STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA                                          BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

COUNTY OF HENDERSON                                                                            MARCH 19, 2003


The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a regularly scheduled meeting at 9:00 a.m. in the Commissioners' Conference Room of the Henderson County Office Building.


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 Deputy Clerk to the Board/Volunteer Coordinator Amy Brantley.


Also present were: Budget and Management Director Selena Coffey,  Finance Director J. Carey McLelland, County Engineer Gary Tweed, Sheriff George Erwin, Risk Management Director Bill Byrnes, Paralegal Connie Rayfield, Assistant County Attorney Russell Burrell, and Public Information Officer Chris Coulson.


Present in the audience from the Sheriff=s Department were: Mose Highsmith, Billy Wilson, Rodney Raines, Jimmy Edney, Eddie Watkins and Mac Varnadore. 



Chairman Hawkins called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance.



Chairman Hawkins led those in attendance in the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.



Rev. Anthony Craver, Washington Street Pentecostal Holiness Church, gave the invocation.



Chairman Hawkins made the following changes to the agenda:

C                  Remove Item AK@ from the Consent Agenda, and move it to Update on Pending Issues #2.

C                  Move Discussion Item AB@ - Budget Goals - Sheriff=s Department, to immediately follow Nominations.

C                  Add Discussion Item AC@ - Manager=s Report


Chairman Hawkins made the motion to approve the agenda as revised.  All voted in favor and the motion carried. 



Commissioner Moyer asked to pull Item AI@ - Solid Waste Advisory Committee - By-laws for some discussion.


Chairman Hawkins made the motion to approve the Consent Agenda as revised.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.  The CONSENT AGENDA consisted of the following:


Draft minutes were presented for the Board=s review and approval of the following meetings:

February 19, 2003, regular meeting

March 4, 2003, special called meeting (continuation of March 3 mtg.)

March 4, 2003, special called meeting


Tax Collector=s Report

Terry F. Lyda, Tax Collector, had provided the Board with the Tax Collector=s Report dated March 18, 2003.


Tax Refund Requests (17)

A list of 17 tax refund requests was submitted for Board approval.


Tax Release Requests (16)

A list of 16 tax release requests was submitted for Board approval.


Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act (AHIPAA@) Privacy Policies            Federal regulations pursuant to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (AHIPAA@) require certain County departments to comply with its privacy requirements, effective April 14, 2003. To comply with HIPAA, significant actions continue to be required of the County. The Board took the first required step toward HIPAA privacy compliance, the designation of Henderson County as a Ahybrid entity@ under HIPAA, by resolution dated June 19, 2002. That resolution also directed the Legal Department to survey each unit of County government to determine which departments perform Acovered functions@ under HIPAA privacy rules, and to set out a plan to bring Henderson County government into compliance with HIPAA privacy rules.


A resolution set out which departments make up the HIPAA Ahybrid entity@, adopted policies required by HIPAA privacy rules, and allowed certain future modifications to these policies by the heads of the departments which were included in the Ahybrid entity@. The Ahybrid entity@ for HIPAA privacy purposes in Henderson County consisted of : (1) the units of the Department of Public Health not included in environmental health and animal control; (2) the Emergency Medical Services department; (3) the Information Technology Department; and (4) the Legal Department. That resolution is attached hereto and incorporated as a part of these minutes.


CDBG Contracts: Habitat for Humanity/Land-of-Sky

In January 2003, the County applied for and received $160,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Housing Development funds for infrastructure development in the Habitat for Humanity Highlander Woods Subdivision. Land-of-Sky Regional Council was chosen to provide assistance in the administration of these funds for Henderson County. Presented to the Board was a Technical Services Contract, which was an agreement between Henderson County and Land-of-Sky Regional Council to authorize this assistance with the administration of the grant. Also presented to the Board was a Project Agreement between Henderson County and Habitat for Humanity, authorizing Habitat for Humanity to move forward with the project on behalf of Henderson County. 

