Mayor-elect wants council meetings broadcast – Rocky Mount Telegram

The Political Agitator’s response: Sandy Roberson in response to your following comment, “I mean, we are allowing a local blogger to film it and put it out there online at some point,” Roberson said, a reference to activist and videographer Curmilus Dancy II. “I mean, that happens on a fairly regular basis. Oh hell no 2 things wrong with this picture. The first is where in the hell did the we come from? The second thing is nobody is allowing me to video because videoing the meeting is governed by a NC State Statue. Please make factual comments.

Mayor-elect Sandy Roberson said one of his top priorities as Rocky Mount’s chief executive is going to be to have the municipal government broadcast live the meetings of the City Council as well as meetings of the city boards and commissions.

So when this become a top priority because I don’t recall this being in your platform? But maybe I missed it. But anyway this is something that Bronson Williams has approached the city council about over the years.

“I do think it’s important,” Roberson told the Telegram. “I would like to move forward on that as quickly as possible.”

Roberson is not the only voice calling for the meetings at City Hall to be aired in real time.

Ward 5 Councilman-elect Lige Daughtridge told the Telegram he also wants to move on it as soon as possible.

I expect no other response from Lige but he has been attending the meetings and know that they have been recorded by WHIG-TV and myself along with Theresa Alston Stokes recording live regularly. Also Clint Williams has been recording live. But although Bronson and now you 2 are talking about broadcasting the meetings live, what good will that do? Hell those watching can’t interact with the council live so what’s the fuss? And then the racist comments from folk when they watch the videos and then act as if the videos are a lie by attempting to create their own narrative. For me it is embarrassing and ignant as hell to see the comments from Ignant Racist Special Cs and Ignant Safe Black Folk.

The transparency b.s. Lige talks about get the hell out of here. The official documentation of the meetings are going to be the actual minutes that are recorded by the Clerk if I am correct and I stand to be corrected.

Roberson said he would like to first familiarize himself a bit about the details of policies in existence relative to the subject matter to see what the municipal government would have to do.

Damn one would think before one speak to such an issue they would have familiarize themselves with such before speaking to it in the media. But goes to show that it does not matter because some feel it is okay to just throw out stuff.

What I am waiting on is for the new council members to get sworn in so I can see how they operate as a council member. To operate on the council on their personal agendas only not keeping in line with the actual agenda items will make no sense. So folk for right now let the new members be great with their so-called agenda but time will tell if they will be about the business of the council or their business.

Read the entire article, Mayor-elect wants council meetings broadcast.

Rocky Mount NC – Sample ballot fuels speculation (Damn But Gwen Wilkins Said The Ballot Was Ok)

The Political Agitator’s response: This is about Voter Integrity and a key player Gwen Wilkins now can’t be reached but said it was ok to do a ballot in response to when Bronson Williams posted about the ballot on his Facebook page. But what tickles the hell out of me is that Sandy Roberson says: Roberson said he has stayed within the bounds of the law during the campaign. “I have obeyed all the campaign finance laws,” Roberson said. “We have run a clean campaign.” But over the past several weeks Sandy has had to address things going on with his election. It began with Sandy Roberson for Mayor on Moe Deloach shirts during the camp held Juneteenth weekend. The Baskerville School Back To School mess. The Johnson School Back to School mess. Now the most recent the ballots oh and the emails to teachers using their school email. It is obvious that with all of the things that have been going on, Sandy says he is not aware of it but he keeps happening. So he must have not had a talk with The Street Team who he says are using him. SMDH!

A sample ballot for the Rocky Mount elections is making the rounds and at least one candidate is concerned that the ballot is confusing voters because it does not identify its source as required by law.

The ballots in question list the whole slate of candidates running in Rocky Mount elections, even though real individual ballots list only the post of mayor and the candidates for a voter’s ward, if that seat is up for election.

The sample ballot marks choices for Sandy Roberson as mayor, Tarrick Pittman for Ward 1, Gwen Wilkins for Ward 3, T.J. Walker Jr. for Ward 4 and Lige Daughtridge for Ward 5.

