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City Councilman Ralph
'|Grindstaff says Mayor Scott
Neisler is playing politics.
Grindstaff said members of
the press got copies of Mayor
Scott Neisler's Tuesday memo-
randum responding to the recent
audit to Council first.
"The police delivered the
copies to Council and I got
mine about 7:45 p.m,"
Grindstaff told the Herald
"I haven't had time to study it
but I will say that politics
should be left out of city fi-
Grindstaft: Mayor playing politics
nances, if we have a problem|.
we need to fix it."
Grindstaff said that the city's |.
auditor and professionals from
the state treasurer's office have
told the city it's in financial
"If the mayor will show me
where the money is and show
me that his proposals are the an-
swers to the problem I will vote
for his amendments to Maxine}
Parson's budget for 1994-95.
"This memo is aimed straight]
See Grindstaff, 3-A |
"The bottom line is that on
June 30, 1995 the City of Kings
Mountain had only $16,376
cash," said Finance Director
Maxine Parsons, refuting
Mayor Scott Neisler's claims
she overstated the city's serious
financial condition as she pre-
‘pared the 1994-95 budget as
"Two managers are going to
manage different," she said.
"And I have never been able
to pay bills early.
"It doesn't matter how you
manipulate the figures the bot-
Parsons: Cash balance is bottom line
tom line is the city is still not
paying its bills on time and the
mayor's spread sheet on his
cash projections for next year
don't include the additional
$325,000 for past due bills that
must come out of the '94-95
Parsons said the Local
Government Commission has
warned the city for the past four
years that it cannot transfer
funds on paper unless there is
money in the bank and a profit
margin. She says she doubts the
See Parsons, 3-A
Judge to hear
A federal judge in Asheville
could decide today, Thursday, Jan.
19, if a citizen’s lawsuit against
the Cleveland County Board of
Commissioners will be transferred
to a court in Washington D.C.
Judge Richard L. Voorhees,
chief judge for the U.S. District
Court in Western North Carolina,
has set a hearing for today at 4
p.m. in Asheville to consider a
motion for a preliminary injunc-
tion against a consent decree
agreed to by'the county commis-
sion and the local chapter of the
National Association for the Ad-
vancement of Colored People.
In an order issued Tuesday,
Voorhees denied a motion for a
temporary restraining order (TRO)
requested by the Cleveland County
Association for Government by
the People, a citizen's group that
raised more than $15,000 in about
a month to fight the consent de-
cree. In his order, Voorhees stated
he could “ascertain the status quo
Plaintiffs presumably seek pre-
serve,” arequirement forissuing a
TRO. He also stated that CCAGP
failed to show what irreparable
damage may be caused if the TRO.
was not issued.
During Thursday’s hearing,
Voorhees may act on a motion
made by attorney’s representing
the county commission, county
attorney Julian Wray and Raleigh
attorney Michael Crowell. That
motion, filed Wednesday morn-
ing in the Asheville court, requests
that Voorhees transfer the CCAGP
lawsuit to the District Court in
Washington, D.C. for resolution.
If Voorhees grants that motion,
the suit would more than likely
end up on the bench of Judge
Stanley Sporkin, who is handling
the original lawsuit brought by the
NAACP. In the last paragraph of
the consent decree signed this past
summer, Sporkin retained juris-
diction of the NAACP lawsuituntil
it was resolved.
KM Baptist Association Moderator Jim Brackett, Mayor Pro Tem Rick Murphy, Rev. John Houze and
Councilwoman Norma Bridges, left to right, break ground fo
r the new People's Baptist Church on Groves
Church breaks ground for building
People's Baptist Church
broke ground for its first perma-
nent home Wednesday after-
noon in the presence of over
half of its membership.
"This is a big day for us,"
said Pastor John Houze.
The 3,750 square foot build-
ing going up on Groves Street is
the first phase of the young
church's building program. The
estimated cost is $150,000 and
Crescent Metals Construction
Company is general contractor.
The foundation was poured
this week and workmen were on
the scene as Houze, Mayor Pro
Tem Rick Murphrey,
Councilwoman Norma Bridges
and Kings Mountain Baptist
Association Moderator Jim
Brackett used a new shovel for
the traditional breaking of
Brackett said the church had
grown from a handful of mem-
bers meeting at Kings Mountain
Depot to 50. The congregation -
has been meeting recently in a
former lodge building on
Highway 161 across from
"This is an example of faith,"
said Brackett of the church.
'Ardis Byers and Ginny
Caldwell, chairmen of the
building committee, spoke of
the excitement of the congrega-
tion in the building venture.
Worshippers challenged on King holiday
A third generation preacher who was 13 years
of age when the popular Civil Rights leader Dr.
Martin Luther King Jr. was slain called for Kings
Mountain people to take up King's baton and
march for the hungry and the love of humanity.
Rev. Luonne Rouse, 39, stood in the pulpit of
New Life Christian Center on Parker Street
Monday night and told a crowd of worshippers
from all black churches in the community that
they must "rekindle the fire of the movement be-
gun by Dr. King."
Rouse is pastor of the 545-member predomi-
nately white Disciples United Methodist Church
in Greenville, SC and a noted race relations con-
sultant who has won a Young American leader-
ship award from the South Carolina Junior
Chamber of Commerce for his work in leading
racial harmony in South Carolina.