WCCA - Community Services Block Grant Program

Western Carolina Community Action (WCCA) was applying for the continuation of the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG). The CSBG provides the funding foundation for WCCA=s Self-Sufficiency and Homeownership Programs. They receive those funds annually based on a five-year application cycle from the Department of Health and Human Service Office of Economic Opportunity. This was the fifth year of the funding cycle, and there were no significant changes to the application with the exception of a 7% budget reduction.


The WCCA Board was expected to approve the application at their March 13th meeting, and the application had gone through the required public hearing process. It was requested that the Board of Commissioners approve the filing of the continuation application for the WCCA CSBG. 


Resolution Authorizing the Disposition of Personal Property by Private Sale

Henderson County had received a bequest of two passenger vehicles from the Estate of Hilde Bleu Roland for the benefit of the Henderson County Animal Shelter. One vehicle was a 1987 Oldsmobile Station Wagon with 117,455 miles and the second vehicle was a 1999 Cadillac with 21,108 miles. Staff requested approval and authorization from the Board to sell the two vehicles by private sale at a negotiated price with the proceeds to benefit the animal shelter. A draft resolution was presented to the Board for their consideration.


Child Fatality Prevention Team Annual Report

The Child Fatality Prevention Team had submitted their Annual Report for 2002 for the Board=s review.  No action was necessary.  It was for information only.


Item AI@ - Solid Waste Advisory Committee (SWAC) - By-laws (Pulled Item)

Commissioner Moyer questioned some of the wording in the proposed by-laws. He reminded the Board that when the Environmental Advisory Committee was established, litter and litter control were charged to them. He noted a statement in the proposed SWAC By-laws that referred to litter. He questioned whether there was any intention of giving them any responsibilities in the area of litter.


Chairman Hawkins suggested this item be pulled from this agenda, and brought back to the Board following staff research on the EAC and SWAC. He stated that the Spring 2003 Litter Sweep will be coming up April 21st - May 5th, which will need to be coordinated through either the EAC or SWAC.



Notification of Vacancies

The Board was notified of the following vacancies which will appear for nominations on the next agenda:

1.               Mud Creek District Advisory Council - 1 vac. & Appoint Chairman

At the previous meeting, Commissioner Moyer had indicated a willingness to serve on this committee. Chairman Hawkins questioned whether Commissioner Moyer would be willing to also serve as the Chair of that Board, to which he also agreed. Chairman Hawkins made the motion to appoint Commissioner Moyer as Chairman and to fill the vacancy. All voted in favor and the motion carried.

2.               Henderson County Planning Board - 3 vac.



Chairman Hawkins reminded the Board of the following vacancies and opened the floor to nominations: 


1.               Nursing/Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee - 9 vac.

There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.


2.         Solid Waste Advisory Committee - 2 vac.

Chairman Hawkins nominated Terry Maybin for reappointment to this Board. Chairman Hawkins made the motion to accept Mr. Maybin by acclamation. All voted in favor and the motion carried.


3.         Mountain Area Workforce Development Board - 1 vac.

There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.


4.         Child Fatality Prevention Team - 1 vac.

There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.


5.               Asheville Regional Housing Consortium - 1 vac.

There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.


6.               EMS Quality Management Committee - 1 vac.           

Chairman Hawkins stated that there existed one vacancy due to a resignation, and a request for two additional positions, one voting and one ex-officio/non-voting. Chairman Hawkins nominated Frank Simpson as the ex-officio/non-voting member, and Larry Russell as the voting member. Amy Brantley noted that Mr. Russell would be a voting member, and Mr. Simpson would be an ex-officio/non-voting member. The actual vacancy, for which Judy Lathrop=s name had been submitted, was specified for an Emergency Department Nurse.


Chairman Hawkins restarted his nomination, nominating Ms. Lathrop to the vacant position for which she is qualified. He then nominated Mr. Simpson as the ex-officio/non-voting member. Ms. Brantley questioned whether the Board wished to also nominate Mr. Russell as an additional voting member. Following brief discussion, it was the consensus of the Board to have staff do some additional research on the by-laws, and roll this item to the next meeting. Chairman Hawkins withdrew his nominations pending that research.


