STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA                          )                                     OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONERS

                                                                        )                                     STOKES COUNTY GOVERNMENT

COUNTY OF STOKES                                       )                                     DANBURY, NORTH CAROLINA

                                                                        )                                     DECEMBER 16, 2002

 

 

The Board of Commissioners of the County of Stokes, State of North Carolina, met in regular session in the Council Chambers of the Administrative Building, located in  Danbury, North Carolina, on Monday, December 16, 2002, at 7:00 pm with the following

members present:

 

                                                Chairman Sandy McHugh

                                                Vice-Chairman John Turpin

                                                Commissioner Howard Mabe

                                                Commissioner Leon Inman

                                                Commissioner Joe Turpin

 

                                                Craig Greer, County Manager

                                                Darlene Bullins, Clerk to the Board

 

Chairman McHugh called the meeting to order.

 

Commissioner Mabe moved to approve the motion to move the meeting to the

Government Center-Courtroom “A” due to the high attendance at the meeting. 

 

Commissioner Inman seconded and the motion carried (3-2) with Vice Chairman John Turpin and

 

Commissioner Joe Turpin voting against the motion.

 

The Board reconvened in Courtroom “A” – Government Center.

 

Mr. Ronnie Tilley, Westfield, NC delivered the invocation.

 

GENERAL GOVERNMENT-GOVERNING BODY-PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

Chairman McHugh opened the meeting by inviting the citizens in attendance to join the Board with the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

 

PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

The following spoke to the Board:

 

Christine Hopkins

Young Road

Walnut Cove, NC  27052

Topic:  Services provided to immigrants by DSS

 

Ms. Hopkins requested information concerning the number of immigrants receiving

services from the Department of Social Services.  DSS Director Sharon Scott

indicated that there were no reports indicating the exact numbers, but felt the numbers

were small.

 

Ms. Nancy Livesay

Foster Care – DSS

Madison, NC  27025

Topic:  Recent cuts to Departments

 

Ms. Livesay, Social Worker for DSS, spoke concerning the impact on County Departments

and services to the clients from the recent cuts.  Ms. Livesay concluded concerns over the recent action taken by the Board concerning the personnel policies.

 

Ramona Stewart

Foster Parent-DSS

Walnut Cove, NC  27052

Topic:  Recent cuts to DSS

 

Ms. Stewart expressed concerns over the recent cuts to DSS and the impact the cuts would have on the adults, children, and clients served by DSS.

 

GENERAL GOVERNMENT-TAX ADMINISTRATION REPORT

 

Interim Tax Administrator Jake Oakley presented the Tax Administration Report to the Board.

 

Mr. Oakley requested the approval to release Motor Vehicle and Itemized Releases for September, October, and November 2002.

 

Motor Vehicle Releases/Itemized Releases – September 2002

 

Chairman McHugh entertained a motion to release Motor Vehicle and Itemized Releases for September 2002.

 

Commissioner Inman moved to release Motor Vehicles $2,581.07 and Itemized Releases $3,459.69 for September 2002. 

 

Commissioner Mabe seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

 

Motor Vehicle Releases/Itemized Releases – October 2002

 

Chairman McHugh entertained a motion to release Motor Vehicle and Itemized Releases for October 2002.

 

Vice Chairman John Turpin moved to release Motor Vehicles $2,601.67 and Itemized Releases $4,887.75 for October 2002. 

 

Commissioner Inman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

 

Motor Vehicle Releases/Itemized Releases – November 2002

 

Chairman McHugh entertained a motion to release Motor Vehicle and Itemized Releases for November 2002.

 

Commissioner Joe Turpin moved to release Motor Vehicles $1,175.03 and Itemized Releases $5,089.24 for November 2002. 

 

Commissioner Inman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

 

Refunds

Mr. Oakley requested the approval for the following Refunds:

 

            Rodson and Carol Tewksbury                   $527.68

            Kermit and Joan Wall                            $1,713.36

            Delmer Keaton                                           $29.74

 

 

Chairman McHugh entertained a motion to refund Rodson and Carol Tewksbury in the amount of $527.68.

           

Commissioner Mabe moved to refund Rodson and Carol Tewksbury in the amount of $527.68. 

 

Vice Chairman John Turpin seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

 

Chairman McHugh entertained a motion to refund Kermit and Joan Wall in the amount of $1,713.36.

 

Commissioner Mabe moved to refund Kermit and Joan Wall in the amount of $1,713.36. 

