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Vol. 107 No. 35
Thursday, August 31, 1995
Kings Mountain, APT TT
More spending cuts may be necessary
The bottom line is that the city has about $450,000
on hand, excluding Powell Bill monies for streets, is
paying its bills on time but spending will have to be
cut if utility revenues don't improve.
That was the financial report of Interim City
Manager Gary Hicks to City Council Tuesday night.
"You've made a good start and took the bull by the
horns but you've a long way to go," he said, apologiz-
ing for not having good news to report.
Hicks said that revenues in both the electric and gas
utilities are down from this time last year and w-
ater/sewer is slightly up which means that revenues
will have to be monitored closely and steps taken to
He recommended and the Council approved 5-0
(Councilmen Rick Murphrey and Jerry White were ab-
sent) that all departmental financial transfers and all
requests for additional funds for expenditures must be
approved by the Council and that all transfers and
amendments to the budget be approved at the time
they are needed rather than at the end of the fiscal year.
Hicks said he didn't want to take what was Council's
prerogative away from them and this procedure would
help him to keep a tighter grip on the finances as well
as keep budget figures up to date.
Also, Hicks said the auditor answers to Council, not
to him and not to the city finance director Maxine
"Darrell Keller was hired by you and works for you
and not for the staff," he said.
"Feel free to call on Darrell at any time. I don't con-
trol Council and I don't control the auditor."
Hicks said at the end of six months he will ask
Keller for a full financial report.
He hastened to add that he wasn't criticizing past ad-
ministrations but "this is just the way I think it will
"I don't want to be spending money and then tell
you about it after it's spent," he said.
Councilman Phil Hager and Dean Spears praised
Hicks for his stand. "This is long overdue and will
help us get back to par," said Hager.
Hicks said that no checks will be drawn to contrac-
tors until they sign off after the work is completed and
only after approval of the city attorney. He said that he
had discovered that in at least two instances recently
this procedure was not followed.
"We will make sure that what is spent is in accor-
dance with the General Statutes," he said.
Hicks said the city would not spend Powell Bill
fund for anything other than for what those funds are
designated and that expenses will be strictly confined
with no transfers from one account to the other.
Parsons reported that the cash flow at June 30, 1995
showed $1,143,979, including $616,453 in budgeted
reserves and underspending of the budget of $192,000
for salaries for positions that were not funded and un-
derspending of capital outlay of $300,000.
Electric revenues for the month of June were
$606,622, down from $601,629 in June last year and
$7,207,950 for the period July-June, compared to
$7,381,299 for fiscal year 1992-93.
Gas revenues were $253,705 in June, down from
$321,637 in June 1994. The total for the fiscal year
was $4,367,148, down from $4,872,972 for fiscal year
Water/Sewer revenues for June were $302,960,
The last words that Porter Dellinger Jr. said to his
wife were that he loved her.
Anita Dellinger remembers the gentle man she af-
fectionately called "Doodle Bug" as a man with a big
heart and a man who laughed with those who hurt him
with remarks about his size and told him to "stop eat-
Dellinger, 35, weighed 698 pounds.
He died August 6 after suffering respiratory prob-
lems July 28.
His grief-stricken widow and four children hope
their public story will help others to seek extensive
health checkups early and she hopes that one day there
will be agcommetiations at not only hospitals but at fu-
‘neral r men the size of her husband.
Porter had baer treated since 1991 for venous stasis
ulcer but blood tests were good, his blood pressure
was perfect for a male his size and there was no indi-
cation that he had a hole in is heart and lung problems.
Obesity presents problems
~ people to remove.
"] was shocked that the first words I heard from his
doctor was that Porter would not make it," said Mrs.
Dellinger, 38, of First Street.
To add to her agony, she could not carry out her hus-
band's last wish to be cremated because of his size.
The crematory door was only 36 inches wide.
"T had never gone through anything like this and I
was stunned and shocked, although the funeral director
There were no choices for burial. It would have tak-
en two or more weeks for a large casket to arrive and
a vault to be built. Another problem was that his body
could not be embalmed.
The porch banisters had to be removed for eight
r from the house and transport |
him to the hospital where a bed had had to be ordered
to accommodate him.
