Council OKs transfer of Confederate monument

The Political Agitator’s response: This is good now this is behind the city. Some folk said the monument was not bothering anybody. Well some folk have been sick of having to look at the monument being on public display featuring half trues. It is past time that the monument is being moved to a location that is not public property inside the city. Now the healing process can begin.

The City Council on Monday evening quickly approved transferring possession of the since-taken-down Confederate monument to the local Sons of Confederate Veterans and the local United Daughters of the Confederacy.

Councilman Andre Knight said “so moved” in making a motion just before Mayor Sandy Roberson completed reading aloud the action recommended by City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney.

Councilman Richard Joyner seconded Knight’s motion and the vote was unanimous.

A memorandum from Small-Toney to Roberson and the council said the Robert Henry Ricks Camp 75 of the state Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Bethel Heroes 636 state division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy asked the city to release the monument to their care and custody so they may preserve the monument at a location in Nash County.

The memorandum said the agreement with the city would call for transferring all rights and the title and interest to the SCV Camp 75 and the UDC Bethel Heroes on the condition they transport the monument to and re-erect the monument at the new site. (Read more)

Council scrutinizes vacancies on police force

The Political Agitator’s response: Sources have shared that there has been many officers in the Rocky Mount Police Department that has not be pleased with the leadership within the police department for several years now and that has caused low morale. What Rocky Mount need is a strong Police Chief to come in and bring some stability and strong leadership/structural. I find it interesting to hear about how some of the officers are not pleased with not being lead to police Rocky Mount. Sources say that there is some type of misinformation and teamwork when it comes to working with the Nash County Sheriff Office Keith Stone and Edgecombe County Sheriff Office Cleveland Clee Atkinson. I posted some concerns earlier before seeing this article. I have come to the conclusion from what I have heard, seen and questioned, is that the Rocky Mount Police, Nash County and Edgecombe County need to meet and see how they can work together because it is past time to see a better working relationship among the 3 LEAs. Some things I can see such as when I see reports in the newspaper, on the Nash County Media and Edgecombe County Media Pages and I can see who are doing things within the city limits that I strongly feel is a Rocky Mount Police issue but it be the Sheriff’s Offices leading the cause.

City Councilman Lige Daughtridge during a council work session asked interim police Chief Charles Williams where the city stands regarding the number of vacancies in the police department.

Williams said there are about 20 right now and what followed his response were more questions and a discussion.

Daughtridge wanted to know whether the number is consistent throughout the year or whether there has been an increase in vacancies.

Williams told Daughtridge he would have to do additional research and would be glad to provide more specific information later, but he said the number is what the police department is seeing in terms of a common trend in law enforcement.

Daughtridge asked the questions after Williams, as part of the council’s work session on Monday, provided the council with a report about crime in December. (Read more)

City Council to discuss transfer of Confederate monument

The agenda for tonight’s regular meeting of the City Council includes a recommendation to transfer possession of the since-taken-down Confederate monument to the local Sons of Confederate Veterans and the local United Daughters of the Confederacy.

The council is set to meet at 7 p.m. today and documents attached as part of the council agenda outline what is proposed.

A memorandum from City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney to Mayor Sandy Roberson and the council said the Robert Henry Ricks Camp 75 of the state Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Bethel Heroes 636 state division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy asked the city to release the monument to their care and custody so they may preserve the monument at a location in Nash County.

And the memorandum said the agreement with the city would call for transferring all rights and the title and the interest to the SVC Camp 75 and the UDC Bethel Heroes on the condition they transport the monument to and re-erect the monument at the new site.

The memorandum also said the SCV Camp 75 and the UDC Bethel Heroes would subsequently maintain, preserve and protect the monument at their own cost.

Small-Toney in the memorandum recommends the council vote for the terms.

The agenda includes a five-page proposed agreement outlining those terms in more detail.

The proposed agreement makes clear no monetary or other consideration is changing hands between the city and the SCV Camp 75 and the UDC Bethel Heroes.

