MAXTON — Maxton officials want young men to pull up their pants.
At the recommendation of Mayor Emmett “Chip” Morton, the town board will hold a public hearing at its Aug. 16 meeting to get comments from residents on what they think should be done about the “sagging-pants” epidemic.
“I have been getting a lot of complaints about the way pants are being worn,” Morton said. “I think it’s time something be done.”
Morton is suggesting that Maxton consider adopting an ordinance similar to one that recently went on the books in Timmonsville, S.C. He said that the South Carolina ordinance is primarily a “nuisance ordinance.”
Morton’s proposal would make it unlawful for any person “driving or walking in the streets and roads of Maxton” to: engage in public nudity; display pornographic material such that others are unwantingly exposed to the material or it is able to be viewed by minors; to display the flesh of one’s rear-end, behind or backside within the city limits; or wear pants, trousers, or shorts so that the known undergarments are intentionally displayed and exposed to the public. The penalty would be a verbal warning for the first offense, a written warning for the second offense, and a fine and the offender’s name being added to a law enforcement registry for a third offense.
In other business, Barbara Melvin, a representative of the North Carolina Indian Housing Authority, expressed her authority’s interest in partnering with the town to provide homes for qualifying poor people. Melvin said that while the Indian Housing Authority has built homes in Red Springs and other surrounding communities, there have been none built in Maxton.
According to Melvin, in addition to helping locate individuals in the community who may qualify for home ownership, town officials should consider the possibility that there are some town-owned lots where homes could be constructed that would boost the tax base.
Morton said that he supports the idea of vacant town-owned lots being transferred to the authority for use of building homes for the poor.
“There is a state statute that allows one government agency transfer to assets to another government agency without having to go out for bids,” he said. “By doing that we could increase our tax base significantly.
“If we have just five lots that we can transfer so that $100,000 are put on them, we have increased our tax base by a half million dollars,” Norton said.
Melvin said that applicants for her agency’s housing programs do not have to be American Indians.
“We do not restrict participation in the program,” she said. “Anyone can apply.”
In other business, the commissioners:
— Recognized Evelyn Williams, the dispatch supervisor and records clerk for the Maxton Police Department, as the town’s Employee of the Month. Williams has worked for the department for 30 years.
— Heard from Francine McLauren, who told the board that a free diabetes program, sponsored by the the St. Matthews Metropolitan AME Zion Health and Wellness Ministry, will be held beginning next month. The program will include six weekly sessions that will meet from 1 to 3 p.m. consecutive Thursdays from Aug. 18 to Sept. 22. The program is being held at the Gilbert Patterson Memorial Library.
Bob Shiles can be reach3ed at 910-416-5165.