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News General

When North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue, a Democrat serving her first term in office, presented her budget to the legislature last summer, counties were alarmed at the details of her plan. Gov. Perdue’s proposed budget would have shifted more than $100 million of unfunded liabilities to counties, according to estimates provided by the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) last March.

Gov. Perdue’s budget proposal had no chance at becoming law, but as state officials continue to cope with budgetary constraints, some county leaders are wary of what may lie ahead. North Carolina, unlike the federal government, is required to submit and pass a balanced budget. As a consequence, when revenues plummet during recessions, state policymakers are forced to either raise taxes or make cuts, and sometimes do both. Counties and municipalities within North Carolina are forced to do the same. The GOP-led state legislature, thus far, has chosen to exclusively concentrate on scaling back state spending.

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At their last scheduled meeting for 2011, which took place on Tuesday, Dec.13, Macon County Commissioners unanimously voted to accept Jimmy Tate to fill the District 1 seat of Highlands vacated by former Chairman Brian McClellan. Tate was nominated by the county’s GOP executive committee at a special meeting last week. Tate will serve on the board throughout 2012 and will be up for reelection in November.

The Board of Commissioners also voted on a new Chairman. Republican Commissioner Kevin Corbin will step into the leadership role in 2012.

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After continued community concern, school board members once again discussed the cost analysis of the fall intersession, at December’s regularly scheduled board meeting. Board members also discussed the possibility of canceling the spring intersession all together.

During November’s meeting, board member Jim Breedlove requested that the topic of intersession be placed on December’s agenda and requested further information including cost, expenditures and revenue in regards to the fall intersession.

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On Monday, a Nantahala woman filed three separate temporary civil no-contact orders against fellow community members, after her 15-year-old daughter alleged that an elected official had inappropriate physical contact with her. The family is now claiming they are victims of intimidation.

Melonie Elkins-Howard filed the orders against Macon County Board of Education member Thomas Baldwin, his daughter Melissa Baldwin and Heather Evans. District Court Judge Richlyn Holt issued one of the orders for Melissa, but found no grounds to issue the orders on Thomas Baldwin or Evans.

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