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Across county lines

Local news late this week was dominated by stories that makes us take another look at the relationship between Lincoln and Gaston counties.
Despite objections from shortsighted Gastonia city officials, the N.C. Department of Transportation listened to other government and business leaders and approved U.S. 321 for double trailer truck traffic. This switch may not have a huge impact immediately, but there was never a good reason to continue restricting a category of truck that is generally deemed no less safe than the large single trailer trucks that already are allowed.
Gastonia’s opposition has been puzzling and can only be categorized as anti-business, foolish and symptomatic of why the biggest city in Gaston County is such a troubled place.
At the same time, we learned that the Gaston-Lincoln Regional Library is likely headed for a breakup.
County and library officials were careful to say they have nothing against county and library officials in Gaston County.
At the same time, it’s better not to be paired with a county library system that had been thinking about closing most of its branches.
In addition, while we honestly wish our neighbor in Gaston County the best, it’s not good for the brand of Lincoln County to be tethered to them. Gastonia has a negative image throughout the Carolinas as a haven for poverty, crime and poor planning.
If Lincoln County wants strategic partners, any of its other neighbors — Mecklenburg, Iredell, Catawba, Burke and Cleveland counties — probably have a better image than Gaston and, with the exception of Mecklenburg, generally have been known for better government leadership.
Finally, maybe we’re sending Gaston County something it needs — a proven leader with a track record of conservative common sense. Rep. Johnathan Rhyne is resigning from his post in the North Carolina House and moving to Gaston County. Although he hasn’t said so, some Republican leaders would like to seem him run for the state Senate from there.
If so, Lincoln’s loss would be Gaston’s gain.

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