The clip below is about five minutes long. The quality is pretty bad due to technical difficulties that night, but it’s worth the effort, especially if you live in or near the town of Ramseur, NC.
The speakers are Mayor Danny Shaw, and Commissioners Grant Cheek and “Adam” Smith. They are railing against a Facebook page called Ramseur Watchdog 2 (Watchdog). I am a participant in that forum sometimes but the administrator(s) of the page remain unknown to me and most people in town.
Mayor Shaw accuses the administrators of the Watchdog page of defamation and says that only certain members of the Board are singled out by users of the page, but that is not true. I have personally called out every member of the current board at one time or another, and been called out myself by other users of that forum when I was a candidate four years ago.
The Watchdog Facebook page serves as a public bulletin board for our town. As such it is protected by the First Amendment. People have the right to speak freely and to assemble and seek redress of grievances with our government, and I believe that right covers gatherings to compare notes or discuss strategy and coordination, even if that gathering is online. We also have the constitutionally guaranteed right to a free press, which in the 21st century means that anyone with a smartphone and a web connection is a potential reporter or resource. It is also every citizen’s legal right to record public meetings.
It is a monumental waste of taxpayer money to pursue this. These commissioners and the mayor took oaths to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States of America. suing citizens in order to silence them is a violation of that oath, and un-American.