I said what I said and I meant every word.
I tried play nice, to be polite and professional, to ask intelligent questions when I needed more information. All I got was silence and disrespect.
Yes, I walked out of our town hall and called the clerk, Carol Akers, a bitch on my way out. A few weeks before that I’d asked if she could supply additional information about a legal issue we discussed in a closed session. She responded, in a disrespectful tone, “Not if you want this audit finished.”
When I visited the office to pay my waterbill and check my mail slot a week or two later I asked again, and it took her less than a minute to find the book and show me the information I wanted to see. She turned straight to it and got disrespectful with me again, and I told her not to speak to me in such a disrespectful tone. She shot the same thing back at me and I walked out, and then I said what I said. I doubt I’m the first person to walk out those doors with that word on their lips after such an interaction with Ms. Akers, and I won’t be the last.
Don’t like being called a bitch? Don’t be one, Carol. You aren’t required to like me or anyone else you work with, but don’t be disrespect people and expect them to take it lying down. How many people around our town do you owe apologies to for that kind of unprofessional behavior? Two? Three? More? The list seems to be growing.
Not one of these people: four commissioners, the mayor, the clerk; none of them took the time to speak with me and explain how anything works after I was elected. No one explained to me what I was or wasn’t allowed to place on our meeting agendas. I was left to figure it out on my own, and then treated like a twelve year old for my efforts.
Instead they conspired to shut me out, shut me down, shut me up, and make my time on your Board of Commissioners nothing but a meaningless waste. Mayor Spivey spent election day and the weeks afterward pretending to want to work with me; pretending to find common ground, and then he and the four commissioners who recruited him set about stonewalling me.
I asked for some relevant information – time sheet data – in order to have meaningful discussions about the Streets Department’s budget, and some problems I saw in that and other departments. I tried to do the job I was elected to do, but everyone from the utilities director and the town clerk to the mayor and the other commissioners stood in my way, fed me incomplete information, or simply refused to comply with requests.
I spent a couple of months trying to meet all the employees in my assigned departments (I think I met all but one of them), listening to their concerns and ideas they thought would help them do their jobs more effectively.
I have at least four pages of notes that came out of those conversations; things Mayor Spivey told me, via the clerk, in an email, that we would be able to discuss when we started budget meetings. Then, after telling Commissioner Brower in January that we’d have “no do-overs” for department assignments, Mayor Spivey turned 180 degrees and asked to have me removed from those assignments himself, illegally in a special meeting advertised as a budget workshop.
No, I’m not going to waste my time or your money for the next four years being emasculated once or more every month. These people have no integrity and I will not have my name associated with them another day.
I wrote those words to the mayor, and I meant every word I wrote in that resignation letter.
As I said to Spivey, Parrish, and Brower upon handing them my resignation, “Enjoy your sinking ship.”