STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF HENDERSON OCTOBER 20, 1999
The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a special called meeting at 9:00 a.m. in the Commissioners= Conference Room of the Henderson County Office Building at 100 North King Street, Hendersonville, North Carolina.
Those present were: Chairman Grady Hawkins, Vice-Chair Bill Moyer, Commissioner Renee Kumor, Commissioner Don Ward, Commissioner Marilyn Gordon, County Manager David E. Nicholson, Assistant County Manager/Interim County Attorney Angela S. Beeker, and Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn.
Also present were: Finance Director J. Carey McLelland, Planning Director Karen C. Smith, Staff Attorney Jennifer O. Jackson, Public Information Officer Chris S. Coulson, County Engineer Gary Tweed, County Assessor Robert Baird, Lee King from Property Addressing, temporary office technician in the Assessors= Office Sam Stone, and Fire Marshall Rocky Hyder.
CALL TO ORDER/WELCOME
Chairman Hawkins called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Commissioner Kumor led the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.
David Nicholson gave the invocation.
DISCUSSION/ADJUSTMENT OF AGENDA
Chairman Hawkins pulled one item from staff reports, item AC@ Recreation - Field Sponsors.
Commissioner Ward added one item as AC@ under staff reports - update on racetrack.
Commissioner Gordon asked for some discussion on our scheduling under important dates.
It was the consensus of the Board to approve the above adjustments.
Chairman Hawkins made the motion to approve the consent agenda as presented. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
The Consent Agenda included the following:
Notification of Vacancies
The Board was notified of the following vacancies which will appear under ANominations@ on the next agenda: 1. Downtown Hendersonville, Inc. - 1 vacancy due to resignation.
The Board was given a list of six (6) tax refund requests for their review and approval.
The Board was given a list of one hundred fifty-six (156) tax release requests for their review and approval.
Resolution - Highway Safety Project
The Sheriff=s Department requested that the Board approve and the Chairman sign a Highway Safety Project Contract. The grant will be used to purchase equipment for the Tri-County Highway Safety Interdiction Team. There is no county cash match required. Following is a list of equipment that will be purchased through the grant:
Number of Units Type
5 In-Car Cameras
5 Radar Units
5 Mobile Data Terminals
50 Traffic Vests
50 Traffic Cones
1 Automated Directional Signal
Capital Improvements Project Reports
The quarterly Capital Improvements Project Reports for the month of June were presented for the Board=s review and information.
Tax Collector=s Report
Terry F. Lyda, Tax Collector, had provided the Tax Collector=s Report to the Board as of October 12, 1999.
Chairman Hawkins reminded the Board of the following vacancies and opened the floor to nominations:
1. Henderson County Board of Health - 1 vac.
Commissioner Gordon nominated Dr. John Bell. Commissioner Kumor made the motion to suspend the rules and appoint Dr. Bell. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
2. Hendersonville City Zoning Board of Adjustment - 2 vac.
Commissioner Kumor nominated Phyllis Rogers. Chairman Hawkins made the motion to suspend the rules and appoint Ms. Rogers as the regular member. All voted in favor and the motion carried. There remains a vacancy for the alternate member.
3. Nursing/Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee - 6 vac.
Commissioner Kumor nominated Barbara J. Fountain for reappointment. Chairman Hawkins made the motion to suspend the rules and reappoint Ms. Fountain to position #1. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
4. Community Child Protection Team - 1 vac.
Commissioner Kumor nominated Fred Nordstrom for reappointment. Chairman Hawkins made the motion to suspend the rules and reappoint Mr. Nordstrom. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
5. Travel & Tourism Committee - 4 vac.
Chairman Hawkins nominated Marilyn Gordon for reappointment. Commissioner Moyer nominated Dennis Page for reappointment. Commissioner Gordon nominated Jim Hall for reappointment. Commissioner Ward nominated Myra Wood for reappointment. Chairman Hawkins made the motion to suspend the rules and reappoint all four members to the Travel & Tourism Committee. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Chairman Hawkins suggested that the Board wait to name the Chairman until the City of Hendersonville has made it=s nominations.
6. Henderson County Hospital Corporation Board of Directors - 3 vac.
Chairman Hawkins nominated Dr. Albers. Commissioner Moyer nominated Howard Carl. Commissioner Ward nominated Dr. Shuffstall. Commissioner Kumor nominated Charles Waters. Chairman Hawkins informed the Clerk that the Board will vote on this at the next meeting.
7. Henderson County Zoning Board of Adjustment - 1 vac.
Chairman Hawkins informed the Board that Dale Caldwell does not wish to serve an additional term. He is the regular member representing the Bearwallow area. Chairman Hawkins stated he would contact the alternate for Bearwallow to see if he would be interested in serving as the regular member. That would leave a vacancy for an alternate.
8. Laurel Park Board of Adjustment - 1 vac.
Chairman Hawkins informed the Board that Bernard Yurick does not wish to serve an additional term. He is the regular member representing the ETJ. Chairman Hawkins stated he would contact the alternate for the ETJ to see if he would be interested in serving as the regular member. That would leave a vacancy for an alternate.
REPORT OF TAX COLLECTOR REGARDING INTERNAL PROCESS CHANGES AND
METHODS TO BE USED TO COLLECT DELINQUENT TAXES
Terry F. Lyda and two of his personnel, Darlene Burgess and Carol McCraw came forward for this presentation.
Terry Lyda explained that he and Darlene Burgess had been working with Angela Beeker for about 60 days to come up with a Plan of Action for Collection of Current-Year Delinquent Property Taxes.
It will not require any new personnel. It will involve Darlene Burgess and Andrea Trantham who are currently employed in his office.
Carol McCraw has been the Deputy Tax Collector for over 10 years and has come up with a new process for Mail-In Payment Processing. She stated that staff recognized the Board=s concern in getting the funds deposited quicker. At the same time they wanted to be sure to continue to retain adequate records in terms of being able to research payments and checks received.
Carol stated that the former process was lengthy and comprehensive and included seven steps in processing mail payments. Robert Baird has helped to adapt one of the existing computer reports so that the mail can go directly from being opened and proved to a clerk who can open a computer group and post the transactions directly from the mailed-in material rather than having to go to the books and pull the bills and run two sets of tapes on the checks and the bills. With this new process they have been able to get the funds in the bank on the same day. This has also cut down tremendously on the temporary help expense. They have eliminated three of the seven steps in the new process.
Terry=s staff have researched retail lockbox services and have received a proposal from BB&T which was shared with the Board. Terry stated that it appeared to be an expensive process.
Darlene reviewed briefly with the Board the proposal from BB&T for an annual cost of $51,364.88. There would also be some one time costs such as making their computer in compliance with the banks computer if it is not already.
Terry explained that as far as the current collections, the biggest thing is to get the bills out as soon as possible and get the money back in. They start 6% interest on January 6 each year. Delinquent statements on the real and the personal property are usually sent out in March. This year they propose to advertise both the real and the personal property. Everyone who has not settled by June 1 will be turned over to the delinquent tax collector.
Darlene Burgess reviewed the document with the Board AAppointment of Delinquent Tax Collector and Plan of Action for Collection of Delinquent Property Taxes@. This report included all the remedies available to staff for collection of delinquent taxes including levy, attachment and garnishment which they are not currently utilizing. She discussed state tax, bankruptcy, and motor vehicle tax and collection. Darlene felt the need to discuss a couple of these remedies with an attorney before utilizing them.
Chairman Hawkins stated that what the Board was particularly interested in was about $3 million of uncollected tax. The proposal was to try to come up with a plan to systematically go look at the $3 million. Staff has indicated that there may only be $2 million actually owed and then what portion of that can be collected? The Board had previously asked for an update in January on the tax statement. The overall plan appeared to be a reasonable approach. There was a question raised as far as the working relationship in the new process. Chairman Hawkins stated that he did not see it to be particularly viable to have the person collecting delinquent taxes to work under the direction of the Board of Commissioners. There was a consensus of the Board that the Delinquent Tax Collector work under the direction of the Tax Collector as a Deputy Tax Collector.
Commissioner Moyer made the motion to adopt the plan as presented by the Tax Collector with the following modifications and additions, that the Board of Commissioners appoint Darlene Burgess as a Deputy Tax Collector who will report to the Tax Collector with a dotted line responsibility to the County Staff Attorney, that the term be for one year, to set a bond for Darlene at $500,000 and transfer $35,000 from the general fund to establish the new office with the assistant to the Deputy to be selected by the Deputy within the budget figure and to approve the presented budget. Darlene would collect back taxes and Terry would continue to collect the current year taxes. Darlene=s settlement will be a part of the Tax Collector=s settlement and then the Tax Collector will be charged back with the entire settlement, including the insolvent=s list but then it would be up to Darlene to collect it as Deputy Collector. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
When staff comes back in January to update the Board on the progress made, the Board requested that they also show any savings in utilizing the new process.
FIRE AND RESCUE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Rocky Hyder reviewed the October 6, 1999 revision of the Fire and Rescue Advisory Committee by-laws with the Board.