The proposed agreement said both the SCV Camp 75 and the UDC Bethel Heroes may preserve and protect the monument at a location in the county at least 15 miles from the Rocky Mount city limits.

And the proposed agreement makes clear the stored parts of the monument must be removed from city property and delivered to the new site within 120 days of the effective date of the agreement or else the agreement will be voided.

The SCV is based in Columbia, Tenn., and is the oldest hereditary organization for male descendants of Confederate soldiers.

The UDC is based in Richmond, Va., and is a hereditary heritage group of Southern women.

The monument in Rocky Mount was on the south side of the U.S. 64 interchange with Benvenue Road.

The monument wasn installed in 1917 by Confederate veteran Robert Henry Ricks of Nash County in memory of his comrades on land owned by the then-Rocky Mount Mills.

Ricks also was an agribusinessman, a banker, a hotelier, a Nash County commissioner, a state House member, a state senator and a state Board of Education member.

Ricks died in 1920 at age 81.

The Confederate monument came with an inscription saying the monument was committed to the care of the UDC Bethel Heroes.

In 1976, the monument site was annexed by the city.

T.E. Ricks, representing the Robert Henry Ricks estate, asked the city to take over the maintenance of the area around the monument.

The then-council in 1976 agreed to maintain the monument site, which meant the city would mow the surrounding grass and keep the surrounding area clean, subject to the monument site being given to the city.

This was with the understanding the city would not be responsible for any damage to the monument.

The monument became a focus of attention in the aftermath of the May 25 death of African American George Floyd while he was in police custody in Minneapolis.

Floyd’s death prompted riots in cities nationwide and the removal of Confederate monuments in the South by either officials of governments or by protestors.

On May 31, the monument in Rocky Mount was the scene of a peaceful protest to call attention to Floyd’s death.

The council voted 6-1 to move the monument during a council budget work session on June 2.

The council formalized the actions of that June 2 vote with a 6-1 vote at the June 8 council meeting.

Councilman W.B. Bullock cast the lone dissenting votes.

The text supporting the June 8 vote called for putting the monument in a safe place, pending further action by the council.

The council without dissent approved a resolution against racial injustice and declaring Black lives matter.

Not long after the votes on June 8, the public input phase of the council meeting included quite a number of both whites and African Americans expressing their support for the removal of the monument.

However, there were complaints locally via social media after a news release from a city spokesman on June 25 saying the cost to take the monument down would exceed $281,000.

Documents as part of Monday’s council agenda said the monument had been a target of vandalism in the past.

That included the monument’s two rear statues having been pulled from their pedestals and found in pieces on the ground, as well as damage to the head of the front left statue, which had been removed from the monument and never was located.

And the documents as part of Monday’s council agenda referred to a downtown business having been vandalized and to a bomb threat to the state Department of Revenue service center along Country Club Road in the northwestern part of the city.

The documents did not name the business, but the Telegram has quoted police as saying Wholesale Paint Center along North Church Street on June 1 reported having sustained damage to its windows.

The bomb threat to the state service center occurred on June 2.

And the documents noted unnamed members of the council became aware of credible threats to destroy the monument as a response to acts of racial injustice.

The council’s regular meeting on Monday is going to be preceded by a work session at 5 p.m.

See original:

City Council to discuss transfer of Confederate monument

I Agree The Time To Unite Is Now

So why is it you want the Rocky Mount Telegram to redact names in editorials when you host a spot on WHIG-TV where you and some of your guests have called names of Black Leadership whom you and they have been trying to discredit for years? Oh we are talking about accountability right? Talking about slanderous and dangerous, y’all have been trying to discredit them while continuously trying to play upon the community intelligence with information that be half-trues. You have had some of the same Black Leadership on your show but still allows the antagonizing to go on when they have presented their feedback to the questioning of their integrity.

So why is it that when the Caucasians can go to the Rocky Mount City Council meetings, write letters to the editor calling Black Elected Officials and other Black Community Leaders names but you have said nothing?

