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Friday, January 4, 2013

Newsletter about the City Council meeting of January 2, 2013

This newsletter is about the Hickory City Council meeting that I attended this past week. 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, at the left of the page you will see the Agenda's and Minutes link you need to click. This will give you a choice of PDF files to upcoming and previous meetings.

You will find historic Agenda and Minutes links. 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.

Here is a summary of the agenda of the 1/2/2012 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.

All materials and maps for this meeting are provide at this link:

 City Council Action Agenda - January 2, 2013

Invocation by Rev. Deacon Barbara Burns, Episcopal Church of the Epiphany

Consent Agenda:
A. Approval to surplus 2,231 Discarded Library Materials so that these materials may be given to the Friends of the Library to be sold at the Friends “Corner Book Store” at Patrick Beaver Memorial Library. The sale of donated and discarded books is the primary fundraising activity of the Friends of the Library and discarded library materials comprise a significant portion of their inventory. The sale of these items ultimately benefits the library, and is an appropriate means of disposing of unneeded materials. Public Notice advertised on December 21, 2012 in a newspaper having general circulation in the Hickory area.

B. Approval to Declare as Surplus eighty-four (84) Scott AV-2000 Masks that can be utilized by other public safety agencies. In 2003 Scott Safety redesigned their Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) masks which improved the facial fit to the wearer and the voice amplification system. The fire department purchased the new mask (AV-3000) for all fire suppression members. The AV-2000 masks that were replaced by this new mask were taken out of service and put into storage. The City of Hickory Fire Department has received requests from Hiddenite Fire Department requesting (20) twenty AV-200 SCBA Masks and a request from Stewart-Simmons Volunteer Fire Department for (25) twenty-five masks. The currently value of each mask, per the manufacturer, is approximately $50. This request is to donate the masks to departments that request the need. Public Notice advertised on December 21, 2012 in a newspaper having general circulation in the Hickory area.

C. Approval to Purchase Six Specialized Police Package Emergency Vehicles. - Hickory Police Department request approval of the purchase of six rear wheel drive Chevrolet Caprice police package vehicles from Bobby Murray Chevrolet on the North Carolina State Contract at a cost of $27,458.60 per vehicle and a total cost of $164,751.60. The police department has funds budgeted in 2012-2013 CIP for replacement of police vehicles.

D. Approval to issue a pyrotechnic display permit to Hickory Crawdads. - The North Carolina Fire Code requires a mandatory operational permit for the use and handling of pyrotechnic special effects material. The Fire Prevention Bureau shall review all required documentation such as but not limited to the following: Alcohol Tobacco and Firearm’s (ATF) License, Operator and Assistant Operators Permits from North Carolina Office of State Fire Marshal (NCOSFM), Site Plan, and the one million dollar liability insurance policy. The Fire Prevention Bureau will also inspect the pyrotechnics display area prior to the event to ensure compliance with NCOSFM Guidelines, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) NFPA 1123 Code for Fireworks Display, and NFPA 1126 Use of Pyrotechnics Before a Proximate Audience (if applicable) are met.

E. Approval of 2012 State Legislative Agenda. - Staff has sent to City Council a draft of the proposed 2012 State Legislative Agenda. The NC General Assembly convenes its long session on January 9, 2013. City staff, City Council and City residents and business owners will promote to our local delegation and other members the City’s priorities which will enhance the City’s opportunities for economic growth and provision of municipal services. The Legislative agenda is dynamic and may change as different proposals are discussed by the NC 2013 General Assembly and Executive Branch.

F. Budget Ordinance Amendment No. 10.
1. To budget a $2,000 donation from the N.R.P.A. (National Recreation and Park Association) in the Parks and Recreation Department Recreation Supplies ($1,361) and M & R Grounds ($639) line items. This donation is to purchase basketball goals at Southside Park.
2. To budget $20,000 of General Fund Contingency in the Public Buildings Maintenance and Repair line item. This amendment is to pay for installation of a 125KW generator at City Hall to provide a backup power source. Currently there is no backup power source at City Hall and there is a risk of loss of data if a power failure does occur. All work will be performed by Public Services staff.
3. To budget $9,551 of Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program funds in the Part-Time Salaries ($8,873) and FICA Taxes ($678) line items. This represents the reimbursement to the General Fund for the salary and tax benefits paid for a Part-Time employee to complete the grant funded duties for the smoke detector/carbon monoxide detector installation program.
4. To budget $35,880 of Community Development Block Grant revenues in the Public Buildings General Capital Improvements line item. This amendment is necessary to pay for the parking lot project at the 400 Block of South Center Street. This project will be funded with Community Development Block Grant revenues and the Community Development Block Grant Fund will reimburse the General Fund when the project is complete.
5. To transfer $38,381 of remaining revenues in excess of expenditures related to the Hickory District Court Facility in FY11-12 from the General Fund to the District Court Capital Reserve Fund.

