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, April 29, 2015

Friends of the Library Annual Meeting to Feature Dedication of Memorial Garden

The annual general membership meeting of the Friends of the Macon County Public Library will be held this year on Sunday, May 3rd at 2:00pm at the Macon County Public Library in Franklin. The meeting will be in conjunction with the dedication of the Virginia Ramsey Brunner Memorial Garden. We hope that you will bring your family and friends to this special event. It will be an opportunity to meet members of the Ramsey family and friends. Your presence will help show appreciation for their generous donation, in honor of their loved one, to our library for this lovely space.

Virginia Ramsey Brunner grew up in the Tellico area of Macon County. The garden honors her memory, with the peaceful sound of a running fountain at its center and surrounded by trees, shrubs, and flowers. Visitors to the library can enjoy a quiet place to relax, read, and visit with friends. This garden was made possible by the generous donations of Virginia’s family and friends.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the Macon County Public Library at 828-524-3600 or

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Macon County Airport Authority
Regular April 2015 Meeting

The Macon County Airport Authority met today at the airport to hold a public hearing and discuss their recommended fiscal year 2015-2016 budget to the Macon County Commissioners. No one from the public attended the meeting, so no one spoke for against the proposed budget.

Macon County Airport Authority

Budget Request for FY 2015-2016

Legal Fees
Contract Services
Maintenance Supplies
Operating Supplies
Property/Building Maintenance
Telephone expense
Property Insurance
Capital Equipment

Macon County Board of Education
Regular April 2015 Meeting

The Macon County Board of Education met on Monday, April 27, 2015 in Franklin for their regular April 2015 meeting.

The full video is posted below and excerpts will be posted separately with supporting documentation in the next few days.


Macon Media (me)
Macon County News and Shopping Guide
The Franklin Press

Here is the press packet that the Board of Education shares with all media outlets.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

2nd Annual Buckle Up, Baby Scheduled for Sunday at Fun Factory


Local law enforcement to hold 2nd annual Buckle Up, Baby event this weekend

Just days after bringing a child into the world, you strap them up and put them in a car seat for the journey home. Whether it is your first child or your fifth, making sure you are up-to-date and educated an proper car seat safety will be one of the first responsibilities you have to your newborn.

Each year thousands of young children are killed or injured in car accidents. According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 650 children ages 12 years and younger died as occupants in motor vehicle crashes, and more than 148,000 were injured in 2011.

The western North Carolina community has come together to help host Buckle Up, Baby!, a free car seat safety clinic, to help battle the alarming statistics.

The Macon County Sheriff's Department, along with the Franklin Police Department and Highlands Police Department have teamed up with Safe Kids of Jackson County to host the second annual Buckle Up, Baby! event to provide families in western North Carolina with the opportunity to get their car seat checked by certified car seat technicians.

The Buckle Up, Baby! event will be held at The Franklin Fun Factory on Sunday, April 26 from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Although the event is being held in Macon County, it is open to all families in western North Carolina.

Even though car seats are proven to be the most effective way to prevent serious automobile injuries, nearly 75 percent of all car seats are installed incorrectly. The certified technicians will help figure out if a seat is right for the child and right for the vehicle.

“This is the second year we have hosted this event and after last year, we realized more than ever how important car seat safety is,” said event organizer, Brittney Raby. "Last year, technicians checked 99 car seats and found that about 90 percent of the seats were installed incorrectly. We also had to replace 18 seats that were either outdated, broken, or had been recalled by the manufacturer."

Buckle Up, Baby! is not just for parents, but grandparents, aunts, uncles, caregivers. Anyone who transports children will have an opportunity to learn how to properly install a seat.

Just for attending the event, participants will be entered into a raffle for a chance to win prizes such as tickets to ride the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, a $50 gas card, a brand new car seat, and gift certificates to local businesses.

Children will be treated to goodies like coloring books from Kaylor Insurance Agency, the local Nationwide Insurance agent, event stickers, and books from Read2Me. Macon Program for Progress will also be on hand providing information about their programs and enrollment.

For every child who attend the event, the Franklin Fun Factory will be providing a free $5 bonus free play card for children's to enjoy games inside the factory as well as other specials going on.

