County Commissioners Minutes 02-02-09 Print
Board of Commissioners - Minutes

REGULAR MEETING – February 2, 2009


Chairman J.W. “Kirk” Kirkpatrick convened the regular meeting of the Haywood County Board of Commissioners at 9:00 a.m. in the County Commissioners’ Meeting Room at the Haywood County Justice Center, Waynesville, North Carolina, with Chairman J.W. “Kirk” Kirkpatrick, III, Vice-Chairman Bill Upton, Commissioners Charles “Skeeter” Curtis, L. Kevin Ensley and Mark S. Swanger present. Staff members present were County Manager David B. Cotton, Assistant County Manager Marty Stamey, County Attorney Leon M. “Chip” Killian, III, Finance Director Julie Davis, and Administrative Assistant Rebecca Morgan.

Pledge of Allegiance

Chairman Kirkpatrick led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Commissioner Ensley offered the invocation.


Nuisance Ordinance Draft Revisions

Kris Boyd, Planning Director, requested a public hearing on February 16th, 2009, for the purpose of receiving public input concerning the revision to the Nuisance Ordinance. The proposed Nuisance Ordinance was designed to prevent injury and illness to occupants of property and to the public. It will also help to remove public nuisances, to provide countywide standards for the abatement of public nuisances including, but not limited to solid waste, junk, junked motor vehicles and abandoned manufactured homes, to establish responsibility of involved parties and assure that people are not exposed to dangers of public nuisances. A Nuisance Ordinance would ensure proper actions are taken to abate public nuisances. After discussion, the Board agreed to hold a public hearing at the next regular Board meeting, February 16th, at 5:00 pm.

Haywood Regional Medical Center (HRMC) Update

Mike Poore, Chief Executive Officer of HRMC, reported that the Joint Commission survey was completed. The Joint Commission is the body that accredits hospitals. Over a four-day period, five surveyors toured the hospital and reviewed various departments and practices. Mr. Poore stated that they expect to receive the survey report within two weeks. Another survey will not be conducted for three years.

Mr. Poore explained that the net profit margin for the hospital year to date is a negative $215,000. The budget year to date is $418,000, which is ahead of budget for the first quarter. Newly hired Chief Operating Officer Teresa Reynolds has more than thirty years of experience with hospitals. HRMC is transitioning the Emergency Department (ED) physicians on April 1st, 2009. The current ED group is Phoenix. The new group is Team Health.

Vice-Chairman Upton inquired as to the hospital by-laws. Mr. Poore stated that the Hospital Authority Board has a by-laws committee that has been reviewing the document. Some changes are being made regarding board conduct, and governance versus operational responsibilities of the board. Commissioner Curtis inquired as to the number of beds available at HRMC. Mr. Poore replied that there are seventy-one beds open at this time. The number of beds available adjusts with fluctuations of patients and their needs. Mr. Poore confirmed that he would report the results of the survey to the Board of County Commissioners at the regular Board meeting March 2nd, 2009, at 9:00 am.

Public Comments

Chairman Kirkpatrick opened the public comment session. Comments are generally limited to three minutes per individual, unless the speaker is representing a group for which the comment period may be extended to five minutes.

Being no public comments, Chairman Kirkpatrick closed the public comments session.

Constituent Concerns

Chairman Kirkpatrick inquired if the Board had any constituent concerns. Chairman Kirkpatrick expressed his concern for the families in Haywood County who recently lost their teenage sons because of automobile accidents. Chairman Kirkpatrick requested that Marty Stamey, Assistant County Manager, review steps that can promote accident prevention in the future.

Discussion/Adjustment/Approval of Consent Agenda

Chairman Kirkpatrick inquired if the Board members had any adjustments to the agenda. There were no adjustments.

Consent Agenda

Commissioner Curtis made a motion to adopt the consent agenda. Commissioner Swanger seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

  • Approve Minutes of January 20th, 2009, Regular Meeting
  • 2009 Delinquent Real Estate Taxes – David Francis, Tax Administrator
  • Budget Amendment as presented by Julie Davis, Finance Director

    Economic Development - $25,000 – Golden Leaf Grant for marketing Haywood
     - To appropriate the funding from the Golden Leaf Foundation for the Buy  Haywood Market Development Project to provide local produce growers and greenhouse and nursery operators additional support for marketing efforts.

