Board makes verbal resolution against voter ID proposal

Apr. 09, 2013 @ 07:45 PM

Commissioners from Vance County have resolved to let lawmakers in the N.C. General Assembly know they are against legislation for voter identification.

It was presented unlike most resolutions considered by the board and was one of many issues tackled by the commissioners. The board, in a nearly three-hour meeting, also agreed to help a Farmers Market building project and took code enforcement action.

The voter ID item was not on the agenda, and no formal written document of resolution was presented. At some point after the meeting was under way, commissioner Eddie Wright asked chairman Tommy Hester for a chance to address the board and Hester obliged during the third hour.

“On the last meeting that Granville County had they approved a resolution that I want Vance County to approve as well, and it’s concerning voter ID,” Wright said. “I’m requesting that we do a resolution opposing voter ID, because as it stands now the only ID that they will accept is North Carolina ID. If you have a college ID that’s not good enough.

“I want to have this board on the record opposing voter ID.”

Terry Garrison seconded Wright’s move and the action passed, 4-3. Wright, Garrison, vice chairman Deborah Brown and Archie Taylor voted for it; Gordon Wilder, Dan Brummitt and Hester voted against.

Jerry Ayscue, the county manager, asked if the resolution should go to anyone in particular.

“You know, just like Granville County did, they went on record, if you’ve seen their resolution, they went on record opposing voter ID,” Wright said.

Ayscue asked if a copy was available, which Wright did not have, and Garrison said the resolution should go “to our legislative foundation.”

Granville County, however, has not yet passed any resolution with respect to voter ID.

The Dispatch reported last week Granville commissioners, on a measure introduced by Tony Cozart and passed unanimously, adopted a resolution asking the N.C. General Assembly to maintain the current system of early voting.

Republicans in Raleigh unveiled a voter ID proposal last week. In it, student IDs from within the UNC system and community colleges, plus tribal ID, are acceptable. The proposal has eight forms of government-issued ID that are accepted, and some limited exceptions for no photo ID being required.

Jordan McMillen, Vance County planning director, held a public hearing regarding an amendment to a Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance.

According to McMillen, the proposed amendment to the ordinance is a federally mandated change, and is necessary in order to incorporate the newly revised Flood Insurance Study and Flood Insurance Rate Map for Vance County.

“If we would not adopt this we would not be able to offer flood insurance policies to citizens,” McMillen said.

Peter Burgess, a board member for Vance County Farm Bureau, presented an update on the Vance County Farmers Market initiative along with a funding plan.

The Farm Bureau board of directors agreed to contribute another $50,000 to use for construction if the county would do the same.

Approval was given with a vote of 4-3, with Wilder, Hester, Taylor and Wright voting for it.

A resolution to enforce a zoning ordinance and building codes to a property on 254 Irene Bullock Road was passed unanimously by the board. Commissioners viewed a document of response to previous action by Jonathan Care, the county attorney, and expressed great concern for any county officials attempting to visit the property.

“Not only have we not been able to get rectification, the property owner has given us some replies that very clearly let us know he has no interest in taking care of this,” Care said.

Information pertaining to the State of the County Health Report was provided to board members by Lisa Harrison, the public health director.

The Granville-Vance District Health Department publishes the report in the off years between community health assessments.

The purpose is to review each of the county priority areas and report to the community on observed trends, local efforts, and progress to date.

Harrison noted a positive trend being seen with reproductive health and pregnancy outcomes.

“We’ve often been in the news with high rates of teen pregnancy,” Harrison said. “The good news is rates of teen pregnancy are down in both Vance and Granville.

“We’re making great strides, and I think there are a number of factors going into that.”

On another positive note, Garry Daeke, a Henderson city councilman, appeared in front of the board to report success being seen through a literacy program called Reach Out and Read.

Sponsored through Franklin-Vance-Warren Smart Start, the literacy program promotes school readiness by assisting parents in reading to and with their children.

“Vance County in the last six months, we have served over 800 children in this program,” Daeke said.

Commissioners unanimously approved five position vacancies in the county, endorsed for being fulfilled by the Human Resources Committee.

 

Contact the writer at amauser@hendersondispatch.com.