Rocky Mount City Council Special Called Meeting, May Committee Of The Whole Meeting & May Regular Monthly Meeting 2020

The Political Agitator’s response: I tried to get some of the Councilmembers not to attend Mayor’s Special Called Meeting. I enjoyed Councilman TJ Walker and Councilwoman Chris Miller in action.  
Round 1
Mayor Sandy Claus Roberson Chairs His Special Call Meeting 2 PM
Things Didn’t Go As Planned For Sandy & Councilman Lige Daughtridge Community Council 

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Round 2 Councilman Andre Knight Mayor Pro-tem Chairs Regular Monthly Committee of the Whole Meeting 3 PM
Councilmembers Wore Sandy & Lige Out
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Round 3 Mayor Sandy Claus Roberson Chairs Regular Monthly Meeting 4 PM
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Rocky Mount mayor holding Monday press conference on state audit’s findings – Wilson Daily Times

By Lindell J. Kay | lkay@springhopeenterprise.com | 252-265-8117

ROCKY MOUNT — Mayor Sandy Roberson has announced a press conference for Monday to discuss a damning state investigation into malfeasance at city hall.

Roberson will talk about how city leaders can regain the public’s trust in the aftermath of a startling report released Friday by the N.C. Office of the State Auditor that revealed fraud, waste and abuse of power, said Cary Cox, the mayor’s senior adviser.

Roberson will speak on the next steps the city council must take to rectify city officials’ efforts “to obscure issues, mislead the reader and minimize the importance of OSA’s findings and recommendations,” Cox said, quoting the report.

This newspaper has asked the city to confirm that Mayor Pro-tem Andre Knight is the council member described in the report as benefiting from the write-off of unpaid utility bills dating back two decades and totaling $47,000.

This newspaper has obtained city utility records listing Knight’s property at 110 Braswell St. as receiving a write-off of more than $30,000 in unpaid utilities that includes electricity, water, sewer, natural gas and area lighting.

State Auditor Beth Wood said Sunday afternoon that the council member’s identity is a matter of public record and the city should release the information.

“If the city will not do so, I will,” Wood said.

Roberson is scheduled to meet with Wood on Monday. His press conference will be held at noon via Zoom teleconference.

To register for the conference, visit https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIudOGhpjgpH9IFs4mxx8Ydo30fDtAsz9bS . Anyone with questions for the mayor can email cary@sandyroberson.com .

Elected last year, Roberson is in his first term.

Rocky Mount Mayor Sandy Roberson Reacts to N.C. State Auditor’s Findings

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For Immediate Release

May 15, 2020

Media Contact:  Cary Cox, 252.955.0819

Rocky Mount Mayor Sandy Roberson Reacts to N.C. State Auditor’s Findings

– Auditor focused on fraud, waste and abuse allegations –

imageRocky Mount, N.C.— The N.C. Office of the State Auditor released its findings today after an audit of the City of Rocky Mount’s finances started more than a year ago following a number of citizen complaints concerning misconduct by elected officials and employees of the City.

In general, the audit outlines several key components:

  • A City Council member received utility services for more than $47,000 from the City of Rocky Mount that were never paid for and ultimately written off.
  • The City failed to adequately manage funds and programs by failing to collect more than $32,000 in loans and improperly awarding $28,000 to ineligible recipients.
  • The City must pay $31,000 for allowing a development bond to expire.
  • The City Manager violated the City’s travel and reimbursement policy by exceeding allowed per diem by almost $1,600.
  • The City of Rocky Mount failed to designate an American with Disabilities Act Coordinator as required by Federal Law.

“The majority of the City Council have responded that they question the validity of these numbers and do not believe this audit was performed to the highest standards by the N.C. State Auditor,” says Mayor Sandy Roberson. “Furthermore, they believe that this was a targeted audit aimed at black leadership of our community.”

He continued to express his embarrassment at the allegations against Rocky Mount and his support of the N.C. Office of the State Auditor’s extensive experience and adequate resources to produce a report it has enough confidence in to release publicly.

“While I am thankful the total amount in question of $151,000 represents a small fraction of money relative to the annual budget of the City and that these items extend well back in time,” Roberson continues, “it’s still a lot of money in a poor city where the median household income is only $37,400 and a third of our citizens are living in poverty. Choosing between paying their bills or eating is a problem that real people here face.”

Rocky Mount is the 19th largest city in N.C. with a population 64% African American and 30% White. Situated halfway between N.Y. and Fla. and at the intersection of I-95 and I-64, Rocky Mount is positioning itself as a gateway for eastern N.C. as it redevelops its downtown attracting entrepreneurs and is beginning to land larger employers attracted to the location for its amenities and available undeveloped land.

“As an elected official working to strengthen this City, I believe those of us chosen by the citizens of Rocky Mount to lead their government should be held to a higher standard of ethics and integrity,” adds Roberson.

Regardless of one’s perspective on this matter, Roberson believes the NC Auditor’s report and the City’s response identifies the following needs:

  1. There exists a tremendous mistrust of the City government by a large segment of our population that complained at levels to generate a State Audit.
  2. The City has failed to provide adequate internal audit processes that would allow it to defend its position with confidence and factual evidence.
  3. Governance in Rocky Mount has for far too long dealt in a perceived secrecy and behind closed doors process.

