Alzheimer’s Memory Walk

Great meeting Anna Bulszewicz with WCTI NewsChannel 12 today and thankful she helped emcee the 3rd annual Alzheimer’s Memory Walk. We have 2,000 residents in Lenoir County affected by dementia and there’s no cure or survivors. Please pray for a cure.

 

WITN7 – Hurricane Matthew After Six Months

Our Planetarium hosted their first school group this week nearly 6 months after #HurricaneMatthew. Very thankful for all the volunteers who helped us replace floors, scrub displays, paint and more. See some of the results for yourself in this video and then stop by soon!

WITN Anna Phillips
April 6 at 10:10pm ·
The Neuseway Nature Park’s Planetarium & Science Museum reopened on Wednesday and the Nature Center should be ready by May. Kinston/Lenoir County Parks and Recreation Dept. staff have been working alongside community volunteers for months… as local leaders like Mayor BJ Murphy and Neuse Sport Shop President & CEO Russell Rhodes work to get legislators talking about how to minimize future flood risk.
http://www.witn.com/content/news/Neuseway-Nature-Center-near-reopening-six-months-since-Hurricane-Matthew-418581793.html

City of Goldsboro Passes Flood Prevention Resolution

Happy to announce that the City Government of Goldsboro, NC has also adopted a Flood Prevention Resolution for the Lower Neuse River Basin in addition to the City of Kinston and Lenoir County. Mayor Chuck Allen and his team showed strong leadership during Hurricane Matthew and I’m honored to serve alongside him.

  
    

City of Kinston Visits NCGA for Flood Prevention

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!

Mayor blames Charlotte mayor for loss of World Series event

Mayor BJ Murphy
Statement after NJCAA removes 2017 Division III Baseball World Series
10/3/2016

Good afternoon.

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.

Thank you.

WITN Coverage of the Press Conference

Kinston Free Press Coverage of the Press Conference

Letter Exchange with NJCAA about Decision to Remove the 2017 Div III Baseball World Series

Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts
Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts

Guest Column: Current nepotism policy works for good of whole city

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 council@ci.kinston.nc.us. Feel free to copy me at mayorbjmurphy@gmail.com.

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

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Published in the Kinston Free Press on 9/8/2015.

Responding to Crime Ranking Websites

Responding to Crime Rankings

“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:

HomeSnacks.net – Nick Johnson – Founder – nick@homesnacks.net
HomeSecurityShield.com – 888-518-0167
Attorney General Roy Cooper – File a complaint

Responding to Crime Rankings

Letters – Responding to Ranking Cities by Crime Stats Websites