. 19 work session, with only Moses in favor of it, following a lengthy discussion on a letter sent from the county commission.

The letter requested that planning board members not use the assistance of legal staff or county employees in drafting new concepts without getting preliminary approval.

Commissioners expressed concern about spending tax dollars and taking up staff time for an idea that may not gain any traction.

The commission didn't mention any specific instance, but the topic came up at the Oct. 22 work session, just one week after the planning board authorized Moses to work on the rezoning affidavit proposal.

On Nov. 21, after the planning board nixed the proposal, the county commission announced it would put the initiative on the agenda for the work session Tuesday.

Moses said a vote from the commission on the affidavit was his goal, adding “that way, we can see where everybody stands.”

Boff added the topic with a second from fellow Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills.

Boff said Monday he had spoken with Moses about his resignation and understood that he planned to move on to other things.

“He’s been a great asset and a huge help to the county, in my opinion,” Boff said.

He had not yet established a time frame for filling the vacancy, but said he was actively looking for someone interested in serving.