STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA )                    OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONERS

                                                            )                    STOKES COUNTY GOVERNMENT

COUNTY OF STOKES                   )                    DANBURY, NORTH CAROLINA

                                                            )                    APRIL 6, 2010

 

           

            The Board of Commissioners of the County of Stokes, State of North Carolina, met

 

for a Goals Planning Session in the third floor conference room of the Ronald Wilson Reagan

 

Memorial Building (Administration Building) located in Danbury, North Carolina on Tuesday,

 

April 6, 2010 at 4:00 pm with the following members present:

                                                                       

Chairman Jimmy Walker

Vice Chairman Ernest Lankford

Commissioner J. Leon Inman                        

Commissioner Ron Carroll

                                                Commissioner Stanley Smith

                                                                                                                       

                                                County Personnel in Attendance:

                                                County Manager K. Bryan Steen

                                                Clerk to the Board Darlene Bullins

                                                Finance Director Julia Edwards

                                                                                                                       

Chairman Jimmy Walker called the meeting to order and delivered the invocation.

                       

GENERAL GOVERNMENT-GOVERNING BODY-PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

            Chairman Walker opened the meeting by inviting the citizens in attendance to join the

 

Board with the Pledge of Allegiance. 

 

GENERAL GOVERNMENT – GOVERNING BODY – APPROVAL OF AGENDA

 

Chairman Walker entertained a motion to approve or amend the April 6, 2010

 

Agenda.

 

            Commissioner Inman moved to approve the April 6, 2010 Agenda as submitted.

 

Commissioner Smith seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

 

Smoking in County Buildings

 

            County Manager Bryan Steen informed the Board, as requested at the last Goals Session,

 

that he had spoken to department heads in the Administrative Building regarding the issue of

 

smoking in the building.  Manager Steen noted that the department heads did not feel there would

 

be any issues with asking employees not to smoke in the building and that several employees are

 

already smoking outside.

 

            The Board further discussed the issue of smoking in county owned facilities, making no

 

changes, designating county owned facilities as smoke free buildings with convenient designated

 

smoking areas, requesting only employees to smoke outside, and having a trial basis of requesting

 

employees not to smoke in county facilities.

 

            Commissioner Carroll confirmed with Manager Steen that only the department heads

 

in the Administrative Building had been asked and that the employees who smoke had not been

 

asked.

 

            Manager Steen noted that a designated smoking area could be placed at the back of the

 

Administrative Building similar to the one placed at the Department of Social Services.

 

            Chairman Walker suggested the Board discuss the topic of no smoking in county owned

 

facilities at a later meeting and continue with the Goals Planning Session as scheduled. 

 

            Chairman Walker opened the floor for discussion regarding 2010 Goals.

 

Grants

 

            Vice Chairman Lankford requested the Board further discuss grants, which was a 2009

 

Goal.  Vice Chairman Lankford stated that he felt the County needs to take every opportunity

 

possible to try to obtain grants, thus saving taxpayer dollars.

 

            Chairman Walker noted that he felt some restructuring in Economic Development could be

 

done to include two additional positions who would report to the Economic Development Director. 

 

One position would be responsible for parks, recreation, tourism, and would also assist the

 

Economic Development Director with grant writing.  The other position would be administrative. 

 

Arts and specials events would also be a part of Economic Development in order for Economic

 

Development and Arts to coordinate their efforts.  The positions could be funded on a trial basis

 

(possibly 2 years) using Hold Harmless dollars. The YMCA could possibly continue with some

 

recreational programs.

 

            Vice Chairman Lankford suggested that there needs to be a plan to get things moving

 

regarding grants.

 

            The Board discussed the technical and time consuming process of completing a grant

 

application, other grants received by the County, and the lack of grants not being applied for by

 

the County.

 

            The Board briefly discussed the rehabilitation grant regarding the building previously

 

occupied by Happy Hills Day Care Center.

