09/09/12 — City Council faces committee appointments dilemma

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City Council faces committee appointments dilemma

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on September 9, 2012 1:50 AM

The Goldsboro City Council couldn't agree on which commissions and committees to scrap during Tuesday's meeting, much less which council members should be assigned to which boards.

The discussion was carried over from the council's Aug. 20 meeting, when City Manager Scott Stevens pointed out that several standing committees needed council representatives on them since three council members had not sought re-election.

The Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission and Historic District Commission both needed ex-officio members from the council and a host of special committees also required new appointees from the council.

Eight special committees had open slots for council members, among them the Special Projects, Law and Finance and Recreation Center committees, none of which, Mayor Pro Tem Chuck Allen said, had met in quite some time.

He suggested dissolving the Special Projects committee, which had focused on, among other projects, the city's proposed civic center, along with the Law and Finance Committee.

District 4 Councilman Rev. Charles Williams, who has continued to be a proponent of both a downtown civic center and recreation center, expressed concern at getting rid of the committees, worrying that would push the projects further down the city's priority list.

But Allen pointed out that many of the committees had no charge and had not met in years.

Tuesday Williams asked that the appointments wait until the new council members could be brought up to speed concerning the committees, but Stevens suggested that the committees that meet regularly, like the Transportation Advisory Committee, should be appointed now.

Allen seemed to share that sentiment.

"There's no sense in waiting," he said.

District 3 Councilman William Goodman volunteered to fill the void on the Transportation Advisory Committee. Allen then volunteered to get off of it, creating a new void that he suggested be filled by District 6 Councilman Gene Aycock.

Stevens, attempting to fill the voids on each committee one by one, then moved to the Waynesborough Park Committee, but Williams said he was on too many other committees to join another one.

Mayor Al King suggested the council wait on its appointments, but also addressed the need to purge the list of committees that no longer have a purpose.

"We need to either find a way to make them function or abolish them," he said.

Aycock said that it was difficult to volunteer for committees when he didn't know what they were. Stevens said he would provide the council members with descriptions of each committee and the time commitments involved.

The council discussed the appropriation of funds associated with the N.C. Main Street Solutions Grant for the Arts Council of Wayne County. Certain benchmarks had been met by the Arts Council to warrant the awarding of funds. The council determined to appropriate $66,000 of the $100,000 total, as there is still another benchmark to be met, although the Arts Council has fulfilled all of its obligations for the grant.

The council also received an update about a proposed ordinance amendment that would allow for domestic fowl to be kept within the city limits.

The council decided on a limit of six chickens on properties occupied as single-family dwellings or adjacent to residential structures with a prohibition of roosters unless on a bona fide farm. All fowl must be kept within enclosures and a license must be obtained to raise chickens.

The council also listened to a presentation by Rebecca Craig of Wayne Memorial Hospital on the community benefits of greenways. Parks and Recreation Director Scott Barnard explained the city staff would be applying for Parks and Recreation Trust Fund money on behalf of the County of Wayne for a greenway system. The county does not have a parks department.

311 GIS also shared a presentation with the council concerning new technology that would allow citizens a portal to submit and track public services requests using global information system software.

The consent agenda approved by the council contained measures concerning an annexation petition for the Doug Henry property on the North Side of U.S. 70 between Pizza Inn Lane and Norwood Avenue and the site and landscape plans for Griffin Exterminating Co. and Berky Perkins.

The council also awarded the fountain beverage sales agreement for Goldsboro Municipal Golf Course to Pepsi and accepted the funding from the Community Development Block Grant program.