No legend is displayed at the bottom of the sample ballot indicating its source. The top of the sample ballot simply reads: “We, the Street Team, ask that you vote for the candidates below that are marked.”

Councilman Andre Knight, who is being challenged by Pittman for the Ward 1 seat, said he feels the ballots are deliberately deceptive.

“My concern is not with who an individual chooses to vote for, but with an official Board of Elections ballot being misrepresented,” Knight said. “Anyone can give out a ballot if it is clear who is endorsing and who is distributing them.”

According to state campaign finance law, “A legend (the information stating who paid for and authorized the advertisement . . . (Read More)

Rocky Mount NC – Tired Of The Negative Posts About Rocky Mount City Council

Cooper Blackwell

Sick of seeing negative post about the council so here’s some things that have been done for our great city under the leadership of a majority black city council. (Since some people want to deny the truth and act like nothing positive is happening in Rocky Mount).

Under the current city council, as a DIRECT result of their actions:

1)Fought Duke Power and reduced RM Utilities debt by $500 million.
2)Changed collection policies to make more customer friendly and required staff to create payment arrangements.
3) Encouraged hiring of more people of color and women in key leadership positions. Went from 1 black department head in Human Relations and Assistant City Manager to 3 black police chiefs, black female HR Director, former black Planning Director, more black assistant fire chiefs, black female Assistant City Manager, 3 black Parks and Rec directors and many more positions
4) Retail, banking and services increases in inner city Edgecombe and Nash
5) $50 million Event Center with millions of new private investment downtown
6) 30 black businesses downtown alone
7) Rapidly increasing retail sales throughout RM.
8. Recruited Capitol Broadcasting investment in Rocky Mount Mills. Renovated hundreds of homes and apartments in inner city.
9) $2 million South Rocky Mount gym with new housing development worth $2 million affordable housing
10) Funded and supported Carolina Gateway Partnership in recruiting 3500 new jobs to Rocky Mount in the last 18 months. New housing starts throughout the City
11) Funded scores of non-profits to build youth programming throughout all RM including Buck Buck Leonard league, Carolina Stallions, upgraded parks, youth soccer and softball

So enough of the lies.. our city has been evolving under the current leadership for the last 20 years… now they’re talking hotels and investment downtown and in Edgecombe county! Hallelujah! #supportrockymount#supportequity #communityunity #EDI #fightstigmas

Council approves FY 2020 budget – Rocky Mount NC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 26, 2019
Council approves FY 2020 budget
Rocky Mount, N.C.

The Rocky Mount City Council approved the FY 2020 budget during the June 24, 2019 council meeting. The new budget is balanced without a tax rate increase or increases to the city’s utility rates.

The city of Rocky Mount’s total operating budget for FY 2020 is $220.1 million, a 6.2 percent increase over the adopted budget for FY 2019. The budget includes initiatives that address council priorities, such as access to safe, quality and affordable housing; opportunities for economic development in the downtown area; enhancements to city parks, recreation facilities and to City Hall; and programs benefitting neighborhood associations.

For the new fiscal year, an additional $350,000 has been added for new housing development, raising the total housing investment to $1 million. The funds will address specific needs of the city’s 14 identified economically distressed neighborhoods.

Economic development in the downtown area has been prompted by the completion of the Rocky Mount Event Center. The budget funds $5.53 million for the full-year operating and debt service costs for the center. In the downtown area, $1.78 million will be appropriated to fund underground electric utilities and for the first phase of a multi-year plan to rehabilitate downtown storm drainage.
In an effort to improve businesses downtown, the council also approved an additional $130,000 for existing and new grant programs such as the existing Downtown Business Assistance Program and the recently established Façade Improvement Grant, as well as a new roof grant.

Necessary renovations to parks and recreation facilities has also been a priority for council, resulting in $720,000 added to the budget for improvements to Marigold and Lancaster parks, repairs to Denton Street Pool and recreation facilities in the Battleboro Community, along with the development of a master plan for Battle Park.

