No law broken

By Vicki Hyatt | Mar 05, 2014

 

Recent questions on whether the county commissioners violated state statutes in appointing a single individual to too many boards were determined to be without merit.

County Attorney Chip Killian told the commissioners Monday he had researched the issue, conferred with experts at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Government and concluded the fairgrounds board, as a 501-c-3 nonprofit organization, did not meet the statutory definition of a public body.

Republican county commissioner candidate Denny King wrote a letter to the interim county manager asking whether the appointment of a board of equalization and review member who was serving on two other boards violated state law and the state constitution.

He sent a copy of the letter to local government activist Monroe Miller who penned an emails alleging Mary Ann Enloe’s service on the Board of Equalization and Review, the Haywood Community College governing board and on the fairgrounds governing board violated the state statute that provides a single individual can only hold one elective office and one other appointive office in state or local government, or if it is an appointive office, can hold no more than two.

"Mary Ann) Enloe has been on the Board of Equalization for a while now while Chairman of the Fairgrounds Board, so it looks like the first time she violated this NC General Statue was when the commissioners appointed her to the HCC Board of Trustees," Miller wrote, later asking whether this was a "jail-able offense."

Killian said the matter surfaced because of an “apparent lack of understanding about the issue.”

Those who volunteer for county government boards are asked to list other boards they serve on, and Killian said there is a county policy that invites people to apply for boards to encourage wide participation across the county.

Each county commissioner serves on three or four other boards in the county as ex-officio members, so that it not a violation of the state statute, either, Killian said.

There were also questions regarding the tax collector position where the incumbent elected official, David Francis, was given other tax-related duties. Killian said that, too, is allowable under the law.

When the allegations were initially raised, Enloe resigned her post on the fairgrounds board saying she wanted to avoid any embarrassment to the commissioners.