New leaders take oaths in Oxford

Dec. 11, 2013 @ 09:50 PM

OXFORD — Two new city commissioners took their places on Tuesday evening, joining three others who were re-elected.

Patricia Fields and Quon Bridges won seats on the city board in the November municipal election. Re-elected to their positions were Mayor Jackie Sergent and commissioners Danny Currin and C.J. Harris.

On taking his place on the board of commissioners, Bridges returned to a seat he had held before being elected a district court judge.

Family members surrounded each official as they were sworn in. Chief District Court Judge Daniel Finch administered the oath of office to Sergent and Currin.

Jacqueline Wright, a notary public, swore in Harris, and District Court Judge Henry Banks did the honors for Fields and Bridges.

In other organizational business, Howard Herring Sr. was elected mayor pro tempore, Barbara Rote was reappointed city clerk and Thomas Burnette was reappointed city attorney.

Farewell remarks were made by outgoing commissioners Ron Bullock and Betty Moseley. Bullock noted several accomplishments during his tenure on the board, including improvements to City Hall, which he said makes it a model for other cities. Moseley expressed thanks to everyone, including “all of the board members for their esprit de corps.”

During the regular business meeting, the board amended sections of the Oxford Zoning Ordinance to lower the number of parking spaces for apartments for the elderly from two to one and one-half per unit. The amendment also will require one canopy tree for each six parking spaces in street planning. The current requirement is one tree per 12 parking spaces. Another change will allow truck stops in districts zoned as General Industrial and Heavy Industrial.

The board accepted a certificate of sufficiency for petitions of voluntary annexation and set a public hearing for Jan. 14. Two companies have petitioned for annexation of 2.455 acres of land on Critcher Road and U.S. 158 Business.

The commissioners designated a team to represent the city in mediation with the Kerr Lake Regional Water System. The N.C. Business Court ordered mediation, which is scheduled for Dec. 20.

In a 6-1 vote, commissioners selected Sergent, city manager Randy Hemann, Currin, commissioner Frank Strickland and city attorney Thomas Burnette.

Moseley voted against the motion. She later said she felt the city’s team should not outnumber the KLRWS team, which Burnette had indicated would consist of four individuals.

In other actions, the board:

• Provided assurance to contractor Antinori that city sewer will be available for Granville Family Park at 4162-4188 N.C. 15 South.

• Approved a final change order for the Linden-to-Hancock sewer rehabilitation project.

• Approved a contract with Sneed & Sneed Lawn Care in the amount of $32,000 for landscape maintenance of Elmwood Cemetery for 2014.

• Approved a budget amendment in the amount of $22,400, payable from the fund balance, to cover unemployment benefits for two employees, as invoiced by the Employment Security Commission.

• Accepted the official results of the municipal election.

• Appointed Hemann to the Granville County Tourism Development Authority on an interim basis, replacing Recreation Director Mary Caudle, who is retiring effective Jan. 3.

Contact the writer at dirvine@hendersondispatch.com.