North Carolina Law regarding governmental meetings; Commissioners, School Board, Cleveland Community College, etc. is simple. All such meetings and discussions of business (with extremely limited exceptions, are supposed to be totally conducted in scheduled meetings that are open to the public. And all such information and records are public documents that are available to be inspected by ANYBODY that asks for them. No questions asked.
This is a very simple, well known and understood by all. Yet it is one that is broken of a regular basis. By everybody everywhere. Cleveland County Commissioners violate NC Open Meetings laws on a regular basis. They know that they are in violation of the law, but violate it anyway. Why? Because they can. They know the DA will NOT prosecute. So, nothing ever happens, right? Right???
In this particular situation, the Mecklenburg County Republican Party filed a lawsuit against the Mecklenburg County Commissioners, individually, for North Carolina Open Meeting violations. This is what they told the Charlotte TV News Stations: “The blatant violations of the County Commission in having back room discussion must be addressed and the Mecklenburg County Republican Party will make sure that the proper public comment and input is had before the County raises taxes on their citizens.”
The violations noted in this particular lawsuit, with a few name changes could apply exactly to the conduct of the Cleveland County Board of Commissioners, Susan Allen, Ronnie Whetstine, Johnny Hutchins, Doug Bridges and Deb Hardin. This is why this lawsuit has caught our eye.
It has caught the eyes of others too. Others who have been screwed over by various Cleveland County agencies. Especially and perhaps most egregiously Mr. Willie Green.
Mr. Willie Green presently has a lawsuit against the City of Shelby and City Manager Rick Howell individually over wrongs; obvious discrimination and defamation that the City of Shelby has inflicted upon Mr. Green. Depending on the outcome of a Zoning request filed by Mr. Green and leaked false information that is expected to culminate during a Shelby City Council meeting November 18th, the City of Shelby may be faced with another lawsuit against them.
On top of that, I expect the Cleveland County Commissioners will be sued by Mr. Green as well for their secret actions and defamation against Mr. Green.
I say, more power to Mr. Willie Green. There are only two places that political injustice can be remedied. At the ballot box or the jury box. And, since the DA will not do his job, the jury box is only available if you file a civil lawsuit. Something Mr. Willie Green is not afraid to do.
Stay tuned folks. Let’s see how this potential lawsuit by Mr. Green plays out. In the meantime, be prepared to clean house on the Cleveland County Commissioner Board during the 2020 Elections. There are three seats up for election. A majority of the board. Susan Allen, Ronnie Whetstine and Johnny Hutchins. Three commissioners who foolishly tried to raise our sales taxes without one word on exactly where this extra money would go. Citizens put a stop to that last week in the 2019 elections-low turnout and all. But this foolish Commissioner’s board will likely disregard the will of the people for them to stop their wasteful ways and raise taxes in some other way. We will be watchful for that and let you know as soon as it happens.
In the meantime, folks, sign-up for the 2020 county commissioner race begins and ends this December, 2019. Signup if you want to run against the foolish commissioners we have now. Sign up and we will vote you into office in 2020. That is our goal. That is our promise. School Board too.