The message below is from David Hood,the Chairman of the Catawba County Board of Elections, to Hickory City Manager Mick Berry. The Hard copy of the document is above. I let someone have my copy and had to have this copy sent to me as an image, so I have re-submitted the wording below. If you have listened to the meetings of the Catawba County Board of Elections pertaining to this Ward Referendum issue as presented here on the Hickory Hound, then you will know that the BoE was emphatic in their desire that this Special Election be held sooner rather than later. No one understands why the City tried to institute the October 2nd date as reported in the Hickory Daily Record and given by the Mayor on yesterday's Hal Row Show on WHKY.
Dear Mick:At the end of the regularly scheduled City Council meeting, Harry Hipps addresses the City Council by asking about where they stand on the Ward Specific Voting issue. He talked about this process being Participatory Democracy Well Crafted. He thinks it is time for Council to take a stand. Political bodies are here to debate and inform the public. He doesn't see the intellectual rigor and things are done in a southern genteel way that never allows issues to see the light of day. He wants to see a vote by council on this issue. He hopes there is a diversity of opinion on this issue. Hickory's issue isn't frivolity. It is apathy and disenfranchisement. Council should weigh in on this issue so that there is a public record for the council to be accountable to.
I write today in my capacity as chairman of the Catawba County Board of Elections. I understand that City Council is having a special meeting tonight at 7:30 regarding the special election. We understand that it is the city's prerogative to set the election date. However, we would like you to consider the proximity of the November election. Given that this is a presidential year, our staff and resources will already be stretched to the limit. Training for our election workers will have already begun by the beginning of October, and early voting for the November election will commence on October 18. If your Council selects a day in early October, it will play havoc with our operations as we prepare for what is always a taxing presidential election.
As a board we have always valued our great working relationship with the city of Hickory. In the spirit of that historically productive and cordial relationship, I ask the council to consider selecting an election date sometime in the middle of September so that we can deliver the best service we can to all the voters in Hickory, and throughout Catawba County. Please pass along this letter to the council tonight if you would, since our board will be busy at 7:30 to accept the election returns from today's runoff election. We cannot be present at your City Council meeting in person.
Oops! - Caption says Hal Row Show, but it is the Harry Hipps presentation to Council
The Special Meeting on the Ward specific Voting Referendum
During the course of the discussion there was confusion, because the proposed date had not been laid out. Initially Mr Lynn Spees and Charlotte Williams spoke and made the point that the Council could forgo the election and institute the Ward Specific system themselves. The question was asked about whether those who spoke supported the wording and date.
This past weekend in the newspaper and yesterday on the radio, the date of the Special Election was announced to be October 2, but the Council came forward and announced that in light of what the Board of Elections had asked for that the date would be moved up to September 18. Joe Brannock came to the podium to make the point that the timeframe to hold the election was from September 1 to October 7. It can be held any day, but he believes that Tuesday is the natural thing to do. September 4th was the best date on a Tuesday, but is the day after Labor Day... September 11th is a day of reverence.... The Mayor then went into the philosophy of why October 2 was the least subjective day, but that David Hood has asked that the election be held in Mid September. September 18 was the date chosen (-- Thank You David Hood!!!)
Cliff Moone strongly urged the Mayor and Council to commit to Town Hall meetings involving this issue.
Citizens who spoke were Lynn Spees, Charlotte Williams, Jimmy Davis, Larry Pope, Steve Ivester, Margaret Pope, Cliff Moone, Joe Brannock, Teresa Norris, Don Baldwin, Janice Johnson and Walter Witherspoon were among those who sanctioned the Sept. 18 date. Everyone seemed to support the wording, but Mr. Pope and Mr. Ivester preferred earlier dates.
Oops! - Caption says Hal Row Show, but it is the Special Meeting
For the documents below, Click on the document, then right click view document, the click the magnifier. Or you can CTRL+ the original screen to magnify.