Last week I wrote a News Fix blog making a case as to why Kelly Jarman, a City Councilwoman, should resign from a commission she serves on. I never published the blog but instead the Kinston Free Press published a version of it in the Thursday edition on September 17, 2015. Read the Free Press column here: Guest Column – Councilwoman Should Remove Herself From Board
The Recreation Commission wields a lot of power. With her husband, Mike Jarman, serving as the Lenoir County Manager, Kelly Jarman’s appointment to this committee creates a conflict of interest mainly because the Kinston-Lenoir County Parks and Recreation Department is jointly funded with the City bearing brunt of the fiscal burden. There’s no doubt nepotism is a problem in this working/private blended relationship. Elitists will brush this aside as trivial. In fact, they already did when this was brought up in a public forum prior to Kelly Jarman being elected. Really none of this would have come up had Ms. Jarman not been one of the three that brought about the amendment to the City’s Nepotism policy. For a little background read:
Writing a column or a blog is eye opening but following through on those words is a completely different animal. I don’t suspect Councilwoman Jarman has any plans to resign just because I suggested it was a good idea. Her circle of friends will see no wrong in the current arrangement. I suspect her church family, family members, and good friends have already blown right past the meat of the issue and will insist “she’s done nothing wrong”. Well, guess what, I hope there has been no influence or information sharing flowing from Mike to Kelly or from Kelly to Mike. In fact, I have not once suggested either one are corrupt or would even consider doing wrong.
Under the current arrangement the door is wide open for either one, or both, to carry out “insider trading”, if you will. By isolating the weakness in the dam, my hopes are to plug the leaks before it breaks. A huge window for discussion has now opened up and discussion will ensue. As a precautionary measure, Kelly Jarman should be removed from the Recreation Commission and be reappointed to another board that is not jointly funded by the City and the County.
With the revised nepotism policy, the city will sooner or later go back to the days when a few families controlled everything. I remember Abe Stadiem introducing me to the few names that really mattered in Kinston. There’s more to growing up than that.
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