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Monday, July 20, 2015

Newsletter about the City Council meeting of July 14, 2015





Special Presentations
A. Recognition of Retiring Boards and Commissions Members
B. Educational Video by Office of Communications

Persons Requesting to be Heard

 Consent Agenda

New Business - Departmental Reports:
1. Second Reading of Budget Ordinance Amendment Number 20.
2. Approval to Purchase .890 Acres Located at 1352 12th Avenue NE, Hickory, PIN 3713-14-43-2647 in the amount of $100,000.
3. Presentation of Crafting Hickory Logo

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Agenda about the City Council meeting of July 14, 2015

This Agenda is about the Hickory City Council meeting that took place on the date listed above. City council meetings are held on the first and third Tuesdays of each Month in the Council Chambers of the Julian Whitener building.

At right of this page under Main Information links is an Hickory's City Website link. If you click on that link, it takes you to our city’s website/ The City's website evolves over time, but currently towrds the top right there is a Link called Quick Links. Click that on and look for the Agenda's and Minutes link you need to click. Scroll down from there and this will show you a list of PDF files to upcoming and previous meetings.

Agendas show what is on the docket for the meeting of that date. The Minutes is an actual summary of the proceedings of the meeting of that date. You can also look in the upper right hand corner of the front page of the Hickory Hound and (will soon) find the link to the past history of Hickory City Newsletters.

Here is a summary of the agenda of the meeting. There were a couple of important items that were discussed at this meeting and the details are listed further below:

Please remember that pressing Ctrl and + will magnify the text and page and pressing Ctrl and - will make the text and page smaller. This will help the readability for those with smaller screens and/or eye difficulties.

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Hound Notes: Not much to see here



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Invocation by Elder Kemp, Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints

Special Presentations
A. Recognition of Retiring Boards and Commissions Members
Jeff Neuville Business Development Committee
Dave Gissy Business Development Committee
Dave Paist Business Development Committee
Michael Holland Citizens Advisory Committee
Steven Bowman Community Appearance Commission
Neal Orgain Community Relations Council
Ray Cerda Community Relations Council
Christopher Wilson Historic Preservation Commission
Thomas Dobbins Historic Preservation Commission
Kathy Ivey Library Advisory Board
Bee Yang Parks and Recreation Commission
Michael (Tony) Wood Parks and Recreation Commission
Thomas McBrayer Public Art Commission
Clement Geitner Public Housing Authority
J.C. Epting Jr. Recycling Advisory Board
Bill McBrayer University City Commission
Joseph Butler Youth Council
Kathryn McKenna Shaver Youth Council
Laura Velazquez Youth Council
Darion Best Youth Council
Jordan Hatch Youth Council
Zackariah Amrani Youth Council
Marina Pitofsky Youth Council
Jamen Beck Youth Council
B. Educational Video by Office of Communications

Consent Agenda:
A. Call for Public Hearing for Consideration of Voluntary Contiguous Annexation of 2.001 acres Located at 2191 13th Avenue Drive SE. (Authorize Public Hearing for August 4, 2015)

B. Call for Public Hearing for Consideration of Designating the Whisnant Hosiery Mills Complex as a Local Historic Landmark. (Authorize Public Hearing for August 4, 2015)

C. Renewal of Taxicab and Other Passenger Vehicles for Hire Franchises.
Company - Taxicabs  - Passenger Vehicle for Hire
Mile High Enterprises (dba The Hickory Hop) - 0 - 5
Yellow Cab - 13 - 1
Diamond Cab of Hickory - 3 - 0
Hickory Limousine - 0 - 3
Platinum Limousine LLC - 0 - 3
Total - 16 - 12

Annually, these companies apply for a renewal of their Certificate of Convenience and
Necessity for the operation of taxicabs and other vehicles for hire.

D. Approval of a Cemetery Deed from City of Hickory to Jacqueline E. Connor, (Southside Cemetery, Plot 4B, Lot Number 9 and 10, Section 4) (Prepared by Deputy City Attorney Arnita Dula).

