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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Newsletter about the City Council meeting of May 7, 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 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.

City Website has changed - Here is a link to the City of Hickory Document Center

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

City Council Meeting Agenda May 7, 2013 (16MB)

Invocation by Rev. Rick Schilling, Associate Pastor, First United Methodist Church

Special Presentations

A. Presentation of National Police Week 2013 Proclamation by Chief Tom Adkins to Officer Gordon Killian.

B. Presentation of Building Safety Month Proclamation to Code Enforcement Supervisor Bobby Baker and Deputy Chief Steve Moore.

C. Presentation of Older American’s Month 2013 Proclamation to Wade “Hamp” Shuford.

Persons Requesting to Be Heard
Walter Witherspoon - How much is the cost of the actual Fabric of the Sails on the Square?

James Davis - "Beer sales during Sails Music Series"

Consent Agenda:
A. Approval of a Proclamation for National American Public Works Week May 19 -25, 2013.

B. Approval of Grant Recommendations from Community Relations Council for Spring 2013. - Community Relations Council’s recommendations for Spring 2013 Grants: Clinton Tabernacle A.M.E. Zion Church, $1,500, project African American Cultural Festival; Outright Youth of Catawba Valley, $1,500, project LGBT Diversity for School Counselors, Resource Officers and Nurses; Hickory Community Theater, $1,030, project RubGub Theatre@HCT Bi-Lingual Project; Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry,$1,030, project Good Communications; Council on Adolescents of Catawba County, $1,440, project Teens 4 R.E.A.L. Summer Camp. Total recommended for funding by Community Relations Council $6,500.

C. Call for a Public Hearing – Voluntary Satellite Annexation of .9853 acres of Property Located on a Portion of 3005 and 3107 Springs Road NE, Hickory. (Authorize Public Hearing for May 21, 2013)

D. Special Events/Activities Application for Ignite Hickory, Charles Moretz and Christopher Harris, Managers, September 28, 2013 from 2:30 pm to 10:00 pm at the Sails on the Square.

E. Special Events/Activities Application for Hickory Police Department Special Olympics/Law Enforcement Torch Run, Captain Thurman Whisnant and Mandy Pitts, May 17, 2013 from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm, Union Square, on stage at the Sails on the Square.

F. Request Approval to Apply for a Grant to Assist in Funding the Purchase of Bulletproof Vests for Police Officer. - Hickory Police Department request approval to apply for a grant to purchase 40 vests at an estimated price of $625 for each vest, for a total of $25,000. Life expectancy of each vest is approximately five years. Monies are placed in the police department budget uniform line annually to purchase vest for police officers. The police department recommends the submission of this grant to receive up to 50% funding to purchase bulletproof bests for police officers.

G. Request Approval for the City to Issue Written Notice to LandDesign, Inc. to Proceed into Phase 200 of the Contract for the Inspiring Spaces Plan. - After each phase, the contract with LandDesign, Inc. calls for the City to issue a written Notice to Proceed, to the Consultant. This gives the City a few checkpoints to ensure that the project is on track. Within the contract, the plan is broken into three distinct phases: Phase 100 is the Master Plan and fee for that portion of the project is $126,000; Phase 200 is the Implementation and Report Phase with a fee of $62,000; Phase 300 is preparation of an Executive Summary document that is easily reproducible for a cost of $10,000; and City miscellaneous costs have been budgeted at $6,000 for a total project budget of $204,000.

H. Budget Ordinance Amendment Number 18.
1. To budget a $50 Library donation in the Library books line item for a non-fiction honor book.
2. To transfer $32,000 of Water and Sewer Contingency to the Sewer Treatment line item. Sewer treatment is the treatment and processing of sanitary sewer prior to discharge. This transfer will provide necessary funds in this line item for the remainder of this fiscal year.
3. To appropriate $23,604 of Community Development Block Grant funds and budget in the Street Division Capital Improvements line item. This appropriation is reimbursement for curb and gutter materials for the Main Avenue/Hollar Hosiery project.
4. To appropriate $1,811 of Transportation Fund Balance and budget in the Transportation Fuel Farm Construction Capital project. This appropriation represents the final 10% local match required for the N.C. Department of Transportation to close this project.

I. Grant Project Ordinance Amendment Number 4.
1. To accept a $1,811 transfer from the Transportation Fund-General Fund Balance and budget in addition to $16,279 of Federal Government Revenue in the projects Miscellaneous and Construction expenditure line items. This amendment is to recognize the final Federal Revenue contribution and the local 10% match necessary to close this project.

J. Request Approval to Reimburse Fifty Percent of the Amount Paid by ZLoop for Civil Penalties Accrued as a Result of Violations Through the Permitting Process. In an effort to renovate and reopen an existing vacant building, ZLoop did an extensive amount of work, some of which without the proper plans and permits. A fine of $100 per day for every day in violation was issued according to the Land Development Code Article 13. The total amount is $14,500. ZLoop has paid the full amount of the fine and is requesting a 50% reimbursement based upon good faith to finalize their work to submit plans for approval so that all required permits can be issued for the project. Catawba County agreed to the same provision to resolve County permitting issues.

