This right here was brought to my attention by a female. This is about as ignant as it gets.
Randy Adcox, Jerry Monroe a former neighbor and co-worker who moved out of the neighborhood in Pinetops when he and his wife split up years ago and he moved to Temperance Hall are too hilarious.
I was on the HRC committee and attended all of the community meetings and I just love how Randy and some others continue to attempt push their agenda and to not wait on the process. Randy didn’t talk about the status of where the council stand on the statue at the moment. You see if he want to report on it then he need to report the whole trues.
Now I am going to wait to see when he report the real status the last conversation in the council meeting about next steps.
I am going to let that sit right here.
Greetings fellow Rocky Mountaineers! Know what today is? That’s right, “4th Monday of the month”, aka City Council meeting Monday!
Today’s meeting was rather abbreviated, but it wasn’t without a bit of “fireworks” – more in a minute…
Today’s meeting started out pretty much as they all do…Meeting called to order…prayer by Councilmember Joyner…rollcall…and then “approval of the minutes” from the November 12th council meeting.
There were also a couple of presentations this afternoon; the first being a certificate presented to the Mt. Zion First Baptist Church on the occasion of the church’s 147th anniversary! That’s some history!
The 2nd presentation was to honor Mrs Lendora Williams on her reaching her 100th birthday! Happy Birthday Mrs. Williams!
“Item 6” today, was the “Petitions to be received from the public”, or as someone else once said, “our turn to speak!”.
Several people addressed the council today, with a variety of concerns, questions and/or complaints. Mr. Lewis Nettles spoke to the council and commended them on the opening of the Event Center, and then he requested a “private audience” with council members Knight and Blackwell. Interesting….
Stacy Graham once again addressed the council and reminded them of the correlation between animal abusers and violent crime. Mrs Graham’s persistence and tenacity in bringing this issue to the council is to be commended, and it’s hoped that her efforts will result in more being done to deter violent crime in our city, as well as animal abuse. Great job Stacy!
Mrs. Teresa Stokes addressed the council with concerns about traffic congestion at the Fairview Road/Raleigh Road intersection, and asked the city to look into possible ways to alleviate some of the traffic problems at that intersection.
When Lige Daughtridge addressed the council, the squirming and “uneasiness” of the council members was hard to miss. When Lige began rattling off numbers and figures from the city’s OWN sources, it was pretty apparent that there were some on the council who would’ve preferred to have been elsewhere. No one is better at pouring over city budget figures and finding discrepancies, than Lige! And when he began speaking about “unfunded wastewater treatment infrastructure projects” and other “pet projects” totalling close to $80 million, the council as a whole appeared to be caught somewhat off guard. The mayor, as well as councilman Blackwell and even city manager Small-Toney, all attempted to put a good spin on Lige’s direct and piercing questions, but it was obvious his questions made them quite uncomfortable. To be fair, Lige was addressing the council *today*, after not receiving answers to some of these same questions at the LAST council meeting two weeks ago.
There were a couple other citizens who opted to address the council today, including yours truly. Mr Tim Thomlinson addressed the council with concerns about a swimming pool that had been built on a vacant lot, and the need to do some “clean up” on the lot after the pool was later destroyed and covered up, apparently after plans to build a house on the lot, fell through. Mayor Combs instructed one of the city employees to meet with Mr. Thomlinson in an effort to resolve the issue.
My decision to speak to the council today, was a result of information I became aware of last week. Many of you may remember the four “open forum” meetings I attended this past summer, regarding our Confederate monument. Well it seems the city has now received the “report” from WPR Consulting firm in Charlotte, the firm who conducted the forums on behalf of the city. I’ve seen this report myself, and frankly, if the report is to be taken literally, there’s no recommendation, nor is there anything else the city could use to justify dismantling or relocating that monument. As I told the council today, while there were indeed those who were very passionate (on BOTH sides of this issue), the general concenus by those of us in attendance could be summed up in two statements. First, for MOST people in Rocky Mount, that monument holds little if any significance. Leave it up, tear it down, most folks don’t care one way or the other. The second, and more important point, is that we as a city, “have bigger fish to fry”. Gangs, crime, homelessness, drugs, poverty…these are all FAR more important to most people in our city, than that monument. My message to the council was short and to the point; we have an opportunity here to lead! We can show other cities and towns with Confederate monuments how they can live in harmony – in spite of these monuments. We should not spend one nickle on tearing down or relocating our monument, because in a list of “things that are important”, that monument is WAY down the list! The last thing I told our city council, was that they have an opportunity to lead, and they need to do so!
As one might expect, councilman Andre Knight took exception to my comments, and let me and everyone else in the chamber know it. The snarl on his face and the nastiness of his tone was evident to all in attendance as he ridiculed and denigrated my comments, one after another. He seemed to be under the impression I had called for him and others to “forget the past” (I never uttered any such sentiment), and then he boldly proclaimed, “Well we will NEVER forget!”.
I smiled back lovingly at Mr. Knight, as I recalled the mayor’s instructions to all in attendance just before this part of the meeting, “Do not engage in personal attacks…you’ll be limited to three minutes (Mr. Knight has on numerous occasions ranted for five, ten..as long as twenty minutes on occasion, when he felt especially incensed!)…council members may not necessarily respond to your comments (though they can if they choose to do so)…comments that disrupt the meeting will not be tolerated…persons disrupting the meeting may be forced to leave the room…..”.
So yea, I guess it could be said that I “touched a nerve” today with councilman Andre Knight. Gee..sorry Mr. Knight. Would ya like a bandaid for that booboo?
So anyway, the rest of the meeting went really quickly…a couple of street closure and motions to release certain tax refunds or releases rounded out page one of today’s agenda, and then it was on to page two. The majority of “Page 2” dealt with approving the minutes of a couple of “Meeting of the whole” sessions from Nov 5th and Nov 12th. The minutes were quickly approved and then we were on Page 3.
This part of the meeting dealt with declaring certain pieces of city property as “surplus” and then to authorize disposal of the equipment. Another proposal involved a certified statement to the NCDOT regarding the city’s commitment to maintain the 1993 Budget Funding Level to the Transit System. This is state monies ($285,000) that the city receives as part of our transit maintenance. In order for the city to continue to get this money, any funds remaining in this portion of the budget must be spent by year’s end. The proposal was approved, which should guarantee the city will receive these funds again next year!
There was a “consideration of Ad Valorem tax adjustments and refunds” after an appeal of assigned taxes by a couple of property management businesses, and then the council voted to refund approximately $2800 for tax years 2017 and 2018.
The last item on tonight’s agenda was a motion to cancel the “2nd Monday of the month” meeting in December, due to that Monday being Christmas Eve.
So after approximately 45 minutes, today’s meeting was “in the books”. And in spite of the strained moments with councilman Knight, and the brief “fireworks”, I still thoroughly enjoyed seeing our city government “at work”. All in all, these people have an incredibly important job, and it’s hard to have an appreciation for just how difficult a job they have, until you see them in the act of conducting the city’s business. Rocky Mount’s current operating budget is over $200 million, and overseeing a city with that kind of operating budget is no small task!
Having said that, it’s important that we as citizens remain engaged in how our government works for us. After all, we put them in office. And if they aren’t performing up to our expectations, it’s up to us to “put ’em out on the street”. Next year (2019) is an important year in our local government elections. The mayor’s seat, as well as four of our council members are up for reelection. If you’re not happy with the way our elected leaders are doing their jobs, this is your opportunity to send them a message. Don’t forget – 2019 is judgement time!
Thanks again for tuning in everyone. This is your friendly “on the spot council meeting reporter”, Randy Adcox, signing off! Have a great evening!