E. Approval of the Transfer of a Cemetery Deed from Daniel C. Dillon and wife, Catherine H. Dillon to Sherry Lynn Pruitt, (Oakwood Cemetery, Section)

F. Approval of the Transfer of a Cemetery Deed from Peggy F. Flowers, Widow of John R. Flowers and the Estate of David S. Flowers to Peggy F. Flowers, (Oakwood Cemetery)

G. Approval of the Transfer of a Cemetery Deed from Peggy F. Flowers, Widow of John R.
Flowers and the Estate of David S. Flowers to Peggy Flowers, (Oakwood Cemetery)

H. Approval to Purchase a CAD, RMS and Message Switch Server from OSSI in the Amount of $123,419. - Hickory Police Department requests approval to purchase a CAD, RMS and Message
Switch Server in the amount of $123,419 from OSSI. The CAD, RMS and Message Switch Server will allow Hickory Policy Department to receive calls from citizens, dispatch those calls to the officers, allow officers to write the necessary reports and submit the reports using the message switch. This purchase is a sole source as OSSI is the police department’s current vendor of this product and switching vendors would be cost prohibitive. Funds were approved in the FY2015-2016 budget.

I. Adoption of the Amended Memorandum of Understanding regarding the Greater Hickory Metropolitan Organization for Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba Counties. - On May 27, 2015 the Greater Hickory Metropolitan Planning Organization Technical Advisory Committee approved the amended Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Several changes were made to the MOU with the most important involving the MPO officially accepting the Unifour RPO into the MPO’s planning boundary (all four counties). Due to the significance of this action, the MPO member municipalities must approve the amended MOU by resolution. Staff requests approval of adoption of the amended Memorandum of Understanding regarding the Greater Hickory Metropolitan Organization for Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba Counties.

J. Budget Ordinance Amendment Number 20.
1. To appropriate Tourism Development Authority (TDA) revenue to repay debt on new parking deck in FY2014-15 budget. The City entered into an agreement with the Tourism Development Authority (TDA) in August 2014 to build a parking deck to accommodate visitors to the convention center. The City secured a $3 million loan with BB&T for a term of 15 years at 2.94% with an increase in TDA rental payments pledged to repay the debt. The first debt payment came due in April 2015, yet an appropriation of the rental payments was not established in the FY2014-15 budget. The attached Budget Ordinance Amendment appropriates the additional revenue that has been received from the TDA as a result of their increase in rental payments.

K. Budget Ordinance Amendment Number 1.
1. To increase General Government-Other Professional Services by $146,200 and decrease Other Financing Uses-Transfer to the Solid Waste Fund by $146,200. This amendment is necessary to correct the original annual budget ordinance due to a change in the Solid Waste fee (from $1 to $2) to a total of $18.50.
2. To appropriate $100 of General Fund Balance and budget in the Library Books line item. Donation from the Hickory Woman's Club in honor of Tamara Faulkner, Paralibrarian of the Year 2015 was received towards the end of the fiscal year and therefore rolled into General Fund Balance. Funds are now appropriated to the Library expenditure line item.
3. To appropriate $73,504 of General Fund Balance and budget in the Library Books line item ($1,160) and Departmental Supplies ($72,344). Donations for the Astronomy purchases were unable to be spent prior to the end of the fiscal year; therefore an appropriation from General Balance is necessary.
4. To budget a $1,366 insurance claim payment from Geico Insurance Company in the Traffic division signs and posts line item. This payment is for damage sustained to a street sign on 03-22-15; however the check was dated 07-02-15 and deposited on 07-06-15.
5. To appropriate $12,180 of General Fund Balance and budget in the Police Departments Contracted Services line item. This amendment is necessary to pay for Smith Rogers PLLC Attorneys at Law for annual legal support. These funds are from State Unauthorized Tax money and are received and reside in General Fund Balance until the time of appropriation for specific uses under the State guidelines.
6. To appropriate $242,814 of Water and Sewer Fund Balance and budget in the Water and Sewer Reimbursable Materials line item. City received two checks from Alexander County for two waterline projects in June and funds rolled into W&S Fund Balance at year end. Once funding is received City Staff solicits bids to complete the project. Therefore an appropriation is necessary to budget funds in the new fiscal year.

