A City of Division

I had to take some time to think about what I wanted to say in this post because last night's episode of Scandal awakened some feelings I thought had buried. After hearing the report from Chief Cowart at Tuesday night's board meeting, I wanted to blog about the Lumberton Police Department and how we should be thankful that we have officers that have some integrity. When I heard the report about how wanna be gangsters challenge police officers when they respond to calls I was taken aback by the brazen disregard for law enforcement officials. As she was giving her report, I was thankful that Hobson was no longer over the police department and his squad of goons had been eradicated. If we were still under Hobson's Holligans, the City of Lumberton would be in the national news just like Fergueson, MO, New York, Cleveland, OH, and Los Angeles. I have no doubt that if the people that challenge an officer responding to a call about gun shots and/or fighting would have done so with Hobson, we would have a dead body lying in the streets. Is that what they want? Are these idiots paying attention to what's happening in the news? Almost every week, there's a report about an unarmed black male getting killed by a police officer but we have some want to be thugs that want to challenge the police because they think there's nothing they can do. Let's get one thing straight, just because you listen to a rapper that stole someone's identity and put out a CD about their thuggish life, does not make you a thug. Let me let you in on something else, just because you walk around with a gun that you do not know how to use because you're not man enough to go fist to fist and accept the consequences of hand to hand combat, does not make you a gangsta. The fact that you try to label an area "the hood" does not make it the hood. If some of these so called thugs went to a real hood, they wouldn't survive a day. Wearing sagging pants, smoking dope in public, gambling on the green transformers and standing on the corners making more noise that an empty wagon on a gravel road does not make you a ganster. Newsflash, you're not a gangsta, you're a mark. Just because you're not arrrested by the Lumberton Police Department for selling drugs does not mean you're not being watched. Here's another tidbit you may have never considered, there aren't any old drug dealers. If you managed to get away with selling drugs during your productive years, you're going to spend your senior years working as someone's custodian because you won't have enough money to retire. So keep playing the thug life game. If you don't end up in jail, you're going to end up pushing a mop pail.

Just as I was getting ready to blog, I started reading a report on the racist emails that were sent from the official email accounts of Ferguson police officers. So let's be clear, racism exist and there are officers that target the black community. Now that we have proof, let's move to work on getting this matter addressed. If we have any racist officers on the Lumberton Police Department, I can't tell. We all have different backgrounds and different opinions and that can influnence the way you perform your duties. Lumberton is in bad shape and that's not being negative, that's being real. The city is divided and no one is willing to compromise so we can move forward, together. I know people say I am very harsh when I speak about the mayor, board and employees of the City of Lumberton and that may be true but I have always said, acknowledge me when I'm right and correct me when I'm wrong. Name calling and finger pointing has never helped the situation but if you're so inept in the performance of your duties, I'm going to call you out on the mat and it is up to you to prove me wrong. We can't continue to bury our heads and think things are going to correct themselves. It's not secret that I think Merlene is an incompetent, worthless, lying, confused, unprofessional, self-absorbed, self-indulgent trocholodyte but how many times must we circumvolve that mountatin before you get the point. I make no apologies for the way I feel because I've had first hand experience dealing with this woman and she wears her mask well but her slip continues to hang. Because of her manipulative ways, the citizens no longer have access to the public records that are stored in the records rooms because she allegedly convinced the board that the executive session room is bugged and they now use the records rooms as the meeting place during executive session. There are at least two freedom of information requests that were submitted to Merlene last year that she has failed to respond to or provide the information requested. The minutes are never completed in a timely fashion, the agendas are generally late, the water bills are delivered late and her customer service skills are very poor. I haven't mentioned anything about the inaccuracies of the budget but the board sent her for more training with the hopes of eliminating that excuse. But all of this lack of professionalism isn't happenstance; it's calclated. Most employees would be giving the boot for their inability to multitask and adequately peformed the basic duties of their post; especially in an at will employment state but not in the City of Lumberton. For some reason, this board accepts her incompentence and despite having a $60,000 shortall in the recent tax check received from the county, this board is going along with the I'mso overwhelmend scheme and they're looking to hire another clerk, despite the fact that other employees had their hours cut due to budget restraints.

