Cajah’s Mountain trying to move on

May. 15, 2014 @ 09:39 AM

The council members of Cajah’s Mountain became emotional at Tuesday’s meeting and sincerely thanked the community members in attendance for their support during the last few weeks.

But they barely said anything about why they feel they needed community support.

“It’s been a bad three weeks,” Mayor Ronnie Setzer said. “I just want to thank each one of you for your understanding and your support, and I think we’re going to be a much better town. Not to say that it was a bad town to begin with, but I think that we’re going to be a better town.”

What they weren’t saying much about directly was that in April, Connie South was asked to resign as town manager, a post she had held for 26 years. South has made clear she felt betrayed, and she has said she conveyed a number of concerns to council members. Council members have not said publicly why they asked South to resign.

On Thursday, the town council voted to let the Western Piedmont Council of Governments handle its finances, a job that previously was the town manager’s, so that “checks and balances” would be in place, according to Setzer. The council also hired a part-time interim town manager, Jim Chandler, in place of having a full-time manager.

Councilman Lloyd Robbins complimented Setzer’s hard work and how he has handled criticism concerning South’s departure.

“One thing I’ve seen in the last three weeks working with the mayor, I know he really stressed over this,” Robbins said. “I’ve seen him put a lot of thought and prayers into which way our town should go, and I’ve been really impressed with the way he’s handled it. I would like to propose we give him a round of applause.”

A large crowd came to Tuesday night’s council meeting, and council members indicated they took it as a sign of support for them.

Councilwoman Cheryl Pritchard said, “I just want to say that I’m so happy all of you are here, and please come back.”

Also Tuesday, Chandler presented a rough draft of the proposed 2014-15 budget. Chandler said the budget is essentially the same as the 2013-14 budget, but an adjustment will need to be made because Lenoir is raising its sewer processing charges by 2 percent.