Last updated: January 12. 2014 5:34PM - 325 Views
Anthony Gonzalez Staff Reporter

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The Elkin Board of Commissioners will consider changing municipal elections to even-numbered years during its meeting 7 p.m. today at Town Hall.

After being slapped with a $5,000 invoice for the cost of the most recent municipal election, the Elkin Board of Commissioners opted to take steps to switch its municipal elections to even years instead of odd years.

The shift to an even-numbered election year would divert the costs of municipal elections to the county instead of being absorbed by Elkin taxpayers for operating elections when the county is idle.

If approved, the resolution will be sent to Rep. Sarah Stevens for action by the N.C. General Assembly, which must grant approval for the move.

In a prior report, a Surry County Board of Elections official indicated that Elkin was expected to pay about $3,600 for its last election. However, the actual invoice surged to $5,092.

According to a Surry County Board of Elections official, costs for future elections could not be fixed and would always be undetermined.

A shift to even numbered years would be considered a huge victory for Mayor Lestine Hutchens, who has been a consistent advocate in recent times urging Elkin officials to dump odd year Elkin elections.

Under the resolution, commissioner terms would be extended to the next even numbered election.

In June of 2012, Pilot Mountain and Dobson board officials voted on changes to their elections. Both towns switched to even numbered years because they too didn’t want to pay the extra staffing costs associated with operating election precincts in off years.

In other matters, commissioners will hear from its Public Works officials pertaining to the Smith Phillips property drainage.

“Storm water is backing up on the property due to blockage in a storm drain and we need to look at our options on replacing the line which empties out into the Big Elkin Creek via non-public property,” said Lloyd Payne, Elkin’s town manager.

At the meeting, the Elkin Police Department will announce its Employee of the Year award.

The Elkin Valley Trails Association will once again provide an update.

Commissioners also will be updated on NC Department of Transportation ordinances.

New Commissioner Bob Norton reported he just finished his required training by the NC League of Municipalities and the UNC School of Government in Asheville.

“I finished up with training. It was good. You do some role playing, different scenarios. We did a two-hour class on ethics. I feel it was informative,” said Norton.

Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 835-1513 or agonzalez@civitasmedia.com.

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