Public comments policy makes quick meeting

By Beanie Taylor -

JONESVILLE — The Jonesville Town Council meeting started with a detailed account of the Public Comment Policy outlining expected behavior and consequences for violating the policy making for a quick meeting on Monday.

Although the previous meetings started with a short synopsis of this policy, there were times, such as the November meeting, when these guidelines had been abandoned. “We’re not going to have another meeting like last month,” declared Mayor Gene Pardue.

For this reason, the policy was expounded upon highlighting that the public is to speak only to the council as a group and not any one member nor anyone else in the room and that they should not expect an immediate response for any issue brought to the council’s attention the night of the meeting.

The process for addressing the council also was defined with written remarks or materials to be distributed before the meeting takes place as well as behavior guidelines “in order to provide for the maintenance and decorum in the conduct of the meeting.” Consequences of ignoring this policy can result in the expulsion of the offender as well as a class 2 misdemeanor, according to North Carolina General Statute §143-318.17.

The reading of this detailed policy allowed for quick discussion of the 2015-16 Audit Report, which revealed no discrepancies or unexpected problems. This made it possible for the council to make a swift decision to purchase software for purchase orders that complements the budget program Jonesville already uses. Currently when money has been allotted for a purchase order, the amount is not removed from the budget until a bill is received. The new software will track dedicated amounts before the bills are actually obtained.

With recent fires creating concerns about water issues, the town of Jonesville also discussed the possible need for a water conservation policy.

Although proximity to the Yadkin River makes the need unlikely, Council Member Andy Green stated, “This goes hand-in-hand with the clean water study we did a few years ago. I think we’d be good stewards to have a conservation policy in place.”

Pardue agreed, “For us to conserve during a real bad drought would help on down the river,” to places like Winston-Salem.

The current strategy would be to ask those businesses using the most water to reduce their consumption, only asking citizens to do so as a very last resort. The council voted to develop a more specific water conservation policy.

The council vacancy, left open following the death of Judy Wolfe, also was addressed, however no Jonesville citizen has yet been put forward as a potential candidate. Those voting residents of Jonesville who are interested in filling the council vacancy should notify any council member.

Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Twitter @TBeanieTaylor.

By Beanie Taylor

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