Solid Waste Advisory Committee - Revisited

Commissioner Baldwin confirmed that there was an application on file for the Solid Waste Advisory Committee. He nominated Katie Breckheimer to the vacant position. Chairman Hawkins made the motion to accept Ms. Breckheimer by acclamation. All voted in favor and the motion carried. 




Budget Goals - Sheriff=s Department

Chairman Hawkins reminded the Board that the three largest departments in county government, Sheriff=s Department, DSS and the Health Department, consume between 2/3 to 3/4 of the county budget. In this budget cycle, the Board wished to have some discussion with those three agencies on their goals, and the goals on which the Board would like them to work. At their March 3, 2003 meeting, the Board proposed several goals and objectives for the Sheriff=s Department for the FY 2003-2004 budget. Those goals and objectives were:

C                  Reduce the crime rate in the County

C                  Reduce the unsolved crime rate in the County

C                  Reduce the number of auto accidents within the department

C                  Open up more community watch initiatives

C                  Evaluate vehicle expenses (i.e. expense per mile compared to other counties, policy on use of vehicles, lease versus purchase)


Sheriff George Erwin was present to discuss those proposed goals and objectives. He referred to the Commissioner=s Mission Statement on the wall, pointing to the goal Ato protect one another@, which is what members of the Sheriff=s Department do everyday. He noted that the Sheriff=s Department had received 27 National and State Awards for innovation and creativity, which was also in keeping with the Mission Statement.


Sheriff Erwin provided the Board some figures on the crime rate trend for Henderson County. He stated that in 1992 there were 1,379 crimes reported to the Sheriff=s Office when the population was 62,418. In 2002, the population grew by 10,000 and reported crimes were reduced by 227. Over the last two years, crime in Henderson County has come down 10.2%. He discussed ways in which crime can be reduced, but stated that the Department has to have the resources necessary to continue crime prevention techniques.


He stated that he recognized the position the Board was in because of the State. He noted the following things the Sheriff=s Department had done to try to reduce crime in a tight budget year.

C                  The Department had brought in $160,000 in collected fees.

C                  Received $250,000 in Federal and State grants.

C                  Brought in over $700,000 in revenues to offset their budget.  


Sheriff Erwin discussed the Uniform Crime Report (UCR), and how reports taken in make the crime rate appear to go up. Since taking his oath as a law enforcement officer 25 years ago, he has spent everyday trying to reduce crime and clear as many reported crimes as possible.


Commissioner Messer asked Sheriff Erwin to briefly describe the new CopLink program. Sheriff Erwin noted that the clearance rate last year for violent crime was 64%, the state average was 51.9%. The clearance rate last year for property crime was 25%, the state average was 19.3%.  CopLink allows police forces to connect with all other databases in law enforcement and share information, which assists in a much quicker clearance of crime. Henderson County received a $200,000 allocation from the Federal Government for this program. That money will be used to connect all the law enforcement agencies in Henderson County, and he explained how that would occur. In future phases he will look to connect this system with Asheville/Buncombe and Greenville/Spartanburg.

Sheriff Erwin described ways in which the department has tried to keep the expense per mile down on his fleet. He sited examples such as the lease of 6 cylinder vehicles rather than 8 cylinder, and the purchase and use of a global electric motor car.



Jan Prichard, Human Resources Director, was present to introduce the County=s draft Smallpox vaccination Policy and update the Board on relevant information regarding smallpox vaccinations for County employees. She presented and discussed the following policy for Board review:


Henderson County Smallpox Policy


The emerging concerns regarding terrorism in our Country have created the environment that has caused the President to develop a plan for vaccination against smallpox, a disease that was eradicated several decades ago.  The President=s plan calls for several phases of vaccination.  Phase I involves a small number of public health and hospital staff who are most likely to encounter the disease if we had cases in our community. Phase II has a broader scope that includes those needed for widespread vaccination, all hospital staff and other first responders including emergency medical staff, fire and rescue staff and law enforcement staff and other County staff as designated by the Public Health Director.  There are no specific plans to vaccinate more widely at this point in time. Vaccination in the first two phases is strictly voluntary.  It is important, however, that we provide a climate in which employees are willing to accept the vaccine so that Henderson County has a prepared workforce if vaccination is needed on a large scale throughout the County.  By the adoption of this policy, it is the intent of the Board of Commissioners as the policy making body for Henderson County to indicate understanding of the issues related to smallpox vaccination, support the availability of the vaccine for those staff at risk of exposure, and demonstrate support for the staff responsible for this work.