It was suggested that an addition be made to Article VI regarding open meetings laws.
Chairman Hawkins suggested that if the Board were comfortable with the revised set of by-laws, that the Board schedule a follow-up meeting with the Commission and invite all the fire departments so that everyone receives the charter at the same time. There are 17 fire stations, 12 different departments. Chairman Hawkins stated that this will be discussed under Important Dates to set a workshop to be held at one of the fire departments.
RACETRACK DISCUSSION - add on per Commissioner Ward
Commissioner Ward stated that he continues to read in the newspaper about a racetrack in Asheville, Buncombe County. Henderson County worked several months hard on an ordinance to help protect the quality of life for our citizens. With the racetrack coming so close to our county lines, he requested that some correspondence be directed to Asheville and Buncombe County to see what is happening with the racetrack in Buncombe County.
It was the consensus of the Board that the Chairman send letters requesting additional information on this issue.
REFERRAL OF VARIANCE REQUEST FROM SUBDIVISION ORDINANCE
Tom McHugh, Applicant/Agent for Smith-Lowe Development Co.
Mr. Tom McHugh submitted an application for a variance in conjunction with an application for Master Plan and Development Plan review of a proposed 41-lot Major Subdivision names White=s Lake. Mr. McHugh has requested a variance from the centerline radius and shoulder width requirements found in Table 1 in section 170-21C of the Subdivision Ordinance.
The Subdivision Ordinance states that the Board of Commissioners may authorize a technical variance from these regulations. In the past the Board of Commissioners has referred such requests to the Planning Board for review and recommendation. Staff recommended that the Commissioners refer this item to the Planning Board for a recommendation prior to holding a quasi-judicial proceeding on the request.
It was the consensus of the Board to refer this item to the Planning Board for a recommendation prior to the Board setting a Quasi-Judicial hearing.
Karen Smith suggested that in the future, these similar variances be placed on the Board=s consent agenda. The Board was in agreement with this suggestion.
COST OF LIVING INCREASE
At the October 4, 1999 meeting, the Board discussed the annual cost of living increase for County Employees. The Board approved an increase of 2.3% based on the Consumer Price Index. However, the Board requested that staff contact our surrounding counties concerning their increase this year.
Mr. Nicholson had contacted the following surrounding counties and supplied their increases for this year:
Averaging being 2.8%
Mr. Nicholson stated for most general stated employees including non-certified school employees there was a 3% across the board increase and for teachers it was an average of 7.5% increase. Social Security increase will be 2.4% this year.
Chairman Hawkins explained that in the budget process, the Board had set aside monies to give an increase up to 2.8%.
Commissioner Moyer stated that based on the counties around us and based on what=s happening with the economy in our area he thinks they should demand the highest level of performance from
county employees and insist that they give the public the best quality and feels that they should be paid fairly and appropriately and therefore moved that the increase be 2.8%. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Chairman Hawkins called a 10 minute recess.
INFORMAL PUBLIC COMMENTS
There was none.
REVISED PROCESS FOR APPOINTMENT TO THE COMMUNITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Ms. Beeker gave the Board an update on the revised process for appointment to the Community Advisory Committee. Ms. Corn, Ms. Nancy Smith-Hunnicutt who is the regional ombudsman for this Committee, Ms. Beeker and a representative of the Committee, Dave Dennison, met two weeks ago to put the finishing touches on the process. The Commissioners had been given the finished product in their agenda packet. The Chairman had previously reviewed this and given his input as well. What these individuals attempted to do is differentiate between the regular positions and the designated positions. Ms. Beeker thought that the regular positions had been OK from a process standpoint as far as just appointing them when they come up for vacancy. They can be appointed without delay. So those positions are not the positions that really have caused a lot of headache regarding process. The problems have been with the designated positions. So there are some changes that these individuals proposed.
The most significant change would be that all appointments to designated positions be done during January through March of each year so that the Board basically had to deal with them only one time. The Board would not constantly throughout the year have to notify the nursing homes of vacancies, solicit their nominations for every vacancy that comes up, but rather the Board would do it all at once. In order to facilitate that, the proposal was that each December the Board would get notified of all the designated position vacancies that would become open during the upcoming calendar year and at that time the Board would name persons to a pool that could be considered for appointment. That list of names, and those would also include people who wish to be reappointed, would be circulated out to the nursing homes to see if they have any objection or see if they have anything to add. Then after it works through that one letter, if the Board didn=t receive any new names from the nursing homes when that list came back to the Board, the Board could go on and appoint. So hopefully, the Board would take care of them all at one time.
The other thing that the proposal allowed was for the Nursing Home Committee to put the persons in the pool through an orientation while their names are being circulated to the nursing homes so that they would be aware of the time commitments that are involved and could ask to be removed after they learned all about it and toured the nursing homes if they weren=t willing to put in that amount of time. They could be removed before they are appointed rather than get into it later and resign and then the Board would have to do the whole thing over again. If the Board has a mid-year vacancy, if someone did resign mid-year, the Board will still have to work it through the process. Hopefully, this revision would take care of the majority of those and the Board would only have to deal with this once or maybe twice a year instead of on-going throughout the year as it had done in the past.
In order to facilitate naming members to a pool, one thing Ms. Beeker suggested was that the Board may want to consider moving the notification of vacancies from the Consent Agenda and just adding it to the Nominations. That way when vacancies come up the Board would not have to pull it from consent. It might help facilitate the Board=s discussions anyway to see the notification of vacancies and the ones that are up for appointment on the same list for all of the committees.
For regular positions, because it is so hard to find people who are willing to put in this time commitment, Ms. Beeker suggested, and the other members who had worked on the proposal agreed, that the Board should name people to a pool for that also. They could also be put through the same orientation so that the Board has a pool of people sitting there ready when a vacancy comes up.
Commissioner Kumor stated that based on the article that was in the paper about the CNA need, she thought the Board could play off that and go through a public relations push if the Board opted to follow Ms. Beeker=s proposal so that the Board could start recruiting all these two pools and start the training in January. It seemed this issue was in front of the Board at the same time there=s an issue that relates to the Committee in front of the community. If the Board could leverage that information along with the Board=s needs for this Committee through the County=s public relations, the Board might build its pool and get it ready by January.
Ms. Beeker replied that they can be the same pool, designated or non-designated.
As Ms. Beeker indicated, Chairman Hawkins, Ms. Beeker and Ms. Corn had worked very extensively with the personnel involved in this and part of the difficulty with it is the way the statutes are designed that sets the percentage of membership of two-thirds regular positions and one-third designated positions. The designated positions required a certain amount of coordination with the homes that are providing the service. On the appointments list for today=s meeting, there were waiting periods for that list to go out and come back so the proposal made an attempt to still be in compliance with the statutes and yet streamline the Board=s process. Chairman Hawkins thought the proposal was a very good product.
Chairman Hawkins and Commissioner Gordon attended a meeting last night about the need for volunteers. If you had a large enough pool that would certainly lend itself to maybe having some of those people involved in volunteer work prior to that and a lot of other spin offs that you could have for it.
Commissioner Gordon thought the meeting was very interesting, informative and really had some good ideas. She was very impressed with the work that this Community Advisory Committee does and she thinks they go beyond their requirements. They really put effort into it and have ideas and they do need community support. She encouraged anyone who has any interest at all to get involved and at all age levels. When she left the meeting last night, she was really enthused with the ideas that were coming out. She thought they are on the right track.
Chairman Hawkins thought at some point this Board may want to consider some kind of proclamation acknowledging those workers in that type of work. He would bring a draft proclamation back to the Board for its consideration after some coordination with this committee. One of the things interestingly enough was a question of compensation for that kind of work and there was a lot of discussion on it. But there was also a lot of other things that the people that work in that area had concerns with, injuries being one of them with recognition being the other.
Chairman Hawkins made a motion that the Board accept this proposal as presented and pass it on. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
NEEDS ASSESSMENT REPORT
Mike Oliphant, Executive Director of the Alliance for Human Services, informed the Board that Betsy Armstrong-Price who was president of the Alliance for Human Services would do the first part of the Needs Assessment Report. Ms. Price thanked the Board for allowing the Alliance to present the assessment report. She reviewed with the Commissioners the findings of the Needs Assessment report. The needs assessment results were reported at the end of August of this year from data that was collected in 1999. She gave a brief history on what happened prior to the needs assessment. In 1996, the Blue Ribbon Commission was created by the Henderson County Board of Commissioners and the Community Foundation of Henderson County. A little while later, the United Way joined which meant the main three funders to the human services agencies in this County came together. The Blue Ribbon Commission was asked to review the human service agencies, identify possible duplication, determine emerging needs and to educate the funders and the public on ways to effectively coordinate human services efforts in this community. One of the objectives was to do a needs assessment which was started in December 1998 when the Alliance contracted with an independent consultant Dialogos Consulting. They started their information gathering the beginning of this year and they used four main areas to gather information. They did a telephone survey that went directly to homes. They sent out questionnaires to informed community members and they received a very good response of 511. They also held listening sessions throughout the community that included specific groups such as racial service providers, senior citizens, youth and then there were twenty-seven individual interviews that were held.
