Commissioners drop Monday meetings

Commissioners drop Monday meetings
June 29
05:00 2017

Forsyth County commissioners sent a message to Raleigh about a bill involving legal ads and eliminated their Monday meetings during their votes on Monday, June 26.

Forsyth was among the counties, along with Buncombe, Durham and Guilford, that Senate Bill 343 selected for a pilot program that let local governments run legal ads on their own websites instead of in newspapers. When County Commissioner Don Martin talked about this in last Thursday’s briefing, all county commissioners said they didn’t want to be a part of the pilot and sent a letter to the county’s legislative delegation saying so.

During Monday’s meeting, they said they believed last week the legislation would force them to host their own online legal ads but that the bill, as it currently exists, makes it an option they could opt out. So they passed resolution supporting the bill because it makes it optional.

Forsyth County has since been removed from the bill.

On Thursday, Commissioner Gloria Whisenhunt said that the N.C. County Commissioners Association asked for legislation to give county governments the ability to post public hearings on their websites instead of in newspaper ads, but SB 343 included all legals, such as foreclosure and estate notices, which was far beyond what she wanted to see the county be responsible for.

“This is so far overboard that I don’t even recognize it,” said Whisenhunt.

Commissioners also ended a decades-long tradition of holding their formal voting meetings on Monday. Items that are voted on will still be briefed in two consecutive briefings, at 2 p.m. on Thursdays, and will then be voted on at the beginning of the next briefing. The idea was brought up by County Commissioner Don Martin in last Thursday’s briefing, saying it would be more efficient to eliminate the meeting on Monday that is usually very short and only devoted to voting. Martin brought forth the motion on Monday. It passed 5-2 with Commissioners Whisenhunt and Richard Linville voting against it, wanting to keep the schedule that’s familiar to constituents.

Also during Monday’s meeting there was a split vote on projects paid for with Pay-Go money, which is money the county has when revenues for the year exceed expenditures. By a 5-2 vote the commissioners approved $175,000 for Creative Corridors and $200,000 for the Arts Council  renovation of a building it purchased last year with a county grant.  Whisenhunt and Linville voted against it.

Whisenhunt said she opposed both items because they were designated as one time expenditures in a previous budget. Linville said he didn’t feel feel like those were things the county needed to spend more money on and was concerned if those funding requests might return again.

A first-time request from Reynolda House for $75,000 was approved unanimously.

Also during the meeting:

*Commissioners awarded a $113,370 contract to Mosca Design Inc. for purchasing lights for the Festival of Lights at Tanglewood Park. Approximately 50 items need to be purchased that range from standalone displays to items that will support elements of existing displays.

*They amended the budget to accept a $666,464 increase in annual state and federal funds for child care subsidies from the Department of Social Services. The total funds for the program is $13,665,359. It’s serving 1,477 families with 2,362 families on the waiting list as of May 2017.

*They accepted $76,692 from the Kate B Reynolds Charitable Trust for an annual urban gardening internship for 10 high school students.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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