Alderman Barbara Best proposed that board members get a 30 percent raise.   Alderman Barbara Best took a brave stand during Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting, one that critics would accuse her as being self-serving. Best made a motion for members of the board to receive a 30 percent pay raise over the remainder of their four-year terms in office. It amounts to $2,429 in extra income, bringing their annual pay (except the mayor and mayor pro tem, who each earn more) to just over $10,000 per year. Aldermen Jameesha Harris and Johnnie Ray Kinsey backed Best’s motion. Aldermen Sabrina Bengel, Bobby Aster, and JeffreyRead More →

Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting agenda. Highlights: Duffyfield Phoenix Project presentation, budget public hearing, Community Development Block Grant public hearing. CITY OF NEW BERN BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING MAY 22, 2018 – 6:00 P.M. CITY HALL COURTROOM 300 POLLOCK STREET Note: Links expire when the next agenda gets posted. Also, we were having trouble following links; the city website seems to be experiencing a slowdown today. 1.  Meeting opened by Mayor Dana E. Outlaw.  Prayer Coordinated by Alderman Best.  Pledge of Allegiance. 2.  Roll Call. Consent Agenda 3.  Considering Approving a Proclamation for the Folds of Honor. On Saturday, June 9, 2018, the Emerald Golf Club will offerRead More →

Aldermen voted 4-2, with one absent, to create a Redevelopment Commission, with the goal to revitalize the Greater Duffyfield area. A redevelopment commission in 1960s kickstarted revitalization of downtown New Bern, Mayor Dana Outlaw said. A Metropolitan Services District (MSD) followed and downtown businesses taxed themselves to fund improvements. The effort, which continues to this day, is widely regarded as one of the most successful downtown redevelopment efforts in the nation. No one spoke at a public hearing into establishing a Redevelopment Commission during Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting, but two aldermen, Johnnie Ray Kinsey and Barbara Best, expressed reservations. Kinsey said he wanted toRead More →

Aldermen meet this evening to hold a public hearing into how the city will spend taxpayer and user fee money during the next fiscal year. This is the first budget for the newly coined Board of Aldermen, which met during budget workshops last week that lasted just over 11 hours. As presented by city staff, the draft budget is fairly status quo and would not result in any additional taxes or fees. However, City Manager Mark Stephens also laid out a number of steps aldermen could take to raise addition revenue to pay for new projects. (Fun fact: “Raise revenue” is boffin-speak for new feesRead More →

Note: Links expire when next agenda is posted at City Hall. Regular Board of Aldermen meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 6 p.m. in the City Hall Courtroom, 2nd Floor, 300 Pollock Street. CITY OF NEW BERN BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING MAY 08, 2018 – 6:00 P.M. CITY HALL COURTROOM 300 POLLOCK STREET 1. Meeting opened by Mayor Dana E. Outlaw.  Prayer Coordinated by Alderman Best.  Pledge of Allegiance. 2. Roll Call. 3. Request and Petition of Citizens. This section of the Agenda is titled Requests and Petitions of Citizens.  This is an opportunity for public comment, and we thank you for coming toRead More →

The Board of Aldermen got their first look at a proposed $125 million spending plan that keeps the wheels rolling at City Hall without costing constituents a penny more — but that could change by the time the budget is approved next month. The board met Tuesday and spent just over an hour hearing an overview of the fiscal year 2019 spending plan draft, which as presented is a1.91 percent increase over this year. Here are areas that may cost citizens more: The board may consider moving sanitation out of general fund. It is running $193,000 in the red, subsidized by general fund. Includes leafRead More →

Misc. stuff and fun facts: First, what’s up with City Manager Mark Stephens’ lapel pin? (See picture, left) Paint Your Heart Out is looking for volunteers, donations and sponsorships. Contact Landa Gaskins, Community Development Coordinator, Phone (252) 639-7586, or email  Community Health Fare Saturday, April 28, noon-3 p.m., Omega Center. Water and sewer revenues are down because of conservation, but treatment costs are increasing. Maola was a major customer the city lost, affecting revenue. Ad valorem tax rates in the area: .52 Greenville, .65 Goldsboro, .66 Kinston, .52 Washington, .59 Havelock, .485 Wilmington, .555 Wilson, .46 New Bern, the lowest in the area. Ad valorem taxes bring in $1.37 million to NewRead More →

Note: Links have been added. Links expire when a new agenda is posted.   CITY OF NEW BERN BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING APRIL 24, 2018 – 6:00 P.M. CITY HALL COURTROOM 300 POLLOCK STREET 1. Meeting opened by Mayor Dana E. Outlaw.  Prayer Coordinated by Alderman Kinsey.  Pledge of Allegiance. 2. Roll Call. CONSENT AGENDA 3. Considering Adopting a Resolution Calling for a Public Hearing on the Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2018-19 At this meeting, the City Manager will present the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2018-2019.  Budget workshops are scheduled for May 1st and 2nd.  Following those workshops, a public hearing will be held asRead More →

I’ve never been a fan of how the city charges exorbitant fines, fees, and deposits on electric utilities customers who are least able to afford it. Then I sat in on a PowerPoint presentation by JR Sabatelli, the city’s finance director, and I was nearly persuaded. I think several aldermen planned to come out of Wednesday’s special meeting of the Board of Aldermen with the deposit policy cancelled. But that didn’t happen. Sabatelli did that good a job making his points. Rather than trashing the policy, aldermen directed city staff to find ways to be more customer friendly. But being a CPA, Sabatelli was perhaps aRead More →

New Bern aldermen and the mayor will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, one day after the Board of Aldermen’s regular meeting, to discuss a proposed redevelopment agency and controversial utility deposits. The special meeting will start at noon Wednesday in the City Hall Courtroom. This meeting was scheduled separately from the board’s regular meeting due to the complexities of the two issues. Aldermen and the mayor have been looking at forming a redevelopment agency to solve problems of urban decay in the Five Points area. The utility deposit program, initiated by the previous Board of Aldermen shortly after it was seated, imposes deposits onRead More →