 

Commissioner Joe Turpin seconded and the motion carried unanimously Chairman McHugh entertained a motion to refund Delmer Keaton in the amount of  $29.74.

           

Commissioner Inman moved to refund Delmer Keaton in the amount of $29.74. 

 

Commissioner Mabe seconded and the motion carried unanimously

 

Release from Taxation

 

Mr. Oakley submitted the information concerning the Request for Release from Taxation from E. J. Apperson Estate for an exemption for a family cemetery.  This property has been taxed as taxable property since 1997.  The application for the exemption was filed

December 4, 2002 and approved by the Tax Department on December 10, 2002.  The request  for Release for Taxation is $1,123.56. 

 

Mr. Oakley recommended that the Board deny this Release of Taxation for $1,123.56 due to State laws and regulations of the Machinery Act that  denies the release of taxes, penalties, and interest because the application was not applied for until December 4, 2002. 

 

Mr. Oakley recommended this property be exempt from this day forth for 2003.

 

Chairman McHugh entertained a motion to exempt this piece of property from taxation from today forward and deny the Release for Taxation request in the amount of $1,123.56.

 

Vice Chairman John Turpin moved to exempt this piece of property from taxation from this date forward and deny the Release for Taxation request in the amount of  $1,123.56. 

 

Commissioner Inman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

 

 

Deputize Tax Department Employees

 

Mr. Oakley requested the approval to deputized the following tax department employees for the collection of taxes to run through June 30, 2003:

 

            Jackie Hostetter – Real Property Appraiser Technician

            Rhonda Shelton – Tax Assistant

            Joanne Fallon – Deputy Tax Collector

            Cheryl Hill – Delinquent Tax Collector

 

Commissioner Inman moved to approve the motion to deputize Jackie Hostetter, Rhonda Shelton, Joanne Fallon, and Cheryl Hill to run through June 30, 2003.  

 

Commissioner Mabe seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

 

2005 Revaluation

 

Mr. Oakley requested guidance from the Board concerning the 2005 Revaluation.

 

Mr. Oakley requested the approval of the 4-year cycle for Revaluation and in-house  Revaluation in order to get things moving for the 2005 Revaluation.

 

Chairman McHugh entertained a motion for the 2005 Revaluation.

 

Commissioner Mabe moved to approve the 4-year cycle for Revaluation and to conduct the in-house Revaluation to save funding.  

 

Commissioner Inman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

 

Personal Listing Forms and Notifications of Real Property Value Changes

 

Mr. Oakley updated the Board concerning the personal listing forms to be mailed for 2003 and notification of real property value changes due to new construction.

 

Vacation Transfer -Wren Carmichael

 

Mr. Oakley requested the Board’s approval to allow Wren Carmichael to transfer 60.55 hours of vacation that would be lost due to Mr. Carmichael being unable to take off due to his involvement with the Tax Department since December 2, 2002.

 

Chairman McHugh entertained a motion to grant or not grant the request to allow Mr. Carmichael to transfer 60.55 hours of vacation.

 

Commissioner Mabe moved to grant the request to allow Mr. Carmichael to transfer 60.55 hours of vacation from being lost. 

 

Commissioner Inman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

 

Tax System Hardware Assessment

 

Chairman McHugh confirmed with Mr. Oakley that an individual (with knowledgeable computer experience) had offered his expertise (free of charge) in evaluating the computer software/hardware system in the Tax Department.  There would be no changes,

only inquiring of information, which is public record from the Information Systems.  After an assessment of the system, a recommendation would be given to the Board.

 

Chairman McHugh commended Mr. Oakley, Mr. Carmichael, and the Tax Department Staff for their continued hard work during the recent weeks.

 

Mr. Oakley informed the Board that the tax bills totaling an estimate of $148,000 for  Business and Personal Property Audit that was done in 1999 by TMA was recently mailed out along with other outstanding tax bills.

 

Mr. Oakley commended Mr. Carmichael and the Tax Department Staff for their hard work done during the recent weeks.

 

GENERAL GOVERNMENT –GOVERNING BODY-APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

Chairman McHugh entertained a motion to approve or amend the minutesof December 2nd and 3rd. 

           

Commissioner Mabe moved to approve the minutes of the December 2nd and the December 3rd meetings. 

 

Vice Chairman John Turpin seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

 

 

GENERAL GOVERNMENT –GOVERNING BODY-APPOINTMENTS

 

Chairman McHugh entertained a motion to appoint Dennie Charland to serve on the Stokes County Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee whose name was submitted to the Board on November 18, 2002.