But who's to blame for this matter? Can we continue to blame the previous board? Or will this board accept responsiblity for not having the wherewithal to make the tough decisions? As far as boards go, we're pretty much in the same position. The only difference between the last board and the current board is the fact that with the previous board, we had a mayor that knew the budget process and knew the laws that govern a code charter municipality. As a result, she was able to alert the city clerk of errors and advise the board when they were about to break the laws. Now we have a mayor that don't blink at the fact that laws are being broken. Despite his platform of wanting to bring unity to the board, he's satisfied with convincing three aldermen to always vote in his favor. The board represents a team and until the entire team is on board, we will never acheive victory. The previous board allowed a personal agenda to rule their votes and the same is taking place with the current board. Elected officials take their oath of office on a bilbe for a reason but I guess they've forgotten what they swore to uphold because they seeminlgly don't have a problem breaking the laws of a code charter municipality, illegally spot zoning and constantly going against the guidelines of the Open Meetings Act. If citizens break the law, they're given a ticket, pay a fine and could possibly go to jail but our elected officials break the laws because there seems to be no consequences. Why would Merlene treat citizens with respect? There's no consequences in being an ass. Why would Danny Davis address the problems with mis-read meters? The errors benefits his department and they get more money to spend and that's more fuel for their air-conditioned trucks. If there's no consequences, there's no need to change. As long as the board uphold them, they will continue to operate in the same manner.

Citizens don't seem to think the decisions made at city hall will affect them but every erronous water bill is a problem. Everytime we call city hall with a question and greeted with disdain, that's a problem. Everytime a police officer has to patrol alone, that's a problem. Until the citizen, the mayor, and the board get on one accord, this town will contintue to falter because a house divided against itself cannot stand. Winston may thump his chest thinking he's accomplished something because he somehow finagled the support of three but the Walls of Jericho did not fall until everyone was on one accord. There are people in this city that think they can continue to treat others like they don't matter but everyone in this city matters. Every opinion matter and every idea matters. Just because a person is saying something you don't agree with does not make them wrong, it makes them a voice in this world and they deserve to be heard. How many more excuses will it take before this board realize that Merlene is not equipped to do this job. She probably spend more time on this blog that she does doing her work and that's probably why she's falling behind. Do you need me to teach you how to multitask Melene? If you would stop looking for things to say about the citizens that grew up in this town, prehaps you can do your job more effectively. For some reason, Paul Ockmond thought I was after the job of city clerk and he was wrong. Would I make a better city clerk than Merlene, most definately but that's because I've attended meetings for years and know the laws that govern this city but it seems that this board does not want a knowledgeable clerk; that's why they're doing everything to keep Merlene on the payroll. If she don't know how to do this job after two years, chances are, she will be just as clueless two years later. Sadly, it seems that we have to endure and wait for another election to try and get a group in officer that's willing to make the tough decisions necessary to move Lumberton forward. Unfortunately, I don't think this is the group that will lead us to the promised land.

I am glad they hired more police officers because I really would hate to have someone hurt because of a lack of police protection or because idiotic individuals think they can challenge an armed officer that's trained to shot to kill. I don't know what it's going to take to get this city on track. There are too many people with self-serving agendas. Just do the right thing and there shouldn't be a problem. Ask your alderperson why they support items that break the laws, why they support a clerk that clearly does not know what she's doing, why they don't think police protection is important and if you're satisfied with their response and it coincides with their voting record, then there's nothing else I can say. I speak with my alderman regularly and I know why he votes for items and against others. He has told me that he will never vote for something that's illegal or unethical. Can you say the same about your representative? Before closing, the Lumberton Police Department would like to keep a list of elderly and/or disabled individuals so they can perform a welfare check. If you know of a person that lives alone and would like the police department to check on them for safety purposes, please contact the Lumberton Police Department with their names, contact number and any other details that would aid them in the monitoring of these individuals. I pray that you stay warm, enjoy the weekend, pray for our city, our elected officials, our police department and please pray for each other.

Comments

  1. Why are you so hard on Merlene? The last city clerk plotted with Hobson and Cindy to have you and the mayor arrested? I see you two are now friends. Why can't you give Merlene another chance?

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    Replies
    1. The only interaction I have with this clerk is for business purposes. It was Merl that made this personal. She has lied to me several times and once I catch a person in a lie I can't trust anything they say.

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    2. Merlene made her bed. She can never be trusted.

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    3. I wish Merlene would go back to the Bayou.

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    4. Merlene has no reason to be disrepect to any citizen. It doesn't matter who they, old, young, white, black, etc.

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  2. I commend your articles and agree with 95% of what you post however Just a note, Law enforcement officers are not trained to "shoot to kill". they are trained to shoot until the threat is stopped. There is a difference... No disrespect Intended

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  3. If anyone is 30 or older and still selling drugs and has never been caught then they're SNITCHING!!!!!

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