L. Special Events Activities Application, Mel’s Jingle Run (Benefitting Operation 300 & PORCH), Sarah Prencipe (Op300 Volunteer), Leslie Knapp (Mellow Mushroom), and Mandy Pitts (PORCH Volunteer), Operation 300, PORCH, and Mellow Mushroom (Peace-A-Pie Makers, LLC), December 12, 2015, Sails on the Square Stage and 5K Route, 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

 
Informational Item
A. Proposed Technical Amendments to Blue Bloodhound, LP Economic Development Agreement. In review of the final agreements with Blue Bloodhound, LP, it was determined the intended three year improvement period was incorrectly defined to end 12/31/2017. The unintended effects of this error are reflected in some additional provisions of the agreement. Documentation for the State of North Carolina One NC grant award, for which these grants are being used as a match, allow 36 months for investments and job creation beginning 6/23/2015. Scott Millar, Catawba EDC President, requested mirroring the State filings in his presentation to the Board. Carrying the technical correction throughout the document include extending the initial date of 12/31/2017 to June 23, 2018 in the following provisions:
1) Second Whereas, in the date defining the Improvement Period
2) Paragraph 1.1
3) Paragraph 5.
4) The Chart in Paragraph 7.c. and text in 7.e, and
5) Exhibit A., section (b).

B. Report of City Manager Mick Berry’s travel to North Carolina City County Managers Seminar, Wilmington, North Carolina, June 18 – 21, 2015. (Lodging - $127.44; Meals - $51.00; Registration - $250; Mileage - $348.45; Tips for Parking - $12.00)

New Business - Departmental Reports:
1. Second Reading of Budget Ordinance Amendment Number 20. - To appropriate Tourism Development Authority (TDA) revenue to repay debt on new parking deck in FY2014-15 budget. The City entered into an agreement with the Tourism Development Authority (TDA) in August 2014 to build a parking deck to accommodate visitors to the convention center. The City secured a $3 million loan with BB&T for a term of 15 years at 2.94% with an increase in TDA rental payments pledged to repay the debt. The first debt payment came due in April 2015, yet an appropriation of the rental payments was not established in the FY2014-15 budget. The attached Budget Ordinance Amendment appropriates the additional revenue that has been received from the TDA as a result of their increase in rental payments.

2. Approval to Purchase .890 Acres Located at 1352 12th Avenue NE, Hickory, PIN 3713-14-43-2647 in the amount of $100,000.- Staff requests approval to purchase .890 acres next to the existing Public Services Complex. The property owner, Ms. Katie Childers, approached the City about purchasing this parcel located at 1352 12th Avenue NE, PIN 3713-14-43-2647. The City owns the property to the south and east. The purchase of this property would close out the northwest corner of the public services  property. There is an old skating rink structure on the property that would be of no use to the City. The estimated cost to demolish the structure would be approximately $9,000 - $10,000, and would eliminate an eyesore in the neighborhood. Also on the property is a metal building that is approximately ten years old, which could be utilized by Public Services. A budget amendment was previously approved by City Council for the purchase of the property. Staff recommends approval of the purchase of the property in the amount of $100,000 and approval of the demolition of the old skating rink building located on the property.

3. Presentation of Crafting Hickory Logo


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Remembrance 7+8=15

I'm to the point where I've lived half of my life. You can't take the days for granted anymore, because they become less and less guaranteed as time goes by. I wish others could understand that. Don't waste time. God does not want us to be patient. God wants us to get it done.

The markets are imploding. When one looks at reality, one sees that we have seen nearly eight years of negative growth in the economy. It's getting harder and harder to hide unless you are the willing victim of Stockholm syndrome. Da Chickens comin' home to roost.

Harry Dent interview on Alex Jones - (The Tyrannical Rexes may not like Alex Jones. I don't really care. Here is Harry Dent on the trouble ahead).




Carl Denninger interviewed by Greg Hunter (USA Watchdog) - July 7, 2015 - Debt Going to Explode in our Face








Catherine Austin Fitts interviewed by Greg Hunter (USA Watchdog) - Interview from earlier in the year - 2015 Forecast Volatile & Violent 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Wanda Arnold: Trade Legislation - They Never Learn

Wanda Arnold's third article written to the Hickory Daily Record in relation to the Trans Pacific Partnership wanting to rebut some of what she had read in that paper.