I agree that duly elected political office holders, candidates and high public government officials should be held accountable for their actions however why do you feel that community activists and/or individuals who continuously target those named should not be held accountable for their actions? So you feel they can attempt to paint a picture of these these folk telling half-trues and many times just flat out lying and they should not be held accountable publicly when they do their mess publicly?

I totally agree there is a need for the development of a kinder and gentler community.

Yes it has been too easy for White Supremacy to “take a shot” at Black Leadership in the public venues Rocky Mount Telegram, Rocky Mount City Council meetings (Mayor allows attacks), WHIG-TV, Rocky Mount Concerned Citizens, 252 Hoodnewzz, and some others Social Media pages. It is past time these folk do like Fighting Crime did and that is to apologize for their actions.

Sir, I believe it need to start by the White Supremacy in Rocky Mount respecting Black Leadership. Yes they can hold them accountable for their actions but I be damn if they should get a free ride to disrespect Black Elected Officials and their families, Black Community Leaders and those who support them of another race.

Curmilus Dancy II
1st Vice President Rocky Mount NAACP

In response:

No reason for personal attacks on editorial pages

After a lot of contemplation, I would like to ask the Telegram to redact names in editorials.

I am not saying that editorials should ever be published anonymously. I am saying it is really in poor taste to have someone trashed in an editorial and their name published. I think it borders on being slanderous and dangerous. In this day of gaslighting and cancel culture, the Telegram needs to be more responsible.

In a recent letter, a well-known antagonist called out a citizen by his name. The Telegram does not need to be a party to this kind of passive-aggressive behavior.

The only exception to this would be, in my opinion, duly elected political office holders, candidates and high public government officials. After all, that comes with the territory.

We need to develop a kinder and gentler community and this might well be a start. It is just too dang easy to “take a shot” at someone in this public venue.

Just food for thought as we enter a New Year.

John M. Check

Rocky Mount

Letter to editor Rocky Mount Telegram

Former top cop to return as interim chief

The Political Agitator’s response: I hope a new good chief is found soon because I continue to hear there are many unhappy officers. Having unhappy officers due to the reasons why I have been hearing is not good. There need to be a chief to come in and unite the officers and to bring some stability between the police department and the community.

The City of Rocky Mount announced Wednesday that former Police Chief George Robinson will replace Charles Williams as the interim police chief effective Jan. 18.

A city spokesman said in a written statement that the search for a permanent police chief is taking longer than anticipated.

“The city of Rocky Mount’s most recent search for a police chief did not produce a candidate that meets the needs of the department, city or its community,” the statement said. “In January, the city will repost the position to yield a suitable candidate.”

Robinson will assume the post of interim chief until the position is filled, the statement said.

Robinson is no stranger to the interim role. He was named interim chief by City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney in January 2019. He was named the city’s top cop in March of that year.

Robinson announced in October his intention to retire in December after roughly 30 years as a member of the Rocky Mount Police Department. Small-Toney announced in November that she had selected Williams, a captain in the department, to serve as interim chief until a permanent chief could be found. (Read more)

Clark Covolo Promised Me He Will Take Me To Court For Harassment Because I Said I Know Professors At NCCU

Covolo my ignant a…. would think that you are harassing Rocky Mount City Councilman Andre Knight. You continue to try to discredit the man long after Beth Woods NC State Auditor has presented her findings for an audit that was specifically done on Rocky Mount City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney, Councilmen Reuben Blackwell and Knight. Woods presented her findings months ago and the city responded. In my opinion the audit is over and it is time for the Rocky Mount Racist to move on. What is so funny is the Racist White Republicas tell Covolo that they are with him on this but they are on the other side politically because Covolo is a Democrat.

It tickles the hell out of me how the racists try to discredit Black Leadership and then when they are challenged they play VICTIM.

See conversation between Covolo and I and see how the racists will not say that Knight’s name was mentioned in the audit on top of Woods didn’t say his name.

