May 2, 2016
County board gets a 'no comment' from Buxton
By IRENE NOLAN
was set up as planned at 9 a.m. on Monday, May 2, for the first county
Board of Commissioners meeting to be remotely linked to the Fessenden
Center in Buxton so that Hatteras Island residents can make public
comment without traveling to Manteo.
Susan Gray of the Fessenden Center staff was seated at a table at the
entrance to the Activities Room with a sign-up sheet for public
comment. Dave Waddelove of the county's Information Technology
staff was there to handle any glitches in the set-up.
At the front of the room was a large screen and, via Skype, we watched
folks milling around in Commissioners' Meeting Room in Manteo as the
proceeding were getting underway.
"They got us all fixed up really nice," Gray said of the county IT staff members.
Indeed the picture was sharp, but the volume wasn't quite loud enough,
and Waddelove said that would be fixed before the next remote meeting.
After county employee recognition, board chairman Bob Woodard made his usual remarks, beginning with the first remote broadcast.
"We are now live at the Fessenden Center in Buxton for public comment,"
he said. "We look forward to having public comment from down there."
First, county manager Robert Outten called on those who had signed up
for public comment in Manteo, then he asked for comment from Buxton.
Alas, no one had turned up to be the first to offer comment from Buxton.
The commissioners set up the remote broadcast -- at a cost of $5,900 --
to make it easier and more convenient for Hatteras Island residents to
participate in county government.
"Even though the attendance was poor, I'm hopeful this is something the
Hatteras Island citizens will embrace," Woodard said after the meeting.
"This was the first opportunity, and I'm sure it's going to take some
time for the folks to get use to the availability to address the Board
"Our board is committed to reaching out to the citizens on Hatteras
Island and receiving their input via this service," he added. "I'm very
optimistic that this will work out."
Gray said that for the first Board of Commissioners meeting of the
month, which is on the first Monday at 9 a.m., an exercise class has
been moved into the gym. For the second monthly meeting, on the
third Monday at 5 p.m., two classes will have to be cancelled during
the winter months.
The commissioners' second meeting of the month is likely to draw a
larger crowd to the Fessenden Center. It won't be a remote
broadcast, but, instead, the board will move its entire meeting to the
building for a public hearing on a proposed special tax district to
help pay for beach nourishment in north Buxton.
That meeting starts at 5 p.m. with the hearing beginning at 5:30 p.m.
The next remote broadcast will be at 9 a.m. on Monday, June 6.
Perhaps there will be more interest in that one since the board has
planned a public hearing on the county's 2017 budget during the meeting.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Now you can speak up at county board meetings without leaving Buxton