General Information:

The small pox vaccinia is a live vaccine (cowpox) making it very different from the vaccines that we all receive today and there are some risks associated with taking the vaccine. There are side effects and risks associated with the smallpox vaccine.


Most people experience normal, usually mild reactions that include a sore arm, fever, and body aches.  However, other people experience reactions ranging from serious to life threatening.  People most likely to have serious side effects are those who will be excluded due to present or past health conditions.  In the past, about 1 person for every 100,000 people vaccinated for the first time experienced reactions that, while not life-threatening, were serious.   These reactions included a toxic or allergic reaction at the site of the vaccination (erythema multiforme), spread of the vaccinia virus to other parts of the body and to other individuals (inadvertent inoculation), and spread of the vaccinia virus to other parts of the body through the blood (generalized vaccinia).  These types of reactions may require medical attention.  In the past, between 14 and 82 people out of every 1 million people vaccinated for the first time experienced potentially life-threatening reactions to the vaccine.  Based on past experience, it is estimated that 1 or 2 people in 1 million who receive the vaccine may die as a result.  Careful screening of potential vaccine recipients is essential to ensure that those at increased risk do not receive the vaccine.


These potential risks create concern among staff regarding the need to protect their families and other close contacts, protect the clients they see through their work, protect their accrued leave, and avoid large out-of-pocket expenses for medical care. 



The Board of Commissioners is of the opinion that it is in the best interest of the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the County that essential County employees be offered the vaccine in order that there be sufficient immunized personnel to assist the public in the event of an outbreak; therefore, the Board of Commissioners establishes the following policy:


1.   That the Director of Public Health, or the Director=s designee, in conjunction with the relevant Department Head (i.e., Emergency Management, EMS), identify those County employees for whom vaccination is recommended under Phase I and Phase II of the Federal vaccination program.  The employees so identified will be offered the opportunity to take the vaccine.  Acceptance of the vaccine is completely voluntary and subject to medical contraindication.


2.   If an employee who is offered the vaccine under Phase I and Phase II elects to take the vaccine, and as a result of taking that vaccine becomes ill and requires medical treatment, the employee should file an Employee Injury Report for Workers= Compensation benefits. Coverage under Workers= Compensation is determined by our insurance carrier.  If such claim is denied, the employee will be instructed to file a medical claim under his/her individual health care plan.  For employees who are enrolled in the County=s health care plan, this is Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC).  Treatment for adverse reactions must be provided by a County designated medical provider


3.   If an employee who is offered the vaccine under Phase I and Phase II elects to take the vaccine, and as a result of taking that vaccine becomes ill such that absence from work is required as certified by his/her health care provider, the employee shall be reimbursed sick leave days for such absence, up to seven working days.  Absences for which the employee receives compensation as covered under the County=s Worker=s Compensation insurance will not be reimbursed in order to avoid double payment. Employees are required to use his/her available sick and/or vacation leave during the first seven days of absence.  Employees who do not have enough sick and/or vacation leave may applied for Shared Leave.  Determination of whether an absence is the result of taking the vaccine is at the sole discretion of the Director of Public Health, or the Director=s designee.  Approval for leave reimbursement is at the sole discretion of the County Manager in consultation with the Director of Public Health and the employee=s department head.


4.   Employees other than those identified under Phase I and Phase II who voluntarily receive the vaccine and experience an adverse reaction will be instructed to file a medical claim under his/her individual health care plan.  For employees who are enrolled in the County=s health care plan, this is Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC).  These employees will not be covered under Workers= Compensation and will not be offered any other special benefits.