    Public Assistance - $114,500 – additional Crisis Funding for Heating
     - Additional crisis funding for Heating and Cooling 100% reimbursed.

    Health Department - $5,508 WIC program
     - Additional funds for serving greater than 100% of average base caseload. Funds to be used in the Women with Infant Children, (WIC) operating line for supplies.

    Resolution to declare vehicle surplus to sell at auction – Julie Davis   
     - 1 – 2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser

    Resolution for Declaration of side arm to retiring Sheriff – Julie Davis
    - 1 – Side Arm pistol SIG E 26 R, serial # U813754.


Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s 75th Anniversary
Dale Ditmanson, Superintendent of the Smoky Mountain Center, presented the fiscal monitoring report for the quarter ended September 30th, 2008. Mr. Ditmanson stated that the actual date the park was established by Congress on June 15th, 1934. Mr. Ditmanson invited the Board to participate in some key events scheduled to celebrate the anniversary of the park. The first event will be held on top of the mountain near Clingmans Dome at noon on Friday, April 24th,2009. The Governors of North Carolina and Tennessee will attend this event. A three-day series of special events will occur during the “Anniversary Weekend”, June 13th-15th. There is a historical photograph of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, on top of the mountain at Newfound Gap. This took place in order to recognize a significant event in the Park’s history – the dedication of the Park in 1940 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. An invitation will be extended to President Barack Obama to return to that location for a photograph at or near the same location, September 2nd, 2009, for a re-dedication of the Park. Mr. Ditmanson suggested the Board of County Commissioners present a resolution of support for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Elaine Stewart, the Face of the Friends of the Smokies, approached the Board. Ms. Stewart stated that the “Spring for the Smokies” event would be held on May 28th, 2009.


Solid Waste Committee Update

David Francis, Tax Administrator, explained that the Solid Waste Committee reviews the Solid Waste Ordinance. The committee includes County Manager David Cotton, Solid Waste Director Stephen King, Tax Assessor Judy Ballard, Planning Director Kris Boyd, Mr. Francis, and serving as Chairman of the Committee is Commissioner Bill Upton. Mr. Francis invited Commissioner Swanger to serve on the committee. Mr. Francis stated that the Solid Waste Committee would hold its first meeting at 4:00 pm, February 16th, 2009, in the County Commissioners’ Meeting Room at the Haywood County Justice Center, Waynesville, North Carolina. Another meeting is scheduled for March 2nd, in the County Commissioners’ Meeting Room at noon. Chairman Kirkpatrick appointed Commissioner Swanger as a member of the Solid Waste Committee.

At the regular Board meeting on December 15th, 2008, Commissioner Ensley expressed concerns regarding the Haywood County mapping system. Mr. Francis expressed his desire to form a committee to review that concern. The committee would include Commissioner Ensley, Land Records Director Stephanie Parkins, Geological Information System (GIS) Coordinator Preston Yates, and Mr. Francis. This would be a revolving committee with realtors, Randy Sisk, Johnny Woody, and other realtors serving. Attorneys will be invited another meeting.

Personnel Policy Manual Update and Changes

At the last regular Board meeting, January 20th, 2009, David Cotton, County Manager, presented a revised personnel policy manual for Haywood County. Some portions are completely new to the manual. Susan Layton, Human Resources Director, explained that some questions arose regarding termination pay. On page fifty, Ms. Layton confirmed that this item was reviewed and found to be covered under G.S. §95-25.13. The change must be included in the personnel policy, current employees must be notified of this change, and newly hired employees must be informed of this policy.

Ms. Layton explained the reason the proposed revised Personnel Policy includes an item regarding Criminal Charges, on page fifty-one. This revision addresses misconduct that could be detrimental to the employee’s position and to Haywood County’s ability to carry out its mission and deliver services.

Ms. Layton explained the reason for the repeated verbiage found on page sixty-one, section five, and on page twenty-one, section eighteen. Circumstances regarding vacation leave and leave without notice might require an employee to have the information available to them at both sections of the personnel policy. County Attorney Killian explained that Attorney Amy Jenkins, an expert in personnel matters, has reviewed the proposed Personnel Policy. County Attorney Killian confirmed that he has reviewed the proposed Personnel Policy and is confident that it should be adopted as a formal resolution rather than as an ordinance.

