Giving Up The Guard: Ghosts of Election's Past
After winning the special election with 20 out of 33 votes, Susan Crittendon will be sworn in as the new alderperson of Ward 2 in Lumberton. The seat was vacated by the notorious stealer of lighters, Hugh Jay McGraw. I didn't see a lot of news coverage regarding the election since it was practically a drama free event, but I noticed Kent Crider's go to reporter, Haskel Burns, stringed an article together in the Hattiesburg American but most of the story was about the previous special election that had questionable results. I guess we're still reminded of the Ghosts of Election's Past and the asterisk that will forever loom over the tainted election. During the special election, Linda Knight was clueless regarding her responsibilities as the Election Commissioner for the City of Lumberton so she conceded her duties and allowed Merlene Wall, the dumb-witted city clerk that cannot operate BBI or prepare a budget, to run the election. Let's not forget about Mary Slaughter's boldness in tearing up a ballot and throwing it in the trash can in the women's restroom then going on a social media tirade to explain why she ripped the ballot. Then there's Haskel Burn's link within the story about the 8 affidavit ballots that were tossed out. In an effort to help Team Crider, Alderwoman at Large, Cora Rogers said the people that voted via absentee ballot, many of whom were my neighbors, did not live within the city limits of Lumberton, but I guess that was enough to disenfranchise voters, so Kent Crider proudly proclaimed
"that the votes were rejected because the voters had felony records"Now, how would he know that? Well, after the slanderous claims, a couple of the voters challenged Crider but it's still under investigation by the Secretary of the State but for some reason, all of those accused of having felony records didn't bother fighting to have their character restored or their vote counted.
Now, we are in the last year of this board's term and the city spent at least a thousand, unbudgeted dollars, for 33 voters to show up. I guess people are tired of Lumberton politics and that's what Crider and his crew are counting on. Just the other week, it was reported that the National Guard Armory in Lumberton is closing. The building was offered to the City of Lumberton but it seems that Crider, without board approval, is trying to give the building to Lamar County because he allegedly claimed that the City of Lumberton cannot maintain the building. Seriously? Seems like deja vu. Around this time last year, Crider tried to give the Lumberton Hospital away for a bid of $500 but Jay McGraw wasn't at the meeting to give him the third vote he needed because he was trying to come up with an excuse as to why he stole the lighter from the Shell station. Now, Crider want to give away a recently remodeled building because "we can't afford it." Well, we can't afford to give it away either. The City of Lumberton does not have a storm shelter and the Lumberton National Guard Armory would be a perfect location. It's interesting that we can get Gary Hickman to find millions of dollars in grants for the Airport in exchange for $350/month in rent but we can't get the same grant writer to look for funds to keep a building that can be used as a storm shelter. I guess it's all about priorities.