Frankford council hears plans for music festival to focus on mental health

Until the last 10 minutes of the Monday, May 6 Frankford Town Council meeting, it was pretty much business as usual: updates on hydrant flushing, noise complaints, ditches that need to be cleaned out…

Then, Wesley Hayes Jr. started telling the council of his plans to hold a day of music and culture in Frankford Town Park in August.

Town Council President Joanne Bacon listened to Hayes’ ideas, and when he was done, she said, “That’s a good idea!”

Hayes said he and his newly formed company, Center Stage Resources, are endeavoring to set up an event that focuses on awareness of mental health and cancer, as both are issues he feels need attention in the community. He envisions a day filled with music of a variety of genres, a presentation of a speech once made by Martin Luther King Jr. and community services, including such things as free haircuts for children who will be heading back to school in the following weeks.

The proposed date for the event is Aug. 17. There would be no charge to enter. Hayes told Bacon he has no idea how many people will attend, but that he was hoping for 200 to 300 people.

“I want to reach out to everyone,” in the community, Hayes said. “These problems affect everyone.” He said, however, that youth would be a primary focus. “We’re trying to focus on the younger ones,” he said. “They’re the ones we need to empower.”

Bacon expressed support for Hayes’ plans, but said some planning needs to be done to handle potential crowds.

“I hope everybody comes, but the park can only hold so many,” she said. After some discussion about closing off a street adjacent to the park to help with that, she said, “We’ll work something out.”

Hayes said he will come to the next council meeting, on Monday, June 3, with more specific plans for the event.

“Music,” Hayes said, “can be a powerful tool or it can be negative.”

Hayes’ remarks were preceded by comments from Frankford resident Jerry Smith, who asked the council whether any progress had been made toward adoption of an 

enforceable noise ordinance. Smith had brought up the issue at the April Town Council meeting. He focused largely on loud music being played at nearby residences, particularly on the weekends.

At the meeting on Monday, May 6, Smith again asked the council whether there had been any movement on the issue. He said he had researched noise ordinances in other towns and compared them to Frankford’s existing ordinance, which only addresses noise emanating from vehicles.

While Bacon said she agreed that the Town needs to address excessive noise, she questioned the practicality of introducing such an ordinance when the Town has no way to enforce it, since the Town currently has neither a police force nor a code-enforcement officer.

“I’m really interested in having a code-enforcement officer,” Bacon said, floating the possibility that the Town’s maintenance supervisor, Jamie Reed, could become a code-enforcement officer if he completed a training course.

The issue of the need for a code-enforcement officer has come up several times in recent months, largely in regard to holding property owners responsible for keeping their properties free of trash, overgrown trees and other property maintenance issues.

In other business, the council:

• Tabled, for the second time, a proposed final site plan for improvements on Mountaire Farms’ property in town, including a stormwater pond and parking lot reconfigurations;

• Discussed the need for the Town’s budget committee to meet to prepare the Town’s 2020-fiscal-year budget; and

• Approved a measure to allow the hiring of temporary office help so Town Clerk Cheryl Lynch can take more than one day of vacation at a time.


By Kerin Magill

Staff Reporter