Who's Pulling the Strings?

Yesterday was nothing short interesting. After leavin the doctor's office, I decided to stop by city hall to look through some records. Once I arrived, Audrey (the woman that wants the alley closed during football games) and another woman were in the hallway, waiting to see the mayor. Once I got into the clerk's office, I noticed a man working on what seemed to be the budget. I wonder if this was the man Jay McGraw recommended to assist with preparing a new budget. If so, when did the board approve this job that would cost the city an additional $1,200? While one clerk was getting the records, another clerk had me fill out an information request form. While standing there, I noticed a sign prohibiting the use of cell phones and recording devices. Looks like we're slowly becoming a communist city. Someone is constantly making up rules while the board continually break the laws set forth for a code charter municipality. First they locked the records room, preventing access and now they want to quash our first amendment rights. What idiot thought this was something they could enforce? What are they going to do, call the one police officer to have violators arrested? At some point, Cora Rogers came out the office like she was playing a game of fetch. She was looking for Audrey, to let her know she can come in to speak with the mayor. I was finally given the records book, but to my surprise, Merlene had a clerk to stop working so she can sit and watch me as I review the records. Did she think I was going to steal the minutes? The most recent minutes are not completed. I seriously doubt I will steal minutes from 1988. While on the subject, I was trying to see how many police officers were on payroll in 1988. Tommy Dukes said we had there officers then and nothing in Lumberton has changed that would require more than one officer per shift. Well, the minutes from 1989 are not as detailed as the minutes recorded today; well,tthe ones that actually name it into the record book. However, the budget for the City of Lumberton, in 1989, was $950,000 and 55% of that budget was used by the police department. If Lumberton had there officers using 55% of the budget, someone was grossly overpaid. I uploaded the video on the Lumberton Informer Facebook page.

While at the office, Danny Davis came in to give the clerk some photos he had taken, Jay McGraw was there attempting to complete the numbers showing the savings by outsourcing garbage collection, and the police department had James Youngblood in custody. Before leaving, Lamar County was coming to take him into custody. Merlene never bothered coming out of her office. I guess she was taking advantage of all the help she was getting with the budget. In all fairness, I must say that Stephanie Mullings was never this inept. Merlene can't prepare a budget, she can't answer simple questions about the zoning map or comprehensive plan, she's locked citizens out of a public records room; as a clerk, she's utterly useless but she can order a mean birthday cake for the elected officials birthday month celebration. I guess the sweet confection has made the aldermen forget aborigine much she's costing the city. The police department has been butchered but she's still handing out comp time to her clerks like Halloween candy. She want everyone else to walk the line while she continue to go unchecked. The $1,200 used to pay someone to prepare a budget could have been used to pay a police officer but like I've said before, they pay for what they value and that don't include police protection.


  1. I passed by city hall Sunday and Merlene, Melissa and Melissa's husbands vehicles were all there. Do those 3 work on Sunday's now? And I just am guessing that Melissa's husband works there now because he is there more than she is it seems.

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