) JANUARY 6, 2007
Board of Commissioners of the
for a scheduled Board Retreat session in the Commissioners’ Chambers of the Ronald Wilson
Saturday, January 6, 2007 at 9:00 am with the following members present:
Chairman Leon Inman
Vice-Chairman Jimmy Walker
Commissioner Ron Carroll
Commissioner Stanley Smith
to the Board/Interim County Manager
Chairman Leon Inman called the meeting to order.
Chairman Inman delivered the invocation.
Chairman Inman opened the meeting by inviting the citizens in attendance to
join the Board with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Chairman Inman welcomed those in attendance to the Board Retreat.
Chairman Inman requested each Board member to briefly express what they hoped
to gain from today’s Board Retreat:
Commissioner Carroll: Express ideas, see where we are, and where we want to go –
set a road map
Commissioner Lankford: Establish a vision statement – for 2 years, 4 years – vision
to include the total county – establish goals and objectives
Vice Chairman Walker: Agree with a vision – planning for today and the future
Commissioner Smith: Setting down in this type of planning meeting and openly
discussing county issues to develop a long range plan and a
vision for the County
Review of County’s Financial Status
Interim County Manager
the NC Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Controller which stated that
the Stokes County Single Audit Report for Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2006 had been
accepted by the Secretary of the Local Government Commission and that no corrective
action plan is necessary and resolution of this audit is closed with respect to programs of
financial assistance administered by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Interim Manager Bullins also presented a copy of the letter from the NC Department
of State Treasurer which reports as of June 30, 2006, the amount of available fund balance
was $3,496,416 or 8.74% of total expenditures which has increased from 7.90% reported for
the fiscal year June 30, 2005. Statewide average fund balance available for comparably sized
counties is 27.62% (fund balance as of 06-30-04). The State Treasurer does request that the
County submit a letter to indicate the County’s plans to continue to increase the fund balance.
The County requested the Interim Manager to request a list of comparably sized
County. The Board discussed the County’s fund balance.
Interim Manager Bullins presented a Tax Administration Collection status of Friday,
January 5th representing collection to date = $14,305,086.87
· 2005-06 final budget compared to 2006-07 budget
· Financial Report for Oct. Nov. and December 2006 detailing current expenditures and revenues
· Tax Levy
· NC Association of County Commissioners 2006-07 Tax Rate Survey
· Comparison of Legal services for Fiscal years 2003-04; 2004-05; 2005-06; and 2006-07
· County’s desire to consult with a financial advisor to create a committee to possibly include the School Superintendent, School Finance Director, County Manager, County Finance Director and financial advisor to develop a plan for school construction and capital needs for the County and how the County will pay for these items
· Inventory Tax which sunsets 2011-12
· Debt Schedule as of June 30, 2005
· Debt Schedule of December 31, 2006
· Estimated Lottery Distribution
· County’s rating remains the same A1 with Moodys and A with Standard Poore
Review of First Quarter Revenue and Expenditure Review / Review of 2006 Budget Retreat
Interim Manager Bullins briefly reviewed the First Quarter Revenue and Expenditure
review conducted by Mr. Dennis Thompson, Consultant on October 24, 2006. Mr.
Thompson’s opinion revealed that there were no significant budget errors and projects that the
County will end the fiscal year “in the black” barring negative events that cannot be foreseen.
Projections do expect growth in the fund balance.
Interim Manager Bullins also included for the Board the minutes of the 2006 Budget
Retreat-February 25, 2006; Special Session for Economic Development-March 20, 2006; and
Special Session for Mental Health Issues-March 22, 2006
Interim Manager Bullins requested if the Board desired to have Mr. Dennis Thompson
or internal staff to conduct the Second Quarter Review. The Board directed internal staff
to conduct the Second Quarter Review.
OPEN DISCUSSION AND STRATEGIC PLANNING
REVIEW OF COUNTY DEPARTMENTS
User Friendly Departments
The Board discussed the County having user-friendly departments. The Board
unanimously agreed that
The Board directed the Interim County Manager to express to each Department Head
· Expectation that all county employees would treat citizens with dignity and respect
· Professionalism throughout the entire department starting with department heads
· Listen and try to help solve the citizens’ complaint/problem if possible
· Explain rules and regulations tactfully to the citizens with respect and courtesy
The Board discussed possibly speaking directly to department heads at a later time.
The Board discussed the current procedure for citizens to express complaints
regarding county departments.
commissioners as appropriate.
Commissioner Carroll volunteered to help develop a county formal grievance policy
which departments will have available to present to citizens who have complaints.
Commissioner Walker requested to look at the recreation needs that are not
being currently addressed around the County. Commissioner Walker noted the current
arrangement with the YMCA, looking at possibly continuing certain programs, but the need
for a department within the county for recreation and parks. A department that will
be responsible to strengthen recreation, create more recreation opportunities for citizens,
and possibly seek grant opportunities for parks.
