One of the first topics of discussion last Monday night, April 1st, had to do with the duties of our public works department, contracted out to Suez Environmental Services, Inc. since early 2017. Suez Environmental is a subsidiary of Suez North America, which is in turn a subsidiary of Suez Environment, a French-based utility company which operates largely in the water treatment and waste management sectors.
Commissioner Caudle brought this discussion before the board to address a lack of cooperation, bordering on obstruction, that she has experienced in trying to get someone on our payroll to keep the restrooms at Leonard Park stocked and clean. Leonard Park is a public park owned and operated by the Town of Ramseur. Watch the video of the discussion below.
Near the end of the discussion, Mayor Shaw advised Commissioner Caudle to review the Suez contract to find out what responsibilities the company has to our town, but whether or not that document specifies that they’ll change light bulbs, fix toilets, clean public restrooms or stock toiletries is beside the point. Public works is an umbrella term covering many services and activities carried out by local governments, including water distribution, wastewater collection, stormwater management, sanitation, and the maintenance of public streets and spaces, including parks, cemeteries, libraries, and other governmental buildings or facilities.
As Commissioner Overman pointed out, Commissioner Caudle is charged with managing a department that has no paid employees and operates on a shoestring budget compared to every other municipal department in Ramseur. All she asked, in this instance, was for a Suez public works employee to make sure that basic hygiene products such as toilet paper and soap were placed in the public restrooms at Leonard Park, and see to it that they were clean and functional. That doesn’t seem like an unreasonable request to me, but to Grant Cheek it seemed like an excuse to once again make a federal case against Commissioner Caudle and everything she tries to do.
Late in the meeting Clerk Bobbie Hatley brought up the subject of the contracts required for our annual summer concert series and the need for board approval to get them executed. This turned into a full on circus, as seen in the video below. Pay close attention to moment when Commissioner Caudle states that she needs to review the December minutes and how quickly Mayor Shaw produced a copy for this item that was not even listed on the meeting agenda. This was a planned, coordinated attack.
Those concerts happen every year; one concert per month, and all costing under $1,000 each. According to their own rules each commissioner is allowed to spend up to $1,000 per invoice without board approval as long as they stay within their budgets. The only reason this board voted to approve the concert schedule last year – given as the reason they needed to vote on it again this year – is because then, as now, Grant Cheek, Danny Shaw, and their rubber stamps on the board insisted, simply to try and make Commissioner Caudle look incompetent, when in fact they are the entire problem with this board.
At this very meeting Grant Cheek showed up unprepared, without copies of materials for his peers to review, but Commissioner Caudle requesting that restrooms in our public park be clean and stocked before a little league tournament, or the latitude to execute minor contacts needed for a recurring concert series – events that potentially bring visitors from all over Randolph County and beyond to our town – is asking too much. Really?
At every opportunity Grant Cheek goes out of his way to try to find fault in Commissioner Caudle’s work. Yet he seems to be the incompetent one more often than not. When’s the last time anyone saw Mr. Cheek present a funding request for a water or sewer maintenance project to the board without asking Mark Grose to explain it for him?
Mr. Cheek, please check yourself. The irrational hatred you have for Vicki Caudle and everything she tries to do is obvious to everyone, but what we really want to know is why. Why do you hate her so much that you would stoop to such blatant disrespectful behavior? Too the rest of us it just seems childish and immature.
Cheek’s behavior is unprofessional and unbecoming of any public official, but at least he’s not alone. Randy Cox dropped this little insult, also unbecoming of an elected official, during the same meeting.
I guess when you’re on your way out and you know it, you can afford to act like an ass. Mr. Cox has less than two weeks left to remove his travel trailer home from behind the barber shop he doesn’t own downtown, and find a residence within Ramseur’s corporate limits, and he knows it. The board cannot grant him another extension without showing obvious favoritism, and in this election year that would be very unwise.
It’s literally a never ending thing with these men. Every idea Commissioner Caudle has or action she takes gets scrutinized in an effort to obstruct or humiliate her, and it seems to this observer to be based on one thing and one thing only: she’s a woman.
The Ramseur Board of Commissioners is an exclusive boys club and no girls are allowed, or so it seems. If that’s not the case, please, make a better argument. I’m sure we’d all love to hear it.Print This Post