ALEXANDER COUNTY, NC (February 4, 2020) – Approximately 75 people were in attendance at the February 3rd meeting of the Alexander County Board of Commissioners in support of the board’s efforts to protect the Second Amendment rights of the citizens of Alexander County.
Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution to “Preserve and Defend the Constitutions of the United States and North Carolina.” The resolution states that “the Board wishes to express its deep and abiding commitment to protecting all Constitutional rights of Alexander County citizens and stands opposed to any law, regulation, or other act that would unconstitutionally infringe on the citizens’ Second Amendment rights.”
In addition, the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Chris Bowman submitted a proclamation to the board on January 9 to make Alexander County a “Second Amendment Protection County.” Sheriff Bowman formally presented the proclamation at the February 3rd meeting. Commissioners unanimously approved the proclamation.
With approval of the resolution and proclamation, Alexander County becomes the 19th county in North Carolina to adopt a similar measure.
While the two documents have the same goal of protecting Second Amendment rights in Alexander County, both were approved to show unity between county government and law enforcement on this issue.
Commission Chairman Ryan Mayberry said, “There has been a lot of talk at the county level across the state about ensuring our Second Amendment rights and not allowing the federal and/or state governments to infringe on the right to bear arms. Alexander County Government and the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office stand united on this matter.”
Sheriff Chris Bowman agreed, “We’re not going to sit back and let this stuff that we’re hearing about happen here in Alexander County.”
Numerous attendees had questions about gun rights, and it was suggested that Sheriff Bowman hold a “Town Hall Meeting” to discuss the Second Amendment issue. The meeting date has not yet been determined.
Following the approval of the resolution, the crowd gave a round of applause for the board’s action.
In other business:
• Dr. Jennifer Hefner, Superintendent of Alexander County Schools, presented a facility repairs and renovations update to the board. Dr. Hefner noted that the school system is projected to receive $5,253,000 in sales tax revenues and $3,858,868 in lottery revenues by June 30, 2020. These funds can only be used for school repairs, renovations, and construction. She said the school board and staff have developed a five-year facility plan to help prioritize facility needs. Dr. Hefner presented a list of needed repairs/renovations and associated costs for each facility to be completed by the end of August 2020 (if weather permits). The list includes Alexander Central High School – $456,661, Bethlehem Elementary School – $16,023, East Alexander Middle School – $99,301, Ellendale Elementary School – $20,295, Hiddenite Elementary School – $125,800, Stony Point Elementary School – $63,685, Sugar Loaf Elementary School – $34,500, Taylorsville Elementary School – $107,380, West Alexander Middle School – $12,800, Wittenburg Elementary School – $481,147, Student Success Center – $6,000; and Board of Education (Central Office) – $426,780, for a total of $1,850,372.
• Commissioners reviewed a rezoning request for property located at 5195 NC Hwy. 16 South. Jon Pilkenton, Director of Planning and Development, said the 1.12-acre parcel owned by Darrell Morgan is zoned RA-20 (Residential-Agricultural) and the applicant is requesting that the property be rezoned as H-C (Highway-Commercial) for a potential site for automobile sales. Pilkenton said the Alexander County Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved the request and recommended approval by the Board of Commissioners, as the request is consistent with the future land-use map and the 2008 Comprehensive Plan. Commissioners unanimously approved the rezoning request.
• Commissioners heard a report on the 2020 Census from Harold Carrillo, Jr., who serves as Partnership Specialist for the U.S. Census Bureau for the four-county area of Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, and Catawba counties. He emphasized the importance of everyone getting counted during the Census process as the numbers can affect legislative representation and federal funding. Carrillo said that citizens will have the option of completing the Census questionnaire on mobile devices, computers, or paper. He also expressed a need for Census workers in Alexander County for approximately six months with a pay rate of approximately $20 per hour. For more information, visit www.2020census.gov.
The Alexander County Board of Commissioners typically meets on the first Monday of each month at 6:00 p.m. in room #103 at the CVCC Alexander Center for Education. The next meeting is Monday, March 9. Meetings are recorded, and can be viewed on the county’s Government Channel on Spectrum channel 192 or on the county’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/alexandercountync. Meeting agendas, minutes, videos, and more are available on the county’s website at www.alexandercountync.gov/commissioners.