December 2015 Election: Let The Lies Begin
Well, the Special Election Campaign Season has officially begun here in Lumberton. Yesterday, there was a short story on WHLT-22 outlining the platforms of each candidate. Also, the Hattiesburg American ran a brief story on each candidate. However, when I was reading the quotes submitted by Kent Crider, I didn't know if he knew this wasn't a fictional story but I guess some people can't tell the truth. We have less than 2 weeks to campaign and it was my hopes that all candidates would be truthful. I know one candidate said he was going to stay away from mud slinging but I don't consider telling the truth as mud slinging. Everybody knows that Kent Crider is an avid support of the Gold Coast Skydiver Group and he think renting the entire Lumberton Airport for $350/month is a good deal for the City of Lumberton. I, on the other hand, do not. It was last reported that the Gold Coast Skydivers are making over $500,000 a year but they're paying $4,200/year to rent an entire airport that they have basically turned into a FEMA camp with all those trailers. Let's face it, you can't rent a home in Lumberton for $350/month. Things of this nature may seem small, but if we have a group that going to monopolize an entire airport then they need to produce enough revenue for the City of Lumberton to pay for their matching portion of the grants being used to add buildings and other necessities to the airport.
Speaking of grants, in the story printed in the Hattiesburg Amercian, Crider said
"I've been on (the board) for six years, and there's been some grant projects going on now, and there's no one else that's been involved in city business that was interested in running," Crider said. "So I just wanted to step up."Crider wants to give the impression that he's needed to complete a grant project. Let's be clear, the City of Lumberton has a grant writer and he will continue to write grants for the City of Lumberton. There's nothing in play that's contingent upon Crider getting elected as Mayor. Crider also stated that no one else that's aware of city business was interested in running so he stepped up. Keep in mind that Crider was the first person to pick up a packet to qualify so he didn't give anyone else a chance to "step up'. What's interesting is that Crider boasts about being on the board for 6 years but most of Lumberton's problems began when he became a board member so in his case, experience does not matter. The fact the the City of Lumberton is scrambling to find money for the Army Corp of Engineer Grant that was obtained based on inaccurate paperwork and signed without board approval is proof that Crider has done nothing to bring accountability to his position. Crider is part of the problem not part of the solution. But based on the interview, Crider has already declared his victory as the next Mayor of Lumberton.
In an effort to sound confident but it just shows his utter lack of knowledge, Crider claimed
"I talked to the Attorney General's office to see if I could resign my job effective on the date of election and go ahead and fill it, but they said it cannot be filled until it is vacant," Crider said. "We have had another (board member) who was considering possibly resigning, and had he resigned, and I was resigned, too, we wouldn't have a quorum to be able to carry on business."So the Attorney General's office said they thought it was best that I go ahead and stay in my position until after the election."How foolish! You mean to tell me that Crider has been on the board for 6 years and does not have a better comprehension of the guidelines concerning an elected official in a code charter municipality. For the record, if he was so confident that he's going to win, he can resign at any time. I guess Crider forgot that there were multiple resignations in Seminary and Governor Phil Bryant appointed officials to serve in order for them to conduct city business. So, Crider's claim that he didn't resign because he wanted to make sure the city could conduct business is nothing but bullcrap and political grandstanding. The more he opens his mouth, the more he shows us who he is. Let me put it this way, Crider, by profession, specializes in handling things that are lifeless; he's an embalmer. He's been on the board for 6 years in a position of authority and was not able to bring life to this city. Now, he think he's the saving grace of Lumberton? Crider handles the dead and prepare them for burial and that's what he's done in the City of Lumberton for the past 6 years; prepared this city for burial. He's voted to cut the police department, he's voted to cut jobs by outsourcing garbage collection and he refuses to allow the court clerk the opportunity to collect past due fines to add to the city's budget by refusing to allow her to work more than 20/week. Over the past 6 years, Crider has shown us who he is and it's up to us to believe him. If you think Merlene was the first person that tried to have a person banned from city hall, you need to go back to 2011. It was then that Crider took the late Mr. Robert "Snow" Holder to court, claiming he was fearful of him and wanted him banned from city hall. Interesting!
I know people like to make promises while campaigning but my only promise to make sure I make decisions that are in the BEST interest of the City of Lumberton. The current board outsourced garbage collection without showing any proof of savings. Now, we're stuck with a contract and paying almost $120,000/year to a company in Marion County. I don't know about you, but that money could have been used to help the City of Lumberton's economy. We now have WastePro that leave more trash on the ground than they put in the truck. We never had that problem when the City of Lumberton was handling our garbage collection. We need to look for a better way to serve the citizens of Lumberton. I also believe that we need to stop bringing people out of retirement to do jobs while there's young, able bodied people here in this city looking for employment. I can't promise that I will be the best mayor but the reason why I blogged for so many years and called for transparency/accountability is because I love the City of Lumberton.
As Mayor, I will continue to fight for accountability and transparency. As Mayor, I will make myself available to the residents of Lumberton through social media, by phone, on the street late at night. On December 15, 2015, the City of Lumberton will reach its pivotal fork in the road; either we're going to stay chained to the past or move forward by electing a candidate with a fresh perspective. Our city deserves more and it's time we endeavor to take our city to the next level--no longer a drive thru location but a destination city. Public service to me is not another buzzword, it's a passion and a call to action. That's my commitment to Lumberton. Together we can harness the power of community and the potential of our city and watch progress abound. I'm ready to get to work! Will you join me? I need your support and your vote on December 15, 2015 to make this happen. Jonathan F. Griffith for Mayor of Lumberton.