Attacks On Council Members Stir Racial Discord

I have been videoing the Rocky Mount NC City Council meetings faithfully over the years for free and posting them on YouTube and then sharing it on my Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn social media sites.

I also take photos and share them on my social media pages as well.

I made Rocky Mount NC City Council meetings a top priority because there have been some who have been attacking council members Andre Knight and Reuben Blackwell over the years. WHIG-TV, Fighting Crime, Rocky Mount Concerned Citizens, LoveRockyMount, 252 Hoodnewz, Community Council, Tarrick Pittman, Samuel Battle, Randy Adcox, J. Keith Harris, Clint Williams, Albert Preston Holmes, Jerry Fisher and the late Mark Bowling, Tales of an Educated Debutante and others have disrespected the Rocky Mount NC City Council because they are a Black majority and because there are more Black departments heads with the city along with a Black city manager, Black police chief and a Black fire chief.

The sad part is, some of the haters of the Rocky Mount NC City Council I have provided for free the video of the meetings so that folk could get the whole truth of what took place at the meetings.

State Auditor Beth Wood was asked by some Rocky Mount Special Cs to do an audit on Andre Knight and Reuben Blackwell along with the Rocky Mount NC City Council and she completed the report. She asked for the council to respond to the findings. The council responded to the findings and she said her report was completed and that she sent information to some agencies that she said she thought they needed to go to.

So now as to the facts that were presented, the audit completed, findings presented, so now I am waiting on the response from the agencies.

It is time for the Rocky Mount Special Cs to stop the bullying and using racist tactics to divide Rocky Mount NC. It is time to move forward in a civil manner.

Curmilus Butch Dancy II


See original Rocky Mount Telegram

#Blacklivesmatter #Iwatchedvideo

#Iamnotok #Ibeenengagedbeforenow
#Coronavirusstayfocused #Stayhome

Curmilus Butch Dancy II 2020

Systemic racism remains alive across country

The modern day lynching of George Floyd at the hands of four white police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota was a painful reminded that racism is alive, well and flourishing in this country.

Systemic racism is built into every level of this society. It infects the very structure of this society daily and manifests itself in the continuing inequalities in housing, education, employment, criminal justice, wealth and leadership positions. It is real and no matter the ignoring or denying it remains a constant.

Systemic racism is embedded in this city’s past, recognizable in its present and will, in all likelihood, occupy a place in its future. It would be delusional to think otherwise.

It is almost a given that people of color who challenge the system and speak out on words and actions that have a racist intent will be accused of “playing the race card.” It is also a given that the accusers are most likely to be white people who do not have the foggiest idea about what being a person of color in this country is like. It’s like telling someone you know the pain of a toothache if you have never had one. Seldom does the why of an issue perceived to be racist become the channel for constructive dialogue.

Systemic racism is an ingredient found in everyday decisions made by people who may or may not see themselves as racist. Therefore, it behooves those of you who are quick to accuse people of color of playing the race card to take a long hard look in the mirror. How many race cards have you dealt, consciously or unconsciously? A card cannot be played if it has not been dealt.

As the years have come and gone, old stereotypes that feed on systemic racism have continued. In spite of the fact that many major contributions to this country’s greatness have been made by people of color, we are still looked upon as being intellectually deficient. We are still marginalized and acts of violence inflicted upon us are often without consequence. Educational opportunities and access to health care remain disproportionate. Home and business mortgage applications continue to be marked in red as risky investments and criminal justice is still administered with an uneven hand.

Somehow, in some way, these inequities continue to have an unrelenting choke hold on people of color. Will we ever overcome?

Gardenia B. Hobbs

Rocky Mount

#Blacklivesmatter #Iwatchedvideo

#Iamnotok #Ibeenengagedbeforenow
#Coronavirusstayfocused #Stayhome

Curmilus Butch Dancy II 2020

Rocky Mount NC – It’s Time that We Get Some Real Answers About This Latest Audit

It’s Time that We Get Some Real Answers About This Latest Audit

State Auditor Beth Wood, in justifying why she launched her expensive, anticlimactic investigation into the goings on in Rocky Mount, said she was prompted to do so after being bombarded by citizen complaints about alleged improprieties. But I, along with a growing number of citizens across the region, are questioning Ms. Wood’s judgment and her motives.

No matter where you stand on the politics, citizen should be yelling at the top of their lungs demanding to know why there was such an egregious waste of taxpayers’ money and resources. To be clear, Ms. Wood authorized spending nearly a half-million dollars ($421,282.00) and a year’s worth of manpower hours (4,058 hours) to come to her most dramatic findings, that: 1.) A city councilman was able to evade $47,000 in utility bills; and 2.) City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney overspent her expense account to the tune of $500 a year for three years. Let that sink in, and forget for a moment that Ms. Wood’s alleged objective is to ensure governmental fiscal accountability.

Now, I ask every thoughtful, honest person to take a closer look at these charges. In the case of the councilman, whom Ms. Wood later identified as Andre Knight, there are several things that are quite troubling. Firstly, the North Carolina Utilities Commission as well as federal data privacy laws prohibit the release of personal information about utility account holders. Ms. Wood certainly knew that, because her audit never identified Mr. Knight by name. Yet, when she was interviewed by television and print reporters, she quickly threw the councilman’s name to the wind.

Since Mr. Knight has denied the charges, the public has a right to know what proof she has to the contrary and why she was not obliged to follow the law. Let’s say, for the sake of discussion, that reporters had gathered all of Rocky Mount’s utility bills and matched them to certain properties belonging to Mr. Knight. Those reporters would still have to determine whether all of the utility bills were his responsibility – and not that of a tenant or sub-tenant – during, in this particular case, the entire twenty (20)-year period. That’s right, the period in question traverses two decades!

Responding to the auditor, the city wrote, “The write-off amount the City reported … did not have supporting documentation in the form of printable billings that verified the total amount. A true or even proximate value could never be reconciled to the amount that was reported to the [auditor]. A total of $47,000 has never been substantiated by the City Staff or the [auditor] but was gleaned from a data dump performed by the City’s Finance Department. …In addition, many of the balances referenced by the [auditor] dating back to 1999 were much higher than normal residential accounts and defied logic as to how the calculations of those were made, much less confirmed. It is not clear whether the [auditor] investigated, when informed, that the account in question was subject to possible manipulation by unauthorized City staff for a good portion of the time that the write-offs covered.”

