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Board Of Commissioners
Smoking Ban At County Complex
BY ERIC CARLSON
A ban on smoking in all public areas of county
owned buildings was approved on a first reading the
board of commissioners Monday night, while a proposal
to regulate smoking in public buildings county-wide was
relumed to the board of health.
Because the policy was approved in a split vote,
with commissioner Donald Shaw dissenting, the mea
sure w ill have to pass a second reading scheduled for the
board's next meeting.
Health Director Michael Rhodes presented the coun
ty board with two draft smoking policies?one for the
county government complex and one for the county?
endorsed by the health board earlier this month. He
asked the commissioners to consider adopting one or
both of the proposals.
After declining to take action on either version, the
commissioners instead chose to vote on a third policy
read out loud by commissioner Tom Rabon.
The approved policy would prohibit smoking "in all
"I thought we ought to let
everybody run their own shop.
The sheriff has a situation that
is unique to his department as
do the health department and
social services."? Don Warren
public rcstrooms, all public assembly rooms, all hall
ways and corridors, employee lounges and any other
area as designated by the department head in any public
Unlike the more restrictive proposal adopted by die
health board, which bans smoking throughout county
buildings and vchiclcs, the commissioner's policy leaves
it to department heads to dccide whether or not to pro
hibit smoking in employee offices.
"I thought we ought to let everybody run their own
shop," Commissioners Chairman Don Warren said in an
interview Tuesday. "The sheriff has a situation that is
unique to his department as do the health department
and social services. Each one ought to be allowed to
deal with their own particular situation."
Department heads arc responsible for taking discipli
nary action against any employee who violates the no
smoking policy. The initial emphasis of an enforcement
action will be on "informal counseling," but repeated vi
olations "will lead to warnings and eventual termina
tion." the policy states.
While the health department regulations included no
avenue for enforcing the no-smoking ban against visi
tors to county buildings, the plan approved by the com
missioners provides for a civil penally of S50 per viola
tion. A misdemeanor warrant also could be issued that
could subjcct a violator lo a fine of S50 or imprisonment
for up to 30 days.
In deciding not to act on the proposal lo regulate
smoking county-wide. Warren noted that a policy adopt
ed by the commissioners could only be enforced in unir,
corporated areas, not in the municipalities where most
retail businesses and restaurants are located.
"The board of health had the power to abolish smok
ing county-wide, from border to border. But i,<cy took
no action,'* said Warren, who is also a member of the
health board, where he voted against the broader regula
Warren said Tuesday that he thought the regulations,
developed for the health board by a 15-mcmbcr commit
tee, were "very poorly written." He said he would be un
likely to support a county-wide smoking policy that was
"too stringent on retail businesses and restaurants."
The commissioners scheduled a second reading on
the no-smoking policy for their May 3 meeting.
School Board To Consider
New Weapons Policy Tonight
Brunswick County Board of Education members meet today (Thurs
day) to consider a proposed weapons policy drafted by a Raleigh attor
The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in the conference room at the ad
ministrative office in Southport.
Richard A. Schwartz, a Raleigh attorney who specializes in school
law, is expectcd to present a pro-active policy school board members
hope will discourage students from bringing weapons or their look
alikes on campus, and punish them if they do.
Schwartz met with the board during a four-hour work session on
Feb. 11, talking through choices available to the board for dealing with
issues of weapons and campus violence in general.
Since the 1960s, crimc and violence been increasing in schools
across the nation and the slate. Along with adopting new discipline
codes and classroom management techniques, the Brunswick County
Schools have also opened an around-the-clock hotline (1-457-199! or !
800-734-5204) to accept tips relating to potential incidents of violence
A 17-member Brunswick County Task Force on Safety in Schools,
which is comprised of school personnel and community representatives,
is looking at several other issues related to creating a climate of safely in
the schoolsJt was formed in response to increasing conccm among par
ents about weapons and violence on campuses.
Request To Delay
BY ERIC CARLSON
Construction plans for Brunswick
County's four-branch library system
narrowly missed being sidetracked
Monday night when the board of
commissioners took no action on
Interim County Manager John
Harvey's request to delay breaking
ground on two new branches in
Leland and Yaupon Beach.
Harvey said the Brunswick County
Library Board's plans to begin ac
cepting bids on SSOO.OOO worth of
construction led him to question
whether there was enough money re
maining in the county's unappropriat
ed fund balance to pay for it.
He said his findings indicated that
the board should consider delaying
the library bidding process until a
new budget goes into effect July 1.
He also recommended putting off
construction of a SI million records
Funds for the storage building and
SI.5 million for library construction
were allocated from the fund bal
ancc in the budget adopted by the
previous board of commissioners
last June. At their final meeting,
Dcc. 3, 1992, Chairman Kelly
Holdcn said the outgoing commis
sioners came into office with a S3
million fund balance and left four
years later with S12 million in re
At the meeting Monday night,
Harvey called on County Finance
Officer Lithia Hahn to report on the
current state of county finances. She
indicated that more than $4 million
of the fund balance had been allocat
ed for the library system, the storage
building, new equipment and salary
Comparing the fund balance to a
checking account, Hahn noted that
the commissioners could also use
some of that money to offset pro
posed spending and balance the
coming year's budget, thereby
avoiding a tax increase.
