Commissioners passed a resolution presented by the Justice for Coalition to support Kilah’s Law. The board supported the resolution unanimously. So far, eight other towns have passed the resolution, and they aim to present Kilah’s Law to the N.C. General Assembly.
The law aims to increase penalties for child abusers like Kilah Davenport’s stepfather, Joshua Houser, who is facing 44-92 months in prison after breaking the toddler’s clavicle, fracturing her skull, and causing severe brain damage.
Jeff Gerber of the coalition said Houser could potentially walk free within four years, while Kilah sustains life-long injuries.
“This sentencing guideline is an insult to mankind,” said Gerber. “We feel strongly that Kilah’s Law should be in line with that of a pedophile, being 25 years to life.”
Patty Freeman, the first person to respond to the scene the day of Kilah’s injury, called it a “horrendous crime.”
“It falls in the same category as if someone hurt an animal. Our children deserve to be put above God’s other creatures,” said Freeman.
The resolution reads: “Be it resolved that the Board of Commissioners of the Town of Mint Hill, North Carolina, hereby fully supports the spirit and efforts to create this law which will bring tougher penalties to those who inflict permanent debilitating physical injury to a child and encourages all citizens and elected officials of the State to join us in our efforts.”
In other matters:
- The board approved the consent agenda: they accepted a contract with Rowell, Craven and Short to audit accounts for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012; they adopted an amendment of an increase of $52,000 in the General Fund for the 2013 budget; they authorized the town manager to purchase a street sweeper for the Public Works Department; and they approved the rescheduling of the public hearing on a petition for a text amendment to the downtown overlay code authorizing administrative variation of sidewalk width.
- 10 students from Independence High School were inducted as Dream Team members, promising to abstain from drugs, alcohol, and violence.
- For Constitution Week, the board presented a proclamation to a representative of the Clear Creek Militia Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Mayor Ted Biggers proclaimed September 17-23 to be Constitution Week.
- Nicole Bartlett of the Arts and Science Council presented on the topic of public art. She encouraged the board to consider displaying a permanent piece of public art at the new town hall building.
- Representatives from Mint Hill Arts presented ways to display local art at the new town hall, and asked the board to consider their ideas.
- After heated discussion, the board voted four to one to accept the Planning Board’s recommendation to accept the petition requesting exception for front parking and screening for the future Mint Hill Police Department at 7151 Matthews-Mint Hill Road, also known as the old town hall.
- The continued discussion on the Centralina Council of Governments’ CONNECT Project was canceled.
- The board discussed signing an agreement with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmark Commission. Town attorney Kevin Bringewatt said he was concerned about the agreement not having an exit plan.
- Town clerk Beth Hamrick announced her retirement.