What’s even more disturbing is the auditor’s comment that, “Other City residents had to pay their bills timely to continue to receive services.” Thus, even if Mr. Knight’s bills had been written off, as she claims, her statement clearly suggests that Mr. Knight is the only person during this 20-year period who was given such a benefit. Is there anyone who believes this? Of course not. In fact, there were about $20 million in utility bills that were written off by the city during this same period. Why aren’t those names bantered about in public discourse?

Now, let’s delve into Ms. Wood’s other major finding, that Ms. Small-Toney lavished herself with lobster and shrimp dinners at the public’s expense. I have been outspoken about my belief that this audit –like the previous one that fizzled in a pool of racial animus – is an outright assault on the city’s Black leadership. First of all, it is absolutely outrageous to suggest that this city’s chief executive should’ve stuck to the cheap side of the menu. Who believes for a moment that the public outrage would be just as intense if it had gotten out that Mayor Sandy Roberson’s or a white city manager had chosen seafood over chicken or spaghetti? It harkens to the old racist trope of the “welfare queen” spending her food stamps on luxury dinners, instead of more modest fare.

Ms. Small-Toney provided receipts for a full $1,416.12 of the $1,575 in question, and she noted that the expenditures were for city staff dinners at conferences for the National League of Cities in Charlotte in 2017 ($858.62) and the ElectriCities in Ashville in 2018 ($557.50). A balance of $158 was unaccounted for. Sorry Ms. Woods, but this is hardly a finding that can be justified by such an expensive, yearlong investigation.

But Ms. Woods is not the only public figure whose motivation must be questioned. The mayor – yes, the same one who campaigned on his ability and desire to bring this racially fractured city together – has accelerated the longstanding attacks on the duly elected council majority and city manager, both of whom happen to be African American. He really revealed himself when he stepped up his political gamesmanship and asked Mr. Knight to resign. He knew that was throwing raw meat to an angry white contingency in this city who contend that Mr. Knight’s position on the City Council is in direct conflict with his role as the leader of the local chapter of the NAACP. (That white rage is clear to anyone paying attention to several local social media pages.) This is a telling indication of this city’s racial climate. The NAACP’s mission is to ensure that everyone, regardless of race, has an equal opportunity to succeed in society. And the truth is, that mission should be in perfect harmony with anyone seeking to hold a council seat or sit in the mayor’s seat. Many African Americans worked for Mr. Roberson’s campaign, sincerely believing he would live up to his promise.

I’m in agreement with State Rep. Shelly Willingham (D-Edgecombe), who in recent days is asking from accountability from the state auditor and the mayor. Like many residents, he is asking why such a minute sliver of the city’s population (less than 4 tenths of one percent) was able to trigger such an expensive, protracted investigation. We want to know:

· Who were the complainants?

· What is her proof against Councilman Knight, and how, with protections afforded by law, was the auditor able to publicize his name as the utility account holder?

· Was Knight the only account holder who received write-offs during that 20-year period, as she intimated in the audit?

· If not, why was that information on other account holders withheld?

· How many others received write-offs; what are their names; and for how much were the entitlements?

· Why did Ms. Small-Toney receive such notable mention in the audit report when she was not employed until 2017 and many of the allegations date back to 1999?

It’s no secret that the audit was triggered by the usual crowd of disgruntled citizens who can find no comfort in the progressive agenda for downtown Rocky Mount developed and supported by the current city administration and City Council.

To those detractors, I say stop attempting to do an end-around a local government that was elected by the residents of this city, and allow the will of the majority to move forward.

Ms. Woods, stop allowing yourself to be a puppet of the recalcitrant obstructionists in our city and work to regain your reputation as an impartial state auditor. And, Mr. Roberson, be a change-maker – that person you promised during your campaign – not the one plotting against those making our city better for everyone.

Curmilus Butch Dancy II 

Pinetops NC

Open letter to Edgecombe County officials – Rocky Mount Telegram

Posted in The Rocky Mount Telegram.

I understand the HIPAA law pertains to the privacy of a patient by not sharing a person’s name and medical records.

I am requesting that you provide the numbers by zip code as relates to the coronavirus per the following:

Number tested positive.

Number of deaths.

Number of recovered.

Number of those tested awaiting on results.

Number of those in isolation.

Because the coronavirus can be a deadly virus, I strongly feel that I along with others should be informed as to what is going on around us. I strongly feel that we as citizens and taxpayers should have this information be provided.

I am requesting this information to be made known ASAP because I want to know as a community activist and local blogger. I have been contacted by my followers asking me do I have the requested information. It is evident that folk are concerned and want to know.

Thank you in advance.

Curmilus Butch Dancy II


Letter to editor: It Depends On The Change In Rocky Mount Whether It Is Good Or Bad

In response to Mary E. Ward “Change Good For Rocky Mount” depends on what the change one looking for.

I found the opening sentence to be quite interesting, “Taxpayers who are residents, business owners and homeowners have a right to expect city government to make the best decisions for the greatest good of everyone, not just to benefit a cadre of individuals’ personal agendas. I was lost when at the beginning you say taxpayers who are residents what that got to do with anything? If they own property they ought to be concerned and have a voice in what goes on in Rocky Mount whether they can vote or not.

This council has been more transparent than any other council dating back to my following the council since the late 80’s. I am not a resident but have been actively engaged in Rocky Mount politics as an advocate, member NAACP, Democratic Party and have worked in Rocky Mount for the past 32 years and 8 months.

Law enforcement offices/departments can be found short of officers across the state at any given time because of various reasons.

This council has directed more resources in Edgecombe County side of Rocky Mount than any other council.

Who have complained about the noise from the train track over the years?
It is sad that you and those who think like you feel you get to choose that Crossing at 64 is now the best location for progress but where were you when we were fighting trying to get businesses there? The perfect location for the hotel is downtown at the Event Center and walking distance of the downtown area.

It is about race and power in Rocky Mount and that is something that you ought to be able to relate to because you have been an educator and know what is real and what is perceived. However if you feel Rocky Mount does not have a race problem then you are ignorant to the facts.

Rocky Mount is diverse. When the diverse who are taxpaying citizens like you begin to speak diverse rather than acting on the script of what has been played out in the media, the better off Rocky Mount will be.

Curmilus Dancy II

Letter to the Editor: In response to A.E. Green “City officials must earn public’s trust”

The downtown hotel project is about race, location and personal agendas by those who do not want to see any positive growth on the Edgecombe side of Rocky Mount.

Will you provide one case that council members have had the need to recuse themselves from voting on something that was a direct financial involvement? I have not seen this happen and I have videoed many of their meetings over the years.

