Regular readers of this blog may recall that for the past several months a slim majority of the Ramseur Board of Commissioners has been working overtime to find a way to force a local business owner, Tim Matthews, to remove artwork from the side of the Boost Mobile store facing Carter Street downtown. The artwork was placed on the building six years ago, and Mr. Matthews paid for permits time and time again, for these and other signs he has since been forced to remove. Meanwhile other business owners all over town were being granted variances, exceptions, and other special treatment for sometimes much bigger zoning violations.
At the March 4th meeting, a vote was held on the question of whether the Phoneman image and a smiley face should be considered artwork. At that meeting Commissioner* Smith was absent without leave and the votes were evenly divided, forcing Mayor Shaw to break the tie. Mr. Shaw told Tim Matthews at that time that if Dennis Pinnix, a code enforcement officer contracted by the town, would recommend calling the paintings artwork that he would change his vote. Continue reading “Smith Makes The Right Choice… For Once”
I try to avoid posting about state or national issues in this space, unless the issue in question will affect us down here at the local level. House Bill 294 would do just that. The official title of the bill is “An Act To Require That Every Election In The State Be Held As A Partisan Election“.
I don’t care what party you might affiliate with, but it seems to me that to any reasonable person this bill would be terrible for folks like us living in small rural communities across this great state. I mean, it’s bad enough that judges and sheriffs races are tangled up in partisan politics, but throwing school boards and municipal boards into that swamp can only end badly for everyone.
As I’ve said before, down here close to home we have to learn to put our party affiliations and such aside because the pool of talent we have to draw from in places like Ramseur is so small. If this bill were passed into law, municipal boards and others affected by it would have vacancies filled not by the sitting members, but instead appointed by the Executive Committees of the party of the person who resigned or passed away. Positions could be handed out to party donors without regard for qualifications, while ignoring potentially better qualified candidates.
If that wasn’t bad enough, imagine the problems unaffiliated candidates would face, having to constantly gather petition signatures just to get onto the ballot, not to mention the logistical nightmare that would be presented if an unaffiliated board member’s seat were vacated early. Who’s going to decide what unaffiliated person gets appointed to finish that unexpired term?
Please click through this link and read this bill yourself, and pressure our delegation in Raleigh not to support this terrible idea. Partisan politics has created more division in this country than any other issue in my lifetime. This bill only threatens to make the problem even worse.
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At the Board of Commissioners meeting that happened on April 1st, at the end of the night Commissioner Grant Cheek and Mayor Danny Shaw railed against a local citizen who posted a criminal records check about Mr. Cheek on social media. Cheek claimed that all of what was posted was false, while Shaw claimed that he searched his own name and found a long list of false charges against himself, so let’s set the record straight.
Here’s a link to the original record search I posted on my Facebook timeline, which was re-posted several times in several places by others. I’m not one to rely on questionable or inaccurate information, so I double checked my findings against searches on several other individuals I could verify, as well as a background check on myself, before I shared that link above with my friends. Continue reading “Setting Mr. Cheek’s Record Straight”
One of the first topics of discussion last Monday night, April 1st, had to do with the duties of our public works department, contracted out to Suez Environmental Services, Inc. since early 2017. Suez Environmental is a subsidiary of Suez North America, which is in turn a subsidiary of Suez Environment, a French-based utility company which operates largely in the water treatment and waste management sectors.
Commissioner Caudle brought this discussion before the board to address a lack of cooperation, bordering on obstruction, that she has experienced in trying to get someone on our payroll to keep the restrooms at Leonard Park stocked and clean. Leonard Park is a public park owned and operated by the Town of Ramseur. Watch the video of the discussion below. Continue reading “Ramseur He-Man Woman Haters Club”