Pilot Light: Moore Census Response Among Tops in State
Moore County entered the last week of April with a census response percentage among the highest in the state.
Seventy-six percent of the county's households had returned their census questionnaires by mid-week, according to the final statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau.
That's good news for these families and also for the bureau. Census list takers will begin knocking on doors Saturday for the "nonresponse follow-up," which means they will miss that aggravation. It also signals a significant savings to the federal government.
The county's response rate is higher than both the national and state averages. As of April 23, the national average was 72 percent and the North Carolina rate was 74 percent. However, Moore County does not have the highest rate among some in the immediate area.
REGION - The latest statistics from the Census Bureau show that Chatham County had a 79 percent return, and Johnston, Randolph and Stanly all had a 76 percent return.
Neighboring counties with lower response rates included Cumberland, 70 percent; Harnett, 73 percent; Hoke, 67 percent; Lee, 72 percent; Montgomery, 74 percent; Richmond, 67 percent; and Scotland, 69 percent.
Census statistics indicate that almost all counties have increased their participation rate in comparison with the 2000 census.
Moore County's increase was 10 percent, about in the middle among the 100 counties. Montgomery County showed a 29 percent increase in participation and Lee, a 15 percent increase. Mecklenburg was the only county with no increase at all.
Census forms went into the mail in late March with April 1 designated as the official day on which occupants of each household were to be counted for census purposes.
Apparently North Carolina and South Carolina excelled in overall mail participation, according to Anthony Jones of the Charlotte Regional Office. At a press conference in Washington, D.C. Wednesday, Dr. Robert Groves, national census director, singled out the two states as "poster cases" in response improvement since 2000. Both states showed an overall improvement rate of 8 percent.
PLANNING - The Moore County Planning Board is moving its May meeting from the historic courthouse to the Agricultural Center in Carthage next week because of a scheduling conflict in the regular meeting place.
The board will hold its regular May meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday in Room 2 of the Agricultural Center on Pinehurst Avenue in Carthage.
On the agenda are three quasi-judicial hearings, including a request from the Board of Education for a conditional-use permit to expand the existing school facilities on Archie Road in West End.
The other hearings are called to consider a conditional-use permit request by Chris Koltyk for use of woodworking on two adjoining parcels on Auman Road at West End and by Jerry Boyd for a CUP for an accessory dwelling unit to be placed on property at 359 Priest Hill Road, near Carthage.
COBLE - Congressman Howard Coble took advantage of a last-minute campaign opportunity this week when he spoke out against a planned cost-of-living increase for members of Congress.
The U.S. House voted 402-15 to kill the pay raise on Tuesday.
Coble, who was among those voting to freeze the pay raise, said this is not the time for members of Congress to bump up their own pay.
"Some would say, well, it's just a symbolic gesture," Coble said on the House floor during debate. "It may be symbolic, but it is symbolically significant. What better time to impose a freeze against ourselves than now? During these harsh economic times, people have been beneficiaries of pink slips, being told their jobs are gone, and then they see that the Congress gets an automatic COLA."
Since the 1989 Ethics Reform Act was passed, annual pay raises have been accepted by Congress 13 times and rejected through legislative action seven times.
Coble faces unprecedented opposition in the Republican primary election Tuesday. He represents the 6th District.
Contact Florence Gilkeson by e-mail at email@example.com.
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