Monday, October 31, 2005

The issues

Since it is getting closer to the election, then I know that you will want to know where the candidates stand on different issues. I strongly encourage you to surf through this blog to see the volumes that I have written on my positions on things pertaining to Selma. Also, please find past articles in "The Selma News" and "The Smithfield Herald". The "News and Observer" has also published a voters' guide for your convenience.

If you have any questions on issues, please feel free to contact me. I may be a bit busy this week, since it is the last week prior to the election, but I will do my best to answer you questions. My email link is on the right. You can leave comments on this blog by clicking on the comment link below each post. You can also telephone me at 965-9695 or 623-7649.

An article of note

Here is an article in "The News and Observer" about small towns, their population, and work force that may be of interest to us "Selmites".

Sunday, October 30, 2005

I wish I had found this much earlier

I just found a web site where you, as a visitor to my web site, can see where other visitors live. Please feel free to add yourself to the map of visitors to this site. It is free, it takes just a minute or so, and there is no need to register and give any personal information. Just click on the button below.

Check out our Frappr!

My reason for running for office

I have written in this blog a few times about my desire to serve my community. I want to emphasize the servanthood part, since that is my sole aim. I couldn't care less about the power of being in any office, except to safeguard against abuse by those who do want such power for their own purposes. I certainly don't care about the money, since the $1800 per year (about $150 per month) certainly is nothing to live on. Why then, run for office other than to serve? I have been in the service of the Lord for almost fifteen years now. I have been in ministry, in service "behind the scenes" for several ministries, and do continue to do so, though on a lesser scale. As we are told in Ecclesiastes 3, there is a season for everything.

I am a stong believer in being the servant of God and have the burden to do so. I have served in public service from my youth. I have been out of the public service sector for a while and have been more in the ministry service sector until recently. I wish to continue to serve. I wish to be the following:

Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Romans 13:2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
Romans 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
Romans 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
Romans 13:5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
Romans 13:6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.

The executing wrath is only a part and perspective of the idea of civil authority. Actually, on the Town Council, I would be responsible for setting up and supporting those very people. That is an important part of serving the public and serving God, in my opinion.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Friday, October 28, 2005

Something you won't find on the WMPM web site

I spoke with the Johnston County Board of Elections today. I was in the court house to renew my Notary Public commission and stopped by the Board of Elections office to follow up on the aforementioned issue of advertising with WMPM. All that is known at present is that the State Board of Elections has attempted to contact the radio station to investigate and that no return communication has happened as yet.

All I wanted to know is if the proposed exchange of funds would be legal or not. I had no intention of spurring a full investigation into an honest mistake. Drawing a candidate into covering up a mistake, however, is not appropriate. Hence, my seeking counsel as to whether it was legal to do so. Either way, I hadn't intended for it to go this far.

I guarantee that this would most likely never have happened with any other candidate. This is the story of my life.

I wrote about some of this earlier

I knew that this was coming in the recent mutual aid agreement between Smithfield and Selma. I am not a big fan of speeding violations, since I have my own personal opinions on speed limits, especially on interstate highways. I do realize that often times, traffic violations bring drug busts. Here is the latest on the topic from the WMPM web site.

Smithfield & Selma Police Cracking Down On Speeders On I-95 - In an effort to reduce aggressive driving and speeding, Smithfield and Selma Police have increased visibility and radar enforcement on Interstate 95. Smithfield Police Chief Steve Gillikin said his officers, along with those from the Selma Police Department, began working together three weeks ago to cut down on violators on I-95 through Smithfield and Selma. Officers have spent at least one each week cracking down on motorists. Selma Police Chief Charles Bowen said under a mutual aid agreement between the two agencies, officers have jurisdiction in both towns. Chief Bowen said while traffic enforcement is a major part of the campaign, he hopes officers may be able to capture a drug dealer off the interstate. Chief Gillikin said the campaign will continue indefinitely.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Local news

From the WMPM news site:

Selma Awards Bids For Electrical, Water, Sewer Improvements - The Town of Selma has awarded a $1.31 million bid for equipment for a new electrical substation. Another bid for $417,816 was approved for water and sewer improvements. A majority of the work is required to supply Sysco with utility services when they open next year.

