Commissioners reappoint three ETJ reps
by Kellen Short
Watauga County commissioners voted Tuesday to again appoint three ETJ residents to Boone boards and commissions, names previously rejected by the town due to possible procedural errors.
A public hearing on the appointees drew no speakers Tuesday evening.
In July and August, the Board of Commissioners appointed Frank Bolick and Dale Greene to the Boone Board of Adjustment and Jon Tate to the Boone Planning Commission. The three were representatives of the extraterritorial jurisdiction, an area outside town limits subject to its zoning regulations.
But in a Sept. 23 letter, the Boone Town Council advised it could not accept Bolick and Greene because the county did not hold a public hearing. It also raised concerns about the continued service of Tate, who was "inadvertently" sworn in.
After holding the brief public hearing Tuesday, the Board of Commissioners reaffirmed their original appointments. They also looked forward to meeting with Boone Town Council members in the future to resolve their disagreement about the ordinance requirements, which first started in 2011.
"This is going to continue to happen, apparently, and we want to stop that," Vice Chairman David Blust said.
Meanwhile, the Boone Town Council also met Tuesday at the same time, agreeing to offer Nov. 20 as a possible meeting date.
At town attorney Sam Furgiuele's suggestion, the Town Council also tabled their discussion on Tate's continued service until after the joint meeting.
The Board of Commissioners also held public hearings Tuesday on the proposed tax schedule of values and changes to the Animal Care and Control Ordinance that drew no speakers.
At Tuesday's meeting, the Board of Commissioners also:
-- Tabled requests to expand the pump track at Rocky Knob Park, asking that the proposal go before the Tourism Development Authority first.
-- Agreed to allow High Country Pathways use of the county's encroachment agreement at the Pine Run Road bridge to enable the organization to improve the river access using grant funds.
-- Received an update on the Smoky Mountain Center board and voted unanimously on a resolution asking the state to rescind their requirements that altered the makeup of the board, which oversees mental health, substance abuse and developmental disability services.
-- Met in closed session to discuss attorney-client matters and land acquisition.
The board has cancelled its Nov. 5 meeting due to Election Day, so commissioners will meet next on Nov. 19.