County Delays Action on Veteran's Memorial
What began as a progressive step toward resolving a controversy between county commissioners and a veteran's group hit another roadblock at Tuesday night's meeting of the board.
At issue is a war memorial in Carthage that concerned veterans believe may be joined by a Bojangles restaurant nearby. Veterans call the area "sacred ground" and are seeing assurance from county officials that the restaurant will not be located in proximity to the memorial. County board members say nothing has been decided and that veterans' protests are "premature."
In a presentation to the commissioners, Moore County Veteran's Memorial Committee Chairman Raymond Doby had a group member read a statement he had written in praise of the progress made at the board's previous meeting, which included the intent to form a joint committee of veterans and county commissioners to study the issue.
"We were very encouraged by the remarks of the commissioners at the Aug. 7, 2012 meeting," Doby wrote. "It is our understanding that ... the county and Moore County Veteran's Memorial, Inc. be joint owners of the parcel (to protect the area from development and that) the county will maintain the insurance, maintenance, and upkeep of the property." Doby further named six veterans to form the
veterans' part of the committee.
Commissioner Tim Lea, who had advocated that the county honor the veterans' wishes, made a motion for the board to decide a date and time for the committee's initial meeting. That motion passed unanimously. Lea then asked county attorney Misty Leland to "draw up a document for joint ownership" for the committee to consider at their first meeting.
Commissioners' Chairman Larry Caddell asked the board to wait.
"I thought the point of the committee was to meet and go over this data," he said.
But both Lea and Commissioner Nick Picerno told Caddell that the two were unrelated.
"This is just to outline information that the committee can use at their meeting," Lea said. "It's not legally binding, but is just a document to get some of the preliminary work out of the way."
The motion to create the document stalled at 2-2 with Lea and Picerno for and Caddell and Commissioner Jimmy Melton against. Commissioner Craig Kennedy was absent from the meeting, necessitating a postponement on the decision until the next board meeting.
Read more in Friday's edition of the Pilot.
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