The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

May 10, 2013

County issues opinion on HB1005

Bill could change number of commissioners

By Ian Faulkner, Staff Writer

Friday, May 10, 2013 — North Carolina House Bill 1005 was a major topic of discussion by the county commissioners Monday night, though it was added to the agenda upon the meeting’s start.

HB1005 calls for the addition of two commissioners for Stanly County and would also require the board of education to be reduced to a seven-member board, as opposed to the nine members it has now.

The bill, which was introduced by Rep. Justin Burr, would only affect Stanly County.

Commissioners discussed their views and the bill’s impact on the county commission.

“I don’t understand why we need to go to a seven-member board,” Commissioner Tony Dennis said.

“I dont understand the real reason for it. I’m not in favor of it.”

“I agree with Commissioner Dennis. We have five members and if we add two more commissioners it’s going to add $30,000 to $40,000 a year to our budget,” Commissioner Peter Asciutto said.

“The only opposition I have to the bill is if it passes the (N.C.) senate it becomes effective immediately,” Commissioner Josh Morton said.

Morton said he didn’t think there was enough time to make the changes called for in the bill and that he would be more open to the idea if the implimentation date were changed.

“I think Stanly County is a small enough county where five members, seems to me, serves it well,” he said.

“I would prefer that it stay the same. However, if it were to change ... I would certainly hope we would have a chance to weigh-in on it before it becomes a law.”

“I don’t like the idea of commissioners changing every two years, primarily because I think it may eliminate the opportunity for some people to run,” said Commissioner Lindsey Dunevant, citing election costs as a potential problem for viable candidates.

“I could support it,” said Chairman Gene McIntyre, though he added that the bill was a “work in progress.”

Dennis made a motion to contact the state legislators to notify them that Stanly wanted to leave everything as it is. The motion passed three to two, with McIntyre and Morton voting against.

The following also occured at the meeting:

McIntyre presented Clarence Beach from Emergency Medical Services and Franklin Sanders from Facilities Maintenance with retirement awards for their faithful dedication and service to the county throughout their lengthy careers.

Juvenile Crime Prevention Council Board Chair Jackie DeSantis appeared before the commissioners and requested approval for allocations funding for the 2013-14 fiscal year. The commissioners approved the more than $170,000 budget.

The commissioners voted to make Saturday “Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Day,” where residents of the county can place non-perishable food items in or near their mailboxes, which will then be collected by the letter carrier.

Commissioners voted to approve a resolution on the joint boundary between Stanly and Cabarrus counties. After having the area surveyed, the Planning Board became aware that the  county lines weren’t clearly defined. Planning Director Michael Sandy informed the board that only eight residences were impacted by the boundary redefinement.

To submit story ideas, contact Ian Faulkner at ian@stanlynews or (704) 982-2121 ext. 21.