Robbins Sets Vote on Charter
The town commissioners are set to amend the municipal charter and change the very basis by which the town is governed and the business of all town services conducted.
At the regular August meeting of the Town Board, an ordinance will be introduced to change from a system where Mayor Mickey Brown and town commissioners themselves run Robbins as has been done since Robbins was Hemp.
They think Robbins needs a town manager, and they say they will change the law to get one.
That meeting is scheduled, and the proposed change advertised, for Thursday.
Only it won't happen then.
Commissioner Theron Bell can't attend that meeting because of a long-planned trip. Commis-sioners want her there. At first, they asked if they could change the date, but found it wasn't so easy. The date had already appeared in statute-mandated advertisements following last month's public hearing on the change.
Changing it would have involved a new published notice. Instead, they found a way to work around that requirement: start the session Thursday, as advertised, then take a recess until next week, when Bell will be back.
"We are going to recess that meeting, and reconvene next week," said Town Clerk Debra Cockman. "Probably on Tuesday the 15th. They want to have the whole board there to take action on that. All we will do Thursday night is the regular reports.
Regular business, committee reports, and a public hearing (like the one at Carthage) about accepting the Moore County Floodplain Ordinance and resolutions of intent and proclamation with regard to it, are on the agenda.
"We have a public hearing for the flood plain ordinance already advertised for the 10th," she said. "They will hold that public hearing, then hear the regular reports."
At that point, the board will recess the meeting until next Tuesday.
"That is when they will actually vote on an ordinance changing our charter from a mayor/council form of government to a manager/council form," Cockman said. "After they pass that, we advertise it. There is a special notification we will publish in The Pilot that Friday (Aug. 18)."
Publication starts a 30-day clock. Opponents have that much time to petition the board for a referendum on the matter. Nobody expects anybody to do it.
"A petition for referendum could be filed with me -- as long as it was no later than 30 days after publication of the notice of adoption of the ordinance," she said. "But with no opposition during the 30 days, the town will proceed to advertise for and hire a town manager."
Nobody spoke against the idea at last month's public hearing on the matter, and considerable support was voiced.
Robbins is on a roll, Cockman feels -- spurred on by sight of the first three Marine Corps Growlers in Saturday's Farmers Day parade.
"Mickey (Mayor Mickey Brown) rode in one of them," she said. "I was in the trolley. I actually got to ride beside Sen. (Harris) Blake."
The town is exhilarated by the start of STEP in a roll-out ceremony right after the parade that brought Sen. Harris Blake and dignitaries from the N.C. Rural Center to deliver an NC STEP banner to the town and unveil Robbins own banner.
Each of the towns selected for the STEP three year program of coaching, training, and support has designed its own banner. Crowds at the Railroad Stage by the Old Elise Depot applauded the presentation Saturday.
"It turned out really well," Cockman said. "We were tickled. We had a good time, had a good turnout. I think people are more well informed on what STEP is all about. If not, they can give me a call and I'll explain. I hope everyone understands this is not just within the city limits of Robbins. This is for everybody in the Foothills."
Robbins' banner has bright red bars displaying the town name ROBBINS at top, and the motto, "Working together to build our future" at the bottom. Between, a rich sky blue field shows the curving line of Bear Creek becoming first a railroad and then The Pottery Highway. Images of the downtown skyline and pieces of pottery flank it, as do the town's old names -- "Hazel Neck," "Mechanics Hill," "Elise," and "Hemp" -- and the proclamation, "NC STEP Community -- Awarded March 9, 2006."
Those banners are on the way, Cockman said, and will soon be hanging all over town.
John Chappell can be reached at 783-5841 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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