A failure to communicate.

The images below are screenshots of the web pages of two small towns. One belongs to the Town of Ramseur, and the other belongs to the Town of Biscoe. I chose Biscoe for this comparison for several reasons, one being that the towns are similar in size and population. I also chose to look at Biscoe because, over the past few years, Ramseur has paid two Biscoe employees – their town manager and town clerk – to work for us part-time as consultants.

We’re paying for a town manager, part-time at contractor rates!

Clicking either image below will open a new window or tab in your browser so that you can more easily compare the two websites. I recommend that you do this from a desktop or a laptop computer for the easiest viewing.

The first thing that jumped out at me when I visited the Biscoe site was how well organized it is, with all of their policies, ordinances, agendas & minutes, forms, and even their corporate charter available to read or download, easy to find, and mostly up to date.

Seriously, stop for a minute. Go back and click all four of the links I put in that last paragraph. Go on, look!

Biscoe’s meeting agendas and minutes for this year are still a few months behind, but that’s not so unusual; a little lag is to be expected, but records for several previous years appear to be complete and available for any interested party with an internet connection to print, download, or read online.

This is what smart, efficient management looks like for a small town of 1,700 people when their leadership is smart enough to get out of the way of progress. Professional management keeps town employees from having to spend unnecessary time finding, scanning, printing, and delivering the most common public records requests.

Citizens can find information online with ease, and when they can’t, it can often be retrieved and delivered without anyone ever having to leave their desks. Of course, such a well-oiled machine took some planning and diligence to assemble, but once the infrastructure is in place it takes very little time each day to keep it up to date.

Biscoe’s website isn’t perfect, but it’s well-organized and fairly well-maintained, which is more than I can say for ours. Far more.

Ramseur’s official website is embarrassing, and that’s the kindest thing I can say about it.

Here sits the most powerful communications tool the world has ever produced, disorganized and gathering dust while town officials post legal notices on a social media platform notorious for showing us what we need to see three days after we need to see it.

The town website was better organized until Commissioner Parrish convinced his colleagues to replace our internet host and webmaster, David Turner; a business acquaintance I’ve known and respected for more than a decade, and who, in the interest of full disclosure, told me that he was delighted to lose our town’s business when they let him go. Yet another symptom of town manager deficiency syndrome.

Mr. Turner lives west of Charlotte and could be reached by email or telephone almost any time his assistance was needed. Does our new webmaster even have a name? Do they live in this hemisphere? The town website we have today looks like it was designed and is hosted by a fourteen-year-old with a server in his mom’s basement, no offense to fourteen-year-olds.

A webmaster’s job does not typically include managing ALL content updates for the client. I’ve hosted Ramseur Watchdog and my professional website through David’s company for years, and he’s never written a post or uploaded any documents or images for me, nor would I expect him to. Granted, the Town of Ramseur was paying for a little more than I do, but most of their issues were caused by user errors. Our town’s information portal doesn’t work because no one who understands the tools is allowed near the toolbox.

Need an example of just how badly the Ramseur site is put together? Read on.

There’s an email subscription box at the bottom of the Town of Ramseur’s homepage, similar to the one at the bottom of this website.

Anyone should be able to sign up for updates from the town and be notified by email whenever anything new is posted, just like subscribers here get an email anytime I post something new. Every legal notice, every meeting agenda, and any other official information citizens ought to see should be posted and sent out that way from the official town website.

A few days ago I subscribed to the town website just to see what might happen. I typed my email address in the box, clicked the sign-up button, and… nothing happened. I didn’t really expect anything to happen; maybe a confirmation message, but no, nothing.

Five hours later I got a message from Mayor Caudle, asking if I had sent her an email. She’d received an odd-looking message that afternoon with my email address on it. She sent me a screenshot, and it took a few seconds to realize what it was. It wasn’t a scam or any kind of malware, and it wasn’t from me, at least not directly.

It was a notice generated by the subscription form I filled out on the town website. It turns out that the mayor has seen several of these over the years, but no one could ever explain to her what they were or what they meant.

