STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA                                            BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

COUNTY OF HENDERSON                                                                           JANUARY 10, 2003


The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a special called meeting at 3:00 p.m. in the Four Season=s Room at the Quality Inn, Hendersonville, North Carolina.  The purpose of the meeting was a Board Retreat.


Those present were:  Chairman Grady Hawkins, Vice-Chairman Larry Young, Commissioner Bill Moyer, Commissioner Charlie Messer, Commissioner Shannon Baldwin,  County Manager David E. Nicholson, County Attorney Angela S. Beeker, and Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn.


Also present were: Planning Director Karen C. Smith, Budget and Management Director Selena Coffey, Fire Marshal/Emergency Management Coordinator Rocky Hyder; Finance Director J. Carey McLelland, County Engineer Gary Tweed, and Geoff Willett (facilitator).



Chairman Hawkins called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance. He reviewed the agenda with the Board, stating that there would be a break for dinner at 6:00 p.m. and we would try to wrap things up about 8:00 p.m.  He informed those in attendance that we would start back promptly at 9:00 a.m. in the morning with some pastries, biscuits, juice and coffee available about 8:30. 


He introduced Geoff Willett, Division of Community Assistance, who was the facilitator for the retreat. 



There were a couple of people Mr. Willett had not met so we did self introductions. 



Mr. Willett informed the Board of two large sheets of paper on the wall for this meeting. One was labeled Aparking lot@ and items will be added to it to get back to at a later time.  The second was labeled Ainformation needs@ and items will be added to it as the need arises.  These lists from the retreat will be added to the end of this set of minutes.


Mr. Willett started the meeting by listing three things Commissioners must do:


1.               Hire/fire County Manager as the Chief Executive Officer of the county (performance review)

2.               Adopt and stick to a Mission Statement

3.               Provide adequate resources to get the work done, fund the programs and services


The purpose of a retreat is to get a new perspective and be able to do a better job.  Communication is the key.



Review of Mission Statement

There was discussion of the Board=s Mission Statement which was adopted February 18, 1998 (a revision of the original Mission Statement from 1995). The Board saw the need to revisit the statement and revise it to suit the current Board of Commissioners.  The 1998 Mission Statement was AOur mission is to lead our community, to promote individual responsibility and equal opportunity, and to protect one another.  While striving to provide efficient, innovative and quality public services, we will work to stimulate economic growth and regional cooperation, and to balance the preservation and utilization of all of our resources.@


Following much discussion and deliberation, the following mission statement was offered: AOur mission is to lead our community, to promote individual responsibility and equal opportunity, to protect life and property, to provide efficient, innovative, and quality public services;  to stimulate economic growth and regional cooperation and to balance the preservation and utilization of all of our resources.@  There was much discussion about Aall of our resources@ and it was decided to leave it as is.  There was discussion of whether this meant our natural resources but it was decided that it meant not only our natural resources but also our monetary resources and our human resources (that resources was all-encompassing).                                                                                        

Commissioner Baldwin made the motion to adopt the revised Mission Statement, as listed above.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


Role of Commissioners


C                  Policy makers (policy set has to support the mission statement)

C                  Delegate to staff how policy is carried out

C                  Represent the citizens of our county as a whole

C                  Aggressively pursue thoughts of people of the county (seek input)


There was much discussion on each aspect of this role.


Role of County Manager (per Commissioners)


C                  Day to day county activities

C                  Oversees staff

C                  Assists County Commissioners

C                  Educates citizens

C                  Service Manager (Board, Staff, Citizens)

C                  Implements policy and delegates to staff

C                  Leads and follows at the same time

C                  Motivator




David=s input about the role of the County Manager:

C                  Sometimes feels isolated

C                  Board representative to citizens of electorate

C                  Not as responsible to citizens of electorate, politically

C                  Rely on Board of Commissioners and vice-versa

C                  Serves as a facilitator

C                  Role in policy development

C                  Make Board aware of all options

C                  Values feed-back, values good communication

C                  Sounding board (Chair to David and David to Chairman)


Commissioner Moyer stated that the County Manager has a big role in the budget.  He stated that he would like to see these statements applied when it comes to budget deliberations.  Some Commissioners are interested in outcome based budgeting.  Is the Board going to set policy and then turn the budget over to the County Manager or are they gonna go into each department=s budget and dictate how much they have to work with and/or what they can and cannot do.  There was some discrepancy here.  The amount of detail the Board wants in the budget remains a balancing act.



The Board took a short recess.


Organizational Structure of County Government

Mr. Nicholson reviewed the organization chart with the Board including explaining that some of these employees are state employees.  He briefly discussed some of the Boards that assist some of these departments, i.e. Public Health Board , D.S.S. Board (Social Services), Board of Elections, and Travel & Tourism Board.


Budget Process

The Board was given a Budget Process chart to help them understand what staff is doing budget-wise, January through June.  They were also given a proposed Budget Calendar for FY 2003-2004.


STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES - County/Community (internal)


C                  Seasoned County Manager

C                  Strong economy, diverse (many pillars)

C                  Natural resources

C                  Volunteers - Diverse Community - Experience and Talent

C                  Strong tax base

C                  Quality of life

C                  Education system



C                  Communication with neighboring counties

C                  Dependent on State of North Carolina/Raleigh (subject to Dillon=s Rule)

C                  Property values- industry, development implications

C                  Growth - fast growth can impact quality of life

C                  Infrastructure, lack of county water and sewer, public transportation, road network

C                  Solid waste disposal, not self-sufficient

C                  Decentralized county government

C                  Lack of one county vision

C                  Fragmented - many aspects in need of management




C                  Regional approaches to various issues

C                  Diversity in Board of Commissioners

C                  The problems are solvable

C                  Cooperation between municipalities and county

C                  Possibility for a metro-county government

C                  Untapped financial resources

C                  Possible centralization of services

C                  How services are delivered



C                  Economic downturn

C                  Possible dysfunctional Board of Commissioners

C                  State of North Carolina

C                  Deterioration of some of the pillars of our economy

C                  agriculture - due to cost of land

C                  industry - national trends

C                  Threat of war

C                  Terrorism or local disaster

C                  Deterioration of natural resources (air, water, open space)

C                  Loss of young people because of lack of jobs


Recess - Dinner

The Board recessed and had dinner.



David Nicholson had given the Commissioners this update dated December 2, 2002 with sheets attached which explained each of the issues.   He and staff discussed the issues with the Board at this time, just as updates.  No action was taken and these items were not resolved:


C                  Storm water regulations

C                  Flood plains

C                  Flood Insurance Program

C                  Mud Creek Watershed Restoration Council

C                  Air quality

C                  Budgetary issues

C                  Transportation issues

C                  Mental Health Reform

C                  Facilities

C                  New Zoning Ordinance (Rewrite)

C                  CCP (Comprehensive County Plan) 60-65% complete

C                  Animal Control Ordinance

C                  Limited English Proficiency

C                  HIPPA


A number of these issues were scheduled for more discussion at the next day=s meeting. 


Chairman Hawkins recessed the meeting at 7:40 p.m. stating that the meeting would be called back to order promptly at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.



Chairman Hawkins called the meeting back to order at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 11, 2003.



Selena Coffey informed the Board that the project is approximately 65% complete.  There are five items that are 100% complete:

Introduction                                         Final draft complete

Factors Influencing Growth                 Final draft complete

Demographics Analysis                      Final draft complete

Growth Management Strategy &

Land Suitability Analysis                    Final draft complete

Water & Sewer Services                    Final draft complete


Other parts of the plan are complete as follows:


Economic Development                      70%

Land Use                                             55%

Affordable Housing                             50%

Public Schools                                      0%

Recreation/Open Space                       10%

Transportation                           0%

Plan Implementation Strategy    0%


Our consultant had recently resigned from the project but staff had been discussing ways in which  the project could be continued.  They hope to use the elements that have already been drafted to date. Much time and thought have gone into this project and Staff felt certain that this information could be used to complete the Plan as directed by the Board.  Chairman Hawkins felt that the CCP could be completed this year. It can be revised later if need be.


Announcement by Chairman

Chairman Hawkins had been called out of the room and when he returned he informed the Board that this evening a group of representatives of the Cuban Government will be in Hendersonville as well as the State Secretary of Agriculture and several State Department officials. They will be visiting the apple processing plant here to see how the apples are handled and packaged, etc.   Mayor Niehoff plans to present the key to the City to the Cuban officials.  Chairman Hawkins suggested that the Board of Commissioners adopt a Resolution and possibly present a plaque as well to the visitors.  Mr. Nicholson will be drafting a resolution during this meeting for the Board=s approval before adjourning.  


Mr. Nicholson suggested that he and Mrs. Corn could go back to the office following the meeting and type up the resolution and get it in a frame, ready for presentation, with a ribbon and the county seal.


There was much discussion about land use and about having community meetings to get citizen input. Chairman Hawkins suggested the Board work on deciding how many community meetings were needed and where and let staff begin to line those up and advertise them.  He felt that the meetings in Mills River and 25 North should be held first.


There was some discussion of  utilizing D.C.A. to help with the process design.  There was also some discussion that there would be a need for an increase in resources to carry out the process. 


Mr. Nicholson felt that staff could meet with D.C.A. and report back to the Board at the February 19 meeting.  Staff is trying to get the draft of the Zoning Ordinance Rewrite complete and to the Board in the next two weeks. 



A brief recess was called at approximately 10:15.



The Comprehensive Land Use Plan was adopted by the Commissioners in 1993 and this new plan was based on some of the land use regulation goals and objectives.  Karen Smith reviewed the Status Report of the Henderson County Countywide Land Use Regulation Guide with the Board.  There was a question raised as to how many of these documents need to be completed and rolled into the Comprehensive County Plan.



The purpose of this Study was to examine the north central area of the County and make recommendations about how growth should occur. 


Karen Smith put a map up for the Board to see how the study area for the Mills River/Fletcher Study  overlapped with the proposed Town of Mills River boundary. 


