Notice

I am working on the template of this blog today in order to chase down some problems that have developed with my template and widgets.

Macon County Commissioners

Coverage of the meetings of the Macon County Board of County Commissioners.

Franklin Town Board of Aldermen

Coverage of the meetings of the Franklin Town Board of Aldermen.

Macon County School Board

Coverage of the meetings of the Macon County School Board.

Photoblog

Photos from my photoblog.

Nothing is here yet

I haven't decided what to put here yet, so look at this pretty photo.

Monday, October 31, 2011

ATTENTION ALL VOTERS IN BUNCOMBE COUNTY





AN IMPORTANT WORD FROM CHAD NESBITT

This is a sample ballot of the controversal AB Tech Tax. Notice it doesn't say AB Tech anywhere on it. That's because Senator Martin Nesbitt made it that way. The BC Commissioners want it to go to the counties general fund so the can do with the money as they please. Remember, this is a county wide vote. You vote at the old health department building beside the Radison Hotel. And please vote "against" it.
~Chad Nesbitt, on Facebook












ABTECH 5+Reasons.v.3



North Carolina General Statutes 

§ 153A-149 Property taxes; authorized purposes; rate limitation




(a) Pursuant to Article V, Sec. 2(5) of the Constitution of North Carolina, the General Assembly confers upon each county in this State the power to levy, within the limitations set out in this section, taxes on property having a situs within the county under the rules and according to the procedures prescribed in the Machinery Act (Chapter 105, Subchapter II).
(b) Each county may levy property taxes without restriction as to rate or amount for the following purposes:
(1) Courts. To provide adequate facilities for and the county's share of the cost of operating the General Court of Justice in the county.
(2) Debt Service. To pay the principal of and interest on all general obligation bonds and notes of the county.
(3) Deficits. To supply an unforeseen deficiency in the revenue (other than revenues of public enterprises), when revenues actually collected or received fall below revenue estimates made in good faith and in accordance with the Local Government Budget and Fiscal Control Act.
(4) Elections. To provide for all federal, State, district and county elections.
(5) Jails. To provide for the operation of a jail and other local confinement facilities.
(6) Joint Undertakings. To cooperate with any other county, city, or political subdivision in providing any of the functions, services, or activities listed in this subsection.
(7) Schools. To provide for the county's share of the cost of kindergarten, elementary, secondary, and post‑secondary public education.
(8) Social Services. To provide for public assistance required by Chapters 108A and 111 of the General Statutes.
(c) Each county may levy property taxes for one or more of the purposes listed in this subsection up to a combined rate of one dollar and fifty cents ($1.50) on the one hundred dollars ($100.00) appraised value of property subject to taxation. Authorized purposes subject to the rate limitation are:
(1) To provide for the general administration of the county through the board of county commissioners, the office of the county manager, the office of the county budget officer, the office of the county finance officer, the office of the county assessor, the office of the county tax collector, the county purchasing agent, and the county attorney, and for all other general administrative costs not allocated to a particular board, commission, office, agency, or activity of the county.
(2) Agricultural Extension. To provide for the county's share of the cost of maintaining and administering programs and services offered to agriculture by or through the Agricultural Extension Service or other agencies.
(3) Air Pollution. To maintain and administer air pollution control programs.
(4) Airports. To establish and maintain airports and related aeronautical facilities.
(5) Ambulance Service. To provide ambulance services, rescue squads, and other emergency medical services.
(6) Animal Protection and Control. To provide animal protection and control programs.
(6a) Arts Programs and Museums. To provide for arts programs and museums as authorized in G.S. 160A‑488.
(6b) Auditoriums, coliseums, and convention and civic centers. To provide public auditoriums, coliseums, and convention and civic centers.
(7) Beach Erosion and Natural Disasters. To provide for shoreline protection, beach erosion control, and flood and hurricane protection.
(8) Cemeteries. To provide for cemeteries.
(9) Civil Preparedness. To provide for civil preparedness programs.
(10) Debts and Judgments. To pay and discharge any valid debt of the county or any judgment lodged against it, other than debts and judgments evidenced by or based on bonds and notes.
(10a) Defense of Employees and Officers. To provide for the defense of, and payment of civil judgments against, employees and officers or former employees and officers, as authorized by this Chapter.
(10b) Economic Development. To provide for economic development as authorized by G.S. 158‑7.1 and G.S. 158‑12.
