The public comment period at the Rockingham County Board of Commissioners meeting Monday, Aug. 7 in Eden was entirely taken up by speakers opposed to rezoning land on US 220 for a casino.

The request for 192 acres to be rezoned from Residential Agricultural to Highway Commercial is on the agenda for the Monday, Aug. 21 Rockingham County commissioners meeting.

One of the main complaints reiterated by speaker after speaker was the lack of transparency and the lack of local input for this project, which will drastically change this portion of Rockingham County just north of the Guilford County line.

Nine people spoke during the public comment period, and they all spoke against rezoning the 192 acres at the Aug. 21 meeting, which would make building a casino at the site possible.

Brandon Leebrick, an attorney who practices in Greensboro and a resident of the area, noted that the straight rezoning request was out of character with the goals of the county for controlled growth.

Leebrick said, “Who thinks anyone in their right mind would be interested in moving to a county that can’t be transparent and can’t take the interests of its own citizens into account when making decisions?”

He added, “All we are asking for is for our voices to be heard.”

Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page said, “I come on behalf of public safety and to protect the citizens.”

He added, “There is a lot of interest in your decisions, and I ask you to be transparent and truthful in your decisions because there are a lot of conversations going around that give me great concern as sheriff.”

Jack Johnson said, “Your job is not to bring money into our county. Your job is to be a protector of your constituents and to listen to your constituents.

Johnson asked that the county commissioners hold a special meeting to get input from the citizens of Rockingham County on the proposal.

He said, “I believe this is an evil that is going to have a detrimental effect on our county.”

Chairman of the Rockingham County Board of Commissioners Mark Richardson was cordial and welcoming to all the speakers, but none of the county commissioners commented on the rezoning case, the casino or any of the points made by the nine speakers.

Along with the speakers there were a number of people in the audience with signs that read, “Keep Our Community Great: No Casino.”