Pilot Light: Marcum Files Complaint Against State Commission
John Marcum has filed a complaint with state Attorney General Roy Cooper in connection with the special meeting of the Local Government Commission Thursday morning.
He complained that the meeting was called too late for adequate notification to all parties and was in violation of state law.
Marcum is leader of the Right2Vote group that opposes county plans to build a detention center-public safety complex in downtown Carthage and to pay for the project through bonds that do not require a referendum.
During the Thursday meeting, the commission voted unanimously to approve the county's financial plan for the complex. The Moore County Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 the previous Monday night to go ahead with the plan and to award the $27.2 million contract to a Raleigh builder.
Attending the commission meeting in Raleigh were County Manager Cary McSwain, County Attorney Misty Leland, Public Works Director Dennis Brobst, architect Glenn Ware and bond counsel Tom Lee.
In response to an e-mail message from Marcum, state Deputy Treasurer Vance Holloman called it "standard practice for the full Local Government Commission and the executive committee to meet in addition to their regularly scheduled meeting."
He said the law requires 48 hours notice for special meetings and that the notice was dispatched in the afternoon of Sept. 20.
Marcum's group has held two town hall-type meetings in recent weeks to rally support for forcing the county commissioners to call for a referendum on the bond issue.
APPEAL - Marcum on Thursday afternoon asked Cooper to review his documents on the issue and to hold in abeyance the county action pending a full review of his appeal and "a proper hearing by the LGC."
Marcum presented his objections before the commission's executive committee at a Sept. 7 meeting. The committee did not approve his request, and Marcum gave notice of appeal to the commission for a hearing at its next regular meeting, which was scheduled for Dec. 7.
State Treasurer Janet Cowell chairs the commission, which is the state's watchdog for county and municipal financial operations. The county is required to secure commission approval before it borrows money.
LANGUAGE - People with limited English proficiency will receive assistance in the future when the county carries out federal funding projects.
At a Sept. 20 meeting, the Moore County Board of Commissioners approved a language access plan recommended by the Division of Community Assistance, an arm of the N.C. Department of Commerce. The division handles applications for community development block grants and similar grants.
Megan Garner, grants administrator, advised the board that the plan may incur the expense for translation services. Although neither the state nor the federal government has provided funding for that service, Garner said the cost may be deducted from the administration part of future grant budgets.
VOTERS - September is Voter Awareness Month, and a statewide voter registration drive is under way across North Carolina.
A proclamation adopted by the county commissioners earlier this month estimates that the state has more than 1 million unregistered voters.
North Carolina law requires registration before one may vote in any election.
The proclamation also says: "The right to vote is a sacred privilege afforded to the citizens of this county, state and nation, and this privilege is magnified by the sacrifices of our men and women in the military who defend the freedoms of our country every day."
Elections Director Glenda Clendenin read the document, which closes by urging eligible residents to register if they are not already registered.
DEADLINE - Regis- tration books will close on Friday, Oct. 8, for the Nov. 2 general election.
In addition to registering at the county elections office in Carthage, eligible residents may register at other certified places.
Same-day registration is also possible during the one-stop absentee voting period, which opens Oct. 14.
Clendenin told the commissioners that the Moore County Board of Elections is also educating the public about the instant runoff voting option for state Court of Appeals judicial candidates.
Contact Florence Gilkeson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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