(11) Fire Protection. To provide fire protection services and fire prevention programs.
(12) Forest Protection. To provide forest management and protection programs.
(13) Health. To provide for the county's share of maintaining and administering services offered by or through the local health department.
(14) Historic Preservation. To undertake historic preservation programs and projects.
(15) Hospitals. To establish, support and maintain public hospitals and clinics, and other related health programs and facilities, or to aid any private, nonprofit hospital, clinic, related facility, or other health program or facility.
(15a) Housing Rehabilitation. To provide for housing rehabilitation programs authorized by G.S. 153A‑376, including personnel costs related to the planning and administration of these programs. This subdivision applies only to counties with a population of 400,000 or more, according to the most recent decennial federal census.
(15b) Housing. To undertake housing programs for low‑ and moderate‑income persons as provided in G.S. 153A‑378.
(16) Human Relations. To undertake human relations programs.
(16a) Industrial Development. To provide for industrial development as authorized by G.S. 158‑7.1.
(17) Joint Undertakings. To cooperate with any other county, city, or political subdivision in providing any of the functions, services, or activities listed in this subsection.
(18) Law Enforcement. To provide for the operation of the office of the sheriff of the county and for any other county law‑enforcement agency not under the sheriff's jurisdiction.
(19) Libraries. To establish and maintain public libraries.
(20) Mapping. To provide for mapping the lands of the county.
(21) Medical Examiner. To provide for the county medical examiner or coroner.
(22) Mental Health. To provide for the county's share of the cost of maintaining and administering services offered by or through the area mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse authority.
(23) Open Space. To acquire open space land and easements in accordance with Article 19, Part 4, Chapter 160A of the General Statutes.
(24) Parking. To provide off‑street lots and garages for the parking and storage of motor vehicles.
(25) Parks and Recreation. To establish, support and maintain public parks and programs of supervised recreation.
(26) Planning. To provide for a program of planning and regulation of development in accordance with Article 18 of this Chapter and Article 19, Parts 3A and 6, of Chapter 160A of the General Statutes.
(26a) Ports and Harbors. To participate in programs with the North Carolina Ports Authority and provide for harbor masters.
(27) Public Transportation. To provide public transportation by rail, motor vehicle, or another means of conveyance other than a ferry, including any facility or equipment needed to provide the public transportation. This subdivision does not authorize a county to provide public roads in the county in violation of G.S. 136‑51.
(27a) Railway Corridor Preservation. To acquire property for railroad corridor preservation as authorized by G.S. 160A‑498.
(28) Register of Deeds. To provide for the operation of the office of the register of deeds of the county.
(28a) Roads. To provide for the maintenance of county roads as authorized by G.S. 153A‑301(d).
(29) Sewage. To provide sewage collection and treatment services as defined in G.S. 153A‑274(2).
(30) Social Services. To provide for the public welfare through the maintenance and administration of public assistance programs not required by Chapters 108A and 111 of the General Statutes, and by establishing and maintaining a county home.
(31) Solid Waste. To provide solid waste collection and disposal services, and to acquire and operate landfills.
(31a) Stormwater. To provide structural and natural stormwater and drainage systems of all types.
(32) Surveyor. To provide for a county surveyor.
(33) Veterans' Service Officer. To provide for the county's share of the cost of services offered by or through the county veterans' service officer.
(34) Water. To provide water supply and distribution systems.
(35) Watershed Improvement. To undertake watershed improvement projects.
(36) Water Resources. To participate in federal water resources development projects.
(37) Armories. To supplement available State or federal funds to be used for the construction (including the acquisition of land), enlargement or repair of armory facilities for the North Carolina National Guard.
(d) With an approving vote of the people, any county may levy property taxes for any purpose for which the county is authorized by law to appropriate money. Any property tax levy approved by a vote of the people shall not be counted for purposes of the rate limitation imposed in subsection (c).