Commissioner Swanger inquired as to the item regarding “discipline for arrest due to criminal charges”, from page fifty-two. Ms. Layton explained that this issue would be considered on a case-to-case basis. The employee’s position with the County and their charges will be determining factors for the discipline. The County Manager and the Human Resources Director would seek legal counseling to decide how to proceed in this matter. Chairman Kirkpatrick clarified that section seventeen allows the County to suspend an employee depending on their misconduct, for longer than ninety days, with the advice of legal counsel, to determine whether the employee should be re-hired or until the case is resolved. County Attorney suggested adding, “Subject to the provisions of,” and referring to the section on page fifty-two in order to make both sections equal.

Ms. Layton stated that on page ninety-two, “Investigatory Suspension”, is applicable when an employee has had either poor job performance or misconduct. It would not be an investigatory suspension since there would not be a criminal case. Commissioner Swanger suggested that County Attorney Killian revise a statement giving authority to the one section that provides the flexibility that the County desires. County Attorney stated that there might be some conflict with sections seven and ten on page fifty-two, and section five on page ninety-two. County Attorney confirmed that he would prepare more clarification regarding these issues. Commissioner Swanger suggested in section seventeen, in the statement “will depend on the out coming criminal charges against the employee”, changing the word “will” to “may”.

Commissioner Ensley made a motion to approve the Haywood County Personnel Policy as presented by Ms. Susan Layton subject to the amendment in section seventeen the third sentence by changing that sentence to the timing and nature of any disciplinary action may depend upon the nature of the charges and / or the outcome of the criminal charges against the employee. Vice-Chairman Upton seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


Park N Ride – Letter of Support

Mark Clasby, Economic Development Commission’s (EDC) Director, explained that more than 4,000 Haywood County workers commute to Buncombe County. The Haywood County EDC has been working with Mountain Projects, Inc., (MPI), Haywood Public Transit, Haywood Community College, the Greater Haywood County Chamber of Commerce and the North Carolina Department of Transportation to establish a “Park N Ride” location at Exit 33 off I-40 (Newfound Road) for Haywood County workers who work in Buncombe County. Chairman Kirkpatrick instructed Mr. Clasby to discuss lighting the Park N Ride location. Mr. Clasby confirmed that the plans for the Park N Ride area include lighting.

Commissioner Swanger made a motion to approve the signature of this letter of support for Park N Ride to be sent to the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Commissioner Ensley seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Landslide Insurance Resolution and Landslide Hazard Mapping Resolution

At the last regular Board meeting, January 20th, 2009, Commissioner Ensley stated that some constituents expressed concerns regarding a need for landslide insurance. Commissioner Ensley suggested preparing a resolution for landslide insurance. David Cotton, County Manager, presented a resolution, which if approved, would be sent to our state representatives requesting consideration for taking measures to allow for insurance for landslides. 

Mr. Cotton explained that at the last regular Board meeting, Commissioner Ensley stated that Rick Wooten reported to the Engineering Board that the North Carolina Geological Survey has completed landslide hazard maps for Buncombe and Macon Counties. The next counties for landslide hazard mapping are Henderson and Jackson Counties. Commissioner Ensley suggested the Board prepare a resolution urging the North Carolina Geological Survey to include Haywood County early in this mapping process.  These maps will indicate areas that are potentially more prone to slides. Mark Shumpert, County Engineer, explained that Haywood County was bumped to the bottom of the list with the North Carolina Geological Survey because Haywood County did not have up-to-date aerial photography for the county. However, new photography with the criteria for mapping has now been met. Commissioner Ensley suggested the Board prepare a resolution of support for this mapping in an effort to protect property owners. Commissioner Curtis recommended sending the resolution for mudslide insurance to the Commissioner of Insurance. Mr. Cotton presented a resolution for landslide hazard mapping. This resolution would also be sent to our State Legislators, the Department of Insurance and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Commissioner Ensley made a motion to approve both attachment eleven and twelve, the first is the Haywood Landslide Insurance Resolution, and the second is the Landslide Hazard Mapping Resolution. Vice-Chairman Upton seconded. Commissioner Curtis explained that mudslide insurance is only available through the surplus lines and will be very cost prohibiting for our citizens. However, Commissioner Curtis stated that he is in favor of this resolution. The motion carried unanimously.

