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Administrator proposal divides council
WILLIAM J. GIBBS JR. —
Aldermen Alice Pollok and Glenn McCarty are the newest members of the China Grove City Council, after being elected May 10. McCarty, during the council’s June 5 meeting, was chosen as the city’s mayor pro tem.
Wilson County NewsJune 11, 2014 3,035 views 1 comment
CHINA GROVE -- City Hall here continues to be a revolving door, as Linda Gill is the third city secretary to resign in the past year. Mayor Eugene Ripps announced at the beginning of the June 5 China Grove City Council meeting that Gill had submitted her resignation just two days before.
Ripps said following the meeting that he planned to advertise for both a city secretary and a city administrator. This was after a vote to hire former City Administrator Susan Conaway as a secretary/administrator failed after Ripps broke a tie following a 2-2-1 vote.
Alderman Alice Pollok moved to hire Conaway, effective immediately, at a starting annual salary of $50,000.
“I feel she’s the most competent person to help us in the situation we’re in right now,” Pollok said. “She has 29 years’ experience.”
Alderman Glenn McCarty -- who was selected as the city’s mayor pro tem -- seconded the motion and the two voted in favor. Aldermen Cathy Ripps and Mike Trainor voted in opposition while Alderman Margie Holisky abstained. Mayor Ripps, in breaking the tie, voted against the proposal.
“I feel like this is a personal vendetta,” Conaway said. “I have another job offer lined up, but I decided to give China Grove a chance.”
The vote makeup was identical when Pollok and McCarty refused to meet in closed session to repeal various parts of an ordinance that give the mayor certain personnel control. When the council reconvened in open session, the vote related to repealing the ordinance also failed when Ripps broke the tie after a deadlocked vote.
“If Susan wants to apply, she can apply, and everything is above board,” Holisky said.
Also during the meeting, the council voted that all regular council meetings should start at 7 p.m., instead of the previous 6 p.m. starting time. The next regular meeting is set for July 3.
In other business, the council was reminded by Fire Chief Mike Winfield and Interim Police Chief Larry Davis of an ordinance requiring residents to have numerical addresses affixed to their homes, which are visible from the street. This will help eliminate delays first-responders often experience when they are trying to locate a house in the event of an emergency.
“When we’re talking about heart attacks and stuff, seconds count,” Winfield said.
Winfield and Ripps also reminded residents that, as July 4 is fast approaching, fireworks are illegal within the city limits. Ripps said police will be on patrol looking for violators, who will be cited.
Also in attendance: Municipal Judge Daniel Rutherford, Municipal Court Clerk LaToya Johnson, City Attorney Steven Peña Sr., Officer John Jenkins of the China Grove Police Department, and City Engineer Jim Clements.
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