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, May 27, 2015

Macon County Commissioners Budget Work Session

The Macon County Commissioners met for a budget work session late in the afternoon of Tuesday, May 26, 2015 and considered the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2015-2016. They heard from representatives of Macon County EMS, Franklin and Clarks Chapel Fire Departments, the Sheriff's Office and the school system. There were no members of the general public present. You can read the text play by play Macon Media posted during the meeting on Facebook.

MEDIA ROLL CALL (media outlets with reporters present)

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

The video of the work session is embeded below.

There will be no series of budget work sessions to conduct an extensive review of the budget as there has been in years past and the commissioners will hear from the public at the June 9th public hearing on the budget before voting to approve it.

Budget Messages 2013-2015

2015-2016 Budget Message (includes copies of the proposed budgets 2011-2014)

2014-2015 Budget Message (the first delivered by Derek Roland)

2013-2014 Budget Message (the last budget message delivered by Jack Horton, the post includes a text copy of the previous year's budget message)

Here is a copy of the the 2015-2016 budget message and the proposed budget before the commissioners made their changes at the May 26th work session. It is followed by a series of photos taken at the meeting. Click on any of the photos to view them at a larger size.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Play Golf to Help Hurting WNC Children & Families

Children's Hope Alliance
May 26, 2015

Are you struggling to find the perfect Father's Day gift, or would you like to give dad and grad a special day on the golf course?

On Saturday June 20th, 2015 you have the unique opportunity to help hurting children and families in Western North Carolina by joining us for the 2015 Tournament of Heroes at the beautiful Mill Creek Country Club in Franklin, NC. This unique experience allows you to combine a love of golf with a passion for helping those in need. All proceeds from the tournament go to benefiting the foster children and runaway youth of Children's Hope Alliance, a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit whose mission is to provide a safe healing journey for hurting children and families-creating hope now and in the future. I hope you will join us on June 20th either as a player or as a sponsor. Please take a moment to look over the registration form and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Katie Henry, Development Officer
(C) 828-231-5431

2015 Memorial Day Ceremony in Franklin, NC

Local veterans organizations and members of the public gathered at the Veterans Memorial Park on Monday to mark Memorial Day. Here is video of the ceremony honoring the sacrifice of those who gave the last full measure of devotion to this nation.

You can also see some of the photos taken at the ceremony on Flickr or on the slide show viewer below.

The website of the Veterans Memorial Park has information on how you can purchase a brick in memory of a loved one who served in the military and information on how you can donate to the park.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Macon County Commissioners Meeting for May 21, 2015
County Manager Presents 2015-2016 Budget Message

The Macon County Board of Commissioners met last night. The county manager delivered his annual budget message in a presentation that lasted approximately 30 minutes. 



The bottom line dollar amount is $46,646.357, an increase of $1,125,235 (2.47%) over the $45,521,122 asked for in last year's budget proposal [see video and supporting documents associated with the FY 2014-2015 presentation].

Below is a video of the budget message as delivered by the county manager. It is a low resolution video that will be replaced with a high resolution version in the next few days so the slides can be read.

The commissioners established a budget work session for 5 pm on Tuesday, May 25th to work on the budget numbers and begin hearing from departments regarding their requests for the coming year. 


Commissioners then heard a presentation from Warren Cabe, the Emergency Management Director, regarding the new fire district lines for Highlands Fire Department to reflect the construction of a new substation. Commissioners voted 5-0 to approve the new lines, as did the county commissioners in Jackson County, who were meeting at the same time in Sylva, because the district crosses county lines.


Commissioners than discussed closing out the Parker Meadows construction project before the fiscal year ended. Commissioners voted to transfer a little over $303,000 from "Fund 56," the nickname for the Tennessee River/Cartoogechaye Creek Sewer Trunk Project Fund, which still had over $500,000 available for use. 

It was noted that the discovery of a grave site (tooth fragment) resulted in an additional expenditure of $244,442.63 to preserve the area according to the wishes of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. A grave marker has also been designed and given an area or prominence in the new recreation facility.


