Review of April 4, 2017 Board Meeting: Manipulative Merlene: The WEAVE and Deceive Edition


The meeting started out as usual. Noticeable absent was the members of the Lumberton Police Department but shortly after arriving, I received a call informing me why the police were not present at the meeting. However, there was an officer in the audience that was hired as a full-time/part-time officer at a rate of $12.50/hour. His name is Phillip Duckworth and he's replacing Officer Linda Marie McKibbin. The first item on the agenda was to allow Mr. David Hatt to address the board about brining a skydiving business to the City of Lumberton. Thankfully, he was not present because I don't trust this board to negotiate a contract that will benefit the City of Lumberton. They tabled a motion to repair the windshield of Martha Youngblood because Danny Davis said none of his workers were mowing grass at the time of the incident. There were some lackluster reports given by the Public Works Director and City Clerk. Danny Davis warned the board that we were going to fail the water inspections but the board members didn't seem to care that a report was given indicating that our water systems are being neglected because Danny spend more time on social media than actually doing the one job he's actually required to perform. I'm thankful that I have a water filter because the board seemingly didn't care that we are one step closer to becoming another Flynt. When Chief Elsie Cowart provided her report, Tommy Dukes was digging for details because he is trying to find a reason to terminate the Court Clerk, Betty Speights but he didn't have a problem with hiring two deputy clerks to work with Merlene Wall. Yes you read that correctly, Merlene has managed to manipulate the board and convinced them to hire not one but two additional clerks to cover her ass so she can go on more lunch dates and have more shopping excursions in electric shopping carts at Sam's.

There were orders to pay the monthly bills and there was an extensive amount of time spent in executive session. After executive session, Vanessa Jones congratulated Merlene on "getting what she wanted." According to Kent Crider, no actions were taken against Danny Davis because there was nothing on the agenda but no one on the board bothered to make a motion to amend the agenda. Interesting. Before citizen's comments, Paul Ockmond provide the board with some photos of properties along Main Street, since it's the only street in Lumberton that requires cleaning, that he wanted to have fined. While going over the process, Paul admitted that he provided a renter with a 15 day notice despite the previous building inspector, Johnnie Buckley, saying each property OWNER are supposed to get a 30 day notice. Paul said he wanted to address the Main Street properties because that's the most traveled area in Lumberton and since he don't live in the city limits, he suggested that residents should report properties in other areas of Lumberton because the Public Work employees cannot see everything on their daily rides through the City of Lumberton. I have another blog later this week that will assist the property owners that are targeted by Paul Ockmond because he's arbitrarily selecting properties, the time lines he's providing are not consistent, and the ordinances he's attempting to enforce are moot since the City of Lumberton disbanded the Lumberton Planning and Zoning Committee. So any authority he think he has is imagined not actual. I will make sure each property owner receives a copy of the minutes and a letter that will aid in their defense. Let's be clear, I want the City of Lumberton cleaned but this board cannot randomly select properties using provisions they disbanded because of their self-serving agendas.

Prior to the end of the meeting, someone tried to get each of the elected and appointed officials to volunteer in the Keep Lumberton Clean Project but they managed to silence him because they didn't like the things he said. Before the close of the meeting, it was also revealed that the current administration and the Public Works Director, do not want to cut the grass at the local cemeteries; namely the Love's Addition Cemetery. They're currently looking for laws that will relive the City of Lumberton from the any and all responsibilities associated with the cemeteries that they sell to the citizens plot by plot. So here's the gag, the City of Lumberton can sell you a piece of land so you can bury your loved one but they claim that their responsibility ends when the check clears. They're also saying that we own each plot because we're giving a deed. I paid for several plots and don't recall receiving a deed. So let me get this straight, the Public Works Department can't get our water bill correct, they no longer collect garbage, they have a large truck but will not pick up large items on the side of roads, they spray the median on Main Street with poison to avoid having to cut the grass with weed-eaters, our quality of water is dropping, lift stations need pumping and now they don't want to cut the grass at certain cemetaries. Intersting. As you all know, the upcoming election is very important. I hope you all make the choices that are best for the City of Lumberton because this board is not working for you. Theres's a video of the last part of the meeting. I have some meeting tomorrow and I will post later this week about Paul's illegal attempt to condemn properties.

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