Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Rules guided HPC on motto decision
The comments made by a certain member of the county commissioners on June 20 in regard to the Historic Preservation Commission’s handling of their Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) are completely out of line.
For clarification, the decisions made regarding adding the national motto to the county building were that of the entire Historic Preservation Commission and not one person, adhering to specific guidelines and rules that govern this body. The application was handled in the same manner as all applications.
In brief, what the county originally submitted in 2006 did not comply with local design guidelines. Nor were the size, font and bright blue, red and yellow coloring scheme acceptable. After several meetings with a subcommittee and design assistance of the HPC chair, the county resubmitted its application with appropriate location, size, font and color for the lettering. The application was unanimously approved by the HPC with the county’s agreement to affix the lettering in a manner that would not damage the marble.
Unfortunately, the county found that the words could not be affixed safely with adhesives and requested placing painted plastic lettering instead. This application was not approved by the HPC, based on the requirement of appropriate materials.
At last week’s hearing, the county sought approval to affix the lettering by drilling holes into the marble. The application was approved by split decision. Records of HPC’s proceedings are available to the Salisbury Post and its readers through the city’s Web site.
ó Jack Errante
Editor’s note: Errante serves on the Historic Preservation Commission.
Exemplary officer
I live in the town of Spencer, where I would put our police force up against any other municipality in Rowan County or the state. Our officers always seem to go above and beyond the call of duty to protect the residents of Spencer from the lawless misconduct of the few. Certainly, the time has come when my neighbors, a few short blocks across the tracks in East Spencer, deserve to feel equally safe and secure in their homes and property.
I have known Lt. Jim Schmierer, who currently serves as interim police chief in East Spencer, for about eight years. At times when our town and our neighbors in East Spencer have needed mutual police assistance, Lieutenant Schmierer and his officers have cooperated in such a manner that protects and serves the residents of both towns. And in my experience as an attorney in the courtroom, I have observed that Lieutenant Schmierer is exemplary in conforming his conduct to the high professional standards to which he is sworn.
My good neighbors in East Spencer are very fortunate to have a man of integrity who possesses capable, competent leadership and the good judgment necessary to carry the East Spencer Police Department through this interim period ó and beyond, if East Spencer’s leaders choose to select Lieutenant Schmierer to serve in the “permanent” position of chief, and allow him to carry out the job in the manner he knows how to do. After all, the hope of a “revitalized” East Spencer will be advanced when its residents come to feel safe and secure in their own homes ó regardless of where their police chief chooses to make his own “home.”
ó Jeff Morris
Visit to City Council
The other day, some of my neighbors and I congregated in one of our back yards and walked over to observe the removal of the last trees bordering our property and the new Drummond Village. Our concern was primarily with construction of a huge sedentary pool.
None of us knew what a sedentary pool was, so speculation mounted. Will we have infestation, mosquitoes, other unexpected creatures? Will there be a fence separating our properties for safety and security? I decided to attend a City Council meeting.
The meeting took place June 19 at 4 p.m. I spoke about 6:15 p.m. I mention that because the development site I wanted to discuss was covered in the first few minutes. However, since I did not understand the parliamentary procedure for a consent agenda, I did not interrupt and waited for Item No. 25, public comment. At that time, Mayor Pro Tem Paul Woodson recognized me, and I approached. I may have been out of order, yet Mayor Pro Tem Woodson entertained my request for information. Next, he asked the council for input on how to proceed, while simultaneously seeking input from the administrators.
As I sat there nervous and unfamiliar with the protocols of the council, I was made to feel as if what I needed to know mattered. City Manager David Treme politely informed the mayor pro tem that staff could address my concerns. The staff member was thorough and employed respect and professionalism. I left that meeting feeling as if our City Council serves me.
Later, I informed my neighbors what I’d learned about the sedentary pool. They were as pleased with the information as was I.
I strongly encourage others to occasionally attend a City Council meeting. You will learn a lot about your city. Salisbury is on the move, and in a good way.
ó M. J. Simms-Maddox