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SUNDAY SAYING ‘I DO’: Couples mark Black Marriage Day. 1E April 4, 2010 126th year No. 94 SPEAKING OUT: Candidates to appear at public forum. 2A High Point, N.C. SOUTH FROM ALASKA: HPU track star comes a long way. 1D 50 Cents Daily $1.25 Sundays RESIDENCY: Some want department heads to live in Thomasville Discussion resumes Officials: No info on where employees reside ---- BY DARRICK IGNASIAK ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER THOMASVILLE – When he hung up his badge for the last time last year, Ronald Bratton, Thomasville’s former police chief, was the last of the city’s department heads to live in the city. Now, Bratton, the councilman, wants to see Thomasville’s next manager, as well as police and fire chiefs, live in Thomasville. “I think it would be advantageous,” Bratton said. “I just feel like you are part of a community.” The possibility of requiring department heads to live in the city became a heated issue last year when the city of T h o m a s - WHERE DO ville hired THEY LIVE? Jeff Insley, a Salisbury Thomasville resident, as and employee its police residency chief. After ■■■ Insley was hired, it also came to light that all of the city’s department heads and its manager do not live in Thomasville. Earlier this year, Councilwoman Jackie Jackson brought the issue up again, but no action was taken. The issue, which is still under review, also was discussed at the City Council’s retreat in closed session, where city officials declined to discuss what happened behind closed doors. City officials have refused to reveal how many of its employees currently live in the city. Around the time of Bratton’s retirement, City Manager Kelly Craver had said none of the city’s department heads lived in the city. As the Chair City’s police chief, Bratton said his residency on Gail Street in Thomasville allowed him to be “less than 10 to 15 minutes away” from anything that happened in the city. Jackson previously said department heads should live in the city because they are “making decisions that impact their residents.” Like Bratton, Jackson has said that the police and fire chiefs should live in Thomasville. “Those are safety reasons in my opinion,” Jackson said. “If they lived half an hour away and we had a major fire or major safety issue, where the fire chief is needed or chief of police, that incident could likely be over before they even get into Thomasville.” Councilmen Neal Grimes and David Yemm agree the city’s policy should remain unchanged, allowing department heads to live outside the city, so that Thomasville can attract the most qualified candidates. “Nothing would be finer than to have all of your key people to live in the town in which you serve,” Grimes said. “In my view, that’s just not very practical. The main thing we’ve got to do is ensure that we get the best people qualified to do the jobs for our Inside... ---- Rules not uncommon. 2A department heads, whether it’s the city manager, the chiefs and department heads.” “I just think a city as small as Thomasville, if you put a restriction on the employees as far as where they live, then you are going to limit the number of qualified candidates,” Yemm said. “... You have people (department heads) who are making $60,000, $70,000 and $80,000 as well. The type of home that they are going to want to live in, there are not many places in Thomasville that somebody who is making that kind of money is going to look to purchase a home. “You’ve got to look at that as well. It would be nice if somebody lived in close driving distance, but also in today’s technology, we are always accessible to the city manager by email, cell phone or text message,” Yemm added. “We can get in touch with him really quick if we need him, no matter where he is.” | 888-3657 THOMASVILLE – Though they are discussing a possible policy to require some city employees to live in the city limits, Thomasville officials won’t reveal just how many of its employees live outside its borders. Thomasville officials denied a request by The High Point Enterprise to disclose how many employees actually live in Thomasville and surrounding cities. The city currently has no residency policy for its employees, department heads or city manager to live in Thomasville. Responding to The High Point Enterprise’s request, City Attorney Paul Mitchell said Thomasville officials are not required to release the information unless the city had already conducted a “study.” City Manager Kelly Craver then told The High Point Enterprise that the request had been denied. “That list is not populated,” he said. “We have no such list. We don’t have that information to release to you.” The city of High Point released information in 2006 to The High Point Enterprise that indicated more than half of