Public Works Needs Better Management

***An Earlier Version of This Article Contained Incomplete Information***
***A Correction Has Been Inserted Into the Body of the Text***

In a previous post, Ramseur He-Man Woman Haters Club, I pointed out the gross misogyny of several members of our Board of Commissioners  toward Vicki Caudle, the only woman currently serving on the board.

Caudle

During a discussion at the most recent board meeting regarding the duties of our public works contractor, Suez, Commissioner Grant Cheek was adamant that Suez is not responsible for cleaning and stocking public restrooms in our parks, and insisted that Commissioner Caudle should handle those duties herself. According to Mr. Cheek, Suez is too busy working water leaks, repairing fire hydrants, and removing brush from his property to bother with such menial work as maintaining restrooms in a public park. You can view the full discussion in the video below. Continue reading “Public Works Needs Better Management”

Commissioner Smith, What Part of the First Amendment Don’t You Understand?

You might remember an article I wrote about the email Commissioner Smith sent to attorney Bob Wilhoit back on January 29, 2019, alleging collusion and conflicts of interest between myself and Mr. Turner; who the Town of Ramseur hired last year to redesign, host, and maintain the town’s website. Part of that email is reprinted below:

“As of today, I am launching a “NO SMEAR” campaign, I will be actively seeking cyber bullies that have been targeting The Town of Ramseur, The Town of Ramseur’s Council and the Citizens of Ramseur (where deemable by the citizens) and hold them accountable for their actions to the full extent of the law. I seek to remove these websites and pages at all costs. Continue reading “Commissioner Smith, What Part of the First Amendment Don’t You Understand?”

Commissioner Smith Defends His Spending

My earlier post, Checks and Balances, appears to have struck a nerve with our appointed town commissioner, “Adam” Smith. When it was time for him to report on his departments – cemetery and library – at the February 4, 2019, Board of Commissioners meeting, Smith came out swinging. Sadly, for the commissioner, he didn’t manage to connect much that night.

Smith began with an account of all the things he’s done since being appointed to the board last August, starting with electrical work at Sunset Knoll cemetery. Four decorative lamps were installed – two at each entrance – in addition to updating several pole mounted breaker boxes, refurbished down to the circuit breakers. He even had GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) receptacles installed under each breaker box. Continue reading “Commissioner Smith Defends His Spending”

Checks and Balances

It should be pretty obvious to anyone paying attention that something is terribly wrong in Ramseur, and it only seems to get worse with each passing year. I have a few theories about how and why things got this way, but for now I’d rather focus on what’s wrong and how we go about fixing it.

Property owners in Ramseur pay the highest taxes of any municipality in Randolph County, yet our town has some of the worst infrastructure in the county and, according to some, we can’t afford to hire a town administrator to manage our affairs. There are few checks and balances in place to keep the members of our Board of Commissioners transparent and accountable to the people who elect them.

For example, each member of the Ramseur Board of Commissioners can spend up to $1,000.00 per invoice every month, with no limit on the number of invoices they generate. The only person with any oversight is our Town Clerk, who acts as the town’s chief financial officer and is employed at the pleasure of the Board.

If I’m a town commissioner I can hire anyone I want to perform any work I deem necessary in my department(s). No one but me gets to vet the people I hire, check their credentials, inspect their work, or provide any other oversight to ensure I’m not abusing the privileges of my office. Pretty much anything goes so long as I don’t burn through my budget too fast. I wish I could say there’s no evidence of that kind of behavior in our town, but I can’t. Continue reading “Checks and Balances”