My name is Jay Hubbard. I ran for office here a few years ago, in 2015, and fell short of the votes necessary to remove our current mayor from office. I wish to make it clear at the outset that I have no intention of seeking elective office in Ramseur in the foreseeable future.
Several members of our town’s Board of Commissioners recently expressed interest in banning cameras from public meetings and voted to spend tax money on lawyers to “shut down” a Facebook page used by a group of citizens to hold our elected officials accountable for their words and actions. It is my belief that both of these proposals are unconstitutional.
The Ramseur Board of Commissioners is a dysfunctional mess, and it has been for several years now. One commissioner is on the town’s payroll while overseeing the department he works for. Another commissioner lives in a travel trailer parked behind the barber shop he rents on Main Street, while public tax records indicate that he owns land and a home outside town near Coleridge. Yet another commissioner, appointed to fill an unexpired term, calls himself a county commissioner and claims to own several businesses, none of which can be easily verified.
And then there’s our mayor, Danny Shaw, the longest serving member of the board. Mayor Shaw is a holdover from a previous administration with a bad habit of bending even the simplest of truths when it furthers his personal agenda.
When I saw the video from the December 17, 2018, meeting, where Mayor Shaw incited several members of the board to vote to spend our tax money on legal fees to shut down a social media website, I felt compelled to act, so I purchased the web domain RamseurWatchdog.Com.
It is not my intent to usurp the work others have done, but rather to protect, preserve, and ensure our rights as citizens to speak our minds, gather and strategize how best to seek redress of our grievances (whether online or in person), and to act as citizen journalists; all of which are rights afforded every American and protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
I plan to record and publish every local governmental meeting I can get to in the coming months, and between meetings post shorter clips from each for easier public consumption. If time and resources allow, I hope to also investigate how our tax dollars are spent by those we have elected. Each post will then be shared to the Ramseur Watchdog 2 Facebook page, where citizens can view, digest, and discuss the issues and behavior of our elected officials. It is up to each of us as citizens to hold our government accountable and to replace those officials who fail to serve us well. This website is my contribution to that effort.