Tag Archives: 1st Amendment

A “Free” Education On Losing Our Liberty

The leftist progressives and their POTUS Puppet, B. Hussein Obama, are gearing up in a big way for 2016.  Mid January you can expect a few major assaults our 2nd Amendment rights.

Emperor Obama will issue a decree across the lands (by executive order) that everyone “in the business” of selling firearms will be required to perform background checks. Federally licensed dealers are already required to run background checks through the FBI….. but what if Johnny wants to sell Sally a handgun or by some other private means?  Roughly 40% of the guns in America are currently bought and sold privately.

Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton is all for making it more difficult to exercise our 2nd Amendment rights. Obama aims to go out with a bang and push this agenda to the hilt. He’ll be remembered as not only the worst President fiscally, driving our national debt over 19 Trillion before leaving office, but also the most abusive when it comes to trashing our Constitutional rights.  He just doesn’t respect the our founding documents, the SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND.  He has no regard whatsoever for the citizens of the United States….. none. The National Rifle Association (NRA) believes that this or any move to further the gun control effort will eventually lead to confiscation or banning certain weapons and ammunition.

But anyone paying attention is aware of the invalidity of this liberal argument for gun control. Taking guns from law-abiding citizens doesn’t curb crime.  It makes us more vulnerable. We have posted statistic after statistic to prove death by firearm is pretty low on the totem pole of societal problems. The key word in gun control is CONTROL.

Take away the common man’s means of protection and the government has complete control of the common man.  And that’s what this is really about. 

California just passed legislation that will go into effect January 1, 2016 making it very easy to seize your guns by court order.  Here’s a likely scenario:

Kevin owns some weapons. His teenage son wants to borrow the car and Kevin says no since he’s failing High School and should be home studying. Kevin’s son decides to get back at Dad because the LAW (see here) now gives him that latitude.  He calls the cops and says, “I feel unsafe…. my Dad has a gun in the house and…. I feel unsafe”.  So a judge authorizes law enforcement to confiscate all Kevin’s weapons for a minimum of 21 days.  Kevin is treated like a criminal instead of a conscientious parent. He is forced to spend a lot of money on attorney fees to defend himself and restore his good name.  The value of the guns confiscated is less than the cost of fighting the State. The State wins and the guns are destroyed.

Now back to the Executive Order…….One problem with this whole thing is that Obama’s Executive Order isn’t really law at all. Congress makes law, not the POTUS.  The second problem is the majority of our society has no interest or concern as to what the POTUS can or can’t do…… as long as they keep getting “Free Stuff”.  Many of us know there is no such thing as FREE STUFF and we DO CARE about our rights being taken.  The third problem is that Hillary is going to win the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. She’s coming after our guns because, as mentioned, she will then have  total control over our behavior and our 1st Amendment rights.

We live in a society where the majority of the population are TAKERS NOT GIVERS. We have become slowly conditioned to accept the bastardization of this great Nation our fathers and grandfathers fought for so we might be free.  We really don’t know what it’s like to have our Liberty taken away from us.  Remember, Liberty comes from God, not man.  Be prepared to fight to keep it.  If Hillary Clinton wins in 2016 or Congress goes to the Democrats we’ll all get a FREE EDUCATION on the LOSS OF PERSONAL LIBERTY!

 

 

Police…… Turn Your Guns Over & Get a Prize ~ WoooHoooo!

We’re scratching our heads over this one…. Greensboro police have asked residents, anyone over 18, to voluntarily turn in their weapons.  That’s right, you heard it!  This is actually happening in North Carolina, our home State!  Read the article HERE.

But then again, just last week we read that Greensboro police were halting all traffic stops for minor infractions like a taillight or headlight out.  This is billed as their solution to “racial disparity” since a liberal UNC professor and his undergraduate researchers released information that black folks are four (4) times more likely to get pulled over by police (racial profiling) than white folks. What we can’t figure out is…. did anyone consider that a high percentage of minorities fall into a lower income category and may have a harder time maintaining their vehicles.  Read the article HERE. This policy change to end racial disparity most likely treats the symptom, not the root cause of the illness.

