Local News

Budget Help Comes to Enfield

Posted September 2, 1997

— A state appointed board met Tuesday in Raleigh to try to outline a budget for the town of Enfield.

Enfield's mayor and two town commissioners have boycotted budget meetings since June, so Enfield has been without a budget since then.

Tuesday, NAACP got involved.

Last month, the Local Government Commission in Raleigh decided to put together an interim budget plan for the small town so that employees could get paid and the town could carry on routine business. Tuesday's meeting was held to work up a budget for the remainder of the year through June 30.

To some, that means the town board has failed in its efforts to put together a budget of its own. Others say the mayor has done the right thing, because there are issues of fairness involved. There are some indications that the situation may not be resolved, however, even after the Tuesday meeting.

The NAACP contacted Enfield Mayor Kai Hardaway after hearing of his three-month boycott of local meetings. Town leaders were still unable to agree on Tuesday. The NAACP wants an investigation into why the town hasn't made any progress.

Keith Sutton, executive director of the North Carolina NAACP, said the organization wants to know why the leaders have not been able to resolve the budget problem.

The mayor and two African-American commissioners have boycotted the meetings, reportedly because they fear their plans to annex outlying areas and to call for an employee pay raise will be voted down by the majority of the board. Mayor Hardaway says he doesn't think the best interests of Enfield's citizens are being considered.

One factor that also plays a role the this dispute is that an election is coming up this November. Mayor Hardaway is up for re-election as are one white and one African-American commissioner.

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