Mr. Nicholson, Mrs. Prichard and Barbara Stanley answered several questions from the Board on the specifics of the policy. Commissioner Young questioned whether there were any plans to provide the vaccine to the general public. Ms. Stanley answered that there were no plans at this time, barring an event that might precipitate it. Commissioner Young also questioned whether employees signed a consent form for the vaccination, or a declination form if they did not wish to take it. Ms. Stanley answered that there is a very involved consent form, but the CDC had recommended that there not be a declination form for various reasons.        


Following several additional questions, Chairman Hawkins made the motion to adopt the policy as presented and make it retroactive to employees who have already received the vaccination. All voted in favor and the motion carried.



Selena Coffey reminded the Board that at their March 3, 2003 meeting, staff was directed to research the various options for tax department structures. She provided findings from a tax department survey conducted in August, 2000. That survey was distributed to the Board showing a comparison of tax department structures for North Carolina counties similar in population to Henderson County. She also provided for the Board=s information a copy of the County=s current Assessor job description, as well as examples of job descriptions for a Tax Administrator.


Ms. Coffey had recently updated the survey, and provided some new figures to the Board. 76% of counties in the state have a Tax Administrator who is over the entire department. 21% of counties have an appointed Tax Collector and an appointed Tax Assessor, two separate positions both appointed by the Board. 3% currently have an elected Tax Collector and an appointed Tax Assessor.


Chairman Hawkins discussed the very old local bills governing tax offices, and the various anomalies within Henderson County with respect to the Tax Collector. He also pointed out that a Tax Administrator has to be dual qualified, or have the qualifications for both the Tax Assessor and the Tax Collector. He felt the important steps to take if the Board wished to pursue a change were:

1.               Contact local legislators on having our current local bills repealed.    

2.               When looking to hire a new Assessor, make them aware that the county is anticipating switching to a different system.


Commissioner Moyer stated that he felt before anything else happened, the Board needed to determine the right organizational structure for Henderson County. Commissioner Baldwin agreed, and stated that the best reporting function also needed to be determined. Angela Beeker noted that statutorily, a Tax Administrator could report to the County Manager but the Tax Assessor and Tax Collector must report to the Board.


There followed much discussion of the various options that might be open to the Board regarding the time frame of such a change, especially given that the Tax Collector would begin a new four year term in October. Chairman Hawkins asked Mr. Nicholson to look into whether the current Tax Collector would have the necessary certifications to serve as the Tax Assessor, and to do some work on determining the best organizational structure for the county. Once those issues have been answered, he asked Mr. Nicholson to bring the item back to the Board for a structural recommendation, and to allow some dialogue with the County Attorney and Tax Collector about the various available options.



Mr. Nicholson reminded the Board that at the last meeting, the Board asked staff to see whether the Human Services Building could be moved to the front of the BRCC property. The County received from William Lapsley & Associates, a conceptual site plan for a Acampus@ site on the BRCC land, which would house Health and Human Services, as well as Land Development buildings and an Animal Shelter. Mr. Nicholson briefly discussed some additional options and configurations for the buildings.


The County also received some cost estimates on site preparation. Those costs were broken into three categories:

1.               Access Road and Utility Improvements (1700LF X 24' Wide) = $357,000

2.               Health and Human Services Building and Parking Areas = $563,000

3.               Land Development Building and Parking Areas = $361,000

The total for all site preparation came to $1,281,000 according to these projections.


Mr. Nicholson stated that especially with all the rain in the past few weeks, he recommended that some soil drillings be done. He recommended that if the Board was going to seriously consider the property, that core drillings be done to determine what it would take to do foundations and the like.  He presented the cost figures from a company who would do the work. Their cost proposal was:


1.               Human Services Building Site            $  6,876.00

Additional Costs                                 $  1,000.00

Total                                                                $  7,876.00     

2.                Land Development Building Site                   $  4,356.50

3.               Animal Shelter Site                                         $  2,489.50


Total for all Sites                                                        $14,722.00


There followed some discussion on the size of the property, the differences in the various elevations on the property, and the concern of the how wet the property is. Chairman Hawkins stated that he felt the soil drillings should be done, but requested that enough be done to truly determine the soil quality of the building sites. Commissioner Moyer made the motion to authorize spending the money to perform the appropriate core drilling samples on the property at the Blue Ridge Community College to determine whether a portion of the property is buildable. All voted in favor and the motion carried.



