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.


Photos from my photoblog.

nullspace for future use

nullspace for future use


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Franklin and Highlands Town Boards Meet with County Commissioners

Joint Meeting July 30th 2013 
Photo and Titles by Bobby Coggins

Video of the joint meeting between the Towns of Franklin and Highlands and the Macon County Commissioners. It was hosted by the Franklin Town Board of Aldermen at Sakura Japanese Grill & Sushi Bar on the Highlands Road in Franklin, NC.

This is a meeting that takes place every four months, each board taking turns playing host, that was designed to foster communication between the boards and the encourage cooperation on projects.

Video of the previous joint meeting is below:

Monday, July 29, 2013

Bob Scott for Mayor Campaign Event on the Greenway

Bob Scott and Candidates for Alderman
Pictured (L-R) are 7 of the 10 candidates for the Town Board of Aldermen: Angela Hubbs Moore, Mack Brogden, Barbara McRae, Emmanuel Carrion, W.H. Derrick, Adam Kimsey, Patti Halyburton Abel, and candidate for Mayor Bob Scott.

The Bob Scott for Mayor campaign hosted a Meet the Candidate Social on the Greenway at the Big Bear Shelter on NE Main Street on Friday evening. The event featured the musical talents of the Southern Appalachian Boys, light refreshments and an opportunity to meet Bob Scott, who is running for Mayor of Franklin, NC.

The candidate for Mayor invited those running for seats on the Town Board of Aldermen to make use of this opportunity to meet the voters. 7 of the 10 people running for the 3 open seats on the town board accepted the invitation. 

There were no formal campaign speeches by the candidates who were at the event, who mingled with the crowd instead of speechifying. 

The Bob Scott for Mayor campaign maintains a Facebook page and a website.

I was there and took a little video and some photos that I combined into a video montage.

Media Note

If other local media outlets post coverage this event, I will post the links in this section.

A couple other members of the media were present and a couple were absent. Past coverage of local political events in the local media has been weird. The local papers seem to mostly have a hands off policy on covering the events hosted by local campaigns or party functions. I have even noted that a paper will sometimes send a photographer or reporter, but no story on the event is ever published. Not me. If I am aware of an event, and it is free and open to the public, I will cover it. 

Media Roll Call

Macon Media (me)
The Franklin Press (photographer only)
The Highlands Paper (the reporter may not have been on assignment)

Macon County News
The Smoky Mountain News

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Discover the Land of Wires

Discover Wires 
Photo by Bobby Coggins

Seen on Palmer Street in Franklin, NC.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Americans for Prosperity praises Governor McCrory,
General Assembly for passing tax reform into law

 photo 6e6a9989.jpg

I've neglected to cover the happenings in the North Carolina General Assembly this year and I hope to correct that in the next session of the state legislature. Below is a press release from Americans for Prosperity regarding their reaction to the signing of House Bill 998 into law. Read the text of the bill.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday July 23, 2013  
CONTACT: Dallas Woodhouse at (919) 671-1050

Conservative group believes tax reform is the "jobs bill" of the legislative session

RALEIGH, NC – Americans for Prosperity, the state’s leading voice for economic freedom, praised the North Carolina General Assembly and Governor Pat McCrory for passing and signing major tax reform legislation into law. Governor McCrory is signing House Bill 998 – the Tax Simplification and Reduction Act – at a ceremony today at the State Capitol building.
“The taxpayers of North Carolina should be very proud of what has happened here in Raleigh,” said Dallas Woodhouse State Director Americans for Prosperity-North Carolina. “We have leaders at the General Assembly and in Governor McCrory that did what previous administrations were unable or unwilling to do – provide tax relief to North Carolina and reform an antiquated tax code.” 
The new tax reform law reduces and simplifies the 3-tiered state personal income tax from the current maximum rate of 7.75% and minimum rate of 6% to a flat rate of 5.75% in 2015. It also reduces the corporate income tax from 6.9% - the highest rate in the southeast – to 5.75% in 2015 and potentially 3% by 2017. The new law also repeals North Carolina’s estate tax, also known as the “Death tax.”
Woodhouse continued, “Under the old tax code, our personal and corporate income taxes created real ‘sticker shock’ for entrepreneurs and businesses looking to locate in North Carolina. The new tax code makes our state much more attractive to businesses looking to relocate. I believe that this was the jobs bill of this legislative session.
North Carolina’s unemployment rate is currently fifth highest in the nation at 8.8%. Meanwhile the state’s top-tier personal income and corporate tax rates have been the highest in the southeast.
“I think there is definite correlation between our formerly high tax rates and high unemployment in this state. I want to see North Carolina, not only back in the game for jobs, but winning the game. We will have jobs again because we’ve had leaders who decided to make our tax code more friendly to job creators in the real economy,” said Woodhouse.
For further information or an interview, please contact Dallas Woodhouse at or (919)671-1050.
Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen-leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and intrusiveness of government is the best way to promote individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans.  For more information, visit