The “racial disparity” thing is believable, especially with all the liberal media hype.  But the vulnerability of the public will be tested with this voluntary weapons disposal scheme.  We are, most likely, preaching to the choir.  However, these two Liberal Progressive moves in one city within days of one another, set off multiple alarms in our heads.  Our Liberty is under assault in own backyard.  The second amendment is being tested by a liberal Police Chief supported by a liberal Democratic City Council.  Use this highlighted link to contact the City Council.  Call and question their rational for supporting this program. Go ahead, I dare you.  Let us know what they say!

Amendment II

“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

There is no ambiguity, hiccup or doubt in the above text, no interpretation needed. In their wisdom the authors of the Constitution, our founding fathers, feared we would, one day, need protection from a government “gone wild”.  Seeing what is happening in Greensboro, the prudent gun owner should begin stocking up on ammo while the “sheeple” flock to the gun disposal bin for their consolation prize.  Voluntary gun disposal is a ploy to gain complete control over a populous, it is waste of taxpayer money, and it does not curb crime.  It only puts the innocent law abiding residents at risk by not having ample protection. 

Nothing good will ever come from big government.  Things are getting interesting with ISIS now threatening our homeland.  They have even released a list of cities they claim they may target. Relinquishing your weapons in a gun buy back program does not make the Top 10 list for preparedness (insert sarcasm). Germany began disarming it’s citizens in 1939 and then slaughtered 16 million Jews. More HERE.  Beware!  Though they are sold as such, programs like these are NOT about gun safety or curbing crime.  They ARE only about government CONTROL over a compliant populous.

Ya’ll think about it. We are. 

 

Never surrender your rights, Never give up, Never shut up, and keep getting up!” ~ dailynewsfix.org

Teach Your Children Well

main-thumb-t-8002-200-qqyngbuidcmvqjkohoidicmjzkvlbffdIs your way of life, guaranteed by the US Constitution, being threatened by institutions of higher learning and the politically correct indoctrination of our young people in public schools? The answer is YES and in some very shocking and accelerated ways. The 10 minute film you are about to watch is taken on site at three North Carolina university campuses.  It involves a young journalist posing as a student who “feels damaged, offended, etc.” by pocket copies of our US Constitution being distributed in her dormitory lobby.  This obviously is a journalistic effort to record each university’s reaction to her request to have the US Constitution removed from her residence hall because it is offensive.  For instance, “it allows everyone to own a gun”.

The various responses by administrators are just incredible with the journalist even requesting each administrator shred the document so “it could be kind of like therapy” for her.

Watch the 10 minute video here.

While she has the right to state her opinion she doesn’t have the right to trample on the rights of others.  At least one of the University officials made that clear….. well, sort of.

The video is put out by Jame O’Keefe, an American conservative activist. He produces videos designed to expose “academic, governmental and social service organizations” taking part in abusive or alleged illegal behavior. Exposing the real actions behind ACORN was one of his major accomplishments.

Our First Amendment rights shall not be trampled on!  The Daily News Fix recently focused on three (3) Kinston City Council members who shut down the public voice and proceeded to amend the City’s nepotism policy.  None of them heeded the overwhelming voice and Will of the People.  As a result, the lone incumbent lost her bid for re-election November 3rd.  Each of the newly elected Council members have pledged to rescind the Nepotism Policy Amendment. But just because you have a few fresh faces doesn’t mean the entire body is liberty minded and ready for change.  Wynn Whittington, who brought the Nepotism Policy Change, wrote a nasty column in the Kinston Free Press publicly slamming the Mayor, the Daily News Fix, and the President of the NAACP for opposing his three way power play.  See the COLUMN here,  the response the next day from the Daily News Fix here, and the Daily Haymaker’s spin on the matter.  The Daily Haymaker is a website focused on “Conservative Common Sense Commentary on Politics, Economics, Government, Culture and other Aspects of Life in the Carolinas”.  Good to know they agree.

