Who should the commissioners appoint?

On January 12, 2023, I sent an email to Mayor Caudle stating my interest in fulfilling Commissioner Jim McIntosh’s unexpired term. That message was in turn forwarded to the town clerk.

I wrote: I was disappointed to hear of Jim McIntosh’s decision to step down before his term ended but given the pressures of the job and the needless drama he had to deal with I can’t blame him.

While I do not possess the knowledge or experience Jim brought to the board, I have spent the last thirty years working around all types of utility maintenance operations, and construction projects of every kind.

My familiarity with these industries would be a valuable asset as the board moves through numerous decisions on water, sewer, stormwater, street maintenance, and growth-related matters we will face over the coming months and years.

In addition, I bring a functional knowledge of how local governments work in our state that most citizens without government-related work experience do not generally have. I gained that knowledge via my reading and writing four years ago in the lead-up to the election in 2019. I bought the “Book” published by the School of Government, have read much of it, and refer to it still when I have questions.

Given the above facts, I think I would bring valuable insights and balance to the Board of Commissioners, and with that in mind I respectfully submit my name for consideration to serve the remaining months of Jim’s term in office.

The book I referred to is County and Municipal Government in North Carolina, published by the UNC School of Government. It cost about $150 with shipping and was money well spent. Of course, owning a book doesn’t mean I think I know all there is to know about how local government works. I’ve barely scratched the surface, but I’ve learned enough to know that we’ve got to do better here.

As Mr. Parrish stated in the last board meeting, being a commissioner, especially in a town without a manager, is harder than most people imagine. It’s not brain surgery, but you do need to be able and willing to do a lot of reading and a lot more learning, and I like to learn.

At the last meeting on January 17th, the mayor asked the commissioners to be prepared to fill that empty seat this coming Tuesday, February 21, 2023, during their next regular monthly meeting.

An advance copy of the upcoming meeting agenda seems to indicate that at least one commissioner, despite possessing a list of applicants for more than a month, wants to conduct interviews instead of voting. What was the last month for, commissioners? Where have you been? I’ve been right here, easy to reach, and I think I’ve made a pretty good case. Were Tanya Kenyon, Tim Matthews, or Joy Kearns interviewed when their appointments were made? If so, how, when, and by whom? I’d like to review the transcripts.

The board really ought to vote Tuesday night. They’ve had more than enough time to consider the question. I think most of us just want to see our local government doing things the right way; moving this town toward a path to long-term stability and well-managed growth and I’ve been offering to help for a long while now. In fact, I’m so willing to help, I’ll do it for free until December when Commissioner McIntosh’s term should have ended.

Call it an olive branch. Call it whatever you want.

There’s a new budget to be written over the coming months, and according to Open the Books Project, Ramseur’s payroll almost doubled between 2019 and 2021. I’ve been looking at past and current budgets, and look forward to digging deeper into that puzzle in the coming weeks, one way or another.