If you wish to send me press releases, please send them to and I will post them here. If you have a photo to accompany the press release, I would appreciate it very much, otherwise I'll choose a photo that I feel fits the organization, press release or event.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sights and Sounds of the 2013 Franklin Folk Festival

 10th Annual Franklin Folk festival 
Photo and Titles by Bobby Coggins

Here are some videos and photos I shot at the 10th Annual Franklin Folk Festival, a local festival that celebrates our Appalachian Heritage. The annnual event is put on by the many dedicated volunteers of the Folk Heritage Association of Macon County. Visit their website [LINK] to learn more about what they do and how you can contribute to their effort.


Created with flickr slideshow.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Fire Apparatus Parade and Folk Festival Street Closures

2013 Fire Apparatus Parade Route 
By Bobby Coggins

Be aware that the Franklin Folk Festival is happening today in downtown Franklin. There is also a parade that starts at 9am.


I have included a map of the parade route that will be used by several fire trucks in a parade that is scheduled to begin at 9am this morning to kick off the Franklin Folk Festival.

If you aren't planning on watching the parade and will be driving in town during this time, please plan an alternate route to your destination for the 30 minutes or so it will take these apparatus to complete their route, which starts near the Franklin Fire Department on Maple Street and ends on Main Street near the Macon Bank.


Parts of Iotla and Phillips Street will be closed during the festival and Main Street will be closed from the foot of Town Hill to Harrison Avenue.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Ten People in the Race for Three Seats on the Town Board;
Sissy Patillo and Bob Scott Run for Mayor

Macon Media Election 2013 Coverage 
Photo by Bobby Coggins

A 10th person has filed to run for Alderman in Franklin.

Angie Phelps Moore has filed today to be the 10th person running for Alderman in the upcoming municipal election in Franklin. The deadline to file for election was at noon today. The top three vote getters will be seated on the Town Board of Aldermen.

She joins (in alphabetical order), Patti Halyburton Abel, Mack Brogden, Emmanuel Carrion, W.H. Derrick, Marshal Henson, Adam Kimsey, Barbara McRae, Billy Mashburn, and Tom Ritter...bringing the total number of candidates to nine...all vying for the the two open seats left by Sissy Patillo and Bob Scott and the seat currently held by Billy Mashburn.

Candidates in the race for Mayor are (in alphabetical order), Sissy Patillo and Bob Scott.

Macon County Planning Board 07-18-2013

 Macon County Planning Board 
July 2013 Meeting 
Photo by Bobby Coggins

The video of the entire meeting is above and a few brief notes of what took place is below. 


Macon County News (present for the entire meeting)
The Franklin Press (present for the entire meeting)
Macon Media (me) (present for the entire meeting)
The Smoky Mountain News (their reporter arrived at 5pm, and was present for the last 9 minutes of the meeting)


Two new members were welcomed aboard, John Schilling and Joe Deal.


Three members of the public spoke:

Ben (I did not catch his last name)
Sharon Taylor, of the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee
Kathy Tinsley, of the Voluntary Agricultural District Board

All spoke against allowing fill to be added to the flood plain.


The board elected a Chair and Vice Chair at the meeting. Derrick Rowland was selected by a unanimous vote as the Chaiman. Chris Hanners and Jimmy Goodman were nominated to serve as Vice Chairman, and Chris Hanners was selected by a vote of 5-4.

The board returned, at the directive of the Board of County Commissioners, to consideration of the Flood Plain Ordinance, with an eye toward changing it to allow fill in the flood plain. (This originated with a request by the Wells Grove Baptist Church to allow them to fill in the flood plain on their property in order to build a parking lot video of the times they've come before the County Commissioners can be seen here and here).

The board had to decide whether or not to change the flood plain ordinance based on the months of previous discussion on the issue. They voted to change the ordinance to allow filling in the flood plain, with the particulars to be decided later.

All this deliberation could be rendered moot in an instant once Senate Bill 612 passes the North Carolina General Assembly. The bill, if signed into law, would allow for regulatory relief for the citizens of North Carolina from environmental concerns by preventing any county in the state from passing regulations that were stricter than the state standards. As the law currently stands, counties can pass stricter local regulations than the state standards.

