Pinetops Commissioner Barbara Taylor
PINETOPS – After several citizens approached a Pinetops board member about some recordings they had heard regarding discussions that occurred in closed session, Commissioner Barbara Taylor became concerned.
Tuesday during the Town’s reconvened meeting from March 5, Taylor made a motion that no board member on the Pinetops board be allowed to have their cellphones on during any monthly meetings from that point forward.
Taylor’s motion passed after a few minutes of discussion with a unanimous 5-0 vote after all board members agreed with her concern regarding the information she obtained from her constituents who brought light to the situation.
According to North Carolina law, open meetings can be recorded by any individual and broadcast on websites and social media. But when it comes to closed session, that is a different story because some of that could be violating attorney-client privilege and other items involved under the general statute.
“There have been citizens that have come to me and said they have heard things and they don’t know if it is gossip or truth about things that have happened in open session and closed session,” Taylor said. “I don’t know if there are such laws if we should have our phones on or off. (Read more)
The Town of Pinetops has run into an issue after the board asked town manager Natalie Bess to put a plan together regarding comp time for exempt police officers. What the board failed to see when they voted to approve Bess’ plan of a cap of 40 hours of comp time for three of the town’s officers, who are considered exempt employees, is how quick they max out those hours due to the shortage in officers.
Police Chief Stacy Harrell spoke to the board and tried to get them to understand that being understaffed it’s hard to take comp time and work the hours off with three of their five police officers being exempt employees.
“The way the 40-hour cap works is when they reach that amount they don’t earn anymore comp time until they use some of those hours,” Harrell said. “But we’re requesting that we convert those hours to sick leave.”
Harrell requested that if an exempt officer worked 10 hours overtime, why not put it on sick leave instead of comp time since all three exempt officers have capped out their comp time already.
Harrell told the board that sick leave is never paid during the employees tenured time. But Mayor Steve Burress interrupted Harrell and said he needed to remember one thing – that if you retired and had a year’s worth of sick leave before you retire it’ll cost us. (Read more)
Well the citizens in Pinetops either didn’t like how the incumbents Suzanne Coker Craig and Joyce E. Tolson were representing or Donald Webb and Barbara Jean Taylor did some major campaigning on issues that are dear to them. I would have thought that Coker Craig may have been victorious since she campaigned on Green Light services in Pinetops when it had been taken away.
Donald Webb is co-owner of the florist shop in Pinetops and obviously is well liked.
I don’t know Barbara Taylor but I heard she is the niece of a former late pastor of Pinetops.
Pinetops now has a 3 – 2 black majority board as Taylor will join Florence Pender and Brenda Barnes. Visit the Town of Pinetops website to learn more about them.