Methane System Request for Proposals (RFP)

Stephen King, Solid Waste Director, presented an outline for developing the RFP for methane collection. An RFP is expected to be presented for review by February 16th, 2009. Mr. King requested direction to proceed with McGill and Associates for writing the RFP. Mr. King stated that a committee be formed for the purpose of reviewing the options for a methane system in Haywood County. Members would include County Manager David Cotton, Assistant County Manager Marty Stamey, County Engineer Mark Shumpert, Finance Director Julie Davis, Stan Sturry, with Appalachian State University, Mr. King, and at least one or two Commissioners join this committee. McGill and Associates could write the RFP. Commissioner Curtis inquired as to the contract that Haywood County has with McGill and Associates. Mr. King answered that the County has a general service contract with McGill Associates. A service out of the scope of the general service contract is addressed by using a purchase order. Mr. Cotton explained that there should be no additional cost for writing the RFP. Commissioner Curtis suggested contacting Altamont Environmental, Inc., from Asheville, for information regarding a methane system. Commissioner Ensley suggested contacting a local engineer, Patrick Bradshaw. Commissioner Ensley encouraged Mr. King to look for assistance inside Haywood County.

Chairman Kirkpatrick appointed to the Solid Waste Committee Commissioners Mark Swanger and Skeeter Curtis, Vice-Chairman Bill Upton, Solid Waste Director Stephen King, Tax Administrator David Francis, County Manager David Cotton, Planning Director Kris Boyd, Assistant County Manager Marty Stamey, and Appalachian State University Energy Center’s Program Manager Stan Steury. The Solid Waste Committee will prepare a draft RFP to present to the Board of County Commissioners for approval.

North Carolina Department Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR) Waste Reduction Grant

Stephen King, Solid Waste Director, presented a grant proposal for containers. There are two different awards. The large purchase award of $40,000 requires the County to match $10,360, with the grant amount of $40,000, for a total of $50,360. The Standard award of up to $25,000 requires the County to match of approximately $5,000.

Commissioner Swanger urged more initiatives on recycling.

Commissioner Curtis made a motion to allow Mr. King to move forward with applying for a waste reduction grant. Vice-Chairman Upton seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Chairman Kirkpatrick stated that recycling continues to be an item of public education.


Chairman Kirkpatrick called for a brief recess.

Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) Annual Report

Greg Shuping, Emergency Management Director, presented the annual report of the LEPC for 2008. Mr. Shuping explained that Haywood County has had a LEPC since November 2002. This committee is comprised of twenty-three different disciplines with a focus of evaluating emergency operations plans of Haywood County and its municipalities, and to revise and exercise them as needed. Some highlights from the committee are Incident Command System training, Domestic Preparedness and Readiness Regions, Search and  Rescue training, Incident Management Team, Interstate 40 exercise, Tier Two Reports, Pandemic Flu Plan, and Retirement / Nursing Home Coordination. The report indicates the names of those desiring to be represented again this year. By signature of Chairman Kirkpatrick and County Manager David Cotton, those members will be reappointed to the LEPC. Chairman Kirkpatrick explained that he attended the last meeting of the LEPC. In the event of an emergency the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners, acts as a representative for the county and can declare a state of emergency. Therefore, Chairman Kirkpatrick suggested that the Chairman attend the meetings and be part of the LEPC.

Vice-Chairman Upton made a motion to approve the Local Emergency Planning Committee annual report and appoint from here on out the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners as a committee member and reinstitute the members as set forth in this annual report.  Commissioner Swanger seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
The Honorable Marlene Hyatt, Superior Court Judge – Resolution Honoring Retirement  

Chairman J.W. “Kirk” Kirkpatrick, III, presented the Honorable Marlene Hyatt, with a resolution honoring her upon her retirement as Senior Resident Superior Court Judge, in the 30th judicial district, for twenty-four years on the bench. Judge Hyatt expressed her appreciation to the Board, and to the citizens of Haywood County for their years of support.

The Honorable Tom Alexander, Sheriff – Resolution Honoring Retirement

Chairman J.W. “Kirk” Kirkpatrick, III, presented the Honorable Tom Alexander, upon his retirement as Sheriff of Haywood County Law Enforcement a plaque of appreciation and his side arm. Sheriff Alexander expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to serve Haywood County. Sheriff Alexander instructed the citizens to remember one thing, “Support your local sheriff”.


Chairman Kirkpatrick called for a brief recess in order to attend a reception honoring the Honorable Marlene Hyatt and the Honorable R.T. Alexander.