A lengthy discussion ensued, with members of the board bringing up items and concepts for consideration by the board. 


The next meeting of the Macon County Planning Board will take place in the conference room at the Macon County Health Department at 4pm on August 15, 2013.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

In Memory of Dennis Tippett, 1961-2013

The Line

Public safety personnel gathered to show their appreciation and respect for the life and service of Dennis Tippet on Thursday, July 11th, 2013. His body was carried in 'The 37' of the Franklin Fire Department. The body, and his family, were escorted from Macon Funeral Home to Cowee Baptist Church in a line of emergency vehicles that all passed under an American Flag displayed between Ladder 11 and Ladder 12.

The pallbearers ferried the casket between a line of public safety personnel from The 37 to the grave. The Cowee Volunteer Fire Department conducted the graveside rites for Dennis, and for his family.

Here are some photos and video that attempt to convey some measure of the level of love and respect his brothers and sisters have for him, starting with his return home from a medical center in Philadelphia and ending with some photos taken during the ceremony.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Macon Funeral Home to help with funeral expenses, PO Box 1175 Franklin, NC 28744.

See video shot by a person closer to the apparatus.

The Procession Arrives

The Graveside Rites

Flickr Slideshow

Created with flickr slideshow.

View the photos on Flickr 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Franklin Alderman Bob Scott Files for Mayor

Bob Scott

Bob Scott Files for Mayor

Bob Scott, a 10 year veteran of the Franklin Board of Aldermen filed Friday to run for Mayor. Scott is seeking the seat being vacated by long-time mayor Joe Collins.

Among the ideas Scott has for Franklin is a project to develop the town owned 13 acre Whitmire property into “a place for all residents to enjoy and to leave for our children and grand children and great grandchildren.” Among the ideas for the Whitmire property Scott would like to see, is space for a farmer’s market, hiking and mountain biking trails, and a multi use building similar to the one the Flat Rock Playhouse started in or the rustic style auditorium of the Brevard Music Center. 

“I welcome the ideas of others for the property. I think we have spent enough taxpayer dollars on outside marketing companies when we have an abundance of local talent to come up with a plan. It is the last remaining large green space within the town limits. We need to put it to community use,” Scott said.

“Many of our business owners have property in Franklin, but because they reside outside the town limits they do not have a vote. I plan to form a business council which will meet on a regular basis so that these property owners have a voice. They may not have a vote, but we will make sure the business community has a voice,” Scott added.

“The town has ongoing issues involving water, sewer, storm water runoff and streets which need to be constantly monitored if the town is to remain viable in a rapidly changing economy,” he said. 

Scott has resided in Franklin since 1967. He is a native of South Carolina. He served in the South Carolina National Guard and Army Reserve. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and is a graduate of Western Carolina University. He has had careers in the newspaper and public safety sectors. He is a graduate of leadership and management programs. He is active in volunteer and civic activities. 

Scott is married to Nancy Siler Scott, who served 11 years on the town board before he ran for the board. She worked for beautification and environmental protection projects in the town during her board service. She is a retired teacher and licensed professional counselor. They have two grown children and two grandchildren. 


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Franklin TDA 07-08-2013

Here is the video, agenda and press kit for the July 8th meeting of the Franklin Tourism Development Authority.



1...Call to order - Chair Candy Presley

2...Approval of the June 10 and June 18, 2013 minutes

3...Financial Report - Summer Woodard

4...Sub-Committee Reports
A...Finance/Budget Chair report - Mike Grubermann
C...Policy and Rules of Procedure Chair report - Vickie Springer
D...Application Review Chair report - Summer Woodard

5...Old (unfinished business)
A...Sponsorship opportunity for Appalachian trail Biennial
B...Funding request for Ruby Bash Rally
C...Funding request for hiker transportation
D...Sponsorship opportunity for the Smoky mountain Theater

6...New business
A...Discussion on facebook and Google adwords
B...Discussion on electronic billboard campaign
C...Discussion on website hosting for TDA websites

7...Items from the board

8...Announcements - The next regularly scheduled TDA meeting is Monday August 12, 2013 at 5:30PM in the Town Hall Board Room.


The press kit is provided (as a public document) to the general public in the interest of promoting transparency and acountability.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Macon County Manager Jack Horton Announces Retirement Effective Oct 1, 2013

Jack Horton

Macon County Manager Jack Horton has made the announcement that he is retiring from his position effective October 1, 2013.

