First of all the CCC Board of Trustees are getting better at a few things. They gave proper notice for this meeting according to NC Law. They followed NC Law when they went into Closed session and when they came out of Closed Session. They followed their agenda except for one thing, a good thing. They allowed members of the public to speak by adding a “Public Participation” item to the agenda. Adding a public participation part of the agenda when one was not pre-planned or required by law has not been allowed by the Commissioners or the School Board. Hopefully this will catch on. All of the governmental agency folks should remember who pays the bills. But, the Board of Trustees are not there yet. Calling a special meeting that was not an emergency meeting on Sunday Evening shows a bit of poor planning and poor scheduling. And, not taking any action on anything surely raises questions about what this group is up to. There is a saying that “all’s well that ends well.” That, however, remains to be seen.
Back to the Meeting.
Ten Board members were present. Members Rev. Dr. Lamont Littlejohn and Chris Turner were absent. Hold-over Board Member June Yarboro was present along with newly appointed but not sworn in Board Member Allen Langley was present and sitting with the Board. Still President and still Secretary to the Board (until July 31, 2017) Dr. Steve Thornburg was absent. Another person sat in to take the minutes of the meeting.
Attorney David Teddy attended this meeting instead of regular CCC Board Attorney Ralph Meekins. Teddy was sporting a sling supporting his left arm resulting from a fall out of his hammock. Teddy had booked a trip to Ireland to play golf and his injury prevented him from playing golf, so Meekins went to Ireland instead.
Chairman Wes Westmoreland conducted the meeting in a professional manner. As well as bringing up the public participation part of the agenda to the full board, which was accepted unanimously.
Brendan LeGrand was the first speaker. Mrs. LeGrand has scolded the Board of Trustees on several occasions, and rightly so, regarding the handling of the many scandals at CCC. On this occasion Mrs. LeGrand clearly informed the Board that the payoff to President Thornburg was rewarding bad behavior on Thornburg’s part and was very unpopular with the public. “This is on you” Mrs. LeGrand told the Board, “you should put up the money” to pay off the debt that you created. Mrs. LeGrand also stated that Thornburg had not paid off the fine the Board had previously imposed.
Susan Ubanski spoke next. Ms. Ubanski has also spoken to the Board on other occasions regarding the situations and circumstances that caused her to quit CCC in disgust. On this occasion Ms. Ubanski recommended the Board to make their own decisions and not be unduly influenced by others who have their own agenda that may not be in the best interest of CCC. Ms. Ubanski also chided those that were going around saying “there are two sides to every story.” When you are an employee and had to deal with Shannon Kennedy it was always one-sided and Kennedy didn’t care for the little people. She added that “the other side of the story” was never heard by the Board, only Kennedy and her team had the ear of the Board. Many people were simply run off from CCC by the Kennedy crowd.
Wanda Leonard was the next speaker. Ms. Leonard told the Board about her own personal experience with being run off by CCC. Ms. Leonard had helped initiate a specialty nurses training program out of nothing at CCC and turned it into a very good programs where Hospital Emergency Rooms actually sought out her students at graduation. But Ms. Leonard somehow ran afoul of the Kennedy crowd and one day in the middle of a class, Director Becky Sain and HR Director Knicely came to her classroom carrying a brown box, asked the students to leave the classroom, terminated Ms. Leonard’s contract on the spot, packed her personal stuff into the box and escorted her to her car. Ms. Leonard stated to the Board that CCC used to be a good place to work but when Kennedy and her entourage took over “things went to hell in a handbasket.”
Libby Stone spoke next. Ms. Stone stated that the CCC Website needed improvement. That minutes to meetings and other things could not be found. (I told the Board the same thing in a previous meeting.) Also some minutes were vague and didn’t particularly provide an accurate accounting of what transpired in the meeting. I have discovered much of the same thing basically through many years until just recently, now that CCC and the Board are under a microscope and rightly so. Ms. Stone also stated that the CCC Board of Trustees should attend the mandated Trustee and ethics training.