VOL. 106 NO. 24
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Thursday, June 16, 1994
Kings Mountain, NC 28086 « 50¢
Budget hearing brings surprises
Ballard to board: Quit fighting
Mayor pro tem Rick Murphrey
joined citizens speaking at a public
hearing calling for an audit of the
city's books by an outside auditor.
Murphrey attempted to make the
motion at Tuesday's City Council
meeting but Attorney Mickey
Corry said action could not be tak-
en during a public hearing.
Gary Joy and Claudie Suber sug-
gested that an audit would settle
the matter of the city's finances.
Suber said the audit should be the
priority on the city's agenda.
Charlie Ballard gave the city
some advice. "Quit fighting. When
you make a decision stick with it,
the majority rules."
"Go behind closed doors and
thrash out these issues," he said.
"Are we taking George Wood's
word that what he's said in his
memorandum about the finances is
correct?" asked Joy.
Agreeing with Ballard, he said
the Council could "hash out these
problems out of the public eye "
"It's up to Council to make the
decisions and fix the problems, not
the former city manager," said
Prior to the reading of Wood's
memorandum, Betty Mitchell,
Floyd Sanders, Ballard, Jim
Childers, Sam Tesenair, Joy,
Clavon Kelly, Bobby Maner, Lou
Ballew, Rev. M. L. Campbell and
See Ballard, 3-A
Charlie Ballard, above, speaks
at public hearing on the city's
Little Theatre drive hits $120,000
Mayor calls for Parsons’ resignation
By ELIZABETH STEWART
of The Herald staff
Mayor Scott Neisler publicly called for Interim City
Manager Maxine Parson's resignation Tuesday night,
staggering a City Council working for three months to
tackle money woes which the mayor has maintained
all along that did not exist.
The mayor dropped the bombshell after reading a
13-page memorandum from former City Manager
Ex-City Manager responds/11-A
Jim Childers: It's Council's jolb/11-A
George Wood detailing allegations of numerous dis-
crepancies in the proposed 1994-95 budget Parsons
"A resignation is in order," said the mayor.
Neisler said after the lengthy meeting, which at
times erupted in loud applause and foot stomping from
25 city employees and about 80 other people, that
Parsons, the former Assistant Finance Officer before
she was promoted in March on a 4-3 vote, should not
manager is hired.
be offered the Finance Officer position when a new
Kings Mountain Little Theatre
has announced that fundraising ef-
forts have now eclipsed the
$120,000 mark in pledges toward
its fund drive to renovate the old
Dixie Theatre on Railroad Avenue
in downtown Kings Mountain.
Dr. Scott Mayse, co-chairman of
approximately one-third of the
prospects for the drive have been
‘lcontacted and that response from
the community has been very grati-
fying. With about two-thirds of the
300 ,000 can be reached. #
Plans call for a full renovation of
the facade and the interior of the
old Dixie Theatre. When complet-
ed the theatre will offer a spacious
lobby and approximately 200 com-
fortable seats for local audiences.
| Each member of the audience is
expected to have an excellent view
of activity on the modern elevated
In addition to rehearsals and per-
formances by the Kings Mountain
Little Theatre, the theatre will be
available for use by the general
public for meetings and for smaller
concerts and recitals. The activities
at the theatre will be one positive
step toward the revitalization of the
downtown area, Mayse said.
Kings Mountain Little Theatre
has served the citizens of Kings
Mountain since 1941 and has in-
volved numerous local people in its
productions and audiences. For the
past several years the group has
presented four plays annually. The
proposed renovation would give
the organization its first permanent
The volunteer workers in the
fundraising campaign will be com-
pleting their work in the very near
future. Anyone in the community
not yet contacted wishing to donate
to the renovation effort may send
their donation to the Kings
Mountain Little Theatre, P.O. Box
1022, Kings Mountain, NC 28086.
Kings Mountain Little Theatre is a
tax exempt non profit organization
and donations are tax deductible.
the fundraising effort, notes that ~
t to be heard from, in-
c TE TL rR
Se » PEAT oe
Clr] A i Hi
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Sketch of inside of proposed Kings Mountain Little Theatre.
Alternate school funds sought
The Kings Mountain School
Board Monday night approved a
. request for a $570,000 grant that
would fund an alternative school
for problem students in grades 6-12
in the Kings Mountain, Shelby and
Cleveland County School Systems.
Dr. Bob McRae said funds are
being made available because of
the recent Special Crime Session of
the General Assembly. McRae said
the three county systems feel they
have a great chance of being
awarded funds if they make a joint
McRae said the systems should
hear from their request by July 1
and, if it is approved the alternative
school could begin as early as
October "or at the very latest at the
beginning of the second semester."
McRae said if a central location
cannot be found for the school,
Kings Mountain would offer to
house it at the Central Office.
KMDS is scheduled to move its
Central Office to the renovated
Central School late this summer.
