The amendment read, in part, "Be it therefore resolved that the Anson County Board of Commissioners hereby requests that the North Carolina General Assembly, in accordance with Article XIII Section 4 of the North Carolina Constitution, approve legislation submitting a proposal to the qualified voters of this State, for their ratification or rejection, for the adoption of an amendment to the North Carolina Constitution stating: Marriage between a man and a woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State."
Unlike last month, the meeting did not move from the top floor of the county offices to the courthouse. An overflow crowd stood outside of the door as fire codes placed limits on how many people could be inside.
At the previous meeting, the resolution was not brought to a vote. This time, a motion to do so was made by Commissioner Jim Sims and seconded by Commissioner Bobby Sikes. The motion to adopt the resolution failed, 5-2, with Sims and Sikes voting for it.
Last month, pastor Jeff Goudelock spoke on behalf of the resolution. This time, pastor Rocky Carpenter was its champion.
"We are not here on behalf of any denomination, race or party," he said.
"The marriage problem today is not what you see," he said. He claimed the problem was "in God's house."
He said the United States was more immoral than any other nation and this was the result of a weak church.
"This impulse is a symptom of the erosion of the marriage culture," he said.
"God's law has been our standard for this nation," he said. "We cannot change our laws because of the sinful appetites of the few."
His voice rose over the course of his speech.
"The good book says all souls are mine," Commissioner Harold Smith said.
The mayor pro tem of Marshville, Gail Kiker, urged commissioners to support the resolution.
After the vote, a member of the crowd shouted "May God forgive your souls!"
Gulledge to retire
County Manager Vance Gulledge announced he would retire at the end of 2010. He had told commissioners he would give them notification a year ahead of time.
"We should start looking now," Commissioner Ross Streater said.
"You amaze me with all the stuff you know," Commission Chair Anna Baucom said.
Courthouse renovations a problem
Commissioners discussed security at the courthouse. Sheriff's deputies were unable to secure certain doors and the estimated cost of their replacement was over $60,000. The doors would need to be "similar historically."
There were also problems with accessibility for a handicapped judge, who has so far been scheduled to avoid coming here because of the problems.
"I'm at my wit's end" how to make the bench accessible, Gulledge said. A bathroom would also need to be built so the judge could use it.
Gulledge said the costs would be "astronomical."
The witness stand must also be made accessible.
"We've known this was coming," Baucom said. To avoid drastic cuts in other services, no money was budgeted this year for renovation and repairs of county buildings.
There are problems with other county facilities. The jail is often overcrowded, a problem mentioned by Baucom at the Anson County Democratic Party's meeting Nov. 12.
"The sheriff wants a new jail," Gulledge said.
"I'd just as soon stick a stick in my eye as build a new jail," Baucom said Nov. 12.
"We've been over capacity for some time," Sheriff Allen said Nov. 16. Some of those inmates were forced upon the county by the state, which also faces overcrowding issues.
Gulledge said when the jail was originally built, there were plans to add two floors to it in the future. However, the foundation cannot support it.
"We need a plan and a bucketful of money," Baucom said.
Commissioners agreed to pay out of their pockets to purchase a meal for the Anson High School football team.
The Commission discussed the problems with holding the early voting in the upcoming primary at the Board of Elections office. Aside from issues of space and potential lines, there is also the question of access by the handicapped. While there is an elevator, many people tried to use the stairs during the election in November.
Smith described this as potentially a "terrible liability" and added he was sorry the board of elections was ever placed in the county offices.
Gulledge said in retrospect, he agreed.
The Commission meets the first Tuesday of each month.