If You Were Looking for a Sign...Well...This Ain't It
When the board held the special called meeting to allow Alderwoman Rogers to serve as interim mayor and set the date for the special called election, I knew Crider had something up his sleeve because it was the first time he attended a board meeting with a clean shirt. Generally, Crider drags himself to the board meeting in a various array of stained scrubs. I’m not sure if the stains are from his lunch or his embalming job. That night, Crider was trying to stand out as a leader. He spoke with the media and his attempts to avoid calling Jay McGraw by his name was quite a juggling act because no one knew who the reporters were talking about when they asked if the alderman was going to resign because of his recent charges (sarcasm intended). In his first demonstration of his leadership abilities, Crider claimed he was going to speak with Jay over the weekend to see if he could convince him to resign so they can set the date for the special election and save the City of Lumberton some money by avoiding two elections. You got to love the irony of that statement. Crider claimed he was interested in saving the city money and wanted to avoid having two elections but minutes after they board set the date for the special election, he was getting paperwork to run for mayor which could, if he’s elected, force the City of Lumberton to pay for another election to fill his seat. Atta Boy Kent! (again…sarcasm intended.)
The problem I have with Crider running for mayor while he’s on the board is the same problem I had with Ben Winston running for supervisor. You know the length of your term but you want to put another financial burden on a city you claim to love for self-serving purposes. For the past two years, Crider has co-signed on Winston’s statement that the City of Lumberton is broke but neither have a problem with adding another $5,000 or more, that is not budgeted, to hold a special election. In my opinion, Crider and Winston are carbon copies. Crider has been on the board for six years. I could go on about his exploits over the last six years but I’ll just remind you of some of his decisions over the past two years. Because of a personal agenda, Crider dismantled the Lumberton Volunteer Fire Department because Jerry Walters dared to run against him for the alderman position. With a total disregard of the law, Crider, at Winston’s behest, served as the advisor of the fire department. He selected a group that made decisions that forced dedicated members out of the department and jeopardized the services to Lumberton residents. Thankfully, Warren Byrd realized the citizens of Lumberton were not getting adequate service or responses and he added the LVFD under the Lamar County umbrella. If Crider was such a leader, why didn’t he step up to the plate when it was revealed that Lumberton had a tax lien because the city defaulted on the MDEQ loan? For the past two years, Crider voted to every month for the past two years to pay the claims docket and payment to MDEQ was supposed to be included on the docket. Why didn’t Crider balk at the fact that the loan was never paid? Why didn’t Crider ask why the city clerk never reported to the board that the loan was never paid because Winston allegedly voided the checks? Is this the person you want to rely on to turn the City of Lumberton around? Crider is not the solution because he’s part of the problem. Before I let you go, let me remind you that it was Crider that wanted to sell the old Lumberton Hospital and all the land attached to it for $500. Sounds like he’s coming straight from the Paul Ockmond, Aaron Lott and Ben Winston playbook.