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Mitchell County Commissioners
Minutes, Regular Session
November 5, 2012


The Mitchell County Board of Commissioners met in Regular Session on November 5, 2012, at 6:00 p.m. in the Commissioner’s Conference Room, Administration Building, Bakersville, NC. Those present for the meeting were: Bill Slagle, Chairman; Joe Street, Vice-Chairman; Ken Hollifield, Member; Keith Holtsclaw, Member; Lee Roy Ledford, Member; Charles Vines, County Manager and Kathy Young, Clerk to the Board. Also present were: Mavis Parsley, Finance Officer; Hal Harrison, County Attorney and Corey Hoilman Reporter with the Mitchell-News Journal.

  1. CALL TO ORDER – Chairman Slagle called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.

  2. INVOCATION – Commissioner Street gave the invocation.

  3. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE– Michael Davis lead the Pledge of Allegiance.


  5. ADOPTION OF AGENDA– Commissioner Hollifield moved to approve the agenda. Commissioner Street seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

  6. APPROVAL OF MINUTES– Commissioner Holtsclaw moved to approve the Minutes for October 1, 2012. Commissioner Hollifield seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

  7. PUBLIC COMMENTS– Bonnie Sagan stated they had wanted a change of government at the local level. She felt the Board of Commissioners had not stood up when the School Board closed the schools. She asked why they represented 17% of the citizens not the 83%. She wants a board that shares her values, doesn’t limit public comments and doesn’t use a consent agenda. Ms. Sagan referenced a statement from Charles Stanley regarding bondservants and she hoped that on Wednesday morning they had two new bondservants. She also referenced botched elections.

    Beth Walker referenced the Wake County Marriage Amendment Resolution and the Mitchell County Marriage Amendment Resolution. She said they were assured Mitchell County would adopt a resolution similar to Wake County’s, but that is not what happened.

    Sara Hall Jane talked about the breach of trust by the Board of Commissioners on the marriage amendment and the spin they had tried to put on it. She felt the Board had been very disrespectful to the citizens of Mitchell County.

    Garland Honeycutt thanked the Board for their service. He referenced the Marriage Amendment Resolution and the fact the Board did not take an official stand on it, but placed an ad in the newspaper stating that they had. He felt it was a misleading ad.

    Linda Dahl thanked the Board for them serving the community. She felt the Board needed to fight for the unborn and to stand up for what is right. She reminded the Board that they will have to give an account for what they have done. She said they we need to elect Godly people and she prays that is what happens in the election.


    1. Tom Cowan, Memorial Mission – Tom Cowan stated that Kevin Melton is serving as the Interim EMS Director. He said this was the 21st year of Memorial Mission providing EMS to Mitchell County. They currently have eighteen employees, all but two are from Mitchell County. Mr. Cowan reviewed the information included in the Board’s Agenda Packet (a copy is hereby attached and become a part of the minutes).

      Discussion was held on the cost of the contract, the average cost of a transport and future costs under the Obama Care mandate.

      Commissioner Holtsclaw stated he would excuse himself from the contract renewal, due to the fact he is an employee of Memorial Mission. He suggested that the Board consider regionalism as a way to save money on the contract renewal.

    2. Jonathan Hartsell, Blue Ridge RC&D Watershed Coordinator – Jonathan Hartsell, Blue Ridge RC&D Watershed Coordinator explained that Blue Ridge RC&D had received an EPA 319 Grant. The grant would be for three years funded from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services as well matching contributions from the Quartz Corporation and Unimin. The purpose of the grant is to pinpoint sources of water quality problems in the North Toe watershed. Mr. Hartsell explained the grant was designed to identify the sources of turbidity that muddy up the North Toe River. The North Toe is on the NC 303(d) list of impaired waters due to the turbidity levels above the water quality standard for trout waters.

      Chairman Slagle questioned the motives behind the North Toe River Restoration Project. He suggested that this work could be used to promote stiffer regulations that could hurt the local economy. Chairman Slagle told Mr. Hartsell he didn’t feel he was being straightforward with his agenda. He said he wasn’t sure it was his motivation to help the county and clean up the water, but just to add another layer of regulations between the people and the government controlling our lifestyle. Chairman Slagle stated that this is a politically correct issue, but he knows people who are not in business because they couldn’t afford the permits from DENR. He said that he supports clean water and clean air, but we are going right back to an elktoe mussel situation.

      Jonathan Hartsell denied that the project would bring more government regulations to Mitchell County. He stated the grant was a partnership to work with people not to apply more regulations.

