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(Photos by George Manning)
About 125 persons from all over High Point gathered which included dozens of agency representatives and com-
in this courtroom at the City-Ck)imty Building Dec«nber 5 munity officials, was Mayor William S. Bencini.
for a Model Cities town meeting. Among those present.
At Model Cities Town Meeting
Mayor Reaffirms Citizens’ Role
Know Your Rights
What can I do if I get an unusually
high water bill from the city?
There are a variety of things you can
do, but the first action you should take is
to find out the cause of the leak. Almost
every high water bill results from a leak
in the pipes either under or inside the
house. Many persons will put this oS for
several months while the water bill goes
higher and higher. Water charges as high
as $300 have been reported here in High
Point, although a charge of even $20 should
be cause for concern.
What kinds of leaks are most common?
The most common leak is a toilet that
runs constantly. Any constant hiss of water
in a toilet should be fixed even if you
haven’t gotten the bill, because a leaky
toilet can cause a water bill of $40 or $50
in just a few days. The second most com
mon cause is a broken pipe under the
house. Thk happens most often in the
winter in substandard or run-down houses.
Unfortunately, these leaks are hard to locate
and usually require a plumber to find them.
What can I do to stop a leak right away?
Many toilets and sinks have a tum-oS
valve behind or underneath them. You can
turn on these valves to use the fixture, and
turn it off as soon as you finish.
Do I have to pay to have a leak fixed
myself if I am renting my house?
In the absence of a winter lease provision
to the contrary, the landlord has an obli
gation to repair leaks in the plumbing. You
should call the landlord and make sure that
he understands that you have a leak in your
house. Be sure to write down the date that
you call him, and if he does not send
someone out in two or three days, call him
again. The landlord will not penalize you for
calling him, for he knows that he must re
pair these things.
What iF the landlord ignores my repeated
calls or refuses to do anything?
There are not many landlords in town
who treat their tenants this badly. If you
have one of these, you must either (1) re
port the leak to the building inspector’s
office at City Hall, or (2) call the city water
department and ask them to turn off your
water until the leak is repaired, or (3) call
a plumber yourself and ask him to send his
bill to the landlord.
If you have a written lease be sure
to read the lease carefully to see if repairs
to pipes and plumbing are yours or the
The Guilford County Mental Health
Center can help people find new or
better ways to handle their mental or
People who are having a hard time
coping with their troubles, adjusting to
their job, their home, their environ
ment in general — these are people
who are not “crazy.” They are simply
disturbed in some way or another, and
they can get better with trained, pro
Anyone in Guilford County who is
having mental or emotional problems
may be considered for services from
the Mental Health Center, located at
404 N. Wrenn Street.
A minimum fee of $1 is charged for
each clinic visit, but patients pay only
what they are able to pay, according
to a sliding scale. If patients are
eligible for Medicaid, their stickers
will cover the cost of a clinic visit.
Guilford County Mental Health
Center offers what is known as out
patient services, allowing patients to
be treated while living at home.
To a crowd of about 125 persons,
the majority of whom were Model
Cities agency representatives and com
munity officials. High Point Mayor
William S. Bencini reaffirmed his com
mitment to citizen involvement in de
cision-making at a town meeting De
Sponsored by the Model City Com
mission, the town meeting was the
first in a series of open gatherings
planned to stear the direction of Model
Cities’ Fourth Action Year.
In addition, Model Cities personnel
hope that the discussions at these
meetings will have an impact on rev
enue sharing spending, made possible
by the recent check sent High Point
Bencini briefly explained revenue
sharing to the group, and stated that
no decisions had yet been made about
the expenditure of the money. City
Council has the final word on this
federal grant of an expected $1,287,000.
In his remarks, the mayor said, “It
is our responsibility to meet the needs
of as many citizens as possible with
these monies, above and beyond pro
jects already planned.
“If the crowd in office now doesn’t
deliver, then they should be voted
When a person goes to the center,
a social worker fills out a form with his
personal history, and refers him to the
right staflF member who will handle his
case from then on.