Seth Adams, Macon County Parks and Recreation Director, announced that plans were underway for a grand opening ceremony of the Parker Meadows Recreation Complex to take place on the afternoon and evening of Saturday, August 1st.

Commissioners recessed the meeting until 5 pm on Tuesday, May 21st for a budget work session.

There were no members of the public present at the meeting.

MEDIA ROLL CALL (media outlets with reporters present)

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

Supporting documents from the meeting are embedded below for your convenience, and in the interest of transparency. Macon Media is currently the only media outlet in the county that makes every document released at meetings available to the public when they are made available to Macon Media.



MAY 21, 2015 – 6 PM

1. Reconvene and welcome – Chairman Corbin

2. Presentation of the recommended Fiscal Year 2015-16 budget – County Manager

3. Approval of fire district map for new Highlands Fire Department sub-station – Emergency Services Director Warren Cabe

4. Discussion of items needed to complete/close-out Parker Meadows Recreational Complex project – County Manager/Finance Director

5. Schedule time(s) for budget work session(s)

6. Adjourn/Recess

NOTE - Copies of the county manager's budget message and proposed budget will be added to this section when he releases them to the public.


Please consider donating to keep these reports of local government activities coming by visiting my page at Patreon [click here to see the page] and choosing a dollar amount to give every month. All I am requesting is a dollar a month. Several people give more. Choose what amount you feel comfortable with and can afford. I currently (as of May 2015) cover 6 local governing and advisory boards, The Macon County Commissioners, The Franklin Town Board of Aldermen, The Macon County Board of Education, The Macon County Planning Board, The Macon County Airport Authority and the Franklin Tourism Development Authority. I also cover things like parades, public forums, political debates and parades.

Macon Media is not currently being funded by advertising like the other media outlets in the county. This is the work of one person seeking to provide more complete, and accurate, coverage of local public affairs than is possible by the local and regional papers or radio stations. I am funded by donations from people who support my effort. Some give cash or write checks from time to time, some have donated/loaned equipment for me to use. Currently every camera and desktop computer (plus one laptop) Macon Media uses have been donated.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

County and Town Boards Hold Joint Meeting in Cowee

The Macon County Commissioners hosted a joint meeting on May 18, 2015 with the town boards of Franklin and Highlands at the Macon County Heritage Center located in the old Cowee School. Members of the boards and the managers of the towns and county shared information on their current budget process and updated one another on the progress of various projects in their respective jurisdictions. Bobby Kuppers also updated the boards on the status of the facility and gave a run down of coming events.

The meeting was catered by Fat Buddies and the music provided by local members of the SouthEastern Bluegrass Association.

MEDIA ROLL CALL (media outlets with reporters present)

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

A video of the meeting is posted below.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Franklin Town Board Holds Work Session on FY 2015-2016 Budget

The Franklin Town Board of Aldermen participate in a budget work session with the Town Manager on May 16, 2015 in the town hall. The meeting lasted about two hours and was the most thorough and transparent public accounting of the town budget I have witnessed since I began covering these meetings in 2010.

Here is a copy of the Town Manager's Budget Message and the proposed budget that you can use to follow along so you can gain an understanding of hat is being talked about by the Town Manager.

There were no members of the public present, just Aldermen and town staff and a few reporters.

MEDIA ROLL CALL (media outlets who had reporters present)

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


This is the part where I beg for at least a dollar a month to help me replace aging and borrowed equipment so i can continue to cover meetings and events. Check out my page at Patreon for more information

Thank You to those who have given to Patreon, sent checks, cash and loaned and/or given me equipment to use to cover these meetings. It means more to me than you will ever know!

Also, tell a friend about this website, and my pages on facebook.

Franklin 2016 Budget: Exhibit A - Revenues and Appropriations

The Manager of the Town of Franklin goes through details of the revenues and appropriations for the FY 2015*2016 budget at a work session with the Town of Franklin Board of Aldermen. A copy of the document they are working from has been embedded below for your convenience.

