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(A) Creation. In accordance with G.S. § 106-739, the Board of Commissioners hereby establishes an Agricultural Advisory Board to implement the provisions of this chapter.
(B) Appointments and Membership. The Agricultural Advisory Board shall consist of seven members appointed by the Board of Commissioners.
(a) Each Advisory Board member shall be a county resident and registered to vote in the county.
(b) Five of the seven members shall be actively engaged in farming.
(c) The five members actively engaged in farming shall meet the eligibility criteria for the preservation program and be selected for appointment by the Board of Commissioners from the names of individuals submitted to the Board of Commissioners by the Ashe Soil and Water Conservation District, the Cooperative Extension Service, the Farm Service Agency Committee and the Ashe County Farm Bureau, with an effort to have the broadest geographical representation possible. The two members shall have special interest, experience, or education in agriculture and/or rural land preservation.
(2) Tenure. The members are to serve for terms of three years, except that the initial Board is to consist of two appointees for a term of one year, two appointees for terms of two years, and three appointees for terms of three years. Thereafter, all appointments are to be for terms of three years, with reappointments permitted but shall not exceed two consecutive three-year terms. The term for the initial Board members will be determined by lottery.
(3) Vacancies. Any vacancy on the Agricultural Advisory Board is to be filled by the Board of Commissioners for the remainder of the unexpired term following the same procedure as for the initial appointment.
(4) Removal for Cause. The Board of Commissioners upon written charges and after a public hearing may remove any member of the Agricultural Advisory Board for cause. An Advisory Board member shall forfeit membership if three consecutive unexcused Board meetings are missed.
(a) Compensation. The per meeting compensation of the members of the Advisory Board may be fixed by the Board of Commissioners.
(b) Appropriations for Performance of Duties. Funds shall be appropriated by the Board of Commissioners to the Agricultural Advisory Board to perform its duties. The Advisory Board may request a budget to be presented to the County Commissioners annually.
(C) Procedures. The Advisory Board shall adopt rules of procedure that are consistent with the enabling legislation and other applicable statutes.
(1) Chairperson. The Advisory Board shall elect a Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson each year at its first meeting of the fiscal year. The Chairperson shall preside over all regular or special meetings of the Board. In the absence or disability of the Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson shall preside and shall have and exercise all the powers of the Chairperson so absent or disabled. Additional officers may be elected as needed.
(2) Jurisdiction and Procedures: Supple- mentary Rules. The jurisdiction and procedures of the Advisory Board are set out in this section, except that the Advisory Board may adopt supplementary rules of procedure not inconsistent with this section or with other provisions of law.
(3) Advisory Board Year. The Advisory Board shall use the county fiscal year as its meeting year.
(4) Meetings. Meetings of the Advisory Board, following such notice as required by this section, shall be held at the call of the Chairperson and at such other times as the Board in its rules of procedure may specify. A called meeting shall be held at least monthly. A quorum shall consist of a majority of the members of the Advisory Board.
(5) Voting. The concurring vote of a majority of the members of the Advisory Board shall be necessary to reverse any order, requirement, decision or determination of any administrative official or agency, to decide in favor of an applicant, or to pass upon any other matter on which it is required to act under this section.
(6) Records. The Advisory Board shall keep minutes of the proceedings showing the vote of each member upon each question, or if absent or failing to vote, indicating such fact, and shall keep records of its examinations and other official actions, all of which shall be immediately filed in the office of the Advisory Board and shall be a public record.
(7) Administrative Services. The Cooperative Extension Service office shall serve the Agricultural Advisory Board for recordkeeping, correspondence, application procedures under this section together with such other services the Advisory Board needs to complete its duties.
(D) Duties. The Agricultural Advisory Board shall:
(1) Review and approve applications for qualified farmland and voluntary agricultural districts.
(2) Hold public hearings pursuant to § 161.10.
(3) Advise the Board of Commissioners on projects, programs, or issues affecting the agricultural economy or activities within the county that will affect agricultural districts.
(4) Perform other related tasks or duties assigned by the Board of Commissioners.
(Ord. passed 7-16-01)