A City of Division
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.