Harvey also requested a report on
future revenues from County Tax
Supervisor Boyd Williamson. He
told the board that the county could
expect a reduction in funds due to a
scheduled revaluation of property
tax values for local utilities.
"With these varying factors, I
suggest that the county storage
building and the two branch libraries
be delayed a short period of time,
until July 1," Harvey said.
He told the board that John
Sawyer, the architect for the project,
told him the bid process was ready
to commence. According to the li
brary board's project schedule, con
tracts should be awarded in mid
May, with ground breaking on the
Lcland and Oak Island branches
slated for early June.
Harvey said Don Eggert, chair
man of the library board building
committee, had told him that the
group "had accelerated this time
However, in an interview before
the commissioners' meeting, Eggert
said the timetable had been pushed
back, estimating that site work for
the new libraries would not begin
Italian Tomatoes & Hot Peppers
Goodman Rd oft Hwy. 17
3 Miles N. of Winnabow
During ihc public comment por
tion of the meeting, Leslie Collier, a
member of the Oak Island Library
Boosters and the Brunswick County
PTA Council, said she was "con
cerned about the possible delay of
the libraries." She urged the board
"to begin according to the published
In asking for the delay in con
struction, Harvey said he remained a
supporter of the library system and
noted that he is "married to a librari
On a motion by Commissioner's
Chairman Don Warren, the board
voted unanimously to delay con
struction of the storage building. No
action was taken to change the li
brary project schedule.
In other business the board:
?Approved Williamson's recom
mendation to reduce a SI.9 million
tax bill for the DuPont Co. plant to
SI.5 million. Following a review of
additional information provided by
DuPont in an appeal of its most re
cent tax levy, Williamson said he
proposed giving the company "the
benefit of the doubt" in classifying
15 percent of its machinery as real
estate. He said DuPont had asked for
half the equipment to be reclassified,
but noted that "they don't carry it on
their books that way."
?Appropriated $2,500 to help the
Brunswick County Chapter of the
North Carolina Symphony Society
with a S9,000 shortfall in this year's
fund raising. Society representative
Polly Fish said the county is in dan
ger of loosing its two annual
evening symphony concerts and two
children's educational conccrts.
?Voted 4-to-l, with Commis
sioner Wayland Vcrccn dissenting,
to authorize the hiring of a county
codes administrator to act as lead
building inspector and zoning ad
ministrator with a starting salary of
?Approved Verccn's nomination
for a dry ride
to appoint Billy Carter to serve on
the Resources Development Com
?Agreed, at Vcreen's request, to
appoint Donald Goins to the
Brunswick County Airport Commis
?Appointed H.G. Simmons chair
man of the board of equalization and
?Set a public hearing on pro
posed amendments to the county
zoning ordinance for May 17 at 6
p.m. The measure would change the
zoning designation for an area along
the northern border of Shallottc's
extraterritorial jurisdiction from R
7500 to R-6000.
Review Of Manager
The application period is closed
and the Brunswick County Board of
Commissioners has begun the
process of deciding who will hired
as the next county manager.
A total of 37 applications have
been received from within the coun
ty, across the stale and as far away
as New Jersey to fill one of two po
sitions left vacant when former
County Manager/Attorney David
Clegg resigned March 15.
The commissioners have agreed
to conduct the final interviews of
potential manager candidates in pub
lic. Some county board's claim that
the manager selection process is a
"personnel matter" that can be con
sidered in a closed meeting.
At the commissioners' meeting
Monday night. Chairman Don
Warren said he hopes "lo narrow the
list to six or seven or less and invite
them for interviews." He said he
would consult privately with the
other commissioners in hopes that
they can agree on a reasonable num
ber of candidates to interview.
County Personnel Officer Staric
Grissctt has been directed to divide
the applicants into two groups: one
with those who meet the qualifica
tions specified in the job advertise
ment, and another for those who
don't. However, copies of all the ap
plications will be given to the com
missioners for review.
The advertised requirements in
clude "academic credentials in either
government, political science, busi
ness administration or finance" and
"a minimum of five years of profes
sional county government experi
ence in North Carolina."
Commissioner Jerry Jones said
Monday that only seven of the appli
cations received were from people
who met those qualifications.
Warren insisted there were more,
noting that some had "a lot of expe
rience in other areas of government
or the military."
Jones disagreed, saying, "The ad
vertisement said five years experi
ence in North Carolina government.
1 don't know how you can consider
Warren said some of the chosen
candidates may not want to be inter
viewed publicly and may withdraw
their applications. If so, others will
be selected from the remaining
group, he said.
Southport is among 30 finalists
for this year's All-America Cily
awards, the National Civic League
Southpon joins Washington,
Mocksville-Davie County and Win
ston-Salem, the three other North
Carolina communities selected as fi
nalists in the competition.
"This year a record of 151 appli
cations were received, so we arc es
pecially proud of our accomplish
ment," Southport Cily Manager Rob
The All-America City awards are
a program of the National Civic
League sponsored by the Allstate
Foundation. Award criteria are based
on projects the community under
takes and completes The projects
must show citi/en involvement, pri
vate and nonprofit sector participa
tions and a community willingness
to confront local issues.
Each entry must detail three pro
jects. Southport's project included a
master plan for development, reha
bilitation of substandard housing,
and establishing and operating a
Finalists will host exhibition
booths during the Civic Action Fair,
make oral presentations on their pro
jects and answer questions from the
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