We’re All Watchdogs Now

When I began this project, not quite two years ago, I never intended to spend the rest of my life or even a significant portion of it hounding local officials, digging through mountains of public records, and writing several thousand words per month about my findings.

The website you are now reading was started to address one issue, the misuse of tax money that our previous governing board voted to spend in a misguided attempt to expose and silence those who opposed them on the internet, specifically, those behind the Ramseur Watchdog 2 Facebook page, and it evolved from there.

In the past, many people in Ramseur were afraid to openly speak their minds or sign their names when criticizing public officials on social media. Some held those apprehensions with good reason. Local business owners can and have been “blackballed” out of existence for exercising their First Amendment right to speak freely against their government. I stand behind every word I’ve written here in the past. It was all true to the best of my knowledge and I’d write it all again today given the same set of circumstances, but that’s the past. I’ve moved on.

Earlier this year, without any public discussion that I heard or saw, our local government purchased an $800 video camera and, I presume, the laptop it is run through (visible during most meetings). That camera belongs to all of us, and you should join me in demanding that a few town employees be trained in how to set it up and either record or live stream every public meeting that takes place, including meetings of the zoning board or other subcommittees. This is especially important now since public gatherings need to be limited in order to help fight the spread of Covid-19.

That’s the last word I have to say about the mess we find ourselves in here in Ramseur. Many things are improving today, some are not, but I’m moving on. My life is not limited to this town and its problems. Going forward I plan to begin publishing some of my writing in this space again, but I will not limit the content to subjects that only pertain to Ramseur.

If you have been an email subscriber, thank you. If at any time you decide that you do not wish to continue receiving these posts you will find an unsubscribe link at the bottom of any emailed post generated from this site. I hope you’ll stick around, but if you choose not to I can respect that.

I considered opening the site to comments but decided it would be better not to. I have neither the time nor the inclination to debate my opinions with anyone. If you want to drop me a note there’s a link at the top of the site where you can send a letter to the editor. All messages received are subject to publication at my discretion.

There’s one other thing I wanted to say before ending this message. You’ll notice that most of the old articles from 2019 are no longer visible. I decided to unpublish most of that old news out of respect for those in our community who have lost so much this year. The information is still here and can be made available should it become relevant again.

So there you have it. The watchdog isn’t dead, he just got bored and needed a break. Now it’s your turn to be watchdogs. Don’t hide behind anonymous Facebook pages or blogs. If you see something wrong, say something about it to the people responsible, and if you don’t get an acceptable response put it out there.

Thanks again. I’ll be back soon.