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Council to discuss city manager

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BY LINDELL JOHN KAY
Staff Writer

Saturday, January 26, 2019

The Rocky Mount City Council is set to discuss a cleaning contract and personnel matters among other topics Monday afternoon.

The council will consider awarding a bid for custodial services to Clean Sweep for a three-year total cost of $872,236.44.

City staff recommends the council award the contract. The council with a motion by Councilman Reuben Blackwell tabled the item two weeks ago after resident Lige Daughtridge, speaking during the public comment period, questioned why the council would award a high-dollar contract to a company that formed just a few weeks prior.

Clean Sweep, incorporated Dec. 1, lists Karen Jones as its registered agent. Noted as Karen Wiggins Jones in city paperwork, Jones has received $251,448 in payments from the city over a five-year period.

The council has set aside two hours to discuss recent revelations of cronyism and financial mismanagment circling City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney.

If the backfield is in motion, the usual players aren't saying.

Retired City Manager Steve Raper, who returned to serve as interim manager when his replacement Charles Penny retired, said he hasn't been approached by the council.

"I haven't been asked and I haven't given it much thought what I'd say if I'm asked," Raper said.

Peter Varney, who worked for the city for four decades, temporarily returned recently to serve as an interim assistant city manager.

"I haven't been asked," Varney said. "I don't know what I'd do. I'm enjoying retirement."

Penny declined comment.

The council is scheduled to meet at 2 p.m. for a closed session to discuss Small-Toney.

The council will then meet at 4 p.m. for its regular-scheduled meeting in the George W. Dudley City Council Chamber of the Frederick E. Turnage Municipal Building in downtown Rocky Mount.

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