At the meeting last night, decisions made by the board included:
- no tax increase in the budget proposal, but some monthly town fees increase
- Biscuitville (corner Hope Mills Rd and George Owen) and Chick-fil-A (Main St across from Lowe’s) site plan approvals
- approved contract with UNCP professor to replace art and statues around town
- approved contract for parish house engineering study.
The meeting also included some discussion of recent letters to the editor in a particular paper (starts about 53:50). Most of that discussion is by Commissioner Bellflowers, because in the paper’s recent letter to the editor, the mayor’s husband (former State Representative Alex Warner) made fictionalized speculative rebuke out of an article Bellflowers had written. Mayor Warner defended the paper, as usual, and pointed out some of the “positive” stories that particular paper has published recently. She also tried to point out the difference between editorials and articles, which wasn’t pertinent and obviously didn’t mean a lot when the previous board approved spending $28K on promoting the town through that particular paper. Then Commissioner Larson spoke up, and by 1:06:14, the mayor dropped the gavel on the discussion, and declared it over.
What is “can’t miss” about that? The mayor’s husband mentioned her in the letter to the editor, but when the board mentions her in the context of that article, she declares it an ‘attack’ and the discussion has to stop. Once again, she bails when things get too tough and she no longer wants to discuss them because she cannot bend them to fit a false front. She has done the same thing in meetings, public and closed, and on social media before, multiple times, while at the same time denying she ever needs to bail.
We get that people want to defend their family, but this discussion is like most others: it never reached a stage that warranted much defense….before the gavel came down and the discussion was declared over. The flounce was on early.
You can never expect growth from people who only want to put on the good front and can’t acknowledge or consider their and others’ missteps, and will not let others do it either. You can never expect positive change from people who only want to control you by controlling how they engage with you to find common ground. You can expect change from people like that, but it is almost always just simple regression. They will hide behind their past contributions, they will hide behind a facade of “Team” [which you are not a part of because it is already theirs], or they will hide behind the delete key [which is generally illegal for civic leaders to do] when things get too challenging, or a gavel if they have it. Then they’ll double down on the scorn and then they’ll blame you for noticing a persistent pattern in their actions and trying to deal with it, as she has done to the rest of the board [with the obvious help from a particular paper] for a while now, as recently as last night. Future candidates will tell you everything you need to know when you vote: sometimes with their mouth, but it’s even more informational to see and remember patterns in their actions.
If you’re keeping score at home for a scold on “what editorials and articles are” later, this post started out more like a bullet point list, then it went into an objective article, then we threw some editorial into it for people to consider how the facts should fit together in their decision-making.