You sent Today at 4:08 PM

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1:32 PM

You sent Today at 1:32 PM

I accepted your Friend Request I sure hope you post whole trues and not the half trues mess I have just scanned your page and ran.

3:14 PM

Clark sent Today at 3:14 PM

Would you like to explain to me whatever other half of the truth you’re referring to?

You sent Today at 3:30 PM

You know and Bronson also responded to your half trues when you called the show. I am done.

You sent Today at 3:31 PM

Why you send me a Friend Request?

Clark sent Today at 3:35 PM

Bronson didn’t exactly address my concerns. He kept deflecting and when that didn’t work he red-herringed talking about Princeville, and when that didn’t work he took an ad hominem route. It seemed like he didn’t even read the report. I added you because I figured maybe you knew something that other people don’t .

You sent Today at 3:47 PM

I am only interested in what you said as it relates to the audit. It appears you didn’t read the report. I know he has read the report because he has talked about it many of times. I read the report as well. Okay like I have told others and Andre, I am not going to entertain mess about the audit. I read it Beth presented her findings, city responded. It has been several damn months now and the only thing going on is ignant ass conversations. I respond to things that come across my timeline, in the media and sometimes what folk send me like from the pages that have me Blocked Fighting Crime, Rocky Mount Concerned Citizens and others.

Clark sent Today at 3:58 PM

Ok, I really wanna believe you, but when Bronson asks questions like “how do you know the report was referring to Andre?” it tells me that he didn’t read the whole report or the supporting supplements

You sent Today at 4:00 PM

Was his name mentioned in report? Dude answer that and let that be the end for you and me about this. I repeat I am respond to what you said not what Bronson said.

Clark sent Today at 4:01 PM

No, but it was explicitly in the emails made public between Penny and Amy Staton

You sent Today at 4:01 PM

Was it mentioned in the audit report?

Clark sent Today at 4:02 PM

The email which explicitly stated that it was Andre’s account was.

You sent Today at 4:03 PM

See you are not answering my question.

Clark sent Today at 4:03 PM

I literally just did

You sent Today at 4:03 PM

Ye or No?

You sent Today at 4:04 PM

Yes or No?

You sent Today at 4:05 PM

Clark sent Today at 4:05 PM

It said “a council member” and the public email I just mentioned confirms that council member was Andre. This is getting really silly.

You sent Today at 4:06 PM

You are silly! Yes or No!

Clark sent Today at 4:08 PM

Ok, well if you ever wanna have an adult conversation about this let me know. And if I find out you’re trying to drag my name through the mud with professors at my school, I’m taking you to court for harassment . That’s not a threat, that’s a promise.

You sent Today at 4:08 PM

F You!

You sent Today at 4:12 PM

Ignant Ass you sent me a Friend Request. So you did that so you can follow me. Ignant my page is Public. You will not say Yes because you will be held liable. Beth Woods never mentioned his name only you Racist Ass White Folk in your circle. Now Run Run And Tell That!

Clark sent Today at 4:17 PM

Do I need to send you that email? Do you know which email I’m referring to?

You sent Today at 4:19 PM

What damn part you don’t understand? Do Not! I Repeat Do Not! Send Send Me Another Damn Word About Andre Knight!

Clark sent Today at 4:19 PM

Okie doke

This is why he said he will take me to court.

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‘It is filling up:’ Nearly 1 in 5 NC hospitals at least 90 percent full, federal data show

The Political Agitator’s response: This is why the Governor need to shut us down. Rocky Mount, Tarboro and Wilson are on the list. Folk just ain’t gonna do right. Coming off Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Celebration, January 2 the Governor need to do an EMERGENCY SHUTDOWN.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Nearly 1 in 5 hospitals across North Carolina responding to a weekly federal survey said they were at least 90 percent full during the most recent reporting period.

The data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which covers the seven-day period that ended Dec. 24, paints a sobering picture of the state’s hospital situation at this advanced stage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

CBS 17 News analyzed the data Tuesday, a day after two hospitals in Johnston County said they were at capacity in large part because of the growing number of COVID-19 patients.