Ms. Armstrong-Price advised the Commissioners the results of that assessment. One of these information gathering groups had a list of the different most frequently identified problems. The Commissioners had received the Executive Summary of the report that listed each of those. She listed the top three. The telephone survey identified mental health and disability, number two was buying groceries and number three was a lack of health insurance. The questionnaire revealed that there was a concern for low paying jobs with no benefits, lack of transportation, and the cost of medications was of great concern. The listening sessions identified a lack of transportation, low paying jobs and drug substance abuse.
Very specific problems were identified. From the telephone survey, in other words talking to households, over 4600 households were without health insurance. Most of these were without health insurance because of the cost. Dental care was not obtained by over 3700 households, most of that was because of cost. Over 2100 households that did not get medical care was because of the cost. In other words, they did not seek the medical or dental care. Ms. Armstrong-Price commented that it is important to note that the cost of medical care was a concern, but not the quality of medical care. That speaks to the good quality of medical care that is available in the community. One of the things that was cited as a reason for lack of medical insurance was lack of employment and low paying jobs. What seems to be happening is that we have a low wage job which then is lost so there is a period of unemployment which leads to financial crisis. This cycle has great ramifications on the human service needs in our community.
In the last twelve months, almost 4500 households were out of work. There was also reported in the needs assessment that there are over 3200 households that had no savings. So we=re looking at no safety net. The result is that people pull back and take care of only what is necessary. When the unemployment numbers were looked at, the Alliance found that 50% of those out of work were out for usually six weeks. Of those that were out of work, only forty-five percent were able to find comparable jobs.
That leads to other problems. When you think about paying only for the necessities, obviously you want to be warm, you need to have food but housing also becomes an issue. Over 7,000 individuals in Henderson County earn $7.00 or less an hour. It takes eighty-one hours of work at $7.00 an hour to pay an average month=s rent in Henderson County. So needless to say these individuals are missing the utilities payments which result in utilities being disconnected. Or they can=t make necessary repairs to the house that they do have.
Transportation was also mentioned as a need. This is a great need in the elderly community especially. The elderly need transportation from point A to point B usually from their homes to the doctor, the pharmacy, or to get groceries. But they also mentioned they need the socialization aspect of transportation. The lack of transportation was also cited as a problem in obtaining the medical and dental care needed as well as obtaining other human services. In other words, the lack of transportation is a barrier to people getting what they need.
There were also some social problems listed. In the telephone survey, discrimination was reported. This was usually based on age and gender but there was also discrimination based on race as well. It was frequently associated with employment. There were also situations of crime but people did not report it.
In the discussion group, substance abuse was reported in the racial ethnic groups and also the youth listening groups. It was perceived by them that people feel that this is limited to certain neighborhoods but really it is a community wide problem.
This was a very brief and quick look at some of the needs identified. Ms. Armstrong-Price thought no great problem emerged. That showed we have a caring community. We have a lot of work to do on the main problems. However, we need to view this as a community where the cup is more than half full but we still have work to do.
Mike Oliphant discussed what the County is currently doing in human services. They were not focusing so much on the whole area of human services right now but trying to focus on the non-profit organization involvement in human services. In looking at this, Mr. Oliphant thought it was important to think about the relationship that the County has with those non-profits. In looking at the County mission statement, the first items that were important to look at were the items promoting individual responsibility and equal opportunity and protecting one another.
The mission statement for the Alliance for Human Services is to strengthen the delivery of human services to the Henderson County community through close collaboration of funders and facilitate an effective and efficient distribution of human services resources. The needs assessment was a way for the Alliance to look at what folks are saying the needs are and a way to go directly to people who have needs and question them about what those needs are so that they have some basic research that provides the answers to those questions.
The Alliance was also involved in accreditation of non-profit organizations which was a way to make sure that the organizations are doing a good job and are good stewards with the money that they have. The Alliance was providing technical assistance and education to non-profit organizations and were in the process of setting priorities based on the research the Alliance had done. The final step was to make recommendations to those funders.
Henderson County does provide direct funding to a small number of non-profit organizations. This year there were ten organizations. Priority is given to programs that assist Henderson County in the mission of promoting individual responsibility and equal opportunity. For example, the Blue Ridge Literacy Council is involved in teaching adults to read, to improve their chances of employment. The Boys and Girls Club provides services to at-risk youth which helps them at school and in life.
The second priority is given to programs that assist Henderson County in the mission of protecting one another. For example, the Healing Place provides services to victims of rape and sexual assault, Main Stay provides services to victims of domestic violence, Pisgah Legal Services provides services to children and also victims of domestic violence.
Third, the Alliance gives priority to programs that demonstrate a return on investment to Henderson County through reducing expenditures that the County would incur if the program did not exist. One example of this is there were 357 court referred cases to the Dispute Settlement Center, so it keeps cases out of court. Council on Aging and Housing Assistance Corporation provide services to the elderly that keeps the elderly in their home at a relatively modest cost so it keeps folks out of nursing homes. It=s a preferred alternative and it is also much less expensive.
There is also priority given to programs that provide economic benefits to the County. One example of that is SSEACO, formerly referred to as Something Special, providing services to disabled adults. Last year, SSEACO helped 87 disabled adults find employment so now they are taxpayers. That=s a great economic benefit to the County.
Priority is also given to programs that leverage funding from other sources. Programs that increase services through volunteer involvement. For example, Interfaith Assistance Ministry has volunteers that accumulate over 30,000 hours of service to people who have needs every year.
Finally, the Alliance looks at how the services provided fit with the needs assessment. There has to be an identified need that=s provided in order to give priority to the programs.
So the next question is what is the County getting for its $170,000 that went into direct funding of non-profits. Just the ten County funded non-profits have a total annual budget of almost six million dollars. If you add the United Way agencies to those, the thirty-one United Way agencies have a budget of about sixteen million dollars which is a significant contribution to the economy of the County. The ten County funded organizations have almost a hundred full-time employees. The volunteer contributions are 1,091 volunteers who contributed over eighty-seven thousand hours. It=s a significant contribution to the human service needs of the County. Those ten County funded non-profits served almost ten thousand clients in the last year and served them in a variety of ways.
Commissioner Moyer asked Ms. Armstrong-Price what she saw for this coming year. Would she be recommending that the Commissioners follow the same procedures that they did last year with the Alliance accrediting the agencies and making recommendations to the County with respect to funding of human service agencies?
Ms. Armstrong-Price stated the Alliance had completed the accreditation of the ten agencies that are funded by the County Commissioners but they would continue to accredit the agencies that are funded by United Way or by the Community Foundation. The Alliance would work specifically with the ten agencies that the Commissioners would be funding to make those recommendations to the Board.
Chairman Hawkins thanked Ms. Armstrong-Price and Mr. Oliphant for their work. He stated it had been a long path from the Blue Ribbon Committee and the Commissioners have been very anxious to get to the point where they now are. He thought it had worked out very well and it would continue to work in the future to benefit the community.
Commissioner Kumor questioned what was going to be the Commissioners process in dealing with the Alliance.
Commissioner Moyer stated that he probably would recommend that the Commissioners do the same thing as it did last year, and yet he debated in his own mind whether it made any sense to try to establish a range, say a range of 150 to 170, would be helpful to the Alliance to have a guideline as to what the Commissioners have in mind for the coming year at some point in time. The Alliance had talked about what they need and they will have a schedule of when they meet with the agencies, when they make their recommendations and they=re going to talk to Mr. Nicholson as to when he would like a preliminary estimate. Certainly, by the end of April or May depending upon on what Mr. Nicholson says, the Alliance has to have their recommendations to the Commissioners. If the Board is going to give the Alliance a guideline, the Board would have to do it well in advance so the Alliance would know what the Commissioners were working against.
Commissioner Kumor questioned of Commissioner Moyer if he saw that the Commissioners had moved from recommending agencies to just setting a dollar amount and ask the Alliance to recommend where these funds should go based on the criteria that the Commissioners had seen in the presentation.
Commissioner Moyer replied no, he thought the process would still be, and the Alliance wants it to be, that they will take whatever agencies they want to deal with and make a recommendation to the Commissioners. The Commissioners would still do the awarding of it. The Alliance is not in the position to handle the funds or pay out funds and don=t want to do that but they would come back to the Commissioners.
Commissioner Kumor then questioned if the potential exists that on the Board=s base of x number of dollars, the Alliance could give the Commissioners a list of agencies who would like to request and receive money from the County and accredit them and validate their request and their services. The Commissioners would then have the option to pick either the amounts of money that they would choose within its parameters or to select some agencies and not select others.