It is folk like you who create conflict, create tension and distrust when you say the very appearance of what you perceive to be a problem but do not give one fact when it comes to the council members real estate is legally bought or their business lawfully operated. Name one case that makes this a fact and not a perception. You say the city do not need anymore negativity. It is not the city who are creating it it is the haters.

What is the bad news coming from the public officials? Why are the employees leaving? The newspaper has been blamed because there has been some haters who have created a narrative for the newspaper to follow. The papers are reporting the news created by the haters.

You say Wilson is coming out on top because they have hired some of Rocky Mount employees. Well those employees have and can be replaced.

Wow, you concluded “Residents of Rocky Mount and the Twin Counties can only do so much to advance the metro area on their own in business and in civic organizations without continued negativity coming from public officials negating the benefits of their work and preventing others discovering what we already know to be true: that Rocky Mount is a great place to live with even more potential.”

What negativity? Which council members have negated their work? Which council members have prevented others from discovering what you know to be true? What is the truth?

I do agree that Rocky Mount is a great place to live with even more potential. This council has shown what potential is and that is the progress they have made on the Edgecombe County side.

Curmilus Dancy II

Letter to the Editor: Trust council to do the right thing – Rocky Mount Telegram

Note: Read the entire article on The Rocky Mount Telegram and the comments at the end.

Over the past several weeks there has been an attack on Rocky Mount City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney.

When Small-Toney was up for the next city manager, there was lots of feedback from some in the community that did some research on her background. But does a person deserve a second chance? Everyone wants a second chance.

Since Small-Toney has been in Rocky Mount I have observed her and she seemed to have been professional about what she was saying. Some things are documented but then one must be able to align the documented up with the policy and procedures to see if she is out of compliance. I don’t know what is to be true or false so I will have to rely on the response from the council as to how they move forward with or without Small-Toney. I will fact check all sides if the resources are made available. What I will not do is to act on emotions without having all the facts.

I am having a flashback with all this activity because I am reminded of how white folk were in charge and black folk were not given jobs or promotions just because they were black. What I do know is the Rocky Mount City Council used to be majority white. The department heads used to be majority white. Times have changed but sadly some folks have not because some white folks have a problem with working under black folks’ authority. (Read more)

Letter to editor: Thank You Lindell John Kay & Amelia Harper For The Article, “Studies give conflicting views of city”

You say, “Rocky Mount is either one of the safest cities in North Carolina or one of the worst places to raise a child in the United States, depending on which recent study is to be believed.”

What tickles me is those folk who are consistently trying to discredit the Rocky Mount City Council and Mayor I am going to see if they are going to talk about the school system’s role in the report, “Metro area schools may also be underfunded. The Nash-Rocky Mount school district spends only about $8,400 per pupil annually, about $2,300 less than is typical one nationwide. The report based its ranking on preschool enrollment figures of 33.4 percent, the graduation rate of 82 percent, the population with access to areas for activity at 53 percent and the 2015 violent crime rate of 423 per 100,000, which was considerably above the average national rate of 373 violent crimes per 100,000, according to the report.” Now this is something that can be easily found out by challenging the school system by seeking answers when it comes to school issues.

I don’t want to get into the crime reporting because you said it best, “Studies of this type from third-party business websites pop up from time to time with differing methodologies and varied results based on cherry-picked statistics.” I feel a forum could help with helping to better understand what is real and what is perceived by the statistics and the people who have ties to Rocky Mount.

I would love to see more discussion in a forum on the following, “A Telegram investigation this summer revealed crimes in the city have been underreported to state and federal authorities during Moore’s watch.” I would love to see the investigation discussed and to see what was reported and the total number of cases to see how much of an impact on the city. I think that something need to be done to bring some closure to the issue so that the new chief will be able to come in and be effective without having to have this investigation findings to keep coming up but not forgotten.

I find the following to be very, very interesting, “City officials are searching for a new police chief. When asked whether the new chief’s priority will be crime prevention or lowering crime statistics, those officials would only say that the new chief will work to make Rocky Mount a safer community.” What kind of question is that? The new chief should come in with one thing in mind and that is to follow the mission for serving as chief of Rocky Mount which is:

We, the members of the Rocky Mount Police Department, are committed to providing the highest level of police service. We will improve the quality of life in the community by building partnerships that reduce crime, maintain order, and create a safe environment while upholding the laws of North Carolina and the United States Constitution. We adhere to the principles of integrity, professionalism, respect, and fairness. See what the Rocky Mount Webpage say about integrity, professionalism, respect, and fairness at

I have heard several folk say that the outgoing Chief James Moore is a smart man and is unique in his own way. I agree after attending a meeting a couple of years ago whereby I took off work to attend about law enforcement and the community that was held at the BTW Center. I found out then he was unique in some of his comments especially after he responded to my comments on that day. I felt he had an issue with my comments as he addressed me in some kinda way. I videoed the meeting but can’t remember the details at the moment.

I have heard several folk say that the outgoing Chief didn’t work close enough with other local law enforcement agencies. I have heard some officers from the different agencies including Rocky Mount itself that said Chief Moore was unique. These officers felt that Chief Moore should have done more collective policing and the times when they did that many times he was not out with them unlike the other agencies top man.

Chief Moore has retired so it is time to move on and focus on hiring a new chief. The new chief need to be held accountable for his actions as well. However what folk need to understand is that the new chief along with police officers need to keep the mission of the Rocky Mount Police Department in mind at all times. Folk need to understand that the new chief cannot stop crime if they are not in present during a crime. Folk need to understand that it is the role of the chief to enforce the law after a law has been committed and would hope that the crime will be reported as it and not sugar coated to make the statistics look good.

In my opinion there should be more talk about the funding of the school system and the crime situation in Rocky Mount in some type of forum and to me this is where the Rocky Mount Human Relations Commission should be the lead however they could ask for partners from other entities.

Now as the search for the new chief go on, let us welcome the interim chief Willie Williams to lead the Rocky Mount Police Department until someone is hired. Former Chief Willie Williams bring a wealth of knowledge and professionalism to the table. The last time I was in his presence while he was working he was at NC Central head of their security on the campus when my daughter was in college. I know Chief Williams will do a fa bu lous ta stic job until the new chief is hired.

Curmilus Dancy II
Pinetops, NC

Letter to editor: Rocky Mount Racial Issues But It Is Okay As Long As Folk Talk About It

It is obvious that Rocky Mount has been divided between the tracks you have a Nash side and an Edgecombe County side.

