He led a peaceful march through the city of Salisbury during a tumultuous time in the 1960s and had crosses burned outside his dorm in college. He marched in protest of Winn-Dixie supermarket’s discriminatory hiring practices in downtown Asheville. His biography reads like one of his role models, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the presence he has had in state human relations would make even the most historic civil rights activists proud. The Rev. Ron McElrath has taken a stance for civil rights and improving human relations all his life and now his tireless efforts have been rewarded by his appointment from Gov. Mike Easley as the chair of the North Carolina State Human Relations Commission. Rest assured that McElrath, Fayetteville-Cumberland Human Relations director, will continue his pursuit of human relations harmony in this state commission leadership position. {mosimage}
    McElrath was publicized in the New York Times in the 1970s when, as the director of the Asheville-Buncombe Community Relations Council, his office handled a fair housing discrimination case that led to a jury awarding thousands of dollars to a minority family. McElrath was the executive director of the Florida Commission on Human Relations from 1991 to 2000, under the late Gov. Lawton Childs and Gov. Jeb Bush. McElrath’s work to build, maintain and strengthen human relations continues to be exemplary in the Fayetteville-Cumberland community.   
    “Ron has done a terrific job as the Fayetteville-Cumberland Human Relations director, gaining national and state recognition, so he is a perfect pick for state human relations commission chair,” Assistant City Manager Stanley Victrum said. “Through the nationally renowned Study Circles program that he has developed here in Fayetteville, and in light of his work in Asheville and Florida, Ron has proven himself to be a topnotch human relations professional, who well represents the city of Fayetteville and Cumberland County and will adeptly represent our state in human relations matters.”  
    McElrath succeeds Jan Coley, who works for the Fayetteville Police Department.
    For more information on the North Carolina State Human Relations Commission, visit www.doa.state.nc.us/hrc/. McElrath can be reached at 433-1605.

Yard Sale Permits A Part of Summer
    Sunny weather brings citizens out in droves for yard sales and with that, the City Inspections Department would like to remind citizens to obtain yard sale permits, which are required in the city limits. Yard sales are plentiful during warmer months — the Inspections Department issues approximately 150 yard sale permits, at $10 apiece, each month during the summertime. Three yard sales are allowed per address per year, maintaining residential aspects of neighborhoods.
    “We limit traffic and reduce the number of retail sales in residential areas by limiting the amount of yard sales per house,” said Jim Alexander, interim inspections director.
    Yard sale permits must also be acquired for sales at commercial properties and private properties and organizations, like schools and businesses. If someone wants to use commercial property for a yard sale, they must have a written letter from a manager or owner of the property.
    If a church is having a sale at the church, the fee is waived. The permit is good for one day or two consecutive days.
    Citizens may have three signs up to four square feet each on the property of the sale and five directional signs, not exceeding two square feet, on private property with the owner’s permission. Posting signs on utility poles and traffic signs is not permitted.
    For more information about yard sale permits, you may call the Inspections Department at 433-1168.

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