March 8, 2016

MEMO TO:           Mayor Barber and Board of Commissioners

FROM:                  Frank A. Rush, Jr., Town Manager

SUBJECT:           Appointments

Planning Board – 3 Vacancies

The Board of Commissioners should appoint 3 individuals to 2-year terms on the Planning Board that will expire in March 2018. 

The terms of current members Tom Minnick, Jim Osika, and Mark Taylor all expire this month.  All 3 were appointed to serve unexpired terms within the past 9 months, and all 3 have expressed interest in serving a new 2-year term. 

All but one member (Ken Sullivan, Chairman) of the Planning Board has been appointed since September 2014, thus it is a relatively new group.  Josh Edmondson, Town Planner, is currently organizing a training session for the Planning Board and the Board of Adjustment.  This training session, likely to be held in May or June, will include presentations by the UNC School of Government about planning and zoning law in North Carolina and a review of the Town’s Unified Development Ordinance.

Eastern Carolina Council of Governments – 1 Vacancy

The Town is asked to appoint one of the members of the Board of Commissioners to serve on the General Membership Board of the Eastern Carolina Council of Governments (ECC).  The General Membership Board includes representatives from all participating local governments in the ECC, and provides general guidance to the ECC.  A separate Executive Committee provides direct oversight of the organization.

The ECC is one of sixteen multi-county planning and development regions in the State, and serves as a forum where local officials determine priorities for the larger area in which their communities are an integral part.  The ECC includes members from nine counties in eastern North Carolina (Carteret, Craven, Duplin, Greene, Jones, Lenoir, Onslow, Pamlico, and Wayne).  The ECC offers a variety of services, including transportation planning, economic development assistance, services for the aging, and support services for area local governments (i.e., GIS services, consulting services, grant assistance, etc.). 

The Town was a member of the ECC for many years, but dropped its membership during the recession of the late 2000s, and rejoined this organization in FY 15-16 (annual dues are approximately $1,300).  The Town has primarily benefitted from the ECC’s transportation planning and GIS services in recent years, including Patrick Flanagan’s (ECC Planning Director and lead staff person for DownEast Rural Planning Organization) assistance with the NC 58 Corridor Study currently in progress. 

The ECC’s membership includes most of the County and municipal governments in the nine county region.  Carteret County and 10 of the 11 municipalities in the County are members, and County Commissioners Chairman Robin Comer is the 2nd Vice President of the ECC Executive Committee.

I have attached a copy of the “Board Orientation” packet for new members of the ECC General Membership Board in order to provide a greater understanding of this organization.