It is obvious that many white folk moved out of the city limits of Rocky Mount moved West towards Raleigh oh but just outside of Rocky Mount to Nash County. What one would call is white flight I believe. Well why did they move? But don’t think that it is all whites that moved because many blacks have moved in that direction also. I don’t think anyone is mad with them.

My problem is these folk made some choices but I think some of them have a problem with the choices of some of the folk who still live in the city. Some of these folk who live in the city want to see the city progress but those who have moved want to micromanage what those who still live in the city does. Those who have moved want things done when they want it done, how they want it done and where they want it done. Some complain about taxes. Well everything comes with a price.

During the 1st Rocky Mount City Council Meeting for the month of November in the Committee of the Whole Meeting it was a presentation done by the Rocky Mount Human Relation Commission to further address the racial divide and future issues that may arise in the city. It is amazing that the naysayers who are against everything that the Rocky Mount City Council/Government does, they didn’t talk about that presentation in the local paper and on local tv simply because they don’t want to deal with racial issues. But there was no emphasis put on the presentation in the paper so therefore since these folk don’t attend the meetings, they don’t know all that really goes on in the meetings unless I video them and share them on YouTube. I did but again no discussion on it.

The Rocky Mount Human Relations are putting together a group of folk that will receive some training to deal with racial issues. I think this is going to be a good thing. The HRC should be the leader in the city to host discussions on racial issues. In my opinion this has not been done over the years as a priority. It will be interesting to see how the naysayers will only continue to participate in the discussions about racial issues by just doing it commenting on articles in the local paper or on the local tv along with some other social media sites. Many of these folk hide behind code names because they are not bold enough to stand on what they believe in publicly. So will these folk attend the HRC meetings? Absolutely not because they will not be able to hide behind code names and use codes to push their racial agendas.

Although the Confederate Flag/Monuments was a hot topic recently, that is not a new issue but just like other issues that are not dealt with they continue to come and go.

I would say that although there are many racial issues in Rocky Mount I strongly feel the Rocky Mount Council/Government is the main topic of the racial divide. It appears that some folk have serious issues with the council being a 4 – 3 black majority. These same folk have a problem with black folk being in top positions within the city. But what is wrong with that? Over the years I have always heard go to school and be productive. These folk have met the criteria so why they can’t do their jobs without unnecessary criticism being thrown at every move they make?

I strongly believe that the majority of the folk in Rocky Mount isn’t against the Rocky Mount City Council/Government but they just don’t comment for fear of the negative comments that they read after they do something to enhance the city.

It is past time that some folk get over the fact that the measure of progress in the city should not be measured by the racial makeup of the Rocky Mount City Council/Government but should be measured by their works.

Curmilus Dancy II, Blogger
Pinetops, NC


This article was posted in the Rocky Mount Telegram titled as “Progress On Racial Equality Front Meets New Challenges In 2016.”


As I pause and reflect on this country’s promise of justice and equality for all I am reminded of the many barriers that have negated the fulfillment of this promise. Are we destined to continue dreaming an impossible dream? Are we destined to continue living in a country where justice and equality will never be on one accord? Indeed, there is much truth in the old adage “the more things change the more they stay the same.”

Legislation has all but put an end to forced racial segregation yet actions and attitudes remain unwavering. Racial stereotyping is just as prevalent today as it was yesterday. In 1964 President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act that abolished the Jim Crow Laws and invoked the commerce clause which outlawed discrimination in public accommodations. Today we are seeing new laws enacted like HB2 that give rise to discrimination anew and religion being used to justify the unjustifiable.

In 1965 the Voting Rights Act was passed to rectify inequities in voting rights. In 2013 the Supreme Court invalidated key parts of this act citing there was no longer a need. After that ruling the restructuring of voting rights went into overtime. Today we are not asked to count marbles in a jar or read parts of the Constitution but the obstacles of acquiring a voter ID and getting to a polling place is just as daunting.

The Brown v. Board of Education decision was handed down on May 17, 1954 and from that day forward opponents started working feverishly to find ways to circumvent the law. Following this decision home schooling increased, church schools, charter schools and academies started opening at an epidemic rate. Today public schools are being robbed of funding and are just as segregated as they were before the Brown v. Board of Education decision.

Affirmative Action was first introduced in the issuance of an Executive Order to create the Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity by President John F. Kennedy in 1961. By Executive Order, President Lyndon B. Johnson developed and enforced this order in 1965. From the outset there was strong opposition. Under the guise of reverse discrimination there has been one lawsuit after another. Today, the Affirmative Action Program has been stripped of its original intent and is but a fading shadow.

In 2009 the Tea Party was formed and from day one its members went after President Obama with a vengeance and gave birth to the slogan “taking our country back.” Tea Party members have depicted President Obama in every racist format possible and engaged in verbal racial confrontations even with African American members of Congress. Instead of rebuke the organization has been embraced as if it were mainstream and candidates seeking elected office have been elated to get its endorsement. To the contrary, when Black Lives Matter organized in 2013 critics wasted no time calling the organization racist and a terrorist group. This comes as no surprise because down through the annals of time when people of color have dared to speak out about injustices or challenges the system they have sometimes paid the ultimate price or have been labeled as trouble makers and radicals. Is it the expectation that people of color should suffer peacefully and accept things as they are without question?

In 1968 George Wallace ran for president on a segregationist platform. Today we have George Wallace in Donald Trump, a man who freely expresses racist views and is a Mister “Cure-all” without a how. It is appalling to hear members of the Republican leadership criticize his racist remarks on one hand and endorse him on the other hand. Obviously, for them, it’s all about winning at any cost and sacrificing self-respect is a price worth paying.

John F. Kennedy said “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” So, as long as minds and attitudes reject change, it is not unreasonable to expect that “the more things change the more they will stay the same”.

Gardenia B. Hobbs, Rocky Mount, NC

Nash Rocky Mount Schools Split Controversy: Letter to Editor by Pastor James D. Gilliard

The Watch Dog: agree totally with this letter. Fabuloustastic!

I am writing to express an independent, informational, and intellectual view of the
current threat to the Nash Rocky Mount Public School system. As a politically
unaffiliated, bi-racial pastor to over 3,000 people (including 1,100 K-12 children
active in Nash Rocky Mount Public Schools), I am quite vested in this issue. As is the
case with most political decisions, it is easy for the emotion of any subject to veer us
away from sound decisions that are in the best interest of all involved.

