by David Anderson
Kinston Free Press
Kinston City Council members at odds with Mayor B.J. Murphy over involuntary annexation and other issues can’t make him irrelevant, but they have taken a step to marginalize him.
As of Monday, Murphy’s signature on any council-approved document is unnecessary.
In a motion that passed 3-2, Councilman Joe Tyson proposed having City Manager Scott Stevens sign any document the council has approved by “a majority, plurality or unanimous vote.”
City Attorney Jim Cauley advised there is no policy requiring the mayor to sign all council resolutions and ordinances, except in certain cases, such as cemetery documents.
Mayor B.J. Murphy irked the council twice in recent months by declining to sign council-approved measures that he did not support.
“Coming from a constructive dialogue, the mayor is not elected by the council members but by the people,” Murphy said Tuesday. “My positions on forced annexation and many others have been widely known for many years. It is unfortunate that expressing a particular point of view has turned into not just political but personal attacks.”