Detective/Dare Officer James L Knight had one obstacle in his way for a few minutes when he announced he was seeking the appointment when Sheriff Phil Ellis announced his retirement over the weekend and left office in 1996.
Rev. Roosevelt Higgs Edgecombe County Democratic Party Executive Committee member called a community meeting in Rocky Mount with a room full of black folk and a few whites. He said he was there to talk about getting Phil Ellis Chief Deputy Donnie Taylor appointed. I will never forget the 1st time I met Mrs. Dorothy Joyner from Rocky Mount when she stood up and said she was there to get a black person appointed and if that was not the case she didn’t need to be at the meeting. Joyner got the support of the folk in the room and while doing so Higgs no longer had anything to do with the meeting and the next series of meetings because Roy Gray was made chair of the meeting and I was made secretary.
Since Ellis had gone Chief Donnie Taylor was in command until Knight appointment went into effect.
Now in 2017 Rev. Roosevelt Higgs just happen to be the county Chair so he gets to play with the appointment of Sheriff again by supporting Knight’s next in command Chief Deputy Allen Moseley. When Moseley asked to meet with me I reminded Moseley of what happened during the appointment however since he was working with the Sheriff Office he knows some of the story. Well he knows that Chief Deputy Taylor didn’t get the appointment just because he was next in command and that the system decided the appointment whether one like the system or not, that is what happens.
During this appointment Rev. Roosevelt Higgs is playing games because he is the leader of the Democratic Party and have some weak officers his vice chairs, secretary and treasurer that has been one of the most ineffective county executive officers make up that we have had since the late 80’s. I have been serving on the as a precinct chair/vice chair, county chair/vice since the late 80’s so therefore I have been on the county executive committee all of these years so I have been a voting member all of these years. I know the process, I know the people and I stand by what I say and if I should error I have no problem with making necessary corrections.
It was Sheriff James Knight desire to announce his retirement in a timely fashion so that the Democratic Party could call a meeting a few days after his retirement was official so that by the next Edgecombe County Commissioners meeting the party would have submitted a name and the appointment would have been all said and done. Okay Sheriff Knight’s retirement will be official Tuesday February 28, 2017 and a good party chair would have had a meeting scheduled for Wednesday March 1 so that we the executive committee would meet and vote on a candidate to be appointed. The name would be submitted to the County Commissioners and at their meeting on March 6 the appointment could have been done.
But this year since the annual precinct meetings window to have the meetings are February 22, 2017 til March 8 so again Rev. Higgs could have called a meeting on March 9 and then the county commissioners could have a called a special meeting to just do the appointment.
When I a precinct chair received my precinct package around 2 weeks ago there was no mention about Sheriff James Knight Retirement, nothing about an upcoming meeting absolutely nothing about the appointment.
So as it stands at the moment since no letters have gone out, say for instance Higgs send out a letter on or after March 8 look at the time frame for the letters to go out to the executive committee and when they will receive them. The office of Sheriff will be vacant as of March 1. A meeting would need to be called so we can meet to vote. If the Edgecombe County Commissioners do not receive a name from the Democratic Party within 30 days then the commissioners can appoint who they want to.
Higgs is a member of the Edgecombe County Human Relations Commission who have announced a 2nd Sheriff Forum to be held. Higgs, the secretary and one of the vice chairs of the Democratic Party all 3 are members of the Human Relations Commission need to be focused on setting a time and date so the Democratic Party can have the real meeting and anyone can attend to sit in hear the candidates before we vote.
We need to bring this appointment to closure as soon as possible. Because of Higgs and the other 5 county officers of the Democratic Party lack of leadership and communication on this appointment there has been lots of misinformation being spewed out on pages like Tarboro 27886, The Tar River Times and the Edgecombe Tribune along with the daily communication I am having via social media and/or in person/phone calls.
Sheriff James Knight has taken the Edgecombe County Sheriff Office to a whole new level by bringing all parties and races together around the office over the years. Knight set the bar for an individual elected official to attempt to obtain as it relate to politics. Knight has set an example for other Sheriff Offices across the state also.
It is a damn shame that the Democrats of Edgecombe County have allowed one person to hold us right where we are. Oh yeah we have made some progress but it has been by the Grace of God. I have challenged the Democratic Party over the years because I don’t play when it comes to folk coming together making decisions that affect my life, my family and other folk lives.
It is time for the Edgecombe County Democratic Party to get it together.