City council to consider diversity plan

By Brie Handgraaf

Staff Writer

6 Comments | Leave a Comment

A plan to hire a company to prepare a Diversity Plan is on the Rocky Mount City Council agenda for Monday evening.

“The intent of the plan was to assist the city in recognizing the importance of a diverse workforce reflective of the community as much as possible allowing the city to better understand and respond to citizens,” said Assistant City Manager Ann Wall in a memorandum to City Manager Charles Penny. “The intent of the plan was also to establish a workplace which values employees and encourages their development.”

The plan contributes to the City Council’s goal to improve workplace diversity throughout the city. If approved, Visions Inc. will conduct a four-phase process to assess workforce diversity and develop a Diversity and Inclusion Plan with strategies for attracting, developing and retaining a talented and diverse workforce. A timeline for the completion of the $67,430 contract has not been set.

Also on the agenda for the 7 p.m. meeting is a resolution supporting naming the U.S. 64 Bypass/Winstead Avenue Bridge the “Officer Alan C. Silver Memorial Bridge.”

Silver was the first line-of-duty death for the Rocky Mount Police Department when he died in 2007, several days after an automobile wreck he was in while responding to a robbery-in-progress.

If approved by the City Council, the naming then would go to the N.C. Department of Transportation for approval.

There also are two public hearings set for the meeting. One hearing is about a request to provide sanitary sewer services for 18 lots along Village Road.

Installation would cost $93,000 with a total assessment of $77,850.

The second public hearing is regarding a proposed street name change from Ford’s Colony Club to Belmont Club Way in an effort to emphasize the new ownership and development.

Other items on the agenda include:

  • Recognition of the Rocky Mount Academy football team for winning the 2013 NCISAA 8-man Football Championship.
  • Requests for property at 3173 S. Halifax Road and 7365 West Mount Drive to be connected to the city’s water system, but not annexed into the city.
  • Allocation of $150,000 in housing incentive program funds to the Rocky Mount/Edgecombe Community Development Corp.



Ex Black Bird For someone who doesn't live here or care about what happens to or in the City, you seem to have very strong opinions (ON JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING). I guess I'm baffled. By your own admission, you don't even live in RM, so; If you don't live in RM then the truth is not one penny of YOUR tax dollars will go to help or hinder this project or anything else the city does... right??? I guess it's easy to armchair quarterback or have an opinion when you really don't have a stake in the game. I would think we would all want the most attractive city, county, region, area that we can have or maybe I'm wrong. My question to you is, I know what you are opposed to, but can you tell me what YOUR vision is for the area? Or do you have one? That might help me understand your perspective. For the record, I've been reading this paper for a long time and I notice that you post something negative anytime something comes up about the city, and now to find out that you don't even live in the city is very interesting. Opposition really is not a strategy. Anyway... Just my opinion GSP


rocky mount is 61% black, 32% white, and the rest other. so it seems that the city is overly diverse with blacks. some of these need to move out and some more whites moved in to make it "EQUAL". as for visions and its project........its another "piss money down a rat hole" arrangement. i m sure glad i dont live in rocky mount any more. the city can and should find a much better way to spend taxpayer $$$$. but then the place has gotten so sorry, its intolerable..........thats why an increasing portion of blacks live there now.


RUTABAGA if the information you provide is true, and I have no reason to doubt it, you've obviously done your homework, I am sure you will be signing up to speak out at the next City Council meeting. I can't wait. Or is this just a stunt to get gossip started in the community? I agree with you that conflicts like this are inappropriate, but I further believe that we need to go to the source and demand accountability be it the City Council, Board of Education, or the County Commissioners. From my research, I understand that there are SEVERAL local elected officials making lots of money off contracts with local governmental entities. Maybe we can work together to expose ALL of them. See you at the meeting, I'll be watching and waiting to hear you call them out. Complaining anonymously to the paper won't change this. Bringing this information to the attention of the full council just might, and even if they don't change, they will know that we are watching. Just a thought. Good luck, whatever you decide to do. GSP

The Real Intent Behind This Study

First I'd like to draw attention to who will be receiving profit from this contract. The consulting firm Visions Inc. is owned in part by none-other than former RM Councilmember Angela Bryant. Ms. Bryant, a RM native, is a co-founder of Visions Inc. and she is currently serving as a NC Legislator for our region. In keeping with state purchasing & contracting regulations I would like to know if this consulting contract was first put out for competitive bids. While Visions Inc. certainly focuses on diversity issues, there are other consulting firms who are well-suited for this type of local study, and, I would suggest that if the study is truly needed then an outsider's viewpoint might be benifical. A quick call to the NC League of Municipalities would have provided the City with a list of suitable consulting firms. Was the City's Purchasing Office involved in this award or was this simply pushed through by certain Councilmembers? Finally, I would suggest that this so-called study is being conducted to simply justify policies & procedures already in place within City Hall - hiring procedures that RM departments have been held to for many many years. If one looks at the newhires and promotions conducted within RM Local Government over the past 5-10 years, it is clear that the City has made tremendous strides in the area of diversity, especially in upper management ranks. So, with all that said why spend over $67,000 at this time with a firm that has obvious local ties? Why indeed...A written diversity plan will provide increased pressure on our two public safety departments, the departments that have struggled the most with recruiting & hiring qualified minorities. The plan will simply draw more public attention to the disparity in the race/gender of those who wear a uniform & badge in RM. Likewise, the plan will surely establish quantifiable (measureable) goals/objectives that will be utilized to place greater pressures on our two chiefs and their staffs. Simply put to those behind this initative, let's tell it like it is and let the citizens of RM know the real intent behind spending this money. And in the meantime, there are citizens who go without heat, lights and other basic necessities everyday.


Why not take this money and apply to utility fund and help pay off the debt. I am sure there are plenty of places in the budget to save, but this city council just like the Nash Board of Education just want to spend, spend and spend. On Diversity, they are already diverse, they don't have to spend 67,000 on someone to figure it out. Each employee put a race and sex on an application, they could spend a few hours and figure it out thereself. Maybe they could talk to employees and see that they are all not happy with management and the city council. They seem to promote based on who you know and what you look like.


So, the City Of Rocky Mount has over $67,000.00 to throw away while I am struggling to pay these outrageous utility bills. Are you crazy!

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