Taxes and The Common Good
Everyday as Americans and North Carolinians, our property, sales and utility taxes
are used to fund programs, services, institutions, and infrastructure that we either
benefit from directly or indirectly. Nash County residents may not directly benefit
from the funding formula that supplements the education of children living in
Edgecombe County, but do benefit indirectly as there is a link between education
and job creation for a region.
• I have yet to make a call to 911 or to use ambulance services since I have
lived here, as I am certain many of you reading this also have not, yet millions
of tax dollars are earmarked for these vital emergency services.
• Most of my books are electronic, so I never go to the public library, yet taxes
are used for this critical public institution.
• There are many residents of Nash County who have never used the highways
or buildings their taxes help build.
• There are retirees who have never had a child in the school system, yet a
portion of their taxes and utilities are used to supplement the funding of our
school system.

I doubt the Nash County Commissioners who are aggressively asking for a “fairness
of funding” want to establish a precedent of an “al-a-carte” taxation system where
we all get to direct our taxes only to the services from which we directly benefit and
away from those which we indirectly benefit.
It seems that a reminder of our origin as a nation is appropriate. The manifesto on
American Capitalism is Adam Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations”, where he explained
that human involvement in economics is to “advance the interests of the society.” To
follow this new ideology being espoused by the Nash County Commissioners would
mean the GI Bill that enabled 10 million Americans to receive housing and education
benefits would have never been funded. Anything that is good and necessary for a
civilized society to thrive, like public education, is good for us all.

Collateral Damage
The removal of 1,800 children from the Nash Rocky Mount Public School system has
a potential consequence for which none of us, particularly the Nash County
Commissioners, are prepared. Eighteen hundred children equates to 12.5% of the
current NRMPS system. Any businessperson will tell you that reducing any
institutional capacity by 12.5% results in a ripple effect and like throwing a pebble
in the water you never know how many ripples will be created. Here are some
potential ripples:
Reduction of Title I, II, and III Federal Funding. It has been wrongly
communicated by the Nash County Commissioners that “the funding will
follow the students.” This is only partially true. The funding is both volume
and percent weighted. Funding will follow, but it will be much smaller
funding. There will also be a delay in this smaller funding as it is awarded in
blocks of 24 – 30 months, so services will need to be offered to children
without any funding being immediately available. This funding effects direct
services of children as well as professional development of teachers. The
anticipated loss to the remaining NRMPS system could be as high as $10
million annually. This is a classic example of voting against one’s own
interests as all the remaining children will live in Nash County and this will
create a net loss to the very system they claim to represent.
Loss of Existing Jobs. Reducing the capacity of NRMPS will require reorganization
and the inevitable loss of jobs to teachers and support staff. In
laymen’s terms, every 10 students create a job. The simple math of the
impending legislation by Representative Jeff Collins (at the request of the
Nash County Commissioners) could easily result in the loss of 180 jobs. It
seems our elected officials could better use their time creating jobs and not
removing jobs. The argument that those teachers would simply move to the
Edgecombe County School System is implausible as there are still over 50
licensed teacher vacancies within that system and for many teachers living in
Spring Hope, Middlesex, and Bailey, it would be just as close to drive to a
school in Wake County as it would some schools within Edgecombe County.
Loss of Support to Teachers and Staff. Aside from being a pastor I do not
know of a more difficult profession than teaching. We as a community should
be actively advocating for our teachers in the classroom and the principals
and staff that support this vital public institution. Instead, our
Commissioners are deliberately creating an environment that is filled with
contention and division rather than support and encouragement. Everyone
cares about job security and high morale and our teachers deserve no less.
Loss of New Jobs. Education along with Transportation, Health, Leisure,
Quality of Life, Taxes, and Housing remain major recruitment tools for new
companies and emerging economies. Dismantling our school system will
greatly harm our efforts in attracting new companies and in establishing the
“twin counties” as a “bedroom” community for those working in Raleigh,
Durham, and Chapel Hill. This inability to bring new companies and firms to
our community will hinder our ability to expand our tax base and to produce
an even greater economic impact to our region.
Re-classification of Athletic Programs. Rocky Mount Senior High alone
will likely lose 400-450 students. This loss to the ADM (Average Daily
Membership) will result in less competitive athletics and a loss of college
scholarships for countless young people for whom sports remain a viable
opportunity for a secure future due to a potential change in division status.
School Closing. There has been no study conducted by the Nash County
Commissioners ensuring there would be no school closings as elected
officials are not generally trained in the logistics and technicalities in the
actual running of a school system. Conventional wisdom at least forces us to
consider that by reducing the NRMPS by 1,800 students, it may not be
financially feasible to continue operations at the same level. This is
particularly the case since the NRMPS system is experiencing a five-year
decline in enrollment with a proven history that reduced capacity results in
school closings. An educated guess based upon school size and location
would deduce that Northern Nash High School could possibly close due to
this legislation.
The Children. It is said that often we leave the best for last. Who is
advocating for our children? Yes, as North Carolinians, ALL the children are
OUR children. We are a community. We are a region. When I moved here
from Philadelphia 11 years ago, I was introduced to the “twin counties.”
What a way to treat your twin! 1,800 children moving out of NRMPS is more
children than Camden, Gates, Clay, Swain, and Washington County Schools
have enrollment. This is equivalent to an entirely new and different school
system being created with no plan, no structure, and no infrastructure. It is
setting ALL of OUR kids up to fail as the remaining NRMPS kids will be faced
with the sobering reality that it was their parents who stripped down the
ability of the NRMPS system to meet the categorical needs of the children in
programs like IB, AP, AIG and ESL. The education of our children should be a
collective concern. We must endeavor to provide every child in our region
and our state with every opportunity to advance and to actively contribute
back to society.

I invite all of us to use our heart and our brain as we make decisions. My heart is for
ALL of our children and my brain tells me the loss of 180 jobs, the net loss of
millions of dollars to our school system, the potential closing of a school, and the
loss of college athletic scholarships is hardly worth the savings we as Nash County
residents will realize. It is my hope an agreement will be reached but despite the
outcome, we should all agree that no group of people should be allowed to play
politics with our children.

James D. Gailliard
Nash County Resident
Pastor, Word Tabernacle Church

Rocky Mount NC – Letter To Rocky Mount Telegram: What About The Black Students That Excel Academically And Athletically?