Exhibit A (2015-2016 Franklin Budget) by Thunder Pig

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

County Commissioners and Dangerous Dog Board Hear Complaint About Dog Attack

This is video of the public comment period and the Review of Animal Control Policies and Procedures from the May 12th, 2015 meeting of the Macon County Commissioners. The Macon County Commissioners recessed so the Dangerous Dog Board could meet to determine if the dogs involved in an attack on two dogs and a display of threatening behavior toward a person that was captured in photographs and video. A few of the photos are included in this post.

The Dangerous Dog Board consists of Sheriff Robbie Holland, Macon County Health Department Director Jim Bruckner and Macon County Commissioner Gary Shields. The board met and classified the dogs as dangerous and the dogs were ordered to be picked up. The dogs were picked up by the end of the county commissioner meeting.

The discussion that took place was very informative. I was not aware that a Dangerous Dog Board even existed in the county.

*note* I have accidentally included more of the meeting than I intended. After the public comment section finishes, fast forward to the 26 minutes and 30 second mark. I apologize for the mistake, and will correct it in a couple of days.

**1:18 pm** It has been corrected. I apologize for the mistake in the original editing.  ~Bobby.

The complete meeting, including all supporting documents that were made available to the press, of the Board of County Commissioners can be seen at this link.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Macon County Commissioners
Regular May 2015 Meeting Updated with Video

**UPDATE 2:40 am 05-13-2015** Here is the video of the full meeting.

MEDIA ROLL CALL (media outlets present at the meeting) 

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

Slider 1 photo Slider1_zps9c5ec1a1.jpg

The Macon County Commissioners will be meeting tonight at 6 pm. The public agenda and the agenda that is shared with the local media outlets is below it. The video of the meeting will be added to the top of this post when it is edited and processed.

MAY 12, 2015

  1. Call to order and welcome by Vice-Chairman Tate

  1. Announcements

  1. Moment of Silence

  1. Pledge of Allegiance

  1. Public Hearing(s) – 6 p.m. – Financing of improvements to Union Academy and Highlands School (QZAB)

  1. Public Comment Period

  1. Adjustments to and approval of the agenda

  1. Reports/Presentations
  1. Work First Electing County Plan – Social Services Director Jane Kimsey
  2. Transfer of Construction Authorization Permits – Macon Public Health Center Director Jim Bruckner
  3. Update on Animal Control policies and procedures – Animal Control Director John Hook

  1. Old Business
  1. Change Order to Penland contract for retaining wall extensions at adult and youth fields at Parker Meadows Recreational Complex – County Manager

  1. New Business
  1. Approval of Articles of Association and Agreement for the Southwestern Workforce Development Commission – Todd Douglas, Workforce Development Director
  2. Rescission of Lease Agreement and new Lease Agreement with The Hudson Library of Highlands – County Attorney
  3. Rescission of Lease Agreement with Forex Currency Trade Advisors, LLC – County Attorney

  1. 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.
  1. Minutes of the April 14th regular meeting
  2. Budget Amendment #185-#187
  3. Tax Releases (NONE)
  4. Tax Refunds (2)
  5. Macon County Public Health Fee Schedule Changes
  6. Monthly ad valorem tax collection report

  1. Appointments
  1. Board of Adjustment (3 seats)
  2. Board of Health (Engineer slot)
  3. Community Funding Pool (3 seats)
  4. Franklin/Nantahala Tourism Development Commission (2 seats)
  5. Jury Committee (3 seats)

  1. Closed session (if necessary)

  1. Recess until Monday, May 18, 2015 at 6 p.m. at the Macon County Heritage Center at the Historic Cowee School, 51 Cowee School Drive, Franklin, NC 28734 for the purpose of holding a joint meeting with the Town of Franklin Board of Aldermen and the Town of Highlands Board of Commissioners.

2015 Kids Fishing Day Events Announced
Local Event at Cliffside Lake on June 6th

National Forests in North carolina
160A Zillicoa Street
Asheville, NC 28801

Asheville, N.C., M- The U.S. Forest Service announced today that the National Forests in North Carolina in cooperation with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) and other partners will host a series of Kids Fishing Day events throughout May and June at sites across the state.  