           

Commissioner Mabe moved to appoint Dennie Charland to serve on the Stokes County Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee. 

 

Commissioner Inman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

 

Chairman McHugh requested volunteers from the Board to serve on the Board of Health, Northwest Piedmont Council of Government, NWPCOG-Rural Planning Organization (RPO).  These appointments must be filled by Commissioners from the Board.

 

Chairman McHugh volunteered to serve on the Board of Health.

 

Vice Chairman John Turpin volunteered to serve on the Northwest Piedmont Council of Governments.

 

Commissioner Joe Turpin volunteered to serve on NWPCOG-Rural Planning Organization (RPO).

 

With no further volunteers, the appointments can be considered at the January 13, 2003 meeting.

 

GENERAL GOVERNMENT-FINANCE-BUDGET AMENDMENT #26

 

Finance Director Julia Edwards submitted Budget Amendment #26, which is necessary to transfer funds from Capital Reserve for budget shortfall.

 

Chairman McHugh entertained a motion to approve Budget Amendment #26.

 

Vice-Chairman John Turpin moved to approve Budget Amendment #26. 

 

Commissioner Joe Turpin seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

 

GENERAL FUND

 

ACCOUNT #

 

INCREASE

DECREASE

Revenues

 

 

 

 

 

Transfer from Capital Reserve

 

100.3982.960

 

  $319,796.00

 

State Funds-Hold Harmless

 

100.3327.100

 

 

$(319,796.00)

 

 

 

 

 

 

CAPITAL RESERVE FUND

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXPENDITURES

 

 

 

 

 

Public Buildings

 

201.4190.013

 

 

$(85,605.00)

Tax Maps

 

201.4141.015

 

 

$(12,996.00)

Emergency Medical Services

 

201.4370.010

 

 

$(295.00)

Vehicle Maintenance

 

201.4250.006

 

 

$(30,000.00)

Schools

 

201.5912.017

 

 

$(153,000.00)

Information Systems

 

201.4210.009

 

 

$(7,900.00)

Animal Control

 

201.4380.002

 

 

$(13,500.00)

Solid Waste

 

201.4720.018

 

 

$(6,700.00)

Elections

 

201.4170.022

 

 

$(9,800.00)

Transfer to General Fund

 

201.9810.000

 

$319,796.00

 

 

 

GENERAL GOVERNMENT-FINANCE-BUDGET AMENDMENT #27

 

Finance Director Julia Edwards submitted Budget Amendment #27, which is necessary to transfer funds for the additional half-cent sales tax to begin in December.

 

Chairman McHugh entertained a motion to approve Budget Amendment #27.

 

Commissioner Joe Turpin moved to approve Budget Amendment #27. 

 

Commissioner Inman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

 

GENERAL FUND

 

ACCOUNT #

 

INCREASE

DECREASE

REVENUES

 

 

 

 

 

½ Cent Sales Tax (Article 44)

 

100.3234.000

 

 $175,000.00

 

State Funds-Hold Harmless

 

100.3327.100

 

 

 $(175,000.00)

 

 

GENERAL GOVERNMENT-FINANCE-BUDGET AMENDMENT #28

 

Finance Director Julia Edwards submitted Budget Amendment #28, which is necessary to for medical examiner cost.

 

Chairman McHugh entertained a motion to approve Budget Amendment #28.

 

Commissioner Mabe moved to approve Budget Amendment #28. 

 

Commissioner Joe Turpin seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

 

GENERAL FUND

 

ACCOUNT #

 

INCREASE

DECREASE

EXPENDITURES

 

 

 

 

 

Medical Examiner

 

100.4360.000

 

    $ 7,000.00

 

Contingency

 

100.9910.000

 

 

  $ (7,000.00)

 

 

GENERAL GOVERNMENT-GOVERNING BODY-BUDGET CUTS

 

Governing Body-Miscellaneous Line Item

 

Chairman McHugh requested information concerning the Governing Body-Miscellaneous Line Item.

 

County Manager Greer explained employees’ physicals, emergency items that were not budgeted such as un-repairable fax machines, unemployment insurance that exceeds budget, and Board’s extra budget sessions/E&R are funded from this line item.

 

No action taken at this time on the Governing Body – Miscellaneous Line Item.

 

Governing Body-Travel Line Item

 

 Chairman McHugh requested information concerning the Governing Body-Travel Line Item.