The Frederick E. Turnage Municipal Building (City Hall) will also receive much needed repairs thanks to council’s approval of $1.64 million in appropriations. The rehabilitation of elevators, elimination of moisture intrusion in the stairwells and the renovation of the first and second floors for the opening of the new One Stop Shop, are among the list of items that need attention. The One Stop Shop will house permitting, inspections and planning in one location with the necessary advanced technology to make it easier for the establishment of businesses in the community.

The FY 2020 budget is also comprised of extra funding for programs implemented by the city’s neighborhood associations. Additional funding of $50,000 will be utilized for grants of up to $2,500 for landscaping and gateway signage. The expansion of neighborhood events is also a reason for the added dollars.

For the complete FY 2020 budget, visit www.rockymountnc.gov. The budget is included on the homepage under news and on the Budget Office webpage.

ROCKYMOUNTNC.GOV

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Rocky Mount was incorporated as a town in 1867. However, the city had its beginning in the early part of the 19th century. It centered around the first post office which was established at the Falls of the Tar River on March 22, 1816.

Rocky Mount NC – Annual banquet to recognize student, employee and employer

Rocky Mount, N.C-The Mayor’s Commission on Persons with Disabilities will award a college scholarship to a deserving student in addition to recognizing an Employee and Employer of the Year at its annual banquet at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 6 in the Booker T. Theater.

The Curtis Dew, Jr. Advance Educational Studies Scholarship of $300 will be awarded to a graduating high school student with a disability who will be attending college in the fall.

During the academic year, the Human Relations Department, in conjunction with The Bowling Center of Rocky Mount and the North Carolina Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, held a bowling night fundraiser for the scholarship.  

“The banquet highlights and recognizes many in our community that often do the work, make the grades or provide opportunities but go unrecognized or unrewarded,” said Jeffery Walston, Human Relations specialist with the city of Rocky Mount. “This event shows everyone that we are all the same regardless of the difficulties or obstacles we’ve overcome.” 

For more information, please call the Human Relations Department at 252-972-1181.

City Council to consider repairs – Rocky Mount Telegram

BY LINDELL JOHN KAY
Staff Writer

Saturday, April 20, 2019

The Rocky Mount City Council is set to discuss roof repairs among other topics Monday afternoon.

The council is scheduled to hold a public hearing relative to application to the Local Government Commission for approval of an installment purchase contract for fiscal year 2019 construction projects.

The city is seeking arrangement with PNC Bank, National Association for $833,000 with a fixed interest rate of 2.36 percent for a 59-month term; $1.2 million with a fixed interest rate of 2.96 percent for a 59-month term; and $1 million with a fixed interest rate of 2.60 percent for an 84-month term with a total cost of $3.1 million.

The planned work includes: (Read more)

City emails shine light on secrets – Rocky Mount Telegram

The Political Agitator’s response: Anyone know that governmental emails, emails in the workplace and other are subject to be released if questions arise. Now this is just ignant to have these conversations via email. I will continue to wait to see how it all unfolds.

Rocky Mount officials are mum on city manager emails about withholding information from the press, secret money, replacing federal paperwork, relief that auditors didn’t find certain files and more.

“The Auditor pulled that file and thankfully he did not pull others!! It probably would have been worse!!!” City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney states in an Aug. 12 email to a city staff member.

That email is a sampling of hundreds of electronic communications the Telegram has compiled over the past several weeks. The emails were obtained via public record requests with inquires about the subject matter made last week.

City officials declined to answer any of the questions, with Tameka Kenan-Norman, the city’s chief communications officer, citing an ongoing investigation as to the reason why no answers were provided.

“A majority of your questions address those areas currently being investigated. We will not provide comment while the investigation is underway,” Kenan-Norman said via email Friday afternoon.

She didn’t specify which investigation to which she is referring.

Mayor David Combs called for a law firm to conduct an independent investigation into alleged malfeasance at City Hall. Simultaneously, the Office of the State Auditor is probing the same areas by serving subpoenas and interviewing past and present city employees. (Read more)