Dear Rocky Mount Telegram,

How are you? Now that I have shown you curtesy, let me tell you a little bit about who I am. I am DeVonte Jenkins and I am a 22 year old native of our we’ll known “City On The Rise.” I am a recent graduate of Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh, NC. I graduated with honors while also maintaining a 3.5 GPA. I also studied a semester abroad in China where I successfully completed North Carolina State’s Confucius Institute alongside many of the nations top students. Did I mention I fundraised the entire $5500 alongside my mother in the streets of Rocky Mount. If you were wondering if I were involved in any extra curricular activities throughout my undergraduate career, excuse me I may have failed to realize I was number 14 nationally in the 2013 NCAA National Indoor Track & Field Championships. My event was the long jump, and oh yeah one more thing, the Men Falcons won the entire thing…which technically makes us All-Americans. I might add that I was just voted Spectacular Magazine’s Man of the Year in the Emerging Leaders category. Or maybe me placing 2nd Runner Up in the Mr. Black pageant for the state of NC. Give a call to the NC General Assembly and ask them about my countless hours in the NC Black Caucus or my many dinners in the mansion of your governor, Pat McCrory Oh and it’s nothing that I just became the youngest African American teacher in the Chester Upland District (and aiming for Teacher of the Year) all the way in Chester, Pennsylvania. Now that I’ve gone through just a few of my accolades, which all connects to a point, I propose a question: Why don’t you promote black excellence? While I appreciate Todd Gurley’s accomplishments on signing a deal with the NFL, what about the students that excel academically and athletically from the very slums of one of the most hostile cities in America. My family have sent you information and to be honest I have literally wrote press releases out for you and sent them to various emails your website provides. Not because I want to shine light on my accomplishments, but because our youth needs to see success well beyond the facets of dribbling a basketball or catching a football. With much respect to my white counterparts, I have seen many news articles about Benton Moss (whom graduated alongside me) and his amazing career at the glorious and notable University of North Carolina. While I pondered on writing this for over 3 years out of fear that I might affirm the stereotype that African Americans are angry, I think this post is long overdue. Are my accomplishments aren’t good enough? Is it because my success came under a historically black college? Or quite frankly, is it because I’m black? And please know as much as I didn’t want to pull the race card, I need these questions answered. Every time I visit my troubled community and pick up your subscription I can’t help but wonder why it’s always plagued with homicides and the next criminal man hunt. Well I challenge you Rocky Mount Telegram! What are you perpetuating to our youth? Are you showing them a positive representation of black culture or are you reinforcing black genocide and white hegemony? I understand you have to sell your papers but you also have to realize you are losing the respect of young black professionals like myself who are trying our damn best to shoot down the stigmas of this city!


DeVonte Jenkins

Sent from Gmail Mobile

Letter to editor: Fool Me Once Shame On You, Fool Me Twice Shame On Me (Tarboro Town Council) by Melvin Muhammad Native of Tarboro NC

Greetings Family, Friends and Citizens of Tarboro,

I hope and pray that this letter find you all in the best of health and spirit.

I am penning this Open Letter hoping that it would help each of you move your and our town forward.

As most of you already know, Tarboro has been had, tricked and bamboozled.

I am not saying this to make mockery, I say it because it is the truth and sometimes the truth hurt. And I too along with many of you were hurt as you read what has been done to you, the citizens of Tarboro. First I will start by saying although everyone is innocent until proving guilty, several things are factual and that those things done caused Tarboro to lose revenue and many employees to lose their jobs and livelihood. Let me be clearer for some. As a former council member, who swore that I would work on behave and in the best interest of all those who voted for me and those who didn’t, I feel I may have let you down some. I say this because I was not the good steward that you elected me to be. But I must share that I did my best with what was provided to me. I am as upset as many of you, but since I am not there in Tarboro I can only do what I can. And what I can do is share with you that during my time on council I had suspicions of things going on like those listed in the state report. Many things I suspected myself, but I had no proof and the things that was told to me by others was held in confidentiality because they were afraid of retribution. One major thing that I would mention is that I did try a move, and that was to be the lone "Nay" voter against the past town manager pay raises and monthly vehicle allowance. Both which I didn’t believe was warranted or deserving.

To fast forward I would ask that each of you look at what has happened and try to picture this. On the advice of the past town manager we, the council were advised to cut jobs, reduce suggested raises and cut some programs. Before anyone say anything we were going by data that was provided to us, from the former town manager. But from the audit report a lot more data was not provided to us, by the former town manager, or at least not to me.

What has happened to you Tarboro is NO SMALL MATTER. Lives were effected and affected due to things listed in this report. Everything in the report, of only five years, is a shame and should be dealt with quickly. Tarboro If I was there I would be on the frontline pushing for the former town manager AND former mayor, former and recurrent council members to step up and share what they know of these five years and longer.

As for the current Mayor I would ask him to step down or to remove himself until this matter has "cleared" him of any wrong doing or I would seek out another avenue to have him removed. Tarboro I would also see if another audit could go further back. Tarboro your whole town has lost, not just individuals. Fact, again much of the money documented could have been used for much needed raises, jobs, programs or the reserves, something that is going down each year I think?

Tarboro this isn’t just the State, Edgecombe County, the IRS, or the NC employment commission’s fight, It is your fight! first and foremost!! You must also hold the current council accountable, you must demand that they represent each of you. You voted for them to lookout for you and your best interest. You, Tarboro, Must Tell Them That THEY MUST TAKE THE LEAD concerning the current mayor and his involvement. You Can’t Take A Chance With Him for the next couple of years Or can you? I think Your Odds would be better in Las Vegas!!!

Lastly, I would like to thank the former Finance Director, Tarboro you lost a good one. (By the way I haven’t read or heard much about the one that served years under the past town manager). Anyway, I continue thank Councilwoman Mrs. Faye Jordan for Serving the Citizen First, the Mayor Pro Tem Councilman Taro Knight, two other nameless council members, the current Town Manager, Chief of Police and other department heads and all town employees. None of you deserve this. Be Encouraged!

FYI I was never contacted by the state.

Melvin R. Muhammad
Former Councilman Ward #6
Proud Native of Tarboro, NC

Rocky Mount NC – In Response To: “Put bickering aside and work to rebuild and advance Rocky Mount”by Harris Walker – Rocky Mount Telegram Editorial

If responding to code words when certain folks address the Rocky Mount City Council and Mayor Pro-tem address them for what they really are, then continue to call it playing the race card. I know for a fact that the Edgecombe County side of Rocky Mount has received the much needed attention that previous councils made sure they were left behind.

Not knowing how old you are and I assume you are atleast 30 years old and if you are older that makes it even worst. I haven’t heard any black folks that say they want to relive the time they remember from back in those days.

