7/27/2020 3:05:00 PM P&Z Board disbanded, restructured; Bruno resigns as town volunteer
by PATTI STOKES
STOKESDALE - Three Stokesdale Town Council members voted to disband the town's Planning & Zoning Board during the council's July 9 meeting; in an immediate follow-up, full-voting and alternate members were individually voted on.
Former council member Frank Bruno, who has served the last several months as the P&Z board's chairman, got "yes" votes from Mayor John Flynt and Mayor Pro Tem Thearon Hooks, but not from council members Derek Foy, Jim Rigsbee or Jimmy Landreth, so was not appointed to the newly assembled board. The morning after the meeting Bruno resigned as chair of the town's Events Committee.
"With no reasons given, they have removed me from the planning board while putting people on it who have not shown up for any of the meetings in the last six months. Seems to me this has nothing to do with qualifications..." Bruno wrote in an email to the town council. "... With that being said, since there has been no support from the council for our current or upcoming events, including the Farmers Market, I will be resigning my position on the Events Committee effective immediately."
In subsequent communication with the Northwest Observer, Foy said he voted in favor of disbanding the P&Z Board and re-voting on members because three of the board's five full voting members had not been voted on and appointed by the council.
"Last night's vote corrected that," Foy said.
Foy also referenced an email Bruno had sent to the town clerk in January, in which he said he could not serve on the board because of increased work commitments that he had just learned of. Despite that email, Bruno continued to serve as an alternate on the board and was later voted by his fellow members to a full voting role and to serve as the board's chairman.
Foy, Rigsbee and Landreth argued last month that alternates on the board cannot transition to full voting members without a vote of the town council; after researching the matter, Town Attorney Tom Medlin confirmed during the July 9 meeting that they were correct.