Treatment comes in several forms,
which include individual talk therapy,
group or family therapy, and medica
tion when needed. In these groups,
people with similar problems get to
gether to share them and try to help
one another, under supervision.
If possible, patients are asked to
make a telephone appointment to visit
the center, The phone number is
888-9929. They may also be sent by
a doctor, teacher, minister, public
health nurse, or a concerned friend.
Information about every patient’s
case is private and is kept confidential
by the Mental Health Center.
There is no minimum or maximum
age for mental health’s services. Most
children handled by the center have
emotional problems, however, rather
Bencini added that, “I don’t know
of a better way of bringing problems
to solutions than through Model Cit-
Model Cities task force member Dr.
Harvey Tilles raised the question of
“citizen advisory committees,” now
being planned by Model Cities in the
form of city-wide task forces.
In response, Bencini said he felt the
Model Cities process was “an excel
lent way” for groups to express their
concerns to city government. “I have
been so pleased with the Model Cities
process,” he said, “that I want to con
tinue channels through Model Cities
for citizen input.”
Other prominent topics of discus
sion were the Southside Neighborhood
Development Plan (NDP), the South-
side Multi-purpose Center, lack of
housing in High Point, unfair utility
rates, and welfare reform.
Another topic which drew interest
was the Parks and Recreation De
partment. Citizens charged that rec
reation facilities in the Tate Street,
Daniel Brooks and Washington Ter
race areas were being neglected and
than learning disabilities. Most mar
riage counseling work is also referred
to Family Services Bureau, with whom
they coordinate closely.
Many people are in poor mental
health, and fail to realize it. Some
times handling day-to-day problems
seem too much for them, and these
problems may affect the way they act
and feel toward others.
Other symptoms of a person’s poor
mental health include inability to
make decisions or to understand why
he is acting in a certain way; pro
longed unhappiness or fear; a wish
to hurt' himself or others; getting an
gry too easily or too often; forgetful
ness; a wish to avoid contact with
everyone; or an attempt to “drown”
problems in alcohol or drugs.
When these problems become too
much for a person, he may try to run
away from them. But it is times like
these that he needs most to find help.
Seeking help early can often pre
vent more serious problems later.
Even Councilman S. E. Burford,
one of three City legislators present,
voiced his concern over his inability
to “get to first base” with improve
ments for Washington Terrace Park,
which he called his “pet summer pro
Newly-elected Model City Commis
sioner Nathaniel Waden asked why
blacks continually fail to be hired to
professional positions in City Hall.
To this question, Burford added, “I’m
still waiting for the same answer.”
Burford is the only black Council
man in High Point.
Mayor Bencini replied that City
Council neither hires nor fires em
ployes of the City, and that personnel
matters are left up to the discretion
of the City Manager’s office.
City Manager Harold Cheek was
not present to respond.
Council May Spend
Grant As It Wishes
(Continued from page 1)
on how to spend this money. This new
technique gives cities such as High
Point a chance to develop their own
strategies and programs to meet their
own unique needs without strict fed
How revenue sharing grants are
spent is up to people from all over
the community who must make their
voice and needs heard at City Hall.
It is them, after all, who know best
what their conditions are, and how
the money can best be spent.
To date. City Councilmen have not
publicly indicated which projects or
areas they themselves prefer to fund
with this money.
WHATS HAPPENING is published
bimonthly by the Model City Com
mission of High Point, North Carolina,
William S. Bencini, Mayor; Dr. Otis
E. Tillman, Commission Chairman;
Don J. Fomey, Past Directtn-; Wayne
S. Pray, Acting Director; Cecil A.
Brown, Information and Evaluation
Specialist. Offices of the agency are
located at 609 S. Main St, High Point,
N. C. 27260. Telephone 885-9081.
The preparation of this magazine
and its free distribution were financially
aided and made possible through a
federal grant from the United States
Department of Housing ai>d Urban
Development under Title I of the
Demonstration Cities and MetrH>oLtan
Act of 1966.
Editor Emily Hedrick
Feel Unhappy All The Time? Cant Adjust
To Life? Mental Health Center Can Help