Commissioner Walker also noted the need for recreation centers around the county for
The Board discussed the current recreation programs being operated by the
YMCA, the current contract, and the volunteers who support the recreation programs
provided the youth in the county. The Board requested additional information regarding the
programs being operated by the YMCA.
Review of legal needs
Commissioner Lankford requested information regarding the current arrangement
for legal services for the County noting the need to compare the financial expenditures of
having a staff attorney or continuing to contract the services.
for fiscal year 2003/04; fiscal year 2004/05; fiscal year 2005/06; and partial fiscal year
2006-07. Finance Director Edwards noted that all DSS services were being provided by
outside legal representation, not the county attorney.
The Board discussed the current contract with the county attorney.
The Board agreed further discussion would be needed at budget time.
Utilization of County owned property
Commissioner Smith expressed the need to look at all county owned property
especially property not being utilized.
Commissioner Smith noted the to need to explore the old prison camp site for possible
use as a satellite community college, a county department, or even renting the facility.
The Board discussed evaluating all county property and facilities, performing a current
needs assessment, and preparing a future needs assessment emphasizing what could be housed
in the vacant facilities. The Board also discussed the need for all commissioners to tour
facilities before determining the true assessment of each facility.
The Board also noted the need to determine space needs for county departments before
determining a true needs assessment of facilities.
The Board discussed the current vacant county manager’s position.
Interim County Manager Bullins noted the following regarding the vacant position:
· Deadline January 31, 2007
· Contacted all applications received before the re-advertisement
to determine interest in the position
· 12 applications interested in the position to date
· Advertised Stokes News, Winston Salem Journal (Top Jobs), Greensboro Daily News (Career Builder), Raleigh Times, NCACC, NACO, County Lines, County Manager’s server, and county website
Utilities including water/sewer and infrastructure
Commissioner Carroll noted the need to create infrastructure to recruit businesses to
The Board discussed the need to evaluate and determine the reasonable places that
are going to be appropriate for business growth, and what is needed to add to those areas
to make them more attractive.
The Board discussed possibly looking at the #311 corridor, Pinnacle area, and
#65 Germanton/Walnut Cove area.
Commissioner Walker noted the need to include the Water and Sewer Authority.
Commissioner Walker also noted the need to evaluate the possibility of regional utilities
systems for the future.
The Board discussed the role of the Water and Sewer Authority, its membership,
non-profit status, and its connection with the county.
Chairman Inman noted the recent allocation of county funding for the countywide
feasibility study currently being performed. Chairman Inman noted the feasibility study
should provide valuable information regarding future needs of the County and that the
feasibility study could possibly help secure available grants.
Commissioner Carroll noted that infrastructure does not only include water and sewer,
it includes parks/recreation, libraries, schools, arts, healthcare, roads, etc.
Commissioner Walker expressed the need for a needs assessment relating to
adequate parks, libraries, schools, arts,
healthcare, etc. in
The Board discussed the importance to become independent- not depending on
neighboring counties for water, waste disposal, etc. and the possibility of water intake from
The Board requested information regarding the Water and Sewer Authority and
any available information from the feasibility study.
Landfill off #311 – Joint venture with Waste Management
Commissioner Smith requested information regarding a proposed MSW and C&D
landfill on Duke Power property discussed several years ago. Commissioner Smith noted the
$1 million dollars incurred by
The Board requested any available information regarding the issue.
The Board also discussed reviewing all solid waste issues within the county, current
and future needs looking at all possibility detailing the amount of waste disposed of by
Stokes County annually.
HEALTH CARE ISSUES
Reopening of the King Clinic
The Board discussed the following issues relating to the reopening of the King Clinic:
· Need for a Clinic in the King area
· History of the King Clinic
· Staffing issues at the Health Department
· High priority issue to reopen
· King Clinic budget for fiscal year 2006-07
· Need for Clinic to be self supportive
· Clinic should be operative with not taking anything away from the rest of the county
· DSS also staffed offices at the same location certain days of the week
The Board unanimously agreed that the reopening of the King Clinic was an
immediate need. The Board directed the Interim County Manager to request information
from the Health Director regarding the status of the King Clinic.
Commissioner Walker requested the Board look at all options pertaining to providing
the best medical facilities and services for the entire county and the cost factors involved in
providing medical services for the county.