See Dellinger, 3-A
PORTER DELLINGER JR.
Citizen not on agenda can't speak at Council meeting
Mayor Scott Ne:sler called Rev.
"My tax bill is more and I see so
the city's natural gas con:ultanis
Kenneth George out of order
Tuesday night when George want-
ed to address Council and was not
on the agenda.
"I want to see this gag law
stopped,” said George after the
"It's a violation of our rights not
to be able to speak at a public
meeting and give our opinion on
matters that come before the board.
Who wants to wait a month to talk
about an issue?"
many people who are unable to pay
their utility bills and there seems to
be no end in sight, " he said.
George said he planned to speak
on the recent proposal by the city
utilities commission to buy addi-
tional firm natural gas and possibly
pass on those costs.
However, Mayor Scott Neisler
said at the beginning of Tuesday's
Council meeting that the board had
tabled a vote on the utility commis-
sion's recommendations until after
Citizen tells DSS to
"Quit trying to shove Robert A.
Williams out the door," Shelby
resident Mary Smith told members
of the Board of the Department of
Social Services Monday afternoon.
Smith, who said she had never
met Williams, praised him for "do-
ing a fine job."
"This is the first time I have seen
him in person and I just came here
to defend him and say that I am
proud of him."
Smith, alluding to Williams' ap-
pointment ‘by county county commission-
ers, said, "You passed on him and
now it's time to stop all this and do
a better job."
Earlier in the meeting, Williams
tried to interject comments but
Chairman Rosaline Hunt moved
through the agenda in probably one
of the shortest meetings in a year
of the county board. The meeting
opened promptly at 4 p.m. and ad-
journed at 5 p.m.
Hunt used a kitchen timer and
can present their input into the
Retired city planner Gene White,
a candidate for mayor in the up-
coming municipal election, was on
the agenda and cautioned the
Council to be certain in its deci-
sion-making process for purchase
and redistribution to city users,
saying that both industrial users
and residential users should be
treated fair and equitably.
"What are the risks and the long-
back off on Roberts
timed everyone, including herself,
allowing each speaker a maximum
of five minutes and calling each
board member by name and giving
each a maximum of five minutes to
ask questions pertaining to agenda
Before the meeting opened,
Williams asked Hunt why his agen-
da items were not included. Hunt
said that she had not received the
information early enough to in-
clude in member packets and as-
term implications? he asked in his
White recommended that the
board table the issue until all the
facts are available and until all user
representatives and staff and con-
sultants can meet for a decision
based on the facts.
White turned the podium around
to face the audience instead of the
Mayor and Council.
"You know at this important
time of year I'm not turning my
back on you," he told the audience.
sured him that the agenda items
would be on the agenda for next
Reporters covering the meeting
said the meeting was one of the
smoothest runnin they had seen
in recent months. 1c was the second
since Hunt became chairman and
since board members Jim Crawley
and Jerri Horn were seated with
Williams and Stuart LeGrand. It
was the first meeting since
Williams was asked to step down
After his presentation Interim
City Manager Gary Hicks said it
was unfair to use the term "pro-
posed gas rate increase."
"They were faced with a poten-
tial problem but it's a matter of a
business decision and they did not
propose a rate increase," he said.
Six industrial customers of the
city receive what is called an inter-
ruptible rate, a lower rate in ex-
change for being subject to cut off
See Council, 7-A
from the board by the county board
Williams said after the meeting
he has no intentions of stepping
down from the board. He says he
has more work to accomplish.
Two motions by Williams died
for a lack of a second and he also
voted against the approval of the
minutes, saying they were not in
See DSS, 7-A y
down from $403,807 in June 1994 but up for the year.
The total for 1994-95 was $3,930,985, compared to
$3,785,013 for fiscal year 1993-94. Water consump-
tion was also down in 1994-95, from 1705.85 in 1993-
94 to 1633.428 in 1994-95. For the month of June the
total was 139,851 compared to 173,250 a year ago.
She gave these cash figures by department for the
period ending June 30, 1995 as follows: general fund,
$64,707; water-sewer, $1,019,659; electric, $17,691;
gas, $24,952; and sanitation, $16,970.