 

Finance Director Julia Edwards explained all travel, hotel, and registration for the Board is taken from this line item.

 

Chairman McHugh moved to cut the remaining balance of the Governing Body Travel Line Item and to revert the remaining back into the General Fund to help balance the budget. 

 

Vice Chairman John Turpin seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

 

Solid Waste Collection - Utilities Line Item

 

Chairman McHugh requested information on the increase in this year’s Solid Waste Collection -Utilities Line Item. 

 

County Manager Greer noted that the increase could be due to the line item being under budgeted the previous year.  Public Buildings Director Jay Kinney commented the possibility of an increase due to air conditioning/heating of the sites, but was uncertain

without looking at the budget. 

 

Chairman McHugh requested Manager Greer to look into this line item.

 

Program Integrity

 

Chairman McHugh informed the Board that in speaking to Mr. David Sanders-Forsyth  County, they found that even with the program being necessary to have fraud investigation, there was no mandate to have a special program.  Forsyth has the caseworker to initiate the fraud investigation and turn the findings over to the appropriate authorities.  Mr. Sanders concluded that he would get all the information concerning how Forsyth handles the program and return the information to the Board.

 

County Manager Greer informed the Board that he should hear within the next week concerning the possibility of funding for the remainder of the budget shortfall.  A special session could be called for the Board’s approval.

 

Commissioner Joe Turpin moved to go ahead and eliminate the Program Integrity (two positions) from the Budget. 

 

Vice Chairman John Turpin seconded the motion.

 

Commissioner Mabe expressed his opposition to the elimination of these two positions due to the positions paying for themselves.

 

DSS Sharon Scott responded to the Board concerning the number of cases that are presented to the DSS Board each month.  Ms. Scott noted that the only cases that go to the DSS Board are the cases that are recommended for prosecution, which is 1 to 2 a month.

 

Ms. Sarah Carter, DSS Fraud Investigator, commented that was the most that could be presented to the DSS Board each month.  Ms. Scott noted that she was unaware of this understanding and would see that this was changed.  Ms. Scott noted the collection of $83,368 with the County’s share being $31,517 last fiscal year, with information obtained  from State Reports. 

 

Finance Director Julia Edwards presented fiscal year 2001/2002 year to date figure of $19,964.45 with the current fiscal year to date figure being $20,308.44 through  November, 2002.  Ms. Edward noted the discrepancy between the fiscal year to date figure

Ms. Scott provided and the Finance Department’s fiscal year to date.  The Finance Department figure only reveals what is paid directly at DSS and does not include the funds run through the State. 

 

Ms. Scott noted an example of this could be tax intercept money from state or federal sources. 

 

Ms. Edwards concluded this additional amount comes through County Administration, which goes into General Fund. 

 

Chairman McHugh requested Ms. Edwards confirm the fiscal year final revenue figures and return that information to the

Board.

 

County Manager Greer said that this amount could be broken out separately as Fraud revenue to indicate the actual figure recouped during the fiscal year. 

 

Commissioner Mabe and Inman both reiterated their opposition concerning the elimination of Program Integrity-(two positions).

 

The motion to eliminate Program Integrity (two positions) carried (3-2) with Commissioners Mabe and Inman voting against the motion.

 

Chairman McHugh moved to make the eliminations-Program Integrity to be effective December 31, 2002. 

 

Vice Chairman John Turpin seconded and the motion carried (3-2) with Commissioners Mabe and Inman voting against the motion.

 

Budget Cuts Amount

 

Commissioner Inman requested the amount of budget cuts the Board had made from  County Manager Greer.  Manager Greer estimated in the range of $350,000 to $400,000.

 

County Owned Property         

 

County Manager Craig Greer presented maps to the Board pertaining to all property listed in the County’s name.

           

Newsome Road Property-McDonald Building

 

County Manager Greer informed the Board that the County did not own the property on Newsome Road or the shell building (McDonald Building).  The Stokes County Development Corporation, which was set up by the Board several years ago, owns the  Property.

 

The Development Corporation is able to develop projects easier than the County.  

 

The County appropriated funds to the Development Corporation to purchase the property and the Development Corporation actually developed the property about 4 years ago.  The Development Corporation has its own Board of Directors and is similar to the Stokes County Water and Sewer Authority. 

 

County Manager Greer said that the $70,000 lease obligation just started this year. 

 

The County’s lease obligation is over when the building is leased. 

