This site is intended as an educational media for the residents and property owners within the township of Lattimore North Carolina with respect to the great negative effect Ambassador Baptist College has had on the township of Lattimore.
According to the Ambassador Baptist College website www.ambassadors.edu
"In 1994, the town had approximately 150 residents and was labeled a peaceful community where vandalism was virtually unknown. With open arms, the community accepted Ambassador and the campus was purchased for the grand sum of $150,000."
To start with, maybe Ron Comfort should not brag quite so much about how he "sweet-talked" the town council of Lattimore into making such a ridiculously bad deal for the town folk of Lattimore.
Had the people of Lattimore realized what Ambassador Baptist College was to become, I wonder if anyone would have welcomed Ambassador Baptist College "With Open Arms". The taxpayers of the town have been forced to pay taxes to support a privately owned business interest which has destroyed the commerce of Lattimore, eroded the town's tax base and provides absolutely no financial return to the community despite taking in a cool $2,574,444 in 2008.
Before Ambassador Baptist College came to Lattimore, the town was a viable commercial center serving the needs of the rural area north of Hwy 74 and west of 226. The commercial district consisted of a two hardware stores, a restaurant, a supermarket with filling station and an antique store. The people of the community had use of the school and the ball fields were filled with the sounds of local children playing baseball. All of this wiped out by the greed and egotism of Ron Comfort. A man who evidently thinks he is the very right hand of God and is JUSTIFIED in any actions which achieve his personal goals.
Ron Comfort has religiously bulled the Lattimore town council into making decisions which benefit Ron Comfort at the expense of the citizens of Lattimore.
In a town with a base radius of one mile, Ambassador Baptist College owns 13 or more parcels and more than 26 ACRES of land(within the city limits). These parcels contain, but are not limited to, most of the town's available commercial property. This isn't the work of God. This is simple greed and egotism. The greed and egotism of Ron Comfort. Sure God wants his people to prosper but not on the backs of the poor and underprivileged. I guess it is more important to God that Ron Comfort drives a fine vehicle than it is for the town of Lattimore to provide services to it's citizens who are in need.
The result of greed and the ego's of men, Ambassador Baptist College has had a greatly negative effect on the Township of Lattimore. These effects manifest themselves in the following manner.
The Devastation Of The Town's Commercial Center
I, like many other people of Lattimore thought Ambassador Baptist College was coming to Lattimore to operate a private school. Most people assumed that other than some additional traffic, the school would have very little effect on the day to day life of town residents. The people of this town nor the city council expected the great influx of non taxed cash that Ambassador Baptist College had at it's disposal. Virtually overnight, Ambassador Bible College had purchased over 90% of the downtown retail properties. With each purchase, the prime property of the town changed from a taxable asset to a non taxable labiality. A labiality left for the tax paying residents and property owners to maintain. Not only was this action devastating to the town's tax base, it has had a crippling effect on commerce and the local economy.
The Erosion Of The Town's Tax base
With each purchase, the prime property of the town changed from a taxable asset to a non taxable labiality. A labiality left for the tax paying residents and property owners to maintain. Fixing potholes, maintaining sidewalks, keeping the street lights working, even long term maintenance of the sewer system built specifically to services the wants and desires of Ron Comfort and Ambassador Baptist College, all financial responsibilities left to the tax paying citizens of Lattimore.
While the average salary in Cleveland County is a little over $31,000. Ron Comfort lives in the exclusive Pebble Creek Housing Community in a home valued at over $271,920 and he rides into Lattimore in a car valued as much as some Lattimore homes. All this while the people of Lattimore on their meager salaries pay taxes to support Ron Comforts private religious business.
Ambassador Baptist College has Interfered In Our Town's Politics
When Ron Comfort first approached the town council of Lattimore. One of the citizen's main concerns was that we were a town of only 150 residents, not all of which were of voting age. Any commercial or religious entity with the capability to vote and of a single mindset could easily overtake our city council. The people of this town are not stupid. There was much discussion on this issue. In the end, Both Ron Comfort and Alton Beal promised the people of the town of Lattimore that they, themselves nor anyone associated with Ambassador Baptist College would interfere with the politics of the town of Lattimore. This was repeated on several occasions to various witnesses and groups of wittiness's.
Alton Beal is now in his third term as the town's mayor. Beal cannot represent Ambassador Baptist College and also equally and without prejudice represent the citizens of Lattimore when their interest are in conflict with the interest of the school. Any just and righteous man would recognize this fact.
Ambassador Baptist College has Corrupted our Town's Laws
According to Lattimore's 1992 comprehensive zoning ordinance, the R-20 residential districts establishes "a district in which the principal use of the land is for low-density residential or agricultural purposes, and to provide and protect low density. residential areas for those desiring that type of environment". The town did not want the traffic and safety issues associated with hotels, motels, apartment complexes and dormitories.
According to section 3.2 "Residential structures are limited to Single-family dwellings, two-family dwellings, isolated mobile homes and any form of agriculture or horticulture."
To build such structures as dormitories would require a zoning variance, a very specific form acquired from a four fifths majority of the town's zoning adjustment board. A zoning appeal has a set procedure including public notifications and notification to adjacent property owners. None of these procedures were ever followed. A wink and a nod from a sympatric Mayor does not override the rule of law.
Because of this skirting of the recorded Law, our town is now vulnerable to exactly the kind of high density housing, such as motels and apartment complexes, that the zoning plan was created to control.
Section 3.2 also states that Private Schools are only allowed if the school has "Curricula approximately the same as ordinarily given in public schools". Ambassador Baptist College in no shape or form resembles a public school. Again Ambassador Baptist college has no waver for this variance. Again because of the skirting of the Town's recorded law, Ambassador Baptist College has placed the people of the town of Lattimore in a situation where their own laws do not protect them, therefore the Laws of Lattimore have been corrupted.