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Town Board Meeting May 2017
New Quick Response Vehicle Displayed
May 4, 2017

own Board met at 7p on May 2, 2017. Commissioners Charlie Overcash, David White, Barb Venturi, Sandy Winfrey, and Allen Price were present, as was Mayor Sally Belangia.

Public Comment Period
Larry Summers: Wants to keep “Chief of Police” title in Oriental’s Police Ordinance; doesn’t think the new title, “Selected Officer,” is comforting. The COP title is being removed due to recent events in the police department; allows the town to stay in ordinance without mandating that we have a COP. Larry suggested we recruit a retiree who was once a Captain, for example, and would like to have the COP title. He also wants to bring “Auxiliary” Police back into the ordinance.

Mike Wynn from Friends of Whittaker Creek: Last year, Mike and FOWC needed the town to agree to be the agent to disperse funds from a grant that would allow dredging of the creek. There is now a new request by the grant that concerns the town. The town needs to run it by their attorney first. Mike asked if they would be able to do that by the next town meeting so the grant can move forward. The commissioners feel sure they can.

Public Hearing
The Shulls, 405 Mildred St, submitted an SUP to use their home as a short-term rental. The owners will live there part-time and rent part-time. The Planning Board discussed the SUP during prior meetings and highly recommended its approval. Approved 5-0.

National Safe Boating Week
Approved 5-0. May 20-26, 2017, will officially be National Safe Boating Week in Oriental, which encourages all boaters to make sure safe practices are a part of their everyday on-the-water routine.

Planning Board Forwards Requests
Public hearings on two SUPs have been set for June 6, 2017:

  • Johnson residence, 405 High St, which will be used as a short-term rental.
  • The Bacons’ microbrewery, 702 Broad St. Same intent as before, but different location.

Additional Budget Session
Will be held May 8, 2017, at 8am in Town Hall.

Board of Elections
Concerns the use of absentee balloting and one-stop voting during November’s municipal elections (Tues, November 7). Commissioners voted 5-0 to allow both.

Police Ordinance
In light of recent events in the police department, Diane Miller has scrubbed “Administrator” and “Police Commissioner” verbiage from the existing Police Ordinance. Though Diane wanted to keep it, the town’s attorney also recommended we remove “auxiliary” from Auxiliary Police. It now reads as Reserve Police. Diane reminded everyone that eliminating the Chief of Police title allows the town to be in ordinance, though we can still have a Chief of Police.

David White suggested adding “Contract Employee” to section five of the ordinance, which deals with Reserve Police. Approved 5-0.

Police Report
Quiet month, according to Ben Barnett. “Maybe one citation written.”

Sheriff’s Report

Manager’s Report

  • CycleNC: Looking to schedule a meeting to take comments from businesses and residents. Mentioned that the public works crew worked amazingly long hours during the event, and also thanked CarolinaEast for staffing rest stops. Guests “left no trace behind.”
  • Auditors will be in town May 15-19
  • Yard sale first weekend in May, pickup second weekend. During the yard sale, Front Porch Music folks will be handing out maps at Town Hall.
  • Annual burnout ongoing through May 25. Should be smelling chlorine in water; ammonia gone.

Commissioners’ Comment/Discussion Period
The town has a new quick-response vehicle, a 2017 Ford Explorer. Eric Kindle gave a fairly in-depth introduction beforehand.

  • The QRV is for any first-responder service, including police, fire, and medical. Will be used most often for medical emergencies. It is not meant to transport anyone other than volunteers.
  • Useful because the SUV can carry more equipment and meds than a first-responder’s personal vehicle.
  • Eric reminded everyone, “We are volunteers. People work, travel, and are in school.” Though they will do their best, there’s no guarantee the QRV will be at every call.
  • Will mostly be kept at the fire department.

Oriental's Quick Response Vehicle

Oriental's Quick Response Vehicle

Oriental's Quick Response Vehicle

Next town meeting June 7, 2017.

Posted Thursday May 4, 2017 by Keith N. Smith

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