I know as a fact black folks don’t want to re-live going down to the all white and/or majority white council asking for their fair share and to be treated as if they were nobody and then when these folks left, that city council voted just like they wanted to leaving out black folks.

Perceived waste? Prove it! Fraud and abuse? Prove it!

Also prove that Knight called Lige a racist because the video I seen he did not. For Knight to say that he felt that Lige didn’t support it because the Rocky Mount City Council is a majority black and the city manager are black is a fact. Are you, WHIG-TV, Lige Daughtridge President The Community Council, Fighting Crime And Cleaning Up Rocky Mount and their supporters saying that the Rocky Mount City Council is not a black majority and the city manager is not black? If Knight wanted to call Lige a racist, the Knight that I know would have called him a racist by saying he was a racist point blank.

What more do you and they want? They have 3 minutes to speak on any issue and the issue do not have to be on the agenda unlike some other boards and commissions. The event center was not on the agenda.

Higher standards when responding? Oh so now you want the city council members to bow down to the white man and to respond how they feel the city council should respond to them. Now that is too ignant!

You say, “To Mr. Knight and others in Rocky Mount from all backgrounds, this outdated, racially motivated fighting must stop or Rocky Mount will continue on a downward spiral, losing more current business and deterring new businesses and people from moving to our great city.”

Mayor Pro-tem Andre Knight you keep speaking truth to power because you have some power. You have the power of your 1 vote and it is up to the others how they vote. Do not allow those who want to take the city back to their youth days sway you. It is a lie that Rocky Mount is on a downward spiral and has not been since this council has been in office.

How misleading to make it appear that only Rocky Mount is losing businesses. All towns are losing businesses and some choose to stay and some choose go. The city council has no control over those who choose to stay and/or those who choose to leave.

You say “I’m a very progressive advocate of social change and equality in all areas, but I know a sideshow when I see one.”

I am enjoying the side show because I am here and I know better. You see if I couldn’t see and think for myself, I would take you and the other naysayers that have an issue with the Rocky Mount City Council having a black majority and black city manager serious. But I am an active engaged political activist in Edgecombe County so I know better. I have family and friends who live in Rocky Mount that have given me permission to speak for them. I am a life fully paid member of the Rocky Mount NAACP since the 1993. I am on the executive committee of the Edgecombe County Democratic Party so and I have worked in Rocky Mount for the past 26 years on yesterday January 26, 2014.

Since I know that I know that I know what is real and what is perceived, I  know the code words when some folks attempt to hide behind their racist and safe Negro mentality.

Who’s bickering? It appears to me that the bickering was recently promoted by WHIG-TV first who put up the video trying to discredit Mayor Pro-tem Knight. Then Fighting Crime and Cleaning Up Rocky Mount took it to another level by starting a petition with misleading information as to why Knight should step down or they would seek enough signatures to attempt to remove him. It does not matter how many signatures they receive that is not the procedure nor the process to attempt to remove him. All I ask is that you and these Knight haters to just tell the truth and quick misleading folks. Mayor Pro-tem Knight did not call Lige a racist.

You say work together? Really? If they wanted to work together they would wait until the City Council put it on the agenda after they receive all the information from the black city manager and the staff. Nope that ain’t right. Lige and some others do not want the City Council to even receive the information from the black city manager and the staff. On Lige’s website The Community Council website says, "Wrong time, Wrong Place and Maybe Wrong all the way Around."

I used to attend the Rocky Mount City Council meetings regularly and I remember when, when the city council was a majority white and the black people asked for things and that city council heard us and responded some times during the meeting. But then they voted just like they wanted to. When will ya’ll learn that this city council will listen too, but will vote their convictions every time there is something that needs to be put to a vote.

You say, “When that happens, the economy will grow, our city’s pride will strengthen, and the thousands of young people who don’t return to Rocky Mount after finishing their education might actually have a reason to return to the city they love – including me.”

When the Edgecombe County side of Rocky Mount gets it fair share, then and only then will the pride strengthen and those who left that side will return home. Can’t say they all loved the city however they do call Rocky Mount home even though they get tired of some folks who have  a problem when it comes to bringing growth to the Edgecombe County side of Rocky Mount.

Enjoy your stay in Washington because this city council will continue to do what is best for the whole city of Rocky Mount and not for those who want to go back to their youth days. Damn the mere fact of thinking about those days would be a flashback to going backwards.

I am Curmilus Dancy II an actively engaged political activist that has been given authorization to speak for some family and friends who live in Rocky Mount NC.

See editorial: Put bickering aside and work to rebuild and advance Rocky Mount by Harris Walker

See related:

Ignant Column: Fighting Crime And Cleaning Up Rocky Mount Petition To Remove Rocky Mount Mayor Pro-tem Andre Knight Is Too Ignant!


Rocky Mount NC: In Response to: “Let’s take a long look at civic center proposal before approving it” by Lige Daughtridge

WHIG-TV is at it again pushing their video featuring Lige Daughtridge President The Community Council and Rocky Mount City Councilman Andre Knight of the Rocky Mount City Council meeting on Monday January 14, 2014 7:00 PM whereby Daughtridge was called out by Councilman Knight saying Knight played the RACE CARD after Daughtridge gave his opinion followed by Knight. WHIG-TV has a history of trying to discredit Knight dating back several years. They continue even after Knight won a lawsuit against Edgecombe County when a black man Roosevelt Higgs from Edgecombe County challenged Knight’s residence along with WHIG-TV, Kenneth Pledger and some others in Rocky Mount. Damn when will it end? I know the history of Rocky Mount and Andre Knight and I ain’t afraid to talk about it all including RACE. 

WHIG-TV says they have invited Knight to come on their talk shows but Knight would be just as ignant as they are to go on their show so they can have some leverage to be able to further attempt to discredit him when he leaves the show. Do you think they are going to not continue to talk about him? Hell they do it on a daily basis now and has been doing it for several years.

Who are the council? Funny created to attempt to stop Progress.

I have no problem with the questions but damn to attempt to intimidate and to mislead folks based on not being afraid to speak out publicly just because of WHITE PRIVILEGE do not make it right.

You say, "Most people like the idea of an Event Center BUT is it realistic at this time?" Who are you speaking for? Who determines it is it realistic or not?

Who elected you to speak for them?

You say, "Our group’s quick review of this study evoked many thoughts and concerns that need to be addressed. The proposed location in downtown Rocky Mount on the Edgecombe side, away from I-95, raises many questions." So it could be okay if the Rocky Mount City Council take the downtown on the Edgecombe County side off the table.