Commissioner Moyer stated that he thought that Commissioner Kumor had made a major jump on him. The Alliance would accredit the agencies and he thought the Board should leave it to the Alliance to decide what their recommendation is as amount per agency. Assuming an agency that=s not part of the ten comes forward and requests money from the County and there is no question it is a human service agency, Commissioner Moyer personally thought the Commissioners should refer that to the Alliance, tell them to make application to the Alliance because it=s up to them, the Commissioners will award the money but the Alliance is going to indicate who it should go to. The Commissioners would take the final action. If the Alliance sent the Board something that they decide is wrong or don=t like it, the Commissioners certainly could change it. The Commissioners have the provocative to do so. The Alliance would make the recommendation with respect to agencies. Last year, the Commissioners did not give the Alliance quite as much money as they wanted, although very close, the Commissioners went back to the Alliance and it made the adjustments. The Commissioners did not make the adjustments. Mr. Moyer thought it should work the same way.
Ms. Armstrong-Price pointed out that accreditation means that agencies= house is in order. That the agency has policy, personnel policies and bylaws, as well as an audit. That does not say that agency gets approval from the Alliance just because of what service the agency is providing. The Alliance looks at that on the funding side.
Commissioner Moyer reminded the Board it was the first year last year and the Alliance obviously knows they need to continue to work on communications with the agencies so they understand the process and they are comfortable with it and they will be continuing to work on that this coming year.
Commissioner Kumor commented that she felt the Alliance was meeting the goals the Commissioners set and it=s also doing the one most interesting thing by leveraging the assets of the Community Foundation and United Way and the amount the County wants to give to meet some of the goals that were pointed out as needs in the County.
Commissioner Ward requested of Ms. Armstrong-Price if the Alliance did another telephone survey or random survey for the Alliance to include a question as to how many people are living within their means in Henderson County. He would be interested in that. Commissioner Ward is out in the public a lot and sees a lot of people that get assistance that doesn=t live within their means. Commissioner Ward knows certain individuals that get assistance from the County and some of these organizations that don=t try to live within their means. He thought that was the main reason that the Alliance could set up a program to help people stay within their means where they don=t have to come to the agencies for assistance. At one point, Commissioner Ward was talking to a gentleman who make an x amount of dollars but his car payment is almost as much as he makes. He misses his rent payment so he can make his car payment. If the Alliance could incorporate that into a survey, it would be an interesting item to bring back to the Commissioners.
Ms. Armstrong-Price stated the Alliance hoped to be able to update the needs assessment on a regular basis but how regular she didn=t know.
APPLE COUNTRY GREENWAYS COMMISSION INTERLOCAL AGREEMENT
Ms. Beeker gave the Board an update on the Apple Country Greenways Commission interlocal agreement. At the last Commissioners= meeting, the Board had reviewed a revised draft of the interlocal agreement and suggested further changes to the agreement. Ms. Beeker had made those changes to the agreement but she also took liberty to re-organize the agreement to hopefully make it read more smoothly and make it more understandable. She grouped the common things together.
Chairman Hawkins thought the reorganization of the agreement looked good. He brought to the attention of the Board an item on page 3, Item C at the top of the page. As large as the Committee is, Chairman Hawkins had reservations about the requirement or including in the interlocal agreement the conditions to establish more committees. He thought that might be one of the areas on the final agreement that the Commissioners should look at. As he read that section, Ato establish any committees necessary to fulfill responsibilities and duties of the Commission@, if you=re establishing committees within the number of people that=s already there, that seemed reasonable to Chairman Hawkins. But if you=re going outside of the interlocal agreement and establish more committees and ever how many that you get in, he thought that was beyond the scope for the interlocal agreement.
Ms. Beeker stated the intent was for subcommittees. For example, if the Greenways Commission wanted to go out and establish a subcommittee to work on a particular area to enlist more volunteers to help with that, that was what was intended rather than set up standing other committees.
Commissioner Moyer asked Chairman Hawkins if it would accomplish what he was saying if the agreement stated if the majority of any members of any subcommittee would have to be members of the Commission?
Commissioner Kumor thought the Commissioners were looking to include other groups that it had organized, that the Commissioners encourage them to bring in more people so that the Board had a pool of people when the next appointments come available for such groups of people who are out there and who have been working on the process and are interested.
Commissioner Moyer thought the concern was could the Commissioners set up a committee of which there were no members of the existing Commission. If it said the majority of the members of any subcommittee have to be members of the greenways commission, Commissioner Moyer thought that would solve it. He thought the Commission should be allowed to bring in some new people but the majority of the people should be existing greenways commission members.
Commissioner Kumor was thinking in a different direction. She was thinking more along the lines of if the Commission wanted to get a committee or a subcommittee of twelve or fifteen people to help work on one select project, there aren=t enough members of the greenways committee maybe to populate that subcommittee as well as some other subcommittees. Perhaps the Board wanted to say the Chairman or leadership of the committee would be from the Commission. She was looking at it as trying to bring more volunteers to help with the process than in help with decision making.
Chairman Hawkins would personally feel more comfortable with that verbiage than the way it was then in the agreement and clarify it and maybe answer a little a bit of that area. That was the only area Chairman Hawkins had some concerns about.
Commissioner Ward shared that concern. He also wanted it to include coordinating of volunteers. But he was satisfied with it as amended.
Ms. Beeker clarified that the Commissioners would be pleased to include Mr. Moyer=s suggested language and all replied that was fine.
Commissioner Moyer had already mentioned to Ms. Beeker but he thought the Commissioners should look at whether there was a sentence to lead in one of the drafts at the end of the liability section which covers the cost of various suits which he thought should be included again. On the last page under liability, in prior drafts there was a sentence that Ain the event of any suit or proceeding brought against the members of the Commission or its staff, the participating political subdivision shall pay the reasonable costs of defense. The participating political subdivisions shall equally share any costs incurred under this section.@ Commissioner Moyer thought that was arguable but covered by the first sentence but he thought it would be better to add those two sentences. He agreed with Chairman Hawkins that the changes made and re-organization are good. On page two (h), he wanted to eliminate the word draft and leave it as Ato distribute the plan.@ So if the Commission distributes the plan and there are comments, they get it back. If there are no comments, then you have a plan. The Commissioners debated at great length at the end of the second line whether the Commission had to send something called a draft. He thought if the word draft was removed, the Commission was going to submit the plan for review, comment, or concurrence and they call it a final plan. If they have to go back and change it that=s fine but that avoids the issue the Commissioners got into of whether it was a draft or not.
Chairman Hawkins asked Commissioner Gordon if she would be comfortable because it was one of the issues that she had raised. Commissioner Gordon recalled the Commissioners had a discussion on it and it seemed the idea was that the Commission present the draft before it becomes a master plan for approval. She asked if the intent was just to call it a master plan.
Commissioner Moyer answered just to allow the Commission to send out the plan. The Commissioners had gotten into a big theoretical debate whether to call it a draft or whether it is the plan. He thought the issue could be avoided by eliminating the word draft.
Commissioner Gordon had no problem with that.
Commissioner Ward had a suggested change on page 3, section c, under employee personnel. He asked the County Manager if he was satisfied with that since the supervisor would report to him. Mr. Nicholson stated that Ms. Beeker had cleaned up the language he was previously concerned with. He thanked Commissioner Ward for bringing that to his attention again.
Commissioner Kumor made the motion that with the amendment or changes that the Board made, that the Board adopt this interlocal agreement establishing the Apple County Greenways Commission.
All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Commissioner Ward questioned if the interlocal agreement went to all the other municipalities for their approval or changes. Chairman Hawkins replied that it would.
Mike Egan thanked the Commissioners on behalf of the steering committee for its approval of the interlocal agreement. The plan would be taken back to the municipalities immediately for their review. The Steering Committe had set up a tentative meeting of the Commission to try to move this along as quickly as it could for November 15th. The municipalities had all appointed their Commissioners and the Steering Committee was asking this Board if it would consider appointing Commissioners. The Steering Committee was hopeful that this could be done in that period but if not it would be rescheduled.
Planning for Children-Commissioner Kumor informed the Board that at the last meeting she brought back a proposal from the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council to begin the process of strategic planning for children=s issues. In some ways, this Board is interested in doing it and at the same time the State will be suggesting that JCPC which is a creation of the State also do this process in looking at children=s needs in the community and do it in a process called Communities That Care. The Commissioners asked for more information and she had provided each Commissioner with a packet of that information. Chairman Hawkins had received a letter from the Office of Juvenile Justice who supervises the JCPC that stated there was available funding that would probably cover this process. Commissioner Kumor had told Chairman Hawkins in addition to that funding she would like to look at making sure the Commissioners ask Smart Start and one other group in the community to put funds into this to make sure that the focus isn=t on just juvenile crime prevention issues but also to look at the issues for children of all ages in our community and with that regard just to delinquency. She thought asking other people to help support the study and the needs assessment for the strategic planning process would make sure that they take an active part in looking out for the interests of children who are not necessarily delinquent. Commissioner Kumor asked for the Board=s support to do this and she also wanted the Commissioners to send a letter to the agencies acknowledging that the County is interested in this and supports this process. At a future date, she wanted to hold a community meeting to talk about this process and she requested the Commissioners host this.
Chairman Hawkins had some reservations about combining the larger scope from just the juvenile aspect of it. He wasn=t sure which way the State was going to go on this project and he feared the Commissioners might find themselves divergent on programs.
