Gibson commissioners revisit stipend issue

By Mary Katherine Murphy - [email protected]

LAURINBURG — In a Thursday meeting that never hit the 10-minute mark, the Gibson town commissioners moved to reinstate their own pay — then decided to leave the matter for consideration as part of the town’s upcoming budget.

The motion came from Commissioner Pete Wilkins, who suggested implementing a $50 per month salary retroactive to Jan. 1.

The Gibson commissioners eliminated their pay last year while working through the current year’s budget, in order to give raises to the town’s three employees.

Though all were in favor of the idea, none could decide where the extra funds might be found. The town board decided to explore the matter further in discussions of Gibson’s 2016-2017 budget.

“The best thing to do is to come back in June when we have our budget,” said Mayor Ronnie Hudson. “But there shouldn’t be any problem. I don’t see any problem, to be honest with you, because personally I think you should get it anyway.”

Former Gibson commissioner Freddie Webb expressed his disapproval of the idea during the meeting’s public comment period.

“That’s my opinion as a citizen,” said Webb. “None of you deserve it except Mrs. (Lula) Cottingham.”

In other business, the board voted to use up to $1,400 — between a fund for the town museum and the town’s supply department — to erect two signs noting Gibson as the former home of Major League Baseball pitcher Michael Wright, who made his major league debut last year with the Baltimore Orioles.

The town is working with the state to place the signs at the town limits on N.C. 79.

“We had to go to through the state and we actually took a picture and sent it to the state of a sign in a town that had put one up,” said Hudson. “The man said, well they’re going to have to take that down, that’s not legal. So we probably got them in trouble.

“They’re going to tell you how big a sign you can put up, how high you can put it, where you can put it. We want it to be legal and straight.”

Mary Katherine Murphy can be reached at 910-506-3169.

By Mary Katherine Murphy

[email protected]

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