The Board discussed the following regarding
· Medical services for the northern side of the county
· A possible committee to evaluate the medical needs of the county
· Daily use of the hospital facility
· Need for the hospital facility
· Health Services Alliance’s main objective to evaluate all medical needs in the County
· Look for ways to improve medical services for the county if possible
· Look for ways to work together to bring the best medical services to the County
Carroll noted that the citizens of
subsidize with tax money (approximately up to a 10-cent tax rate according to the original
The Board discussed the need for Health Services Alliance to look at the delivery of
Lankford noted the need for a Veteran’s clinic in
Services will be opening 10 more clinics in the future in
need to be prepared to lobby for a clinic in
investigating the possibility of locating a Veterans’ clinic in
Mental Health Issues
Carroll expressed concerns regarding whether
are receiving the best mental health services that are available.
The Board discussed the following regarding mental health services:
· Current mental health services available
· Tele-medicine currently being provided by Daymark
· The need to evaluate mental health services in the County
· Other issues to consider besides First Opinion Waiver
· Funding being allocated versus services being provided
· Need to express concerns to State Legislators regarding the recent mental health reform
The Board agreed the immediate need to evaluate the current delivery of mental health
Staff Personnel Classification and Salary Study
Commissioner Carroll requested to discuss Item H on the agenda – Staff Personnel
Classification and Salary Study. Commissioner Carroll noted the need for a true structured
salary schedule for county personnel in order to be fair and consistent to all employees.
A true salary schedule, which would also eliminate department heads from having to come
before the Board of Commissioners requesting a specific salary. A structured salary schedule
would pinpoint a clear starting salary depending on education and experience, set rules and
guidelines for all departments, be fair and consistent for all county employees, and most
of all provide a schedule that all employees can understand.
Chairman Inman noted that this type of schedule removes the subjectivity and
places the salary in an objective category.
The Board discussed the need to develop a structured salary as a top priority.
Commissioner Carroll and Commissioner Lankford volunteered to head up a committee
to develop a structured salary schedule. Commissioner Carroll noted that this type of
structured schedule would not replace the need for a classification study in the future, this
type of schedule does not dictate where a specific job falls on the salary classification grade.
The suggested structured salary schedule would also review all current employees’ salaries.
The Board also discussed the possibility of the need for a true salary classification
study which reviews job grades, job descriptions, surrounding counties’ salaries, like size
counties’ salaries, job relationships, and what grade a specific job should be placed on.
Location of Units in Fire Departments and
Smith expressed the possibility of
The Board discussed the following regarding the EMS Stations:
· $50,000 in contingency for a new EMS Station
· Two units being housed in same location in Pinnacle
· Current response time for units
· The need to offer the best EMS Service available for the citizens of the County
Available land on
Chestnut Grove that could be used for a possible
Convalescent calls in the
Meeting the needs of the
Board noted the need to evaluate the current
The Board also discussed the following regarding the current EMS Billing Collection:
· Current county EMS Collection procedures
· Unpaid invoices being turned over to the Tax Department for collections
· Issue of unpaid invoices that are turned over to the Tax Department and becoming a tax
Other options of
The Board directed Interim County Manager to seek a legal opinion from the County
regarding discontinuing the current method of transferring overdue
the Tax Department and to look at the current EMS Collection Procedure.
possibility of further investigating this option.
– Motel and
Commissioner Smith noted the need
for a motel/conference center in or near
The Board discussed the following regarding tourism:
· Great places to visit in the County, but no where to stay overnight
· Need to investigate/survey whether there is a need for such a facility
· To advance tourism, the county must have facilities for people to stay
· Current status of the Stokes County Tourism Council
· The need for tourism to produce revenue for the County
Area tourism sites in
Initiative meeting that was tentatively scheduled in
was originally scheduled for 40 to 50 individuals, the meeting had grown to possibly having
approximately 80 to 100 individuals over the Christmas holidays. The facility (King
Recreation Acres) could not accommodate that number of individuals. The County could not
locate a facility that was available for the specific date that was already scheduled, the County
would consider hosting another meeting later in the year.
The Board requested any available information from the Interim County Manager
regarding the Regional Tourism Initiative.
Commissioner Walker noted the
valuable historical buildings in
the asset of the Stokes County Historical Society in helping to preserve the historical
buildings within the County.
Commissioner Walker noted the need to try to help preserve Sheppard’s Mill located
the need to take steps to start preserving historical buildings before they are gone.
The Board discussed the value of the historical buildings, sites, etc relating to tourism.
The Board requested the Interim County Manager to provide the Board with an update
from the Economic Development Director regarding any proposed projects dealing with
motels/facilities, etc within the County.
Continuation of Board Retreat
The Board unanimously agreed to set another date at the January 8th meeting to
complete the January 6th agenda that was not discussed at today’s Board Retreat.
There being no further business to come before the Board, Chairman Inman
entertained a motion to adjourn the meeting.
Commissioner Lankford moved to adjourn the meeting. The motion was
Darlene M. Bullins J.
Clerk to the Board Chairman