Commissioner Kumor thought much of the packet from the State talked about sentencing youngsters in the Juvenile Crime system. The State had reorganized its sentencing process and the judges as of July 1, 1999 have lost a lot of opportunity to send youngsters to training school and are going to be looking for services in the community that have to be created through some of the funding that comes to this community now that used to be called CBA money. One of the reasons for doing the strategic planning for crime prevention in children who have the potential to be going through the court process is to demonstrate what services the community should be creating to serve those youngsters because they have lost the ability to be going to training school. It=s not a happy prospect but it suggests that there may be youngsters in the community who will not have any resources to support their needs because the courts aren=t going to have any other options for them other than to just keep them here in the county.
Chairman Hawkins stated that was the essence of the question he had. Obviously, what the Commissioners were being asked to look at was a much broader perspective than juvenile crime. He asked Commissioner Kumor if out in the future she saw that being a problem if those two programs were married together at this point.
Commissioner Kumor replied no because some of the issues right now that Transylvania County was dealing with is that their grant is to deal with young pregnant women or young mothers to start dealing with children born to teen parents because that=s one of the first lines of prevention for crime in the future. It=s a complex issue. When the risk indicators are looked at for communities that care and juvenile crime prevention, the income will be looked at, the condition of the family these youngsters are in and how they will respond to children=s needs. In some ways children may start as victims and the way that they are victimized at some point turns them into a victimizer. They all blend together. Commissioner Kumor felt that when the issues for children are looked at, the zero to five and then those will possibly commit crime because we have a responsibility for all of them and sometimes the prevention approach to dealing with children=s issues will solve some of the problems that are currently being created with regard to children who are delinquent and truant, etc. Sometimes the issues of truancy aren=t necessarily issues of crime but instead are issues of other needs in the family. She always tells the JCPC that they have to look at children and take the good, the bad and the ugly, they just can=t take the cute, cuddly children and serve them but treat all of the children as though they are theirs and that they have specific needs.
Commissioner Moyer asked Ms. Kumor about the time frame established, the phases, if that was still the current thinking. Ms. Kumor replied that she thought that was still the plan. Commissioner Moyer noted that Ms. Kumor wasn=t proposing to bring back to the Commissioners any recommendations on this plan until the years 2001 or 2002 budget. Commissioner Kumor stated that wasn=t exactly right. The 2001-2002 budget is based on the fact that the budget process starts six-months ahead of time. So the Commissioners would start to see some issues for strategic planning at the end of 2000, but the Board might not act on anything until the next budget cycle.
Chairman Hawkins asked of Commissioner Kumor what kind of letters she wanted to go the agencies. Commissioner Kumor replied the JCPC was going out to the schools, to the courts, to non-profits who deal with children and who may have statistics on some of the issues they are collecting data on, and she wanted it to be known that this is not a self-appointed group that=s going out collecting data but it is a group under support of the County Commissioners. She thought this Board should take credit for the fact that before the JCPC sent the money to start this process, this Board asked for this process to begin. That would give the study credibility and it creates a trial so that in the future, 2001, 2002, there is a validity to the response.
Commissioner Moyer supported what Commissioner Kumor had proposed, the development of a strategic plan to prioritize children=s issues in our community. The primary function of the JCPC is crime prevention so for this group to do a greater role is not prudent. Commissioner Kumor knew that was a concern but she wanted the committee that does this to use Juvenile Crime Prevention money but also use some Smart Start money and other money so that funding for this process belongs to everybody and not just to the JCPC.
But the question is, per Commissioner Moyer, what is this entity that is going to be going out that the Commissioners were blessing? Commissioner Kumor stated it would a subcommittee of the JCPC but it is a subcommittee that based on what she feels the Commissioners are interested in had to be as inclusive as it can possibly be with regard to bringing in people who have interests in children that are not necessarily delinquency related. That=s why she keeps pushing to get funding from those people to assure that the results are not crime prevention orientated but children orientated.
County Manager David Nicholson reminded the Board that the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council is also the advisory board to the Commissioners on youth development issues. He understood the issues. Perhaps the Board should take the same type of approach on this as with the Blue Ribbon Commission when it started to look at the human services. Maybe part of the committee should include some of the JCPC people but also directly involve the school folks, etc. with the blessing of the Commissioners on the organizational structure and a charge through a charter or whatever and blend those people.
Commissioner Kumor stated on the JCPC are all those people that Mr. Nicholson just eluded to. The law demands there be people from the schools, the Health Department, the DSS, seven community members, people from the courts, from law enforcement and in addition a representative from the Children and Family Resources Center and on the strategic planning committee is Mike Oliphant of the Alliance.
Commissioner Moyer liked Mr. Nicholson=s idea better. Chairman Hawkins stated that Mr. Nicholson=s point and Commissioner Moyer=s point was that the community was going to see the strategic planning committee as juvenile crime prevention orientated rather than children=s issues orientated.
Mr. Nicholson thought this subcommittee should work through the JCPC and come up with a structure that has some overview body of the crime prevention folks, the Smart Start folks, etc. sort of have an umbrella and bless that as a group realizing that all these groups are going to work with this subcommittee. When you talk about strategic plans for children that is a major product that will require a lot of ideas and a lot of input. This organizational structure would let people know that this is the broad range philosophy that we=re looking for all these things from all those groups. Mr. Nicholson thought that could be put together and have a comprehensive program to study. He suggested that it be titled something different so it clearly has a separate distinction than the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council but it is the Henderson County Strategic Planning for Children or something like that.
Chairman Hawkins asked Commissioner Kumor to take that idea back to the subcommittee and report back to the Commissioners.
Commissioner Gordon had a question about the schedule of deadlines that Mr. Nicholson had distributed on the Commissioners meeting, agenda deadlines, department head deadlines. Prior to becoming a Commissioner, she wasn=t aware that the Commissioners received their booklets for their Monday night meeting late Friday afternoon. She understood the way the schedule works now, whether the meeting is on Wednesday or Monday night, the agenda is still distributed late Friday afternoon. Commissioner Gordon wondered if it would be possible or if staff could take a look at changing the deadline for agenda items prior to the Monday night meeting so that the Board of Commissioners gets that information a little bit quicker. Realistically, if this is to be a Board of people who are not full-time County employees but are doing other things, it is very difficult to get a heavy agenda with perhaps many new items on it late on Friday afternoon and be prepared on Monday night to go over all those things assuming they have a job to go to on Monday morning as well and that=s the only business day that is available to make contact with a lot of the people that need to be contacted. She found it to be too much to prepare for Wednesday meetings because there is such a little time frame to get ready. She hoped there was some way to adjust that so that the Commissioners are not faced with this situation for the Monday night meetings.
Mr. Nicholson certainly understood that concern. He would ask staff to look at that. However, two or three times a year there were Commissioners meeting and agenda preparation in the same week just because of the way the first Monday falls and the third Wednesday falls. But most of the time, Mr. Nicholson felt staff could get it done a day earlier.
Commissioner Gordon further stated that the public is probably not aware but the agenda packets are quite large in volume most of the time and there is a lot of background research the Commissioners have to do. Sometimes these are items they have looked up before but sometimes there are new items on there and she wanted to be sure she was adequately prepared on Monday night.
Commissioner Moyer hoped that the agenda books could be ready by at least the close of business on Thursday versus Friday afternoon. If a Commissioner goes out of town over the weekend and doesn=t get back into town until Monday morning, it gets tough to get prepared for a Monday night meeting.
Commissioner Kumor suggested that the agenda information be sent to the Commissioners= computers rather than getting all the paper work. The other Commissioners were not in favor of that suggestion.
Chairman Hawkins reminded the Board of a meeting with the volunteer fire departments on Monday, November 15th . The time and location would be determined but hopefully the meeting could be at a fire station.
Chairman Hawkins requested to set a budget workshop on November 3rd at 11:00 am and November 29th at 3:00 pm. and the Board did so.
The Board set a work session on the formation of a Legal Department on Friday, November 12th at 9:00 am.
UPDATE ON PROPERTY ADDRESSING
Assessor Robert Baird gave the Board an update on property addressing. The previous Board opted to address the unincorporated areas. Property addressing is a complex issue because it deals with postal addressing, it deals with citizens addressing, it deals with emergency response addressing but most particulary for emergency response. Mr. Baird and his Property Addressing staff would demonstrate to the Commissioners why the 5.28 feet distance-based system is the most desirable means and the most long-term results for all citizens as well as particularly for emergency response.
Mr. Baird stated that every citizen in the County deserves an address which in the event of an emergency is unique, easy to find, the location of which is obvious and understandable to all emergency responders. He thought that was a very important key. It is not dependent on technology.
Mr. Baird did a quick review of the 5.28 system. It is measured from the closest end of the road to downtown Hendersonville. So the historic courthouse is the center and everything radiates out from zero one thousand addresses per mile. For example, if the address is 500 Dana Road, you live one-half mile on Dana Road on the right. Even numbers are always on the right and odd numbers are always on the left.