 The events are free for children ages 12 years and younger. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Participants are encouraged to bring their own poles though most events will have bait and extra poles available. Children must be able to handle their poles independently though adults may assist in reeling.

 These events allow families and friends to share fun, quality time together while learning about one of our nation's favorite pastimes - fishing. The sites will be stocked for the events and U.S. Forest Service, NCWRC staff and volunteers will be present to assist participants. No experience is needed for families to participate. Participants will need to register on the day of the event, beginning one hour prior to the start time. At many sites participants will be able to register for drawings giving away fishing related prizes.

Each site will be closed for regular licensed fishing from on the day of the Kids Fishing Day event, until its conclusion. This closure is pursuant to 36 CFR 261.50 (a) and (b), and for the protection of public and natural resources. This closure is in effect to support free kids fishing events on the National Forests in North Carolina during National Fishing and Boating Week.

 Event location, date, time and contact info are listed below:

Pisgah National Forest

Boone Fork Pond, Grandfather Ranger District
9:00 to 2:00
Christopher Williams
Max Patch Pond, Appalachian Ranger District
9:00 to 2:00
Brandon Jones
Lake Powhatan, Pisgah Ranger District
9:00 to 2:00
Lorie Stroup
Carolina Hemlocks Campground, South Toe River, Appalachian Ranger District
9:00 to 1:00
Brandon Jones

Nantahala National Forest

Cherokee Lake, Tusquitee Ranger District
7:30 to Noon
Todd Sharkey
Santeelah Creek at Rattler Ford Campground,
Cheoah Ranger District
9:00 to Noon
Gina Rogers
(Participants are requested to pre-register with the district prior to the event if possible.)
Cliffside Lake, Nantahala Ranger District *
9:00 to 1:00
Richard McClure

Uwharrie National Forest

Kings Mtn. Point Recreation Area at Badin Lake, Uwharrie Ranger District
9:00 to Noon
Deborah Walker

Croatan National Forest

Cedar Swamp Pond, Croatan Ranger District *
8:00 to Noon
James Cherry

*Note: the events on the Nantahala and Croatan Ranger Districts allow children up to 15 years old to participate. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

The County Commissioners meet with the Board of Education for Budget Work Session

The Macon County Commissioners held a joint meeting with the Macon County Board of Education to discuss the proposed Fiscal Year 2015-2016 budget for the Macon County Public School System. The meeting took place in the Media Center (library) of Iotla Valley Elementary School. The text play by play, along with several images of the power point presentation that was made by Dr. Chris Baldwin about the budget request for 2015-2016 can be seen on Facebook

The Reader's Digest version of the 2015-2016 Request includes:

  • PRC 001 Teacher salary increase.........$85,167
  • PRC 003(+) Benefit increase...............$25,738
  • PRC 027 Teacher Assistants..............$279,000
  • PRC 002 State reduction CO...............$90,000
  • PRC 012 Drivers Education.................$72,783
  • PRC 003/027 Salary Increase.............$90,000
  • Total.............................................$564,027
  • Total Increase over 2014-2015.........$527,343
  • Total Appropriation Requested........$7,865,673

Here is a more involved report of the budget request that has been excerpted from a detailed line item budget:

  1. program report code (PRC) is an accounting term and is used for the allocation and accounting of funds. The PRCs (allocations) may change from year to year depending on the actions of the General Assembly, whereby they may add new programs or discontinue old programs.

PRC 001 Teacher Salary
PRC 002 Central Office Administration
PRC 003 Non-Instructional Support
PRC 005 School Building Administration
PRC 007 Instructional Support
PRC 009 Employee Benefits/Payouts
PRC 012 Driver's Education
PRC 013 Vocational Education
PRC 015 Technology
PRC 027 Teacher Assistants
PRC 028 Local Staff Development 
PRC 032 Exceptional Children Medicaid
PRC 036 Charter School Payments
PRC 049 Preschool
PRC 056 Transportation
PRC 061 Instructional Materials
PRC 413 NC Pre-K
PRC 533 Local Supplements
PRC 701 After School (VIP)
PRC 706 Local Transportation
PRC 740 Summer Adventure Camp
PRC 802 Insurance
PRC 804 Athletics
PRC 805 Board of Education Expenses
PRC 806 Central Services
PRC 807 School Based
PRC 808 Maintenance
PRC 809 Utilities
PRC 831 New Century Scholars
PRC 864 Character Education
PRC 883 Cultural Arts

