August 2014

                                                                        COUNCIL MINUTES

                                                                 VILLAGE OF FOREST HILLS

                                                                            August 05, 2014



The regular meeting of the Village of Forest Hills was held in the meeting room at the Webster Town Hall at 6:00pm on August 05, 2014.


The following members of the Council were present:

Mayor Kolleen Begley

Councilmember Clark Corwin

Councilmember Ron Mau

Councilmember Carl Hooper

Councilmember Dan Perlmutter


The following Non-Council members were present:

David Moore, Village Attorney

Stephanie Gibson, Finance Officer/Clerk

Ken Dickert, Village Ordinance Administrator

Sgt. Rollie James, Jackson Co. Police Dept.

Lt. Clyde Rice, Jackson Co. Police Dept.

Tanner Hall, The Sylva Herald

Niall Michelsen, Village homeowner


  1. Call to order: The meeting was called to order at 6:05pm by Mayor Kolleen Begley.

    2.  Approval of Agenda: Councilman Mau suggested moving item #7 to the beginning of the meeting. A motion to approve the agenda with changes was made by Councilman Hooper, seconded by Councilman Corwin, and unanimously approved.

   3.  Announcements: Reminder – 1) Tuesday, September 2nd is the Jackson County & Local Municipal board’s joint meeting at the Dept. of Aging in Webster at 5:30pm.

                                                   2) September’s monthly Council meeting is back at the Rec. Center Tuesday, September 9th.  

Note: The meeting was later changed again to September 16 at 6:00pm at Webster Town Hall.                          

   4.  Approval of Meeting Minutes from July 01, 2014 Council meeting: a motion to approve the minutes was made by Councilman Hooper, seconded by Councilman Corwin, unanimously approved.                                          

   5.  Acceptance of June/Fiscal Year End Report being submitted to auditor: Stephanie provided copies of the Financial Report for June with corrected entries and year end totals. A motion to approve Year End report was made by Councilman Mau, seconded by Councilman Hooper, unanimously approved.

       Financial Report for the month of July, 2014: Stephanie Gibson provided copies of the Financial Report for July. Revenues for the month included $1462.45 in Sales Tax, and $13.10 in Interest earned. Expenditures for the month included $325.00 for administrative fees, $3,055.16 for annual Insurance fee, $70.56 to the NC Dept. of Commerce, $975.00 for 2nd Audit fee, $877.00 for the League of Municipalities fee, $26.40 for notices, $100.00 for UNC School of Government fee, $248.50 for Attorney fees, and $259.14 in Entrance operating fees. As of July 31, 2014 there is $137,409.12 in the General Fund bank account and $15,178.61 in the Powell Bill bank account. 

A motion to accept the financial report was made by Councilman Perlmutter, seconded by Councilman Mau, and unanimously approved.

Higher interest bearing account options – collateralized: Stephanie discussed interest rates obtained from several local banks and the account options available for the possibility of moving the unreserved fund balance to a higher interest account.  Councilmembers asked that Stephanie email the options discussed and let them review it for future action.

   6.  Public Comment: Niall Michelsen said he was attending the meeting to supportthe Anti-Fracking resolution on behalf of his wife Terri Michelsen.

    7.  Jackson County Police Patrol in Village: Councilman Hooper asked Sgt. Rollie James and Lt. Clyde Rice to attend the meeting to discuss concerns from previous board meetings such as speeding in the village, enforcing ordinances, having marked vehicles patrolling the village, and obtaining safety suggestions or ideas from patrol officers.

Mayor Begley asked if unmarked vehicles can be requested. Lt. Rice said that about 98% of the time officers are in unmarked vehicles. Mayor Begley asked about speeding issues, Sgt. James responded that they can only run radar in the straight away near the apartments. He noted that the average speed is 30-35 mph. Lt. Rice added that officers have to have some distance to be able to run the radar. He said that they could bring out the Speed trailer the end of the week and give that a try.

Sgt. James said that it might be a good idea to have officers patrol late night hours the weekend before and after WCU classes start, he said that he may set the hours for patrol from around 11:00pm to 2:00am.

Mayor Begley said that council had recommended putting up speed limit signs and asked if the Dept. of Transportation might help, Lt. Rice responded that D.O.T. would not likely help. Mayor Begley said that she would ask D.O.T. about the possibility of getting a couple of signs and for advice on what the speed limit within the village should be.

Councilman Corwin asked about the possibility of installing a roundabout or speed bumps to deter speeding and the officers agreed that those may be an option.

Sgt. James said that he has not written many tickets over the years, he said he has had other issues with licenses and partying.

