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Kannapolis receives “boring” audit report

By Susan Shinn
For the Salisbury Post

KANNAPOLIS — The Kannapolis City Council on Monday evening heard what its finance director termed a “boring” audit report.

The report returned with “no unmodified opinion”— basically, no questions, said Eric Davis, finance director. “Boring is good. Boring is our goal.”

For the 16th consecutive year, the city received a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association. Some 1,400 of these awards are given each year nationwide and in Canada. Mayor Darrell Hinnant offered further perspective by noting that there are 600 cities in North Carolina alone.

We have a great staff, without a doubt,” Davis said. “The budget is more than line items. It really is a communications device to the public about what our plan is for the year.”

He added, “We handle things the right way. This audit is evidence of that.”

In his report, Davis noted a slight trend in increased revenues for the city, with expenses holding fairly constant.

After some discussion, council members voted unanimously to table an ordinance for demolition of a home at 1222 Milton Ave. Deputy Planning Director Jeff Wells said that the homeowner, John Guarino, had made significant progress on the property. So much so, Wells said that he would be comfortable with dropping the ordinance altogether, but council did not want to go that far.

Wells said that work would continue on the home’s interior, and that the homeowner had satisfied immediate public health and safety concerns with exterior updates.

This is a successful case and I am pleased and very proud of the results,” he said. “We’ve reached a good point. We’re acting on a little bit of good faith.”

A better suggestion, said City Attorney Walter Safrit, would be to continue the decision to a later time, which is what council decided in its vote. Council members will revisit the home’s progress at a June 2015 meeting.

I do trust in six months you’ll be very pleased with this project,” Wells said.

Police Chief Woody Chavis reported to council that he had worked with Safrit to update the city’s regulation on picketing, which is contained in the parade ordinance.

He noted that the original ordinance was written in 1989, and Safrit said that First Amendment rights have changed since then. The ordinance, Chavis said, clearly defines the process to obtain a permit for picketing.

In other business:

In its consent agenda, council approved the schedule for its 2015 meetings. Council typically meets on the second and fourth Monday of each month at 6 p.m. There will be no meetings May 25 or Dec. 28 because of holidays.

The council voted 7-0 to table an appointment for James Litaker to the Cabarrus County Planning and Zoning Commission until his residence and eligibility to serve could be verified.

The council voted 7-0 to appoint Mayor Pro Tem Ryan Dayvault to the Cabarrus-Rowan Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) with Councilman Doug Wilson as alternate, and Planning Director Zac Gordon to the organization’s Transportation Coordinating Committee (TCC) with Public Works Director Wilmer Melton as alternate.

The council voted 7-0 to reappoint Councilman Roger Haas to the Concord Kannapolis Transit Commission.

The Kannapolis Police Department is conducting a public hearing at 6 p.m. tonight as part of its reaccreditation process, Chavis said. Residents will be able to share their input — positive and negative — about the department during the hearing.

We’ve been successfully accredited since 2000,” Chavis said.

Any resident who cannot attend the hearing may call 704-920-4060 between 1 and 3 p.m. today to speak with an assessor.

Councilman Darrell Jackson noted that the Kannapolis Christmas Parade is set for 6 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 13.

Freelance writer Susan Shinn lives in Salisbury.

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