Historic Courthouse Architect Fees
Chad Roberson, PBC + L Architect, presented an amendment to the contract with PBC + L Architect, for increased engineering fees due to the historic courthouse renovation project. On October 31st, 2008, PBC + L provided a proposal for the additional work required to complete the job since the Surety takeover. The scope of services was presented through February 28th, 2009. Mr. Roberson stated that these expenses are over and above what would normally be incorporated into the contract. Chairman Kirkpatrick clarified that the request for $21,342.50 pursuant to the letter dated January 27th, 2009, is expenses incurred for consulting engineers. It is not a request for fees that would actually be paid to PBC + L at this time. Commissioner Curtis inquired if Mr. Roberson anticipated more expense for consulting engineers. Mr. Roberson confirmed that the last billing PBC + L received from the consulting engineers was through December 27th, 2008. Additional funds are expected.

Commissioner Swanger made a motion to approve the payment $21,342.50 to PBC + L as long as that payment is made such that Haywood County is reserving, and taking no position on KMD’s claims that delays and the ultimate termination of KMD were the result of design areas in / or timely clarifications from the architect. Commissioner Ensley seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Julie Davis, Finance Director, presented a budget amendment to appropriate the increase in engineering fees actually incurred per the letter from PBC + L.

Vice-Chairman Upton made a motion to approve this budget amendment. Commissioner Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

2008 – 2009 Audit contract with Martin Starnes and Associates, CPAs, P.A.
Julie Davis, Finance Director, presented a contract to audit accounts of Haywood  County with Martin Starnes and Associates, CPAs, P.A.  Ms. Davis explained that if approved, this would be the third year of a three-year contract with Martin Starnes and Associates, CPAs, P.A. The price for this year is $52,000.

Commissioner Ensley made a made a motion to approve the contract with Martin Starnes and Associates. Commissioner Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Project Request Form from Congressman Heath Shuler’s Office

David Cotton, County Manager, presented the prospective appropriation request form due February 16th, 2009. By completing this standard form, the Board may submit projects for consideration for appropriations from the Federal Government through Congressman Heath Shuler’s office. Commissioner Ensley stated that after speaking with Congressman Shuler, he was encouraged to submit requests to fund projects for recreation. Commissioner Ensley suggested submitting a request to fund recreational projects for the development of the Jonathan Creek property and the parks and ball fields in the Town of Clyde. Mr. Cotton explained that these requests are for funds from the annual appropriations. Commissioner Curtis stated that the Tourism Development Authority (TDA) Board expressed an interest to secure funding to repair areas of the Blue Ridge Parkway located in Haywood County. Commissioner Curtis inquired as to a joint effort between the County and the TDA Board to help with this effort. Commissioner Swanger agreed that the Blue Ridge Parkway is important to Haywood County and a collaboration between the County and the TDA would most likely be a more successful request. Chairman Kirkpatrick stated that Haywood County could use funding to repair the building that houses the Department of Social Services.

Closed Session

Commissioner Ensley made a motion to enter into closed session for the purpose of Closed Session Minutes – Approval and / or Release of Minutes – G.S. §143-318.11(a)(1), Potential Litigation – G.S. §143-318.11(a)(3), and Potential Acquisition of Real Property – G.S. §143-318.11(a)(5), property location is off Paragon Parkway, owner is R.C.G. Ventures, for potential use as a DSS / Health Department location. Vice-Chairman Upton seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Return from Closed Session

The Board returned from closed session.

Commissioner Swanger made a motion to approve, but not release the closed session minutes involving litigation from January 20th, 2009, and approve and release the minutes involving personnel and potential acquisition of real property. Commissioner Ensley seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Sheriff R.T. Alexander retires today. Commissioner Ensley inquired as to whom will the acting Sheriff be between now and the time the new one is appointed. Chairman Kirkpatrick explained that technically, the Chief Deputy will not be the sheriff, but will perform the duties of sheriff. Presently, the Haywood County Chief Deputy is Bobby Suttles. On February 7th, there will be an election with the Democratic Election Committee regarding the sheriff. On February 16th, the Democratic Election Committee will present a recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners for its approval.


Vice-Chairman Upton made a motion to adjourn. Commissioner Ensley seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The time of adjournment was 12:45 am. The DVD is attached by reference to the minutes.


David Cotton         J.W. Kirkpatrick III
CLERK                  CHAIRMAN