 

            Chairman Walker confirmed with Finance Director Julia Edwards that the County

 

is scheduled to receive the Hold Harmless Funding for two more years.

 

 

 

 

 

Commissioners’ Top Goals

 

            Chairman Walker requested each member of the Board to list their top individual goals:

 

            Commissioner Carroll listed the following:

·         Schools

·         Community College

·         Stokes Reynolds Memorial Hospital – Decision

·         Survival

 

Commissioner Carroll stated the Board needed to make very specific, concrete goals; not

 

just schools or community college, but a goal that states what this Board is going to do such as

 

hire an architect to design a community college in 2010.

 

            Vice Chairman Lankford noted the expense of hiring an architect.

 

Vice Chairman Lankford listed the following:

·         Survival

·         Keep employment (number of employees) for the county at the present level

·         Grants

·         Job creation

 

The Board further discussed grants.  Vice Chairman Lankford stated the lead person

 

to start the process should be the county manager with department heads researching for their

 

own departments.

 

            Chairman Walker questioned Manager Steen regarding having additional time to put

 

towards grants.

 

            Manager Steen noted that there was time to do some initial inquiries regarding grants, but

 

time is limited currently with the preparation of the fiscal year budget along with the daily operation

 

of the County.

 

Vice Chairman Lankford requested the balance of the Dedicated Debt Service Fund.

 

Finance Director Julia Edwards stated the current balance of the Dedicated Debt Service

 

Fund is $1,211,000.00 and the current balance as of March 3rd in the Lottery Fund is $2,596,963.00.

 

            Finance Director Edwards also stated the current balance in the regular Capital Reserve

 

Fund is $441,951 which is already designated for certain projects.

 

Chairman Walker listed the following:

·         Schools

·         Community College

·         Stokes Reynolds Memorial Hospital – Decision

·         Parks and Recreation

·         Economic Development – create and retain jobs

 

Commissioner Inman listed the following:

·         Maintaining a conservative course of spending

·         Schools

·         Community College

·         Stokes Reynolds Memorial Hospital

·         Strategic plan for grants

·         Parks & Recreation

·         Grants

·         Economic Development – creation of jobs

Commissioner Inman stated that one important thing regarding grants is that you must

 

have a strategic plan for acquiring grant.

 

Commissioner Smith listed the following:

·         Schools  (new elementary school in King, Southeastern renovations, renovations at Lawsonville Elementary School)

·         Keep in touch with Board of Education regarding top priorities

·         Provide adequate services to the citizens of Stokes County

·         Possibly add a Fraud Investigator at DSS and a daytime EMS Convalescent Truck

·         Community College

·         Stokes Reynolds Memorial Hospital

·         Grants

·         Parks & Recreation

·         Economic Development – Job creation

 

The Board listed the top goals submitted by a majority of the members:

·         Schools ( 4 members)

·         Community College (4 members)

·         Stokes Reynolds Memorial Hospital (4 members)

·         Survival (5 members)

·         Grants (4 members)

·         Parks and Recreation (3 members)

·         Economic Development – Job creation (4 members)

 

The Board discussed the following goal - Schools:

 

Commissioner Carroll, Chairman Walker, and Commissioner Smith agreed to begin

 

the Board of Education’s next priority school construction project in 2010.

 

            Vice Chairman Lankford stated to look at the Board of Education’s next priority project

 

with no tax increase.

 

Commissioner Inman stated to take the Board of Education’s next priority school

 

construction project in 2010 subject to talking with the county’s financial advisor.

 

The Board discussed the following goal - Community College:

 

Commissioner Smith and Commissioner Carroll agreed to hire an architect in 2010

 

with construction starting in 2011.

 

            Commissioner Inman agreed to consider hiring an architect in 2010 with construction

 

no later than 2012 if funding is available.

 

            Chairman Walker agreed to hire an architect in 2010 with construction starting in 2011

 

(preferably no later than 2012).

