Special Meeting – 15 August 2019

August 16, 2019 Off By Jay Hubbard

Here’s the video from last night’s special meeting of the Ramseur Board of Commissioners. I decided not to include the beginning of the proceedings because the mayor called the meeting to order and after a few minutes of trying to sort out proper procedure – you’d think after almost twenty-four years on the board our mayor would know Robert’s Rules backward and forward, but, no – the board entered closed session.

Footage begins as the board re-enters open session. The mayor announced that the board had interviewed Pam Wortham, from Garner, for the position of interim “treasurer”. The board agreed to pay her $55.00 per hour, not to exceed thirty hours per week. That’s a fair wage for someone with her credentials and experience, but this is Ramseur.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 30% of our population lives in poverty, and we have a depressed tax base, thanks to the loss of Ramtex about a decade ago, so this might be a hard pill for some to swallow.

That said, based on my reading about Mrs. Wortham this morning, I believe she will make a positive impact on our community. My biggest concern is that now we will be paying a combined hourly wage of $75 per hour for her and Jill Wood’s positions, both limited to thirty hours per week, in addition to the hourly wage plus benefits that we pay our inept “water billing clerk” for forty hours each week.

Commissioner Caudle expressed concerns about limiting our search for Bobbie Hatley’s replacement at the special meeting held on July 19, and how doing so might lead to a longer, more expensive search process in the long run. It’s beginning to look like she was correct.

The other major piece of discussion last night was the library roof project. There are still many unresolved concerns about the Give N’ Go bid that the board initially accepted, detailed previously, and the missing bid from Thompson Roofing Services, that was pretty obviously solicited by Commissioner Cheek back in May, which was conspicuously left out of the initial bid discussions.

With those issues in mind the board voted to rescind the vote to hire Give N’ Go, throw out all previous bids, and call for new bids to be submitted and reviewed within fourteen days. With hurricane season approaching it’s peak and the library roof being in such bad shape, it is imperative that this decision be made responsibly and soon.

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This article has been edited to reflect a correction in the combined wages of Mrs Wortham and Mrs. Wood. My original post contained a math error. Mrs. Wood is paid $20 per hour for her time in the office. Let the record show that I stand corrected and can admit when I make a mistake. My apologies.