Commissioner Grant B. Cheek: An Exceptional Conflict of Interest

I’ve been pondering the subject of this post for several weeks now, trying to wrap my head around it and digging for the facts. Sadly, some of what I’ve sought has been difficult or impossible to find, as will be explained shortly.

Sometime in February or March of 2016, Morganne Kirkman resigned from her position as Clerk of the Town of Ramseur. Around the same time, Commissioner Gary Hoover also submitted his resignation from the Board of Commissioners.

Bobbie Hatley was promoted to the Town Clerk position, leaving a vacancy in the municipal office. Commissioner Grant Cheek, who was elected in November of 2016, soon began volunteering in the office, assisting with water billing and payments.

The minutes of a pre-agenda meeting held March 7, 2016, contain the following entry: “Discussion was held on compensation for Grant Cheek for time worked in office to assist Bobbie Hatley while awaiting Clerk position being filled. Options for Grant were presented to the Board. Attorney Wilhoit was asked and he made point of population under 5,000 there are exemptions. Contract or temp position for Grant were discussed and Wilhoit advised that Grant should get together a proposal to present to the Board for the next Board meeting.” Continue reading “Commissioner Grant B. Cheek: An Exceptional Conflict of Interest”

Water Quality Reports & Compliance Issues

As a follow up to my posts written over the last few days regarding our water and sewer department, here are a few documents I received this week. All images in this post should enlarge to a readable size when you click on them.

First we have a Notice of Violation the Town of Ramseur received for a raw sewage spill that occurred last December during a power outage. I recall the board voting to spend money having a Vietnam War era military generator at one of our pump stations repaired around that time. I do not know if the spill occurred at the same pump station where the generator was apparently out of service. Continue reading “Water Quality Reports & Compliance Issues”

Who’s Really Running Ramseur’s Water & Sewer Department?

This morning I received a copy of an email, sent to Mayor Shaw from Rodney Darr and inspector with the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ, formerly DENR), regarding an inspection he recently performed at our water treatment plant and the raw water intake at Rameur Lake. You can see the entire email by clicking here.

I’ve reproduced a partial image of the email below. Please take a close look at who received that message. Notice anyone missing? Commissioner Grant B. Cheek, in charge of our water and sewer systems, did not receive a copy of this inspection summary.

It’s not like Mr. Cheek is a new commissioner, unknown to the state inspectors; he’s been in office for almost four years, so where is Grant Cheek? Why was this message sent to the mayor and two Suez employees, but not the commissioner in charge of the water department?

There were a couple of things the inspector, Mr. Darr, felt worthy of pointing out in his findings. The first has to do with an ongoing concern for maintenance at the plant. Continue reading “Who’s Really Running Ramseur’s Water & Sewer Department?”

Where’s Commissioner Cheek?

On Wednesday, March 6, 2019, just before 5 pm, Bobbie Hatley sent the following email to all commissioners, the mayor, and counsellor Wilhoit.

“Attached are 2 proposals presented for the unit replacement at the Wastewater Treatment Plant approved during budget. Grant is going with Charlie’s Tin Shop which is the lower bid and the monies are available per budget. If you need a refresher, it was under items presented by Suez for approval.”

The bids were for air conditioning units for the office and an “ice box room” at the wastewater treatment plant on Roundleaf Road; one from Charlie’s Tin Shop ($5100) and one from Gardiner Heating & Air ($5400). Both bids are linked in the underlined text in the paragraph above for your convenience. Please take a moment to compare them. Continue reading “Where’s Commissioner Cheek?”