 

Ron Morgan, Economic Director, has had 4 projects that was just days away from being signed. 

 

Chairman McHugh requested County Manager Greer to have Economic Director Ron Morgan bring the details of the Stokes County Development Corporation/McDonald Building to the Board meeting in January 2003.

 

Bryce Gordon Property           

 

County Manager Greer explained the property in King donated by Bryce Gordon1.5 acres and additional acres to Forsyth Community College was deeded to the County to be used by EMS/Sheriff’s Department or Satellite Community College and cannot be sold as

long as the grantor is still alive.

 

Rock House

 

The Rock House is maintained by the Stokes County Historical Society.

 

Piney Grove Church Road

 

This property is owned by the Stokes County Board of Education.  Mr. Eugene Lyons commented this property was bought for the North Stokes Carpentry class to build a project home in the 1980’s.  The land would not perk at that time.

 

Prison Camp Property-Meadows        

 

The 9.06 acres recently obtained has been selected by the Board for the Satellite Community College. 

 

Chairman McHugh requested whether Forsyth Community College has the right to decline the selection made by the Board. 

 

Commissioner Howard Mabe, Chairman –Stokes County Community College Task Force, indicated the Board has the right

to choose the location with both Boards working together to achieve the goal of a Satellite Community College in Stokes County.

 

Cherry Park

 

Commissioner Inman moved to have the Cherry Park Property perked prior to selling.

 

Commissioner Joe Turpin seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

 

GENERAL GOVERNMENT-TAX DEPARTMENT-INTERIM TAX COLLECTOR

 

Chairman McHugh entertained a motion to appoint Jake Oakley as Interim Tax Collector.  Mr. Oakley was appointed as Interim Tax Administrator December 2, 2002.

 

Chairman McHugh moved to appoint Jake Oakley as Interim Tax Collector until the end of the fiscal year. 

 

Vice Chairman John Turpin seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

 

GENERAL GOVERNMENT-GOVERNING BODY-HISTORICAL DISPLAY

 

Clerk to the Board Darlene Bullins and Staff Attorney John McGrath reported to the Board that all items were on order at the present time. 

 

Chairman McHugh requested input from the Board indicating whether a formal presentation should be done.  There was no action

taken.

 

GENERAL GOVERNMENT-GOVERNING BODY-CHRISTMAS DINNER

 

Chairman McHugh proposed to the Board that County funding usually provided for the Christmas dinner be paid by the Board due to the Budget shortfall. 

 

All members of the Board unanimously agreed.

 

GENERAL GOVERNMENT-GOVERING BODY-COMMISSIONERS’ SCHEDULE

 

Clerk to the Board Darlene Bullins presented the 2003 Commissioners’ meeting schedule, which included meetings in January, March, and May to be held at locations other than the Administrative Building. (May 12th meeting requested to be held at King Public Library).

 

Chairman McHugh entertained a motion to accept the 2003 Commissioners’ Schedule as presented with the May 12th meeting being held at the King Public Library.

 

Commissioner Inman moved to approve the 2003 Commissioners’ Schedule as presented with the May 12th meeting being held at the King Public Library.

 

Commissioner Joe Turpin seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

 

GENERAL GOVERNMENT-ADMINISTRATION-PERSONNEL POLICIES

           

County Manager Greer requested the Board to amend action taken by the Board on December 12th to waive parts of the County’s Personnel Policy, namely Article 6,  Sections 1-3 and Article 8, Section 3.  Manager Greer explained the importance of

Article 6 in relation to payroll, pay and classification schedule used by the County, and approval by the Office of State Personnel. 

 

Manager Greer stressed the importance of Article 8, which allows for the transfer of sick leave of new employees from other

local and state government employment, which is a major recruitment incentive.

 

Chairman McHugh entertained a motion to waive any or all Articles identified by the County Manager.

 

Commissioner Mabe moved to rescind all action to the Articles identified by the County Manager (Article 6, Sections 1-3 and Article 8, Section 3) that was taken on  December 12th. 

 

Commissioner Inman seconded the motion.  The motion carried (4-1) with Vice Chairman John Turpin voting against the motion.

 

Chairman McHugh entertained a motion to adjourn.

 

There being no further business to come before the Board, Commissioner Inman moved to adjourn meeting. 

 

Vice Chairman John Turpin seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

 

 

_________________________                                  _____________________________

Darlene Bullins                                                         Sandy McHugh

Clerk to the Board                                                       Chairman