If we are to educate our children properly, especially in public schools, we must first teach them an accurate account of why, as far as Freedom and Liberty are concerned, America is the last holdout.  We, and I mean all of us, must teach our kids why our Constitution is the supreme law of the land and the most powerful governing document ever written.  Everyone wants to come to America.  They want to come here for a better life (and the free stuff we are handing out doesn’t hurt their reasoning).  Stop being so damned politically correct and demand the same from others, including your school system!  It’s your job as parents to educate your own kids, not the government’s, which is the bulk of the problem!  This is OUR country and OUR culture.  We are fighting a losing battle.  Generation by generation we are losing soldiers (in our youth) and gaining indoctrinated compliant cowards that will give our country away with a ribbon tied to it.  If you don’t believe me now, you will later.

   “Teach your children well” ~ Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

 

Councilman Lashes Out At Concerned Citizens/Mayor

Back of TCouncilman Wynn Whittington penned a scalding personal attack on the President of the Kinston-Lenoir County Chapter of the NAACP published in the Kinston Free Press (read his words) along with attacks on the Mayor of Kinston, local petition organizer Logan Thurman, and of course quite a bit about me.   Mr. Whittington accuses those questioning his tactics of having too much “free time”.   In his musings, I appear to be the main target and one of those “people who can’t seem to let it go”.   Well, there is plenty of reason we must not “let it go”.

Mayor Murphy hasn’t let it go either, decided he wasn’t going to take the attacks lightly, and posted his opinion and video on his website. Read and view HERE.

Also, before I go too far, VOTE tomorrow, November 3rd.  One Vote is all you need for Steve Ragan.  You can do that, just one vote…..Steve has fought this nepotism deal from the beginning.

Mr. Whittington has been silent on the public dis-rest over his own policy change… until two days before the municipal election.  Conveniently and for political reasons he spoke out clearly in an attempt to moot the argument against the policy change.  The Nepotism Policy Amendment allows family members of City Council members and the Mayor to be employed by the City, breaking a long standing common sense conservative policy against nepotism in the workplace.  Since Councilmember Kelly Jarman is the only incumbent and candidate in the race who supports the Nepotism Policy Amendment, Mr. Whittington could not have timed his “guest column” in a more overtly subversive manner.  The regularly planned City Council meeting for Monday, November 2nd (the night before election day) was cancelled due to lack of agenda items.  So the public has zero opportunity to address Whittington’s comment for comments.  Well done.

Mr. Whittington speaks of all the successes we are having as a City.  He also recognizes the problems we face.   He mentions crime, gang violence, and high utility rates and attempts to minimize the Nepotism issue by stating,  “…the recent nepotism policy debate has garnered more media coverage than the sale of power assets and related rate decreases, the possibility of bringing baseball back to Kinston, and quite possibly the West Pharmaceutical Disaster in 2003″. Uhhh… there’s a reason for that, W!

He also stated that… “the nepotism policy didn’t make the cut in the recent Land Use Plan Study”. No it didn’t because Nepotism policies aren’t part of any Land Use Plan.  As Chairman of the Kinston Planning Board, my fellow planning board members and I reviewed the Land Use Plan (checked it for nepotism) and made recommendations to City Council.  He also stated candidate Gordon Vermillion didn’t agree on the nepotism issue.  What he failed to mention is that of the eight(8) candidates running for three(3) seats on City Council only candidate and fellow educator Kelly Jarman agrees with his views on nepotism since she was one of three votes that amended the policy.  The other seven(7) have agreed to rescind this troubled Amendment if elected. See this VIDEO.