1. Dick Baird - Mr. Baird expressed displeasure over the three minute time limit on informal public comments. He noted three additional goals he felt were appropriate for the Sheriff=s Department. He requested that the Board take immediate action on the Tax Department structure. He referenced the desperation of farmers in the state, and the inequity in the ad valorem tax on land, and requested that the Board change the procedure. He stated that there was a need to develop physical development in children, and suggested the Board add six soccer fields, six tennis courts and an indoor recreation facility. He finally discussed a tax revenue assessment, and suggested the budget grow by about 4.5%, or to $78,000,000.


Recently, the Board had considered its various options with regard to the Carolina Apparel Building located on Spartanburg Highway. Pursuant to direction given at the March 3, 2003 meeting, Staff had prepared a Resolution authorizing the County Attorney and Staff to advertise the sale of the Carolina Apparel Building pursuant to the sealed bid procedure (NCGS 160A-268). The Resolution contemplated the Board setting a minimum bid on the lot and setting the dates of the advertisement and opening of the sealed bids.


Ms. Beeker stated that based on her calculation, the total acreage of the site is about 6.76 acres. Close to $3 million had been expended on all five properties, including the recent demolition work. She noted that once the property is put out to bid, it must be left out for 30 days. In the Resolution, Ms. Beeker proposed the following schedule:

April 1st - Property advertised in the newspaper.

May 2nd - Bids accepted.

June 30th - If the Board chose to accept a submitted bid, closing would take place by June 30th.


Ms. Beeker stated that it was important to note that in order to legally put a piece out for sale, that property has to be declared surplus property. Therefore for now, the Board has to say it is surplus property which the County does not intend to use. She clarified that the Board could change it=s mind later and decide to use the property, however the Resolution states that it is surplus property.


She reminded the Board that based on previous conversation, she had included in the Resolution a minimum bid of $3 million, but explained that the use of a minimum bid and the schedule were at the Board=s discretion. She stated that she had worked to compile all the information on the property so potential bidders could be completely informed about the property.


Commissioner Moyer suggested that a minimum bid not be included in the Resolution, to provide a more accurate picture of what the property is worth. Chairman Hawkins questioned Mr. Nicholson on the time frame of receiving the information back from the core drillings. He pointed out that this might be surplus property now, but if those drillings show that the BRCC property is not buildable, it may no longer be surplus. Bill Byrnes stated that it would take about four weeks to get the information, so the middle of April. It was the consensus of the Board to adjust the time frame accordingly, having the bids accepted mid-May rather than May 2nd.


Following some additional discussion, Commissioner Moyer made the motion to approve the Resolution with the deletion of any reference to a minimum bid requirement and changing the dates to move it back to mid-May. All voted in favor and the motion carried.


Chairman Hawkins called for a brief recess to change video tapes.        


PUBLIC HEARING - Rural Operating Assistance Program (ROAP) Rural General Public (RGP) Program

Chairman Hawkins made the motion for the Board to go into public hearing.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


David White, from Western Carolina Community Action (WCCA), stated that it had been the recommendation of the WCCA Board of Directors, the Henderson County Public Transit Advisory Board, and the WCCA DOT consultant in Asheville, that Apple Country Transportation accept the formulated amount of $123,714 from NCDOT to continue providing EDTAP, Workfirst and RGP services at a level comparable to last year. They further recommended acceptance of the requested amount of $169,338 to continue providing public transportation, expanding morning hours and adding a route to Fletcher. It was noted that another light transit vehicle had been awarded to Apple Country Transportation.


He noted that Apple Country needed to solicit $30,000 to meet the local match for the public transit project for next year. $5,000 had been requested from Henderson County to help support the project. Other local governments and local businesses were also requested to help in meeting the match.


