Tryon to begin holding work sessions prior to meetings

Published 11:42 pm Thursday, January 4, 2018

First on list could be “putting teeth” in minimum housing code

TRYON – Tryon Town Council will begin this year holding work sessions prior to monthly meetings to thoroughly discuss issues prior to making decisions in meetings.

Tryon Town Council met Dec. 19 and heard from commissioner Dr. Crys Armbrust, who suggested the work sessions. Armbrust said the work sessions will be public prior to the 7 p.m. meetings, beginning at 6 p.m. and the purpose will be to legally discuss the work of the board of commissioners and to relay that work in a clear and efficient fashion to the town manager.

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All commissioners were in agreement and voted to add the 6 p.m. work sessions for all 11 months the town meets. Tryon does not meet in July.

Commissioner Chrelle Booker said she wants the town’s ordinances updated. Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples agreed and said he thinks the town’s ordinances haven’t been updated since 2004.

Armbrust said the town needs to keep in mind the comments Dr. Warren Carson brought up in November about putting some teeth in the town’s ordinances, particularly about substandard housing.

“The Town of Tryon cannot bare the expense of dealing with this issue alone,” Armburst said.

Commissioner Bill Crowell said work sessions are the perfect opportunity to work through these things.

Town attorney William Morgan said he’s noticed several things in the town’s code that need to be brought up to date as well and one of them is the minimum housing ordinance. He also said the process of changing ordinances depends on the ordinance. Some require a planning board recommendation and some require a public hearing while others do not. If it’s a non-land use ordinance, the town can adopt a new ordinance or changes to an existing ordinance on the first night it’s introduced. Land use ordinances require planning board recommendations and a public hearing.

In November, as well as in other months and years, Carson has brought up to council that the Eastside Community has several dilapidated properties, with some being on the list for many years. Carson suggested the town look into ways to clean up the properties without having to spend town money in doing so. The town budgeted $15,000 this fiscal year to tear down dilapidated homes. Carson said tearing down the properties is not the only way to rid the community of the problems. He suggested the town put some teeth in its ordinances and make people who walk off and leave the properties pay the price.