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Giving “Senatorial Courtesy” as their reason for not killing the amendinent which
would give the people of Roanoke Rapids the right to vote on the question of amending
our city charter, the Senate Committee voted late this afternoon on Senate Bill No. 242,
reporting favorably and killing the amendment.
Senators Blue and Walker, members of the Committee on Cities, Counties and
Towns voted against the entire bill, branding it as un-Democratic.
In spite of the fact that Senator T. W. M. Long
might have been conceeded to have “won the first
round” in his battle to amend the City charter of
Roanoke Rapids, when it was reported on favor
ably by the Committee this afternoon, the large
group of Roanoke Rapids citizens who journeyed to
Raleigh to humbly ask the General Assembly for
a right to vote on this most important question
still have hopes of gaining their point.
The fight will be continued1 for a chance to vote
in the House where our R. Hunter Pope and Frank
Taylor are representatives from Halifax County.
Either or both of these two men can gain for the
people of Roanoke Rapids the opportunity of vot
ing on this bill. Otherwise, if No. 242 is passed
by the House of Representatives, it becomes the
law. , 4Hi(
Roanoke Rapids men who went to the Capital
today to protest against the biH- were undaunted
upon their return to the city, saying they were
confident the fight “would be carried to the last
ditch” in the interest pf our fair city.
City Faces Crisis
Mill Future Endangered ByJMandatorv Bil
The future of Roanoke Rapids and the welfare of every
man, woman and child hangs in the balance.
A bill was introduced in the Senate Fi v of last week
by Senator T. W. M. Long of Roanoke Rapids which would
force the imu plants ana other
industries into the city limits,
“fire” the present Mayor and
Board of Commissioners, throw out
the two-ward system and make
further changes in the 1931 Act
which formed the new city and
which was voted in by the people
of Roanoke Rapids.
This new act, now before the
Senate committee on towns and
cities, is mandatory and will not
give the people of Roanoke Rap
ids the right to vote on the bill,
but will become a law immediately
upon its passage by the Legisla
Two years ago, on petition of
more than 2,500 citizens, the mills
agreed to enter a proposition by
which they put mill plants and all
other property into the Sanitary
District and their mill villages into
the new incorporated area.
These petitions carried maps of
the two proposed areas. They
were presented to the Legislature.
A bill was presented by Dr. Long,
then Representative, to extend the
limits of Roanoke Rapids as agreed
The only opposition was from
a small crowd who wanted the mill
plants also included in the city
limits. The bill passed the Legis
lature and was referred to the
people for a vote. It passed by
a vote of 2,203 for and 118 against.
Now comes this new bill to
change the 1931 Act and break
the agreement made by the more
than 2,500 petitioners, all the civic
clubs and organizations, the then
Town Board, and the .voters with
the mills.
The local mills have been op
erating at losses for several
years. One mill has been on the
verge of shut-down several times
because the “standstill loss” was
less than operating loss.
In the last three years, the three
cotton mills have run at a loss
of $478,103. Even forgetting the
broken agreement, they cannot af
ford to pay more taxes. Any
more burden may cause the clos
ing down of some of them, cur
tailment of operating costs in
The passage of this bill would
cause unemployment and suffer
ing to hundreds of our citizens. It
would effect every business and
profession. It would curtail the
revenue for schools, sanitary dis
trict and hospital.
And remember, all this, without
a chance for the people to vote
on It. Yes, in this Democratic
year, Democratic State, with a
Democratic representative.
And that’s not all. This Mayor
and Board of Commissioners to be
thrown out of office by this bill
were elected by the people of Roa
noke Rapids just as much as any
other officer. Yet, not one word
was said to them about this bill,
which affects the city so vitally
and their own offices. They were
not advised with or given a chance
to register a protest or take the
news to the people they represent.
Nor were they given their right
to even appoint the election offi
cers for the new election. A spe
cial Board is made by the bill con
sisting of Dr. W. E. Murphrey,
J. A. Lipscomb and W. S. Saun
ders. When this bill becomes a
law, this Board will name the elec
tion officers to hold the new elec
The two wards, whereby equal
representation on the City Board
has been given both ends of town,
will be wiped out by the act. It
will all be lumped into one ward
so all city officers will be chosen
and voted on at large, thus making
it possible to have the Board “lop
sided” with representatives from
the heaviest populated end of town.