Informational Items
A. Report of Alderman Hank Guess travel to Metropolitan Mayors Legislative Retreat in Raleigh, NC on December 12-13, 2012 (Meals - $34.18; Gas in city vehicle - $36.00; Lodging - $156.72; Registration - $120.00 and Parking - $22.00)

New Business - Public Hearing

1. (3:30) Financing Concept for the Hickory-Catawba Wastewater Treatment Facility Upgrade and Expansion.


 New Business - Departmental Reports:

1. Appointments to Boards and Commissions

a) (16;30) NORTH CAROLINA LEAGUE OF MUNICIPALITIES - Selection of a Voting Delegate to the North Carolina League of Municipalities Advocacy Goals Conference 2013

b) (20:40) SUBCOMMITTEE ON CITIZEN INPUT AT THE BEGINNING OF MEETINGS - At it’s December 18, 2012 meeting, City Council established a subcommittee of Mayor Wright, Alderwoman Fox and Alderwoman Patton to “Decide the language for getting citizens input at the beginning of the meeting.” As a duly appointed subcommittee of its members, the meetings will be advertised and open to the public. Council can discuss the process of the subcommittee and establish a time and location for its first meeting.

Previous History on this issue.

Newsletter about the City Council meeting of December 18, 2012 - Cliff Moone spoke once again about the process that has been instituted in relation to allowing Citizens to be heard before votes are taken in relation to second readings,  Consent Agenda Items, and Departmental Reports.At the end of the meeting Council voted affirmatively to form a subcommittee to formally put this process, allowing Citizens to be Heard before votes are taken, on the Agenda.

Newsletter about the City Council meeting of October 2, 2012 - Addendum on the CEG proposals - Proposal introduced by the Mayor outside of the constructs of the agenda

Newsletter about the City Council meeting of November 20, 2012 - Cliff Moone addressed the issue of Citizens being allowed the question items on the agenda at the beginning of the meeting. He discussed what occurred at the October 2, 2012 meeting.

Newsletter about the City Council meeting of December 4, 2012 -  Cliff Moone addresses the City Council about the Council's new policy odf making a motion to allow citizen's to address the City Council about items on the Agenda. Cliff and all members of the Citizens for Equity in Government feel that the Council is proverbially flying by the seat of their pants on this. Second they are not following proper protocol, because this is nowhere to be found on the Public Agenda, so technically it is a matter not on the Agenda and should by statute come at the end of the meeting after Citizens Requesting to Be Heard, which takes us back to square one. Hickory Inc. wants to say what's the big deal and we agree. Since it isn't a big deal, then formally put in on the agenda and quit with the ruse.

The Hound's Comment:
This was a straight forward meeting that lasted right around 30 minutes. Of course the "Citizens Requesting to be Heard" item is the real issue of the moment. I hold out hope that the Mayor will be cooperative in allowing citizens to speak about items on the agenda before votes take place. It is only a big deal because of certain processes that occurred over the last few years. It isn't a big deal to allow the public to be heard before decisions are made that affect them. It is the right thing to do.


jinglefield said...

$20K for a generator to "prevent data loss" makes no sense(cent$) To prevent data loss you need simple battery backup to allow shutting down of equipment. Data should be backed up either on a drive or cloud device. Hope an engineer is involved so they don't fry the equipment when the generator kicks on.

James Thomas Shell said...

Thank You for paying attention Dr. Inglefield. I don't know if this generator is necessary, because I don't know how much Data and how many computers they have in their system, but what you are saying makes a lot of sense and of course there won't be much discussion from Hickory Inc.'s thought process.