Parsons said the city is paying its monthly bills on
Prison inmates who have appar-
ently been helping city sanitation
crews pick up garbage won't be
helping any more.
An obviously upset Councilman
Jim Guyton, aided by Councilman
Phil Hager and Councilwoman
Norma Bridges, pushed for an an-
swer on who gave the inmates the
authority to do the job but got
nowhere Tuesday night.
Interim City Manager Gary
Hicks said he assumed that Council
had okayed the plan to use prison
inmates but Guyton said they were
to be used to“work on other jobs,
not go into backyards of homeown-
ers without supervision.
Guyton and Hager also called
for raises for the city's sanitation
crews who they say are badly un-
"They are at the end of the totem
pole and it isn't easy work pulling
stinking garbage," said Hager.
Guyton said the city has budget-
ed $34,019 for the sanitation de-
partment in the new pay scale and
he wants to see that money applied
now in raises for the sanitation de-
"We have budgeted 14 people in
the Sanitation department and we
have an 80 percent turnover."
Councilman Dean Spears said
there have been plenty of appli-
cants for the jobs but that those ap-
plying can't pass the required drug
Hicks said he and the city's per-
sonnel director Winston Bagley
would prepare a proposal to try to
solve the problem but that it would
require an increase in pay for those
He also said he would prepare a
full status report on how prison
workers are being used in the $1 a
day arrangement the city made
with the Prison Department several
months ago to initially do roofing
work at the library and work with
Public Works Department supervi-
S101. See Inmate, 6-A
Myrick meets with seniors on Medicaid
Senior citizens crowd around Congresswoman Sue Myrick at ( the Kings Mountain Depot Tuesday on
her visit to Kings Mountain to talk about the Medicare health program issue which comes S up before the
More than 125 senior citizens
crowded into the Kings Mountain
Senior Center Tuesday morning to
share with Ninth District
Congresswoman Sue Myrick their
concerns about Medicare.
Myrick scheduled the local visit
and others in this district to gather
input before the next session of the
U. S. Congress when health care
will be prominent on the agenda.
"Senior citizens are frightened
by some of the rhetoric they are
hearing about Medicare bankrupt-
cy," she said, noting that the
Republicans are pushing options to
tailor the needs of the individual in
what she called a "preferred
provider plan" and "medical sav-
ings accounts" to put the senior cit-
izen in control of the health system
instead of the government.
Several citizens said they were
reluctant to endorse the program
until they heard more about it and
Myrick said she was at first "a bit
leary of some of the proposals” but
now that she is studying it she says
the plan will simplify the paper-
work and give the person 65 and
older the benefit of shopping
around for rates from hospitals and
doctors and receiving bills so they
can check the rates they are
Under the proposed system, she
said there are provisions for
Medicare to help pay the costs of
prescription drugs and eyeglasses.
"Why is Congress cutting bene-
fits for the poor?" asked one elder-
"We're not cutting," said Myrick.
"We are increasing Medicare bene-
fits $900 billion over a seven year
She said that Medicare costs go
up at the rate of 10 percent a year
and they must be controlled.
"If we just ignore it Medicare
will be no more seven years from
now," she said.
Carolyn Bell, Senior Center em-
ployee, said she was concerned
that immigrants who don't want to
become American citizens are get-
ting Medicare and Medicaid cards.
"That is something that the
Congress is also addressing," said
Myrick said she is also meeting
with key hospital administrators in
the district to get input into how
overbilling can be eliminated in
some areas and suggestions on re-
forming the welfare system.
"We are blessed with good hos-
pitals in this area but there is fraud
in just about cvery profession in
the country and that's what we are
concerned about also."
Responding to a question, she
said the government is looking at
putting a limit of five years for a
lifetime the length of a persons’ de-
pendence on welfare.
Concerned about what Myrick
called a Medicare savings account
for cach customer. an elderly man
said that one catastrophic illness
could wipe out any savings ac-
count, Myrick said that up to $1
mithon is provided the insured in
the event of a catastrophic incident
but the bottom line was (0 keep