      Commissioner Street stated that clean water had a definite impact on his business and he believed that improving conditions along the Toe River could be done with out hurting the mines and the county’s economy. He stated that without taking sides, he said he was glad that Unimin and Quartz Corp are partnering with the grant, because that says something.

    3. Norma Duncan, Senior Tar Heel Legislature – Norma Duncan, Senior Tar Heel Legislature discussed how a Sequester would affect older adults and caregivers in Mitchell County (a copy of her presentation is hereby attached and becomes a part of the minutes).

    4. Update from Assessor Hyder on 2012 Local Government Legislation – Tax Assessor Hyder review the 2012 Local Government Legislation enacted by the 2012 Session of the North Carolina General Assembly (a copy is hereby attached and becomes a part of the minutes).


    1. Presentation of FY 2011-2012 Audit – Sharon Gillespie presented the Audit for FY 2011-2012.

      1. Financial Highlights

        1. The assets of Mitchell County exceeded its liabilities at the close of the fiscal year by $20,99,224.

        2. The government’s total net assets increased by $1,379,779 primarily due to tax revenues generated by the revaluation of real property in the County.

        3. As of the close of the current fiscal year, Mitchell County’s governmental funds reported combined ending fund balances of $8,445,356 an increase of $310,437 in comparison with the prior year. Approximately 68 percent of this total amount, or $5,758,799 is available for spending at the government’s discretion. Part of this amount has been reserved to balance the 2012-13 budget.

        4. At the end of the current fiscal year, unreserved fund balance for the General Fund was $4,962,736 or 30 percent of total general fund expenditures and transfers to other funds for the fiscal year. $795,973 of the General Fund Balance has been appropriated for use in the 2012-13 budget year.

        5. Mitchell County’s tax collection rate increased from an overall average of 94.09% in the prior year to 94.39% in the current fiscal year. This increase is due in part to the revaluation of real property within the county.

        6. Ms. Gillespie stated the average tax collection rate for the state is 94.39% and the state tax rate is .49 cents.

      2. Capital Assets

        1. Mitchell County’s capital assets for its governmental activities as of June 30, 2021, total $13,192,149 (net of accumulated depreciation). These assets include buildings, land, machinery and equipment, park facilities and vehicles.

        2. Major capital asset transactions during the year include:

        3. Continued progress on sewer line extension to Mitchell High School

        4. Purchase of Peterbilt trash truck and vans for public transportation

        5. Purchase and installation of GIS mapping system

          These major capital asset purchases were funded by proceeds from various restricted grant monies received by the County during the fiscal year as well as from local monies.

          A copy of the Audit is hereby attached and becomes a part of the minutes.

    2. Joseph Page Tax Appeal> – Commissioner Ledford moved to deny Mr. Page’s tax appeal. Commissioner Street seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.


    1. Register of Deeds 2012 Records Retention and Disposition Schedule

    2. Budget Amendment #1 for FY 2012-2013

    3. Addendum to DSS Contract with Mitchell County Transportation Authority for FY 2012-2013

    4. Releases/Refunds/Discoveries

    5. Surplus Property

    6. Appointment to the Mitchell County Joint Community Advisory Committee

      Commissioner Street moved to approve the Consent Agenda (a copy of the Consent Agenda Items are hereby attached and become a part of the minutes). Commissioner Hollifield seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

  11. COUNTY MANAGER’S REPORT – County Manager Vines informed the Board that the GIS website would be up with the week.

  12. BOARD COMMENTS – Commissioner Street thanked Finance Officer Parsley and expressed his appreciation to Commissioner Ledford.

    Commissioner Hollifeld thanked Finance Officer Parsley for the job she does. He stated it was a pleasure to serve with Commissioner Ledford and respected him as Commissioner.

    Commissioner Holtsclaw stated he had wanted to respond to the public comments given. He also stated he had enjoyed serving with Commissioner Ledford.

    Chairman Slagle stated he appreciated Commissioner Ledford’s commitment to Mitchell County.

    Commissioner Ledford stated he felt Mitchell County had the best professional staff and it had been a pleasure to serve on the board.

  13. ADJOURNMENT - Commissioner Ledford moved to adjourn the meeting.

    Commissioner Street seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

    The meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m.


Bill Slagle, Chairman

Joe Street, Vice-Chairman

Ken Hollifield, Member

Keith Holtsclaw, Member

Lee Roy Ledford, Member


Kathy Young, NCCCC Clerk to the Board