The Haves and Have Nots: Lumberton's Truth Decay
Just yesterday, we heard that the Cuevas Fish House burned to the ground. There's no word if they will rebuild but after the report was given about the fire departments that responded to the call, there were many wondering where was the Lumberton Fire Department? Good question. Since Jerry Walters and his crew were disbanded, it's a coin toss when it comes to getting a response from the LVFD. They're hardly ever represented at the board meetings but for some reason, the board continues to fund this department, pay their expenses and give them a FuelMan card. Why the need for a gas card when they're not responding to calls and they're turning down applications from qualified volunteers. I would like to see the paperwork because someone is lying and the City of Lumberton's fire rating is going to be circling the drain, resulting in higher insurance premiums for evey homeowner.
A major problem here is the lack of access to public records. Most jobs give employees a 90 training period. Mississippi is an at will state, meaning an employer does not need a good cause to fire you. Merlene Wall has been working here for over two years and at almost every meeting, she's reporting about something else she's not capable of doing. One of the tactics used by Merlene is her weapon of mass distraction. To keep the board from realizing she's incapable of performing tne duties of a city clerk, she distracts them from her poor job performance with a web of smoke and mirrors, allegedly speaking of course. The board can't focus on the fact that she can't operate the BBI software program when they're distracted by birthday cakes, mints at their desk, etc. Let's not focus on tne fact that the minutes are not completed in a timely fashion, water bills are mailed late, the drive thru window is closed during lunch or customers are treated rudely. Instead, let me print you a copy of a post from the Lumberton Informer. Let's not focus on the fact that citizens have no access to the records room because the board is convinced that the executive session room has been bugged. In the meantime, Merlene can continue to cry wolf, hire lawyers to write grammatically flawed cease and desist letters and convince the mayor and board that she's so overwhelmed by the work she's purposely not doing that she needs another clerk in the office.
Another matter I was thinking about is Danny Davis and his desire to pass the reigns of the Public Works Department to another white person. One would think that his primary focus would be to get the most experienced person to fill that position but after he requested to have the long term employees terminated and demanded the board keep the boy that wad hire to cut grass but never actually cut grass showed Danny's true agenda. For the record, I don't have a problem that the unexperienced choice is white. I have a problem that people with over a decade of work experience were discarded like excessive cargo on the Amistad. It's my hope that Michael will do his job fairly and if he's really trying, I will be supportive just like I was supportive of the young lafy that was being groomed for the position before giving in to her weak-willed nature. I don't know why she gives me the side eye every time I see her but I guess it's hard to remain neutral when you listen to Merlene's lies day in and day out.
Another issue I have with Danny is his unwillingness to acknowledge his biased supervisory skills. Everytime I listen to him giving his report at the board meetings, I think of Big Daddy from Django and Millie from The Color Purple. Danny is a master of feigning humility. When he give his monthly reports, he reminds me of that scene in Django when they were having problems with their hoods. He's always using that "Look, nobody's saying they don't appreciate what Jenny did" voice. All the while, it's my belief that he's more like Millie from the Color Purple, "I've always been good to you people. I've always gone out of my way for coloreds." But there's nothing I can do to change his way of thinking. If the number of erroneous bills that show up in the black community was in the white community, something would have been done to affress the issue. There's a problem with a black police chief having a take home vehicle but no one bats an eye that two white guys in the Public Works Department have take home trucks. Well, I can't blame Danny for that; Kent Crider, Jay McGraw and Tommy Dukes passed that order. Danny has pockets of concerns but he's not concerned about evey citizen that pays a water bill, otherwise, he wouldn't have Merlene screening his calls. Last month, I tried to get his number and Merlene refused to give me his mumber but said she will give him my name and number and have him call me back. I guess it's no surprise thzt I have yet to receive that call. A week later, I had a white friend call for me and guess what, she was given Danny's number. Interesting. I know people like to think racism is dead but as long as racist minded people like Merlene and Danny exist, racism lives. I'm sure their issues with me goes deeper than the color of my skin but explain why Danny's number was given to a white caller while she had me on the other end but I was refused the same information. Again, I can't put all this on Danny but I'm sure he's aware that this is going on because he also refused to give citizens the number to his city paid cellphone at the last board meeting.
One of the reasons I attended the last meeting was to see how the City of Lumberton was going to pay the $625,000 needed to get the Army Corp of Engineers grant. The matter was never discussed but Danny Davis said he had a list of the areas he wanted repaired. I know $2.5 million seems like a lot of money but not when it comes to street repairs and sewer lines. We all know that Love's Addition need the most work but I would love to see the areas Danny wants addressed first. I just wanted to share a few thoughts with you since it's raining and I'm mourning the loss of Cuevas Fish House. I just realized it's Friday the 13th. I hope the kids get a sunny day before the end of Spring Break. Enjoy your weekend, check on your neighbor and govern yourselves accordingly.