“All we’re asking of our state and federal legislators is let’s have some serious discussions on what the options could be whether we like them or not. And then let’s put a price tag and let’s figure out what’s the best route to go,” said Mayor BJ Murphy.
Very productive meeting with NC House Majority Leader John Bell, Deputy Senate Pro Tem Louis Pate, and Representative George Graham. Also, had a great meeting with Don Davis. We discussed multiple issues including the Neuse River Basin, a revolving loan pool to facilitate more dilapidated housing demolition, the future of the NC Global TransPark, and more. We are very lucky in Kinston and Lenoir County to have this group working on our behalf!
Dredging, Snag & Drag, Building a Dam, Reviewing Raleigh’s Water Supply, and Considering Options for NCDOT Runoff will all be discussed today in the halls of the North Carolina General Assembly.
Mayor BJ Murphy
Statement after NJCAA removes 2017 Division III Baseball World Series
As you may know this past week the city of Kinston was informed by the NJCAA that we are losing the third year of a three-year deal for the division 3 baseball World Series.
And as I stated in my letter pleading for reconsideration, the cost to our economy is $350,000, but more importantly the truer cost will be missed opportunities to help mold and shape the lives of our young boys who simply want to play baseball and who look up to these Collegiate athletes.
So today I’m going to discuss the process under which ordinances and laws are made and I’ll call on Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts to take action based on the olive branch extended to her 3 weeks ago, which could’ve saved Kinston from losing the JUCO World Series.
As a mayor of a municipality in the state of North Carolina it is common knowledge by all locally elected officials that we are creatures of the state…meaning the state of North Carolina allows counties and municipalities to exist.
They create our borders…they allow us to pass ordinances that affect our communities.
But never should they allow us to pass an ordinance, a city-wide ordinance, that would have statewide implications.
Even after repeated warnings by state leaders about the unlawfulness of her ordinance, Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts instigated an unnecessary fight with state leaders by drafting and passing a local ordinance that could have implications in the other 530+ cities and towns across our state.
Then, accordingly, the state leadership stepped in on behalf of the other cities and towns and ensured we would not be beholden to the City of Charlotte.
What has ensued next has been a polarization of policy and an unfortunate series of tournament departures.
Just as recently as three weeks ago the mayor of Charlotte had an opportunity to have a constructive dialogue with the state of North Carolina to right this ship.
However, Mayor Roberts chose politics over policy.
Mayor Roberts chose politics over the people.
And Mayor Roberts chose politics over Kinston’s youth.
Most everyone knows when I was elected almost 7 years ago that I was the first Republican to serve Kinston since Reconstruction.
And one would also know that I have served with an all Democratic City Council.
However, on a local level we fix potholes, we sit down and discuss economic strategies to move our communities forward. We put the interest of our citizens ahead of party politics.
So, we’re proud to now run on non-partisan platforms, because that is what we do…non-partisan work.
Which leads me to Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts.
Instead of being the kind of leader who sits down and discusses differences. Instead of working through challenges in a constructive dialogue, Mayor Roberts has chosen political discourse.
Had she taken the olive branch extended by the Governor the City of Kinston could still have the NJCAA Baseball division 3 World Series playing in Kinston next summer.
Kinston’s youth are the victims of Mayor Robert’s politics.
And that is unfortunate for us all.
Simply because an item is not on an agenda does not mean it cannot be discussed at a council meeting.
And considering the Statewide and National discussion on this topic one would think that the Mayor of Charlotte would have enough knowledge to have a sensible discussion with her council members on this subject.
I believe she intentionally withheld discussion at her meeting three weeks ago in an attempt to stonewall more discussion simply because it’s an election year.
So, today I’m calling on Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts to take Governor McCrory up on his olive branch…his offer to have a more meaningful discussion once Charlotte City Council repeals their ordinance which could have statewide implications.