"When General Assembly funds
first became available, we applied
but did not receive a grant," McRae
told the Board. "We feel there is
See School, 14-A
Kings Mountain School
Superintendent Bob McRae had his
contract extended to 1998 after an
evaluation in executive session at
Monday night's Board meeting.
McRae was given high grades
by the four members present. Billy
Howze was excused earlier in the
meeting due to an emergency.
Chairman Shearra Miller said
the board feels that McRae
"demonstrates exemplary perfor-
mance in the areas of policy and
Superintendent's contract extended
board goals, board community and
personnel relationships, education-
al programs and budget.
"We find his strengths to be his
vision and foresight and planning
for the future of the school system,
and the leadership that he provides
to the staff.
"We encourage his continued ef-
forts to improve communication
with parents and the community,
and to investigate areas in which
employee morale might be im-
"I don't like what I had to do tonight," said Neisler,
"But how could I keep from speaking up?"
Neisler said the city has only 16 days under law to
formally adopt a budget.
"We're looking at raising property taxes four cents,
upping water/sewer rates 8 percent across the board,
eliminating the engineering department which is badly
See Mayor, 3-A
By GARY STEWART
Editor of the Herald
Kings Mountain Middle School
seventh grader Christina "Crissy"
Bolin says if anyone asks her what
she learned in school this year, she
can tell them "not to trust anyone."
Crissy and her parents, Melany
0 g i
District Schools. Crissy and Mrs.
Bolin voiced their concerns at
Monday night's meeting of the
Board of Education.
Mrs. Bolin said Crissy was giv-
en only one award on Awards Day
even though she qualified - and
was later given - eight. KMMS
Principal John Goforth, who was
not present at the Board meeting,
said Tuesday the matter was a
"oversight" by Crissy's "team"
Crissy says she was hurt because
she did not receive the awards "in
front of my friends and teachers"
and that she was disappointed in
her school because "all of my
teachers know highest academic
means highest average.”
Crissy's family claimed that
Crissy had the highest "team" aver-
age in two subjects and should
have been presented awards for
that, and that she also had the high-
est overall average of all seventh
graders in another subject and
should have received an award for
that. She also received numerous
other awards for "team" achieve-
ment - but Mrs. Bolin said only
one was presented during Awards
Day ceremonies attended by over
900 students, teachers and parents.
Mrs. Bolin, who says she has
volunteered in the school system
for nine years, claims Crissy was
overlooked for the awards and they
were presented to students with
lower grade averages because Mrs.
Bolin often speaks out on school
issues, most recently about the
Family Life curriculum.
"I will always be vocal. It's my
responsibility to be involved,” she
said. "I do my homework and I do
not try to harm anyone. This is a
Public School System and I have a
right to be involved. It has never
bothered me that someone likes me
or does not like me, but I never
imagined that anyone would delib-
erately hurt my children.”
Mrs. Bolin said Crissy was also
not included in the Duke
University Talent Identification
Program (TIP). She said school of-
ficials told her Crissy's name "did-
n't come out of the computer” and
Supt. Bob McRae said during the
School Board meeting that Crissy
did not qualify for the program, but
on Tuesday Mrs. Bolin produced
See Awards, 2-A
and Danny Bolin, claim that the
- |demic achievement.
McRae: It was
Kings Mountain School
Superintendent Bob McRae said it
was "quite frustrating" listening to
After about 30 minutes of Mrs.
Bolin's remarks about the incident
involving Awards Day at Kings
Mountain Middle School, she
switched her remarks to a luncheon
meeting of school employees last
week and made reference to a
statement she alleged was made
by KMMS Principal John Goforth.
McRae suggested that if she was
going to mention names of school
employees that the matter should
be discussed in executive session.
When McRae remarked that the
School Board needed the advice of
its attorney, who was not present,
Mrs. Bolin concluded her remarks
and said she and her husband,
Danny, would come to a later
meeting with their attorney.
McRae told the Herald Tuesday
that the School Board has a policy
that requires five days advance no-
tice by anyone wishing to be
placed on the agenda. He said al-
though Mrs. Bolin requested a spot
on the agenda in that time period,
he asked her three times what the
topic of her remarks would be and
she would not tell him.
"We don't want to know every
single detail, but at least the topic,"
he said. "The Board feels like they
should have had that courtesy. I be-
lieve one of the primary require-
ments for the five day advance re-
quirement is to give the system a
chance to do some preliminary
work and have some answers avail-
able. If we had been privy to that
information, we would have had
representatives of the school there
and would have had the opportuni-
ty to check with legal advisors to
know whether or not it should be
held in executive session."
Although Mrs. Bolin did not
give the board the topic of her pre-
sentation, she said she made
McRae aware of the Awards Day
situation a week earlier.
"I don't think it's appropriate to
hear complaints about employees
in open session, but I would be
more comfortable in having the at-
torney rule on that," McRae said.
"The bottom line is, however, that
regardless of any of that, I certainly
hope and do not believe that any-
one in this system would purposely
discriminate against a student be-
cause they might have had a dis-
agreement with that student's par-
See McRae, 3-A