Mount Gilead Town Commissioners have their regular monthly meeting tonight, but another meeting later this week will take on issues related to town administration.
Thursday evening, Rob Shepherd of the North Carolina League of Municipalities will meet with the town’s elected officials and staff to review their roles and relationships. In an email to parties involved, Shepherd said discussion at the meeting “will include, but not be limited to, the legal authority of the mayor, the legal authority of the commissioners, the legal authority of the manager, clerk and the role of the attorney”. Shepherd also said that he and the League of Municipalities are approaching the meeting “as an opportunity to share information…based on…good operating principles and to encourage and foster good relationships between…municipal elected officials and appointed staff to do the jobs (each has) been elected or appointed to do”, which he says “is to serve (the) community and to provide the best possible government for..citizens and businesses”.
A complicating issue going into the meeting is the possibility that the charter under which the town government is operating may not have been ratified by the North Carolina General Assembly. Sources tell WMTG that a new charter was drafted in 2005 or 2006 to change Mount Gilead’s form of government from mayor-council to manager-council. The charter may have been put into the local ordinances at that time, but state law requires ratification by the General Assembly before the charter becomes effective. Rob Shepherd at the League of Municipalities is researching the matter ahead of Thursday’s meeting and hopes to have a copy of the current charter in hand at that time. He said the issue of any new proposed charter will require consideration by the town’s elected officials, and that the town must operate under whatever charter currently authorizes its government.
We will continue to follow the story. The commissioners and staff meet with the League of Municipalities Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m., and the regular monthly meeting of commissioners is tonight at 7:00 p.m. Both meetings will be in the Mount Gilead Public Library.