And this quote by Whittington is only confirms that his disdain and lack of respect for public opinion…

“At the recent council candidate forum hosted by the local chapter of the NAACP, each candidate was asked three questions. The very first one was about the nepotism policy. Are you kidding me? Not one question focused on crime, specifically black on black crime!”

Mr. Whittington makes multiple moot points in order to justify his unpopular actions.  His arrogant elitist attitude and obvious disregard for the residents of Kinston are disrespectful to say the least.  In one failed swoop, he insulted the President of the NAACP, two concerned citizens who were exercising their right to redress government, and the Mayor of Kinston because they just “can’t seem to let it go”.

The nepotism issue arose from Mr. Whittington’s line of questioning in City Council surrounding the fact his brother could not be hired because of he was elected to Council.  With very little discussion and no public input Whittington brought a motion to amend the Nepotism Policy.   A few weeks later the amendment was ratified.  He knows, as does Kelly Jarman, that nothing good can come from this amendment.

Allow me Educate the “Educators”……The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America states,

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” 

So in reading Mr. Whittington’s column I find it interesting that almost every word is an attempt to stifle our First Amendment rights.  According to him we should all just trust in his wisdom, shut up, sit down and forget about redressing our grievances because he doesn’t want to hear it.  End of conversation.

From Thomas Paine’s “American Crisis” these words were read aloud on December 23, 1776 to the Continental Army as a rally cry prior to the Battle of Trenton:

“Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”

This issue will not go away.  If the voices of the people can be shut down “just like that”, what’s next?  We must be vigilant.  Is it obvious yet that We the People must be the guardians of liberty? That the intent of government, including elected officials, is to serve the people?  It is NOT the intent that WE should serve government.

“Never surrender your rights, never give up, never shut, and keep getting up!” ~ John Nix and the Daily News Fix

“Cronyism, Favoritism, and Nepotism are all bedfellows….”  ~  www.dailynewsfix.org

 

 

 

 

What’s the Disconnect? A Total Disregard For The People’s Will

Councilwoman Kelly Jarman is depending on you to FORGET her misdeeds and total disregard for the people’s will with the recent Nepotism Policy Amendment she helped push through. Some folks will give her a “free pass” for incomprehensible reasons.  She knew the people were adamantly against this policy change but stubbornly ignored the residents of Kinston.  And this is why we fail as a City. We keep electing elitist crony politicians that ignore the real answers to the obvious problems we face. This is not sound reasoning when considering a candidate who will spend a minimum of four (4) years making life changing financial decisions for residents while leading our City. Unqualified elected leaders put an undue burden on all residents of Kinston. Past municipal elections have been a partisan popularity contest.

Jarman is married to Lenoir County manager, Mike Jarman and serves on the Recreation Commission, a joint City/County funded entity. The Recreation Commission has more power than other commissions and boards. They make influential recommendations to City Council on joint spending that rarely go challenged.  This nepotistic arrangement is a big no-no! yet it has existed for the last four years while the public acknowledges the act but gives silent consent through inaction.  After all, holding governmental officials and elected officials accountable is taboo or may offend someone (tongue in cheek).  Read HERE for more detail and HERE for a news column calling for Jarman’s resignation from the Recreation Commission.

We need candidates with knowledge of how the private sector works.  Ms. Jarman’s entire career has been with the school system, her salary paid for through taxes.  Hence, Jarman may be more prone to think of and spend public money as an entitlement.  Those in the private sector understand struggles that Jarman simply cannot. She actually stated that because the school system allows nepotism the City should follow suit.  See this VIDEO.  Of the reasons she gave for allowing nepotism in government, the most incomprehensible was that nepotism will increase our tax base.  No, I’m not kidding! See my blog on the great debate HERE.

Early voting is going on now at the Board of Elections at 110 S. Herritage St. weekdays from 8:30 AM ’til 6:30 PM and closes 8:30 AM ’til 1:00 PM Saturday.  Municipal election day is Tuesday, November 3rd from 6:30 AM ’til 7:30 PM.  This may be the most important and pivotal election in the history of Kinston.  It’s time to elect responsible leadership.  Vote today!