Using a car seat is the best protection you can give your child when traveling by car. Car seat use reduces the risk for death to infants (ages less than one year) by 71 percent; and to toddlers (ages 1 to 4 years) by 54 percent in passenger vehicles.

Every state in the United States requires that an infant or small child be restrained. Child safety seats can substantially reduce the risk of a potentially fatal injury, especially for babies but also for toddlers.

Buckle Up, Baby! will be held April 26 from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Franklin Fun Factory. For more information, contact Brittney Raby at or (828)508-3003.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Macon County Commissioners
April 21, 2015

Macon County Commissioners

The Macon County Commissioners met on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 after a recessed meeting on April 14th [see coverage of that meeting here]. The next meeting will be at 4 pm at the Iotla Valley School and will be a joint work session with the Macon County Board of Education to handle the budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year that starts on July 1, 2015 and ends on June 30, 2016.

Here is the public agenda (I did not receive a press packet for this meeting)

APRIL 21, 2015 - 6 p.m. 

  • Reconvene and welcome - Chairman Corbin
  • Discussion and consideration regarding proposed QZAB funding
  • Update on change order with Penland Contracting
  • Revision to service agreement between Macon County and the Highlands Chamber of Commerce
  • Schedule joint meeting with the town boards of Franklin and Highlands
  • Schedule a work session with the Macon County Board of Education
  • Closed session - Attorney-client privilege
  • Adjourn/Recess

Macon Media (me)
Macon County News and Shopping Guide
The Franklin Press

There were also no members of the general public present at the meeting, with only Dr Chris Baldwin, Superintendent of Macon County Schools and Seth Adams, Director of the Macon County recreation Department being present for items that concerned their departments.

Here is a brief overview of what happened during the meeting:


Prop used by Seth Adams during meeting with county commissioners

Macon County Commissioners heard a presentation by Seth Roland, Macon County Recreation Director, about bids for playground equipment at the Parker Meadows Recreation Facility. Commissioners voted 5-0 to go with the $84,192.00 bid put forth by Playground Safety Services.


Commissioners had a long discussion and took several votes (all were 5-0 in favor) on various aspectes of the $2,985,878.00 QZAB Funding being sought by the Macon County Board of Education.


Commissioners voted 5-0 to approve a change order for the Parker Meadows Project that involved a grant from the North Carolina Community Foundation to Macon County Soil and Water. Penland Contracting will be doing the work.


Commissioners approved by a vote of 5-0 a revision to the service agreement between the Macon County Commissioners and the Highlands Chamber of Commerce. The county attorney has juggled and improved the wording of the document.


Derek Roland proposed May 19, 2015 at 6pm at Cowee Heritage Center at the old Cowee School as the annual joint meeting with the Towns of Franklin and Highlands.


The Macon County Commissioners will hold a joint work session with the Board of Education to tale place at 4 pm on May 7, 2015 at Iotla Valley School. The boards will work on the budget for Macon County Schools for the fiscal year 2015-2016 that begins July 1, 2015 and ends on June 30, 2016.


Commissioner Tate informed the board that Derek Taylor of Highlands had been recommended by the Highlands Town Board of Commissioners as the Highlands Representative on the Macon County Planning Board. The county commissioners voted 5-0 to appoint Mr. Taylor to the county planning board.


Commissioner Higdon has brought forth a request for the commissioners to forward a resolution opposing House Bill 640 (Hunting on Sundays on Private Land). After some discussion, commissioners voted 4-1 (Commissioner Tate opposing) to have the letter written and sent. 

The bill text and voting history can be seen on the NC General Assembly website.


Macon County Commissioners went into a closed session under authority of § 143-318.11 (a) (3) "To consult with an attorney employed or retained by the public body in order to preserve the attorney-client privilege between the attorney and the public body." For further reading, see paragraph three at this link.

This meeting was recessed until May 7th at 4pm at Iotla Valley School.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Macon County Commissioners
April 14, 2015 Meeting Coverage

Slider 1 Courthouse 930x300 photo Slider1Courthouse930x300_zps40916edb.jpg

The Macon County Commissioners met on April 14, 2015. The meeting lasted over three hours, so I am presenting it as both a full full and as segments.

