September 4th Larson requested her public record request be added to the agenda for the September 9 meeting. Anyone want to hazard a guess as to why?
My theory is she’s already written a censure of Mayor Warner. She won’t present it herself. She’s a coward. She’ll hand it off to one of her flunky’s who aren’t smart enough to see they’re being manipulated by her.
Pat Edwards will object and point out how ridiculous it is to censure the Mayor for simply receiving an email. She didn’t write the articles, she didn’t ask for them to be written and she didn’t interview with the writers. Larson will interrupt her…she has a tendency to do that when people are making valid points…and bully the board into a quick vote.
Mitchell will obviously vote for the censure because he has his eyes on the prize…that coveted Mayor’s seat. Legge will vote for it because Larson told him to. And Bellflowers will vote for it….then later claim he was given bad information and regrets it.
These are screen shots from the Chatter from September 3rd.
Lisa Waring opens the door by comparing Mitchell’s actions and those of Mayor Warner to apples and oranges. Larson picks up the ball and runs with it…”I think it’s important for everyone to understand Mayor Pro Tem was censured and dropped all debate and/or discussion pertaining to the chatter once he was informed by Frayda Bluestein from NC School of Government that 3 or more elected officials being in a closed FB forum did not make a quorum.”
But is that true?
‘Whereas the Hope Mills town council prides itself as working together as a governing body to make decisions in the best interest of the community.
Whereas it is important that members of the town council operate as a unit and through their words and actions show respect for citizens and fellow board members.
Whereas Mayor Pro Tem Mike D. Mitchell earlier questioned whether a quorum of elected officials that participate in a closed Facebook group was a violation of the NC Open Meeting Law.
Whereas Mayor Pro tem Mitchell contacted the UNC School of Government for an official opinion on whether a quorum of elected officials in a closed Facebook group constitutes a violation of the NC Open Meeting Law.
Whereas Mayor Pro tem Mitchell received written notice from Frayda Bluestein of the UNC School of Government, who serves as an expert in Social Media Law, on February 27, 2018 and our town attorney that a quorum of elected officials participating in a closed Facebook group was not a violation of the NC Open Meetings Law unless they are simultaneously deliberating together on a pending issue or rendering a decision.
Whereas on March 9, 2018 Mayor Pro tem Mitchell placed a non-scientific Facebook poll on his Mayor Pro tem campaign Facebook page asking citizens if they thought a quorum of elected officials on a closed Facebook group was a violation of the NC Open Meeting Law even though he was already informed by Frayda Bluestein of the UNC School of Government and our town attorney that it was not.
Whereas Mayor Pro tem Mitchell then knowingly shared information gathered through his non-scientific poll to a media news source without bringing the matter before the board for discussion.
Whereas the information shared by Mayor Pro tem Mitchell with the media news source resulted in an editorial questioning whether four of his fellow elected were in violation of the NC Open Meeting Law.
Be it resolved:
Be it resolved that the Hope Mills town board votes to Censure Mayor Pro tem Mike D. Mitchell for his actions that resulted in public questioning through a media news source and through social media sources the integrity of four of his fellow elected officials in following the NC Open Meeting Law.
Be it resolved that Mayor Pro tem Mitchell took his actions after being informed in writing by Fradya Bluestein on February 27, 2018 and the town attorney that there was no violation of the NC Open Meeting Law.
Furthermore, in the future Mayor Pro tem Mitchell should bring any issue that impacts the town board and his fellow elected to the board for open discussion and work in harmony with his fellow board members as the council conducts the business of the town.’
Notice the resolution specifically states Frayda Bluestein responded to Mitchell on February 27th, 2018. Which means when he contacted Bowman in May, he hadn’t really ‘dropped all debate and/or discussion’ after speaking to Frayda.
Larson was aware of all of this. She voted to censure him May 21. Why would she tell members of the Chatter…three days ago…that Mitchell dropped the issue when he clearly did not? I understand why she lied to the general public…but this was posted IN the Chatter…to her own people.
And so we’re clear, Mitchell didn’t drop the issue after being censured either.
Mitchell went on to post at least ELEVEN times about his battle with the Chatter…AFTER communicating with Frayda Bluestein and after being censured. And it was discussed again on June 4th following the closed session. At that point Dan Hartzog rendered his decision and concluded the board members could be part of the Chatter. And it’s a good thing he did…because Mitchell is now a member of the very group he lobbied against.
It’s important to note, Mitchell was NOT censured for receiving an advance copy of Bowman’s article about the Chatter. And to be clear, Mitchell reached out to Earl Vaughan with this story and participated fully in the article by providing them with information and quotes.
On May 14th he received an advance copy of the article from Bill Bowman…this was a full week before the censure was written and imposed. But it wasn’t included in the censure.
If the consequence for receiving an embargoed article is a censure, then hold on to your seats…I will mail advance copies of every article I write to both Larson and Mitchell for the next three months…starting with this article. I mailed advance copies of this to them both and asked them to embargo til 5pm.
Mitchell left a copy of this email as a comment on my last article. It’s dated May 15…three months after he was supposed to have let the issue drop. It’s an email to the board warning them about the article UCW was about to publish. The very article he initiated when he made contact with Earl Vaughan a week prior. Ironically, Mitchell claims his concern was ‘public appearance’.
And while Larson claims he’d let the matter drop months earlier, in his email he lets the board know he’s requested the topic be placed on he agenda for the next meeting.