Editor’s Note: I have a very simple political “Litmus Test” for elected officials:
1.It is NOT what you SAY, it is what you DO that counts.
2.YOU are either a part of the Solution, or YOU are a part of the Problem.
These simple criteria have NOT failed me yet!!!
At the last Cleveland County School Board Emergency Called Meeting, School Board Vice-Chairman Joel Shores, right before he made a pre-planned Motion regarding “Masks” at CCS schools, lamented about the number of emails he had received from his constituents, stated his blood pressure was going up and how he particularly resented the language and tone of some of the messages he had received. As you will remember, my article about that Emergency Meeting, I stated my thoughts were that Shores should know or at least expect that not everybody would agree with him all the time. That complaints came with the territory when you are an elected official. And, that if he was experiencing health problems, perhaps he should resign from the school board.
What I did NOT know at the time-and was told by a trusted source, was that Shores, a former high official with the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Department, had enlisted School Board member Rodney Fitch, still working for the Sheriff’s Office, to run criminal records checks using the investigative tools available at the Sheriff’s Office on the “complainers” who Shores considered to be potentially dangerous and violent based on their email messages to him. My source indicated that Rodney Fitch did indeed run an ”investigation” on these folks at Shores’ request.
Without debating the legality or appropriateness of these alleged acts at this time, it has to be recognized that such acts have the potential of being considered “bully-ing” to the people that are being investigated. Harassment, maybe. Retaliation, certainly. But it goes much beyond that. It is already a well-known fact that many parents are already afraid to speak up on school issues for fear that their child or children will be retaliated against at school. Don’t believe me on that point. Ask around. Find out for yourself what goes on at CCS. And now, School Board members themselves are involved.
Of course, a person who sends a message to a school board member, or anybody else, threatening violence and harm has committ4ed a crime and should be prosecuted and punished accordingly. There are legal channels for that and I urge any school board member to make a formal report of a crime to the appropriate Law Enforcement Agency, On the other hand, if a school board member is working “under the colour of law” to commit malicious acts that violate a person’s legal rights, they should be liable for the same treatment. Prosecution and Punishment.
I must add that I have seen a lot of elected officials come and go over the years. Some promising political careers based on making changes for the better. Only to be thrown into a bunch of incumbents and others who are looking out for themselves as their No. 1 priority. The good ones are told that if they are sure that they will be on the losing side of a vote, to change their vote so the vote will be unanimous. “It will make us all look united” they are told. So, the good ones go along and change their vote. This time but no more they vow. Only until the next time comes along. And the cycle goes on and on. Pretty soon the new one is just as corrupt as the others. I believe Rodney Fitch may be on this same path. Hopefully Rodney will ‘fess-up, straighten-up and fly-right from now on.
Note that a copy of this article will be sent to Sheriff Alan Norman for his appropriate action.