The entire meeting is not contained in the segments, so if you wish to see all that took place, you'll have to watch the complete video.


APRIL 14, 2015

1. Call to order and welcome by Chairman Corbin


3.Moment of Silence

4.Pledge of Allegiance

5.Public Hearing(s) - 6:00 p.m. - Proposed names for new roads and assigning a range of road numbers in connection with the same - Angie Kinsland/911

Addressing Coordinator

NOTE: The board will consider an amendment to the county's ordinance regarding approval of the new road names and the range of road numbers

immediately following the hearing.

6.Following the public hearing, the board will sit as a Board of Equalization and Review to hear an appeal from Shawnee Meadow Holdings, LLLP, et. al./Richard Boger

7.Public Comment Period

8.Adjustments to and approval of the agenda

•Nantahala Hiking Club - Olga Pader
•Macon County Heritage Center at the Historic Cowee School - Bobby Kuppers
•April Is Public Health Month Proclamation - Dawn Wilde Burgess, Community Health Promotion Supervisor/Public Health

10.Old Business
•Second reading on the Macon County Nuisance Ordinance
•Update on status of QZAB funding - County Manager
•Discussion of Memorandum of Understanding with Southwestern Community College
•Discussion regarding Highlands track and softball field renovations
•Consideration of lease agreement with the Division of Workforce Solutions

11.New Business
•Highlands Chamber of Commerce agreement with BCF Agency
•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 March 10 regular meeting and the March 31 continued session
•Budget Amendments -- #163, #164
•Tax Releases
•Monthly ad valorem tax collection report

•Highlands Area Tourism Development Commission (2 seats)

13.Closed session (if needed)


Here is the full agenda packet that is used by members of the board and shared with members of the local press. Currently, Macon Media is the only one

who makes this public document available to the public without first making them jump through hoops.


Some of the segments from the meeting are posted below.

Part 1 -- Prayer (Moment of Silence)
Pledge of Allegience
Public Hearing on Road Names
Nantahala Hiking Club

Part 2 -- Memorandum of Understanding with Southwestern Community College

Part 3 -- Board of Equalization and Review

The board sits as a Board of Equalization and Review to hear an appeal from Shawnee Meadow Holdings, LLLP, et. al./Richard Boger

Part 4 -- Public Comment Adjustments and Approval of the Agenda

Part 5 -- Macon County Heritage Center

Part 6 -- Proclamation for Public Health Month

Part 7 -- Parker Meadows Update

Part 8 -- CDC Grant to Macon County Health Department

Part 9 -- Second reading of the Macon County Nuisance Ordinance

Part 10 -- QZAB Funding Discussion and Vote

Part 11 -- Lease Agreement with Division of Workforce Solutions

Part 12 -- Hospice House Foundation of WNC

Part 13 -- Parker Meadows Change Order

Part 14 -- Highlands Chamber of Commerce Agreement with BCF Agency

Part 15 -- Macon Transit Competing with Private Businesses?

Part 16 -- Consent Agenda Highlands Area Tourism Development Commission Appointments

Monday, April 6, 2015

NCDOT Awards 2015 Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Grants
Franklin Among Recepients

The NCDOT has warded a grant to ten municipalities across the state to assist with bicycle and pedestrian planning, and Franklin is one of them. AT the November 2014 meeting fo the town board, the town voted to apply for $36,000 in grant monies at a 10% match. According to the NCDOT, the funds will be awarded in June.

The Franklin Town Board will be meeting tonight for their regular April 2015 meeting. More on that at this link.

Here is video of the segment of the meeting where the vote took place:

Here is the press release:

NCDOT Roadside Environmental Unit
APRIL 6, 2015

RALEIGH- A group of 10 municipalities from across the state are slated to receive assistance with bicycle and pedestrian planning, thanks to grants awarded this month by the N.C. Department of Transportation.
Now in its twelfth year, the grant program helps North Carolina cities and towns develop a comprehensive overall strategy for expanding bicycle and pedestrian opportunities within a given community.

