Review of 2016: The Year of the Deplorables
This is the first blog post of 2017 and I decided to give you a review of 2016. Before I begin, let me do a public service announcement and disclaimer. If you were blocked from this page and you're still viewing a page you claim is filled with inaccuracies; you're the weakest link. If you're on the clock and getting summoned to city hall to view the video and blog you claim is so upsetting; you're really a confused fan because reading and you comprehension is apparently optional. Also, if you're so bothered by the blog, why would you continuously share my posts on your page? I heard there's supposed to be a "White Out" at Tuesday's meeting. Danny's supporters are supposed to crowd the board room to convince the board members to keep their local hero on the City of Lumberton's payroll. Hopefully, I can switch shifts with someone so I can be there with you. Enough of that, let's get to today's review.
Another interesting year for the City of Lumberton. Plenty of fireworks but the board has focused on everything except growth, industry, jobs. I think we're going on the fifth year of the same copy and paste budget. The Lumberton Police Department is still operating without a true budget because Merlene Wall, has yet to grasp the concept of operating BBI despite the constant training. The board finally purchased another car for the police department; a purchase that was long overdue but was probably a move to help in the 2017 election. During 2016, Hugh Jay McGraw finally resigned after his marriage allegedly crumbled. Sadly, the residents of his ward never asked for his resignation despite getting charged with shoplifting. He dodged the bullet with the first charge because the manager of the Shell station allowed him to return the shiny lighter, pay restitution and agree to a ban from the store. He didn't fare as well with the other shoplifting case because the owner actually wanted justice not a pay-off. In the end, I really felt sorry for McGraw. When he was first elected, he seemed to have a genuine interest in doing the right thing but as the sightings with the cups of mysterious beverages increased, Jay's dedication to the City of Lumberton decreased. Before he left office, it was clear that his votes were purchased by the powers that be because everybody knew Jay was dealing with some financial issues because he was allegedly looking for those monthly checks two weeks in advance on a regular basis.
Prior to Jay McGraw's departure, the board brought Melissa Nightengale back as deputy clerk. I was glad to see her back but it seemed that professionalism and courtesy was frowned upon at Crider's City Hall. At the time of Melissa's termination, I was not attending board meeting regularly and I didn't find out about her termination until weeks after it happened. I was saddened to hear the news because I thought she would make an excellent city clerk. While on the topic of viable replacements for department heads, I also think Michael Tims would serve well as the Public Works Director but for some reason, the City of Lumberton like to keep their dinosaurs on the payroll. Another interesting event that happened during 2016 was the time City Hall was closed because of the black mold scare. Several employees became ill and some citizens were probably affected as well but they tried to sweep the mold under the rug.
There wasn't much or any growth in Lumberton during 2016. We lost our doughnut shop, the Cooper Building and most of the Industrial Park is still empty. Terror Test also left the City of Lumberton in 2016 but your Mayor managed to open a funeral home and remain connected to Hensligh Lee. As a matter of fact, there were plans to sell the National Guard Armory for $10,000 but that deal did not pan out. There's promises that we're in the running to have an oil industry move to Lumberton despite the impeding closure of the Lumberton School. There's was a Old Tyme Festival or Homecoming held weeks after the actual homecoming to raise money for the Lumberton Museum. With the lack of industry and progress, the entire City of Lumberton is becoming a museum.
Mary Ball retired from BancorpSouth and the Lumberton Panther's Football team make it all the way to the State Championship Game in Oxford. There's also a rumor that there's a truck stop and a Waffle House coming to Lumberton but these rumors always appear before the city election. Let's see what excuse is going to be used this time to explain the great migration of businesses that seemingly get lost along the path to Lumberton. However, I recently learned that the owners of the Chevron Station and tobacco store recently took ownership of the contract for the Shell Station. During the special election, Crider promised he was the only candidate that could secure the $2.5 million dollar Army Corp of Engineer Grant but here we are a year later and have yet to break ground on the sewer improvement project. Maybe it's slated to begin the day after the 2017 election. In December, Danny Davis assaulted me at the Lumberton Public Library. He attacked me from behind and out board members have failed to take any actions. The board will hold it's first regularly scheduled board meeting of 2017. Hopefully, I will get the opportunity to attend but I have a new work schedule. If anyone is planning to run for election in June, you may want to attend this meeting so you can see what you're up against. I don't want to keep you too long but I think the City of Lumberton will provide me with plenty of writing material for 2017. Make sure you check out tomorrow's blog.