Councilman Corwin mentioned the enforcement of the noise ordinance for such things as barking dogs and loud parties. Sgt. James said that the Town of Sylva had to take the barking dog ordinance out of their ordinances. He said that officers will enforce noise ordinances, they give notice on their first visit and on their second visit, they issue a citation. Attorney Moore said that the noise ordinances are not always effective legally if they can’t be proved in court.

Ken Dickert said that he issued a citation for $50.00 to a neighbor for a noise disturbance at 3:00am; he noted that the Village ordinances state that if noise is a nuisance to an individual, a citation can be issued. Councilman Perlmutter asked Ken how often the noise ordinance is an issue and Ken responded probably once a month. Sgt. James suggested sending the citation notice to the homeowner as well as the tenant for rental properties.

Councilman Corwin asked about vehicles being in the road. Sgt. James said if they are on a State road and are over the line, and the driver cannot be reached, the vehicle can be towed. Mayor Begley asked Attorney Moore if a vehicle is in a Village road, can it be towed. Attorney Moore said that the Village ordinance only covers the section of the State roads. Sgt. James recommended getting the section of the road where the road stripes have come off, repainted. Mayor Begley asked Attorney Moore if the Village ordinance is changed to include Village roads, could vehicles left in the road in the village be towed. Attorney Moore said that if the Lt. gets approval from the Chief Deputy or the Sheriff, they will enforce the ordinances.

Councilman Perlmutter said that he feels sending citation notices to property owners as well as tenants would assist in the problems with the noise from renters. Mayor Begley asked Attorney Moore if it is ok to send a citation to homeowner’s in addition to renters and he said it is.

Mayor Begley summarized the discussion by saying the Council is going to be proactive in addressing issues discussed by getting speed limit signs, have the Speed trailer set up, look into “no parking on roads” signs, updating ordinances, etc.

Sgt. James said that he would have officers select additional evenings for the next three weeks with WCU classes starting back.

Ken Dickert said that he feels the ordinances, particularly the noise ordinance, needs to be clear that homeowner’s will receive the citation and he would like to go to a Planning Board member to discuss the updates. Attorney Moore noted that it would be difficult to enforce citations in court. Councilman Corwin asked Ken what responses, if any, he has had from homeowners and Ken said that he would discuss that at the Planning Board meeting.

Councilman Perlmutter feels it is good for renters to know that the homeowners will be contacted if there are any issues. Ken said that the citation fees are most effective.

   8.  Reports:  

       Planning Board: Councilman Corwin said that he met with the board and discussed issues such as the ordinances, mixed use, the charette, etc.  The next meeting will be on August, 18th

Councilman Corwin asked Attorney Moore about parking signs and lines on the Village roads and he recommended having the ordinances reflect what steps residents should follow. Councilman Mau suggested having two signs, one on each end saying no parking on Village roads.  Mayor Begley asked if she should get a quote for signs, Councilman Mau recommended checking with D.O.T.

Councilman Perlmutter asked if Planning Board members are ever paid or if they are all voluntary and Attorney Moore replied that he did not know of any being paid.

 Mayor Begley noted that at the last meeting having Council members review the ordinances was   discussed.

 Mayor Begley said that there are two nominations for the Planning Board:  Lee Budahl, and Steve Brown.  Councilman Corwin made a motion to accept these two new members to the Planning Board, seconded by Councilman Perlmutter, unanimously approved.  Mayor Begley said that she would contact the Clerk of Court to prepare the paperwork for the new members and they can go by at their convenience.

        Safety: Councilman Hooper said that there was surveillance but no citations.

        Roads: Councilman Perlmutter said that he is a member of the RPO Transportation committee and at their last meeting; there was discussion of a sidewalks along North Country Club Drive from Hwy.107 to the University Inn.  Councilman Perlmutter noted that he wasn’t previously aware of a proposed sidewalk project on North Country Club Drive and Jack Debnam spoke against it feeling other projects were more pressing. He Councilman Perlmutter noted that there is a meeting with the D.O.T. and county/municipal stakeholders scheduled on August, 20th to discuss prioritizing D.O.T. projects in Jackson County.

 Councilman Hooper and Corwin feel that a sidewalks would be beneficial for the village, they said that it has been discussed in the past having the village connected by walkways to WCU.  Mayor Begley asked Councilman Perlmutter to take the Council’s input back to the D.O.T. meeting.

 Councilman Perlmutter said that no new road surveys have been received.

        Ordinance: Councilman Mau said that Ken Dickert sent out a noise violation citation last Saturday and there is concern over the appearance of a couple properties in the Village. 

 Councilman Mau noted that the Darby’s are no longer building a Garage.

