FAIRMONT — During his first meeting at the helm of Fairmont’s Board of Commissioners on Thursday, Mayor Charles Townsend urged citizens to participate in local government.
“I want this to be an inclusive board,” Townsend said. “It is going to take all of us to make a great Fairmont.”
Townsend’s message was echoed by newly appointed board members throughout the meeting.
Commissioner Terry Evans, who also serves on the Robeson County Planning Board, encouraged the crowd of about a dozen people to attend Monday’s Planning Board meeting at 5 p.m. at the Robeson County Administrative Building.
“I need to know what you need,” Evans said, telling the group that job creation, land use and health care will be discussed that night. Commissioner Monte McCallum thanked those in attendance and asked them to bring more people with them to future meetings.
Commissioner J.J. McCree, who serves as the mayor pro tem, asked residents for their input as to how the town can increase revenue. An audit presented by John Masters, of S. Preston Douglas and Associates, showed Fairmont’s cash balance is lower than its year-end total during the previous fiscal year partly because of a decline in sales taxes and utility fees it collects.
The commissioners said they would discuss ideas for increasing revenue and cutting expenses at its board retreat, which they slated for Jan. 16.
The board also approved a resolution to adopt the National Incident Management System, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s government-to-government disaster communication system.
“It’s one of those got-to-do things,” said Town Manager Linda Vause, explaining that the county has already signed on to the project.
Recently appointed Commissioner Amelia McLean was named the alternate representative to the Lumber River Council of Governments. McLean, a pastor, will attend the council’s meetings in Townsend’s absence.