I read the letter from the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) (June 27) in support of North Carolina Congressmen who voted yes on the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill. The reason they support the TPA is explained clearly in the letter. They understand the amount of power the President will have in writing trade agreements with foreign countries and state:
The support of our friends on Capitol Hill helps us to secure critical provisions, such as those giving preference to yarns and fabrics made in the United States.
They are in effect saying that if NC does not vote for the bill, their legitimate concerns for agreements that favor their industry will be ignored. They won't have the ear of the President, period.

This reminds me of a similar situation that occurred when I was on the Board of Directors of the Prince William Realtor's Association in Virginia. The issue came up as to which candidate for election the Association should support in terms of financial contributions. I thought that the two candidates would be evaluated for their past support of the real estate industry. Naive me. No, equal amounts would be given to each candidate so that then, no matter who the winner was, we would be assured of an appointment with the winner during which we could explain our position on pending legislation.

The NCTO is assuming that they will have a chance to similarly influence the President in their favor in all future negotiations. I am afraid the President and those calling the shots have their own agenda and it is not to build up American small businesses and strengthen the economy. The very industry that was devastated by NAFTA did not learn their lesson.

NATFA is really a treaty with Canada and Mexico forming the North American Union and it did break down many trade barriers. But ask yourself who benefited? If you'd like to know the plan for us, just look at the European Union and its history. Our new currency has already been planned -- the Amero.

Why is our border wide open to Mexico? Research the North American Union and find out. What's next? It's the Trans Pacific Union, of course. We need to wake up and put a stop to this plan: once large sections of the world are under complete control of the corporations, the next step is the New World Order.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Wanda Arnold: the Trans Pacific Partnership on Your Back

Wanda Arnold wrote these articles to the Hickory Daily Record in relation to the Trans Pacific Partnership wanting to rebut some of what she had read in that paper. The HDR has a policy that they only permit one letter to the editor every 20 days from a contributor. Some say that they are just a mouthpiece for the government. Let's see them put a 20 day moratorium on contributions from government officials. After all, most of their statements are opinion based. Aren't they?


There are 29 chapters in the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement that Obama wants passed. Only 5 of those pertain to trade matters. The rest would set binding rules on food safety standards, on access to medicine policies, on financial regulations and on internet freedom.

Here are three real-life examples of how the TPP works in the section called Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS).
(1) Germany wants to phase out nuclear power. The nuclear power industry there can sue Germany for posing a threat to their profits.
(2) Canada wants to place a moratorium on fracking in order to study its effects more carefully. The energy industries involved can sue Canada for infringing on their profits and causing them loss.
(3) The governments in Uruguay and Australia want to pass anti-smoking policies. Phillip Morris can sue those countries because their profits have suffered.

This system has been in use for several years. TPP adds 9,000 more corporations to the list of those empowered to sue. The cases will be tried in a parallel legal system that goes around domestic courts. A tribunal of three lawyers will make a binding decision in each case. If the corporation wins and the government loses, guess who pays the corporation. Friends, you pay. The government produces nothing and earns nothing. The government lives on the back of YOU, the taxpayer. While we are being distracted by TV reality shows, national sports competitions, titillating sex scandals, social media, online games of every kind and the huge din of constant entertainment, "they who shall remain unnamed" are stealthily ensnaring us in a web and drawing the noose tighter and tighter. It's called Fascism and Hitler was the trial run. Unless we do something now, we are the end game.

Surveys have shown that citizens here don't trust their government. They don't trust Congress, they don't trust the Executive, they don't trust the Courts. It's not enough just to feel something is "not right." It's up to you to find out what's wrong. Didn't we believe the lies about how NAFTA would "create jobs" for Americans? Didn't over 3 million U. S. jobs flee overseas since that agreement and others like it were passed. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. We better find out what else is
in the TPP!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Wanda Arnold's Wake Up Call on the current Trade Agreements

Wanda Arnold wrote these articles to the Hickory Daily Record in relation to the Trans Pacific Partnership wanting to rebut some of what she had read in that paper.

