I'm Confused! No Wait...Maybe I'm Not. Nope, I'm Confused!
Now on to today's post. After the special called meeting, Winston reluctantly gave an interview. He didn't want to talk about the police department cuts and claimed that the County would have to take over if we could no longer afford police protection. Not true. Lamar County is not budgeted to take over Lumberton's police department. In order for Lamar County to take over, this mayor and board would have to go through the process of unincorporating the City of Lumberton. I have a strong feeling that's not going to happen because it would require the elected officials to give up their salaries and free insurance coverage; which is probably the main reason many of them ran for office. Let me be clear, when I say free insurance, it's free to the elected official but the citizens are footing the thousands of dollars in coverage for a group that's not considerate of the citizens they're supppsed to represent.
During the WHLT interview, Winston said he felt safe. He also said he didn't like the fact that the news wanted to broadcast that the police protection is weak. WTF? Is the city safe or weak? We can't be both. Winston said there were some volunteers that wanted to ride along with the lone officers. Again, WTF? Wasn't there just a national case of an auxiliary police officer killing someone because he thought he was using a taser instead of a gun. Winston also said that there were no citizens complaining about the lack of police protection. Either he wasn't listening or I imagined several citizens complaining about their safety concerns. At the last board meeting, Winston asked a citizen to leave the board room after pleading for more police. One citizen had this to say after seeing Winston's interview.
"What a liar. I called him personally when a child got stabbed right outside my home and told him we didn't feel safe!! We moved from Lumberton, like many others have bevause we didn't feel safe! He is in terrible denial!! Ben Winston, Cora Rogers, and Jay McGraw all heard from us that we felt unsage!! They are all three pathetic!!!
There's a lot of questions and we're not getting answers. Until the citizens fill the board room and demand answers, they're going to continue to bury their heads in the sand or sweep our problems under the rug. The next board meeting is Tuesday, June 2, 2015 at 6:00 pm. Before logging off, here's something to think about, maybe you can give me the answer. Somehow, without knowing what's in the budget, Winston and McGraw has managed to secure a $600,000 loan. Keep in mind, there hasn't been an audit performed in two years. The board said they needed $250,000 to pay the matching funds to secure a $2.5 million dollar Army Corp of Engineers grant. At the special called meeting, the board also started the process to get a $150,000 Community Improvement grant. So, would someone explain how a city secure a $150,000 grant, a $600,000 loan and another $2,500,000 grant but don't have enough money to fully fund the police department?