The county commissioners may call a referendum on approval of a property tax levy. The referendum may be held at the same time as any other referendum or election, but may not be otherwise held within the period of time beginning 30 days before and ending 10 days after any other referendum or election to be held in the county and already validly called or scheduled by law at the time the tax referendum is called. The referendum shall be conducted by the county board of elections. The clerk to the board of commissioners shall publish a notice of the referendum at least twice. The first publication shall be not less than 14 days and the second publication not less than seven days before the last day on which voters may register for the referendum. The notice shall state the date of the referendum, the purpose for which it is being held, and a statement as to the last day for registration for the referendum under the election laws then in effect.
The proposition submitted to the voters shall be substantially in one of the following forms:
(1) Shall ____ County be authorized to levy annually a property tax at a rate not in excess of ____ cents on the one hundred dollars ($100.00) value of property subject to taxation for the purpose of ____?
(2) Shall ____ County be authorized to levy annually a property tax at a rate not in excess of that which will produce $____ for the purpose of ____?
(3) Shall ____ County be authorized to levy annually a property tax without restriction as to rate or amount for the purpose of ____?
If a majority of those participating in the referendum approve the proposition, the board of commissioners may proceed to levy annually a property tax within the limitations (if any) described in the proposition.
The board of elections shall canvass the referendum and certify the results to the board of commissioners. The board of commissioners shall then certify and declare the result of the referendum and shall publish a statement of the result once, with the following statement appended: "Any action or proceeding challenging the regularity or validity of this tax referendum must be begun within 30 days after (date of publication)." The statement of results shall be filed in the clerk's office and inserted in the minutes of the board.
Any action or proceeding in any court challenging the regularity or validity of a tax referendum must be begun within 30 days after the publication of the results of the referendum. After the expiration of this period of limitation, no right of action or defense based upon the invalidity of or any irregularity in the referendum shall be asserted, nor shall the validity of the referendum be open to question in any court upon any ground whatever, except in an action or proceeding begun within the period of limitation prescribed herein.
Except for supplemental school taxes and except for tax referendums on functions not included in subsection (c) of this section, any referendum held before July 1, 1973, on the levy of property taxes is not valid for the purposes of this subsection. Counties in which such referendums have been held may support programs formerly supported by voted property taxes within the general rate limitation set out in subsection (c) at any appropriate level and are not subject to the former voted rate limitation.
(e) With an approving vote of the people, any county may increase the property tax rate limitation imposed in subsection (c) and may call a referendum for that purpose. The referendum may be held at the same time as any other referendum or election, but may not be otherwise held within the period of time beginning 30 days before and ending 30 days after any other referendum or election. The referendum shall be conducted by the county board of elections.
The proposition submitted to the voters shall be substantially in the following form: "Shall the property tax rate limitation applicable to ____ County be increased from ____ on the one hundred dollars ($100.00) value of property subject to taxation to ____ on the one hundred dollars ($100.00) value of property subject to taxation? "
If a majority of those participating in the referendum approve the proposition, the rate limitation imposed in subsection (c) shall be increased for the county.
(f) With respect to any of the categories listed in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, the county may provide the necessary personnel, land, buildings, equipment, supplies, and financial support from property tax revenues for the program, function, or service.
(g) This section does not authorize any county to undertake any program, function, joint undertaking, or service not otherwise authorized by law. It is intended only to authorize the levy of property taxes within the limitations set out herein to finance programs, functions, or services authorized by other portions of the General Statutes or by local acts. (1973, c. 803, s. 1; c. 822, s. 2; c. 963; c. 1446, s. 25; 1975, c. 734, s. 17; 1977, c. 148, s. 5; c. 834, s. 3; 1979, c. 619, s. 4; 1981, c. 66, s. 2; c. 562, s. 11; c. 692, s. 1; 1983, c. 511, ss. 1, 2; 1985, c. 589, s. 57; 1987, c. 45, s. 2; c. 697, s. 2; 1989, c. 600, s. 5; c. 625, s. 25; c. 643, s. 1; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 1005, ss. 3‑5; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 764, s. 1; c. 896, s. 1; 1993, c. 378, s. 2; 1997‑502, s. 6; 1999‑366, s. 3; 2002‑159, s. 50(a); 2002‑172, s. 2.4(a); 2003‑416, s. 2; 2009‑281, s. 1.)



