This week on the Reece Gardner Hour, Reece and I discuss recent headlines, Mayor’s internship program, 2013 Mayor’s race, street resurfacing funding increase, technology improvements at the City (kiosks, online applications and social media), future political office, Section 5 of the Civil Rights Act, endorsement of Pat McCrory (Gov), Dan Forest (Lt Gov), John Bell (NC House) and David Rouzer (US House), partnership with the Arts Council for a $100,000 grant, revitalization efforts, MLK corridor improvements, demolition by neglect.
You should see some significant improvements from City Hall on out over the next four or five years.
Tuesday wasn’t just a day to elect new leaders or bring back incumbents — Election Day 2011 also served as an opportunity for area voters to vote on referendums.
In Kinston, voters cast ballots on a proposed veto for mayor, that could only be overturned by a 4/5 vote of the city council. The measure failed by a huge margin — 2,358-1,237.
Although Joe Tyson, who was re-elected to the Kinston City Council Tuesday night, was an outspoken advocate against the mayoral veto, he was surprised at the almost 2-1 vote against the veto.
“I was really not expecting it to be the margin that was the final tally,” Tyson said. “But I think once The Free Press began to explain to the people what the veto really meant, they had the opportunity to digest that and come up with their own decisions.”
This week I sat down with local talk show host Reece Gardner. I’m the third guest, which starts at 32:04. Reece and I discuss the Mayoral Veto Referendum, City Manager search, nonpartisan elections, water rates, electric utility merger of Progress and Duke, Hurricane Irene, Code RED, FEMA assistance, and my future political plans.
Believe or not, school is almost back in session. The smell of freshly cut grass in August can only mean that Friday night lights will soon be here. Make sure you get out and support our local athletic programs this fall. Let’s go Vikings!
To keep you more informed, I reguarly update my Facebook and Twitter accounts. Also, feel free to visit my webpage and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need some help. Thank you for allowing me to serve you.
Highway 70 Bypass For nearly two decades the only bypass we’ve heard about has been a southern bypass. However, the Lenoir County Transportation Committee, which I serve on, has made progress to convince DOT and other agencies to seriously consider a northern bypass for many economic development reasons. This would keep our stores on existing 70 busy, especially for the summer months, and would help the future growth of the GTP.
Later this month, there will be two public hearings to view potential routes, using existing roads and proposed roads. Stay tuned to the Kinston Free Press for this information. Here is the 2007 Comprehensive Transportation Plan map to see the future of some roads.
2011 City Council Elections Before you know it the 2011 City Council elections will be upon us. September 13th is the Democratic Primary and November 8th is the General Election. Please prayerfully consider who our leaders will be for the next four years.
City Manager Search The Kinston City Council will meet Monday night, August 15th, to receive the second batch of applicants. Over the next couple of months we will be discussing these applicants and interviewing the cream of the crop. Finding the best manager with the right mix of leadership, experience and more will be crucial to help Kinston grow.
Demolition by Neglect In the FY 2011-2012 budget, the City Council agreed to go ahead and merge our Inspections department with the County’s. However, after the brief rise of crime and number of citizen complaints on dilapidated housing we decided to keep this department. The main reason was to utilize the approximately $93,000 in revenues to enforce our Demolition by Neglect ordinance. If you see a property that we should consider demolishing, please call 252.939.3282.
Speaker Thom Tillis NC Speaker of the House, Thom Tillis, will be in Kinston on Thursday, August 18th for a town hall legislative update. The town hall will be held at King’s Restaurant on Hwy 70 at noon. Many people are going at 11am to eat a Dutch lunch. Please rsvp to email@example.com to make sure you’ve got a seat for the town hall.
Contact Mayor BJ Murphy
207 East King Street, Post Office Drawer 339
Kinston, NC 28502
In an ever increasing attempt to reach out to our community, this email newsletter is designed to give you information about the City of Kinston that you may or may not find in another medium.
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have an item you’d like to share. Be sure to “Like” my Facebook Fan Page (see below) to get updates in real time. Serving you is an honor and I do not take this responsibility lightly.
Budget Update The FY 2011-2012 budget has been presented by our outgoing City Manager, Scott Stevens. The City Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, June 20th at 7:00 PM to hear from you.
2011 City Council Elections In November 2011, our city residents will vote on three City Council seats. The three council members whose four-year terms are set to expire are Joe Tyson, Alice Tingle and Will Barker. Filing for these seats will begin in early July.
To learn more about the filing process, please contact the Lenoir County Board of Elections at 252.523.0636. Also, I would be willing to speak with any prospective candidate either before or after filing.
USPS Consolidation The United States Postal Service is drafting plans to consolidate our Kinston operations to those in Fayetteville. This proposal will cost Kinston over 80 jobs.
As a federal taxpayer, I certainly encourage the USPS to find ways to cut. But, as the leader of this city, I am concerned that the request for public comment was more of a procedural “dog and pony show” and not a sincere request for input.
Progress/Duke Merger Recently, the City of Kinston decided not to pursue intervention at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) through New Bern’s efforts because our independent consultants determined that rate parity (i.e. having similar rates) with Progress Energy was not an allowable argument before FERC.
Of the six cities that took part in the independent review, only New Bern and Rocky Mount decided to pursue intervention. Kinston decided to agree to the direction of the North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency (NCEMPA) board, and at that time, the decision to intervene was still on the table. Ultimately, the NCEMPA board decided not to intervene and instead received some concessions from Duke and Progress Energy.
(Here’s an excerpt. For the full story, click below.)
by BJ Murphy
Mayor, City of Kinston
This year promises to be a great precursor to a huge 2012 celebration of the 250th anniversary of Kinston. Everywhere we turn, there are opportunities ahead for our community. Not too many communities in Eastern North Carolina can boast about the development of new jobs, highway construction, rail construction, fire station construction, recreational facilities construction and more. Sure, most of these aforementioned items have had their positives and negatives brought to light, but nevertheless they are here or they are coming, and our community is sure to benefit because of them.
As we look ahead to this year, I want to mention a few items that should be considered and discussed throughout our community.