"The Selma News", as is always the case with print media, has more detail. Part of the article is here.

Selma is getting started now on planning next year's antique show. Very good. That is how it should be done. Early planning with local business is important. "The Selma News" has more detail:

Selma Development Partnership appoints Antique Show committee
The topic of conversation at the Selma Development Partnership meeting last Thursday centered on plans for the town’s next antique show. It was decided that the show will no longer be known as the East Coast Antique Show, but will be the Selma Antique Show.

A committee, made up of three local antique dealers and members of the Selma Development Partnership, was set up to work out details of next year’s show. Appointed to the committee were Rose Wagaman, Albert Kenzsak, and Donna Reid.

A meeting of the committee and all Selma antique dealers is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 3 at 6 p.m. in the town hall conference room. All interested Selma antique dealers are encouraged to attend this brainstorming meeting.


Also of note in Selma is that one of our police officers will be serving a tour of duty in Afghanistan. I bid you Godspeed, Officer Michael Conway.

Recent happenings

So much for starting vacation last night. I ended up working until 4:00 this morning.

One of my favorite restaurants is closing. Legend's Tap and Grill at Blackstone Plaza is closing its doors on Saturday. Quite honestly, I am not surprised, but I am none the less saddened at its passing. The Republican groups that meet there will have to find a new venue. So will my wife and I. We eat there at least once per week, sometimes more.

The Director of the Johnston County Board of Elections maintained contact with me yesterday about the ad buy I wrote about on WMPM. I do not want to do anything illegal or do something that will bite me later on. I refuse to knowingly get involved with or perform something illegal, shady, or otherwise possibly scandalous. Teresa Davis, the Director, spoke with me about the issue. She said that she would contact the lawyer at the State Board of Elections. She asked me to call back in the afternoon. Later that afternoon, she still did not have an answer from the lawyer yet, but would still be expecting an answer. Within a few hours, Ms. Davis called me back and informed me that the lawyer would research this topic, but in his immediate opinion, it would be illegal to perform the monetary transaction requested by WMPM, and his advice was to NOT do anything of the sort at the moment.

I sought counsel before doing anything stupid or potentially so. I will not get myself into trouble over someone else's mistake. I am glad that I did. As I find out more, I will let you know.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Bumper sticker

Since this blog has political news and views in it, I will throw out one for you. There is a new bumper sticker coming out that a lot of Democrats will be putting on their back bumpers. I think that I will get one, too.


The only difference is that I would put it on my front bumper, instead.

Dude, what the...???

I got an odd phone call from WMPM radio today. I produced some ads for radio broadcast on their radio station. I brought the ads by on CD, paid for a radio broadcast schedule, and was looking forward to hearing the ads on the radio soon. The check already cleared the bank. I have a copy of the cancelled check already, since I bank online quite a bit. Today's phone call was to tell me that the ad rate I paid for was too low and that they wanted to raise my rate by 50 cents per ad. That is like buying a car with cash and the dealership coming back to you after the fact and asking for more money.

Advertising regulations are fairly strict when it comes to political advertising. There are guides printed for radio stations and candidates. I have one somewhere on my book shelf, having been in radio for years, myself. You have to stick to the published rate card. I was shown a rate card with $x.xx per ad. Today, I was informed that the rate card was an older version and the newer rate card was not available at the time, and that my ads were going to be more expensive. Sorry, but I already paid for them according to an established rate card, as shown. That is NOT my problem.

My assumption is that WMPM sold some more ad time to other political candidates at a higher rate and to cover their back sides, they wanted to squeeze more money out of me so that all political ad buys are shown at the same rate. That is important, I understand. However, again, that is not my problem. You don't change the terms of a contract after the contract has been paid in full up front.

