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Municipal Election Results from Across the State

Tuesday was election day for a number of municipalities across North Carolina. League member cities and towns of all sizes elected mayors, council members, commissioners, and aldermen to lead their respective governments. Congratulations to all of Tuesday's winners, and thank you to all of you who ran for office for your desire to serve your community. Full results of all of Tuesday's elections can be found here on the State Board of Elections website. A sampling of press coverage from across the state can be found below. 









Blowing Rock






Carolina Beach




Chapel Hill






China Grove
















East Spencer








Granite Quarry












Hope Mills




















Mount Pleasant














Siler City




Spring Lake




Topsail Beach










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U.S. Rep. Howard Coble Won't Run for Re-Election

Longtime United States Representative Howard Coble announced yesterday that he would not run for re-election in 2014. Coble, who is in his 15th term in the House of Representatives, represents North Carolina's 6th Congressional District, which currently stretches from Surry County to portions of Granville County and also includes parts of Guilford, Alamance, Orange and Durham counties. Coble has been hospitalized multiple times in recent years and cited his health problems as factors in his decision not to run again. "I still have the energy and the interest to discharge my congressional duties," Rep. Coble said, "but my back trouble and battle with skin cancer are troublesome, so that is why I have decided to retire." If he serves until the final day of his term, Rep. Coble will retire as the longest-serving Republican in the history of the North Carolina congressional delegation. In a statement, North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Claude Pope said, "Congressman Howard Coble's retirement leaves a huge void in the North Carolina delegation and on Capitol Hill. Congressman Coble represented North Carolina's Sixth District with great honor and integrity, dedicating his entire life to serving the public. The key to his success was that he was sincere, honest, and authentic." Coble's vacant seat is expected to draw interest from a host of potential candidates.
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Flood Insurance, Commerce Dept. Updates Heard by Committee

On Thursday, the Joint Legislative Economic Development & Global Engagement Oversight Committee met to hear a variety of updates. Among the presentations was an overview of the pending flood insurance changes by Tom Thompson and Willo Kelly of NC-20. As described in last week's LINC'ed IN, the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012, adopted at the federal level last year, reauthorizes the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five more years. It also makes amendments to coverages, rates, and premium structures of the program, which could lead to significant rate increases for North Carolina citizens. Thompson and Kelly encouraged legislators to consider the development of a state-wide task force to address issues with the bill. The speakers also encouraged communication with other states that are deeply affected by the legislation. Organizations like NC-20 will continue to work with legislators and local elected officials to encourage changes to the Biggert-Waters Act, including through the support of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, which would delay certain problematic provisions for four years while FEMA conducts an affordability study on the changes. The League will continue to provide updates on the NFIP as we work with legislators, elected officials, and the National League of Cities to raise awareness and support.

In addition, the committee was addressed by Dr. Patricia Mitchell, Assistant Secretary for the Rural Economic Development Division. According to Dr. Mitchell, on Monday $100 million in grants will be transferred from the accounts of the N.C. Rural Center to the newly formed Rural Economic Development Division. All grants are reviewed as they come to the division, and a payment schedule will be released soon. Nine grant managers will be joining the division to help with administrative oversight of the programs. Other issues being explored by the division are the expansion of broadband systems throughout the state and a joint land use study at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. Division representatives will be working closely with affected cities on the land use study, and they have already reached out to Goldsboro Manager Scott Stevens to begin preparations.

Finally, Senior Advisor to Gov. Pat McCrory Tony Almeida provided an update on the economic development strategic planning process, through the Department of Commerce's Thrive in NC initiative. The Economic Development Board has been appointed and includes a variety of public and private business representatives. Board members and staff will be embarking on a listening tour and addressing issues such as rural prosperity and community development. Stay tuned to League updates for how cities can be involved in the process. 

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Board of Transportation Opts to Keep Local Input Split

The N.C. Board of Transportation (BOT) met yesterday and slightly revised its previous guidelines regarding the implementation of the Strategic Transportation Investment law passed during this year's General Assembly session. However, it opted to maintain an equal split of local input percentages between MPOs/RPOs and NCDOT Division Engineers at the Regional Impact and Division Needs categories. In early August the BOT met and accepted all of the recommendations of the N.C. Department of Transportation P3.0 Workgroup, which the League served on. When these accepted recommendations were presented to the Joint Legislative Transportation Oversight Committee (JLTOC), the committee asked the workgroup to reconvene and consider six items. The workgroup did so and presented the additional input on those six items to the JLTOC on October 4. Yesterday, the BOT accepted the workgroup's recommended change to one of those items, adding a criteria for "Accessibility/Connectivity" to the Regional Impact category and giving it a weight of 10 percent. All other previously accepted recommendations, including that related to local input, remain the same.
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Moffitt States Interest in Local Government Regulatory Actions

The Joint Legislative Administrative Procedure Oversight Committee met on Tuesday of this week, largely to receive background and overviews of such matters as the Administrative Procedures Act and the rulemaking process, pertinent bills passed during the 2013 General Assembly session, and the Office of Administrative Hearings. Importantly for cities and towns, an additional issue that could come before the committee was raised by co-chair Rep. Tim Moffitt, who stated his interest in examining statutory changes that would limit local government regulatory powers. He said that he hoped this committee would look into the issue at future meetings. Unlike at the state level, where unelected agencies and appointed boards pass regulations, elected officials make decisions on local regulatory ordinances. The committee also discussed potential issues for consideration, which included such issues as "Exemptions from the APA" and "Rulemaking Process Issues, Including Preparation of Fiscal Notes."
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Policy Committee Assignments Forthcoming

Thank you to all of the municipal officials across the state who submitted a form expressing interest in serving on a League policy committee by last week's deadline. In the coming weeks League Board members and staff will be reviewing the interest forms prior to invitations to serve on the various committees being extended by League President Al King. Terms of service on the committees will begin on Jan. 1, 2014. If you have any questions about serving on the committees, please contact League Governmental Affairs Assistant Cara Bridges.