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Big Things Coming in the New Year

With the economic downturn causing cutbacks all over the country and right here in North Carolina, most towns are expecting a bleak year in 2009, with little new for their residents. But for Clayton, it's a matter of "so far, so good." Budget reductions we made in preparation for the downturn should help us through the coming year without a lot of the troubles that other towns might face. Plus, we've got several big things coming to fruition in the new year that should make it one of the most awesome we've ever had. Here's a few of the things we can look forward to: · Community Center Our new Community Center on Amelia Church Road should be ready for events, meetings, sports, classes---and all the other things it will bring to us­ sometime in the Spring. Waiting for it these last few months while it's been under construction has been like waiting for Christmas. It's going to

...we've got several big things coming to fruition in the new year that should make it one of the most awesome we've ever had.

Mayor McLeod

be one of the greatest additions to our town that we've ever had. · New Streets - Thanks to the foresight you had in passing last year's bond issue, streets all over town will be getting repairs and resurfacing this year, bringing them up to modern-day standards. Everyone who drives around town will be feeling like they just got a huge Christmas present. · Downtown Centerpiece Our efforts to help revitalize downtown will take a huge step forward this Summer with the transformation of the vacant lot at Lombard and Main Streets into an aesthetic centerpiece, complete with our first public art. We're bringing in a well-known artist to help us with the project, and we're expecting it to greatly enhance downtown. · Park Improvements - Parks all over town will be getting new facilities and other upgrades this year, thanks to last year's bond issue. Plus, work on the new park on Glen Laurel Road should be getting underway by the middle of the year. A citizen's committee that's been putting together plans for the new park is expected to make its recommendations to the Town Council within the next month or two. · Building Improvements Downtown - We're expecting more businesses downtown to take advantage of grants and other incentives to improve their buildings. A few took action last year, and several more are considering it. Those are just a few of the things going on in 2009. I could list a lot more, but I've run out of room! Happy New Year!


January 2009

· Premier Community for Active Families

The Clayton Center

111 East Second Street P.O. Box 879 Clayton, NC 27528 (919) 553-5002

Residents Needed to Serve on Boards and Committees

Now's your chance to put your guidance and expertise to good use for the community.

Ever thought about serving on the Planning and Zoning Board? How about the Board of Adjustment? Or the Recreation Advisory Committee? The Town of Clayton has openings on all three panels and is putting out a call for residents to fill them, said Town Clerk Sherry Scoggins. "We usually have more than enough who are willing to serve, but this year we still have openings on some boards," Scoggins explained. "The expertise and guidance of residents is important to town government. We encourage any interested resident to contact the town and apply." The Planning and Zoning Board, the Board of Adjustment and the Recreation Advisory Committee have two openings each. However, the Board of Adjustment openings must be filled by Johnston County residents who live within two miles of the town limits in the planning area known as the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ). Other positions on the Board are already filled. Information about Town boards and committees and an application are available on the Town's web site at: Those without access to the Internet may contact Scoggins at 919.553.5002.

Left: Mark Nizeron captivates audiences with his amazing juggling feats. Below: Fourteen years as a traveling pajama party make the "Babes" hotter than ever.

E-mail: [email protected]

Mayor Jody McLeod 406 S. Fayetteville Street Clayton, NC 27520 919.553.7197 [email protected] Mayor Pro Tem Robert J. Ahlert 100 Cherry Laurel Drive Clayton, NC 27520 919.550.0845 [email protected] Councilman Bob Satterfield 2045 Walden Way Clayton, NC 27527 919.553.2273 [email protected] Councilman Alexander Atchison 762 Parkridge Drive Clayton, NC 27527 919.585.2347 [email protected] Councilman Alex Harding 310 Parkridge Drive Clayton, NC 27527 919.359.2075 [email protected] Councilman Michael Grannis 507 East Second Street Clayton, NC 27520 919.550.8547 [email protected]

The purpose of trimming the trees is to prevent them from growing into the power lines, which can cause power outages, and also lessens the chance of limbs reaching the lines during ice storms.

Asplundh Begins Annual Tree Maintenance for the Town

Over the next couple of months, you'll probably be noticing a lot of tree trimming going on in the west/central part of town. Clayton Public Power has contracted with Asplundh Tree Expert Company to begin the town's annual preventive maintenance tree trimming along power lines. The crews will cover an area starting on Old US 70 West in the vicinity of Clemmons State Forest, then move eastward into the downtown area and west of Lombard Street. "The purpose of this work, of course, is to prevent tree growth from growing into the power lines and causing power outages during normal weather conditions, and also to lessen the chance of limbs reaching the lines during ice storms or other adverse weather conditions," said Electric System Director Ronnie Wood. "We like to try to maintain about a 15 ft. clearance on each side of the lines. However we realize this is not always practical in all areas of town." Though sometimes it appears that some trees get a lot of limbs removed, Wood said the crews are expert at what they're doing. "In an effort to maintain good health to the trees, Asplundh employees are trained and certified to prune trees in accordance with the National Arborists Association guidelines," he said. The pruning is set up in three-year rotating cycles, which means about a third of the service area gets trimmed each year at a yearly cost of about $30,000.