T-Shirts like the one shown above are available for a suggested $10 donation to cover cost. Available in Large and X-Large.  Please send your request to nixcjohn@gmail.com

And They’re Off!…. Candidates Jockey For Lead In Non-Partisan City Council Debate

In a refreshing candidate forum held tonight at St. Augustus AME Zion Church in Kinston, eight(8) candidates for City Council gave their views on how to lead this town of around 20,000. With three(3) seats up for grabs and two incumbents trying to hold onto their seats the forum exposed each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses.  Like any candidate forum, there were varying degrees of preparedness and understanding of exactly how a municipality functions.

This was the Second Non-Partisan Municipal election in Kinston since Attorney General Eric Holder pre-cleared Kinston for non-partisan elections after an extensive lawsuit for the reversal of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.  See SCOTUS lawsuit Nix v. Holder.  It was pleasing to see a shift in thinking and public consensus.  This debate was hosted by the Kinston-Lenoir County NAACP, a non-partisan group.  The NAACP will not endorse any candidate(s).  It is also reported the Democratic Party will follow suit in not endorsing.  

The same three(3) questions asked of each candidate.  The candidates were:

1) Michael Davis  a Vietnam Veteran   2) Sammy Aiken  incumbent (retired Navy)  3)Gordon Vermillion  business owner & past two term City Councilman  4) Tharol Branch  native Kinstononian  5) Felicia Solomon  former Lenoir County Schools principal  6)  Kelly Jarman  Lenoir County Schools administrator and incumbent  7)  Steve Ragan   Weyerhauser employee and Planning Board member 8)  Lennie Peterson  US Army veteran & Ex School Bus driver

Queston #1 – City Council recently voted to allow family members of Council members and the Mayor to be hired.  Will you vote to reinstate the Nepotism Policy?  If Yes, why.  If No, why.

Six candidates stated they were opposed to this recent action except Kelly Jarman and Michael Davis.  Michael Davis stated he was concerned his children wouldn’t be able to work for the City.  Jarman defended and justified her unpopular voting record on this issue by stating the School System and Military have similar policies, only 30% of the population in Kinston have college degrees so we need to keep jobs opportunities available, and nepotism will increase our tax base.  (This reasoning both confounds and contradicts)

Question #2 – Public Safety Chief Johnson is retiring. What should be done with Public Safety?  (Admittedly the question was misleading and vague.  There has been talk of hiring a Police Chief and a Fire Chief in lieu of one Public Safety Director)

All candidates gave a clear and concise answer and agreed City Council should seek out and hire separate department heads and hire a well qualified Police Chief due to the serious crime problems Kinston is experiencing  except incumbent Kelly Jarman.  She touted the excellent job our current police are doing and public education programs but stated separating the departments would depend on “who we find” to replace Johnson.

Question #3 – What do you foresee for change in Kinston to make it a better place to live and work?  (This was a vague open-ended question.  But there was some common ground with the answers)

Peterson struggled initially but eventually stated we needed jobs and address crime. Ragan connected the fact that our crime issues have a negative effect on our business climate and the desire for industry, businesses, and families to come to Kinston and stay in Kinston.  He stated the only way for us to solve this issue will be a Unifed Effort putting partisan politics aside.   Incumbent Jarman stated our lower utility rates, the promise of baseball coming back to town, the coming Land Use Plan, Queen Street revitalization and enforcing the Unified Development Ordinance will make us better.  Solomon wants us to work together and invoke community responsibility.   She stated we have the “right people at the right time” to solve Kinston’s woes.  Branch stated we need a change in leadership, claimed current leadership has destroyed much African-American historical structures and built an entrance to a Confederate Cemetery after tearing down a popular pool hall.  He charged the Board of Elections with continuing racism and  Jim Crow laws.  Vermillion spoke of his two term experience, the fact that we were the only two time All American City in the country, downtown revitalization and the increase in tourism.  He sees a bright future for Kinston.  Aiken spoke solely of eliminating crime.  Davis wants to change the way we think, educate everyone on gangs, change our entire leadership and stated we are failing as a City and as a people.