The municipalities selected are scattered across various regions of the state. Recipients were selected from a pool of 26 applications by an awards committee comprised of transportation planners from across the state, including representatives of regional planning organizations and councils of government, local governments and NCDOT staff from multiple units.

Recipients this year include:
Canton (joint bicycle/pedestrian plan)
Fairmont (joint bicycle/pedestrian plan)
Franklin (joint bicycle/pedestrian plan)
Hendersonville (bicycle plan)
High Point (pedestrian plan)
Lenoir (bicycle plan)
Newport (bicycle/pedestrian plan)
Rutherfordton (bicycle/pedestrian plan)
Wendell (pedestrian plan)
Windsor (bicycle/pedestrian plan)

The planning grant initiative is jointly sponsored by the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation and NCDOT’s Transportation Planning Branch. To date, approximately $4,332,000 has been awarded to 164 communities through the planning grant program.

Plans funded are not for one specific project, but represent a comprehensive strategy for expanding bicycle and pedestrian opportunities within a given municipality. These plans address facilities, programs, services and regulations that encourage safe walking and bicycling.

For more information on the Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Grant Initiative; contact NCDOT’s Division of Bicycle & Pedestrian Transportation or visit the Planning Grant Initiative website.

April 2015 Regular Meeting
Franklin Town Board of Aldermen
Updated with video of meeting

1:32 am: Here is the video of the full meeting.

Aldermen Meeting Agenda Title Card photo AldermenMeetingAgenda_zps1eaafee4.jpg

The Franklin Town Board of Aldermen will be meeting tonight at 7pm for their regular April 2015 meeting. It is likely that there will be an additional meeting this month to address the budget for the 2015 - 2016 fiscal year. After tonight's meeting, the video and additional supporting documents will be posted at the top of this article.

Here is the public agenda, followed by the 98 page agenda packet that is shared with members of the media. Currently, neither the town nor the other local media outlets share this information with the general public.

Town of Franklin Board of Aldermen 

Monday April 6, 2015 7:00 p.m.

1. Call to Order - Mayor Bob Scott
2. Pledge of Allegiance - Vice Mayor Verlin Curtis
3. Adoption of April 6, 2015 Proposed Agenda
4. Approval of the March 2, 2015 Board Minutes

5. Public Hearing 7:05 p.m. for Re-zoning Petition for Three (3) Parcels on Siler Rd.

6. Public Session

7. New Business
A.) Board Action on Re-Zoning Petition on Three (3) Parcels on Siler RD.
B.) Proclamation for Public Health Month - Mayor Bob Scott
C.) Proclamation for Neuropathy Awareness Week - Vice Mayor Verlin Curtis
D.) Proclamation for Appalachian Trail Celebration Period 2015 - Mayor Bob Scott
E.) Proclamation for Appalachian Trail Community Partnership Renewal - Bill Van Horn
F.) Presentation from Duke Energy Regarding Hydrilla - Duke District Manager Lisa Leatherman
G.) Discussion on Banners - Larry Hollifield
H.) Set Public Hearing for Special Use Permit Application - Land Use Administrator Justin Setser
I.) Forward Re-Zoning Petition for Watauga St and Dan ST to Planning Board - Land Use Administrator Justin Setser
J.) Re-Appointment of Peter Mosco to the Planning Board and Board of Adjustment - Land Use Administrator Justin Setser
K.) Tax Releases - Tax Collector Jessie Wilkins
L.) Town of Franklin Audit Contract with Martin-Starnes - Town Manager Summer Woodard
M.) Budget Amendment - Town Manager Summer Woodard
N.) Agreement for Engineering Services for Water Plant Upgrade and Expansion - Town Manager Summer Woodard
O.) Franklin Main Street Program - Town Manager Summer Woodard
P.) Water Line Easement for Industrial Park RD - Town Manager Summer Woodard
Q.) Application for Wireless Telecommunication Eligible Facilities Request 90 Cunningham Rd - Land Use Administrator Justin Setser

8. Legal
A.) North Carolina Department of Transportation Deed for Highway Right or Way - Town Manager Summer Woodard

9. Adjourn