The Gate Keeper response: Well looks like these upset folk are getting a taste of what black folk used to have to deal with. Now the times have changed. I am for justice no matter who it is for or against. But I remember when white folk were in charge and all of the corrupt mess was going on. Didn’t have black media to expose them at the level the black folk are getting exposed. They took everything black folk had from the land to their ass be it man and woman. They don’t want to talk about the whole trues. Some folk got am ne sia. So I am just going to sit back and see how it all unfold.
Rocky Mount, N.C.-The city of Rocky Mount has always strived to be good stewards of your tax dollars in response to the needs of citizens, and that is why our vision is to be transparent as public service professionals. In that spirit of transparency, here are a few things we would like to share with you.
First, questions have been asked regarding the city’s use of general funds for the construction of eight housing units at MS Hayworth Court. The city of Rocky Mount entered into an agreement with the Southeastern North Carolina Community Development Corporation, Inc. on June 5, 2017 to commit $182,453.65 in HOME Investment Partnership Funds for subsidizing the construction of MS Hayworth Court. However, the MS Hayworth project began without following the required procedures for accessing HOME funds because the previous community development staff did not follow HUD procedures. Since HOME funds cannot be committed to the MS Hayworth project, council was informed of the situation, and a general fund request was necessary to fulfill the city’s commitment. The new Community and Business Development Department created by City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney was not established until Jan. 2018, subsequent to the misstep regarding HUD funds.
Second, we have received inquiries on department head residency requirements and funds provided to them during their transition to Rocky Mount. All employees who live out of town are provided assistance to make the transition from where they are currently living to Rocky Mount. These expenses are provided for a variety of items to help with the transition, such as travel, hotel accommodations, moving expenses, housing and more. Employees are generally given six months to one year to find housing within the city limits; however, it is to the manager’s discretion to provide additional time if needed. In the past, some department directors did not live in the city, and currently, there are still some department heads who do not reside in the city of Rocky Mount for a variety of reasons.
Additionally, the improvements being done to the city manager’s office suite are the result of mold in the ceiling tiles, leakage from the roof and the HVAC, wallpaper coming down and other issues that arise in any facility. Improvements to the city manager’s suite is just one of many that are 2 needed in City Hall and in other city facilities. These projects are being done in a phased approach and should be completed in two years. Finally, many have been concerned about our police chief search, and rightfully so since this is one of the most important positions within any community. At the onset of this search, we stressed the importance of hiring a superb executive search firm and engaging the community in the selection process. We created a comprehensive assessment and evaluation that included a variety of exercises to determine the capability and performance predictability of each candidate. The assessors were volunteer community leaders, police chiefs and other administrators. There are no recommendations that come from the assessment panels, just total scores and comments on each candidate.
This multi-faceted approach also started with community meetings to gain citizen insight on the values of a police chief and more. There was also a one-on-one interview with the city manager. An appointment did not emerge from this process.
The city of Rocky Mount is committed to finding the best police chief and the best employees to nurture a growing city. We will continue to be transparent and to work with our community in establishing a more perfect union and a Rocky Mount we all envision.
Rocky Mount’s Communications & Marketing team
The Gate Keeper: Wow! This don’t sound good! Well will just have to wait and see. However I believe I got a feeling this ain’t gonna be pretty.
Please note: A special called Rocky Mount City Council Committee of the Whole meeting will be held at 3 p.m., Monday, Jan. 21 in the third floor Committee Room of the Frederick E. Turnage Municipal Building.
Purpose: Closed session; Personnel Matter; and such other business as may come before the Council.
Bill Ellis Barbecue closed Wednesday after nearly 56 years of serving Wilsonians and visitors alike.
“It is with much regret that we have reached a decision to close Bill’s Barbecue,” Tanya Neville said in a written statement. “Against all obstacles, we fought the good fight, but realized it’s time.”
The namesake of the popular eatery, William “Bill” Lawrence Ellis, died on Feb. 27, 2017, but had retired in 2015 after spending 50 years transforming a small hot dog stand into a local landmark with a restaurant, catering business and the Bill Ellis Convention Center.
His widow, Tracy Ellis, was left in charge of the operations and the summer after Bill passed, she brought in Chris Earp to lead the restaurant operations. (Read more)
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My condolences goes out to my friend Mrs. Elizabeth Ohree, Gregory Ohree and the entire family of Karen. Karen was a beautiful and nice lady. I will never forget her because she used to tell her mom my head was going to bust open because I had so my knowledge.
My condolences goes out to Mrs. Shirley Jackson, the daughter of the late Coach Arthur Jackson and the entire family of Mrs. Valarie Jackson-Daniels.
My condolences goes out to Mrs. Lois Glass and the entire family of Margaret Draughn.
My condolences goes out to Mrs. Ursula Glass Short and the entire Short family.
My condolences goes out to the entire family of Reginald Short.
The Gate Keeper: This is good to me. I have never had a conversation with City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney. I don’t even know if we have even spoken even though I have been in her presence a many of times. I am liking this story simply because it brings a whole new outlook on her now because I can say she has shown us what having the power can do. What good is having the power and not using it? Well I have no problem with folk using their power if it is a good thing. In this case this bring back memories of how when white folk were and is in power they have and will change the rules to not give black folk certain positions. May not be right now but won’t right then either. So what I like about it is the dialogue that is taking place by white folk who are pissed so like it has always been said when black folk got pissed, we would get over it. Well the roles have changed, black folk have some power and what pisses me off is when they have the power and don’t use it. And what I love about the white folk who are pissed is they want to blame the mayor and the council for her actions when she has the power. What part of that ya’ll don’t understand. Now let that sink in.
Rocky Mount’s top administrator ignored local law enforcement recommendations for a new police chief, instead restarting a costly candidate review process that demonstrates a proclivity for hiring prior associates even at extra expense to taxpayers, and called for a retraction in a recent newspaper article reporting on the situation.
City officials requested the retraction of one sentence in a Dec. 31 year-in-review article in the Telegram headlined “Economic momentum boosts city.” That sentence reads: “While a search panel recommended Capt. Marty Clay for the top spot, City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney started the job candidate process over again.”
Since the outcome of the search process isn’t public record and the city manager makes the final determination, the newspaper acknowledges Clay may not have been her top choice but stands by its reporting that local law enforcement officials who took part in the process preferred Clay over the other candidates. (Read more)