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Calabash: Mayor, commissioner debate motion to remove powers

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By Laura Lewis, Reporter

CALABASH—Mayor Mary Knight has taken town commissioner Jody Nance to task for his motion in December to remove Knight’s powers.

Knight, speaking at the town board’s Jan. 8 meeting, said Nance himself stated at the Dec. 11 meeting she had done nothing wrong.

That was when the town board of commissioners voted 3-2 to “remove the powers” of Knight after she spent $1,152 for new office flooring at town hall.

Knight cited prior employees who had problems with mold and odor in the room now used as her office at town hall.

“There’s a problem in that room,” Knight read during a prepared statement near the start of the meeting.

“I am not here to cause problems for this board,” Knight said.

She said she had no idea what was in the town building fund until she was told—$6,000—from which she drew to buy new flooring.

Knight said she wants to close out 2012 and move forward.

“I am tired of small people in small towns,” she said. “They take on rumor. They state facts that are not true.”

She said anyone with questions should feel free to come and talk with her.

She expressed appreciation for support she has received during the past two months.

 

Request to ‘clarify’ minutes

Nance asked town clerk Kelley Southward to clarify what he said in the minutes from the board’s Dec. 11 meeting.

Nance said neither he nor the board “was at any time trying to remove any powers given to the mayor by North Carolina state law.”

Nance said the board does not have that authority and that he was “only trying to protect the town’s checkbook from further spending sprees and only such powers given to the mayor by city ordinance.”

Town commissioner Daria Buccilli said Nance’s statement prior to the board’s vote on his motion in December was recorded verbatim in the draft minutes.

Nance said he wanted to add a clarification rather than remove anything from the draft minutes.

Knight said the clarification should be added to the January minutes rather than December’s.

Town attorney Mac Tyson said he didn’t see a problem with Nance’s request to amend prior recorded meeting minutes.

“If someone wishes to add a clarification, any of you, to a motion that you made, it doesn’t change the motion, it only clarifies the intent at the time the motion was made,” Tyson said.

Tyson advised a better procedure might be for the board to table the request.

Buccilli said what Nance said should stay in the minutes.

“In our new minutes, he could have amended what he said,” she said.

“I don’t think he’s trying to amend,” Tyson said. “He’s stating what was on his mind and giving you clarification of the basis behind the motion. The motion will not change, as I understand what he said. It will stay exactly like it is in here. It’s like a footnote to a Supreme Court [document]. The decision of the case does not change—you simply have a footnote at the bottom, is my understanding.”

Southward said since the December draft is a verbatim transcription, she could put in parentheses that clarification was added at the Jan. 8 meeting.

“It won’t take anything away from what’s there,” she said. “It will just be a note to the reader.”

The board then approved tabling the issue.

Former town commissioner Cecelia Herman, speaking during public comment, said she is glad to see an elected board that is finally enforcing rules and regulations.

“You are all here to work together to represent all of us—not some of us, not the ones you like—all of us,” she said. “And I think it’s time that everybody on that board come to do what they were elected to do, because that’s why we voted for you.”

 

Laura Lewis is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or email llewis@brunswickbeacon.com.