2015: The Year of the Coons
We’re on the cusp of a new year and hopefully 2016 will bring the change others felt that we needed in Lumberton and when I speak of change, I mean a white mayor. There are so many that were saying Lumberton need change but the change they were looking for was not based on actual change but complexion. Lumberton ended with an uncertain election that was tainted by the corrupt city clerk that lies as effortless as she breathes. Voter turnout was low but I thank all those that exercised their right to vote, regardless of who they voted for. Sadly, there’s still a fight for answers. When we went to city hall to get view the opening of the affidavit ballots, the candidates were not allowed in the room. The city clerk, the election commissioner, two poll workers and Cora Rogers went into the executive session room. At the time, I thought they were there to call the circuit clerk’s office to verify if the people that voted via affidavit ballot were registered voters. Well, that wasn’t the case, they asked Cora Rogers, with her limited knowledge, if she knew the black voters because we all know each other. I later called the circuit clerk’s office and was told they never received a call to verify registered voters.
The group stayed in the back room for 1 hour and 16 minutes to “verify” 12 ballots. When they emerged, they informed us that 7 ballots were rejected because the voters did not live in the city limits and several of the rejected voters are my neighbors. Later, Crider stated in an interview with the Hattiesburg American that the ballots were omitted because the voters had felony records. Again, I know all the people on the list and none of them have ever been arrested. So, which story is it, are they not residents of Lumberton (they’re paying water bills here) or are they felons. FYI, all felony records do not prevent people from having the right to vote. The fact that Lumberton is ending the year with speculation about corruption at city hall represents the type of year we had in the city that refuse to move forward.
Throughout most of 2015, I was in court dealing with the frivolous case filed against me by the city clerk, Merlene Wall. We had several visits to the Lamar County Courthouse and she had Ben Winston, Tommy Dukes, Cora Rogers and Bobby Gibson in tow so they can testify against me. Interestingly, these are the same people that were campaigning for Kent Crider in the election. Merlene was campaigning so hard that she allegedly allowed a guy to have his water turned on without any deed or verification of residency in exchange for his promise to vote for Crider. I’m trying to think what else took place this year. Hummmm! Oh yeah, Ben Winston spent most of the year campaigning to become the District 2 Supervisor but he failed to realize that allowing the board to cut slash the police department, default on a major loan, cut the hours of the court clerk, hire people that were not in the budget, failing to present a balanced budget, failing to demand respect for the citizens and to waste money on multiple trips for BBI training didn’t bode well with voters that wanted a leader.
How could I forget about lighter gate and NAPA. Hugh Jay McGraw made his way around to the area stores picking up shining things but he wasn’t able to return the items he stole from NAPA and pay a $25 fine; he actually went before a judge and was booked in jail before finally appearing before the judge. After Ben failed to fool the voters and lost his bid to return to this post as Supervisor, he resigned as mayor making him a two time quitter; first he quit his church and then he quit his city.
As of now, we’re still playing a game of Merlene Roulette when it comes to the water bills, the police department is still struggling to serve and to protect, fines are not getting collected, there’s still no one that knows how much is actually in the budget and it seems that people want the person that voted Lumberton in this condition to be their next mayor. The run-off election was an eye opener. It amazes me that there’s so few people that value the right to vote and the people that are supposed to protect the integrity of the election are doing everything in their power to steal the votes of those that actually showed up to the polls. After finding torn ballots in the garbage can, seeing pictures of people that no longer live in Lumberton voting and now the rejecting of valid ballots without actual verification makes me wonder how many other elections were hijacked by this gentle band of poll workers that have been in control of our electoral process since the days of President Dwight Eisenhower.
On WDAM, they declared Kent Crider the winner of the mayoral election, so why are they delaying the swearing in ceremony. They can call Judge Anderson, have him sworn in on Monday, January 4, 2016 and he can chair the first meeting of the year the next day, Tuesday, January 5, 2016. This is not a sign of my capitulation because I know they worked overtime to steal this election and his reign as mayor will always be marred by the footnote of corruption. Crider said he ran for his father and that his father lost his bid to become Mayor of Lumberton due to corruption. Well, now we have come full circle because David Kent Crider gets to serve as mayor due to corruption. I’m looking forward to him taking office so I can start the clock on campaign promises. Like his predecessor, Crider claimed there were businesses waiting for him to get elected so they can move to Lumberton.
Crider also claimed he was going to get an emergency center here and that the Lamar County Board of Supervisors will work with him because they refused to work with Lumberton if I was elected. Well that latter part was something his daughter Nikki said but she had to get it from her daddy. Since Kent has the full support of the Lamar County Board of Supervisors, then he should be able to get them to take over the police department for Lumberton especially since one of his private promises was to get rid of the Chief of Police. Oh, I almost forgot, Kent Crider is going to use his position as Mayor to secure the $2.5 million dollar Army Corp of Engineer grant that alluded former mayor Ben Winston. I can’t wait for him to announce the start date. Since he has 6 years of experience he should be able to hit the ground running and accomplish all these campaign promises within his first 100 days as mayor. If you’re out tonight, please be safe.