Connie Rouse said after the worship service
that her husband's family had witnessed some of
the prejudices that King faced. Mrs. Rouse said
her husband's father and grandfather, both minis-
ters, had been denied shoes for their young chil-
dren by white clerks working in a South Carolina
department store in the 1960's.
Rouse recalled thz birth of King on January 15,
1929 and his death on April 4, 1968.
Rouse said King marched for the right to vote,
against non-violence, for higher wages for the
low-paid and for fair treatment and equality to all
but Rouse said some of the problems that King
taught and preached so eloquently about are still
"His death gave us a holiday to challenge us to
pray, love and get right with God," said Rouse.
But he said that for'10 years a national holiday to
honor King has met opposition of many.
"We must pray for those who condemn us and
hear King's call forall to love our enemies.
"In the dark days when the Negro was deper-
sonalized we held on to the unchanging hand of
God and God's amazing grace moved an
American Society and moved the African
American from disgrace to dignity," said Rouse.
Rouse said the key to racial harmony is love.
"Dr. King gave usa victory for justice and good
will and today is not a black holiday but a lover's
holiday," he said.
See King, 4-A
Houze said worship services
are held on Wednesday evening
and Sunday morning and after-
The new church is going up
on 3.2 acres in a wooded setting
on Groves Street and is located
on the lot next to the pastor's
home. Houze says the church
plans to add to the building as it
Houze said the church hopes
to add to its membership be-
cause the area is heavily popu-
lated with young families.
"We hope to begin an out-
reach program and have faith
that we will succeed with God's
help," he said.
Mayor Scott Neisler Tuesday
laid the blame for the city's
problems at the feet of Finance
Officer Maxine Parsons, claim-
ing the former Interim Manager
seriously overstated the finan-
cial concerns of the city using
"overkill" measures in her
1994-95 budget and paid bills
"Kings Mountain's good
name has been dragged through
the mud when in actuality the
budget is in good shape," said
the mayor in a lengthy memo-
randum to City Council in
which he called for a reversal
of both the tax and water rate
. hikes that he insists aren't need-
Neisler will ask City Council
at the January 31 meeting, with
representatives of the Local
Government Commission in at-
tendance, to give its stamp of
approval on his suggested
amendments to the '94-95 bud-
The mayor said the audit of
the 1993-94 fiscal year verifies
that the city underspent the bud-
get by $574,000, a projection
made by former City Manager
George Wood in the 1993-94
Neisler also blasted Mayor
Pro Tem Rick Murphy, a Vice-
President of Spectrum Dyed
Yarns, for stalling a 9 percent
See Mayor, 3-A
Nance: Team effort will
get city back on track
“A freeze on spending and cap-
ital expenditures at least until
the end of the fiscal year was
ordered Saturday by City
Manager Chuck Nance who
said the city can get back on
track only through a team ef-
City Council members left up
to the manager's discretion the
filling of two major city jobs -
police chief and director of
planning. Captain Bob Hayes is
serving as Interim Chief and
Jeff Putnam is serving as
Interim Planning Director.
"We have serious financial
concerns but we have the exper-
tise here and the experience to
work as a group to overcome
this difficult period and turn
things around,” he said, open-
ing a mid-winter retreat of city
officials and key employees at
9 a.m. at Moss Lake.
Although the lake front office
affords a beautiful picture of the
lake the threatening storm and
heavy rain only added to the
gloomy picture of the city's fi-
nances portrayed by Auditor
Darrell Keller, Finance Director
Maxine Parsons, and copies of
city accounts spread out on bal-
ance sheets for six city council
members to view. Councilman
Jerry White was absent due to
illness. Mayor Scott Neisler was
out of town. Aging Director
Monty Thornburg was out of
town and the only department
head absent from the day-long
Nance said the city has two
objectives and one major chal-
lenge in order to turn the city's
gloomy financial picture
+ Reduction of the accounts
+Reducing the reliability of
the enterprise funds and trans-
fers from one account to anoth-
+ Building a fund balance
which the Local Government
Commission has called the
city's attention to for several
years and again this year fol-
lowing the 1993-94 audit.
"Unless we have the money
we can't close out accounts by
transferring from one fund to
the other," said Nance.
Nance said the state treasur-
er's office requires that munici-
palities keep at least eight per-
cent of the general fund budget
in undesignated funds in case of
"With the city's budget we
need to have more than eight
percent," said Nance. He sug-
gested that the city needs sever-
al million in reserves to avoid a
serious cash flow problem.
Nance said the city can get
back on track by:
+Taking immediate action to
+Build up a positive fund bal-
+Hold off on spending unless
absolutely necessary. Nance
said he had instituted a spend-
ing freeze on capital expendi-
tures in September.
Mayor Pro Tem Rick
Murphrey, who presided, said
the city can overcome its cuf-
rent problems by: :
+Promoting dignity, pride, se-
curity, personal growth and job
satisfaction at all times with its
associates and the community
+A team effort is necessary
between Council, department
heads and all employees.
Murphrey said he thought the
board had taken some correc-
tive action in trying to restore
Council's credibility in the com-
"These current problems did-
n't happen over night and we
can't fix them over night," he
"We can solve some of these
problems as a team and this
meeting can be positive and
Each department head said
See Freeze, 4-A
Connie and her husband, Rev. L. A. Rouse, Mayor Scott Neisler, Rev. Liston Sellers Jr. and Rev. H. L.
Rhedrick, left to right, are pictured at the service of worship Monday on the 66th birthday of slain Civil
Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at New Life Christian Center.