06/30/04 — Pikeville introduces new commissioner

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Pikeville introduces new commissioner

By Sam Atkins
Published in News on June 30, 2004 1:58 PM

PIKEVILLE -- The town board has a new commissioner who hopes to use his managerial experience to run the town more like a business.

Johnny Weaver, 56, is a Pikeville native and worked for R.G. Barry Corp. in Goldsboro for 37 years. He was the plant manager when the distribution plant closed in 2003 and shifted its operations to a new plant in Mexico. He has been in some form of management since he was 23 years old.

Weaver has never been on the town board, but has been on the town's Planning Board for many years. He said he would like to see an organizational chart for the town like those in business that would have a clear, defined reporting structure and pay grade.

He said the main project he hopes will be finished is the "Big Ditch Project." There is a ditch that goes through people's backyards and is a breeding ground for mosquitos. Although the area is sprayed and the project has been discussed over the years, nothing final has been done to correct it. He thinks the ditch should be covered and tiled.

Mayor Herb Sieger read a letter from Weaver stating that he resigned from his position on the Planning Board effective June 15, and the board accepted his letter. He was then sworn in as a new commissioner by Town Clerk Kathie Fields.

The town needed a new commissioner after a series of board member changes were set in motion when former Mayor Tony Medlin resigned at the beginning of May. Medlin has moved to New Bern to focus on his business, Accurate Appraisal Service.

Herb Sieger resigned as commissioner and mayor pro-tem and then was nominated for mayor. He was elected unanimously.

Two people were nominated to fill his commissioner seat -- Luke Vail and Johnnie Weaver. They received the same number of votes by the board, and Sieger broke the tie by voting for Weaver, who will fill Sieger's position until November 2005. Vail will replace Weaver on the Planning Board.

Commissioners Al Greene and Bruce Thomas were nominated for mayor pro-tem, and they both received one vote. Greene withdrew, so Thomas was elected.

The board also had several public hearings before beginning its monthly meeting for July.

The board accepted allowing a corporation to sell 19 acres beside Food Lion to Elm Grove Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ. The church may build a sanctuary or the land may be used for commercial property. Representatives from the church attended the June board meeting requesting the land and the board referred the request to the Planning Board, which unanimously approved it.

Stricter regulations

A public hearing was held on Ordinance 90, which deals with building regulations. The board amended the ordinance to have stricter regulations.

Based on the prior ordinance, the town received no funding through permits of new construction. Included in the new ordinance is a flat fee of $5 and then $1 per $1,000 for new construction.

There will be an initial fine of $100 if a person is in violation and the town can add a citation of up to $100 a day for each day the violation continues. If the fines are not paid, a lien can be attached to any of the person's other property inside the town limits except his primary residence.

Dennis Lewis, resident, said he has been trying to get the board to enforce the ordinance for years and asked why it took so long for the board to act on it.

"I can't answer you," Sieger replied.

Board members said all they could do was enforce it in the future.

Budget approved

There were no comments during the public hearing on the 2004-2005 budget, which was approved. It increases sewer rates for all of the town's customers.

Fees for all residential and commercial customers within the town limits will be $4.18 per 1,000 gallons, which is up from $3.42. The rate for those outside the town limits will be $6.26, which is up from $5.13.

The budget also includes a 3 percent salary increase across the board for all full-time employees. Two new items in the budget are $17,000 to purchase a new dump truck and $10,000 to purchase a chipper.

The board encouraged residents to clean up around their homes and cut their grass so the town will look its best when people come in for the Independence Day Celebration this weekend. Residents are also encouraged to display American flags outside their homes.

The board discussed in closed session hiring a second full-time police officer, and a motion was made in open session and it was accepted. William Young will continue working part-time.