Subjects

    2014 Board Organization & Appointments

    2014 Schedule of Values

    Zach Boone

    Ombudsman Program

    High Country Regional Bike Plan

    Child Protection Services Caseloads and Liability Issues

    NC Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund

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Mitchell County Commissioners
Minutes, Regular Session
December 2, 2013

MITCHELL COUNTY
NORTH CAROLINA

The Mitchell County Board of Commissioners met in Regular Session on December 2, 2013, 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; Keith Holtsclaw, Member; Ken Hollifield, Member; Rickey McKinney, Member; and Kathy Young, Clerk to the Board.  Charles Vines, County Manager was absent from the meeting. Also present were:  Mavis Parsley, Finance Officer; Hal Harrison, County Attorney and Andy Mendhenk, 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 – Commissioner Holtsclaw led the Pledge of Allegiance.

  4. ETHICS AWARNESS AND CONFLICT OF INTEREST REMINDER:  
    In accordance with the State Government Ethics Act, it is the duty of every Board   member to avoid both conflicts of interest and appearance of conflict. Does any board member have any known conflicts of interest or appearances of conflict with respect to any matters coming before the Board‌  If so, please identify the conflict or appearance of conflict and refrain from any undue participation in the particular matter involved.

  5. ADDITIONS OR CHANGES TO THE AGENDA – Commissioner Slagle stated that the North Carolina Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund needed to be added to the Agenda as Item 12. C., the NCVTS Pending Refund Report needed to be added to Item 13. E and a correction to the amount of the vehicle refund to Judith Weger.

  6. ADOPTION OF AGENDA – Commissioner Street moved to adopt the Agenda.

    Commissioner Hollifield seconded the motion and it carried unanimously. 

  7. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – Commissioner Hollifield moved to approve the    
    Minutes for November 4, 2013 and November 6, 2013.

    Commissioner Holtsclaw seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

  8. BOARD ORGANIZATION AND APPOINTMENTS

    1. Election of Chairman – Commissioner McKinney nominated Bill Slagle as Chairman.  Commissioner Street seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

    2. Election of Vice-Chairman – Commissioner Hollifield nominated Joe Street as Vice-Chairman.  Commissioner McKinney seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

    3. Appointment of County Manager – Commissioner Holtsclaw nominated Charles Vines as County Manager.  Commissioner Street seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

    4. Appointment of Clerk to the Board – Commissioner Hollifield nominated Kathy Young as Clerk to the Board.  Commissioner McKinney seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

    5. Appointment of Finance Officer – Commissioner McKinney nominated Mavis Parsley as Finance Officer.  Commissioner Hollifield seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

    6. Appointment of County Attorney – Commissioner Street nominated Hal Harrison.  Commissioner Holtsclaw seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

  9. PUBLIC HEARING

    1. 2014 Schedule of Values and Revaluation Manual & Use-Value Manual – Chairman Slagle stated the purpose of the public hearing was to receive written or public comments on the 2014 Schedule of Values and Revaluation Manual & Use-Value Manual.  Chairman Slagle called the Public Hearing on the 2014 Schedule of Values and Revaluation Manual & Use-Value Manual to order at 6:10 p.m. 

      Linda Dahl expressed her concern for the elderly in Mitchell County and their ability to pay any increase in their taxes.

  10. PUBLIC COMMENTS/BOARD COMMENTS – Linda Dahl expressed her concern over property located on Highway 226.  Commissioner Street informed Ms. Dahl that County Manager Vines was working on this issue.  Chairman Slagle stated that he had discussed this matter with the County Building Inspector.

  11. REPORTS/PRESENTATION

    1. Presentation to Zach Boone – Chairman Slagle presented Zach Boone with an Award of Excellence for winning the 1A NCSSHAA State Championship.

    2. Ombudsman Program Update – Julie Wiggins, Area Agency on Aging, Longer Term Care Ombudsman made the following presentation to the Board:

      Culture Change: Supporting Higher Quality Long Term Care
      During the past year and a half, there has been a major initiative focusing on North Carolina’s nursing homes. This initiative is referred to as culture change. Culture change in long term care encompasses many different ideas that ultimately support more resident-centered and a higher quality of care. This past January, two High Country nursing homes were featured for their work in implementing culture change principles: Alleghany Center, in Sparta, and Westwood Hills, in Wilkesboro. Each of these facilities continues to implement new culture change ideas. There are, however, several other High Country nursing homes who have been implementing culture change principles, two of which are featured below.