Sources:

Facebook
Buncombe Forward
North Carolina General Statutes 


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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sun Dogs

Sun Dogs


Photo taken in Franklin, NC on October 26, 2011 by Bobby Coggins.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

NC Public Utilities Hearing in Franklin on Proposed Rate Increase by Duke Energy Carolinas



The NC Utilities Commission held a Public Hearing on the Proposed Duke Energy Rate Hike at the Macon Co Courthouse in Courtroom A on Oct 26 at 7pm.

Duke Energy is proposing to increase electrical rates for residents by 17%, commercial and industrial customers by 15%, and street lighting by 8%.

The Commission has suspended the proposed rate changes and has scheduled the application for investigation and hearing.

Persons who desire to present testimony for the record should appear at one of the public hearings. Persons who desire to send written statements to inform the Commission of their positions in the matter should address their statements to the North Carolina Utilities Commission, 4325 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-4325, and reference Docket No. E-7, Sub 989. However, such written statements cannot be considered competent evidence unless those persons appear at the hearing and testify concerning the information contained in their written statements.




I attended the public hearing on the proposed rate increase by Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC, henceforth known by the name Duke Power, last night in the Macon County Courthouse and recorded the video embedded above of the proceedings.

The big courtroom was filled with people upset about the proposed rate hike, and many of them signed up to give testimony against Duke Power. Most of them were what I would identify as lefties, some residing in the same ideological neighborhood as Karl Marx. There were a couple of people whom I would identify as conservatives testifying against the rate increase. Of course, it was a church night, and that limited the number of people on the conservative side of the aisle who might have testified against the rate increase.

Most of the people who offered testimony against the rate hike offered various versions of the bad economy, high unemployment, people on low and/or fixed income would be hit the hardest by a proposed 17% increase in their electric bill. Many of the far left people pointed out that the CEO of Duke, Larry Rogers redceived what they identified as excessive compensation around $8 million. Some mentioned that Duke Power had a profit last year of over $1 billion. A couple of people offered up the recent 'Occupy Wall Street' movement as proof that the days of capitalism were numbered and one guy pointed out that the violence in Oakland should serve as a warning to Duke Power.

Many of the speakers were passionate and eloquent in their testimony, a few seemed to lack the utility of being able to rub two wrods together in a coherent fashion.

There was no testimony given by Duke Power (save at that of Fred Alexander of the local Duke office) as the public hearing was designed to receive input from the public. You can see the reasoning behind the request for the rate increase by Duke Power on their website.













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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Macon County Commissioners
October 26, 2011

**10-27 at 1.15pm** Here is the full video of the October 26, 2011 meeting of the Macon County Commissioners:



**10.05pm** Here is the audio from this meeting

Download MP3




Hat Tip to Scarlet for noticing I had the wrong date on my title card.

The Macon County Commissioners will be reconvening a recessed meeting tonight at 6pm. The agenda and twitter widget are below. I will be there recording video and audio and will post them to this article as soon as I am able. 


Also, the meeting agendas will now be available online to the general public, click here to see them.





Macon County Board of Commissioners
Recessed Meeting
October 25, 2011 -- 6 p.m.
Commission Boardroom

1.  Reconvene and call to order -- Chairman McClellan

2.  Budget revisions -- Finance Director

3.  Discussion regarding construction standards

4.  Macon K-4 water and sewer change order request from McCarroll Construction -- Terry Bell

5.  Consideration of lease agreements -- County Attorney

6.  Closed Session -- Per General Statute 143-318.11(3), to preserve the attorney-client privilege

7. Adjourn





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Monday, October 24, 2011

Music Monday
The Marriage of Figaro

I skipped last week in this series, and to make up for it, I'm posting an extra long piece of music...not once, but twice. (That's assuming you have over five hours free today to listen to both versions) ʘ‿ʘ


This week's music is the Opera composed by Mozart, "The Marriage of Figaro". 

Le nozze di Figaro, ossia la folle giornata (The Marriage of Figaro, or The Day of Madness), K. 492, is an opera buffa (comic opera) composed in 1786 in four acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with Italian libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, based on a stage comedy by Pierre Beaumarchais, La folle journée, ou le Mariage de Figaro (1784).
Although the play by Beaumarchais was at first banned in Vienna because of its satire of the aristocracy, considered dangerous in the decade before the French Revolution, the opera became one of Mozart's most successful works. The overture is especially famous and is often played as a concert piece. The musical material of the overture is not used later in the work, aside from two brief phrases during the Count's part in the terzetto Cosa sento! in act 1.


Source: Wikipedia




Musical presentation in Italian








Video presentation in English






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15th Annual Pumpkinfest in Franklin, NC



The annual festival celebrating the arrival of fall in Franklin, NC, Pumpkinfest, took place this past weekend. Here are a few photos and videos of the fun:









There was also a Thriller Flashmob on Main Street, and a couple of local Youtube Users captured the action:





The annual "Punkin Roll" took place as scheduled on Phillips Street and here are some photos and a video of that:













And here are some other photos of the festival:






























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Macon County Planning Board
Video of October 2011 Meeting



Here is the video of the meeting of the Macon County Planning Board that took place on October 20, 2011. You can now observe what happened at this meeting without having to rely on the written reports of those present or wait a couple of months for the public minutes of the board to be posted online.



Meeting Agenda

ORDER OF BUSINESS


CALL TO ORDER -Review agenda items, revise if necessary


APPROVAL OF MINUTES -Approval of the September 15, 2011 minutes


LIAISON COMMENTS/REPORTS


NEW BUSINESS

  • Folders to be distributed to board members
  • Presentation highlighting subdivision review process and issues currently arising within the planning department, regarding the subdivision ordinance.


