Mayor Danny Shaw posted the message you see below on 3 July 2019, announcing to the world that our town clerk, Bobbie Hatley, would be leaving her position with the Town of Ramseur at the close of business on Wednesday, 17 July 2019. I can’t say that this news came as much of a shock given the unbearable environment Ms. Hatley has endured since taking the position several years ago. Read this if you don’t know what I’m talking about.
Losing Clerk Hatley presents a number of problems for Ramseur. A special meeting was called for the morning of Monday, July 8th to discuss that issue and our search for a Fire Chief. Thankfully, planning and zoning consultant Jill Wood has agreed to step up on a part-time basis to assist in the office until a suitable replacement can be found.
I’ve talked with a few people around town and in other local governments about our situation, and everyone I’ve spoken to agrees: no qualified person would be willing to take that position while a sitting commissioner is employed full time in the office, especially in a position that reports directly to the town clerk. The constant presence of Commissioner Cheek, our current water billing clerk, in the office eight hours each day, five days each week, will be a big impediment in our search for a qualified replacement for Ms. Hatley.
During the special meeting on July 8th a discussion also took place regarding which commissioner’s name should be added as a signatory on the Town of Ramseur’s bank account. It’s my understanding that typically mayors and town clerks are the ones authorized to sign checks in most municipalities. With our clerk leaving we needed to designate a second signer. The logical choice would have been the Mayor Pro Tem, currently Commissioner Caudle, or the most senior commissioner, which right now would be either Mr. Cheek or Mr. Overman.
Obviously as much of a lightning rod as Grant Cheek has allowed himself to become it’s pretty obvious why he wasn’t considered. The board, minus Commissioner Smith, who was absent from the meeting, chose to put Commissioner Randy Cox on the account as second signature. Now Mr. Cox and Mr. Shaw have control of our checkbook. That’s a gamble I wouldn’t have taken, but I didn’t have the tie breaking vote that day.
A copy of the as yet unapproved minutes of that meeting Clerk Hatley supplied me with is reproduced below. You can also download your own copy here.
July 8, 2019
The Board of Commissioners of the Town of Ramseur met in a closed session on Monday, July 8, 2019 during the regular Board meeting for personnel matters. Mayor Shaw, Comm. Overman, Comm. Caudle, Comm. Cox, and Comm. Cheek. Attorney Bob Wilhoit, and Clerk Bobbie Hatley were present. Comm. Smith was not present.
Discussion held on personnel matters concerning Fire Chief and Clerk position.
Comm. Cheek motions to exit closed session. Comm. Overman seconds. Vote passes 4-0.
Comm. Ovennan motions to return to open session. Comm. Cheek seconds. Vote passes 4-0.
Comm. Caudle motions to partner with Jill Wood to assist in the interim, Comm. Overman seconds. Vote 2-2 with Cox and Cheek against. Mayor Shaw broke the tie with a vote of 2-3.
Comm. Cheek motions to bring Jill Wood to cover the office. Comm. Caudle seconds. Comm. Overman requested motion amendment for Jill Wood to be paid as a contractor at $20 an hour for not more than 30 hours a week. (Note: No vote on this is recorded in the minutes I received from Clerk Hatley, but apparently it passed.)
Comm. Overman motions to allow the Mayor Pro Tem Caudle to sign checks. Comm. Caudle seconds. Vote 2-2 with Cox and Cheek against. Mayor Shaw broke the tie with a vote of 2-3. Comm. Cheek motions to allow Comm. Cox to sign checks. Comm. Cox seconds. Vote 2-2 with Caudle and Overman against. Mayor Shaw broke the tie with a vote of 3-2.
Comm. Cheek motions to close the meeting. Comm. Cox seconds. Vote 4-0.