The Wadesboro Town Council convened Monday for its monthly meeting, drawing a crowd so large that several were forced to stand.
Although it wasn’t an item on the council’s agenda, many crowd members attended to speak on behalf of Major Thedis Spencer, interim chief of the Wadesboro Police Department. All citizens who spoke about Spencer urged the board to hire Spencer as the regular chief. Frank Richardson commented that, as major, Spencer is the highest-ranking officer in the PD and that he has served as second-in-command to three different chiefs. “There are many of us who feel that his time has come and passed, and come and passed, and come and passed on many occasions,” Richardson said.
Frederick Colson concurred. “He can bring enthusiasm to the police force and be fair,” he said. “I think the department would work well with him and have no animosity toward him from within.”
Additional issues brought by citizens included David Harrington’s concern about the necessity of pipes on his street and Dave Smith’s dissatisfaction with the town website, maintaining that it is “stark,” non user-friendly, not up-to-date, has a lack of attractive photos, and that “the dining page is bland.” Smith compared the site to those of neighboring communities and attested that they were better designed and more apt to draw attention. “I speak from the standpoint of tourism because that is what I do,” Smith, the director of the Anson County Tourism Authority, said.
The council also listened to representatives from the Rocky River Planning Organization. Calvin Gaddy, the mayor of New London and chair of the Technical Coordinating Committee, asked the council to rejoin the RPO. The RPO works with the North Carolina Department of Transportation and local officials to decide on transportation planning for projects within the region, which includes Anson, Stanly and the Marshville area of Union County. Gaddy informed the council that the RPO deals with projects that involve Wadesboro roads and NCDOT nearly every meeting and that joining the organization would give the town council a voice.
RPO director Dana Stoogenke supported Gaddy, saying that Wadesboro needs an advocate at the RPO meetings to talk with NCDOT. The council was involved with RPO from 2002-2006; Mayor Bill Thacker requested that the RPO send the town council a statement of membership fees for the consideration of the board.
As part of the manager’s report, Interim Town Manager Cecil Wood apprised the council of the CONNECT Our Future Open House on Nov. 15 from 4-7 p.m. at the South Piedmont Community College Lockhart-Taylor Center. The open house is designed to increase public engagement and to “identify those qualities and characteristics that each community values and wants to preserve for the future, as well as the challenges your community and the region face,” according to an email from Centralina included in the council packets.
Wood’s contract as interim town manager ended the day of the meeting, Nov. 5, but the council unanimously voted to extend his appointment another 30 days while they review applications for the position. The council will meet Wednesday at 5 p.m. to further discuss the applications, with each council member selecting their top five favorite candidates to compare at the meeting.
Wood also stated that “all towns are invited to meet quickly after the elections with the new legislators to get identification with them early on,” saying that it would give the legislation “an idea of who we are and what we do.”
The board went into closed session following the regular meeting.