Officials Butt Heads Over Subsidized Housing

BAYBORO – Tempers were flying Monday night, Aug. 21.

The lure of millions in federal money (which could flow thru Pamlico County coffers into the hands of an apartment-complex developer) proved too tempting to resist for four Pamlico County Commissioners, as three skeptics on the board pointed to an earlier tie vote on the issue, which they say should have been the death knell.

Republicans Kari Forrest and Ed Riggs joined Democrats Pat Prescott and Carl Ollison in voting to approve a ‘Resolution of Support’ for two proposed projects – authorizing the county to apply for convoluted funding thru an entity known as the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency.

The 4 to 3 tally was the SECOND VOTE on this matter. The FIRST VOTE occurred eight days earlier on a Sunday afternoon (Aug. 13). The board deadlocked (with Kari Forrest absent).

THIS GETS EVEN MORE CONFUSING! In fact, you are now instructed to completely ignore what we will call VOTE #2 (described above). It is NULL & VOID – and we are not kidding!

You see, Monday night’s ‘Resolution of Support’ was belatedly added to the evening’s agenda. Last minute agenda additions are fairly routine, but do require a vote – and 99.9999999 percent of the time the vote is quick, perfunctory, and unanimous.

Turns out – due to some deep digging by Commissioner Missy Baskervill – there is a board protocol requiring 6 of the 7 commissioners to approve adding agenda items, which clearly did not happen Monday night.

Therefore, this issue will get what we will call VOTE #3 – now scheduled for 8:15 am on Friday, Aug. 25. And, because the Agenda is almost etched in stone, there will be no need to ADD items so the “6 of 7” super majority will not come into play. If everyone shows up, VOTE #3 is expected to exactly mirror VOTE #2.

Oh, yes! The deadline for housing subsidy applications is 5pm on Friday, Aug. 25. If approved, the Resolution of Support arrives just in time. However, applications are no assurance that grant monies will flow. In fact, some insiders hint that bickering and a lack of unanimity on the local level may well trigger the dreaded DOA label for Pamlico County paperwork.