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Editor’s Note - House Bill No. 252, Senate Bill No. 120, being an Act to Incorporate the Town of Biltmore Forest, adopted by the General Assembly of North Carolina and ratified on the 14th day of February, 1923, is set out herein in full, except for Section 10 which repealed all laws or parts of laws in conflict, and Section 11 which placed this Act in force from and after its ratification. Only the catchphrases are not a part of the original act.
These have been added for easy reference. This original act was signed by W. B. Cooper, President of the Senate, and John G. Dawson, Speaker of the House of Representatives.
That the town of Biltmore Forest, in Buncombe County, be and the same is hereby incorporated under the name and style of “Town of Biltmore Forest”, and shall have and exercise all the powers, and be subject to all the provisions contained in subchapter one, and Articles fifteen, sixteen, seventeen and nineteen of Chapter fifty-six of the Consolidated Statutes of North Carolina, and other general laws which are now or may hereafter be enacted for the organization and government of cities and towns in North Carolina. (H. B. 252, S. B. 120, 2-14-23)
That the corporate limits of said Town shall be as follows: All of that area included within the lines, beginning at a point on the north bank of the Swannanoa River, where the west line of Biltmore Village intersects the same, and running down and with the north bank of said River to the center of the road leading through the Victoria Gate, or Entrance to the Biltmore Estate; thence running with the center of said road southeastwardly to the Approach Road of the Biltmore Estate; thence with the center line of the Approach Road to its intersection with the Overlook Road; thence with the center line of the Overlook Road to its intersection with the center line of the Busbee Road, near the Busbee Gate, or Entrance, of the Biltmore Estate; thence with the center line of the Busbee Road, eastwardly to the west line of the tract of land conveyed by the Trustees of the Estate of George W. Vanderbilt to the Biltmore Estate Company, by deed registered in the Office of the Register of Deeds for Buncombe County, in Book No. 244, at page fifty-six; thence with the west line of said Tract to Station No. 29 of the survey of said tract; thence eastwardly to the south-west corner of the J. M. Brown tract; thence with the west and North lines of said Brown Tract to a point in the western margin of the Asheville-Hendersonville Highway, northwardly to the northeast corner of the aforesaid Biltmore Estate Company Tract; thence with the north line of said Tract, South 87 deg. 48' East, 265 feet to a stake in the east line of the Biltmore Estate; thence with the east line of the Biltmore Estate, northwardly to the north-west corner of the Biltmore High School property; thence with the north line of the Biltmore High School property eastwardly to the center of the Ravine north of the Biltmore High School; thence down and with the center of said Ravine to its intersection with the south line of the corporate limits of Biltmore Village; thence with the South and West lines of the corporate limits of Biltmore Village, to the beginning. (H.B. 252, S. B. 120, 2-14-23)
The following named persons shall fill the offices of Mayor and Commissioners, from their qualifications until an election to be held on the first Monday in May, nineteen hundred and twenty-three, and until their successors are elected and qualified, to-wit: Junius G. Adams, Mayor, and Charles E. Waddell, Edward M. Jones and Lloyd M. Jarrett, Commissioners. (H. B. 252, S. B. 120, 2-14-23)
The officers of said town shall hold office until their successors are elected and qualified. (H. B. 252, S. B. 120,2-14-23)
The Clerk, Treasurer and regular policemen shall be appointed by the Commissioners, and all special policemen shall be appointed by the Mayor. (H. B. 252, S. B. 120, 2-14-23)
The Commissioners shall have the power to issue bonds of the town, and to levy and collect taxes, within the limits provided by law, on all real and personal property within the corporate limits of said town. (H. B. 252, S. B. 120, 2-14-23)
That an election shall be held in said town on the first Monday in November, every four years, for the purpose of electing a Mayor and three Commissioners, which said election shall be held under the laws of North Carolina regulating elections in cities and towns. (H. B. 252, S. B. 120, 2-14-23)
That the officers provided for in this Act shall qualify within ten days from its ratification before a Justice of the Peace, or Clerk of the Superior Court and all officers thereafter elected or appointed by the Board shall qualify before the Mayor of said town, a Justice of the Peace, or Clerk of the Superior Court. (H. B. 252, S. B. 120, 2-14-23)
The incorporation of said town shall in no way release or relieve the persons and property therein from liability for the payment of any ordinary or special School Tax levied for the public schools of the district in which said property is situated. (H. B. 252, S. B. 120, 2-14-23)
CODE OF ETHICS
The purpose of this code of Ethics is to establish guidelines for ethical standards of conduct for the Town of Biltmore Forest Board of Commissioners and to help determine what conduct is appropriate in particular cases. It should not be considered a substitute for the law or for the Board member’s best judgment.
The Town of Biltmore Forest Board of Commissioners is comprised of the Mayor and three Commissioners and all references in this Code of Ethics to ‘Commissioners’ is deemed to include the Mayor and the three Commissioners.
Commissioners Shall Obey the Law
All members of the Board of Commissioners of the Town of Biltmore Forest should obey all laws applicable to their official actions as members of the Board. Board members should be guided by the spirit as well as the letter of the law in whatever they do.
Commissioners Shall Uphold the Integrity and Independence of the Office
All members of the Board of Commissioners of the Town of Biltmore Forest should demonstrate the highest standard of personal integrity, truthfulness, honesty and fortitude in all public activities in order to inspire public confidence and trust in government. They should participate in establishing, maintaining, and enforcing, and should observe high standards of conduct so that the integrity and independence of the office may be preserved.