The state Department of Health and Human Services reported a record number of COVID-19 hospitalizations for the third straight day, with 3,377 patients in hospitals across the state.

Of the 106 hospitals that responded to the federal survey, 20 reported that at least 90 percent of their average daily adult inpatient beds were occupied from Dec. 18-24.

That number was just 14 during the first week of the month, but has been at either 19 or 20 for the past three weeks. (Read more)

Rocky Mount NC – City budget report offers upbeat news

The Political Agitator’s response: The haters continue to try to discredit the council but they continue to do some good things.

The City Council and the online viewing audience recently received an update about the municipality’s financial performance from City Budget and Evaluation Manager Kenneth Hunter containing much good news.

Appearing before a council work session on Dec. 14, Hunter presented information about the final quarter of what had been the fiscal year 2019-20 and about the first quarter of the current fiscal year 2020-21.

Hunter said due to the effect of the coronavirus pandemic, he and his team wanted to provide further details about what the city has experienced through a six-month period.

Hunter said the city staff has done an excellent job of limiting their expenses, both in the final quarter of fiscal 2019-20 and so far in fiscal 2020-21.

Hunter said the city is in a better position right now than . . . (Read more)

OIC Leader Updates Mammogram Status

The Political Agitator’s response: The problem with this man Samuel Battle coming to the city council meetings is that he comes with half trues instead of doing his homework. Reuben Blackwell checked Battle and Battle said okay you explained that well. It makes no sense that the city council Black Leadership has to deal with some disgruntled angry White Folk but to have to deal with a Black Man who has teamed up with these White Folk is just a damn shame.

A man who frequently speaks at City Council regular meetings recently renewed his previous questioning about the status of mammogram equipment at the Opportunities Industrialization Center’s specialty care center at the Rocky Mount Event Center.

And this time, the speaker, Samuel Battle, received a more detailed update from Councilman Reuben Blackwell, who also is president and CEO of the OIC.

The OIC seeks to help provide residents with employment training and health care.

During the public input phase of the Dec. 14 council regular meeting, Battle approached the speaker’s podium to comment about a variety of topics.

While at the podium, Battle said, “I’m still worried about that machine that OIC got that ain’t up and running — and we’ve been talking about this for the last two years.”

Battle told Blackwell, “I don’t know what’s going on with that. We’ve still got people dying of COVID, cancer all over — but brother, it’s two years now. What’s going on?”

Blackwell told Battle the OIC has to work with nuclear physicists and has a partnership with Nash UNC Health Care and the hospital’s imaging and radiology unit. (Read more)

Note: Watch Video

Councilman, mayor revisit panel appointment

The Political Agitator’s response: It is a damn shame that White Supremacy is alive and well in Rocky Mount. It ain’t no way White Folk would allow a Black Man to do what Steve Cederberg is doing. Cederberg continue to try to discredit Black leadership using mess that has been dealt with. I have come to the conclusion that Mayor Santa Claus Roberson is supporting the actions of Cederberg and some others who continue to try to discredit Black Leadership. It is sad that the Black Community is silent and sitting back allowing Black Leadership to be attacked.

City Councilman Andre Knight recently tried to get Mayor Sandy Roberson to address the status of an appointee to a local panel and Roberson, in response, told Knight the council members can act if they want him off that panel.

A bit of back-and-forth came up near the end of the Dec. 14 council regular meeting, with the subject being Steve Cederberg, who serves on the Business Development Authority.

Cederberg has been vocal in his opinions via social media, including about Knight, Councilman Reuben Blackwell and City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney.

During the council meeting, Roberson asked whether council members had any appointments they wanted to make to the local boards, commissions and committees.

Knight referred to a comment by broadcast journalist Bronson Williams earlier during the public input phase of the council regular meeting about Cederberg being on the Business Development Authority.

“And I believe that was your appointment?” Knight asked Roberson.

