Council reverses decision

Published 7:35 am Thursday, October 25, 2012

MURFREESBORO – The Murfreesboro Town Council has reversed last month’s decision to change the current terms of office from two to four years.

According to Mayor John Hinton, following a lengthy discussion Tuesday evening’s Council meeting regarding the US Department of Justice (DOJ) involvement in approving a charter revision of terms, the council voted to rescind the letter of intent passed last month, as advised by Town Attorney Buddy Jones.

The purpose of having the terms changed was to create staggered terms that would have allowed a minimum of two council members, and perhaps the mayor, still on the board during an election cycle.

Murfreesboro officials were following NC General Statute 160A-102 in their effort to amend the Town Charter. That same 160A Statute (section 101) also gives municipal government the authority to change the terms of office of the elected officials.

Hinton said as Jones began checking into the process he realized it was a little more complicated that originally thought.

Murfreesboro, as well as other municipalities in Northeastern North Carolina, falls under a direct DOJ mandate concerning elections.

“Murfreesboro does not have the resources to fight a court battle simply to have four year terms,” Hinton said, referencing the DOJ mandate. At their Sept. 25 meeting the council voted 4-1 to change the current terms of office from two to four years. Sarah Wallace gave the dissenting vote.