So why do you think that you and those you represent get to pick and choose where the elected officials well actually the city manager/staff says it would be good for the city as a whole? Who give you the authority to decide what is good for the city as a whole?

You say, "We all know our town has a very long and deep heritage related to the banking industry. We still have numerous, knowledgeable and experienced bankers in the Rocky Mount area. At the appropriate time, our group would help the city find one of these professionals to review the finance model for the proposed Event Center by doing a Commercial Banking Viability Study at The Community Council’s expense."

What a damn insult to make it appear that the black majority Rocky Mount City Council and the black City Manager are not capable of doing what they need to do on a professional level to go through the procedures. Damn they even have a WHITE City Attorney to help guide them through the legal aspects also. So I wonder how many black bankers would be included in your suggestion?

So who are ya’ll anyway? When I click on the website I don’t see any members names so I would guess it is all white but just my opinion. Call me a RACIST.

What I find very interesting is this is posted on the site, "Wrong Time, Wrong Place, Maybe Wrong all the way Around?"

Wrong time because black majority, wrong place don’t want to see downtown growth and most of all on the Edgecombe County side and just damn wrong all together because as Knight stated a majority black council and a black city manager.

In my opinion the letter is an insult and racist because of the black majority city council and having a black city manager. It appears that Rocky Mount is ate up with WHITE PRIVILEGE because I can’t recall as many white challenges against the previous city council. The Edgecombe County side of Rocky Mount growth was stalled because until this council came on board very little was done on the Edgecombe side and downtown.

I have no problem with the group taking a stand but damn the group has not allowed the city council to go through the motions of presenting their case as they would like to present it but a group has been formed to tell the council how they should move forward. Damn what part of this picture do the group not understand? The city council persons were elected by the people and not by this group so the city council should move forward going through the procedures presenting it to the citizens. The black city manager and his staff are more than competent enough to move forward and doing what they need to do keeping in line with policy and procedures in presenting to the citizens how they want to and when they decide they want to. But to form a group with a name very much close to the Rocky Mount City Council called The Community Council to try to get to the citizens saying,  "Wrong Time, Wrong Place, Maybe Wrong all the way Around?" is just RACIST in my opinion. Now Run and Tell That!

Let’s take a long look at civic center proposal before approving it

The proposed Downtown Event Center should be a concern to every citizen in the City of Rocky Mount, Nash and Edgecombe Counties. Now is the time for each citizen to review the study and the proposal delivered by the AECOM consultants. It appears our Rocky Mount Elected Officials have the project loaded on a train that is ready to leave the station. We simply say, WAIT, Do Not Get in a Hurry and do what is right. Educate the citizens of Rocky Mount and the Twin Counties on the project. Do an extensive public hearing process, and allow the public to be fully engaged. In the end, it must be the citizens of Rocky Mount, based upon the financial model, that make this decision, not the wishes of nine people. We all must remember that managers and elected officials come and they go, but it is the citizens that must bear the joys of their good decisions and the curse of their bad decisions.

Most people like the idea of an Event Center BUT is it realistic at this time?

Our group’s quick review of this study evoked many thoughts and concerns that need to be addressed. The proposed location in downtown Rocky Mount on the Edgecombe side, away from I-95, raises many questions.

The projected annual deficit of $3.3 million dollars should readily open our eyes when added to the other venues already a burden on the city’s budget. Over the last six years, the city has experienced other losses. Examples of these other losses are the Children’s Museum $2.26 million; Imperial Center/Booker T. Theater $8.3 million; Art Center $2.17 million; and the Sports Complex $7.25 million. Based on this trend and the study projections, should this project come to fruition, the city would be responsible for covering $40 million in losses over the next 6 years.

The number of events proposed in the study seems unattainable. The study’s projection of 127 events annually with an average attendance of 2,000 is unrealistic and would far exceed similar centers throughout the country.

The new revenue sources, proposed in the study, that would help alleviate the debt seem to be a stretch at best, and we fear most of them would not be approved.

  • • Revenue from an increase in occupancy tax can only be spent in the county in which it is collected and would need approval from the General Assembly in Raleigh. There are very few hotels currently in Edgecombe County to generate the necessary revenue.
  • • The proposed .25% increase in sales tax, for Edgecombe County, has already been approved and obligated for construction of a building on Edgecombe Community College’s Rocky Mount campus. When Nash County tried to get the voters to approve a .25% increase, currently allowed by our General Assembly, it failed by a very large margin, despite being devoted to school construction and supported by all Nash County Commissioners. Based on this result, we feel there would be no chance for an Event Center to receive this revenue stream even if the commissioners would call for a vote.
  • • The proposed food and beverage tax would need approval from the General Assembly and is rarely supported by the restaurant association and would most likely not be supported by our local restaurant owners or citizens. This one would be a long shot at best.
  • • The proposed change in the way sales tax is distributed would have an adverse effect on 9 out of 10 cities/towns in Nash County and 7 out of 9 cities/towns in Edgecombe County. This would most likely not be approved by either county.
  • • The next revaluation for ad valorem tax (property tax) will begin in three years and based on sales ratios the City of Rocky Mount will most likely see a substantial reduction in its total assessed value leading to a drop in property tax collections. This item should be a real concern for all citizens of Rocky Mount as this and the utility rates are the only sources of revenue controlled locally. Traditionally, government’s first reaction is to raise tax rates when assessed values decline in an effort to collect the same amount of revenue (money). Many homeowners are barely hanging on to their homes and any property tax increase could push them over the edge. We certainly do not need to discuss raising utility rates in our city.

We all know our town has a very long and deep heritage related to the banking industry. We still have numerous, knowledgeable and experienced bankers in the Rocky Mount area. At the appropriate time, our group would help the city find one of these professionals to review the finance model for the proposed Event Center by doing a Commercial Banking Viability Study at The Community Council’s expense.

We support our forward thinking officials and trust this process will be conducted publically with all the facts on the table. Please slow down, make sure the market/feasibility study is realistic and determine how we pay for it with feasible revenue streams to make it sustainable. Then we can all get onboard when the train leaves the station.

Lige Daughtridge


The Community Council 

Source Rocky Mount Telegram 

See related:

Business owner questions council over diversity plan, events center – Rocky Mount Telegram

BREAKING NEWS: Councilman Andre Knight used the "race card" against a Rocky Mount Citizen tonight – officially – during the Council Meeting. – WHIG TV