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Spencer to revisit staggered terms

By Emily Ford
eford@salisburypost.com
SPENCER ó Spencer aldermen will consider giving voters another chance to approve staggered terms for members of the town board.
The Board of Aldermen will hold its regular monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Town Hall.
Voters rejected staggered terms in 2004, the last time the measure appeared on the ballot. The referendum lost by 64 votes with 1,252 ballots cast.
Currently, every Spencer town board seat comes open every two years.
Maintaining this structure gives residents the chance to vote out every member at once if they are unhappy with the board.
Staggered terms would ensure continuity on the board. Advocates say this offers more stability in town government.
Board members at their January retreat asked staff to prepare a summary of a proposed referendum, cost and timeline.
The referendum would cost nothing if it runs with a municipal election. During an off-year election, printing special ballots for the referendum would cost about $750.
Also Tuesday night, the board will:
Discuss the expected 8 percent decrease in tax base, as estimated by the Rowan County Tax Assessorís Office. According to the county, Spencerís tax base will fall from $211 million to $194 million in the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.
Town staff are preparing a proposed budget for fiscal year 2011-12.
Discuss hiring a design consulting firm to complete a comprehensive assessment of all town property and a master plan for town parks.
Consider preliminary approval for a $500 facade grant application for awning replacement at Green Goat Gallery.
Receive public comment.
Hear reports from town staff and the mayor.
Hear an update on the townís request of Rowan-Salisbury Schools for better communications technology at North Rowan High School.
Go into closed session to discuss recent mediation of Snider and Snider v. Town of Spencer.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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