Taking Back Our City
I have spent a lot of time focusing on the actions of the city clerk and public works director when the blame should be placed on the Mayor and Board of Alderpersons. With the exception of Alderman Tommy Dukes, Jr. and Alderwoman at Large, Cora Rogers, everyone on the board has previous experience as an elected official. So, why is the city in the shape it's in. In other words, they know better or should I say, they should. Just the other day, Alderman Jay McGraw, Alderman Kent Crider and Alderwoman at Large, Cora Rogers allegedly ganged up on the city clerk about the dereliction of her duties as a city clerk. As a matter of fact, it was reported that Merlene Wall was so upset that she left the office in tears. I have been harsh on Merlene but I feel that it's the duty and responsibility of a city clerk to know their job, duty and responsibilities. The things I said about Merelene was not said because of hate, it was to show the deficiencies in the office and the need to have qualified individuals serving as city clerk and/or deputy city clerk. People think noting of our board hiring individuals that are not familiar with the laws governing a code charter municipality. I know the laws and guidelines because of the years attending meetings and doing research but because I'm not a push over and will not sell my ethics for days off work with pay, I'm not considered a good candidate for a job at city hall. Everybody know that I don't have any personal qualms with Merlene, I just disapprove of her lack of professional knowledge relating to the position she holds. As a matter of fact, had she known the laws regarding a code charter municipality, she would have know that McGraw, Crider and Cora Rogers were in violation regarding the monitoring of her duties as a city clerk and the fact that all three were in her office at the same time was considered an unofficial meeting. She had every right to tell each and every one of them to get the hell out of her office before she report them to the Mississippi Ethics Board. In accordance to Opinion No. 2005-0431, board members do not have the authority to interfere in the day to day operations of any department. Opinion No. 2014-00378 also outlines violations that are also being committed by this governing body. That's why I am always stressing the importance of knowing the laws. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse.
Just this morning, I was reading an article about how a citizen watchgroup in Clark County, Illinois took back their city. It got me to thinking that we should form a group like this in Lumberton. I attend the meetings, post responses to the meetings and take photos when I see things that should not be happening but I am just one person. I generally get a few responses but after researching laws, posting opinions and putting in the leg work, I get a few comments but nothing gets done. I think it's time to get citizens together that want to see this city grow and I would be delusional to think I could do it by myself. So, I'm putting it out there and I want to extend the invitation to those that want to see Lumberton grow and proper. At this rate, if we continue to sit back and say/do nothing, then nothing will ever get done. It's time to take our city back and together we can answer that battle cry. If you're willing to help, let me know. We need to get the ball rolling because at this rate, we don't know how much longer it will be before this city no longer exists. It's that serious. As a matter of fact, I don't think the City of Lumberton will have enough money to continue operations through the end of 2014.