The station owner actually wants me to come to the station, write them a check for the difference, and then he will write me a check back for the same amount. This would be to satisfy me that I should not have to pay more money and to satisfy the idea that they have to show in their records that I paid the same rate as everyone else, at least on paper. That bothers me...and it should. I am still pondering that one.

A nearby town's municipal election...almost wish it could happen here ; ^ )

Clayton Town Council Candidate Withdraws From Race - One of the six candidates running in the Clayton Town Council has withdrawn. Rev. Raymond Pittman withdrew his name last week after he learned his church planned to reassign him to the western part of the state. Pittman told Board of Election officials he planned to return to Clayton in two years and hoped to run in the 2007 race. Elections Director Teresa Davis said it was too late to remove Pittman’s name from the ballot. She will inform poll workers not to count votes for Pittman on election night. Three council seats are up for election November 8 in Clayton.

Monday, October 24, 2005

We need to work on these sorts of things in Selma

Some things perpetuate a town's reputation. We need to really work on this. Quite honestly, some things proposed by others running for office will perpetuate things like this, not help. Of course, we can not prevent all crime, but we can sure have a police and citizenry presence to discourage these things. Furthermore, we can clean up our neighborhoods that contribute to this sort of behavior. Here are a few examples from WMPM's web site.

Nightclub Refuses To Help Patron Stabbed Outside Club - A complaint has been filed against a nightclub after a patron was stabbed in the parking lot, yet the business allegedly refused to allow the victim inside for medical aid or to even dial 911 to summon help. The stabbing occurred Saturday morning outside Sebastian’s in Selma. The victim, 29-year-old Randy Pearce of 7723 Highway 96 North, Selma was hospitalized after help finally arrived. Felony warrants have been obtained against a suspect in the case, who still remains at large.

Troy's commentary: What the heck? What sort of heartless and irresponsible business will not render medical assistance or even call for help? I am glad that charges have been filed against the business.

Video Store Robbed In Selma - Selma Police don’t have any suspects in a robbery at Movies Unlimited at 1114 South Pollock Street. Around 8:25pm Saturday, a lone black male entered the business and approached the counter to buy a soft drink. Once the clerk opened the register the suspect took $40 in cash and fled. Police canvassed the around but did not locate the individual. No injuries were reported.

Troy's commentary: Two words: concealed carry. If enough business owners and employees carry concealed weapons or have access to them, AND criminals know this, robberies like this will decline rapidly.

The latest endorsement of Troy for Town Council

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Sunday, October 23, 2005

Get your copy of last Thursday's "The Selma News"

I implore you to get a copy of Thursday's "The Selma News". You will have the opportunity to read about three of the four candidates in the upcoming Town Council election. In this write up, I do believe that you will see a strong contrast in the candidates that has not appeared in other publications. The same is true for the mayoral race.

Just based upon the article, there are perspectives/points that you will need to consider in selecting a candidate for town council. Issues brought up that you as a voter will need to consider are:

1. Do you support the idea of town government supported low income housing?
2. Do you believe that recreational programs will be the solution to crime and drug problems?
3. Do you believe that more jobs being brought to Selma will automatically help low income earners?
4. Do you believe that the parks and recreation proposal for three dog parks and seven mini-parks in Selma is appropriate?
5. Do you support systematic town wide planning that is not overly restrictive so as to encourage business, yet does not promote profligate sprawl?
6. Are your water, sewer, and electrical rates too high? Can we cut costs to reduce those rates?

For mayor, the issues just based upon the newspaper article are:

1. Should the town pay for beautification of private property?
2. Should the town give tax breaks to those who wish to renovate their property?
3. Should the town supply health care for its citizens?
4. Are we heading in the right direction with our utility expansion to attract more businesses to Selma?
5. Should the town help businesses expand?

PLEASE, if you have not taken these issues into consideration, please do so. Perhaps I will write more commentary on these individual issues. I will simply close this post with my asking you to become informed as a voter. Look at the issues. Choose candidates that better follow your vision for Selma. It is my hope that your views and my own are the same. So, vote for Troy!

