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I attended the NCEMPA monthly meeting on Wednesday, April 27, 2011 after deciding at the last minute to go. This is the 2nd meeting that I have attended and the last one I attended was over a year ago.
When I arrived at the 10:00 AM meeting around 10:20 AM the board was in closed session and they were in it until around 11:20 AM. I learned later that there was a spokesperson from Progress Energy to give the board an update on the merger.
During the open session the board members voted on 2 bills and the 1st Rep. Buck Newton’s bill HB 559 Study ElectriCities Relief failed 60 – 67 and the 2nd Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield bill HB 457 Municipal Electric Utilities/UC Oversight along with her co-sponsors bill failed by a large number of votes.
Rocky Mount Councilman Andre Knight and 2nd Vice Chair of the board made a motion in support of the 1st bill however he was not successful. It is believed that if New Bern Mayor Lee Bettis and Elizabeth City Mayor Roger McClain had stayed until the end of the meeting that their votes would have been enough to pass the 1st bill.
Another board member made a motion opposing the 2nd bill and his motion passed to oppose by a large margin.
I believe it is only about 3 black board members out of 32. It is my opinion that Councilman Knight will not get much support on motions he will put on the floor. This makes me wonder how he was elected to the vice chair position. I came to the conclusion that he was probably chosen thinking that it would silence him.
Neighbor to Rocky Mount (Twin Counties) is Tarboro NC Town Councilman Sam Nobles also in Edgecombe County voted opposite of Councilman Knight on both bills.
I am wondering since Councilman Nobles has retired as Tarboro Town Manager but is in the interim while they hire someone, why don’t one of the town councilmen take his seat on the NCEMPA board? But maybe they are just waiting for the person that is hired to take his seat.
There is an advisory committee meeting on today in Raleigh NC. I heard several members of the NCEMPA board ask Councilman Knight would they see him in Raleigh on tomorrow and his response was yes.
Corrections: Wilson voted for Rep. Buck Newton’s bill, had previously posted they did not. Mayor Lee Bettis is the Mayor of New Bern and not Kinston.
Also trying to find out more information such as if the board voted in closed session that should have been voted on in open session.
NCEMPA commissioners divided over study bills – (The Wilson Times Paid Content)