Wendell commissioner Sid Baynes says new board will have the power to overturn any decision by the current commission.
Committee appointees will help develop a marketing strategy.
Wendell Town Commissioner Sid Baynes made an interesting point at last night's town board meeting.
He suggested the town should make its own list - in much the same way Raleigh and other cities have - and present it to the incoming administration of Barack Obama. Baynes recognized that Wendell might be a small fish in a big ocean, but he said that shouldn't stop the town from doing what it can to raise revenue.
Town Manager David Bone said the town has worked with Raleigh and other local municipalities to press the case for certain infrastructure needs that could be included as part of a stimulus package. Among the project Bone cited were water and sewer improvements Raleigh is seeking and mass transit needs being pursued in eastern Wake County.
Bone agreed to put a list together for commisisoners to review at an upcoming meeting.
What would be interesting, though, is how commissioners might react if forthcoming stimulus package "bailouts" are structured as matching grants or if they come with strings attached.
Baynes and fellow commissioner Carol Hinnant were hesitant to approve several requests last night to make grant applications for such things as sidewalks and additional police officers because they required a local match.
Their question was where's the money coming from for the local match. Baynes and Hinnant voted to approve each grant application despite their concerns.
Of course, they realize it takes money to make money. No one is likely to give the town anything for free. But leveraging a small amount of local money to gain a return of 100 percent or more, is a generally good investment.
Now we can sit back and see if the town wins any of the grants it applies for, or if they can catch Obama's ear enough to bring some bacon to Wendell.
In what must be a game of one-upsmanship, Wendell town commissioner Sid Baynes used a rule of parliamentary procedure to slow down approval of a rezoning request last night.
Here's what happened:
Mayor Harold Broadwell allowed comments from any of the five commissioners who wanted to speak on the issue of a controversial rezoning of a 127-acre parcel on Old Battle Bridge Road.
After they had all been given an opportunity to make their cases, Broadwell handed the gavel to Mayor Pro Tem Bill Connolly. Broadwell then went on to state his position on the issue, even though he doesn't have a vote on the request.
When he finished, he took the gavel back from Connolly and began to ask for a motion.
Before he could do that, Baynes asked for a point of order and said Broadwell should not be allowed to reclaim the gavel after he relinquished it. That meant Connolly would have been responsible for calling the vote and there was some question about whether Connolly then would be allowed to vote.
The move sent town attorney Jim Cauley scrambling to determine the proper procedure. Ultimately, he said Connolly had to keep the gavel, but he didn't lose his right to vote.
The request passed 3-2 with Baynes and Commissioner Carol Hinnant voting against it.
All this happened less than a week after Broadwell publicly chastised Baynes for his position on growth within the town.
The lesson here is twofold: never give up the reins of power and if you call someone out on the carpet, be prepared to have someone try to pull the rug out from under you.
Wendell town commissioners agreed to delay, possibly until March, plans to hire an economic development director.
Commissioners wanted the position created in this year's budget and put the money in the spending plan to pay for a position for six months. The idea was to fill the position by January and, perhaps, fund the job for a full year beginning in July, 2009, which is the start of a new fiscal year.
But on Monday night, Commissioner Ronald Thompson convinced his fellow board members to hold off, citing concerns about whether the town could effectively mount any kind of economic development effort.
Town Manager David Bone reinforced Thompson's comments by pointing out that it would be difficult to hire anyone to work for six months, so as he stood before commissioners Monday night, Bone asked the board to consider extending the commitment into the first six months of the fiscal year (July-December, 2009).
Of course, that would cost more money, which raised questions on the part of Commissioner Sid Baynes, about town money held by the Wendell Chamber of Commerce for economic development efforts.
Town officials are still waiting for the chamber to return those funds, but Bone said that money was not extra money the town could put toward economic development efforts, a contention Baynes argued was incorrect.
So, when all the smoke cleared, commissioners asked Bone to report back in October about the status of funds available to promote economic development and they agreed not to hold Bone accountable for filling the position by January. At the meeting in October, commissioners will also decide whether to approve a request for bids, which is essentially a job description for an economic developer.