The Cleveland county Commissioners, at their March 16, 2021 Meeting are about to flim-flam County Taxpayers out of Millions of dollars. And more!!!
First, there was the sale of the Cleveland County Healthcare system for pennies on the dollar of its true value so Eddie Holbrook’s American Legion World Series, Baseball, Inc. could “partner” with CCS to connive over $5 Million from Cleveland County Taxpayers. This included a $1,000,000 Check from Cleveland County directly from Carolina’s Medical. An obvious bribe. Holbrook’s ALWS, Baseball, Inc, through County Manager Brian Epley and the new Commissioners still play the vampire on county tax dollars. Even during the pandemic when there are no baseball games.
Then, along the way, the Kings Mountain Casino comes along and Eddie Holbrook, still in office as a Commissioner, and his investment buddies buy land options near the proposed Casino site in the hopes of private gain. Maybe I should say big=time private GAIN!!!
Then, the Commissioners and the City of Kings Mountain, who, by Federal Law, cannot levy a Property Tax on Indian lands, sign up with the Catawba Indian Tribe so the Tribe will pay the County and Kings Mountain amounts of money that would be the equivalent to a property tax and for other City and County fees. KM to provide utilities to the Casino and such.
Now, the Catawba Tribe is breaking ground for the Casino. Eddie Holbrook and his investment partners have bought up the land (cheap) and are building big housing developments near the Casino for big profits.
Now, the City of Kings Mountain Recreation Department wants to buy up 4.3 acres of land owned by Cleveland County Schools at Kings Mountain Intermediate School, actually owned by the taxpayers of ALL of Cleveland County, supposedly to build an electrical substation to serve the new Casino and Eddie Holbrook’s new housing developments.
All well and good, except for several reasons.
1. The City of Kings Mountain doesn’t want to pay cash for the school property. If cash was paid for that property, all the cash would go to Cleveland County Schools “general fund” where it would belong to all 29 schools. Not just for Kings Mountain Intermediate School.
2. The City of Kings Mountain would pay for the KMIS property by “partnering” with the School Board, at KIMIS only, by installing $100,000 worth of lights around the KMIS ball fields, soccer fields and other sports related areas, and pay the light bill in exchange for the Community Use of the KMIS sports facilities for community use. Well and good too, except who is the so-called “community?” The Casino and Eddie Holbrook’s housing development which is just down the road a bit.
So, for $100,000 worth of lights, the Kings Mountain Recreation Department has leveraged a Multi-Million Dollar Park out of Kings Mountain Intermediate School Property for the use of Casino patrons and the kids living in Eddie Holbrook’s new housing developments. And, in the process, cheated the other 28 school belonging to CCS out of their fair share of the Casino revenue.
All this flim-flam is set to pass almost immediately. The silly school board under Chairman Robert “Luke” Queen has already voted 9-0 for the flim-flam. Violating numerous State laws along the way. Such laws that require school owned real property over $30,000 in value to be let out for public bid. No “negotiated” sale of real property worth over $30,000. And last, but not least, the “surplus” school property must first be offered to the Cleveland County Commissioners.
And, that is exactly where it stands today. Tuesday March 16, 2021 at 6:00pm. County Manager Brian Epley has sneaked into the County Commissioner’s Meeting “Consent Agenda” an Item, Item K of 12 items that will be voted on all together and likely without any discussion. Item K is simply listed as an Offer of School Property. A Commissioner’s Staff Report has already been drafted recommending that the Commissioners NOT Purchase this property from the Schools. A Commissioner’s “Resolution” has already been drafted saying the Commissioners are not interested in obtaining this “surplus” property from CCS.
It’s a done deal and vast majority of Cleveland County taxpayers are flim-flamed once again by the Cleveland County School Board and the County Commissioners. All on top of a major property tax increase that will be discussed later in the Commissioner’s meeting. This little tidbit of extra corruption is expected to pass unanimously without discovery until it is a done deal.
However, this corruption is discovered and I will be sending this article to the County Commissioners in time to put them on notice that they are CAUGHT in this latest corruption shenanigan. An advance copy of this article will be sent to each Commissioner and County Manager AND County Attorney and Speaker of the House TIM MOORE by 8:00 AM this very morning.IN
Stay tuned folks, I will soon let you know how this turns out. My prediction is gloomy. Any Board of Commissioners that would significantly raise taxes during a pandemic pretty much does not care what citizens think about anything. And, re-election for Commissioner Chairman Doug Bridges and Vice Chair Deb Hardin is coming up it 2022. As is Speaker Tim Moore’s expected run for the US Senate from North Carolina. And four School board members too. Pay attention folks, this little flim-flam and the major County property tax increase will be coming up again during the 2022 Elections. Just in case you might forget about what will your Commissioners will do tonight.