UNFINISHED BUSINESS

  • Continue review of Subdivision Ordinance


PUBLIC COMMENT -Citizens who wish to speak should make it known at this time


ANNOUNCEMENTS -Establish next meeting location and date


ADJOURN



Copy of the minutes of the September 15, 2011 meeting that were approved in the the October 20, 2011 meeting: (transcribed from handout by me)


Call to Order


Chairman Lewis Penland called the meeting to order at 5.01pm in the Macon County Health Dept


Members


Lewis Penland, Mike Gruberman, Alan Marsh, Karl Gillespie, JImmy Tate, Susan Ervin, Larry Stenger, Lamar Sprinkle, Bobby Kuppers, Jimmy Goodman


Staff


Derek Roland, Jack Morgan


Media 


(edit- None listed in minutes as present)


Approval of Minutes 


Mike Gruberman made motion to approve minutes from September 8, 2011 meeting, Alan Marsh seconded this motion


Liaison Reports


MCWC -Group is still awaiting legal review of the revised Sedimentation and Erosion Control Ordinance


New Business


After discussion, the board decided to begin the review review of the ordinance by looking back at the final draft they completed for the original, before that draft was taken to the county attorney. Roland will gather this information prior to the next meeting. Prior to the October 20,2011 meeting the Planning Department will begin putting together recommendations that would solve recurring problems the department is seeing from the administrative standpoint of the Subdivision Ordinance. Furthermore, Roland suggested that the board members email him their recommendations concerning the ordinance, which can then be included into the Planning Department Document.


A motion was made by Larry Stenger to revise the agenda, allowing the public to speak at the beginning and end of Planning Board meetings. This motion was then amended to include a sign up sheet for those who wish to speak and time limit of 20 minutes per public session period, with anything over 20 minutes being left at the discretion of the chairman. Susan Irvin seconded this motion. Motion carried unanimously. 


Unfinished Business


N/A


Public Comment


Terry Dalton was glad to see the board addressing the Macon County Subdivision Ordinance


Next Meeting Date


October 20, 2011. Meeting will be held at the Macon County Health Department in meeting room(s) A&B located at 1834 Lakeside Drive


Meeting Adjourned


Alan Marsh made motion to adjourn meeting at 6pm. Jimmy Goodman seconded this motion. Motion carried unanimously





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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Variations on a Reflection


Variations on processing a recent photo I took of Little Tennessee Rive in the Franklin Greenway along the Morris Trace. Clicking on the images will open a new tab or window to a larger version.














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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Reflections




The Little Tennessee River along the Greenway in Franklin, NC.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

NC Public Utilities Commission to Hold Public Hearing on Duke Energy Rate Increase in Macon County Courthouse on October 26, 2011




The NC Utilities Commission will be holding a Public Hearing on the Proposed Duke Energy Rate Hike at the Macon Co Courthouse in Courtroom A on Oct 26 at 7pm' I will be there to record the proceedings and will post video of it online.





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Duke Energy is proposing to increase electrical rates for residents by 17%, commercial and industrial customers by 15%, and street lighting by 8%. 
 
The Commission has suspended the proposed rate changes and has scheduled the application for investigation and hearing.

Persons who desire to present testimony for the record should appear at one of the public hearings.  Persons who desire to send written statements to inform the Commission of their positions in the matter should address their statements to the North Carolina Utilities Commission, 4325 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-4325, and reference Docket No. E-7, Sub 989.  However, such written statements cannot be considered competent evidence unless those persons appear at the hearing and testify concerning the information contained in their written statements.

                Notice is given that the North Carolina Utilities Commission has set the hearings for the application for a general rate increase as follows:

Charlotte:  Wednesday, October 12, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. in the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, Francis Auditorium, 310 N. Tryon Street

High Point:  Tuesday, October 25, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. in High Point City Hall, Council Chambers, 211 South Hamilton Street

Franklin:  Wednesday, October 26, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. in the Macon County Courthouse, Courtroom A, 5 W. Main Street

Marion:  Thursday, October 27, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. in the McDowell County Courthouse, Courtroom (Second Floor), Corner of Main and Court Street

Durham:  Thursday, November 3, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. in the Durham City Hall, Council Chambers, 101 City Hall Plaza

Raleigh:  Monday, November 28, 2011, at 1:00 p.m. in Commission Hearing Room 2115, Dobbs Building, 430 North Salisbury Street
The hearings on October 12, 25, 26, 27, and November 3, 2011, will be for the purpose of receiving the testimony of public witnesses only.  The hearing will resume in Raleigh on November 28, 2011, at 1:00 p.m. and continue as required for further testimony of public witnesses and testimony and cross-examination of witnesses for the Company, the Public Staff, and other intervenors.





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