the city’s 1,400 plus workers lived outside of High Point. North Carolina general statutes limit specific information that can be released concerning state and local employees, but some information must be disclosed. That information includes name, age, date of original employment, current position, title, current salary, date and amount of most recent increase or decrease in salary, date of most recent promotion, demotion, transfer, suspension, separation, or other change in position classification, and the office EMPLOYEES, 2A Happy Easter! City Council to hear funding requests ENTERPRISE STAFF REPORT The High Point Area Arts Council is asking for less ($117,063) than it got for this year ($123,224), while two other HIGH POINT – The High Point City organizations that have received no Council is scheduled to take up fund- city funding in recent years – the Pieding requests from outside agencies during its meeting Monday. The public will have a chance to comment on requests totaling $255,563 from 10 agencies during a public hearing scheduled for 5:30 p.m. The total is down slightly from what the council approved in the current budget. The Piedmont Triad Ambulance & mont Triad Film Commission ($15,000) Rescue Squad, the National Guard, and the Rosetta C. Baldwin Foundathe Guilford County Historic Pres- tion and Museum ($35,000) – are makervation Commission and the The- ing requests this year. atre Art Gallery all have requested No funding request is proposed for the same amount from the city. A the High Point Alliance for Workforce continuation of the $50,000 in N.C. Preparedness, which received $50,000 Shakespeare Festival theater-rental last year contingent upon meeting credits awarded last year also is re- council directives. quested. The council also is scheduled to Because of the Easter holiday, only a limited number of coupons will be part of The High Point Enterprise’s edition today, and the number of special advertising sections also will be lower than usual, Enterprise Circulation Director Daniel Pittman said. Ceola Ross Baber, dean of the School of Education at North Carolina A&T State University, received a $50,000 grant from the Historically Minority Colleges and Universities Consortium of North Carolina. The grant is an implementation of the Charles Hamilton Houston Summer Leadership Institute for Adolescent Black Males. BY DARRICK IGNASIAK ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER Before you read... The Thomasville City Council is discussing a proposal that may require all its department heads to live within Thomasville’s city limits. The issue was raised last year after the city hired a new police chief who doesn’t reside in the city limits. Officials soon learned, at that time, that none of the city’s department heads lived in Thomasville. The issue came up again at this year’s city retreat. A policy again is under discussion, but now Thomasville officials won’t reveal where its department heads live, or how many of its regular employees live inside the city. This three-part series examines the issue of employee residency, and why the city won’t shed light on where its employees live, and why they believe such a policy is needed. WHO’S NEWS – BY PAT KIMBROUGH ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER The public will have a chance to comment on requests for $225,563 from 10 agencies. consider taking action to refinance $22 million in bonds in order to save $840,725. The measure involves water and sewer and public improvement bonds from 2002 and 2005 and is designed to take advantage of low interest rates. Action on the water and sewer bonds, as well as authorization for two-thirds bonds and action on the 2004 bonds, will be on the council agendas this month and next. The sale and issuance of all bonds is scheduled for June. In another matter, city officials will ask the council to adopt ordinances for the demolition of six structures on Grant Street, Brockett Avenue, Springfield Road and Richardson Street that have been deemed substandard because of multiple minimum housing code violations. INSIDE – ANNUAL TRADITION: Kids kick off Easter with egg hunt. 1B OBITUARIES – Robert Baxley, 86 Andrew Brown, 69 Ernest Jensen, 95 Ralph Sheppard Sr., 88 Bonnie Taylor, 58 Nelda Vernon, 70 Obituaries, 2B WEATHER – Mostly sunny High 80, Low 51 8D INDEX ADVICE 2-3E, 6E ARTS | ETC. 3-4F BUSINESS 1-2C CLASSIFIED 3-8C CROSSWORD 2F FOCUS 1-2F HOROSCOPE 2E LIFE&STYLE 1-6E LOCAL 2A, 1B LOTTERY 2A MILESTONES 5-6E MOVIES 4F NATION 6-8A NOTABLES 8A OBITUARIES 2B OPINION 6-7B RELIGION 5B SPORTS 1-8D STATE 2-3A, 2-4B, 8B TV 5F TRAVEL 4E WEATHER 8D WORLD 4-5A INFO Circulation Classified Newsroom Newsroom fax 888-3511 888-3555 888-3527 888-3644 | 888-3531 YOUR COMMUNITY. YOUR NEWSPAPER. 534138


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