05/03/11 — Park Avenue to stay open; city manager candidates narrowed

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Park Avenue to stay open; city manager candidates narrowed

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on May 3, 2011 1:46 PM

The portion of Park Avenue that runs through Herman Park will not be permanently closed after Goldsboro City Council voted Monday night to adopt the Planning Commission's recommendation to leave the street open.

The recommendation suggests other compromises should be sought to increase safety for children playing at the park, namely through crosswalks or speed bumps.

The council acknowledged resident Roy Parker Jr.'s rendering of the street, which placed two crosswalks leading into the fountain roundabout and one at each entrance to the roundabout, as a possible route toward making the junction safer for pedestrians.

District 5 Councilman Chuck Allen motioned to adopt the recommendation, which was passed by a 5-0 vote. District 3 Councilman Don Chatman was absent as he was recovering from surgery.

During the work session, District 6 Councilman Jackie Warrick suggested that Parker be placed on the advisory board that will explore options for the park throughfare. Mayor Al King said he would look into it.

Acting Parks and Recreation Director Sherry Archibald said her department would not waste time in opening the roundabout back up, noting that she will take the council's recommendation to next week's advisory committee meeting, during which the board will discuss options for the road.

She said she willl then present her findings at the May 16 council meeting, and shortly after, the safety guards will be removed.

In other business, a proposal to open a children's amusement center next door to The Playgrounds Nightclub was approved with some modifications to the original proposal. A buffer between the center, which will be called I Wanna Have Fun, and the nightclub will be required along with a buffer that should shield John Court from the center.

Three speakers, including two John Court residents, spoke against the center at the public hearing April 18, while the applicant, Betty Overman, was the sole supporter who spoke at the forum. The conditional use permit was passed with no opposition.

During closed session, the council met to discuss the vacant city manager position, speaking via conference call with its consultant to narrow the field of candidates.

Mayor King said there are four or five candidates the council is considering for the position and said interviews should begin in a week or so.

"Hopefully, next month this time, we will have named a manager," he said.

Interim City Manager Tasha Logan was not in the closed session of the council meeting during the personnel discussion but rejoined the council to discuss a property acquisition, about which both Mayor King and Ms. Logan declined to comment.

Ms. Logan is a candidate for the city manager post.