On Tuesday, January 22, 2019, I received a message from a friend, David Turner. He was concerned by some unusual activity on the Town of Ramseur website, which his business hosts and maintains. For the rest of this post to make sense you’ll need a little background that I do not share lightly. In fact, I wish I could tell this story without dragging innocent people into our town’s middle school drama, but there’s no other way to tell it, and it must be told.
I have known David Turner and his wife for roughly ten years, give or take. David owns a couple of businesses designing and maintaining websites. Seven or eight years ago I was having trouble with the web host I was using for my business. A web host is a business that provides the technology and services needed for a website to be viewed on the Internet. Websites are hosted, or stored, on special computers called servers. I design and write the content for all of my websites without outside assistance.
At the time I hired David to handle my web hosting needs he and I had been Facebook friends for a while and I was familiar with his work. I trusted him. Over the years since then I have gotten to know Mr. Turner and his wife fairly well, and I have always found them to be people of the highest integrity. I value honesty and integrity above almost all other traits a person can have, and the Turners have never given me reason to think they are anything but honest people providing reliable, unbiased service to their clients.
David Turner now handles hosting for all of my websites, including this one. If I ever asked him to share privileged information about one of his other clients I believe he would tell me in no uncertain terms where I could stick that request (a place where the sun never shines) and I would be searching for a new web hosting provider.
Last summer the Board of Commissioners of the Town of Ramseur decided to seek bids for a redesign of the town website and a new hosting service. I suggested to David that he should bid on the job, and he subsequently won the contract. I now regret having made that suggestion to my friend and I am about to show you why.
When David messaged me about the unusual activity he was seeing on the Town’s website, I happened to be meeting with a town commissioner about an unrelated matter, and I asked them if they were aware of any changes going on with the website. At that point I was made aware of an email that had been sent that morning to the Town Clerk and attorney Bob Wilhoit, who handles the Town of Ramseur’s legal work and attends all meetings of the Board of Commissioners. I was told that the subject of the email was “Ramseur Watchdog” and that I was mentioned by name in the message.
The next morning I requested a copy of that email pursuant to Chapter 132 of North Carolina General Statutes, and received it shortly before 5pm that day. The text of the email is reproduced below exactly as I received it.
Jan 23, 2019, 4:43 PM
to rwilhoit, v.caudle, me
This email is being forwarded to you per your earlier request.
Town Clerk/Finance Officer
Town of Ramseur
PO Box 545/724 Liberty Street
Ramseur, NC 27316
From: Adam Smith [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Monday, January 21, 2019 9:32 PM
Subject: Ramseur Watchdog
It is with great shame I come to you this evening.
At December’s board meeting we voted on revealing the identities of the
person(s) that are behind Ramseur Watchdog websites and pages. I am on a mission to see that the perpetrators and administrators of these websites and pages are held accountable for their involvement in these damaging websites within our legal realm. I have been reading edits from the
administrator(s) of Ramseur watchdog that are completely dismay and disgust me quite frankly. It is evident that the admin of this page is seeking to defame and cause severe emotional distress to the Mayor
(singly) and the Town Council with exception of “some” because they are involved in said “sites”.
As of today, I am launching a “NO SMEAR” campaign, I will be actively seeking cyber bullies that have been targeting The Town of Ramseur, The Town of Ramseur’s Council and the Citizens of Ramseur (where deemable by the citizens) and hold them accountable for their actions to the full extent of the law. I seek to remove these websites and pages at all costs.
I don’t care what it takes, I will help aid in this fight. I hold over 300 pages of documented content published by Ramseur watchdog and its Facebook page, as well as screenshots of the website Ramseurwatchdog.com where James Thurman Hubbard III aka Jay Hubbard, takes responsibility for his role as admin to this website and as the owner of said site. Furthermore, it has been brought to my knowledge that upon a quick inspection of this website, David Turner Designs is hosting the Ramseurwatchdog.com website which creates an daming conflict of interest for the Town and should be addressed immediately as this is the same company we use for our town electronic mailing service and town website hosting as well. This is a very serious issue and has all been recorded and documented by a public reporting agency.
With this being said, It was posted on the Ramseur Watchdog page that the Town website need to be “updated” and other post in regards to the Town website in attempts to discredit the Towns competency, knowing that the administrator of the Towns website and the Watchdog hosting website are one in the same. At this point it is safe to say we can no longer entrust our website service provider and it is in the best interest of the Town to seek a new website developer. It’s time for an update anyways, our website and email portals are both dated.
The Facebook Ramseur Watchdog page was created May 21, 2016. I have a great friend and Freelancer ready to jump on board that currently works for Facebook as a “skilled computer programmer” and can help us out with this. His information will remain UNDISCLOSED. His resume includes work for the FBI and he is readily and willing to help gather the information needed to reveal the identities of these individuals for free and within our legal jurisdiction.
Keep in mind the individuals running this page are posting as “anonymous”
and not actively voicing opinions or reproductions, but creating hostility within the Town and the citizens in efforts to divide or dismantle the community.
A good place to start would be G.S. 14-196.3 Cyberstalking -anti bullying -cyber violence -anti stalking, slander & harassment -cyber intimidating -cyber bullying -harassment or harassing behavior
HR-1966 Statue 881.cyberstalking
Attached are the links to the websites and pages :
“We start by sending Cease and desist and content removal letters, if this does not shut the sites down, we will continue to move forward by all means necessary. I am requesting a rough draft of this letter by Friday.
Commissioner Smith (The commissioner over the Cemetery) 🙂
**TOWN CLERK PLEASE FORWARD THE CORRESPONDING TO THE MAYOR & COMMISSIONERS***
Also town clerk, please gather the Cpanel login information from our current Website administrator for the Town website and forward this information to me. I will have our website files copied so we can continue to keep the Town website online without lapse.
There’s a lot to unpack in that message, and I intend to do just that, but I would like to close this post by saying that I am offended and highly upset that my friend David Turner has been accused of any impropriety. The Town of Ramseur has a contract with him which was voted on by the Board of Commissioners in open session, before Adam Smith was appointed to his seat, and I believe that the Town will owe Mr. Turner financial compensation if that contract is broken, not to mention Smith’s defamatory accusations toward Mr. Turner for his friendship and business relationship with me; a relationship which existed long before that contract was conceived. I also believe that a public apology from the Board of Commissioners to Mr. Turner would be in order.
Those who live in glass houses would be wise to avoid throwing stones.