Mr. White answered several questions from the Board including the costs for the various options, money previously received for the matching grant, and the number of people using the public transit service. Commissioner Young asked what the figures looked like with regards to rider numbers. Mr. White stated that the numbers have been going steadily upward, with the latest average being between 800-900 passengers per week on the routes. When the route first started in June 2002, there were about 300-400 per week. WCCA projected 16,000 passenger trips for the first year, but will probably end up well over 25,000 passenger trips.   


Public Input

1. David White - Mr. White spoke prior to the Public Input portion of the Public Hearing.


2. Paul Stepp - Mr. Stepp thanked the Board for their past support of public transportation, and hoped the Board would continue to support it. He felt the legend of the past Board would be that they were there when public transportation returned to Hendersonville and Henderson County.


3. Dick Baird - Mr. Baird stated he recalled that when the bus system was inaugurated, it had been stated that the county would not be asked for any funding for three years. He asked the Board to deny the $5,000 request.


Chairman Hawkins confirmed that the action being requested today was for Henderson County to apply for the available funds. The County was not being asked for the $5,000 match at this time.    


Chairman Hawkins made the motion to approve the filing of the grant. All voted in favor and the motion carried.


Chairman Hawkins made the motion for the Board to go out of public hearing.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.





1. State Budget                                                                                                                             Mr. Nicholson stated that on March 5th, the Governor proposed his budget. He reminded the Board that the Governor presents a budget, and the General Assembly really does the work on it. Several things included in the proposed budget were:

C                  Public School Capital Fund (ADM Fund) - This fund is 1% of Corporate Income Tax, and is used to pay off debt service on schools. It was to be kept by the state for one year last year, but has now been proposed to be kept for an additional year.  

C                  Reduction of class size - The Governor has proposed a reduction in class size. Mr. Nicholson stated there would need to be some capital planning in the system.

C                  Hold Harmless Clause - Originally when the additional sales tax was added to replace the reimbursements, for counties who received less than they would have with the reimbursements, the state promised to fund the difference and hold the counties harmless. The Governor has now indicated that is a promise the state will not keep.

C                  2 Cent Sales Tax - When the state put in the 2 cent sales tax to guarantee that counties would get their reimbursements, they said that sales tax would expire at the end of the fiscal year. The Governor has now proposed that temporary state tax continue.


Mr. Nicholson thanked Angela Beeker and Connie Rayfield for providing to him regular information on various legislative bills that had been introduced. Several items of recently proposed legislation were:

C                  Reduction of Medicaid funding for local governments - 5 year phase out.

C                  Shift in Medicaid funding from lower tier counties to Tier 4 and 5 counties. Such legislation would increase the Henderson County match from 5% to 15%. That translates to an increase from $4 million to $12 million.  


Chairman Hawkins stated that he felt Henderson County should lead the charge, and challenge the Governor on taking these monies from the County. He felt that it was obvious from the Governor=s actions that he had no interest in education other than further diluting the cost that will be thrust upon the counties. Chairman Hawkins distributed to the Board a draft letter he proposed to sent to the Governor expressing the County=s feeling about his budget decisions. It was the consensus of the Board to send that letter.


2. County Government Week, April 7-11, 2003

Chris Coulson gave a brief presentation regarding the Fourth Annual County Government Week, being held April 7 - 11, 2003. The theme for the week was Counties Care for Kids. She noted the following activities that will take place throughout the week:

Monday- Mercury thermometer exchange for digital thermometers at the Health Department.

Tuesday- Lion King=s Folktales - a professional acting troop at the Library in the evening.

Wednesday- Blood Drive in the Commissioner=s meeting room.

Thursday- Parenting classes, for parents with children up to the age of 12 held at DSS.

Friday- 4H will have an after school program, Adventures in Learning, at Cooperative Extension.

Saturday- Car seat safety checks and safety kits in the Walmart parking lot.


David Nicholson requested the Board consider a Resolution authorizing that week as County Government Week. A draft Resolution had been prepared for their consideration. Chairman Hawkins made the motion to adopt the Resolution as presented originally in the Consent Agenda, but now in this Discussion Item. All voted in favor and the motion carried.  