And you are not being given a
chance to vote on any of this.
Impartial observers rate this
bill as the most unfair, un-Demo
cratic, high-handed, autocratic and
destructive piece of legislation
ever attempted on an American
At 10:30 P. M. last night, Senator T. W. M. Long finally
decided to refuse the people of Roanoke Rapids the right to
vote on Senate Bill No. 242 after delegates and friends had
plead with him for several days to either withdraw the bill
51 Undernourished
Children Are Fed
In City Schools
With Federal aid assistance,
plus various contributions from
local organizations and individuals,
fifty-one or more undernourished
white and forty colored children
from the city school system are
being given hot lunches daily dur
ing the regular school lunch hour.
The work, under the capable di
rection of Misses Blount and Till
man of the High School Economics
Department, together with a corps
of students, and at the colored
school by the home economics de
partment is expected to extend
through the month of March and
perhaps later.
The menu consists mainly of hot
soup, crackers, bread, milk and
fruit. Encouraging results are
already being noted among several
of the children. The number being
fed has increased steadily from a
small selection from the grades
until the present group draws from
the primary, intermediate and high
Resolutions Passed
Against Sales Tax
At a special meeting of the
Roanoke Rapids Merchants Asso
ciation Monday afternoon, in addi
tion to going on record as oppos
ing Senate Bill No. 242, to amend
the city charter, the merchants
passed a resolution strongly op
posing a general sales tax, a meas
ure now under consideration by
the General Assembly.
Local members pointed out that
a sales tax of any nature would
be especially disastrous to Roa
noke Rapids being situated so near
the Virginia boundary.
We understand the excuse given
for not giving the people the right
to vote on it was because “95 per
cent of the people of Roanoke Rap
noke Rapids are for it” so “why
stir up a lot of controversy over
nothing and get the town all torn
up again.”
We answered those statements as
being palpably untrue; that, given
a chance to vote and knowing the
facts, the people of Roanoke Rap
ids woidd vote against that bill in
overwhelming numbers and that
nothing in four years has stirred
this town up so much as the re
sentment here this week over the
actions in Raleigh.
or attach a referendum.
At 2:30 this afternoon several
hundred citizens from here will
meet on the fourth floor of the
Revenue Building at the Capita),
to appear before the Senate Com
mittee on Counties, Cities and
Towns to protest against the bill,
an act to amend the present eity
This morning’s (Raleigh) News
and Observer comments at length
on the situation in their “Under
the Dome” column, from which we
quote as follows:
“Those appearing against
the bill say that it is manda
tory, giving them no opportu
nity to express their opinion,
changes the city boundaries^
discharges the present elected
mayor and Board of City Com
missioners, discards the pres
ent ward system and calls for
an election of commissioners
at large.
lney will present petitions
signed by 2,896 Roanoke Rap
ids voters and property own
ers. This number, they say,
larger than the number of reg
istered voters. The bill is As
approved by the town board of
commissioners, the Roanoke
Rapids Merchants Association,
the Kiwanis Club, the Wom
an’s Club, and other organiza
tions, all of whom will present
petitions at the hearing.
“Textile plants on the out
skirts of the city, whose mtt
plants are forced in under the
new bill, declare they can
not stand increased taxation.
These corporations are in tke
school district and the newly
formed Sanitary District and
pay 74 per cent, of the taxes
in both. Their mill villages
were incorporated into Roa
noke Rapids in 1931 and they
now pay 26 per cent of tko
city taxes.
Presiding Elder
Guest Methodist
Rev. L. B. Jones, presiding ol
der, will preach at the First Meth
odist Church next Sunday morning,
and will hold the first quarterly
conference immediately following
the sermon. The pastor will
preach at the night service, and
the members of the Senior Ep
worth League will have charge of
of the music at that hour. The
public is invited to attend these
services. '

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