Trade agreements are not for the faint hearted. They make the eyes glaze over. I finally figured out the difference between TPA (not secret) and TPP (secret)! I wish I were knowledgeable enough to rebut Patrick Henry's guest column of June 18: "A win for transparency, congressional oversight," but I thought I must try.

To begin with, consider the source. As Majority Deputy House Whip, Patrick McHenry has moved onto the first rung of the House Republican Leadership ladder. His job is to whip up votes among his party members for legislation that the leadership wants approved and persuade others of its worth. Mr. McHenry is a nice guy and probably has done a lot for individual constituents; but this legislation affects the entire country and is too important for blind trust in our representatives.

I'd rather turn to Jeff Sessions, Republican Senator from Alabama. Sen. Sessions went down into the basement where the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) trade deal is under "heavy guard" to read it for himself. How many other Congressmen or women have done this? Then he read the TPA (Trade Promotion Authority) bill that is available online. He diplomatically calls these bills "fraught with problems and concerns." He then goes on to point out the five areas of major concern he has with TPA, which will apply not only to TPP, but to all future trade deals.

(1) Sessions says that TPA would consolidate power in the Executive Branch rather than return more power to Congress. There won't be a committee review process. They won't be allowed to amend it in any way. If Congress sees something it doesn't like or that violates our current laws, it will be hard to remove it from fast track because it must go through the revenue and Rules Committees where the Chairman can kill it. The President must send a report to Congress to get future fast-track approval if TPA is adopted, but he/she can classify and redact any part of the report. (More secrecy!)

(2) Passing TPA through Congress would result in "increased trade deficits." This would result in the loss of thousands of American jobs and he gives the actual figures of how this has happened with both NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and the South Korea Free Trade Agreement. NC workers, you remember NAFTA, don't you?

(3) The TPP is a "living agreement," open to change in the future. The deal could be changed by other countries and the President without any congressional approval whatsoever. For example, China could be added without protections for us against their business subsidies and currency manipulations.

In fact concern (4): the agreement does not address currency manipulations at all.

(5) Sessions notes how TPA could facilitate immigration increases above current law and Congress will be powerless to stop it.

How are we as individual voters supposed to figure this all out? Maybe it comes down to "who do you trust?" Sorry Mr. McHenry, I'll go with Jeff Sessions this time.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Newsletter about the Special City Council meeting of June 25, 2015 - Blue Bloodhound LLP Incentives Agreement

The Hickory City Council held a meeting early Thursday Morning. There should be a Hickory Inc. video up later today and I will post it ASAP. Notes about this meeting are provided below. It was a rather short and to the point meeting. There was no agenda provided online for this meeting and the meeting was scheduled on short notice.



I am still working on the information and notes from the special meeting that took place this past Monday morning related to the Lackey Conservancy located at Geitner Park by the Lake in Northwest Hickory.

The meeting that took place this morning provided details about the company Blue Bloodhound LLP, which will be locating in the newly renovated Moretz Mill building. Blue Bloodhound is a trucking software/IT company, which provides a service similar to Uber. This company helps in establishing a cluster node related to the transportation/trucking industry here in Hickory, with Transportation Insight being located only a few blocks away in the currently under reconstruction Lyerly Mill building.

Blue Bloodhound is a division of  Greene-Group, which is located in Davidson, NC. The jobs offered by this company will average $75,000+ per year. The company is investing $400,000 in software and IT support to start the business and looks to create 191 jobs over the next 3 years (per the agreement). The incentives provided by the City of Hickory equate to $800 per job, which matches the company's agreement with Catawba County. A State of North Carolina economic incentives agreement has already been announced as moving forward by Governor Pat McCrory.

The company is looking to hire people within the City of Hickory and there are built in criteria in the incentives agreement meant to ensure that happens. The company is interested in hiring mature people with experience in the IT field and also has a desire to have partnerships with local "Mom and Pop" Transportation/Trucking companies.

There were two readings on this matter, which allows the agreement to move forward immediately. The documents included in this public hearing included a resolution and the economic incentives agreement.

Blue Bloodhound Plans Hickory, North Carolina, Operations Center - Area Development Online News Desk - (06/23/2015)

Software startup to create 191 jobs in Hickory - Charlotte Business Journal - David Harris - June 23, 2015