The text of the letter he presented to the board and media is below:

To: Macon County Board of County Commissioners
Chairman: Kevin Corbin
Vice Chair: Ronnie Beale
Commissioner: Ron Haven
Commissioner: Jim Tate
Commissioner: Paul Higdon


It was Monday February 9th, 1976 when l walked in to the County Administrative Offices in Swain County and began what turned out to be a career in local government that has spanned more than three and a half decades. In addition to Macon County, I have served as County Manager in three other counties as well as two years as a City Manager. With my service in local government now more than thirty six years, the time has come for me to make the difficult decision as to how much longer l intend to work in this capacity.

During my career, l have served a multitude of Boards and have had the privilege of working with literally hundreds of dedicated Department Heads and County Employees. It has been my pleasure to serve Macon County on two different occasions, first, from October 1985 until March 1991 and currently since January 2008. l am indeed proud of the many accomplishments that have been made since becoming your County Manager. During my first term of service with Macon County, we built the Business Development Center (incubator), the SCC Public Safety Training Center, added on to the Macon County Public Library, made school improvements following a bond referendum, and last but not least, sited and permitted the current Sanitary Landfill. Since returning to Macon County, l have been privileged to be involved in many worthwhile projects that will provide long term benefits to the citizens of Macon County. Together we have constructed three new schools, Mountain View intermediate, the Early College High School, and lotla Valley Elementary. We also expanded East Franklin Elementary School renovated Nantahala School, renovated and made improvements, including a new soccer field, to the Highlands School, and made improvements to Franklin High School. We were able to provide $1,500,000-for county-wide school system information technology upgrades.

In terms of infrastructure, we have completed the long overdue Little Tennessee/ Cartoogechaye Sewer interceptor, the Highway 28, Riverbend, Swiss Colony water projects, an extension to the Macon County Airport runway, and added a new solid waste transfer station in Highlands.

We acquired and renovated a new Sheriff's Office on Palmer Street, renovated the Barrett Building with a state of the art Emergency Communications Center, passed an Animal Control Ordinance, constructed and put into operation a new Animal Shelter, renovated and relocated our Franklin EMS Base to the Holly Springs Shopping Center, renovated the old Library into a new Senior Services
Community Resource Center, renovated the Hudson Library in Highlands, renovated the Business Development Center and created new opportunities for small business entrepreneurs , acquired the historic McCoy Bridge, and the Cowee School for a Macon County Heritage Center, acquired the Parker Meadows property for a new parks and recreation facility, made improvements to the County Recreation Park Pool and Pool House, created the Macon County Medallion of Honor in recognition of those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to improve Macon County, refinanced existing long term debt, thereby saving the county over $2,700,000, put in place a comprehensive long range development plan as well as a comprehensive county employee job description, classification, and compensation plan.

I am pleased that we have cultivated good working relationships with the Board of Education, and our municipal governments of Franklin and Highlands, and l sincerely hope the joint meetings we started will continue in the future.

Over the past five and a half years, with responsible financial planning, Macon County has consistently maintained one of the lowest property tax rates in the state, while maintaining a strong fund balance, providing a consistent level of service to our citizens, and increasing our bond rating from an A to an A+.

These things don't just happen by accident, they happen because people of vision work together toward the common good for all citizens.

l have enjoyed my tenure with Macon County as your County Manager. l am thankful for the support, and respect l have received from the Macon County Board of Commissioners, our county employees, and the citizens of Macon County, but the time has come for me to consider retiring from my profession
and to pursue other goals and objectives that l have long ignored or postponed. lt is my intent therefore to retire from my position as your County Manager October 1st, 2013.

l will assist the Board in any way as you prepare for the recruitment and selection of a qualified replacement to serve you as Macon County Manager.

Respectfully Submitted,
C. Jack Horton

Macon County Commissioners 07-09-2013

Macon County Commissioners

The Macon County Commissioners will be meeting tonight at 6pm. I have included the public agenda and have embedded the documents included with the press kit in the interest of transparency.

I will be posting a play by play of the meeting on Google Plus and will post the video at the top of this article tomorrow afternoon.

JULY 9, 2013
1. Call to order and welcome by Chairman Corbin

2. Announcements

3. Moment of Silence

4. Pledge of Allegiance

5. Public Hearing(s) - 6:00 p.m.
  • Proposed amendments to the subdivision ordinance
  • Application for a proposed telecommunication tower
NOTE: The board will consider the amendments to the subdivision ordinance and the telecommunication tower application immediately following the public hearing(s). 