Angela Beeker informed the Board that there was a little bit of a conflict between the charter and the assumption that the Mills River Incorporators turned in to the General Assembly related to zoning within the new boundary by the County.  The Charter seems to restrict the ability of the Board to make zoning changes within the boundary of the new municipality.  Ms. Beeker met with Sharon Alexander who is working with the Incorporation Group to get this clarified - exactly what they meant by that.  She explained that they weren=t saying that you could not go in and make changes within the jurisdiction of Mills River.  They were hesitant to make changes to the charter because the charter was what was presented for purposes of getting signatures on the petition but they are amenable to looking at the terms of the charter, based on her understanding from Sharon, after it=s been before the General Assembly and asking the General Assembly to make some clarification.  She asked for direction from the Board as to whether they would be willing to leave open use in place for that 2 year period or whether they wished to retain the ability to make changes in those boundaries for the 2 years that county zoning is in place. 


It was the feeling that if the Board wished to proceed with the study they also needed to keep the ability to make changes.  There was some discussion of corresponding with both the Legislators and with the Incorporators about Henderson County=s concerns.  There was also some discussion of having the Incorporators at a future Board meeting to discuss these concerns. It was decided to allow Ms. Beeker to address the issues Attorney to Attorney as well as Mr. Nicholson addressing it Manager to Interim Manager.  


Staff will report back to the Board on February 19 how to incorporate the Mills River Study into the CCP.



Karen Smith reminded the Board that the last action the Board had was a public input session on a September draft of the Zoning Ordinance.  The Board received public input at that time and also received a letter from the School Board.  Staff had updated the issues list and requested direction from the Board on the items on that issues update.  A workshop was suggested. 


Commissioner Baldwin expressed that he has many questions before he can make decisions on this issue.  There was some discussion of the best way to bring the two new Commissioners (Baldwin & Young) up to date on this re-write issue. Angela Beeker and Karen Smith will meet with Commissioners Baldwin and Young and answer any questions and bring them up to date on this issue.


Angela Beeker and Karen Smith will work on the clean-up of this re-write for the next two weeks.  The Board should set a date for a workshop at the February 3 meeting to address the outstanding issues on the zoning rewrite (18 points).


These were the two lists mentioned earlier in the meeting to include in these minutes:


Parking Lot:

Ask Travel & Tourism for Strategy Report & Vision


Information needs:

Copy of Mud Creek Restoration Plan to all BOC


City of Hendersonville - South Side Development Plan


Issue update missing pgs. 10 & 11


Meeting with Dr. Burnham to provide clear school development plan, growth, at least general areas for location of new schools.


Report back by Feb. 19 BOC mtg. - CCP Strategy & appropriate use of Land Use Reg. Guide


At approximately 11:35 the Board still had the following outstanding issues to deal with and discussed how to do so:



Performance Budgeting

Staffing Study


Sales Tax

a) Article 44

b) Mills River Incorporation







School Projects

Human Services Building

EMS Facilities

Animal Control/Ordinance - Facility Issue

Library Branches

Tuxedo School

Historic Courthouse


There was some disagreement about the importance of some of the issues and discussion of the need to prioritize the remaining issues.

It was the suggestion of the Chairman to add the Human Services Building issue to the regular agenda of the February 3 meeting.  This needs to be discussed prior to budget deliberations for next year.


A presentation will be made to the Board at the February 3 meeting on Outcome Based Budgeting.


Regional Water Agreement will be placed on the March 3 meeting - reply back to Asheville.


Animal Control/Ordinance - Facility issues will be placed on the February 19 meeting for presentation.


The Board will plan to appoint the Blue Ribbon Committee on the Historic Courthouse at the meeting next Wednesday, January 15.  The Board will also plan to set a workshop next Wednesday on County Facilities. The Board will plan to set a workshop at the Feb. 3 meeting on the outstanding issues of the Zoning Ordinance Rewrite.   There was discussion that some of the remaining items could be added to regular meeting agendas. 



David Nicholson had drafted a resolution this morning for the Board to consider adopting, to be presented to the Cuban officials who are visiting our area today and for the next several days.




WHEREAS,    The United States and the Republic of Cuba have begun discussions to improve relationships;


WHEREAS,    Recent legislation has been passed that opens up the possibility for the sell of U.S. Agricultural products to Cuba;


WHEREAS,    Representatives of the Henderson County Agriculture Community recently visited the Republic of Cuba to promote our local apple industry;


WHEREAS,    the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Finance of Cuba are visiting our community to understand our agricultural products;


SO THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Henderson County Board of Commissioners  welcomes the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Finance of Cuba to our community and encourages further discussions concerning the sell of North Carolina agricultural products to Cuba.


Adopted this 10th day of January, 2003.




Grady Hawkins, Chairman

Henderson County Board of Commissioners






Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board


Following some discussion, Commissioner Moyer made the motion to adopt the resolution and authorize revisions as necessary.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


Chairman Hawkins made the motion to adjourn the meeting at 12:07 p.m.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.






                                                                                                                                                              Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board                      Grady Hawkins, Chairman