The meeting began with two public hearings: one regarding new code enforcement guidelines and another regarding a requested zoning change at 440 Weatherly Street. Votes on the issues were taken during the new business section of the meeting agenda.
After the hearings the official meeting began with the adoption of a consent agenda and discussion of old business, including approval of 2017-2018 financial statements and a discussion about Suez’s public works services.
The board voted to enter closed executive session where top secret economic development issues were discussed. That lasted roughly an hour, and many members of the audience left before the board members returned to open session.
When the board returned the evening’s new business was discussed, starting with votes on the public hearing items discussed earlier; both were approved.
J.C. Parrish spoke about the trademark application Commissioner* Smith illegally filed a few months ago, without board approval, and the need to repair fire hydrants around town. After that, Denise Lowe addressed the board, demanding apologies from both Commissioner* Smith and Mayor Shaw – as the public face of our town – for Smith’s unacceptable behavior before last month’s board meeting when he verbally assaulted her in the municipal office. Smith’s resignation was demanded but not delivered.
Marjorie Casey then spoke to the board about bickering and other “citizen concerns” before consultant Jill Wood gave an update of current zoning ordinance violations. The board initially voted against calling artwork on the side of Tim Matthews’s Boost Mobile store artwork, but in the face of certain public outcry voted again; Commissioner* Smith breaking ranks and voting with Overman and Caudle to take a stand for public art that has existed peacefully in our downtown for over six years.
The remainder of the very long meeting covered reports on water/sewer and streets, the cemetery, parks and rec activities, and some inflammatory closing comments from the mayor and Grant Cheek. The evening’s discussion was at time lively, but most of it was just tedious and unnecessary.
Be sure to mark the following dates on your calendar:
Planning/Zoning Board, April 15th, 6 pm
Fire Hydrant Flushing, April 5th – 14th
State Litter Sweep, April 13th – 27th
Greg & the BBQ Band, April 13th, 6 pm, at Ramseur Lake
Creek Week Litter Sweep, April 13th, Ramseur Lake
Town Litter Sweep – Large Item Pickup, April 22nd – 26th
Board of Commissioners, THURSDAY, May 2nd, 7:30 pm