The form was never set up properly because no one in that office or with a vote on that board will admit that they don’t know how to use the tools in front of them. Not one meeting announcement – special or otherwise – is visible on Ramseur’s website, and once a visitor clicks past the pop-up announcements they use for hearings and special meetings it’s impossible to see those notices again without resetting your IP address.

How many of you know what an IP address is and how to reset it? Not many, I’d wager, and we shouldn’t have to know how to do those things just to get a second look at important legal notices from our local government. No ‘news’ items have been added to the site since last March.

Meeting agendas have not been added to the town website in more than three years and to my knowledge minutes have never been posted, and the last I heard they don’t even keep minutes anymore, choosing instead to rely on inconsistent videos hosted on YouTube.

I want to try to fix these problems, among others, and I will find a way to do it even if it means I have to spend the next few years doing it myself, here on this website.

Four years ago Commissioner Parrish promised us transparency and better communication, but I do not see either one of those things being more abundant today than four years ago. If anything we’ve gone backward. Heaven forbid anyone should ever find out about town business from anywhere but the carefully cultivated Facebook gossip mill.

I want the opportunity to work at making this town better, and the only way to do that is with you, the taxpaying citizens of this municipality at my back, showing up at meetings and holding your commissioners accountable.

In 2023 our local government is still broken. The way forward is to modernize it. Backward is not the way forward. Please vote on or before November 7th.

Modernization, transparency, stability.

Here’s what I hope to bring to the Board of Commissioners. If you agree please vote for me.


Town Manager/Corporate Charter –  We need to fix the broken, misinterpreted parts of our town’s corporate charter, such as the board of adjustment problems, and consider several possible updates, but above all, we must adopt the council-manager form of government and hire a Town Manager!

Commissioner Duties – Commissioners are elected at large and should serve at large. Limiting commissioners to involvement in just one or two departments is a foolish way to operate a town. Until such time as a town manager takes over, all department heads should feel free to discuss their work and the needs of their departments with any commissioner interested enough to take the time.

Parks & Recreation – I believe Ramseur needs to study the possibility of developing a full-time parks & recreation position.  We have a number of valuable facilities to maintain and manage with more likely to be added in the coming years. One goal we should also be striving toward is making our town and its streets safe for families to walk around our community.

Water Resources – Ramseur and the surrounding area will be part of many important decisions affecting our water and sewer departments in the coming years. Whether we keep the system we have, become part of a larger regional solution, or do something in between, I want to be part of that process and help protect Ramseur’s greatest asset while seeing it used for the greatest good of everyone.


No More Illegal Meetings – North Carolina has many statutes governing how, when, and why a majority of a governing board may meet, either in person, online, or even on messaging platforms. Whether by email, text, or verbally, town commissioners ought not to be talking with each other about governing issues other than in one-on-one conversations. Hire a manager and this whole problem goes away.

Transparency is vitally important to earning the people’s trust and in their understanding of how local government works. All meeting minutes, with or without links to supplemental audio or video recordings, should be published or linked to the town’s official website. 


A well-regulated municipality with a competent administration on the job (manager, clerk, department leaders) makes for a more stable work environment. I want all the people who do the work that operates our town to have all the resources they need to do a good job today, tomorrow, and long into the future.

None of these ideas will get a fair hearing anytime soon unless you send a clear message to the Board of Commissioners by voting for me, Jay Hubbard, for commissioner.

Mayor Caudle will have my vote to continue as our mayor on November 7th. With you at our backs, maybe the other commissioners will agree to have an adult conversation about these and other important issues.

Yard signs are available at 1391 Church Street whenever I’m at home.

Or you can send an email to RamseurWatchdog@yahooDOTcom

I stay pretty busy throughout the week, but I’m happy to bring you a sign for your yard and/or set up a time to speak with you about any of the ideas I’ve expressed on these pages and to hear any thoughts you have that I may not have considered.

Thanks for your support.