In addition to running this site, I’m the Executive Director and a founding member of the Hope Mills Creative Art Council. Jackie Warner and Pat Edwards are members of the Board of Trustees.
That is the extent of any political affiliation. We do not discuss politics, we do not discuss people. When we’re working, meeting or at events, we’re there as the art council. We’ve worked extremely hard these last few months to maintain a careful distance from the political world. We’ve also worked extremely hard to create relationships within the Cumberland County community. Our goals are lofty…we don’t simply promote art. We’re promoting local businesses and promoting art as a part of economic development for the entire Hope Mills community. And we’ve been very successful so far.
Today we hosted our fifth official event. It was well attended and everyone had a great time. In fact, they all took pictures and shared them on social media talking about the great time they had. And one person…took a photo of her family with the Mayor and said she’d become an honorary member of their family, then tagged Jackie Warner’s personal FaceBook account.
Which is where Pat hall saw it and left the comment you see above…”With her black heart hard as a rock she fits right in”
Jackie Warner has a lot of friends who saw the comment and were devastated that a member of our community would post something so racists and insulting. And let’s be clear, this comment IS racist. Even Pat Hall realized her comment was in bad taste…and removed it.
This isn’t the first time Pat Hall has attacked an elected official. July 11 she commented on an article by Earl Vaughan about Heritage Park. Commissioner Edwards was interviewed about the park and the plans the town has to move forward.
Pat Hall is the Chairman of the Historic Preservation Committee…appointed by the Board of Commissioners. She’s been a member of the committee for years.
During the February 4th Board of Commissioners meeting, Commissioners Mitchell and Legge, who are both members of the Town’s Nominating Committee for citizen boards, discussed my application for the Veteran Affairs Committee. Mitchell made a motion to disallow married couples from serving on boards together. Ten days prior to the motion Ron and Donna Mowry were both on the board, they were the FIFTH couple to serve on that particular board. Jim and I were a dual military couple. Like thousands of other couples around the world, we both served our country at the same time. This is common practice in the United States military and it was common practice in the town of Hope Mills. Until they needed an excuse to deny me a position on a board. (Read article here)
But their objection to my service wasn’t really about my husband being a member of the board.
Commissioner Legge said, “What we need to do is concentrate on people that work in harmony with the board – uh and that might be a motion forthcoming, to have somebody not be named to a committee because they don’t work in harmony with this board…I see where Mayor Pro Tem is coming from.”
Because I write this blog…because I hold the elected officials accountable…I was refused a position on the Veteran Affairs Committee. I am not ‘in harmony’ with the Board of Commissioners.
Let me clarify…I discuss the actions of the elected. I provide the public with an accurate account of what happens during the meetings, and I provide evidence to support every word I say. Pat Hall has simply resorted to cheap insults and name calling. She is NOT in harmony with the Board of Commissioners…she’s publicly insulted two elected officials within the last two months!
This Board has a history of creating rules and then systematically choosing who has to follow them and who gets a free pass. But Hall’s action crossed far too many lines for this situation to be ignored. She’s insulted the Mayor, the Art Council, a member of our community and her family, and the entire black population. While most of us are actively working to improve the community, Hall joined the ranks of so many of Larson and Mitchell’s supporters, refusing to celebrate any successes while taking any opportunity to perpetuate hate…and now bigotry.
Commissioner Mitchell is a liaison to the Historic Preservation Committee that Hall serves on, and his wife serves beside her on the newly formed Historic Preservation Society.
I’ve submitted a formal complaint to the town manager, asking the Board to remove Hall from the committee. She’s violated their tenant in that she’s not in harmony with the Board of Commissioners. And as an appointed representative of the town…her actions reflect on the entire town.
How are we supposed to prosper as a community, if people are afraid to attend events here? Non-political events! We can’t, in good faith, invite our citizens…or citizens from neighboring communities, to come here knowing they’ll be attacked for simply attending an event the Mayor attends.
If Mitchell refuses to remove Hall, if he condones her actions and her words, he’s as guilty as she is of perpetuating hate and bigotry. And we’re 45 days away from an election.