And, in doing so, maybe she can save other rural communities just like Kinston from the devastating effect from the loss of income our small business operators will experience next summer.
Although we are facing issues within our community at the moment to include electric rate reductions and crime, I am deeply troubled by a city of Kinston policy discussion up for debate again tonight at 5:30 p.m. Maybe you’ll agree with some of my conclusions, maybe you won’t. Join with me if you will and remove personalities from this discussion and truly consider the policy question at hand: Should elected officials’ family members be allowed employment with the city of Kinston?
Let’s take a step back for a moment. The mid-80s saw many positive happenings within the city of Kinston. We landed some major industrial plants and were named an All American City. And in August of 1987, the city Council was concerned enough about nepotism in the workplace that they paused their busy schedules to take up the issue. They concluded that family members of their body should not be allowed to work for the very organization they were charged with overseeing.
One could determine that the current policy has worked well since 1987 when it was unanimously approved by Councilmembers Eddie Kornegay, the Rev. W.C. Dortch, Andrew Culpepper, Mansfield Creech and Herbert Spear Sr. The presiding mayor was Buddy Ritch. What problem were they trying to solve? What would cause them to want to forbid their family members from getting jobs with the city?
I’m not certain of those answers and I’m not certain how many applicants have succumbed to this policy. I would submit, however, that in my six years of elected office only two applicants have been denied employment based on this policy. Does the current policy limit the pool of applicants which could also include the most qualified candidate? That answer is yes.
And, if one could conclude the pool is limited without those family member’s applications, then one could also conclude that changing this policy may actually keep the most qualified applicant from applying out of fear of competing with an elected official’s relative. If the choice for a position came down to two people, an elected official’s child and your child, who do you believe has a better chance at getting the job?
Is that hypothetical? Yes. Is that possible? Yes. Does changing the policy build goodwill? Is changing the policy fair, equal and beneficial to all concerned? You decide.
Another concern of changing the policy is the culture of our organization. When a department head is faced with your child’s application versus an elected member’s child’s application, then this presents a lose/lose scenario. If your child is hired, then a department head may rightly or wrongly fear retribution or further scrutiny during our public council meetings. If an elected official’s child is hired, then their co-workers could well conclude that the hire was made as a favor to the elected official. Passing any policy that systematically causes lose/lose scenarios that didn’t exist before is simply unfortunate.
If it’s so easy to discern the negative cultural impact to our organization, then what tangible benefits does the change provide for our citizens and employees? The change is only directed at helping six families in Kinston.
The policy to be voted on tonight states that a board member’s relative is allowed to work at the city of Kinston “provided there is not a direct or indirect reporting relationship.” Yet, every single employee of the city of Kinston either directly or indirectly reports to the City Council by the fact they are ultimately hired and/or fired by the city manager. For example, the council was the entity that instructed the human resources manager to bring a revised policy back to them. And she complied, of course. But, why did she comply? Why do department heads implement any policy as instructed by the City Council?
Who’s to say the next HR Manager, Public Safety Director or any other department head wouldn’t also be a family member of an elected official? This is the slippery slope.
As I’ve wrestled with communicating these concerns, I can only conclude with one question. If the elected members of the city of Kinston are voted on by the people to enact budgets and policy that best reflect the people’s positions, then if this policy were voted on by the people, what would they decide? Although we are two months away from municipal elections, if you could walk in the voter’s booth tonight and push a button, would you vote to relax this nepotism policy or would you keep it as is?
Your opinion counts, so please let us know how you’d vote. You may call us at 252-939-3110 to let us know your thoughts or send us an email to email@example.com. Feel free to copy me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I write this out of love for this great community and sincerely want to hear from you. We have so many great opportunities ahead. Let’s continue to grow Kinston together!
BJ Murphy is mayor of the city of Kinston.
Should elected official's family members be allowed employment with the City of Kinston?
