Politics

The evolution of a referendum

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At a February meeting, Commissioner Mike Mitchell suggested 4-year staggered terms for the entire board.  Mitchell said other municipalities in North Carolina have already switched and to great success.  A motion was made for the town attorney to research the process, and the board voted unanimously to approve it.

Attorney Dan Hartzog addressed the board on the issue in April.  His research indicated they had two options:  Adopt an ordinance to change the town’s charter to reflect 4-year staggered terms, or request the legislature make an amendment.  The first option is the easier of the two but required a public hearing.

At a second April meeting, the board voted unanimously to adopt Resolution 2018-10, to alter the town Charter to reflect 4-year staggered terms.

A public hearing on the issue was held this Summer.  Three prominent citizens spoke against the referendum.  Seconds later, the board instructed Mr. Hartzog to draft the ordinance.

In an ironic twist, Commissioner Mitchell reversed his decision and spoke against the 4-year referendum less than a month after voting on it a fifth and final time.

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Click here to read the minutes from board meetings.  The 4-year referendum was discussed during meetings held on February 19, April 2, April 16, June 18, and July 9.

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