Commissioners seek to change monthly meeting date

Staff report

* Meeting agenda

ROCKINGHAM — Members of the Board of Richmond County Commissioners tonight will consider a proposal to change the day of their regular monthly meeting.

The commissioners meet now at 5:30 p.m. on the first Monday of each month. The proposed change would move the meeting to begin at 5:30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month.

county_logoRick Sago, county manager, told The Pee Dee Post by email that the discussion “has taken place over the last several months” and could not identify the person who generated the idea. Sago was the only county official to respond.

“The change eliminates the need to reschedule the sting to accommodate Monday holidays,” Sago wrote, and “allows extra time after the weekend for commissioners to ask questions or go see anything they may (have) questions about. Typically for business people, Mondays are very busy trying to make up for the weekend (and) this gives one more day to prepare if necessary.”

The agenda for the following Monday meeting is generally made available to the commissioners, the media and the public on the preceding Friday.

On Friday, The Pee Dee Post wrote to Sago and all seven county commissioners asking them to reconsider. Kevin Spradlin, managing editor, noted that both the Richmond County Board of Education and the Richmond Community College Board of Trustees already meet on the first Tuesday of each month — at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.

The Ellerbe Town Council meets on the first Monday of each month but that meeting does not begin until 7:15 p.m.

“County meetings are not very well attended by anyone not employed by county government,” Spradlin said. “The media, then, becomes county residents’ primary source for information. Media outlets struggle enough already to provide comprehensive coverage. To change the meeting day is fine, but there are plenty of other days to choose from. The new meeting date, if passed as proposed, would force a key member of the county’s media to make an unnecessary choice on which body of government to follow.”

The town councils of Norman (second Monday), Dobbins Heights (second Thursday) and Hoffman (third Tuesday) have long had their respective meeting dates laid out. Spradlin noted there are several other available options.

“And if it’s an issue of having an extra eight-hour business day for commissioners to ask questions, then why not consider making the agenda available on Thursday instead of Friday,” Spradlin inquired.

Spradlin wrote to Sago and noted The Pee Dee Post‘s specific dilemma of being a one-person newsroom. Sago’s response: Choose.

“I would assume you can make a decision on which meeting to cover much like you must make a decision on whether to cover the city of Rockingham or the city of Hamlet’s meetings since they are on the same night,” Sago wrote. “Ultimately, it is up to the (commissioners) to make a decision and we will not know the outcome until they vote Monday night.”



Filed in: Business, Latest Headlines, News

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  • Gerald Boone

    Want some cheese to go with that whine? Kevin, it’s not the county’s fault that you can only go to one meeting. You expect the entire Commission to change the day of its meetings just for you? What a special little snowflake you are!! The fact that you don’t have writers is your problem not theirs. It’s cute how you call yourself a key member
    of the county’s media in the comment about yourself that you yourself wrote. Gimme a break!!!

    • Kevin Spradlin

      No Sir, I had hoped in light of openness and transparency that they’d keep it the same as it has been for quite some time. Thank you for writing, Mr. Boone.

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