- No (82%, 210 Votes)
- Yes (18%, 45 Votes)
Total Voters: 255
“Kinston passes the eye test” said a citizen this morning. And most people see and feel the transformation that’s happening throughout our community. Downtown is experiencing a renaissance, utilities are about to be lowered and baseball is one “yes” away from coming back. However, continuing to spread through social media are a couple of websites who depict Kinston and many other communities in a negative light. Below is a series of communication between the City of Kinston and at least one website (homesnacks.net). We have reached out to the Attorney General’s office to launch an investigation.
If you’re sick and tired of Kinston being unnecessarily drug through the mud, then please feel free to reach out to these contacts and let them know how you feel:
Recently I sat down with Jon Dawson to discuss various issues facing the City of Kinston. Here’s the link to the audio podcast: http://www.jondawson.com/
By WNCT STAFF
Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports – WNCT.com
KINSTON, N.C. – A group of teenagers in Kinston hope to improve community dialogue and the city’s image.
They hosted their first “Teen Town Hall” at the Woodmen Community Center.
9 On Your Side has covered the youth advocacy group “Kinston Teens” since October.
Founder Chris Suggs created the group as a way to keep teens off the streets and invested in their community.
Kinston Mayor B.J. Murphy, Kinston Public Safety Director Bill Johnson, Lenoir County Schools Superintendent Dr. Steve Mazingo and other school and county officials participated; it is the first time youth have had the chance to hold their leaders accountable.
“What you’re seeing right now are the future leaders of our community.” Mayor BJ Murphy said.
“I mean these kids really care about their community; they want to hold government accountable but at the same time they’re getting into the trenches and they’re rolling up their sleeves too.”
The group’s concerns were heard loud and clear. This town hall meeting will be followed up with sit downs with not only the Director of Public Safety, but lawmakers in Raleigh to address their concerns.
“I’m truly pleased about how this event turned out.” Kinston Teens President Chris Suggs said. “I think there’s nowhere else we can go but up.”
Follow the “Kinston Teens” on Twitter @KinstonTeens
Merry Christmas with the Mayor
Thursday, December 4th
6:00 – 8:00 PM
Chef & The Farmer
120 W Gordon St., Kinston
Elbert Guillory was born in Opelousas, Louisiana and graduated from J.S. Clark High School. He became active in the Civil Rights Movement during the late 1950’s then joined the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. He finished college while in the Navy and was accepted into several of the nations top law schools. He graduated from Rutgers Law School and taught at Rutgers Law.
He worked for the state governments, of New Jersey and Pennsylvania and at age 29, ran his first state agency in Maryland. He was also chosen to run cabinet level agencies for Illinois and Seattle, Washington.
Guillory spent 43 years as a criminal defense lawyer, and served in the Louisiana House of Representatives and the Louisiana Senate. He was Legislator of the Year twice in his first six years and was elected to the Louisiana Justice Hall of Fame for his work in law and government.
Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth Blizzard
Mr. & Mrs. Dexter Floyd
Mr. & Mrs. Stephen Hill
Mr. & Mrs. James Perry
Mr. & Mrs. Russell Rhodes
Mr. & Mrs. Jim Segrave
Lenoir County GOP
Mr. & Mrs. Greg Floyd
Mr. & Mrs. Joe Hargitt
Dr. & Mrs. Harold Lancaster
Mr. & Mrs. Marc McConnell
Mr. & Mrs. Mark Pilgreen
Mr. & Mrs. John Nix
Mr. & Mrs. Allen Parrott
Merry Christmas with the Mayor
“Investing in Kinston’s Future”
Thursday, December 4th
6:00 PM ~ Chef & the Farmer
Please join Mayor BJ Murphy for the 5th Annual Merry Christmas with the Mayor. Each year this event grows larger with those who have supported Mayor Murphy and his endeavors to make Kinston a better place to live. As always, there will be good food and better company. Christmas is a great time to celebrate all of the wonderful things happening in Kinston!