Letter to editor: Fool Me Once Shame On You, Fool Me Twice Shame On Me (Tarboro Town Council) by Melvin Muhammad Native of Tarboro NC


Greetings Family, Friends and Citizens of Tarboro,

I hope and pray that this letter find you all in the best of health and spirit.

I am penning this Open Letter hoping that it would help each of you move your and our town forward.

As most of you already know, Tarboro has been had, tricked and bamboozled.

I am not saying this to make mockery, I say it because it is the truth and sometimes the truth hurt. And I too along with many of you were hurt as you read what has been done to you, the citizens of Tarboro. First I will start by saying although everyone is innocent until proving guilty, several things are factual and that those things done caused Tarboro to lose revenue and many employees to lose their jobs and livelihood. Let me be clearer for some. As a former council member, who swore that I would work on behave and in the best interest of all those who voted for me and those who didn’t, I feel I may have let you down some. I say this because I was not the good steward that you elected me to be. But I must share that I did my best with what was provided to me. I am as upset as many of you, but since I am not there in Tarboro I can only do what I can. And what I can do is share with you that during my time on council I had suspicions of things going on like those listed in the state report. Many things I suspected myself, but I had no proof and the things that was told to me by others was held in confidentiality because they were afraid of retribution. One major thing that I would mention is that I did try a move, and that was to be the lone "Nay" voter against the past town manager pay raises and monthly vehicle allowance. Both which I didn’t believe was warranted or deserving.

To fast forward I would ask that each of you look at what has happened and try to picture this. On the advice of the past town manager we, the council were advised to cut jobs, reduce suggested raises and cut some programs. Before anyone say anything we were going by data that was provided to us, from the former town manager. But from the audit report a lot more data was not provided to us, by the former town manager, or at least not to me.

What has happened to you Tarboro is NO SMALL MATTER. Lives were effected and affected due to things listed in this report. Everything in the report, of only five years, is a shame and should be dealt with quickly. Tarboro If I was there I would be on the frontline pushing for the former town manager AND former mayor, former and recurrent council members to step up and share what they know of these five years and longer.

As for the current Mayor I would ask him to step down or to remove himself until this matter has "cleared" him of any wrong doing or I would seek out another avenue to have him removed. Tarboro I would also see if another audit could go further back. Tarboro your whole town has lost, not just individuals. Fact, again much of the money documented could have been used for much needed raises, jobs, programs or the reserves, something that is going down each year I think?

Tarboro this isn’t just the State, Edgecombe County, the IRS, or the NC employment commission’s fight, It is your fight! first and foremost!! You must also hold the current council accountable, you must demand that they represent each of you. You voted for them to lookout for you and your best interest. You, Tarboro, Must Tell Them That THEY MUST TAKE THE LEAD concerning the current mayor and his involvement. You Can’t Take A Chance With Him for the next couple of years Or can you? I think Your Odds would be better in Las Vegas!!!

Lastly, I would like to thank the former Finance Director, Tarboro you lost a good one. (By the way I haven’t read or heard much about the one that served years under the past town manager). Anyway, I continue thank Councilwoman Mrs. Faye Jordan for Serving the Citizen First, the Mayor Pro Tem Councilman Taro Knight, two other nameless council members, the current Town Manager, Chief of Police and other department heads and all town employees. None of you deserve this. Be Encouraged!

FYI I was never contacted by the state.

Melvin R. Muhammad
Former Councilman Ward #6
Proud Native of Tarboro, NC

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