Tom Campbell: DMV mess demonstrates state sawed too short – Rocky Mount Telegram

The Gate Keeper’s response: This is a very good article.

The proposed DMV move brings to mind one of the old Three Stooges comedies, the one where one of the zany trio says, “I’ve cut this board three times and it’s still too short.” Our state continues to take cuts at property decisions and keeps coming up short.

State political leaders have known for decades that the Department of Motor Vehicles needed to move out of its headquarters on New Bern Avenue in Raleigh. The state has tried adding to, patching up, and working around asbestos and wiring problems that were genuine safety issues, even getting a waiver of safety laws to continue using the building until the legislature and executive branch would get their collective act together and take action. Dare we say this has been a classic case of government inefficiency? (Read more)

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Rocky Mount NC – Downtown hotel plans stir conflict – Rocky Mount Telegram

Top city officials are on the verge of announcing a new hotel near the Rocky Mount Event Center while sitting on a state grant for a competing downtown project.

“Bringing in something new is not going to make people forget about the Carlton House,” said Tarrick Pittman during a meeting of the Central City Revitalization Panel on Thursday morning.

Pittman was joined by a chorus of downtown business owners expressing their frustration over City Hall stonewalling developers in favor of a pet project.

“It’s either incompetence or deliberate stalling,” said Councilwoman Chris Miller who sits on the panel as a representative of Downtown Renaissance, an organization with the goal of stabilization and preservation of the inner city of Rocky Mount.

State Commerce Secretary Anthony Copeland in October announced $6.9 million in grant funding for 21 rural area projects across the state. One of those projects is a $55,000 grant to support the renovation of the 46,400-square-foot Carlton House, a 64-room boutique hotel on Church Street, which is set to include a restaurant.

Copeland said the Carlton is being renamed the Monk Hotel to pay homage to jazz legend Thelonious Monk, who was born in Rocky Mount.

The project, which includes $4 million in private investment, is expected to create 11 jobs and boost business downtown. (Read more)

Rocky Mount NC – Official defends his hiring by city – Rocky Mount Telegram

SELMA — Selma Town Manager Elton Daniels is defending his recent hiring as Rocky Mount parks and recreation director by embattled City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney.

Daniels announced in a Jan. 8 Selma Town Council closed session that he was resigning effective Feb. 12 and will assume his new role Feb. 18 in Rocky Mount. Daniels’ salary will be $130,000 per year, compared to $90,000 for his predecessor Kelvin Yarrell, the parks director since 2013. In October, Small-Toney demoted Yarrell to cemetery maintenance supervisor.

In a series of stories, the Telegram questioned Daniels’ relationship with Small-Toney, the increase in salary over his predecessor and his experience in parks and recreation. The newspaper also detailed a 2012 incident when Daniels was cited for driving an unmarked police vehicle with blue lights while working as Sharpsburg town manager. (Read more)

Man breathes life into neighborhood – Rocky Mount Telegram

The Gate Keeper’s response: Glad to see this young man turn his life around and doing some great things.

Troy Davis’ story is one of redemption the Rocky Mount way.

Davis, 31, grew up in the Ward 1 neighborhood of Meadowbrook.

“My mom lives there, my grandmother lives there, I live there,” Davis said Thursday morning while sitting at his desk in his Starling Way office surrounded by friends and supporters.

In 2004, Davis at 17 was the center of the largest identity theft case in Edgecombe County history.

Today, Davis is at the center of redevelopment in south Rocky Mount, having borrowed and invested $1.2 million in turning around Starling Way, a housing project that many thought had seen it final days.

Davis said recent attacks against him on social media are par for the course. He spoke candidly with the Telegram about his criminal past — something he didn’t have to do since all his records have been expunged. He said he got into trouble and spent time in prison on nonviolent, non-drug related charges. He did his time and found a new, better way to live. (Read more)

Work on new plants moves ahead – Rocky Mount Telegram

Progress is continuing on Triangle Tire’s plans to build a massive plant in rural Edgecombe County.

“They’re selecting a contractor now,” Carolinas Gateway President and CEO Norris Tolson said. “We’ve got the site ready for ’em. So, when they’re ready to build, the site is ready to build on.”

Triangle Tire, which is based in China, in late 2017 announced plans to bring approximately 800 jobs to the Kingsboro megasite, which is approximately five miles east of Rocky Mount and approximately six miles west of Tarboro.

Tolson said Triangle Tire has proposed a two-phase project at the megasite, with the first phase calling for an investment of approximately $580 million.

The first phase calls for having a facility to produce tires for cars and trucks.

Tolson said Triangle Tire plans to begin construction of the first phase in May and wants to begin production of those types of tires in 2020.

The second phase calls for producing tires for large, non-farm trucks and earth-moving machines. (Read more)

Rocky Mount NC – Confederate Monument Randy Adcox Need To Tell The Whole Trues

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.

Randy Adcox

November 26 at 10:00 PM

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!