Despite the observance of Independence Day next week, there’s no chance of fireworks at the regular first-Thursday meeting of the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners — which has been canceled.
City officials decided during their last meeting on June 19 to forego their scheduled July 3 session. This is a normal occurrence with the Mount Airy council, due to the proximity of the first-Thursday meeting in July to the holiday.
Mayor Deborah Cochran said when the decision was made that some board members had vacation plans for next week. Coupled with that is the fact there is no pressing business for the board to address then, after a busy spring dominated by budgetary, property purchase, Municipal Service District expansion and other matters.
The city board normally gathers on the first and third Thursdays each month. With next week’s session canceled, it will next convene on July 17 at 7 p.m.
Mount Airy officials usually cancel only two meetings annually, based on the schedule of recent years. In addition to the first meeting in July, they eliminate a meeting during the Christmas/New Year holiday season due to the demands surrounding that period.
Also earlier this month, the board decided to change the procedure for its first-Thursday meetings to better reflect the nature of those sessions.
For several years, the first-Thursday gatherings have been labeled as regular meetings for “briefing,” which theoretically meant those meetings were dedicated to discussion on items with no votes occurring.
However, the distinction gradually became blurred “because normally action is taken at those briefing sessions,” the mayor pointed out when the change was approved on June 5.
Some of the votes occurring during those sessions have been required due to timing and other factors.
But under the new format, which the commissioners had to alter the wording of a municipal ordinance governing the schedule for council meetings to accommodate, both gatherings each month will now simply be known as regular meetings.
The ordinance now calls for the first-Thursday meeting to begin at 2 p.m. and the third-Thursday session at 7 p.m., unless otherwise specified.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-719-1924 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.