Special Meeting, 14 October 2019

Special meetings are becoming so frequent around here they don’t seem very special anymore. Another one was held this morning, this time to discuss the costs and timeline involved in renewing a wastewater residuals permit from the state of North Carolina; a routine piece of business that happens every five years and is mandatory if we plan to keep collecting and cleaning our own sewage.

First let’s back up to the regular monthly board meeting held last Monday night, October 7, and watch a short, twenty second, video clip in which Commissioner Vicki Caudle asks about a letter from The Wooten Company that she found in her meeting information packet. Continue reading “Special Meeting, 14 October 2019”

Put It In Writing

On Friday afternoon, 17 August 2019, I attended a private meeting between myself and Commissioner Grant Cheek, along with two other men who do not live in Ramseur. The purpose of that meeting was an effort to find some sort of common ground and, I assume, bring about a truce between myself and Commissioner Cheek. The meeting lasted a little over an hour, and by all accounts amounted to a waste of time.

I respect the two men, officers in the local chapter of the NAACP, who facilitated this meeting, and their efforts at resolving what was represented to them as a dispute based upon alleged racism and bigotry on my part. As regular readers of this space will recall, a month or two ago Mr. Cheek filed a grievance against me with that organization, claiming that my work here focuses on him based only on his race and other personal characteristics that I have not ever written about. Anyone who has known me personally for more than a few days understands that such accusations are utterly without merit. Continue reading “Put It In Writing”

“Half Facts And Truths Cause Misunderstandings”

After my last post, about the Highway Forty-Nine water line project, Mayor Shaw saw what he must have thought was a golden opportunity to shame the Watchdog.

I omitted some information I did not have, about where the proposed pipeline will end near Old Staley Road, about two miles north of Eastern Randolph Road. With all the talk about looping the water line at the high school during the recent board meeting it was an easy thing to overlook, if it was mentioned at all. I appreciate clarifications.

click to enlarge

Since the mayor brought it up, let’s talk about the total lack of official information readily available to the pubic about this project, which was proposed at least three years ago.

Why isn’t there a map of this proposed pipeline on view at the post office, or the library, or the municipal administrative office? Why hasn’t the mayor’s administration posted anything anywhere in town over the last three years about this project? Continue reading ““Half Facts And Truths Cause Misunderstandings””

Proposal To Extend Water Services Studied

At the monthly meeting of the Ramseur Board of Commissioners, held this past Thursday, 02 May 2019, Randy Welch from SERCAP, and Lynn Whittington, USDA, addressed the board regarding a proposed water line project that would extend water Ramseur’s water distribution system from its current termination at Eastern Randolph High School west to NC Highway 49.

From there the proposed pipeline would be built southward and tie into the current of the main distribution line near town limits. This would create a loop in the distribution system that would insure that the high school almost never need lose water service due to line breaks or maintenance. More important the project would make clean drinking water available to people living along NC-49, but it’s far from a done deal. Continue reading “Proposal To Extend Water Services Studied”

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”