After viewing this debate and how these candidates fielded the questions, there is no doubt the “Nepotism issue” could be a deciding factor.  See “One Issue Could Decide Council Race”.   You need to decide for yourself.  Please continue to follow future debates and look for the traditional PodCasts on www.Kinston.com this Thursday with Bryan Hanks and his crew.  We’ll continue to bring you up to date news on the www.dailynewsfix.org.  Use the Subscribe feature to have the “Fix” delivered to your inbox when published.

 

 

One Issue Could Decide Council Race

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….

 

Lenoir County Republicans Bring Conservative Candidates To Kinston for Shrimp-a-Roo Fundraiser

Thursday, October 22, 2015 is the first day of One Stop voting (early voting) in Lenoir County’s municipal elections.   The timing could not be better for a Lenoir County Republican Party’s fundraiser.  The event is a Shrimp-a-roo to be held from 6PM-9PM at the Kinston Nature Center in Kinston, NC.   The venue is outside under the picnic pavillion on the Neuse River.  We should have a nice fire for you to enjoy on a crisp October evening!

Event sponsors include NC House Representative John Bell, IV and NC Senator Louis Pate. NC Appellate Court candidates Hunter Murphy and Richard Dietz will be mingling with the crowd along with Superior Court candidate Stuart Stroud (see bio below) from Lenoir County.  Kinston City Council candidate Steve Ragan (page link) will also share his plan to improve our hometown.  This event is a meet and greet format AND a chance for Republicans to highlight these gentlemen who are working hard to serve us all.   And, the Judges and Judge candidates will Judge the shrimp dishes!

We may also have a surprise candidate or two pop in…… don’t tell anyone but some big announcements may be coming our way!

Entertainment? We’ve got it! The bluegrass sounds of “The Gun Boat Boys” will be wafting through the trees and down the river!  Gotta love a little banjo on cool, crisp evening in front of an outdoor fireplace.

Okay, for the food!  We’ll have four (4) kinds of Shrimp.  Like Bubba says, “You can cook shrimp all kinds of ways, Forest!”  We’ll have Jambalaya, Boiled Shrimp, Shrimp Stew, and Scampi plus all the fixins’.  Beer, wine, and refreshments are included in this ‘All You Care to Eat’ affair.  Celebrity Chefs will be local favorites David Mooring, Jimmy Hill, and Tommy Pressly.  The price is $40 per person and tickets are available now.  You may call Lenoir County Republican Chairman, John Nix at 252-560-2150 to secure your tickets today.

____________________________________________________________________

Stuart L. Stroud, Superior Court Candidate District 8A

Stuart L. Stroud is a native of Lenoir County and is the oldest child of Reginald and Maidred Stroud.  Stuart graduated from South Lenoir High School in 1985.  He received his bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1989.  He then went on to graduate from Law School at Campbell University in 1992.  While in law school, he was a member of the trial advocacy team and was honored to be included in “The Order of Old Kivette” for having excelled in advocacy in regional trial competition.

Stuart began working for the law firm of Wallace, Morris Barwick and Rochelle in 1992 and has been a partner in that firm, now Wallace, Morris, Barwick, Landis and Stroud, PA,  since 1997.  Stuart is a member of the North Carolina State Bar and the N. C. Bar Association.  Stuart is admitted to practice in all state courts of North Carolina as well as Federal District Court- Eastern District and the Fourth Circuit US Court of Appeals.  

