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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Newsletter about the Special City Council meeting of January 12, 2014

The following meeting took place on January 12, 2015. In this special meeting, the Hickory City Council has discussions and takes votes related to the formation of a Hickory Bond Commission.

Hound Notes: There were some good discussions. 

Alderman Lail asked about who would be considered for appointment, when it came to filling out an application versus a survey. Survey has 131 respondents. 172 respondents filled out an application. The survey had additional questions related to the bonds. There were questions about deadlines for applications.

There was some debate about staggered terms in relation to as to the maximum number of years someone could serve on the Commission. Mayor Wright felt 6 years was reasonable. Alderman Zagaroli seemed to believe there shouldn't be a cap. He spoke about Major contributors.  Mayor Wright seemed to be in favor of a cap. Alderman Zagaroli and the others seemed to come around to the idea of 6 years cap on serving on this commission.

 Alderman Lail stated that the Survey Respondent list does not match community demographics. It seemed that a decision was made that it wasn't necessary for the community demographics be representative of the commission. It was decided by especially Alderman Guess that the pool would come from survey respondents. The Council seemed to be saying that this Commission does not need to be reflective of the community's demographics. It seemed to be a general consensus that the community has had ample time and notice to seek participation on this commission.

Alderman Guess didn't want any restrictions put on the Council in naming members to the commission. Alderman Meisner concurred that he didn't want any limits, especially when it comes to residency. Alderman Lail also agreed and so did Alder Patton. The Mayor stated that he had a problem with naming just anyone to such a commission that is not a resident of Hickory. Alderman Lail didn't like the idea of putting a limit on the naming by stating the nominee must be a "Taxpayer". It was decided 5 to 2  (Mayor and Alderman Zagaroli voted - originally I didn't have Zag as a no, but reviewed my notes, the vote was not announced) that there should be no restrictions.

There was a discussion about Ex-Officio members to this Commission. It was decided that each Hickory City Boards and Commissions should have a representative per each. It was also decided that the Chamber of Commerce would be granted a member. Alder Patton had a valid point about why should the Chamber have a member and not any of the other organizations in the community, such as the Downtown Development Association. The Council voted 6 to 1 (Alder Patton dissenting) to include the Chamber, but no other organizations.

Action will be taken on January 20th at the Council meeting (public hearing). Two weeks later this becomes law.

Alderman Guess asked about people having to provide public information to apply to serve on the Commission. He was told that it is and must be on the public record and it is stated on the application. Attorney Crone and Manager Berry stated that the meetings are open to the public and will be on the public record. Further discussion led to interjection about the nominees for these positions being announced at a Council meeting -- presumably the first Council meeting after the ordinance becomes law... February 3, 2015 (???).

It was eventually decided that each Council member and the Mayor would have 4 appointments to the Commission. It seems as though there will be approximately 39 people serving on this Commission.

Hound's Bottom Line: You make the call. Does this sound effective?

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