All known structures had been addressed and in the data base. Through permitting, all new structures are assigned addresses and input into the data base. New street signs had been made and installed. However, the sign project was approximately 2000 signs behind at this point.
Mr. Baird gave a brief update on the Emergency Response Number (ESN) area that is a common denominator so when a call comes in, it will define the response team for a given area. In other words, it will automatically default to certain response personnel, such as the Sheriff=s Department, such and such fire department, first responders, etc. or whatever is built into the system. However, there was a means to accommodate changes as the need arises.
Duplicate road names were being resolved by postal jurisdiction, if they are not controversial. In the event there happens to be a road name in two different districts, the parties are contacted and property addressing staff would make a recommendation for the name change. If there is no controversy expressed, property addressing staff would resolve that and bring that recommendation to the Commissioners for action. On controversial road names, a point system is used to determine who gets to keep the preferred road name. It=s based upon criteria such as how old the deed is, is it recorded, how long has the resident resided there, etc. There were 903 duplicated road names defined originally but since that time property addressing staff had resolved 136 of those and 180 were in the municipalities.
The Property Addressing Ordinance provides that three house drives or more are addressed. When there are two house drives, the same principal is applied as in the addressing for duplexes. The road name is assigned, whatever intersection that road or drive has to the main road that will be it=s name. For example, 100 Dana Road and then the house is a quarter mile on the right, the address would be 250 or 330. The post office will still be delivering at a drive way but the response personnel need to know how to get to that house, not the driveway. So the physical directions to the house at the end of the driveway are put into the system linked with that property address.
For unnamed roads, citizens are encouraged to come up with a road name they prefer. That simplifies the system which means that every single house that has a drive, every drive that has a house has a name.
Mr. Baird explained how all this information is matched together. By authority of Southern Bell, property addressing has access to the phone numbers in Henderson County or in other words, any phone number that=s in Henderson County that is serviced by Southern Bell or by the other phone companies. That information is taken knowing that a resident lives in a certain place and the property owner is found that the telephone number is assigned to, or the building or dwelling is assigned to, and the actual physical address is attached to that piece of information. The result is three pieces of information for every physical address.
The street address maintenance or manager allows property address staff to do the actual graphics. For example, when property addressing staff is talking to a resident about assignment of a house number, that property location can be clicked on the computer screen immediately and a picture of the house, the parcel of the land and other information can be viewed at the user=s fingertips. So when the address is assigned, it is immediately done on the spot so that property addressing knows immediately what address was assigned to whom.
The Sam Streets allows the kinds of things that are geo-coded identifiers for addressing so that everything has its uniqueness to the point of the face of the earth. That system allows to put in how many structures, how many addresses the structures have so that information can be repeatedly applied to the same structure. For example, apartment complexes with ten numbers within the same structure.
All three pieces of information are effectively incorporated because it affects the citizen, the emergency response personnel, the postal delivery, parcel delivery and all other kinds of delivery as well as the administration of County records. Everyone must participate in the program for it to be successful. Very strong relationships were established with Southern Bell, Bell South, their contractors, the post office and all individuals who were involved in the project to be very secure that all needs are met that are addressable.
Property addressing receives about 150 phone calls per week. About 50% of those are for new addresses, 25% are for status on project inquiry, 25% are on new street signs. On any address given if it is in the range, the new address can be applied immediately. About two phone calls per week are received on how to get a road adopted by the state. In the last year, over 1200 names were issued. Three major subdivisions have requested addressing based on distance rather than the lot number. Fifty roads had been converted to the new system because everyone on the road agreed and the post office said it was OK. Polk County recently adopted the 5.28 system making it the 41st County in North Carolina to do so.
The goals of the property addressing project were listed by Mr. Baird as to cooperate with Planning to address all new subdivisions using the digital technology; identify and address all roads and structures including manufactured housing in unincorporated Henderson County before the end of the year 2000.
Mr. Baird explained how emergency response will respond to emergency situations. Many false assumptions prevail such as the caller would remain cool, calm and completely collected during the 911 call. The caller would be able to issue complete easy to follow directions to the dispatcher during the call and would not be ill or injured when making the call, or the caller would not be a young child or a visitor or someone unfamiliar with the territory.
Sam Stone had attended a seminar called Street Smart and Address Savvy and informed the Commissioners on some information he had gathered there. Mr. Stone learned there are a lot of people in a similar situation to Henderson County because they have a mountainous environment and winding roads. Most of them had workable solutions using some sort of distance-based addressing beginning at the start of the road and going to the end of the road so that emergency responders can establish in their minds some sort of pattern of addresses. Mr. Stone applauded the Commissioners for adopting the distance-based 5.28 addressing system in such a timely manner.
Mr. Baird talked briefly about the inconsistency of the system. Certain areas have neither street addresses nor rural route delivery. There still exists in the County general delivery in which some of those have 17 to 25 mail boxes in one location. The resident is responsible for identifying which mail box belongs to them. The service business such as parcel post, pizza delivery, etc. are all by-products of the property addressing program. Typically, the post office will not issue a post office box to anyone without a physical address. Also, a North Carolina driver=s license will not be issued without a physical address. License plates cannot be renewed without a physical address. There is no uniformity in the current addressing system with numeric sequences varying from street to street.
Per Mr. Baird, the only remaining thing to do in the project is to notify the citizens that have not already received notice. Everything is in place; all addressing except new subdivisions or new homes that were built in the last three to six months. This information will provide accurate response, provide mapping services to any County agency as well as to the E911 response teams. The dispatcher will have the ability to look at a map and be able to actually look at a picture of the house, plus whatever other information is available, so the dispatcher can convey to the responder, whether it=s fire, incident, medical, etc., details about the dwelling such as where the doors are, if there are handicap ramps where they are, etc. If the caller cannot respond to the questions of the dispatcher, the system still shows the location from where the call was made and the victim can be located that way.
Mr. Baird was pleased with the progress of the project. For residents who have a postal address, the mailing address will not change; the physical address will be attached to the property record in the data base. The goal is make everybody comfortable when they make their address change. The citizen has up to one year to make the change of address in the postal environment, driver=s license, banking needs, and all the other areas that would be affected by the new address.
The mapping solutions are available to 911, emergency response or to any other agency within the County that wishes to use those and will also be available as a CD subscription to anyone that wishes to have access to addresses, old and new.
Chairman Hawkins reminded Mr. Baird that the ESN numbers would have to be changed in the year 2000 when the County goes to the new fire districts. Mr. Baird explained the system would automatically accommodate that change. Chairman Hawkins reminded the Board the last charge the former Board gave to Property Addressing was in a three-step sequence to look at duplicate road names, new street numbers that come along, and notifying the citizens about the status of addressing. He also wanted to know what the project status was with the municipalities because some of them had indicated they did not wish to participate in the property readdressing. How was the 911 response going to be integrated if the municipalities choose to leave their addresses as is.
Mr. Baird replied that property addressing for those situations would be worked by ESN jurisdiction. The Ordinance does not reflect any authority for property addressing for the municipalities. Property addressing will be worked through all the unincorporated areas first. Then probably between May and June of 2000, any municipality that wishes to participate would be brought into the system. Mr. Baird hoped once the testing of the system proved to be effective, the municipalities would reconsider. If the municipalities chose not to reconsider, the dispatch center would either depend entirely upon the caller to give information or would have knowledgeable responders to know where the old address is.
Chairman Hawkins had asked Mr. Baird to look at a software product called Map Info. Mr. Baird learned that it is a product that uses certain kinds of data to interpolate an address. In other words, it doesn=t use a distance-based addressing; it doesn=t use a geo-coding or an exact physical address on the face of the earth. For example, Dana Road begins at 100 and ends at 999 and they interpolate what the address would be. If your address was 50 or 500 and it was right beside 1, it=s going to put your house in the middle of this ten mile road. It=s a technology that works if you=re going to draw a picture but to use it in the dispatch world, Mr. Baird had reservations about giving the software his blessing.
Chairman Hawkins asked how many ESN=s were in the County. Lee King replied there were about fifty but they vary in size. Mr. Baird hoped to have all the ESN=s implemented not later than July 2000. Since Property Addressing is its own data manger, it doesn=t have to rely on other vendors or Southern Bell or other providers.
Commissioner Moyer asked Mr. Baird if the mapping system in Mr. Baird=s office and the system just described has any tie. Mr. Baird replied that yes the tie was the position on the face of the earth which is the address tied to the geographic as well as all the tabular information in the mapping system. It=s tied to the picture of the property, it=s tied to the description of the property, it=s tied to the mailing address, all the building characteristics.
