GARLAND — With vacant seats on the town board, several members now have to roll up their sleeves more than they did before.
During a recent special meeting, the remaining commissioners re-organized their duties and responsibilities on committees to provide services for residents. With limited funding, the town does not have the luxury of hiring people to supervise departments such as recreation or transportation
Garland commissioners chose where they wanted to serve to be the most effective. Mayor Winifred Murphy led the selection process during the recent meeting.
“We only have three active board members who are working at this time,” Murphy said. “It’s very critical that we maintain communications with each other and collaborate with each other.”
Garland’s government consists of a mayor and five council members. Judy Smith and Ralph Smith submitted resignation letters in the summer. Commissioner Carolyn Melvin said she planned to resign, bu has not submitted an official letter yet. This leaves the current commissioners having to take on more responsibilities.
“When we had a full board, nobody had to do two,” Murphy said.
Finance/administration will be chaired by Murphy with the assistance of all commissioners. Some of the responsibilities include approval of purchases, review of financial transactions, supporting office staff, working with agencies and being the official spokesperson for the town.
The safety committee will be led by Commissioner Lee Carberry and Mayor Pro Tem Haywood Johnson assisting as co-chair. The duties include receiving reports of issues related to safety. Some of them includes working with law enforcement, fire department officials or other emergency situations for residents.
Johnson is also chairing the committee for buildings. Commissioner S.J. Smith is serving as co-chair. The duties of the position includes receiving reports of maintenance issues of buildings owned by the town, inspections, and receiving quotes for improvements. Some of the current involves repairs at town hall and the ABC store building, which closed in 2016 because of financial problems.
The second committee Johnson will be the lead chair for is streets. This includes responsibility for maintenance, repairs, receiving recommendations for improvements and working with North Carolina Department of Transportation. Carberry is assisting as co-chair.
Public works will be lead by Carberry, with help from Johnson as co-chair. A few of the duties includes monitoring inventory, assisting with matters related to the water/sewer system and receiving complaints from residents.
Work for the parks and recreation will be led by S.J., with assistance from Carberry. They will serve as a liaison for the Garland Volunteer Softball League and oversee new developments for the Curtis D. Cain Memorial Park.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.