By Jessie Burchette
CHINA GROVE ó Aldermen took at brief look at the battle between Rowan County and Salisbury over annexation Tuesday evening.
And the board quickly punted ó deciding it didn’t have enough information to make a decision on supporting either side.
Both Salisbury and Rowan County had provided resolutions asking the board for support. The county wants municipalities to support a local bill enacting a moratorium on involuntary annexation until the General Assembly has time to act on recommendations from a special panel looking at revising annexation laws.
The city of Salisbury wants other municipalities to stand with it in supporting existing annexation laws.
Acting Town Manager Bill Pless said China Grove officials didn’t have enough information. “We don’t know what they are asking for,” he said.
Mayor Don Bringle agreed, saying board members received the resolutions only in the past few days and haven’t had enough time to review them.
“Salisbury has been so fair to us, we ought to rally behind them,” Alderman Allen Welter said sarcastically, drawing laughter from spectators.
The board approved a motion by Blair Lyseski to table consideration of the resolutions until the April 1 meeting.
The board also tabled appointing three new members to the Zoning Board of Adjustments until a legal challenge against the board and the town is resolved.
Steve Stroud, a former aldermen, is challenging the Board of Adjustments’ ruling revoking his home business permit following a complaint by Lois Elliott, chairman of that board.
Welter voted against the motion, saying it could take two years, leaving the Board of Adjustments without a full slate of members.
Welter’s wife, Barbara, is one of three people recommended by the current Board of Adjustments to fill the vacancies.
At the outset of the meeting, Lois Elliott recommended appointing Barbara Welter, William Meadows and Miranda Scott, saying they have never served on a board and would bring in new blood.
Pless and Bringle suggested an effort to advertise vacancies on the Board of Adjustments, Planning Board and key town boards to get more people involved, including residents of annexed areas.
Pless noted that by reappointing the same people, or friends and acquaintances of the same people, it can appear that someone has to be a member of “the club” to get appointed.
Officials specified that the town will develop an application process and anyone may apply by contacting the town hall.
Contact Jessie Burchette at 704-797-4254 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Jessie Burchette