It certainly appears that a Rocky Mount councilman is getting away with owing the city more than $47,700 in utility bills without having even the slightest hint of an obligation to pay the city any part of that sum.

I am unfamiliar with the scenario where someone simply refuses to pay a large and legitimate debt, and the powers-that-be of the creditor apparently have no intention of ever requiring the debtor to pay it, unless of course there was a conspiracy in place to keep him from ever having to pay it.

That would mean that the taxpayers of Rocky Mount will bear the burden of paying for this person’s utilities.

This councilman is reported to be Andre Knight and I’m pretty sure this doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows anything about city government.

Based on my previous observations about Mr. Knight, it would certainly not be shocking that he might be convinced that the taxpayers should foot his utility bills, as well as many other expenses, and that you should just shut up about it unless you want to be labeled a racist.

My intuition tells me that this is probably just the tip of the iceberg, especially since it appears that when you control the city council, you can get away with pretty much anything.

Perhaps the most surprising thing about this is that Beth Wood’s recommendation for the remedy regarding this lunacy is “not to do it again.” She doesn’t even hint that the responsible party has any obligation to repay this sum as she does with other parts of her “report.”

That leads me to give some credence to the rumors that the Rev. William Barber and the eminent Roy Cooper pressured Ms. Wood to soften any aspect of her very expensive and lengthy investigation which might directly criticize Knight as a perpetrator.

Apparently many regional newspapers, including the Rocky Mount Telegram, had no such pressure, or at least didn’t bow to it.

Wood had no similar reticence in suggesting that City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney reimburse the city for the money she overspent for meals during several out-of-town conferences.

Small-Toney said that she had no idea what the city’s policy was on meal expenses and that she will not be held to any policy that restricts the expenses for her food choices or how often she eats.

I am extremely curious to know why the city manager didn’t know the city’s policy and what her specific medical condition is that requires her to eat steak and lobster on the city’s tab.

I guess I am being racist for even bringing all this stuff up. Shame on me.

Paul Duffy

Rocky Mount