Commissioner Moyer further asked from emergency response and rescue aspects, if the ability exists to duplicate that why was the change of address important. If there is a mapping system in a vehicle that can identify the location of the house, more emergency responders are going to use identification on a screen. Mr. Baird replied if that capability existed in the vehicle it gives a two-dimensional map but it doesn=t take away that visual effect the responder has going down a road trying to locate an address. Sure a picture of it may be displayed on the computer, you have a picture of the house in the computer but again that does not give that responder the 1.7 miles like traveling without having to look at an odometer because most drivers can fairly estimate when they have traveled a mile or so. What it does is gives to the driver of the vehicle or to the responder some sense of direction, where are they going, how long is it going to take to get there. That=s one of the major purposes of distance-based address. The other issue is for consistency. The average citizen will not have that capability in their vehicle but the average citizen helps pay for this project. If they never use it, they never get any benefit from it. But this way, every single individual citizen receives benefit from the investment they have made in the property addressing project.
Chairman Hawkins stated the Ordinance that the Board of Commissioners enacted really dealt with an addressing system to respond to emergencies. When you start matching some of these other items, that further expands what you receive by distance-based system or whatever system that you have. The question then becomes can you comply with the Ordinance, i.e., can you generate a system that will put an emergency vehicle whether its fire, police or whatever, to an address as quickly with one system as with another. If that can be done, then why consider making everybody in the County actually change their address to accommodate the distance-based system when you could have both in an essence as already exists. That=s some of the things the municipalities are pondering. If the Board of Commissioners wishes to change the addresses for some other purposes that may be very legitimate, but Chairman Hawkins thought they were using the wrong ordinance to do that.
Commissioner Gordon commented this has been debated and worked on for so long she felt a great sense of frustration listening to the presentation today as to how well the project was progressing but no where near done. It was first enacted in 1987 so ten years has lapsed in dealing with this. Although Commissioner Gordon now resides on a city street, she grew up in the rural community and there is a true critical need out in the rural communities for some decent addressing. She wished it would have already been done and to continue to haggle over some of these issues was truly frustrating to her. Commissioner Gordon thought it was time to get on with the project, it needs to happen, she thought it was a logical way to go about it, and she was frustrated that it hasn=t already been done.
Commissioner Ward had no comments on the proposed system.
Mr. Baird stated that the difference in an arbitrary assigned address and that of a distance-based address is there is something to work with. If everything fails, the responder can go on the phone call without anything else to depend on to get there. Mr. Baird too has experienced frustration because there were elements he could not control such as jurisdiction over the postal service, he couldn=t tell Southern Bell what to do.
Commissioner Moyer stated again the issue is if we are going to come up with a system to deal with emergency situations, then really the situation you=re really trying to deal with is address changes in the rural part of the County because people can=t find houses and we start talking about pizza delivery, what the postal service needs, etc. you=ll get people very confused. He felt there was such a varied hodge podge of reasons being given to go with distance-based addressing that it=s very hard to sell and convince the public that=s the right thing to do. Commissioner Moyer thought the Commissioners should bite the bullet and say for ten different reasons it=s the right thing to do, fine, but to go into that continuing resolution that we have saying it=s for emergency purposes, we=re well beyond that. He wasn=t sure that if we really look at just emergency services that there are not better ways to get there or at least in five years there will be far better ways and we=re going to say we=re going to change this anyway. We may not change the addresses but we=ll have a different system much more technology orientated than trying to figure out or reading the odometer at 1.7 miles down the road, then turn. He didn=t think that=s where we wanted to be in five years.
Chairman Hawkins commented that according to the statutes, property addressing is at the prerogative of the Board of Commissioners, period. So it would be up to the Commissioners as to whether to proceed with the distance-based addressing system.
Commissioner Ward questioned if it was possible to bring the project on section by section. The rural routes need property addressing badly.
Commissioner Kumor questioned if the proposal was to start with these emergency service numbers, to start with one coherent district at a time and start to change the numbers in those districts and it=ll start slowly and at intervals so that the project will be finished by mid-2000. All that is the County=s jurisdiction.
Commissioner Ward asked Mr. Baird to further explain how the addresses in the municipalities that did not participate would be integrated into the distance-based system. Mr. Baird replied the addressing was created from the center of town or the historic courthouse. At that time, the City limit was measured from the extra territorial jurisdiction and that=s where they had jurisdiction to assign addresses. If you are in the city or not, you still have a new address. Whether the city ever chooses to use it, that=s up to the municipality. But you do have a distance-based address on everything in the County. So Mr. Baird hoped to think in the event that was the case, where there was a 50 Dana Road, then you would never have a 50 Dana Road if it was outside the city limits because of the distance. Older methodologies of addressing were based on a hundred range blocks so if you had a block, it was one hundred. There is no way that you can get a hundred addresses in a block on distance-based. So there=s a little different approach to it in that you=re looking at distance rather than an arbitrary set amount of space. Commissioner Ward foresaw a problem if the municipalities chose not to participate. Mr. Baird didn=t disagree with that but he was trying to be as flexible as he could to not derogate the system.
Commissioner Moyer stated if we are really committed to doing this, at the rate we=re moving was it really realistic to say the project would be finished by the middle of 2000. Mr. Baird replied yes. He has everything in place. It=s a matter of getting the mailing in place, getting the changes made and the acceptance from Southern Bell. that the only thing holding us up right now would be a party that Mr. Baird doesn=t have control over. Mr. Baird had committed in his contract to get the project finished by July of 2000.
Chairman Hawkins thanked Mr. Baird and his staff for the update. He requested that Mr. Baird continue to update the Board at 45 or 90 day intervals on two particular areas: one on where he was on each of the three parameters, unnamed streets, duplicate street names and the ESN=s. Also any other correspondence Mr. Baird had with the municipalities as to how that dialogue is going.
Commissioner Moyer thought the municipalities had agreed to change all the entrance corridors and make them distance-based even though they were not going to change the rest of communities. Mr. Baird stated that was agreed upon on a meeting but he had not received anything in writing to that effect.
John Crook, Vice-Mayor of Laurel Park, stated that he was the unofficial spokesperson for all the municipalities. Hendersonville, Laurel Park, Flat Rock and Fletcher all agreed on the need to eliminate duplicate street names, there had been no disagreement on the need to correct addresses which are out of sequence or fairly difficult to follow. Those officials were unclear as to what constitutes a through street. It makes sense to say that streets which go from one community to another community and through the County should be readdressed or should have a consistent numbering but they did not have a definition of what constitutes a through street. For example, is Fifth Avenue a through street? Fifth Avenue begins in Hendersonville, it goes into Henderson County and then it ends up as Laurel Park Highway and dead ends at Jump Off Rock. Does that constitute a through street? US 64 East and West is clearly a through street. Hebron is clearly a through street. White Pine is clearly a through street and a number of others. So the municipalities haven=t worked out that issue yet with the Assessor=s Office. A more fundamental issue that Mr. Baird addressed several times at this meeting, and Mr. Crook hoped the Board would consider, was about the Bell system data base being so out of date as not to be reliable for the 911 operators. While we=re all paying a fee for 911 services, as a part of that fee this data base is to be maintained. As a political body, the County Commissioners clearly should bring pressure on the phone company to explain why this data base is two years out of date. Mr. Crook surmised that Mr. Baird had wrestled with the Bell phone representatives a number of times and had come to a draw each time.
Mr. Baird replied that his staff was now working with the phone company subcontractor out of Denver Colorado and had tremendous success from those folks since May of this year.
Mr. Crook further commented that in order to do this, Mr. Baird was contemplating maintaining the phone number and the address himself because he could not rely on getting a good address tagged through with the phone number which is an additional burden on the Assessor=s staff that the citizens are already paying for the phone company to provide us the information. Mr. Baird replied that he was not maintaining a data base for the phone numbers, all he was doing was using the phone number as a key to the Southern Bell data base. Mr. Baird can intercept the call that comes in and read it into the data base. Some of the reasons Southern Bell data base is not updated is because the Assessor=s Office had not given them any data to update. So all they relied on was Route 2, box whatever, or whatever they gave as installation information that was the information that was given Southern Bell. Mr. Baird continued that there is a no fault issue here in that no one is to blame, it just takes all the parties in the game to contribute to the common goal and that was an address. Mr. Crook stated but as a systems designer, you want to try to make the least amount of duplicate effort as possible and we certainly want to get the most bang for our buck and things that are already being paid for should be made to work and if this can be made to work, then it should. The last piece is the compatibility between the 911 machines and the Assessor=s machines. These are issues that Mr. Crook knew about after having talked with Mr. Nicholson and the Commissioners before this system can really work as envisioned by the Commissioners and have struggled with for so long by Mr. Baird and his staff, these compatibilities have to be worked through so that they do talk to each other and so it can be done without additional bureaucracies being added to make the system work the way he knew the Commissioners wanted it to work and the way the municipalities wanted it to work. Will the municipalities cooperate with renumbering? Mr. Crook doubted it unless they were convinced that renumbering was absolutely essential. Would the municipalities cooperate with renaming? Absolutely. Would the municipalities cooperate with perhaps renumbering through streets? Perhaps once they got a definition of what constitutes a through street. But there are a number of things to be worked through and as Commissioner Ward had mentioned in order to really make it work these all have to be worked through before Mr. Crook thought it would be appropriate to start the action. Mr. Crook would be pleased to work with the Assessor=s Office on behalf of the municipalities on these issues. Mr. Crook thought these issues needed to be resolved before it would be appropriate for the County to take any final action.
