Council sets five goals for city manager

Published 7:15 pm Thursday, October 30, 2014

One of the top five goals set for City Manager Brian Alligood by the City Council is something the council has worked off and on for several years — construction of a new police station.

The council adopted that goal and four others earlier this week. The other goals are regular meetings between the council and the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners to help enhance the relationship between the two local governments, continue efforts to improve drainage in the Jack’s Creek basin, avoid raising taxes and complete the master plans for improving Havens Gardens and Beebe Memorial Park.

Each council member had submitted goals he wanted Alligood to work on in the coming months. The council reviewed those submissions and developed a list of prioritized goals comprised of some of the suggested goals from each council member.

“Everybody had a different No. 1 it looks like. I was just looking through it (the list) and it seems like everybody hit (marked) the police department pretty high,” Mayor Mac Hodges said.

The police station project was high on the top of that list, as was the regular meetings between city officials and county officials.

Several years ago, the council shelved the idea of building a new police station over concerns over how to pay for it. And for several years, the city has been talking about improving the working relationship between the city and county.

Other suggested goals for the city manager included addressing the appearance of Jack’s Creek, wellness in the work place, the future of the city’s involvement with 911 and reducing overtime by city employees. As for 911, currently all 911 calls made in the county are answered by the communications division of the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, but 911 calls regarding emergencies and other events in Washington are transferred to dispatchers at the Washington Police Department. Those dispatchers send the appropriate personnel to respond to those calls. A proposal called for the police department to eventually hand over its dispatching duties to the sheriff’s office and for the city to help pay for an additional dispatcher at the sheriff’s office. That has not happened.

“The question now is do we stay in the 911 business totally or do we get out of the business totally?” Councilman Doug Mercer said.

Alligood told the council he would prefer the city to retain its full 911 capabilities.

Councilman Richard Brooks said the city should have kept its entire 911 service. Now, he said, the city “should go back after it.”


About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

email author More by Mike