Today I yield my blog to Sue Moody. Sue has been a resident of Hope Mills for more than 30 years and is a retired educator. This is the statement Sue read to the Board of Commissioners during the October 7th meeting.
483 years ago today, William Tyndale was strangled with an iron chain and then his body was burned at the stake. His crime? – translating the Bible into English to provide transparency and equity to the masses.
I found this analogy especially appropriate as Hope Mills seems to be experiencing the same dilemma today! The members of secret Facebook groups espouse destroying our town. Members of our Board aren’t simply a part of this group, but are the ringleaders spewing negativity.
- We have elected officials who pass laws “For thee but not for me.” When an elected receives an ordinance violation, brags about it on the campaign website and then refuses to comply because there is no monetary fine, in essence saying “I will pass an ordinance for you all to follow but don’t ask me to.” We have a problem.
- We have elected officials who have publicly denigrated, without facts, other board members, not just in public but from the dais during open meetings. And when the rant had nothing to do with an actionable agenda item but rather just an open mic, the rant was protected because the board over ruled a “Point of order” by a majority vote to let it continue, we have a problem.
- We have elected who rushed to open the golf course “running” track for political traction rather than the safety of ALL the citizens, most importantly the handicapped. When the response is “As long as we don’t change anything at the track, we don’t have to be concerned about the handicapped in our community.” We have a problem.
- We have elected who are now bullying the electorate … If you write me in as a commissioner (write me in because I didn’t always get my way so I decided not to run by filing like everyone else) AND if you elect who I want for mayor, I will take the position again. BUT if I don’t get who I want as mayor, I will take my toys and go home. We have a problem.
- We have elected who, when an issue of racism is raised about comments from a citizen who is appointed to sit on and even chair a town committee AND who represents the town on a county committee, they do NOTHING! Two commissioners say they aren’t voting for or against the motion to remove the citizen from these committees but won’t do anything until they hear from the citizen … but NO ACTION is taken to hear from the citizen, that is a white wash of the situation. We have a problem.
- We have a town committee who posts pictures of a wonderful community event this past Saturday but it is turned into an arm of a specific campaign with candidate t-shirts prominent in many pictures. That candidate said in a previous meeting, “We will see who has power come November.” I find it unfortunate these wonderful, living historians of our community are USED to promote gaining that power. If this is our future, we have a problem.
I propose the Hope Mills Board of Commissioners develop, with public input, and then publish a new Code of Ethics for elected officials. This Code must have tangible consequences for violating the code, up to and including removal from office by a vote of the citizens. Without legitimate consequences the board will simply ignore the code.
I’m confident THIS board won’t even consider a code or consequences. It’s become evident that most of the elected officials on this board are only about seeking power and pushing private agendas.
There is no hope for consensus.
There is no hope for unity in our community.
There is no hope moving forward.
While the puppet master pulls the strings, our community continues to suffer.
Will we truly become Hopeless Mills?
Finally, I want to send a reminder, to the elected and the people of Hope Mills. The citizens have the power. Not the elected. You have the power create real change and elect innovative leaders with a proven record of community service.