6. Public Comment Period

7. Adjustments to and approval of the agenda

8. Reports/Presentations

  • Highlands Middle School Courtyard - Stephanie Smathers and Rebecca Schilling
9. Old Business
  • Request from Macon County Schools regarding current expense
10. New Business
  • Consideration of contract with Bunnell-Lammons Engineering for geological and hydrogeological investigative work on future landfill Cell III - Solid Waste Director Chris Stahl
  • Richard Melvin's request for client's revenue stamp reimbursement - County Attorney
  • Designation of voting delegate to NCACC Annual Conference
11. Consent Agenda - Attachment #11 
All items below are considered routine and will be enacted by one motion. No separate discussion will be held except on request of a member of the Board of Commissioners.

  • Minutes of the June 11, June 13 and June 17, 2013 meetings
  • Budget Amendments - #1, #2 and #3
  • Tax Releases
  • Monthly ad valorem tax collection report
12. Appointments
  • Planning Board (one seat)
  • Cemetery Board (five seats)
  • Southwestern Community College Board of Trustees (one seat)
13. Closed session (if necessary)

14. Adjourn/Recess

NOTE: The joint meeting with the Town of Franklin and Town of Highlands has been tentatively scheduled for July 30, 2013 at 6 p.m. Details to follow. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Macon County Board of Education 07-03-2013

Macon County Board of Education

The Macon County Board of Education held a continuation meeting last night. After a 97 minute closed session, board members approved hiring people to fill 33 positions in the school system. 26 positions remain to be filled and it is anticipated that they will fill them at the July 22nd meeting.

The Board welcomed Dr Chris Baldwin as the new Superintendent of the Macon County School System. See video of his swearing in ceremony.


Macon County News
Macon Media (me)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Franklin Aldermen 07-01-2013

Aldermen Meeting Agenda Title Card

The Franklin Town Board of Aldermen will be meeting tonight in the town hall at 95 E Main Street. i will be there filming the meeting. There will be no play by play tonight. The agenda and press kit for the meeting are below.

I will post the video at the top of this post when it is complete.

Town of Franklin Board of Aldermen 
Meeting Agenda
Monday July 1, 2013 - 7:00 p.m. 
  1. Call to order -Mayor Collins
  2. Approval of the June 3, 2013 board minutes
  3. Public session
  4. New business
    1. Recognition of Russell Bowling for years of service with the Town of Franklin-Mayor Joe Collins
    2. Presentation of the Town of Franklin Comprehensive Water Model and Master Plan- Brian Tripp and Land Use Administrator Derek Roland
    3. Set public hearing for re-zoning petition by the Town of Franklin for East Main Street, Gaston Street, Green Street and West Palmer Street- Land Use Administrator Derek Roland
    4. Set public hearing for re-zoning petition by residents of Pauline Avenue - Land Use Administrator Derek Roland
    5. Set public hearing for application to amend text only of the Unified Development Ordinance for regulating the location of electronic machines and sweepstakes- Land Use Administrator Derek Roland
    6. Alcohol Beverage Control Board appointment- Town Manager Warren Cabe
    7. Economic Development Commission appointment- Town Manager Warren Cabe
    8. Old Town Hall property disposal- Town Manager Warren Cabe
  5. Legal
    1. Ordinance to repeal chapter 112 Amusement Ordinance- Town Attorney John Henning
    2. Closed session-N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(6) - To consider the qualifications, competence, performance, character, fitness, conditions of appointment, or conditions of initial employment of an individual public officer or employee or prospective public officer or employee- Town Attorney John Henning Jr.,
  6. Announcements
    1. Applications for fiscal year 2013-2014 non-profit funding pool are available at Town Hall and online at
    2. Town of Franklin Employee luncheon July 3, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. Fat Buddies
    3. Town of Franklin joint meeting with Macon County and Town of Highlands will be July 30, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. at the Boiler Room Steak House.
  7. Adjourn

[Note] I have had trouble getting the press kit to upload to Scribd, so click here to download it in PDF format.

New School Superintendent Sworn in Today

Dr Chris Baldwin Swearing in Ceremony

Several employees gathered today in the meeting room of the Macon County Board of Education to observe the swearing in ceremony of Dr Chris Baldwin, who replaces the interim Superintendent, Dr Jim Duncan. Clerk of Court Vic Perry administered the oath of office at 10am.

I was unable to attend the going away party for Dr Jim Duncan, WFSC-AM was there.

Media Roll Call

Macon Media