The WALL of DESOLATION
If some changes are not made soon….the City of Lumberton will be headed to bankruptcy court because of years of mis-management. Since 2014, the City of Lumberton has been spiraling out of control with no fiduciary responsibility because there’s an inept city clerk in charge of the finances. It’s sad to think that Merlene Wall will become a certified city clerk in June but she cannot prepare a budget, she cannot tell you what’s in the accounts…hell…she don’t know the name of all the accounts because some essential accounts were closed because she wasn’t capable of keeping them separated.
I know you have heard of the talented athlete that was promoted year after year, despite their inability to read/write or function off the field. Well, that’s what’s happening here in Lumberton but we don’t have a talented athlete leading us to victory. Instead we have an incompetent, paper-trail creating, mis-interpertator of ordinances, violator of Open Meeting Laws, corruptor of elections, failure to maintain ledgers, lint-licking, daughter of a stale biscuit eating budget buster named Merlene Wall that can’t perform the statutory duties of her position as a city clerk but for some reason Jay McGraw, Johnny Buckley and Tommy Dukes want to keep her on the payroll. Why???? The auditor essentially told us that she was not capable of adding, subtracting and lack the ability to skillfully use a computer, but when Alderman Quincy Rogers asked to amend the budget to search for another city clerk, the motion failed because McGraw, Buckley and Dukes refused to second the motion. In other words, they could care less that there’s no fudiciary responsibility at city hall and they don’t care that Merlene Wall is bankrupting the City of Lumberton. Hopefully, the citizens will remember that in June of 2017, the next city election.
I don’t know what’s sadder, the fact that Merlene Wall will get paperwork, that cost the citizens of Lumberton thousands of dollars, stating that she’s a certified clerk or the fact that the aldermen are backing her incompetence? They have turned their backs on the citizens of Lumberton and are willing to bankrupt this city in order to keep an incompetent clerk in a position she clearly don’t understand. To make matters worse, they’re actually looking to hire a certified public accountant (CPA) to come in and prepare the budget, balance the budget and maintain the ledgers because Merlene, who’s getting certified as a city clerk, cannot do the job. So, they’re hiring another person to work in the clerk’s office but refuse to find a clerk that can do the job. If they hire the CPA, that will bring the number of employees in the city clerk’s office to a grand total of four. Keep in mind that every city clerk since Mrs. Sammie L. Ladner, performed their duties with less help and with more accuracy.
There’s no money to hire seasonal workers to cut grass with the Public Works Department; we have two grass cutters and that mean there will be areas where the grass will not get cut and it’s probably going to be OUR cemeteries. There’s no money in the budget to hire additional police officers, full or part time. There’s no money in the budget to get the equipment needed for the officers on staff. But somehow, there’s money to hire a fourth person to perform Merlene Wall’s job; a job that will provide her with a certificate stating that she know the duties and responsibilities of a city clerk. In addition to the inadequate services rendered by the current clerk, the City of Lumberton just received news that the school is getting consolidated. There was also chatter that there was a refinery looking to move to Lumberton but I wonder if the news of the pending closure of the school and the fact that the City of Lumberton is on the brink of bankruptcy and not looking to correct the matter, will have an adverse effect on the future prospects of getting a refinery in the Industrial Park? Only time will tell. We’re still fighting to keep our school while the board is still fighting to keep an incompetent clerk. It’s my prediction that if nothing changes, the City of Lumberton will become insolvent long before the school closes its doors. I hope they have a spot in the museum to memorialize the Wall the board refused to tear down in order to save the City of Lumberton.