      Brian Center of Spruce Pine (Spruce Pine, North Carolina)
      Center of Spruce Pine has been tracking several aspects of care for quite some time to include a key component of culture change: reduction in the unnecessary use of antipsychotic medication. There has been a nationwide effort to reduce the use of these types of medication among those with dementia and others who do not have a diagnosis to support the use of an antipsychotic. The national goal was to reduce the use of antipsychotic medications in nursing homes by 15%. North Carolina has had the biggest decrease, nationwide. (See link below for more details). In the seven months since implementing a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) to address this area of care, the Brian Center has already achieved an 11% reduction.

      The current and continued success in reducing antipsychotic medication has, in part, been a result of focusing on root cause analysis. To find root cause, the Brian Center Social Worker and Unit Coordinator have been meeting with the facility’s pharmacist to review all psychotropic medications and have followed up with dose reduction recommendations to the resident’s physician. Newly admitted residents are assessed and antipsychotic medications are discontinued unless there is a supporting diagnosis. The staff are also implementing more non-pharmaceutical interventions and working to educate physicians of their goals relating to antipsychotic medication reduction.

      Margate Health and Rehabilitation (Jefferson, North Carolina)
      Another important component of culture change is the reduction of bed and wheelchair alarms. Research has shown that the use of bed and wheelchair alarms not only fails to prevent falls in nursing homes, but they also cause other harmful side effects relating resident well-being. One such side effect is the disruption of residents’ sleep when an alarm goes off at night. Because alarms are so loud the sound will easily awake most, if not all, residents on the hall when they sound. Disruption in sleep and lack of sleep lead to a host of other problems. Alarms are particularly disruptive to those with dementia because it often causes confusion and an instinctual reaction to get up and move. The focus of alarm reduction is coupled with the emphasis on the culture change goal of fall prevention. Fall prevention happens when a proactive approach is taken to individualize the care and environment of each resident. By eliminating trip hazards in a resident’s room, for example, that resident is less likely to fall. Furthermore, assessing residents’ needs, such as their need to re-position or use the restroom, more regularly will decrease the likelihood of a resident attempting to get up unassisted. It is imperative to implement these and other fall prevention strategies prior to eliminating alarms. As a result of this research, Margate Health and Rehabilitation has made a concerted effort since April of this year to drastically reduce alarms with the goal of eventually becoming alarm free. In April, there were 48 residents with one or more alarms and now there are only two residents with alarms. It should be noted that there has not been any increase in falls since they began reducing alarms. The reason they have not had an increase is because they gradually and methodically reduced alarms while simultaneously implementing fall prevention strategies.

      For more information on culture change in long term care, contact Julie Wiggins, Long Term Care Ombudsman, via phone or email (828-265-5434 x 126, jwiggins@regiond.org).

    3. High Country Regional Bike Plan – Phil Trew reviewed the following with the Board:

      Section 1 – Executive Summary

      The High Country Regional Bike Plan was developed to increase safety, mobility, and recognition of cycling in the High Country region (Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey Counties).  While the region has a significant number of recreational cyclists and organized events, major infrastructure improvements are needed to increase safety and make cycling a viable transportation option for the intermediate cyclist.

      The Plan was developed under the supervision of a Steering Committee appointed by the seven Boards of County Commissioners.  The Steering Committee also included North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) staff.  Additional input on the Plan was provided by Town and County Planning staff, local cyclists, and the general public.  Public input was gathered from over 1,000 survey responses and comments at 16 meetings.

      The High Country Regional Bike Plan has two major components.  It makes specific facility improvement recommendations for a Bicycle Transportation Route Network that connects the Towns and other major destinations in the region.  It also recommends the establishment of seven Recreational Routes designed for tourism promotion.  Additional recommendations regarding Law Enforcement, Transit Interface, Economic Impact from Cycling, and Signage are included in the Plan.