Some thoughts on taxation

I am on several message boards, one of which is my favorite. There was one discussion about coservative versus liberal politics that covered idealogy on taxation. Here is what was posted and my replies to the fellow member of the forum.

Sounds pretty reasonable to me that the people who make the most money should pay the most taxes. Does anyone have a problem with that?

One of my objections to the Bush administration is that they cut taxes, then went on a spending spree like they were Tip O'Neil on speed. Does anyone really think that spending more than what's brought in is either right or practical?

And the president stands in front of friendly crowds, blathering about "sacrifices" for the war. He's the only president who ever cut taxes during wartime, and he did it for people who were doing just fine without the cuts. Where's the sacrifice in that? Or the sense? I seriously resent having my children and grandchildren stuck with the bill for this administration's profligate ways

My reply is in blue. Quotes are in red.

Quote: (Originally Posted by troy2000)
Sounds pretty reasonable to me that the people who make the most money should pay the most taxes. Does anyone have a problem with that?

Yes, I do. As a percentage of income, they pay more in taxation than the bottom income earners. That is a problem, in my opinion, and grossly unfair. If the rate was more "flat", they would still pay more in actual dollars, but not in proportion to income. That would be fair.

One of my objections to the Bush administration is that they cut taxes, then went on a spending spree like they were Tip O'Neil on speed. Does anyone really think that spending more than what's brought in is either right or practical?

There, you have the big issue that really incenses many conservatives. It shows the divergence between so called Republicans inside D.C. and those who elected them. Spending has been one of the biggest disappointments I have seen with the current administration and Congress. There are other issues, as well.

and he did it for people who were doing just fine without the cuts. Where's the sacrifice in that? Or the sense? I seriously resent having my children and grandchildren stuck with the bill for this administration's profligate ways

That part is just plain inaccurate. The tax cut was 1. minimal and 2. broad based. It was not for the well off exclusively, as was characterized by the left and the media. Tax cuts increase tax revenue EVERY TIME it is tried. This was no exception. JFK knew this and did it in the 60's. Reagan knew it and did it in the 80's. Bush knows it and did it in the 2000's. His tax cuts didn't go far enough, however.

The profligate ways, as you put it, is relevent to spending, but not the minor tax cuts. Sorry, but it is econ 101.

In regards to the idea that the "well off" not needing tax cuts, consider the following basic truth. The wealthy are the ones who hire people. Poor people do not. When their money is more heavily taxed and therefore not available for business growth, then they will not be investing more into their businesses, hiring more people, buying new equipment, increasing existing wages, etc. When less money is sent to the governemnt in the form of taxation, more capital is available for business. More business capital means business growth. Business growth means that more tax money is generated by more employees and more commerce. Since the economy is not a static or a "zero sum gain", the resultant tax revenues actually increase.

I have never gotten a job from a poor man.

Friday, October 21, 2005

One-Stop Early Voting Underway

Just remember to cast your early vote for Troy!

One-Stop Early Voting Underway - One-stop early voting for the November 8 municipal elections is underway. Early voting is taking place at the Johnston County Board of Elections office in Smithfield through November 5. Voting is allowed Monday through Friday from 8am until 5pm and on Saturday’s from 9am until 1pm. Requests for absentee ballots will be accepted through November 1.

Thoughts on Harry Blackley's views as expressed in "The Selma News"

Harry Blackley and I are in agreement on most things he expressed in "The Selma News". We feel the same way about working with sewer, water, and electrical capacity to keep it ahead of demand. I don't necessarily know how much ability that we as a town government have to keep "good paying jobs" in Selma or even to bring them here other than to be "business friendly" and continue to seek and attact more industry. By this, I don't mean giving corporate welfare in the form of tax breaks. This includes helping existing businesses to expand. Selma is in a great position to attract further business with our geography, available area work force, and utility expansion. There is no guarantee that new business will bring new residents, but that is the hope.