Chairman Hawkins thanked Mr. Crook for his input on behalf of the municipalities.
Commissioner Kumor pointed out one of the issues that Mr. Crook talked about with regard to the interface of information is also part of the charge the Commissioners had given to Mr. Baird as he works with the County=s Information Technology Department in addressing the compatibility and the ability to exchange information among County departments with the data base and everybody is running on a different platform. Mr. Baird replied as we talked about ten years ago, we talked about five years ago, we talked about two years ago and we talk about now, is that technology changes so some of the compatibility problems we=ve had in the past is just a sixteen byte application versus a thirty two byte application verses an eight byte application and those are the things that are out there today. You have an option as a user in some cases to buy thirty two byte application machines or sixteen byte application machines and there=s a compatibility problem with those. You can=t speed a machine up that=s built for sixteen bytes, you can=t make it thirty-two but you can make a thirty-two a sixteen. So those are the tools and applications that the Assessor=s staff have tried to apply in the compatibility issues. Ms. Pounder who is the IT Director has been in contact with the dispatch software company in reference to the type of equipment they have. Mr. Baird stated their equipment was OK, he had no problems with the equipment. As he said earlier, his staff was going to intercept data that we have to make it compatible so that we don=t depend on some third party vendor to get what we need. Sure we can force them all we want to force or try to force but we still wouldn=t have the product that we need to do the job at 100% as we do with our own information and it=s not a duplicate set of information. It=s something we have to have anyway. We have to assign the address whether we send it to Southern Bell, whether we send to whomever we send it to, we=ve got to have it to start with.
Mr. Nicholson stated he thought it would be appropriate so we could follow some type of schedule to ask Mr. Baird to develop a schedule of how he is going to go through this process through the year 2000. The Commissioners would need to set some public hearings, get some duplicate issues resolved such as numbering issues and those type of issues so it might be good to go ahead to do a road map out there to give to the Board so they would have a clear understanding of where we are, what their responsibilities are, what Mr. Baird=s responsibilities are, over the next eighteen months. Mr. Baird reminded the Commissioners that the staff actually brought individual unnamed roads to them for their approval. Now the staff processes as many roads as they can and then brings them to the Commissioners in a lump sum. Although the staff has resolved any controversy, the Commissioners still have the authority to rename them. So staff will bring to the Commissioners two more sets of names within the next six months. One will be no controversy, one will be controversial, in other words the staff cannot get the parties to agree on the name. Commissioner Kumor commented that it had been several years since the Commissioners had seen any controversial road names. Mr. Baird replied with today=s technology that may help minimize the impact of duplication.
Commissioner Moyer was puzzled by the eighteen months because he thought he heard Mr. Baird say the project would be completed by the middle of 2000. Mr. Nicholson replied that Mr. Baird said that depending upon resolution of these issues, it would by the end of 2000. Mr. Baird commented that his staff would have all notifications mailed and addresses assigned to identified properties by July of 2000. All the detail including working with the municipalities and all the other things that are not part of the original charge, the unincorporated areas, by the end of the year. Commissioner Gordon asked Mr. Baird if he was saying he would have everything to the unincorporated area by the end of July 2000. Commissioner Moyer stated he thought we ought to factor in the through streets into the schedule in some fashion. He didn=t think we should spend now seven months trying to define what a through street is when you could go down and name the ten of them and have gotten this thing done. He couldn=t believe we=ve been waiting because we can=t define what a through street is. Chairman Hawkins reminded Commissioner Moyer that the through street issue was a side issue that came up from the municipalities because originally the municipalities were on the same schedule of readdressing but then Hendersonville and the others had some reconsiderations and went in another direction. Mr. Baird stated that was correct and that=s why it got moved because we went back to the ESN rather than everyone at one time but the address is in place today.
Chairman Hawkins thanked Mr. Baird and his staff for their efforts on the property addressing project.
TRANSPORTATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE CHARTER
Chairman Hawkins reminded the Commissioners that at the last meeting they discussed a charter for the Transportation Advisory Committee and staff had drafted one for their review and approval. Chairman Hawkins had spoken with the municipalities and they were also interested in it and they had been incorporated into the membership of the TAC. Commissioner Moyer was very concerned about the makeup of the Committee. When he looks at an eleven member committee to look at the transportation needs and we have one Commissioner and two other committee members from the County and four city representatives and the Chamber, that leaves three people that are not affiliated in some way directly with the government. He wanted less representatives of government and more citizens. Commissioner Moyer wanted the membership raised to fifteen which would give four more citizen type, or not necessarily citizens, but a broad range of interests or delete some of the ones already on there, but don=t make them mandatory because he didn=t think that left enough broad range input needed for this committee. Chairman Hawkins and Mr. Nicholson had worked on the charter and Mr. Nicholson explained how he came up with three citizen positions was because he saw three positions from the County and the majority of people who were going to be from other representatives, so he came up with more citizens which gave the Commissioners and County government six other representatives so that gives the County majority vote on this project. It made sense for there to be a Planning Board member on there and talked about putting an Environmental Committee member on there, do you want a representative from every city or not, do you want them to recommend somebody?
Commissioner Moyer thought the municipalities should have a representative but he thought we have a lot of committees and why Mr. Nicholson picked out the Environmental Committee as opposed to a lot of others was puzzling. Commissioner Gordon agreed and thought the Commissioners should not be that specific in those appointments. She honestly didn=t know why the Chamber should appoint a member to this Committee although she realized the Chamber has had tremendous involvement and she certainly would think that the Commissioners would consider appointing a member of the Chamber but why the Chamber should make that appointment rather than the Commission she didn=t see. Commissioner Gordon thought that was something that follows through with the Environmental Advisory Committee and everything else as to whether individual groups should make appointments to County boards or committees. She would rather leave it more open that there should be a representative from each municipality but other than that the other appointments would be at the discretion of the Commissioners.
Mr. Nicholson stated that all the members would actually be appointed by the Commissioners by recommendations from those groups. Commissioner Moyer wanted to do those appointments like the Commissioners did with the Greenways Commission saying this is a list of people that should be considered but don=t automatically have a seat or can give us a list. Commissioner Gordon didn=t think there should be a seat for any particular group.
Chairman Hawkins asked the Board if it would be more comfortable with fifteen members and at least designate four of the positions from the municipalities and leave the other positions open to its discretion. The Commissioners agreed that was more favorable. Commissioner Moyer also wanted to see before the charter was adopted a more clear definition of the Committee=s purpose because when he sees all matters related to transportation, he can read it very narrowly or he could read it very broadly. We=re talking about, and it can be clarified, but the things the Commissioners have talked about are bridges, roads that need widening, a whole range of alternative transportation issues. Commissioner Gordon stated the Board was talking about infrastructure kind of things. Commissioner Moyer thought it could be read that way but he thought it should be made very clear as to what the Commissioners are looking for.
Chairman Hawkins asked if those things should be added that the Department of Transportation is concerned with because they have the broad charter as related to transportation or at least that transportation as applied by the Department of Transportation, if you look at their charter they go from trains to airplanes to bike trails. We usually don=t think of the Department of Transportation except for highways but they have a significantly broader trail, they have airports and a wide range of other things. Chairman Hawkins didn=t know if that would expand it to the area that Commissioner Moyer was looking at but he thought his point was that the Board wanted a broad look at a variety of things and that would probably cover it. Commissioner Kumor too thought it should be broad because a few weeks ago the Commissioners listened to the proposal from WCCA=s transportation program and it might have really been helpful to have had a group that was just looking at roads and looking at these issues to at least pass by it with the Commissioners because they might have seen something the Commissioners wouldn=t have known. Commissioner Moyer thought it should be broad and if that could be done with some other definition that was fine.
Chairman Hawkins asked Mr. Nicholson to have staff to look at including that language in the charter. Mr. Nicholson stated he spent more time worrying about the initial projects listed in the charter than he did the purpose. Commissioner Moyer commented that if safety projects include things like third lanes, poorly aligned streets and such, then he was OK with the projects listed. Mr. Nicholson stated the safety projects would include looking at any kind of enhancements or safety issues that might be found in the County.
Commissioner Moyer wanted to also talk about on page two who selects the leader of the Committee or did the Board want to have the option to appoint the Chair? The Commissioners agreed appointing the Chair would allow the Board to give guidance to the Committee particularly on things or in areas that the Commissioners have concern.
It was the consensus of the Board to have staff incorporate the changes into the charter they suggested and the Chairman would send a draft to the municipalities.
Commissioner Kumor made the motion that the Commissioners go into Closed Session for the following reasons:
The North Carolina General Statutes 143-318.11(a)(4) To discuss matters relating to the location or expansion of industries or other businesses in the areas served by the public body.
All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Commissioner Ward made a motion to adjourn. All voted in favor and the motion carried. Chairman Hawkins adjourned the meeting at 2:05 pm.
GRADY HAWKINS, CHAIRMAN
Henderson County Board of Commissioners
Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board