HOPE MILLS — Town residents will be asked whether they want commissioners to serve four-year terms, instead of the current two years.

At its Monday meeting, the Hope Mills Board of Commissioners unanimously decided to put the question to voters. Left undecided is whether the question will be on this year's ballot or next year's.

The board had asked Dan Hartzog Jr., the town attorney,  to look into changing the terms. Hartzog will report back on whether it is feasible to get the question on this year's ballot.

Hartzog said the town could change the commissioners' terms by holding a public hearing and then voting on the matter itself, by asking the N.C.  General Assembly to change the charter  or by putting the question on the ballot.

Under the proposal, commissioners' terms would be staggered, meaning some commissioners would be up for election in certain years and not others. Municipal elections currently are held in odd-numbered years.

Commissioners agreed that the voters should decide if the change should be made.

"The biggest concern I hear from people is they want to be the ones to decide, not the board," Meg Larson, a freshman commissioner,  said.

Mayor Pro Tem Mike Mitchell, who had suggested looking into the change, agreed.

"I'm fine with the citizens deciding on an amendment to the charter," Mitchell said. "It is their town, after all."

Mayor Jackie Warner, who does not vote except in cases of a tie, said she preferred to leave the mayor's term at two years. But commissioners decided to ask voters to change the terms of that office, too.

The board also decided to table discussion on establishing a method to recall commissioners or the mayor.

Commissioner Jessie Bellflowers suggested that felony convictions, incompetence, misconduct while in office, violation of oath of  office and other conditions be set as grounds for recall. He said a recall petition should be required to have the signatures of at least 25 percent of eligible voters.

However, Hartzog said the N.C. General Assembly would have to approve a recall procedure, and he wasn't sure how long that would take or if it would be successful. He noted that there are other means to remove a commissioner, such as amotion.

That procedure was used in 2013 to remove  Tonzie Collins from the board.

In other action, the board:

• Voted unanimously to move ahead with building a bulkhead, including a kayak launch, landscaping and access for the physically handicapped at Hope Mills Lake.

The board heard from Stephen Fleming of Fleming and Associates, the firm that is coming up with a plan for the park around the recently refilled lake.

The board had discussed including a boardwalk in the lake park, but there were concerns over cost and whether the boardwalk would take up too much of the lake park.

Fleming said the board could go with whatever plan it wanted. He said handicapped accessibility could be built into the bulkhead plan.

Fleming also recommended doing a topographic survey and grading the land on the side of the lake to make it less steep.

• Unanimously approved a site plan for Billie's Thrift Store at 3121 N. Main St.

Town planner Chancer McLaughlin said the site had been a beauty salon, but recently has been operating as a thrift shop. He said the owners weren't aware until notified that they needed to get approval.

McLaughlin said there were some code violations at the site, but they have been corrected.

• Approved a request to expand a Papa John's Pizza at 3403 Main St.

• Approved a bid of $482,000 from Charles Hughes Construction to build sidewalks along Rockfish Road.

• Were told by  Melissa Adams, the town manager,  that a proposed 2018-19 budget will be presented May 7.

Staff writer Rodger Mullen can be reached at rmullen@fayobserver.com or 486-3561.