Informational Items
A. Report of Mayor Wright’s travel to Raleigh, NC to meet with Governor McCrory on April
22, 2013 (Meals - $30.75; Mileage Reimbursement $189.84; Lodging - $118.39).
B. Report of Mayor Wright’s travel to Durham, NC for Council Workshop, April 23 and 24,
2013 (Meals - $30.54, Lodging - $103.29).
C. Report of Councilwoman Jill Patton’s travel to Durham for Council Workshop, April 23
and 24, 2013 (Meals - $30.54, Lodging - $103.29).
D. Report of Councilman Danny Seaver’s travel to Durham for Council Workshop, April 23
and 24, 2013 (Meals - $30.54, Lodging - $103.29).
E. Report of Councilman Hank Guess’ travel to Durham for Council Workshop, April 23 and
24, 2013 (Meals $30.54, Lodging - $103.29).
F. Report of Councilman Brad Lail’s travel to Durham for Council Workshop, April 23 and
24, 2013 (Meals $30.54, Lodging - $103.29).
G. Report of City Manager Mick Berry’s travel to Durham for Council Workshop, April 23 and
24, 2013 (Meals $30.54, Lodging - $103.29 and Fuel Expense - $84.98).

New Business - Public Hearings
1. Voluntary Satellite Annexation of 2.67 Acres of property located at 3254 South NC Hwy 127, Hickory. - The Broadway Group, LLC has submitted a petition for the voluntary satellite annexation of 2.67 acres of property located at 3254 South NC Hwy 127. The petitioner is requesting annexation in order to connect to the City of Hickory’s sanitary sewer system. The petitioner intends to construct a +/- 9,300 square foot retail business on the property.

New Business - Departmental Reports:
1. Review of Council Planning Sessions and Outcomes. - Staff will highlight the Council planning activities over the past 18 months and the subsequent initiatives and projects, including the recent analysis of redevelopment in Durham, North Carolina and an update of the Catawba County Economic Competitiveness Plan by Chamber President Danny Hearn.

The Hound - You can look at the slides below and see the busy work that has taken place pertaining the the Inspiring Spaces initiative, They point to the Chattanooga Way, which apparently means that you do things By Hook or By Crook and worry about the details and consequences later. As I have said, I am Inspired by Inspiring people and not by infrastructure. What we know about Bureaucrats is that they aren't Entrepreneurs and they don't mind operating as bullies yo try and intimidate those they deem weak in order to create the end justifying the means scenarios. In the long run this leads to disasters.


2. Request Approval to Modify the Special Event Permit for Sails Music Series. - Music Series represents Hickory’s Life. Well Crafted. Brand, and providing local beer crafted in Hickory fits the brand print and is similar to local farmers as vendors at the Downtown Hickory Farmers Market. An opportunity has risen that would allow OHB to serve its crafted beer during the Sails Music Series under the Sails on the Square in Downtown Hickory. A designated area will be provided for the boundary of the area where beer is allowed while still ensuring that the event is open to all ages. OHB staff is responsible for carding and serving the beverages to those over 21 years of age. Hickory Police Department and city staff will be present and monitor the event which is 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Friday nights in May and June.

Thank You Alderman Lail, Alder Fox, and Alderman Guess for addressing the multiple inconsistencies relating to this issue and City Policies.

The following is the City Council's discussion of the Beer Sails issue:

My Letter to the Editor of the Hickory Daily Record as published on Sunday May 12, 2013

Your story in today's (HDR) paper doesn't tell much about what actually led to the discussion by Council of the Beer Sales during the "Sails on the Square Music Series" and so let me fill you in and help you out on the major missing part of the puzzle.

Hickory Incorporated was called out by the Citizens for Equity in Government during "Citizens Requesting to be Heard" at the beginning of the meeting. That is what started the discussion and that is the reason why Citizens Requesting to be Heard needed to be moved to the beginning of City Council Meetings. They tried to do this as a Departmental Report just like they did at various points during the whole process of this structure being built on Union Square. Public Hearings require allowing citizen input, Departmental Reports do not.

In the past that would have led to a Departmental Report rubber stamp approval without any citizen input, but we have defanged that monster with our request that "Citizens Requesting to be Heard" be moved to the beginning of meetings, as it has been, because of our persistent insistence. Now Citizens can get issues out in the Sunshine and basically force discussion. Before they would have ramrodded this through with little to no discussion and we would not have been able to voice our concerns until after the vote and approval had taken place.

It is my hope in sending this message to you that you would be interested in painting the whole picture of this Democracy in Action; letting citizens know that they can have a voice and do have effective advocates. Can you see which is more effective? Can you see which is more Just and Citizen Friendly? Which would you say is more based upon traditional American Principles?

3. Proposed Youth Protection Ordinance- At the February 19, 2013 City Council Meeting, Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins introduced a proposed youth protection ordinance. The purpose of the ordinance is to protect juveniles from victimization and exposure to criminal activity by establishing a curfew for juveniles under the age of 16 years in the city. The principles behind the ordinance are promoting the role of the parent in raising and guiding children and promote the health, safety, and welfare of both juveniles and adults by creating an environment offering better protection and security for all concerned. Reducing the possible exposure of children during the nighttime hours to being victims of crime and being involved in criminal activity would be a desired outcome of the ordinance. Another desired outcome is to assist the parents and guardians of minors to establish community guidelines for children not to be in public areas during nighttime hours without adult supervision. As outlined at the February 19, 2013 Council Meeting, Chief Adkins has conducted 13 meetings informing citizens about the proposed youth protection ordinance. Two of the public meetings were held last week after over 4,000 letters were sent to parents of students of Hickory Public Schools. The meetings were productive, allowing citizens to review concepts and provide feed back. Chief Adkins will update City Council on the public input and his thoughts on next steps in evaluating the ordinance. (Draft Ordinance Attached)

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