Picerno Returns as Commissioners Chairman
By JOHN LENTZ
Voters last month overwhelmingly put Nick Picerno back on to the Moore County Board of Commissioners. Monday night, his colleagues showed similar faith and returned him to the chairman's post.
Picerno will serve a third term as chairman after fellow commissioner Jimmy Melton begged off the post.
Outgoing chairman Larry Caddell nominated outgoing vice-chairman Melton for the job, but Melton asked the board to reconsider.
"I appreciate my name being put in, but I have some heavy business commitments in the coming year and wish that the board would withdraw my name," Melton said.
Caddell complied, and Melton then put forth Picerno's name. It passed unanimously. Craig Kennedy will serve as vice chairman.
"The third time's a charm," Picerno said. "I am really excited, and we're going to get a lot of things done. Our newest commissioner, Randy Saunders, is enthusiastic. He's already jumped right in, and I think this board will be accomplishing some great things."
Besides installing new officers, the commissioners also welcomed and swore in Saunders, who replaces Tim Lea. Lea, who served eight years as a commissioner, chose not to seek re-election.
Following a 45-minute reception for the new commissioner and new board officers, the commissioners heard several items of business, including a change order to correct portions of a faulty roof at the new public safety and detention center in Carthage.
"Roof inspectors found a problem with some of the roof panels on the metal seam roof of the Rick Rhyne Public Safety Center building," said Moore County Property Management Director Rich Smith. "Temperatures can make this type of roof expand five or six inches in certain conditions, but it was something that the workers didn't account for. We were going to have to remove or replace the roof where inspectors said the roof conditions didn't comply, but (contractors) the D.H. Griffin Construction Company stepped in and said they were replacing the entire roof."
The change order states that the repairs would not cost the county anything extra. It should be installed by March 1.
Two additional issues regarding the public safety center that are covered under the change order will also be addressed. These include the completion of landscaping and the replacement of security equipment that was damaged "due to an inadvertent water leak."
"A worker removed a sprinkler head and it soaked a piece of sophisticated equipment that was to be used to open and close cell doors," Smith said. "That will be removed and replaced as well."
Smith said that he was pleased with the "overall outcome" of the project.
"If I may say so, we did very well," he said. "Three problems in a 143,000-square-foot facility is not bad. The problems consist of a series of small issues in a very large space."
Commissioners approved the changes unanimously. Caddell described the building as a "beautiful facility."
"I thank the D.H. Griffin company for their work, and I want to say thanks to you, Rich Smith, for all that you have done. The county got a lot more for its dollar when they hired you."
Caddell's words were followed by applause from county staff members.
Saunders seconded Caddell's assessment of the new safety center.
"I've been there two times, with Rich, and the comparison to the old facility is like night and day. They've done a tremendous job, and I'm sure the staff is excited to move in."
Following the regular meeting, the board met privately to discuss a replacement for the late Jim Westbrook, who had served for less than a week as the county's interim manager before dying in an automobile accident last Tuesday. A replacement was not chosen during the closed meeting.
Contact John Lentz at (910) 693-2479 or jlentz@the pilot.com.
More like this story