Commissioners Shall Avoid Impropriety and the Appearance of Impropriety in All His or Her Activities
It is essential that government attract those citizens best qualified and willing to serve. Commissioners have legitimate interests - economic, professional and vocational - of a private nature. A Commissioner should not be denied, and should not deny to other Commissioners or citizens, the opportunity to acquire, retain and pursue private interests- economic or otherwise, except when it conflicts with their responsibility to the public and cannot be avoided. Each member of the Board of Commissioners should exercise his/her best judgment to determine when this is the case. Members should respect and comply with the law and conduct themselves, at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity of the office of Commissioner and of government. Members should not allow family, social, or other relationships to unduly influence his/her conduct or judgment and should not lend the prestige of the office of Commissioner to advance the private interests of others; nor should he/she convey or permit others to convey the impression that he/she is in a special position to influence them. If a Commissioner believes that his/her actions, while legal and ethical, may be misunderstood, the member should seek the advice of the Attorney and should consider publically disclosing the facts of the situation and the steps taken to resolve it.
Commissioners Shall Faithfully and Diligently Perform the Duties of the Office
Commissioners should perform the duties of the office as prescribed by law and should give precedence to these duties over other activities. In the performance of these duties, the following standards shall apply:
Commissioners should actively pursue policy goals they believe to be in the best interests of their constituents within the parameters of orderly decision-making, rules of the Board of Commissioners and open government. Commissioners should respect the legitimacy of the goals and interests of other Commissioners and shall respect the rights of others to pursue goals and policies different from their own.
Commissioners should be faithful to the general and local laws pertaining to the office and strive for professional competence in them. They should be un-swayed by partisan interests, public clamor, or fear of criticism. Commissioners should demand and contribute to the maintenance of order and decorum in proceedings before the Board of Commissioners. Commissioners should be honest, patient, dignified and courteous to those with whom they deal in their official capacity, and should require similar conduct of staff. Commissioners should accord to every person who is legally interested in a proceeding before the Commission, full right to be heard according to law. Commissioners should dispose promptly of the business of the Town of Biltmore Forest.
Commissioners should clearly distinguish legislative, adjudicatory and administrative responsibilities and should refrain from inappropriate interference in the impartial administration of affairs by employees. Commissioners should diligently discharge those administrative responsibilities that are appropriate, should maintain professional competence in the administration of these duties and should facilitate the diligent discharge of the administrative responsibilities of fellow Commissioners and other officials. Commissioners should conserve the resources of the Town and employ equipment, property, funds and personnel only in legally permissible pursuits and in a manner that exemplifies excellent stewardship.
Commissioners Shall Conduct the Affairs of the Board in an Open and Public Manner
Commissioners must be aware of the letter and intent of the State’s Open Meetings Law, being G.S. Ch. 143, Art. 33C, and conduct the affairs of the Board of Commissioners consistent with the letter and spirit of that law and consistent with the need to inspire and maintain public confidence in the integrity and fairness of government and the office of Commissioner. Consistent with this goal of preserving public trust, Commissioners shall be aware of the need for discretion in deliberations when the lack of discretion would pose a threat to the resources of the Town, to the reputation of current or potential employees, to orderly and responsible decision making, to the integrity of other governmental processes or to other legitimate interests of the Town.
Commissioners should be informed concerning campaign finance, conflict of interest and other appropriate state and federal laws and should scrupulously comply with the provisions of such laws. Each member should refrain from financial and business dealings that tend to reflect adversely on the Board or on government or to interfere with the proper performance. Each member should manage his/her personal financial interests to minimize the number of cases in which he/she must ask to be excused from voting on matters coming before the Board. Each member should not disclose any information acquired in his/her official capacity as a Commissioner in financial dealings or for any other purpose not related to official duties.
Commissioners Shall Refrain from Political Activity Inappropriate to His/Her Office
Commissioners have a civic responsibility to support good government by every available means, to continue to inform and educate the citizenry about the affairs and processes of government and to make themselves available to citizens of the so that they may ascertain and respond to the needs of the community. In doing so, each member may join or affiliate with civic organizations whether partisan or nonpartisan, may and should attend political meetings, may and should advocate and support the principles or policies of civic or political organizations consistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States and North Carolina. Each member should maintain the dignity appropriate to the office, and should encourage members of his/her family to adhere to the same standards of political conduct that apply to the Commissioners. Each member should refrain from making pledges or promises of conduct in office that he/she cannot or will not perform or which would be illegal if performed.
This Code of Ethics shall be effective upon its adoption. Adopted this the 10th day of August, 2010.
FORM OF GOVERNMENT
Section 1. In accordance with the provisions of G.S.§§ 160A-101 and 160A-102, the Charter of the Town of Biltmore Forest, as set forth in Chapter 32 of the 1923 Session Laws of North Carolina, as amended, is hereby further amended to provide that the Town shall operate under the council-manager form of government in accordance with G.S. § 160A, Art. 7, pt. 2 and any charter provisions not in conflict therewith.
Section 2. The Town Clerk shall cause a notice to be duly published, stating that an ordinance amending the Charter to adopt the council-manager form of government has been adopted. Subject to any referendum petitioned for and conducted pursuant to G.S. § 160A-103, this amendment shall be in full force and effect from and after July 24, 2017.
Adopted this 20th day of June, 2017.