October 22, 2015 begins One Stop or “early voting” for municipal elections in Lenoir County, NC. There’s one race that peaks my interest, maybe because it’s so close to home and the outcome will continue to affect my wallet, my business, my investments, my family, and my way of life as a taxpaying resident of Kinston. Eight(8) candidates will vie for three(3) seats on the Kinston City Council. This race has my full attention and for good reason.
Several weeks ago Councilman Wynn Whittington brought an issue to the council floor. He made HIS problem OUR problem. His brother had applied for a job and was turned down due to his the City’s nepotism policy. He wanted to examine the policy for fairness, and through a series of motions and votes the policy was amended three weeks later to the public’s dismay. I exposed these shenanigans in earlier blog(s) BLOG #1 BLOG#2 and Kinston Free Press column.
Even with over 300 citizens signatures on a petition calling for a NO vote on the amendment, Whittington, Kelly Jarman, and Joe Tyson pushed it through. Joe Tyson will not run again, Whittington will continue in his elected role for at least two more years, but Kelly Jarman is the lone incumbent in this three seat race to be decided on November 3rd.
Jarman is the wife of Lenoir County Manager, Mike Jarman. She also serves on the Kinston-Lenoir County Parks and Recreation Commission, a City/County funded board. This conflict of interest and form of nepotism was pointed out in a news column a few weeks ago in which she was asked to resign from that commission – Read HERE.
Cast an educated vote! Tuesday, October 13th, the NAACP will be holding a debate at St. Augustus Church, 318 E. North St., Kinston, NC from 6:30PM – 8:00 PM. Reportedly all candidates will attend. I feel certain one of the questions will focus on the “Nepotism Policy Amendment”. If not, they will have missed the mark. Within this one issue lies the key to effective leadership by an elected official ~ Listening to the Will of the People and acting accordingly.
Each candidate will also have an opportunity to sign a pledge introduced by resident Logan Thurman at the October 2nd City Council meeting. The Pledge states that if elected the first order of business will be to reverse this misguided policy change. We’ll report an eyewitness account of this debate and where these candidates stand on this most important single issue and! Stay tuned….