This Article and attached county document supplement a previous article regarding “More Proof County is Broke.”
In that article I stated that I had asked, under the Freedom of Information Act as well as North Carolina Public Record laws, for the county to provide me with a copy of the announcement to county employees that the county was implementing a so-called “Voluntary Exit Incentive Program.” Of course, everyone knows that is “Code” for layoffs, sometimes called “Reductions in Force.” Always a cost cutting measure. A sure sign of financial trouble for a bureaucratic governmental agency such as Cleveland County government.
Typically, such layoffs start with incentives for those ready or close to ready for retirement to go ahead and retire. And soon. Like you will read in the attached letter from County Manager Brian Epley to county employees, this is “Phase I of a multi-year plan.” A good hint that every county employee not yet close to retirement needs to start looking for a job somewhere else. And be prepared to move out of Cleveland County as the county has been designated a “dying county.” For good reason. We are a dying county. Our population has been going down for years now. Mostly due to the failure of the Economic Development Partnership as pushed (and funded) by disgraced and defeated former commissioner Eddie Holbrook and spear headed by County Managers Jeff Richardson and now Brian Epley.
As for the Voluntary Exit Incentive Program announcement put out by County Manager Brian Epley that I asked for as a public record, Not a peep from Epley, the commissioners or county staff. The copy I have attached below came in a letter from an anonymous source with no return address. Not from Epley. People are job-scared, as they ought to be, and also afraid that their name will go to the top of the layoff list if anybody finds out that they sent this letter to me.
What a shame people have to live with such fear as the county employees have to do. While former county managers David Deer, Jeff Richardson and Brian Epley have prospered with great big salaries, regular county employees had their wages frozen for years. All the while the American Legion World Series, Inc. under Eddie Holbrook defrauded $Millions from the taxpayers. All the time lying about it. $Millions more wasted on giveaways like the Earl Scruggs Center, the LeGrand Center and the insider Economic Development Partnership. And $Millions more were just wasted. But seemingly wasted on purpose by Holbrook as the LeGrand Center, Shelby Middle School, the New Health Department, the new North Shelby School and the new Advanced Manufacturing Center at CCC went $millions over budget under the wasteful tutelage of insider architect Roger Holland.
And, like most forced layoffs, when they get started, the last hired often are the first fired. Which often affects African- American employees the most. With the discrimination and defamation lawsuit filed in Federal Court against the City of Shelby and Rick Howell, more such discrimination coming from the County Commissioners may also draw them into the line of fire. Deservedly so I would say.
The only potentially good thing about this coming layoff is that it will be starting at the misguided DSS and Health Department. Where, maybe, the bad actors will be gotten rid of. Like Jane Shooter and “her” group at DSS and maybe some at the Health Department. Like the ones under a Federal Lawsuit. Unfortunately, history has shown that layoffs usually happen to those who are innovative and outspoken. With these set of Commissioners up for re-election in 2020 you have to figure the worst will happen.
But, don’t believe me about any of this. It is just gossip according to the commissioners. So, just read for yourself. And inform yourself in time for the 2020 Elections. 2019 elections too if you live in Shelby.
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