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Tar Heel Begins Process to Change to 4-Year Council Terms

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by Blake Proctor

With Councilmember Angie Hall absent, Mayor Sam Allen called the April 6th meeting of the Tar Heel Town Council to order at 6 pm sharp. Attendees stood for the Pledge of Allegiance, and the Mayor provided the invocation.

There were no comments from the public, and after a quick perusal of the March meeting minutes and the March finance report, the consent agenda was quickly dispensed with.

Old business consisted of a review of tasked items from previous meetings. Most notable among these were, first, the possibility of refurbishing the Tar Heel’s mosquito sprayer so that the Town would not be dependent on Dublin’s machine.

Then, determining how many sign poles are needed and their locations, to move forward on the signs installation program.

And, perhaps most importantly, contacting 4-County Electric so they can make a determination on which poles on NC87 new Christmas decorations would be able to be fitted with plugs in time for next Christmas.

There was but one item of new business, and what a mammoth step it was in helping the Town position for its future: Currently, the Mayor and all Councilmembers are elected to concurrent two-year terms, whereas the majority of local governments in the state elect their officials to terms of four years.

On the other hand, while it is understood that staggered terms generally provide continuity in experience, Tar Heel’s diminutive size, small population, political demographics, and extremely small budget have combined to now preclude elections every two years.

Therefore, in as much a cost-cutting measure as one of good governance, the Council decided to amend the Town’s Charter to provide for concurrent four-year terms for both the Mayor and Councilmembers.

Resolution 21-1, declaring the intent of the Town to so amend the Charter, was presented to the Board for their consideration. The resolution stated the new terms would be concurrent terms of four years.

It declared that a public hearing would be called for 6 pm Tuesday, April 27th at the Community Building to hear comments from the public about this proposed Charter change.

Also stated in the resolution was the requirement for a notice of the public hearing to be advertised no later than April 16th in a print or electronic general circulation newspaper within the County.

On a motion by Councilmember Derek Druzak to adopt Resolution 21-1, and a second by Councilmember Mike Underwood, the resolution was adopted on a unanimous vote.

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