Stuart’s legal practice initially focused on Criminal Defense in District and Superior Court and traffic offenses.  However, for the last 15 years he has focused on civil litigation representing clients in a variety of legal disputes across eastern North Carolina and has tried jury trials in over 20 counties.  Stuart has also been certified as a Superior Court Mediator since 1999.  Mediators assist other attorneys and their clients in resolving their disputes without litigation.  In 2008, Stuart was invited to join the Eastern North Carolina Inn of Court.

Stuart and wife, Kelli Barefoot Stroud reside in Kinston and have one daughter, a sophomore at Appalachian State University.

Stuart is active in his church and is currently finishing his third, three year term as a member of the Vestry at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church and has previously served as the Senior Warden.  Stuart was honored to receive the Order of Saint George Award from the Episcopal Church and the Boy Scouts of America in 2015 for his dedication to the youth of the church and his service to the Boy Scouts.  Stuart is a former assistant scoutmaster with Troop 41 in Kinston and still serves on the Troop Committee.

Stuart earned his Eagle Scout award in 1983, is a Vigil honor member and Founder’s award recipient from the Order of the Arrow, and a former Lodge Chief of Croatan LodgeStuart has served as Council attorney for The East Carolina Council for over ten years.  In 2011, Stuart received the Silver Beaver Award for his service to the Caswell district and East Carolina council.  Stuart has also been on the board for the Pride of Kinston, the Chamber of Commerce, the Red Cross and is a member of the Rotary Club of Kinston, the Committee of 100 and is a supporter of the United Way.

Stuart, in his spare time, likes to hunt (previous sponsor and committee member with Ducks Unlimited and is a member of the NRA), fish, exercise, read, backpack, cook and spend time with his extended family.

Jarman Is No Nepotism Novice

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:

Blog #1                             Blog #2                                 Petition

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.

Keep Calm… and Sign the Petition!

Some of you read my last blog on August 13th entitled “City Nepotism Policy Up For Debate” regarding the City Council pushing for an amendment to their current Nepotism policy.  The amendment, if passed, will allow family members of City Council members and the Mayor to work for City government, so long as there is no direct or indirect reporting relationship.  Indirect reporting? That’s pretty much impossible to pull off.  Supervisors, department heads and others will be extra cautious when dealing with family members of elected leadership.

Nepotism policies have been around for ages.  These policies safeguard against favoritism, cronyism and unfair work practices regarding hiring, firing and promotion of employees,  We don’t think it’s a good idea to change a policy on a whim.  In this case ONE Councilman brought the idea for the amendment to City Council stating his relative (brother) applied for a job with the City of Kinston and was denied due to the Nepotism policy, albeit he may have not been the most qualified.  The current Nepotism policy has been an accepted fact for decades but this ONE Councilman decided it may be “unfair”, that maybe more highly qualified employees could be had if WE amended the policy to allow family.  The idea was put into the form of a motion August 3rd and on August 17th passed the first reading in a 3-2 vote.  You can see the amendment HERE.  Read my Kinston Free Press column HERE.  Read the Kinston Free Press post-Council meeting article HERE.

The good news is there must be a second reading at the September 8th meeting (5:30PM).

Some folks aren’t taking this lying down.  Sources tell me there have been multiple call to Councilman Joe Tyson, as well as, emails.  Mr. Tyson was the swing vote.  This is a nonpartisan issue.  Why wouldn’t our residents rise up?  You can write your council members and tell them what you think at council@ci.kinston.nc.us

You can also call the City Clerk at 252-939-3115 and ask for specific contact information. This is your town.  If this gripes you, don’t be afraid to speak up.  Otherwise, the second reading will pass untested.

And finally, Logan Thurman, a local businessman has started an online petition.  Hats off to this gentleman.  You may go to the link, read the conditions, and sign the petition adding your name to the growing number that are fed up with this action.

Here it is: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/prevent-the-city-of-kinston-from-changing-the-nepotism-policy.html

KEEP CALM AND SIGN THE PETITION!