The Center Brings a Little Warmth to Those Long Winter Months Ahead

The Clayton Center brings a little warmth to the winter months with the continuation of the Sundays in Clayton series. The Sunday audience should "Expect the Impossible" from juggler Mark Nizeron February 1 at 4 PM. This family-oriented show will feature fantastic feats of juggling combined with comedy for an amazing show that will captivate audiences of all ages. Tickets are $12 Adult, $8 Child, or $35 for a Family Four Pack (2 Adults + 2 Children), plus service fees. On Sunday, February 22, at 4 PM, the Four Bitchin' Babes presents Hormonal Imbalance: A Mood Swinging Musical Revue. The show features four richly gifted singer-songwriters who examine and celebrate the lives of today's men and women with humorous and observant tales of modern urban life harmonized to a heavenly chorus. The estrogen fueled show celebrates the best of Babes, Boys and Botox. After 14 years as a traveling pajama party the Babes are hotter than ever. Literally! Tickets are $25, plus service fees. For tickets call the Box Office at 553-1737, ext. 2, or you can order online at www. The Clayton Center Box Office is located at 111 East Second St. in downtown Clayton and is open from 10 AM until noon and from 1-5 PM, Monday through Friday. All seats are reserved.

Adult Volunteers Needed at the Clayton Youth Theater

Founded in 2007, the Clayton Youth Theater was established to showcase the talents of area middle school and high school students, while bringing high quality productions to central North Carolina. CYT presented its inaugural production, Little Shop of Horrors, in the summer of 2007, followed by its second show, Godspell in February of 2008. In November 2008, CYT staged the musical, Bye Bye Birdie. Boasting a cast of 22 students, and an audience of 600 people, Bye Bye Birdie is the Clayton Youth Theater's largest undertaking to date. Though a young theater, CYT is growing, and as it grows, so does its need for adult volunteers. If you have experience in the areas of directing, dance, set design/ construction, lighting, sound, costuming, props or other special talents that would benefit this theater, please contact Nikki Dyke at director


For ALL Police Fire and Rescue Emergencies

After more than a year of waiting and a special election Tuesday, the race for one of the two Town Council seats still came down to drawing a name out of a hat on Friday­a chance drawing that Councilman Alex Harding won. Butch Lawter, who won the election with 259 votes, will fill the other seat. Art Holder, who tied Harding with 245 votes each on Tuesday and at 247 each once provisional ballots had been counted at the County Election Commission office Friday morning, is the odd man out. Councilman Alex Atchison trailed with 192, and Mike Starks had 12 once the provisional ballots were tallied. The dramatic end to an election race that began more than a year ago came once the Election Commission ran out of options in finding a

Council Race Comes to a Dramatic End-Finally

winner. With Lawter declared a winner for one seat on the Council, the Commission was stuck with a tie for the other seat when both Harding and Holder got two more votes from the seven provisional ballots that were allowed to count. One provisional ballot was tossed out. Once a tie was officially declared, the Commission put Harding's name in one sealed envelope and Holder's name in another, and then a Commission employee drew one of the envelopes at random. It was the envelope with Harding's name. Though the process was unusual, it is one of the methods specificied by State law for breaking a tie. The decision presumably ends the election saga that has been contested in the courts and at the ballot box, and finally came down to pure chance. The five candidates were vieing for the seats presently held by

Harding and Atchison. Last year's election results for Town Council were set aside when County election officials discovered that a number of voters who do not reside within the town were mistakenly given ballots and allowed to vote for Council candidates. Just a few votes separated the top three vote-getters in that election, too. A new election has been delayed until now by a court challenge that resulted when the State Board of Elections decided that only the top three vote-getters in the invalidated election would be put on the new ballot. That decision was struck down by the courts, but a series of appeals, which the Board lost, kept the matter tied up in court until Tuesday's vote. In the first election, Harding was the narrow leader, while Holder and Lawter were just a few votes from each other for the other spot.

The Life of a Great American... Harriet Tubman: The Chosen One

In celebration of Black History Month, Kingdom Harvest Church will present Gwendolyn Briley-Strand in "Harriet Tubman: The Chosen One" at The Clayton Center for a two day run Friday and Saturday, February 20 and 21. Both shows begin at 7:30 PM. In this one woman show, Briley-Strand as Harriet Tubman presents a riveting presentation, celebrating the sense of hope and determination of the power of one. Briley-Strand is an accomplished actor that has been delighting audiences on stage, television, and in movie theaters for over 20 years. She is known for her portrayals of Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, and Rosa Parks. The performance is followed by a Question & Answer session with the audience and includes a traveling exhibit. Pastor Stanley and Mamie Byrd of Kingdom Harvest Church are "excited to bring this phenomenal award winning play to Clayton." For ticket information, contact the Clayton Center box office at (919) 553-1737.

Gwendolyn Briley-Strand


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