Mayor Roberson proposes to address each of these issues together as a community by demanding change and transparency at every level, including:

  1. Televising City Council meetings.
  2. Providing an internal audit process complete with continuous quality improvement (CQI) processes that are disclosed to the public and that seek to provide efficient and effective government.
  3. Designating the Internal Audit and CQI processes answer to the Mayor.
  4. Having every member of the City Council, the Mayor and City Manager and City Assistant Managers sign an ethics contract with the City and provide a Statement of Economic Interest.
  5. Posting every dealing with the City that may have a perceived conflict of interest on the City’s website for public viewing with the explanation of why it is not a conflict.
  6. Commissioning an independent forensic audit completed this fiscal year, since some have denied the NC Auditor’s work product, and have this audit refreshed every year going forward.

In addition, Mayor Roberson reminds the residents of Rocky Mount that they have the following rights:

  1. Call your City Councilperson, the City Manager or any other elected official to voice your opinion about the audit’s findings.
  • Andre Knight (252) 443-1619
  • Reuben C. Blackwell, IV (252) 212-3480
  • Richard Joyner (252) 883-9460
  • T.J. Walker (252) 567-1044
  • Lige Daughtridge (252) 210-4210
  • W.B. Bullock (252) 443-6465
  • Chris Carroll Miller (252) 977-1438
  • Mayor Sandy Roberson (252) 972-1130
  1. If you think fraud occurred or a law was broken, citizens should call Local District Attorney (252) 212-3110 or the US Attorney (919) 856-4530 or the N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein at (919) 716-6400 to urge them to prosecute.

“It is time that everyone in Rocky Mount—and I mean everyone—has a voice in how this City moves forward together,” adds Roberson. “Let your opinion be heard. It is time for a change on how the City does business. I believe we can get through this tough time stronger as a community, as One Rocky Mount.”

About Mayor Sandy Roberson

Elected on the strength of his leadership supporting safer neighborhoods, economic development and job creation, stronger schools, workforce development and the community working together as One Rocky Mount, Mayor Sandy Roberson continues to focus on these issues in his first months of office. Drawing together a group of diverse community leaders from all sectors of Rocky Mount, Mayor Roberson initiated a Transition Team to work with him to research these critical issues, develop policies and create action plans to present to the City Council to engage and strengthen Rocky Mount. For more information, please visit www.sandyroberson.com.

Rocky Mount City Councilman Lige Daughtridge Need To Do Some Research Before He Speak During Council Meetings

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Rocky Mount City Council Meeting Councilman Elijah Lige Daughtridge Questions Need To Research Before He Speak Monday April 27, 2020 4:00 PM Videoed From Home From Laptop To Camera Could Not Attend Due To COVID-19

Council to set sessions to discuss proposed budget – Rocky Mount Telegram

The City Council’s regular meeting agenda for Monday for the first time shows the seven-member panel’s proposed schedule to discuss and eventually approve the municipal budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year.

The council is set to meet at 4 p.m. and the agenda includes considering approval of the times, dates and places to review the details of the future finances.

Specifically, the agenda states the schedule is for the council on May 6 to receive a proposed capital improvement plan for 2021-25. Such a document generally shows what projects and equipment purchases will be ahead.

The agenda states that the schedule is for the council to have a work session on May 11 to discuss that proposed capital improvement plan. (Read more)

Press conference on Covid-19 response efforts

Rocky Mount, N.C. – A press conference will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, April 9 in the Frederick E. Turnage Municipal Building’s George W. Dudley Council Chamber. This press conference is being held to ensure that the citizens of the City of Rocky Mount, and Edgecombe and Nash Counties understand how the city government, public officials and health care professionals are responding to the pandemic and collaborating to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the communities served.  This conference will build upon information shared during the March 13, 2020 press conference.

In compliance with Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order No. 123, we will not be able to permit more than 10 people to be in the Council Chambers at one time. Therefore, we have set up an overflow viewing area in the atrium of City Hall. To ensure that the public has access, the press conference can be viewed live via the city’s Facebook page (@citybeat). The conference also will be recorded and aired on CITY TV-19.

Media members are invited to attend. Due to the Executive Orders, we are encouraging media to submit questions upon arrival. Should media have additional questions after individual presentations, please give them to a member of the city of Rocky Mount Communications, Marketing and Public Relations staff who will ensure presenters receive for responses.

About Rocky Mount The city of Rocky Mount, located in the Coastal Plains of North Carolina, was incorporated in 1867 and lies in Edgecombe and Nash Counties. Rocky Mount is a two-time All-America City on the Tar River. Serving as the Gateway to Eastern North Carolina, the city’s 875 employees serve approximately 58,000 residents daily.

The city’s mission is to advance community well-being, safety and quality of life by delivering excellent public services and actively collaborating with the community toward a fulfilling and inspired future for its citizens. As a publicly owned utility, the city of Rocky Mount is committed to safe, reliable service for its customers and operates in Nash and Edgecombe counties, providing customers with electricity, natural gas, water, wastewater (sewer), refuse, recycling and/or stormwater services.  To learn more, visit http://www.rockymountnc.gov for news and updates.

Councilmen spar over shut-off moratorium – By William F. West Staff Rocky Mount Telegram

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Click on Photo to Watch Video

Damn Bill West makes it about Mayor Pro-tem Andre Knight and Lige Daughtridge trying to paint a picture of Knight. Knight who called Sprecial Committee of the Whole Meeting as the out the damn meeting like a meeting suppose to be ran, he was in control.

Lige Daughtridge questions every damn thing as if somebody is always getting over on the city or things that I believe he feels he can go after other Andre Knight and Reuben Blackwell​ because don’t forget he is speaking for the Special Cs whom created a Racist WSBS Movement.

This is why I attend and video the meetings to folk can see what took place for themselves and make their own decision on what actually happened versus the spin Bill West and others including myself put on the the meeting.

Click on following link. Councilmen spar over shut-off moratorium