Clearing Up Facts on the Commission
Your editorial “Needless Blowup on Appointments” (Feb. 19), said “the details behind the controversy (Appearance Commission resignations) are too convoluted to explain here.” Let us examine the facts instead.
Fact: What I was quoted as saying to the mayor last week was a paragraph cut to a few words, effectively misrepresenting both my meaning and intent. Permit me to explain the context: “We know best where the gaps are in our experience and knowledge at any given time.” The reference was for our need to fill vacancies with members who can add expertise to our deliberations.
Fact: Our Southern Pines Charter, paragraph 33.03, “Membership Qualifications,” clearly supports this assertion: “Where possible, appointments shall be made in such a manner as to maintain on the Appearance Commission at all times a majority of members who have had special training or experience in a design field, such as architecture, landscape design, horticulture, city planning or a related field.”
Fact: We have not “enjoyed immunity from term limits.” The charter describes the terms of appointment as three years. The actual difficulty in finding volunteers with design credentials is the reason those limits have been ignored. It is the Town Council’s duty to see that the majority of the members they appoint have these qualifications.
Fact: The Southern Pines 1989 Code states, “Recommendations of the Appearance Commission on appointments will be submitted to the Town Council for review and consideration.” Until last week, we have always made our recommendations from the applications presented to us. We do not question the council’s right to final approval of the nominees. During the last three-plus years of my term on this commission, the council has always approved all our recommendations.
Fact: To my knowledge, we have never “appointed our own replacements.” In fact it would be impossible to do so.
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