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Board chooses Feather as new mayor in Granite Quarry

GRANITE QUARRY — Bill Feather is the new mayor of Granite Quarry, thanks to a unanimous vote Monday night by the Board of Aldermen.
Feather, who has been an alderman and mayor pro tem on the board for 10 years, takes the place of longtime Mayor Mary S. Ponds.
Ponds remains on the board as an alderman. She had served as mayor for the past 14 years.
It was Ponds who made the motion Monday night to select Feather as mayor, and newly elected Alderman Arin Wilhelm seconded her motion.
There was no discussion before the actual vote, though it was apparent the board knew what it was going to do heading into the meeting.
Feather said he would have big shoes to fill, but Ponds assured him he was more than capable.
“I’m proud of you,” she said.
Later in the meeting, Ponds took advantage of time set aside for citizen comments to express her gratitude for the support of Granite Quarry residents and the board itself through all her years as mayor.
“I realize change is good, and I appreciate the change,” Ponds said.
Feather’s election as mayor is good for the next two years, and it represents the last time the aldermen will choose a mayor among themselves.
In the 2015 election, Granite Quarry residents will vote for the mayor’s position separate from other members of the Board of Aldermen.
Ponds, who still has two years left on her four-year term on the board, acknowledged, “I will miss part of this.”
But the absence of mayoral duties also gives her more time to be with a new grandchild. Ponds said. She added she looked forward to working with the new board and expressed hope there would be no personal agendas or vendettas in its work.
Ponds also noted she would now be the town board’s only woman member. She promised she would be an energetic alderman.
“The only thing short with me is my height,” Ponds said.
The board also took hardly any time Monday night in choosing a mayor pro tem among its members. Newly elected Alderman Mike Brinkley nominated sitting board member Jim LaFevers, Wilhelm seconded the motion, and LaFevers’ selection was unanimous, too.
Earlier, Rowan County Clerk of Court Jeff Barger swore in Brinkley and Wilhelm as new aldermen. The pair replace Eloise Peeler and Brad Kluttz, both of whom served eight years on the board.
Ponds became emotional in presenting Peeler with a plaque recognizing her years of service to the board.
“Words can’t say ‘Thank you’ enough,” Ponds told Peeler.
Ponds said Peeler worked diligently — often behind the scenes — in helping the board accomplish many goals.
A similar plaque will be presented to Kluttz, who did not appear at Monday’s meeting.
It looks as though one of the first major decisions the board will address is whether to grant Logan Pope’s request for a zoning ordinance change to allow tattoo parlors in Granite Quarry.
Pope wants to establish his “Inkee” tattoo studio at 115 N. Salisbury Ave., where he already has his graphic design business.
The Planning Board is considering Pope’s request for a zoning text change at present, and the town board will wait for the planners’ recommendation.
Pope first sought the zoning change in September.
Tattoo parlors are not allowed in any Granite Quarry zoning district at present.
Pope, 23, has been a tattoo artist for four years. His former business, LP Studios, used to be located in Rockwell and Mooresville.
In speaking Monday night with aldermen, Pope gave the board statistics behind the prevalence of tattoos among younger age groups and how the country already has some 21,000 tattoo shops.
Neighboring cities and towns to Granite Quarry also have shops, he noted.
Pope invited board members to visit his shop and see how its bright, family-oriented atmosphere is counter to the stereotype they may have of tattoo parlors.
He said Inkee would bring a new business to Granite Quarry. The nature of the business also leads to customers having time to wait — time they might be using to visit other merchants, Pope said.
Pope noted Inkee would be inspected, licensed and regulated by the Rowan County Health Department.
In another matter, aldermen learned residents who used to have their recycling items picked up by S.H.A.R.K.S. Recycling still have those bins.
The town had arranged for about 60 former S.H.A.R.K.S. customers to place their empty bins out Nov. 20-21 for the company to come by and take them away, but the company never did.
Aldermen agreed Monday to pick up the former S.H.A.R.K.S. recycling containers from residents, hold them for 30 days and dispose of the bins if the company does not claim them.
Since October, All-American Disposal & Recycling has been picking up all the residential recycling in Granite Quarry, including those previously served by S.H.A.R.K.S.
The town previously had recycling contracts with both All-American and S.H.A.R.K.S. Recycling, which was a Crash Morrison company. But Morrison’s company ran into difficulties on both residential garbage and recycling routes, leading Granite Quarry to dissolve its recycling agreement with S.H.A.R.K.S. and go entirely with All-American.
Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.

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