 

 

 

 

 

            Vice Chairman Lankford agreed to hire an architect in 2011 with construction starting in

 

2012.   Vice Chairman Lankford reiterated that hiring an architect could cost as much as

 

$500,000.

 

            Commissioner Carroll confirmed with Finance Director Julia Edwards that the County

 

could fund the money up front and pay the county back as long as a Resolution was adopted before

 

any funds were expensed.

 

            Commissioner Inman questioned whether the County could build a “Stokes County

 

Community College” rather than one affiliated with Forsyth Technical Community College.  

 

Commissioner Carroll confirmed the State Board of Community Colleges would have to approve,

 

which is probably unlikely.

 

The Board discussed the following goal – Stokes Reynolds Memorial Hospital-Decision:

 

Vice Chairman Lankford stated to continue 8-9 months with the County operation, then

 

make an assessment and a decision regarding the hospital.

 

            Commissioner Carroll stated the Board needs to make a decision about the long term

 

future of the hospital in 2010.

 

            Commissioner Smith stated the need to proceed with an RFP as soon as possible, make

 

a decision with preferably a new hospital being built, and retain ownership of the hospital property

 

for county departments.

 

            Commissioner Inman stated after the Public Hearing (as soon as feasible) make a decision

 

regarding the hospital.

 

Chairman Walker stated to make a decision by the end of 2010 regarding the hospital,

 

facilities in King, and the long term care facility.

 

            After a lengthy discussion, the Board unanimously agreed that a decision regarding

 

Stokes Reynolds Memorial Hospital would be made by the end of 2010.

 

The Board discussed the following goal - Survival:

 

(The Board agreed to carry forward the following 2009 Survival Goals :)

·         Make sure the County has a safety net in place for the most vulnerable citizens in the County (first and foremost priority as far as programs)

·         Provide services to the citizens of Stokes County as cost effective as possible

(Quality Cost Effective services)

·         Continue expenditures and revenues review

·         Minimize mileage on county vehicles (place mileage sheet in all county vehicles)

·         Assess county vehicles being driven home by county employees

·         Employee sharing in all departments, especially those departments associated with the current economic status

·         Meet with Department Heads for suggestions for cutting cost

·         Hiring freeze/selective hiring (any hiring must be approved by the BOCC)

·         Control Comp. Time in all departments

·         Look into imaging process to make departments more efficient

·         Focus on eliminating any unnecessary spending, spending will be the key this year and next year just as the County has done during the past two years

·         No funding being borrowed for recurring expenses, just capital needs

·         Identify salary options

1.      First, look at eliminating only the bonus with salary schedule still intact

2.      Second, eliminate longevity increases

3.      Third, impose a salary freeze

4.      Fourth, reduce work hours

 

The Board discussed the following goal - Grants:

 

            Chairman Walker stated the need to place a higher priority on grant applications and

 

more attention to acquiring grants.

 

            Vice Chairman Lankford agreed that more attention needed to be placed on grant writing.

 

            Commissioner Carroll agreed with more priority on grants, but noted that department heads

 

need to identify possible grants for their departments and submit them to the Board of

 

Commissioners for consideration.

 

            Commissioner Inman stated the need for an action plan to bring grant information to

 

the Board.  Commissioner Inman reiterated the time involvement for preparation of a grant

 

and the person must have some knowledge regarding grant writing.

 

            The Board discussed the following procedure to follow regarding acquiring grants:

 

·         Department Heads research and identify grants for their individual departments

·         County manager and department head evaluate the pros and cons of each grant

·         County manager submits the proposed grant to the Board of Commissioners for their authority to proceed with the application and appropriate funding if match is required

 

The Board discussed the following goal – Parks and Recreation:

 

            Commissioner Carroll, Commissioner Inman, Chairman Walker, and Commissioner Smith

 

agreed to evaluate options during the budget process.

 

            Vice Chairman Lankford stated the need to see the Master Plan (Tourism & Moratock Park)

 

recently requested by Economic Development Director and approved by the Board before making

 

any decisions regarding Parks and Recreation.