Harry didn't have a lot of other things of note in the paper, other than touching on the crime and police issues, in which we are in agreement; and one extra curricular issue that I will leave alone for the moment.

Thoughts on Charles Hester's views as expressed in "The Selma News"

I have had nothing but positive interaction with Charles Hester thus far. I have not had many conversations with Mr. Hester, but those I have had were pleasant. He seems to be a well educated and intelligent man, as well as an obviously successful business man. For that, I respect him and have nothing negative to say about the man.

I do wonder, however, about a viewpoint or two as expressed in yesterday's "The Selma News". I have been pondering it since I read it, and even commented about it in yesterday's blog entry. There are a few conflicting viewpoints, as I see it.

QUOTE: "Hester believes the town needs to "reduce spending, therefore reducing the amount of utility charges to our citizens." Also, he believes that all town management needs to be accountable." I agree with the accountability. However, the cutting of spending will not necessarily reflect in our utility bills. The overall spending is not necessarily directly linked to the cost of electricity or water, sewer, and trash pick up. Yes, we may very well need to reduce spending. Yes, I would love to see reduced utility bills. However, the reduced spending needs to be directly in those areas. Quite honestly, it looks as if we may need to increase spending in the utility construction area to keep pace with future growth. That is one of the very few areas I have no problem with spending more money. Infrastructure is important to sustaining population and expansion.

I have a problem wiht the town aiding in "the restoration of homes and businesses in town through tax breaks". Such as? Cutting specific property taxes to help people restore their houses and businesses at the expense of the general tax paying population? Sorry, but I do NOT want to subsidize private restoration efforts with my taxes, nor should any sensible citizen.

QUOTE:"We need to beautify the town signs, walks, streets, and appearance of all real property." At who's expense? Do you force people to beautify or take their property by eminent domain? Or do you provide civil penalties for non-compliance? Do you use public tax dollars to paint and maintain privately owned businesses and homes? Do you simply have the town perform all maintenance to beautify and then bill the property owner? I think that the town could encourage the behavior desired of property owners, but there is a limit as to how you treat private property rights.

QUOTE: "We should stress health care for all citizens and seek means to enable this to be done with no costs to the taxpayers." Uh...yeah, right. Sorry, sir, but since when is it the town's responsibility to ensure health care for anyone? Where is it in the town's charter that the municipality has the responsibility to provide health care for its citizens? Why should I pay for health care for someone other than my own family? How the heck are we, as a town, going to do so "with no costs to the taxpayer" other than having a charity run a program? Or with grants from other governmental agencies that we are funding with tax money? Health care is not cheap and there will be expense to the tax payer if the government even touches it, regardless at which level of government. I especially have a problem with the idea of even thinking of supplying anything but life saving emergency health care to anyone here illegally. We have a county run hospital that can provide critical care. Why should the town even think about health care for anyone other than those in its employ?

QUOTE: "Also, we should work to eliminate noise that is a nuisance with better and more stricter ordinances" NEWSFLASH: We already have noise ordinances.

QUOTE: "Also, he wants the town to pursue and correct illegal immigration." It is sad that we even have to consider this, but in this, he is correct. It is the federal government's job to work on this, hence the existence of the Immigration and Naturalization Service and Border Patrol. However, the feds are not doing the job that we are paying them to do. So, we have to take action at the local level. Personally, I believe that we should refuse city services such as water, sewer, and electricity to anyone who does not have the necessary documentation to show that they are in this country legally. It is my understanding (based upon conversation with our town clerk) that the town is regularly shafted on utility bills by illegal immigrants who are very transient. If it is so difficult for the average citizen to get utility service, why is it so easy for illegals to get service in the first place and then skip out on the bill? Why allow this at my or your expense? Why even think about allowing those who refuse to follow the law to enter this country the possibility of priviledge or of breaking further law and take advantage of our system?