Chairman Hawkins reminded the Board that they had been looking for some public input on the Weapons Firing Ordinance and the Animal Control Ordinance. He felt both of those items might have fairly large crowds associated with them. He suggested those public input sessions be held at an alternate location and in the evening to allow people to attend the meetings.


Commissioner Moyer felt there still needed to be substantial changes made to the Weapons Firing Ordinance prior to seeking public input. Chairman Hawkins requested that Ms. Beeker bring that one back to the Board at an April meeting, for review of the Ordinance and to set a date for public input.


Chairman Hawkins stated that the Animal Control Ordinance was ready for public input. He suggested Thursday, April 17th and requested Mr. Nicholson try to find a location at one of the high schools. Mr. Nicholson stated that April 17th fell during the schools spring break. He stated that he would research several locations. April 17th was set as a tentative date, to be confirmed at the April 7th meeting.


Chairman Hawkins stated that with regard to setting a workshop for the Regional Water Agreement, he had spoken with Mayor Niehoff who had some ideas. He was still working on an agenda and a date for that, and would bring it back to the Board once he had coordinated something with Mayor Niehoff and Mayor Worley.  


Chairman Hawkins reminded the Board that the NCACC Regional Meeting would be held on April 23rd at the Waynesville Country Club. He requested anyone who wished to attend, to let Ms. Brantley know that she might register them.


David Nicholson reminded the Board of a need to schedule a Budget Meeting with the Board of Education. He had proposed a meeting date of April 16th, which members of the Board of Education were unable to attend. The Board of Education proposed the meeting be held Wednesday, March 26th at 2:00 pm. Due to several conflicts, the Board asked Mr. Nicholson to propose an alternate date to the Board of Education, and bring that back to the Board at their April 7th meeting.  


Mr. Nicholson also reminded the Board of a need to schedule a meeting for the NC DOT Secondary Road Program. He had received a call from NCDOT requesting that the Board hold that meeting on May 14th at 10:00 am. Chairman Hawkins made the motion to set the DOT Secondary Road Program Hearing at 10:00 on the 14th of May. All voted in favor and the motion carried.  


Budget Goals - Social Services & Public Health

The Board had requested time during regularly scheduled meetings to discuss proposed goals and

objectives for select departments as part of the Outcome-Focused Budgeting process. Per the budget calendar, the Board was scheduled to discuss proposed goals for the Department of Social Services and the Department of Public Health at this meeting. These will be further discussed with the respective departments during the Board=s April 7, 2003 regularly scheduled meeting.


Goals identified for the Department of Social Services were:

C                  Reports to the Board regarding Child Support payments. Chairman Hawkins stated that in the past dollar figures had been reported, but requested that the percentage of people making payments also be included.

C                  Reducing the amount of time a child is in foster care.

C                  Reduction of the number of people on the list for daycare services.

C                  Establish a goal regarding statistics on the number of cases opened, people entered into the system, and how many of those cases achieved a desired result.


Commissioner Baldwin spoke briefly about success. He questioned how success is defined for DSS cases. He did not know what kind of statistics were currently being kept, but felt any information would be helpful.


Goals identified for the Health Department were:

C                  Additional exercises on response to emergency situations.

C                  Adopt at least one or two phases of the Animal Control Ordinance for implementation.

C                  Track and possibly reduce the time it takes for a septic permit application to be approved.

C                  Track and possibly reduce inoculation costs per child.


Manger=s Report

Commissioner Baldwin stated that with starting the Outcome-Focused Budgeting process, he felt it would be helpful for the County Manager to provide a schedule of when programs can be implemented by departments. He requested a monthly update on the progress that had been made with respect to that. He also requested the Board receive a steady update on the County Comprehensive Plan process. Mr. Nicholson stated he would be happy to provide that information.



There being no further business to come before the Board, Chairman Hawkins made the motion to adjourn the meeting at approximately 12:05 p.m.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.





                                                                                                                                                             Amy R. Brantley, Deputy Clerk to the Board        


Grady Hawkins, Chairman