      The Bicycle Transportation Route Network identified in the Plan includes 620 miles of NCDOT road, Blue Ridge Parkway, and existing and proposed Greenway trails.  The network is divided into 46 segments.  The Plan includes a map, recommended improvement, and prioritization of each route segment.  Recommended improvements are based on guidelines developed by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).

      One Recreational Route was developed in each County.  With recommended wayfinding signs and promotion strategies, the Recreational Routes are intended to take advantage of the economic impact from bicycle tourism.  In addition to the Recreational Routes, there are many organized cycling events (rides and races) in the High Country region that can be promoted to increase tourism spending.  Based on various studies, the average cycling event participant spends between $260 and $495 per day.

      In addition to the Bicycle Transportation Route recommendations and establishment of the 7 Recreational Routes, the High Country Regional Bike Plan recommends strategies in the areas of transit and law enforcement.  Accommodation of bicycles on transit vehicles can help make cycling feasible transportation option.  It is recommended that all seven County transit agencies operating in the region continue or begin to transport bicycles on their vans and buses.  Recommendations regarding law enforcement focus on educating law enforcement officers, cyclists, and motorists on current NC traffic laws related to bicycles.

      Implementation of the High Country Regional Bike Plan include short-term and long-term strategies.  Establishment, signing, and promotion of the Recreational Routes can occur quickly.  Funding for the wayfinding signage will be requested from NCDOT’s Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation.  Promotion of the Recreational Routes and existing cycling events will be a function of local governments, Chambers of Commerce, bike clubs, and event organizers.  Education on cycling laws can also be accomplished locally, primarily through the High Country Rural Planning Organization (RPO).

      Implementation of the Bicycle Transportation Route recommendations will be long-term.  It is anticipated that most bicycle facility improvements (bike lanes, wide shoulders) will occur as part of larger highway projects.  Programming of those improvements will require coordination among local governments, High Country RPO, and NCDOT.   

      Commissioner Holtsclaw moved to approve the High Country Regional Bike Plan (a copy is hereby attached and becomes a part of the minutes).  Commissioner Street seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

    4. Broadband Update – None.

  12. ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION

    1. Child Protection Services Caseloads and Liability Issues – DSS Director Paula Holtsclaw stated she had requested time on the agenda to discuss her Child Protection Services caseloads and liability.  She stated she had brought Tammy Burleson Peters and Jada McMahan with her.   DSS Director Holtsclaw reviewed with the Board the number of caseloads each of her Child Protection Services were carrying and the State standard.  She requested that her part-time position be moved to full-time.  Discussion was held.

      Commissioner Street moved to add a full-time position to Child Protection Services effective immediately.  Commissioner McKinney seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

    2. Adoption of 2014 Schedule of Values & Revaluation Manual & Use-Value Manual – Commissioner Street moved to adopt the 2014 Schedule of Values and Revaluation Manual and Use Value Manual (a copy is hereby attached and becomes a part of the minutes).  Commissioner Hollifield seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

    3. NC Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund – Chairman Slagle stated Mark Byrd with Mitchell Soil & Water would be bringing additional information to the Board on this. He stated Mr. Byrd would be applying for a grant for planning to develop a Farmland Protection Plan for Mitchell County and he needed the Board to approve sending a letter of support.

      Commissioner Hollifield moved to approve sending a letter of support to the NC Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust (a copy of the letter is hereby attached and becomes a part of the minutes).  Commissioner Street seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

  13. CONSENT AGENDA

    1. Board and Committee Appointments
    2. Order Concerning the True Schedule of Values, Standards and Rules to be Used in the Appraising Real Property at its True Value for the January 1, 2014  Revaluation
    3. Resolution Requesting Smoky Mountain Center Allow County Participation in the Distribution of Maintenance of Effort Funds
    4. Release/Refunds for November 2013
    5. Vehicle Refunds

    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.

  14. COUNTY MANAGER’S REPORT

  15. BOARD COMMENTS

  16. ADJOURNMENT – Commissioner Hollifield moved to adjourn the meeting.

    Commissioner McKinney seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

    The meeting adjourned at 7:30 p.m.

MITCHELL COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

Bill Slagle, Chairman

Joe Street, Vice-Chairman

Ken Hollifield, Member

Keith Holtsclaw, Member

Rickey McKinney, Member


ATTEST:

Kathy Young, NCCCC Clerk to the Board