And here are the projected revenues:

NC Pre-K
Timber Sales
County Appropriation
Landfill Fees
Driver's Education
Preschool Tuition
Fines and Forfeitures
Use of Schools (rental fees)
Interest on Investments
Miscellaneous local receipts
WAN Engineer
Medicaid Reimbursement
Sales Tax Refund
E Rate Refund
Indirect Cost
Indirect Cost
Indirect Cost
Indirect Cost
left blank
Indirect Cost
Indirect Cost
Indirect Cost
Lowe's Grant
left blank
After School Tuition
Summer Adventure Camp
ABC Revenues
NC Pre-K Fund Balance Appropriated
VIP Fund Balance Appropriated

MEDIA ROLL CALL (local media outlets with representatives at the meeting)
Macon Media (story published Fri May 8th, the morning after the meeting)
Macon County News and Shopping Guide (next publication Thurs May 14th)
The Franklin Press (next publication Wed May 13th)

2015 National Day of Prayer Observed in Franklin

The Macon County Ministerial Association [Facebook Page] hosted the 2015 National Day of Prayer at the town gazebo in downtown Franklin on Thursday. Here is the video and list of pastors who led those gathered in various prayers and songs, with some of the prayers mentioning local elected officials by name. The event ended with several community groups being formed for prayer before one last hymn. 

The theme for the 64th annual National Day of Prayer was Lord, Hear Our Cry, emphasizing the need for individuals, corporately and individually, to place their faith in the unfailing character of their Creator, who is sovereign over all governments, authorities, and men. 

The Scripture for this year was I Kings 8:28 “Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day.”

Welcome and Introduction by Mitch A. Schultz

Music was performed by Mike Barres and John Sapp

Prayer for Media led by Pastor Henry Puckett

Prayer for Government led by Pastor Rick Holmes

Prayer for the Military led by Pastor Scott Eichelberger

Prayer fo Businesses led by Pastor Tommy Jordan

Prayer for Education led by Pastor Forest Jones

Prayer for the Church led by Josh Smith

Prayer for the Family led by Pastor Paul Backhaus.

This event is held every year at noon on the first Thursday in May.


Macon Media
WFSC-AM/WNCC-FM (I believe they broadcast it live over the radio)
The Franklin Press
The Macon County News and Shopping guide

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Town of Franklin Appoints Kyra Doster as Finance Officer

At the May 4th, 2015 meeting of the Franklin Town Board of Aldermen, Kyra Doster was appointed as the new Finance Officer. The video of the introduction by the Town Manager and the vote of approval by the Town Board is above and the press release from the town is below. The new Finance Officer will begin work on May 18th.

Press ReleaseTown Finance Officer

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Town Manager presents the proposed FY 2015-2016 Budget
The Mayor comments on the difficulties faced by Franklin

Photo of the paper copy of the budget about to be turned into electronic format

This post contains two videos recorded at the regular May 2015 meeting of the Franklin Town Board of Aldermen on May 4, 2015. The first contains the presentation of the proposed FY 2015-2016 budget for the Town of Franklin by Summer Woodard, the Town Manager, and a discussion of the budget work session that has been scheduled for Saturday May 16th at 9 am and the public hearing on the budget that will be conducted at the June 1st meeting of the Aldermen.

Budget Presentation

Budget Message from Town Manager

Digitized Copy of Proposed FY 205-2016 Budget
This copy was digitized from a paper copy handed out to the media at the meeting and Macon Media digitized it, so it may contain errors introduced by the digitization process.

The second video contains the comments made by Mayor Bob Scott who spoke about the process and the difficulties faced by the town, most of which he said was the fault of the state legislature.

Mayor's Comments

The full video and supporting documentation from the meeting can be seen at this link.