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Commissioners Reappoints Three ETJ Members To Boone Boards After Public Hearing, Town Offers Meeting Date

By Jesse Wood

Oct. 14, 2013. The Watauga County Board of Commissioners reappointed three extraterritorial jurisdiction members to two Town of Boone boards after holding a public hearing at its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday.

Nobody spoke at the public hearing.

The public hearing was scheduled in response to the Town of Boone denying two appointments and potentially a third appointment to the town’s Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment due to “procedural deficiencies.”

The town recently said that it was declining the July 16 appointments of Frank Bolick and Dale Greene because a public hearing was not held in accordance to its Unified Development Ordinance, while County Attorney Four Eggers states that the town doesn’t have the “statutory authority” to require a public hearing. Town Manager Greg Young also noted recently that that the Boone Town Council was reconsidering the appointment of Jon Tate because of a lack of a public hearing.

In an effort to “extend an olive branch,” as Commissioner Perry Yates said, the commissioners voted 4-1 two weeks ago to schedule a public hearing and see which way the branch sways. While Boone Town Councilman Rennie Brantz noted in late September that a public hearing would go a long way in rectifying the situation, Chair Nathan Miller on the Watauga County Board of Commissioners said he would rather file a lawsuit and halt any meetings of the two town boards until the ETJ appointments are set.

At that last meeting, the commissioners also directed County Manager Deron Geouque to send a letter to the town requesting a joint meeting within 30 days to sort through these ETJ appointment issues that have caused conflict between the governmental bodies dating back more than two years. On Tuesday, commissioners noted that they hadn’t yet heard back from the town regarding a joint meeting.

Meanwhile across town, the Boone Town Council met and directed town staff to contact the county with a meeting date of Nov. 20 – either before noon or after 6 p.m.

The Town of Boone also tabled any discussion regarding the appointment of Jon Tate to the Planning Commission until after the joint meeting on the suggestion of Town Attorney Sam Furgiuele, who said that would “make no sense to address” the issue before the joint meeting. The Boone Town Council meets the following day on Nov. 21 and will discuss the appointment of Tate if it needs to after the joint meeting with the county commissioners.

Oct. 1, 2013: Commissioners Vote 4-1 To Hold Public Hearing on ETJ Appointments, Chair Miller Would Rather File Lawsuit

Sept. 25, 2013: Boone, Watauga Squabble Over ETJ Appointments To Town Boards Again, ‘Procedural Deficiencies’ Cited