They Just Don’t Get It

March 18, 2019 Off By Jay Hubbard

A few weeks ago I published an article laying out evidence that leads me to believe Commissioner* Adam Smith has intentionally attempted to evade public record laws by using multiple email accounts for official Town of Ramseur business.

On the same day, March 4th, 2019, Commissioner* Smith skipped a scheduled board meeting and told several people that he was going to resign from the Board of Commissioners, after losing his temper and cussing citizen Denise Lowe like a dog when she tried to have a conversation with him in our municipal office. Smith’s outburst was witnessed by Commissioner Overman, who was in the office to pay his water bill, our water billing clerk Grant Cheek, and Town Clerk Bobbie Hatley. You can hear Denise Lowe’s comments to the board later that night in the sound clip below.

Soon afterward, Smith sent a text message to Commissioner Overman, apologizing for everything he’d said against Mr. Overman and stating that he was “done”.  I read the message with my own eyes right after it was received.

Later that night, at the beginning of a budget audit presentation, Mayor Shaw announced that Commissioner Smith was considering resignation from the board. Denise Lowe has stated several times that she will not be satisfied with anything less than Smith’s resignation and a public apology from him and the mayor.

During the regular Board of Commissioners meeting on March 4th, after the budget presentation, Commissioner Caudle made a plea for all members of the board to start using their official Town of Ramseur email addresses, paid for by taxpayers, as part of an effort to build unity and trust among board members and between the board and the general public. You can listen to that discussion below.

Trust in the integrity of our elected officials is at an all time low in Ramseur, thanks in large part to several unauthorized, unilateral actions and decisions made by Commissioner* Smith, and the poor judgement shown by Mayor Shaw and Commissioners Cox and Cheek in their rush to appoint a person of who as of this writing still hasn’t been a resident of Ramseur for a full year.

This afternoon, as part of a legal, ongoing public records request, I received an email sent by Ramseur’s librarian, Sandra Livingstone, announcing a 2019-20 budget committee meeting to be held at 4pm, Tuesday, March 26, 2019, at the municipal building. I look forward to attending and learning about how our library is funded.

In the image above (click to enlarge) you can see that both Commissioner* Smith is still using a private email account, despite having used his official commissioner’s account in the past. Mr. Smith – the “Internet capitalist” – must have called or visited the library in person to request that his newest Gmail account be used for town business. Otherwise he has failed, yet again, to supply legally requested email communications as required by law.

Mr. Smith, we’re all waiting. You’ve told one commissioner that  planned to resign at least twice, and the mayor has announced the same in a public meeting. Just do it and get on with your life. Oh, and by the way, even after you resign, I’m still entitled to those emails.

Note – Going forward I will be placing an asterisk (*) beside the word commissioner whenever discussing Mr. Smith.  I can no longer accept his presence on our governing board as legitimate, and neither should any other citizen of Ramseur. Mr. Smith’s actions over the past six months have been an embarrassment to our town, and those who appointed him to his seat should be held accountable for their failure to properly vet that candidate. We should all join Denise Lowe in demanding his immediate resignation.

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