Strickland, Morgan, Pizzella to remain on Village of Pinehurst litigation committee

Pinehurst approves new advisory board members and policy

PINEHURST — The Village of Pinehurst Council met Tuesday, August 8, with various advisory board matters, road resurfacing and litigation concerns on the agenda.

The council kicked off its regular meeting with appointments of four citizens to various Village boards and commissions.

The first was the appointment of Tom Brereton to the Pinehurst Neighborhood Advisory Committee representing Pinewild.

“We only had one applicant for Pinewild, but the good news is that Tom was the selection and designee from the Pinewild Property Owners Association, so we got the right guy,” said Village Manager Jeff Sanborn.

The second was the reappointment of Paul Sale to the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

“Paul has served on the BPAC for quite a number of years,” Sanborn said. “He knows a lot about the goings on and their plans. In that regard, I think it’s a great continuity move for us to reappoint.”

“I think the bike and greenways work is essential,” Sale said. “I think we’ve also progressed. We’ve figured out some good ways to spend the money so far as we never want to create a path by itself. Everything’s got to connect to another part of the ecosystem. We believe it’s also mission critical for the future of Pinehurst to have some sort of greenways and bike paths.”

The third was the reappointment of Richard Vincent to the Pinehurst Historic Preservation Commission for a two-year term.

Finally, the council approved the appointment of Tom Schroeder to the Pinehurst Planning and Zoning Board and Board of Adjustments.

“Over a period of several months, we interviewed seven people for the position, and we’re very fortunate to be able to nominate Tom Schroeder to fill that position,” Sanborn said. “Tom has a lot of experience in this area. He’s also served six years on the [Historic Preservation Committee]. He brings a lot to the table for us, and so we’re pleased to nominate Tom.”

“As I look at these names here, there’s a common thread, and that is selfless service to this community,” said councilmember Lydia Boesch. “I wish we had more like you all. So, thank you, all of you, for serving your community.”

The council also approved a resolution establishing an updated Advisory Board Appointment policy in order to allow council members to have more involvement in the selection process for candidates, namely requiring that nominees meet with council members before they are put on the agenda for approval to their positions.

“I think this is a significant step forward in including the councilmembers in the selection process than had existed before,” said Mayor Pro Tem Pat Pizzella.

“That was probably our key theme that Jane and I were working with was how do we get involvement with the council members earlier yet still also provide the staff with support in moving forward with their role to select people,” said council member Jeff Morgan.

The council then awarded the contract for the F24 Downtown Street Resurfacing Contract to Turner Asphalt.

“Normally, we put out one road resurfacing package every year and have one contractor, and we have a process where we select the roads,” said Public Services and Engineering Director Mike Apke. “But in this case, our downtown roads are up for resurfacing, and we have a need to resurface those, and we felt like this was such a specialized project. We had some time constraints on when we wanted to get this done that we put this out for bid simply by itself.”

The packaged roads include parts of Village Green Road West, Market Square, Chinquapin Road, Cherokee Road, Everette Road and Dogwood Road.

The bid amount was for $305,553, and work is projected to begin on September 25 and be completed by October 6.

The final action the council took was confirming Mayor John Strickland, Pizzella and Morgan as members of the Litigation Committee.

The committee initially was composed of four council members: Strickland, Morgan, Pizzella and former councilmember Jane Hogeman – Boesch had recused herself to begin with as she supported one of the lawsuits that was against the Village.

Morgan had recently recused himself from the committee due to conflicts with running for mayor, and Pizzella planned to recuse himself in the near future as well due to the same reasons.

However, due to council member Hogeman’s passing, the committee was only being represented by one entity, Strickland, and so the council needed to make a decision on how they wanted to move forward.

“There are things that the retained attorneys for the Village need to present or need some direction on, so I don’t think we can continue to wait,” Strickland said. “I think we need to confirm who’s on this committee and get it done fast. I don’t think we have the luxury of waiting.”

Despite having priorly recused himself, Morgan accepted that for the time being, he would remain on the litigation committee, knowing that a better option was not available, and that membership would be readdressed following the election in November.

“When I first took this job and ran for it, I accepted the fact that no matter what comes down the road, my responsibility is to do what’s best for the Village,” Morgan said. “I do, as I mentioned before, see where there is some conflict, but in my past experience, the issue has been not so much of having conflict; it’s how you manage conflict. To be able to ensure you’re making decisions that are appropriate for whoever you’re representing. I’m willing to do that and give every assurance that I will be absolutely impartial in everything that I’m trying to do and making sure I’m representing the Village and its best interests throughout.”

Pizzella also accepted the proposal to stay on the committee for the time being.

The Village of Pinehurst Council will next meet August 22.

By Ryan Henkel, North State Journal

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