By CALVIN ADKINS
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
PRINCEVILLE — With the absent of two board members, the town council unanimously approved for two volunteers to assist the town in during chores of a town manager Thursday during a special called meeting.
Mayor Priscilla Everette-Oates and Mayor Pro Tem Isabelle Purvis-Andrews did not attend the meeting.
Steve Modlin, a professor in the Master of Public Administration, at ECU and Patrick Eglington, a graduate student in the Master of Public Administration program at N.C. State University will work one day a week at the town hall with the agreement to be paid only travel expenses. The LGC approach each school graduate department and asked for volunteers to assist Princeville.
"This gives us an opportunity to help a small town," Modlin said. "I have worked with the Local Government Commission over the years and it has been a great opportunity to work with them. We should see some of the results of this real soon. We will see the town actual prosper in the next several months or the end of the year. It will be good for the elected officials and especially the citizens."
Eglington said volunteering for the town will be a, "Great opportunity to learn more about local government. It is a passion of mines. I'm just starting off in school so this will give me a lot of valuable resources."
Modlin and Eglington attended the meeting. During a brief lecture, Modlin told the board that they will fill the requests made by the board that will improve the town. He explained that all financial matters will be deferred to the LGC.
Commissioner Calvin Sherrod, who was the facilitator of the meeting asked Modlin, "When can you start."
Commissioner Gwen Knight said, "It's a privilege that you guys are working for the town. I thank you so much and I wish you the best."
Commissioner Ann Howell said her first priority for the volunteers will be to work on refurbishing the fire hydrants, cleaning the ditches and repairing the streets.
Modlin and Eglington first visited Princeville did not receive the same welcome by all the board members. A letter written to the board by Vance Hollman, secretary of LGC, states, "We were very disappointed by the conduct of some of town officials at the meeting. After that meeting it was decided that these gentlemen would only come to town hall when accompanied by a member of the LGC staff."
The letter does not specify who the town officials were.
In other business the board approved hiring Tabitha Powell as the interim town clerk for the second time. The board approved the hire during its April 26 meeting. Apparently there was some confusing as to Powell's job description which cause the second approval.
Everette-Oates said during the May 30 meeting that the first hire, Powell duties included those of an interim town manager as well as the clerk.
The board also approved hiring a public work employee.