Mount Olive Mayor Ken Talton expects members to be appointed to five newly-created Citizen Advisory Committees in June after the town’s Board of Commissioners approved the measure earlier this month.
Talton considers the committees an integral part of local government administration, and wants to give residents an opportunity to provide input as the town moves forward in a new decade.
“Citizen Advisory Committees can be an effective tool for elected officials to engage citizens in the democratic process, and in turn, give the citizens more of a voice in local government decision-making processes,” Talton said.
The committees and their respective directors are Beautification (Commissioner Dr. Barbara Kornegay), Public Safety (Talton), Public Works (Commissioners Harlie Carmichael and Steve Wiggins), Quality of Life/Cemetery (Commissioner Vicky Darden) and Parks and Recreation (Commissioner Dr. Dennis Draper).
Talton and a board member will serve as an advisor to each committee. Elected officials may not vote, but will serve as a resource of information for committee members during their term of office, which is every two years.
The committees can devote significant time to specific areas of local government where the town board is typically unable. From there, they can provide knowledge and information to the town council from a resident’s perspective, and help ensure that the community’s needs are fully met.
“These committees have the opportunity to discuss, evaluate and analyze specific issues facing the town of Mount Olive,” Talton said. “Afterwards, they are able to formulate and forward well-developed recommendations to the town board for consideration of adoption.
“We are excited for this new era in the town of Mount Olive.”
The town once operated with a council-mayor government and each elected official served as a department head for divisions of the town. That format changed to a council-manager government where the town continued to assign elected officials to oversee departments, which proved to be controversial and ineffective.