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Letter to the Editor: City manager not held accountable

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Thursday, January 31, 2019

After watching the ludicrous morality play being enacted at City Hall, it has become obvious to me that Rochelle Small-Toney is going to be retained as city manager despite the malfeasance in the exercise of her duties.

It is also very clear that the proposed “independent investigator” is simply a mechanism to take the pressure off the City Council so that they can avoid the responsibility for her retention — and keep in mind that the same folks who hired Small-Toney will be choosing her “investigator.”

Meanwhile, during this investigation, she will have free rein to continue hiring her non-resident friends at exorbitant salaries while ignoring more qualified candidates. In addition, she will continue to control the purse strings of the city’s tax revenue, and she can continue to stand by while grants from HUD and other sources dry up as they are parceled out to other municipalities.

She may also see the NCDMV take its headquarters to another location other than the Hardees’ building and could well see other proposed investments in the city and the area decide that alternative locations suit them better.

Isn’t it past time that city officials displayed the honesty and maturity that should be expected from people in positions of responsibility? Anyone of normal intelligence can see that this woman is the wrong person for this job given her numerous failings. Instead of constituting some spuriously claimed case of racism, this is simply an instance of an inept performance by this employee for the job she was hired to do.

The fact that she is an African-American doesn’t somehow justify her shortcomings or those of the people she has hired. The retention of this woman as city manager can only be attributed to some agenda other than one based in logic and good governance. I am reminded of that truism, “there are none so blind as those who will not see.”

This failure by city officials will result in many complaints to and requests for investigations by state and federal officials with oversight authority, such as law enforcement agencies, taxing authorities and officials such as State Auditor Beth Wood. This city has come too far in its recovery from things such as floods, businesses leaving and taxpayers moving for its loyal citizens to simply throw up their hands and accept this unfortunate decision.

The true spirit of Rocky Mount is on the rise.

Paul Duffy

Rocky Mount

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