       Mayor’s Report:  Mayor Begley sent a copy of the Interlocal agreement to Council and asked if they are agreeable to change Ken Dickert’s title to Ordinance Administrator since the county is really the Zoning Administrator.  She noted that section 701 & 704 needs to be updated in the ordinances as well as a couple others listed.

Councilman Corwin announced that Ron Hancock no longer holds the position as Community Assistance Director with the Division of Commerce.

Mayor Begley said that Chris Green asked her if the Village is interested in a portion of his land for green space, she asked if the Council was interested in discussing the possibility. Councilman Corwin said that he feels we should have the Charette and determine the Village’s interest and get input from the property and homeowners.  He feels that the workshop will not be set up to allow a presentation for Chris Green.

Mayor Begley discussed the $3,500 fee quoted from the professional planning team of Chipley Consulting & Kostelec Planning for organizing, facilitating, and compiling a report of the results of a community workshop/charette. Councilman Mau made a motion to approve the $3,500 fee, seconded by Councilman Corwin, unanimously approved.

   9.  Old Business:


  1. Schedule of Village fees – Mayor Begley sent the proposed fee schedule to Gerald Green for review, he said they looked fine. Residents would complete an application for requests. She noted that the Village would get a portion of some of the fees assessed. Councilman Perlmutter asked Mayor Begley what the need was for fees to go to the Village and she responded that the fees would help offset Village costs such as Attorney fees, outside assistance, etc.

Councilman Mau said that he isn’t sure that the Village needs to pro rate fees since the time involved would be similar for the Village and the Town of Sylva and suggested we use a comparable fee schedule.  Councilman Mau made a motion to adopt the fee schedule, Councilman Corwin seconded the motion, Councilman Hooper voted in favor of the motion, and Councilman Perlmutter voted against the motion. 

    2.  Roadwork maintenance quotes – (1)Mayor Begley said that she drove around with Jim Parker of Parker Paving and showed him the areas of the Village-maintained paved roads needing repair and that he ball parked that the cost would be roughly $3,000 but will submit a formal quote after he does his measurements.

(2) Councilman Perlmutter made a motion to approve a $2,300 quote from Green’s Excavating for gravel needed on Cave Springs Road; Councilman Mau seconded the motion, unanimously approved.

   3.  Resolution – Fracking: Mayor Begley provided copies of aResolution she drafted based on a template suggested by other area mayors Opposing Hydraulic Fracking. Mayor Begley stated that this Resolution draft didn’t cost the taxpayers anything in attorney fees. She also stated that the Village attorney did read over the Resolution and said it looked fine. Homeowners Terri Michaelsen, Niall Michelsen, and Ken Dickert then sent in feedback forms in favor of this Resolution.  

Councilman Perlmutter said that he feels it is important to oppose fracking although it provided no legal standing he feels it is important to publicly oppose.

Councilman Mau read an article from the Sylva Herald regarding pollution by septic systems. He feels that the Council needs to spend their time on more pressing issues that they can address.

Councilman Hooper said that he would like to hear the other side.

Councilman Corwin said that he agrees that there are more pertinent issues to discuss.

Mayor Begley turned the meeting over to Councilman Corwin to discuss her point of view and concerns. She noted that she has not received contact from any residents asking that this Resolution not be passed, only from residents supporting the Resolution and she feels as a governmental body, we should take a stand.

Mayor Begley resumed running the meeting.

Councilman Corwin made a motion that the Council adopt the resolution, Councilman Perlmutter seconded the motion, Councilman Hooper and Councilman Mau voted not to adopt the resolution, Mayor Begley broke the tie and voted in favor of the resolution.

   4.  Resolution – Planning Board Education: Mayor Begley asked if the Planning Board is in favor of the resolution, Councilman Corwin said that the board is in favor of the resolution.

Councilman Corwin made a motion to adopt the resolution; Councilman Hooper seconded the motion, unanimously approved.

   5.  Resolution – Adopt similar education policies for Council and Administration positions? Mayor Begley asked if the Council wanted to adopt resolutions for the Council and Administration positions going forward, Council agreed. Mayor Begley said that she will write up the resolution and bring it to the next meeting.

   6.  WCU Grant Writing Program: (Biltmore Park October 2014) – Mayor Begley asked if anyone was interested in attending the program. The cost is $349 before October 1st and the classes are held from 9:00 – 4:00 at Biltmore Park.

Councilman Mau said he didn’t feel the dates were good with his schedule.

Councilman Corwin said he was interested and will check the dates and see if there are any scholarships for Grant education and report back at the next meeting.

   10.  Additional Public Comment: None

   11.  Adjourn: At 8:35 Councilman Hooper made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Councilman Corwin, unanimously approved.