“It was my nomination,” Roberson said.

“And that person has put out some very horrific things about this city, the leadership, constantly every day,” Knight said. “And you asked me to give you time, which I have. I’ve been patient to let you deal with this.”

Knight told Roberson he is asking in public: “Are you ready to deal with it or do you need more time?” (Read more)

Steve Cederberg Can’t Handle Them Trues

imageI know damn well Steve Cederberg ain’t talking about slander. Hell he and them Special Cs have been slandering Councilman Andre Knight, Reuben Blackwell and some others for years. They continue to do it daily but then want to play damn victim.

Steve so the State Auditor did her report months ago and I have not seen anyone gone to jail or reprimanded. So why you don’t get over it?

I have not seen the State Treasurer’s report because I didn’t know they were involved so can you share that?

Businesses are coming to Rocky Mount all the time so what are you talking about when you say businesses are not coming because of Knight and Blackwell. Just lie, lie, lie!

MWBE program to hold virtual workshop

Rocky Mount, N.C. — The city of Rocky Mount Minority Women Business Enterprise program will hold a virtual workshop entitled, “The Numbers of Doing Business,” from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. The city of Rocky Mount MWBE Program is dedicated in providing outreach to the minorityand women-owned business community.

A common challenge faced by MWBEs is access to capital. The Numbers of Doing Business workshop attendees will learn how to expand their financial resources.

Sessions will include “Basic Business Financials” (LaTasha Best-Gaddy, Women’s Business Center of North Carolina), “Resources for Resilient MWBEs” (Dr. Michael Stubblefield and Ada Womack), “Marketing on a Budget” (Tierra Norwood, Small Business Center), and “Loan Applications Made Easy” (Jessie Maxwell).

For more information, visit rockymountnc.gov/mwbe. To register for the virtual session, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-numbers-of-doing-business-tickets-131220980485.

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

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

The Celebration Is Coming

So what role does Steve Cederberg play with the Jay Group?

It appears that the Jay Group has a good working relationship with the City of Rocky Mount NC. They recently received funding from the city to expand their business. Ain’t that good news?

Someone is always sending me screenshots of what Steve is saying about the City of Rocky Mount trying to discredit them and recently questioning grant monies that Troy Davis a local developer has received. Ain’t that good news?

Just think if the Cederbergs of Rocky Mount along with his good friend Samuel Battle would focus on trying to partner with the city rather than tearing them down, they may could benefit more.

Rocky Mount has some great things going on in spite of having to fight some folk who have an issue with the council being a majority black. But if folk would tune out the naysayers and the distractions coming from folk who have not produced any facts to support their negativity, the city would be better off. Now don’t get it twisted it is always okay to hold the city and others accountable but the foolishness need to quit.

Now is the time for folk who have seen all the negativity that has not been fact driven over the past 20 years would tell the naysayers to just quit it. All folk who are concerned about Rocky Mount growing and continuously being recognized would say enough is enough and tell the naysayers to go somewhere and sit down and shut up.

While the Pandemic is going on folk need to be working together so that when things begin to shift to pre-covid-19 everyone can appreciate the progress that has been made and the celebration can take place.

The celebration is coming.

Rocky Mount NC – Steve Cederberg Mad About Grant Money Because He Sees Black Folk Applying & Qualifying

Sad dude mad because Troy Davis a local developer is doing some great things in Rocky Mount applying and qualifying for grant money that is helping to restore downtown Rocky Mount. Steve and some others are mad as hell because Black folk are doing some positive things. Steve Cederberg has teamed up with Samuel Battle and Tarrick Pittman using the Unity Cemetery talking about getting some grant money to clean it up. Steve apply and qualify. But when you learn how to work with the city instead of against it you may get somewhere.

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Rocky Mount NC – Mad Because The City Council Is A Black Majority & The City Manager Is Black

I find this post comments to be quite interesting. It is sad that some folk have a problem with Black Folk in leadership roles and having power. Why don’t they move since they have an issue with city government?

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