February 2010

                                                                        COUNCIL MINUTES

                                                                 VILLAGE OF FOREST HILLS

                                                                               February 2, 2010



The regular meeting of the Village of Forest Hills was held in the lobby at the University Inn at 6:00pm

on February 2, 2010.


The following members of the Council were present:

Clark Corwin

Carl Hooper

Gene Tweedy

Suzanne Stone, Mayor pro tem


The following Non-Council members were present:

Kolleen Begley, Clerk

Mark Teague, Zoning Administrator


The following members were absent:

Jim Wallace, Mayor

Jim Weir, Finance Officer


(1)    Call to order 6:00pm by Mayor pro tem Suzanne Stone



(2)    Approval of meeting minutes for January 5, 2010 Council meeting.  A motion to approve the minutes was made by Carl Hooper, seconded by Gene Tweedy, unanimously approved.  (The meeting minutes for the January 26th continuance will be approved at the March meeting.)


(3)    Financial reports for the months of January, 2010.  Jim Weir was absent from the meeting but will give the financial reports for January and February at the March meeting.                                                                      


(4)    Swearing-In Ceremony.  Clerk of Court, Ann Melton, swore in the following two Village Department members:  Mark Teague, Zoning Administrator and Dawn Gilchrist-Young, Planning Board.  Gene Tweedy thanked Mark and Dawn for their new contribution to the Village.


(5)    Public Hearing scheduled for the next Council meeting, March 2, 2010   A motion was made by Gene Tweedy to set the date of March 2, 2010 at 6:00pm at the University Inn to hold a public hearing on the ordinance changes.  Discussion with Zoning Administrator about venues and dates to advertise the public hearing to the residents. The public hearing is to review proposed ordinance changes and hear any input from the community.  Discussion about what maps and notes to bring to the public hearing meeting and that if there was no input that would involve further revision; votes could be cast after the hearing to adopt each ordinance amendment. The motion was seconded by Carl Hooper, unanimously approved. 


(6)    Planning Board.  Discussion about how to bring the new Planning Board members up to date.  Discussion about recruiting new Planning Board members.  Next Planning Board meeting is scheduled for February 9, 2010 at 6:00 pm at the University Inn.   


(7)    Dick Iobst.   Suzanne Stone addressed the Council and residents regarding the recent passing of long time Council member and resident, Dick Iobst, and about how much he contributed to the Village. Suzanne asked for any ideas as to how the Village could honor his memory.  Resident and Planning Board member, Alan Begley, made a suggestion that one of the plaques showing the Village donation to the Jackson County Library be in memory of Dick Iobst.  Gene Tweedy made a motion to have the minutes show appreciation for the service of Dick Iobst in that he served the community well and should be recognized for his contributions.  Clark Corwin moved to amend the motion to add that Dick Iobst be honored on one of the plaques on the display cases to be placed in the new Jackson County Library paid for by the donation from the Village. All were in favor of the amendment.  The motion was seconded by Carl Hooper, unanimously approved.


(8)    CURVE meeting  Clark Corwin reported that there was nothing to report because their meeting was postponed and rescheduled for 9:15 on February 5th.  Any open meetings will be posted.



Kolleen Begley addressed the Council about a request from the Fire Department to have a list of residents in the Village that may need checking on after a situation like a snow storm with power outage – particularly residents that are on oxygen.  Kolleen asked the Council to look over the list and tag anyone that they knew of that may need checking on and she would fax the list back to the Fire Department per their request.


Resident and Planning Board member, Janie Prentice, addressed the Council and thanked Gene Tweedy for coordinating the snow removal from the roads so promptly after the recent storm.  Janie Prentice asked what could be done about the debris and branches down from the most recent snow storm.  Council discussed options.  Gene Tweedy stated that the Village needs a contractor that they can call upon for these services and stated that he felt this is a service that is owed to the community.  Mark Teague suggested to the Council that a contractor(s) be on call for the Village to clean up items that are not specifically the responsibility of the property owner (referring to the right-of-ways and roads) as well as cutting back the right-of-ways or other potential services to the Village residents for their tax dollars.  Gene Tweedy agreed with Mark and stated that he would like the Village to have a standing contractor available and that Ad Velorem taxes can be used for roads in addition to the Powell Bill Funds given to the Village from the State to maintain designated roads.  Clark Corwin stated that he wasn’t sure of where the Village stood with the budget.  Kolleen Begley explained that the budget can go over or under each year and although the Powell Bill funds are exhausted for the current fiscal year, there was roughly a $60K surplus from prior year budget underages in the Village bank account accumulated from other taxes.  Kolleen also explained that the Powell Bill Funds come from the state of NC each year when the Village applies for them – and the Powell Bill Funds are a separate income from the Ad Velorem taxes which are the property taxes that the residents pay in.  Mark Teague stated that the Village should look like a nice neighborhood for the tax dollars the residents pay in and questioned why there was such a large surplus.  It was noted that the Finance Officer for the Village, Jim Wier, was not present at the meeting to address an appropriate reserve for the Village to hold.  Discussion about who decided the amount of money ($10K) that the Village donated to the new Jackson County Library. Suzanne Stone stated that Council wants residents to come to the meeting to let them know where they would like to see their tax dollars spent.  Gene Tweedy made a motion requesting that the Planning Board help with suggestions and recommend who and what a hired contractor can do for the Village, seconded by Clark Corwin, unanimously approved.


Carl Iobst gave an update on the Jackson County historical preservation per a written report he emailed to the Council (Attachment A).  Discussion about closest historical site and what the requirements are to be included on the national historic register.


Clark Corwin suggested making an official motion to adopt the use of Roberts Rule of Order as a procedure in the Village Council meetings from this point forward. Discussion from Clark Corwin about meetings becoming too chaotic and inefficient when a procedure is not followed.  Kolleen Begley stated that a proper procedure was necessary for suitable meeting minutes. Suzanne Stone displayed a copy of a well defined consent agenda template that could be sent out to Council prior to the meeting as a tool to help the meeting run more efficiently and to allow the Council members more time to research any pertinent topics. Clark noted the efficiency in the meeting tonight and the helpful input from the residents and other members that spoke.   Discussion about the proper protocol, roles and contributions within Council and designated time for public input.  All were in favor of adopting a parliamentary procedure and suggested bringing this up for discussion again at the next meeting.






At 7:39pm a motion to adjourn was made by made by Carl Hooper, seconded by Clark Corwin, unanimously approved.