Editor’s Note: The following editorial is from our friends across the border to the South who are keeping up with stupidity in government. Cleveland Community College and their gridlocked Board of Trustees has risen to the top of the stupidity list for a large part of the English speaking world.
One clarification: We cannot confirm yet that the CCC Board of Trustees did in fact come back into open session to vote to give away $200,000 to disgraced CCC outgoing President Dr. Steve Thornburg, who many say should have been simply fired on the spot. What seems to be a fact is that no member of the public witnessed what happened around 9:00 PM July 11, 2017 when the CCC Board came out of what was probably an illegal closed session. This is a total fact: the CCC Board saw fit to send a conflicting news release to the Shelby Star (who was not in attendance earlier in the meeting) but the CCC Board did not see fit to send me such a press release and I was present for four hours of the nine hour total meeting.
Shelby, NC — Cleveland Community College has a new board of trustees chairman. The new chairman went directly into closed session and began making plans to give money away that belongs to the taxpayers. But he would not vote on it in the open session. Why is that, Mr. Chairman? I heard this morning that Dr. Thornburg has not paid his fine as of yet. So, maybe when the board goes back into closed session when they meet on the 17th of July, they can lay out another fine of $5,000 per day, until the fine is paid.
Dr. Williamson addressed the previously mentioned subject of Dr. Thornburg’s pay. He said, “State funds cannot be used to pay an individual who is not working.”
So, exactly, Mr. Chairman, where will you get this $150K plus another $50K to give Dr. Thornburg these parting gifts? I have an idea, Mr. Chairman. As the new chairman, you spoke about how the trustees should support the college financially and all that, remember? Put your money where your mouth is, along with the 7 board members who were not opposed to this large sum of money, and contribute $25K each to Dr, Thornburg, since it was your idea!
Again, who will be responsible for Dr. Thornburg’s compensation? What entity will be left holding the proverbial bag? The taxpayers of Cleveland County will foot this bill. If you will look at the statutes below, you will actually see that the trustees who arranged this severance package, are actually on shaky ground. If it goes to the county commissioners to bring it to a vote to pay Dr. Thornburg, it would be a good time to bring it to a halt, and tell Thornburg to go ahead and sue the taxpayers, as they would be delighted in going through discovery with him, along with several other employees, if they so desire.
It’s way past time for the leaders of Cleveland County, along with the Cleveland Community College Board of Trustees, to stop this practice of patronizing such acts in order to save face. There is no face to save. The people know that these leaders have been weak and are weak, in looking after the needs of the people. The results of the vote from the trustees regarding compensation prove that. Look at who appointed these people to the board. Sure, the governor supposedly did some appointing, but do you think the governor has a clue as to who these folks actually are? Hardly. Someone within the powers that be that choose, had the governor’s ear, and made a suggestion and the governor made the choice. So it all points back home.
Now, speaking of choices. Maybe this method in which the commissioners and others choose who will serve as a trustee, should be a little more thought out and much more research required. It appears that as someone is appointed, they are indebted to their appointer. When a new appointee doesn’t know that he or she has been selected to be a trustee, until the night before a meeting is taking place, well, that’s not a good sign. That is a result of incompetence, and the incompetence comes from above those who were appointed. Just as a reminder, the word Trustee does not mean one who bears gifts.
There are many disgruntled tax payers in Cleveland County today, due to this mess that was made with this pay out. How in the world could these 8 people be so patently blind, as to what they were doing, and the consequences that would occur? How about the other mess that awaits the attention of the trustees? Will they even address this?
It’s a bad sign to see that citizens and employees are more informed of what’s going on than some of the trustees!