The Macon County Commissioners met for the second time in as many days on Tuesday night for their regular monthly meeting and the video above is the full meeting, minus a minute or so when I had to change batteries in my video camera.
The public comment period was livelier than usual, with a coalition of groups and individuals on the political left urging the commissioners to pass a resolution expressing opposition to the Citizens United ruling of the Supreme Court of the Untied States.
Members from The Canary Coalition, Occupy WNC and the Macon County Director of Obama for America spoke in favor of such a resolution. More than one of them were from Jackson County and were unchallenged on residency status. (At a previous meeting, Commissioner Beale challenged a speaker, claiming she was not a resident of Macon County).
Others also spoke on topics from requesting County financial assistance in cleaning construction trash from private property to a request for the commissioners to spend down their fund balance, which is currently above state standards.
County Manager Jack Horton gave a thorough brief on the progress and process of the annual county budget. He is scheduled present the budget to Commissioners at the May 8th meeting and there will be a public hearing on the budget on June 5th for public comment.
County Health Director Jim Bruckner updated Commissioners on the Adult Dental Program and introduced the dentist hired for the project.
Commissioners passed a new ordinance for all Macon County public Parks that prohibits the use of tobacco (smoking and non-smoking products). The County Attorney had determined that the Commissioners had the authority from the North Carolina General Assembly to pass it without holding a public hearing.
The ordinance and resolution is on pages 6 through 13 of the agenda packet I have embedded in this article.
The penalty for violating the ordinance is $50.
Section 6. Enforcement and Penalties(a) Penalty for Violation. Following oral or written notice by the person in charge of an area described in Section 3, or his or her designee, failure to cease smoking or using tobacco products constitutes an infraction punishable by a fine of not more than fifty dollars ($50.00). A citation may be issued by a sworn law enforcement officer. Conviction of an smoking related infraction under this section has no consequence other than payment of a penalty, and no court costs may be assessed.
Also, in my reading of the ordinance, this also includes eCigarettes. The Commissioners were vague about the enforcement of this ordinance and seemed to laugh it off, not taking it seriously, saying that children would enforce this ordinance. At any rate, the ordinance takes effect on July 15th.
The balance of the meeting included a discussion on board appointments to various local boards and a closed session for the purposes of preserving attorney-client privilege and the potential acquisition of property. No decision was expected, so I left when the commissioners went into the closed session.
1. Call to order and welcome by Chairman Corbin
3. Moment of Silence
4. Pledge of Allegiance
5. Public Hearing(s) -- None
6. Public Comment Period
7. Adjustments to and approval of the agenda
A. Update on FY 2012-13 budget process – County Manager
B. Update on Adult Dental Program – Jim Bruckner
9. Old Business
A. Discussion/consideration of proposed ordinance prohibiting smoking and the use of other tobacco products within the county’s parks system
11. Consent Agenda
All items below are considered routine and will be enacted by one motion. Noseparate discussion will be held except on request of a member of the Board of Commissioners.
A. Minutes of the March 13 meeting
B. Budget Amendments
C. Tax Releases
A. Planning Board representative from the Town of Franklin
B. Report on upcoming appointments
13. Closed session
A. Per G.S. 143-318.11(3), to preserve the attorney/client privilege
B. Per G.S. 143-381.11(5), with regard to property acquisition
Full Agenda Packet
04.10.12 BOC Agenda Packet