 

The Board discussed the following goal- Economic Development –Job Creation:

 

Vice Chairman Lankford stated the need for job creation.

 

Commissioner Carroll stated the need to provide support and encouragement to the

 

Economic Development Commission as they proceed to follow their Strategic Plan.

 

 

            Commissioner Smith agreed with Commissioner Carroll, but added Economic

 

Development Director with Economic Development Commission.

 

            Commissioner Inman agreed with Commissioner Carroll.

 

            Chairman Walker agreed with Commissioner Carroll.

 

2010 Goals

 

The Board agreed either unanimously or by a majority to the following as high priority

 

Goals for 2010:

 

·         Schools (majority of the Board)

o   Begin the next Board of Education’s priority school construction project in 2010

·         Community College (majority of the Board)

o   Hire an architect in 2010 with construction in 2011

·         Stokes Reynolds Memorial Hospital (unanimous)

o   Make a decision regarding Stokes Reynolds Memorial Hospital by the end of 2010

·         Survival (unanimous)

o   Use the following adopted 2009 Goals

Ø  Make sure the County has a safety net in place for the most vulnerable citizens in the County (first and foremost priority as far as programs)

Ø  Provide services to the citizens of Stokes County as cost effective as possible (Quality Cost Effective services)

Ø  Continue expenditures and revenues review

Ø  Minimize mileage on county vehicles (place mileage sheet in all county vehicles)

Ø  Assess county vehicles being driven home by county employees

Ø  Employee sharing in all departments, especially those departments associated with the current economic status

Ø  Meet with Department Heads for suggestions for cutting cost

Ø  Hiring freeze/selective hiring (any hiring must be approved by the BOCC)

Ø  Control Comp. Time in all departments

Ø  Look into imaging process to make departments more efficient

Ø  Focus on eliminating any unnecessary spending, spending will be the key this year and next year just as the County has done during the past two years

Ø  No funding being borrowed for recurring expenses, just capital needs

Ø  Identify salary options

o   First, look at eliminating only the bonus with salary schedule still intact

o   Second, eliminate longevity increases

o   Third, impose a salary freeze

o   Fourth, reduce work hours

Ø  Evaluate staffing levels

Ø  Reminder of deep recession

Ø  Evaluate the county’s ability to bridge the gap for services with State revenue cuts

·         Grants (unanimous)

o   Place a higher priority and more attention regarding acquiring grants by implementing the following procedures:

§  Department heads research and identify grants for their individual departments

§  County manager and department head evaluate the pros and cons of each grant

§  County manager submits the proposed grant to the Board of Commissioners for their authority to proceed with the application and appropriate funding if match is required

·         Parks and Recreation (unanimous)

o   Evaluate options during the budget process.

·         Economic Development – Job Creation (unanimous)

o   Encourage job creation by providing support and encouragement to the Economic Development Commission as they follow their strategic plan

 

Legislative Assembly Day for County Commissioners

 

            Commissioner Inman informed the Board that the Legislative Assembly Day for County

 

Commissioners in Raleigh is May 19th. 

 

Regional Meeting for Board of County Commissioners

 

Commissioner Inman also noted the NCACC Regional meeting will be held in Forsyth

 

County on Tuesday, April 27th.    Vice Chairman Lankford noted that there was a scheduled Board

 

of Trustees meeting on the 27th. 

 

            Chairman Walker, with full consensus of the Board, directed the Clerk to see if the

 

Board could reschedule the Board of Trustees to Thursday, April 29th.

 

Adjournment

 

There being no further business to come before the Board, Chairman Walker entertained       

 

a motion to adjourn the Goals Planning Session.

 

Commissioner Smith moved to adjourn the Goals Planning Session.   Commissioner

 

Inman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

 

 

 

 

 

_________________________                                  _____________________________

Darlene M. Bullins                                                    Jimmy Walker

Clerk to the Board                                                    Chairman