Retirees in Oxford recognized

Jan. 15, 2014 @ 06:24 PM

OXFORD — Larry Thomas and Tommy Scholl were recognized for their service to the city by commissions on Tuesday evening.

Thomas has been serving as the city engineer and Scholl as the water and sewer superintendent. Both have announced their retirements.

Mayor Jackie Sergent thanked Thomas, who was present, and said, “This is your last meeting. I’m sure you’re smiling inside.” Thomas responded, “I’m smiling on the outside, too.”

Sergent declared a public hearing to consider a request by CKF Partners and VNSN, LLC to annex 2.455 acres of land located on Critcher Road and N.C. 158 Business. No one spoke and Sergent closed the public hearing. The board then unanimously adopted an ordinance annexing the land.

The commissioners amended the Oxford Code of Ordinances to provide staggered terms for members of the Recreation Advisory Committee and to change the frequency of meetings from monthly to quarterly. The chairman still has the option of calling additional meetings as needed.

In accordance with board policy, each commissioner signed a copy of the Code of Ethics for the Board of Commissioners for the City of Oxford. In 2011 the board recommended that each member reaffirm a commitment to the agreement at the beginning of each calendar year.

The commissioners approved a water tap requested by Kenneth Adcock for property located at 6511 U.S. 15 North.

The board adopted a proclamation celebrating the lives of Bessie Blackwell and Essie Hamm who, at 101, are North Carolina’s oldest living twins. In reading the proclamation, Sergent said they are also the third-oldest living twins in the United States.

In his monthly report, Hemann said the city received more than 90 applications for the position of parks and recreation director. He is in the process of interviewing candidates.

In a special presentation, Rev. Dr. Gregory Harding, pastor of Belton Creek Baptist Church, described the Belton Creek Community Initiative, which is designed to promote achievement of students. Beginning in the fourth or fifth grade, the initiative would be focused primarily on black males.

“It’s an initiative to deal with young black boys and engage the whole community,” he said.

The performance of black students on end-of-grade tests in the fifth grade demonstrates the need for the program, he said.

Harding said he had met with Granville County Schools Superintendent Tim Farley in planning the program. It will include a Saturday academy, a camp program, support for the school district’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics program and intensive work with students at C.G. Credle School. The program will provide tutoring and mentoring that will continue until the students graduate.

“By the 12th grade, we’ll have funding in place for scholarships for them to pursue higher education,” he said.

Commissioner Quon Bridges asked how mentors will be recruited. Harding replied that initially mentors will come from the Belton Creek community, later from the larger community.

“As we grow, the mentors will grow,” he said.

Commissioner Patricia Fields asked, “What about the older students?”

Harding replied that they had to start somewhere. The fifth-grade seems to be a point where the achievement of some students begins to lag, he said.

Dolores Lyons of the Granville County League of Women Voters described the league’s plans to survey candidates running for office. She said the survey form will be mailed to candidates in early March. When results are in, the league will publish them.

The board went into closed session to discuss a real property matter and also to approve the minutes of a closed sessions held on Jan. 6, 2014. When the commissioners returned to open session, they adjourned.

Contact the writer at dirvine@hendersondispatch.com.