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Hope Mills board to hold public hearing on changing how town leaders are elected

Plan would change commissioners’ terms to four years, stagger elections


HOPE MILLS — A public hearing on whether to change the way the mayor and town commissioners are elected will be held during a Board of Commissioners meeting Monday night.

The board is considering amending the town chapter to allow for four-year, staggered terms.

The board will meet at 7 p.m. in Town Hall.

At its Jan. 9 meeting, the board voted 3-2 to hold the hearing on changing commissioners’ terms to staggered, four-year ones and whether the mayor’s term should be changed to four years or left at the current two years.

Commissioners Bryan Marley and Grillery Mitchell and Mayor Pro Tem Kenjuana McCray voted in favor of holding the hearing. Commissioners Joanne Scarola and Jerry Legge opposed it.

This is the second time the board has considered altering the terms. The plan was rejected the first time.

“We asked the citizens to vote, and they unanimously voted it down, so we know what they would like. They want two-year terms, and I think we work for them and I think we should stick to what they want in this case,” Legge told Mayor Warner.

Before his resignation, former Town Manager Scott Meszaros told the commissioners they could vote on the change themselves, but they can put the issues to voters in a referendum if a petition to do so gets enough signatures.

A petition to hold a referendum would require the signatures of 10% of registered voters.

Town residents will have a chance to go before the board Monday and share their thoughts.

Anyone who wants to comment must sign up with the town clerk 15 minutes before the meeting starts and are asked to limit their comments to three minutes.

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The commissioners are also expected to hear an update on the new Public Safety Building on Monday. Scott Garner, the building’s architect, will present the 13th change order for the project that would cost just over $25,000.

The five items on Garner’s change order include wheel stops at Town Hall in the visitors parking lot; a concrete slab for a police armored vehicle; a training highline for the Fire Department; modifications to the security fence; and additional exit sign lights and receptacles.

Garner’s memo to the board says the project is still on budget.

Under new business, the board will consider authorizing just over $70,000 for MS Consultants for resurfacing as part of the 2013 street project.

The board also will consider setting a public hearing on the annexation of 1.02 acres at 3808 Park Garden Court as well as a request to annex 8.11 acres at Waldo’s Beach and Camden roads.

Some notable items listed under the consent agenda include accepting a bid from A-1 Landscaping and Lot Clearing for the installation of a municipal parking lot. The cost would not exceed $24,048. 

Also, the board is expected to approve a new usage and design for the Thomas Campbell Oakman Memorial Chapel. The Parks and Recreation Department has recommended that only community groups, meetings and rentals be allowed in the chapel.

Hope Mills, elections, public hearing, Board of Commissioners