I don't write all of this to be severly critical of one mayoral candidate over the other. I debated about whether to write this or not. However, if elected to the town council, I will have to deal with issues like this, and will specifically have to deal with these issues if Mr. Hester is also elected. Now you all know exactly where I stand on these topics. That has been the aim of this web site from the beginning. I have been open in my viewpoints. You have the opportunity to contact me, make comments on this web site, and question things as you see fit. As long as I don't get spammed with the porn ads in the comments area, you are welcome to write comments. You are also welcome to click on my email link to the right side of the page.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Yo! YOU need to vote for Troy!

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Two of Selma's fine officers

I was outside with my dog this morning, enjoying a cup of morning coffee while still in my slippers, old holey t-shirt, and shorts. While standing in my yard and watching my dog find a spot to "squeeze", the two officers came over to say hello.

We stood in my driveway for quite a while, asking questions, discussing their views on the town, getting to know their concerns for their department, the population, and their opinions on what could be improved. We also talked about recent drug busts, initiatives to improve drug interdiction, equipment needs, etc.

I got a good idea of the level of morale with at least these two officers. I have already talked to Chief Bowen a few times. I am happy with my interactions with our police department thus far.

I have already extended an invitation to talk to our fire chief, but have not heard a single peep from him yet. Considering that the fire service is my background, I am a bit surprised and disappointed at that. Chief Price, if you read this, please contact me. Let's get together and talk just as I have done with the police department.

The Selma News article

"The Selma News" now has its articles published on candidates for the upcoming Selma municipal election. I had filled out a questionnaire for the paper and faxed it to them. Unfortunately, the fax didn't come out well, so they called me and I was able to get them the original for their use. Three of the four Town Council candidates filled out their questionnaires and submitted them to the paper. Two out of the three candidates actually seem to grasp the needs of the town, in my opinion. Of course, I am one of them. I am very conservative in my approach, so in reading the article, you will be able to see who I else I am talking about and who I am not.

I have refrained from commentary on other candidates to date. I don't want to get into negative campaigning. I could do so easily. I have already thought of articles to write on this site, ads to write and publish, etc. However, I am seriously attempting to refrain from these tactics, as I believe them to be inappropriate. I understand them, but I don't like them.

I did learn more about Charles Hester, who is running for mayor. I did not know anything about his politics to date. Then I read today's issue of "The Selma News". There are some things I found interesting if not surprising. I had an idea of Harry Blackley's positions on things, having seen him at council meetings and talked to him briefly.

I do believe that I have made my choice for who to vote for in the mayoral race.

N&O voter's guide

I got a phone call from the Raleigh "News and Observer" to answer two more questions for their upcoming voter's guide. These questions were not on the bio or questionnaire, but they were wanting to publish a few opinion questions and answers, so I spoke with the nice lady for a while. Look for the guide soon, my ad in "The Selma News" and listen for my radio ads on 1270 AM WMPM.

Monday, October 17, 2005

A reminder

The new Johnston County Republican Men's club will be hosting a very special guest speaker on Tuesday night, October the 18th. The speaker will be Lisa Rhodes Littler, former aide to Senator Jesse Helms. Mrs. Littler will be sharing her experiences and recollections of working with Senator Helms as she worked her way up from receptionist to a Legislative Assistant. Lisa Littler worked with the Helms organization from 1990 through 1996, and then maintained close working ties with the Senator's staff while he was chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.

Lisa Littler will be sharing her recollections of working with the Senator on Tuesday night, October the 18th at 7 PM in the banquet room at Legend's Tap and Grill, Blackstone Plaza in Selma, near the Hwy 301 and 70 intersection. Feel free to come early and enjoy a good meal, some Republican fellowship, and stories of what it was like to work with Senator Jesse Helms.

For venue information, menu, and directions, contact

The Herald article

Earlier, I wrote about an interview with other candidates at the offices of "The Smithfield Herald". Last Friday's newspaper had the coverage of the interviews. In the interest of fairness, let me say that so far, I have been happy with the way I have been treated by The Herald staff in regards to the upcoming election thus far. I do not subscribe to that paper, since they still owe my wife money for delivering their paper several years ago and steadfastly refuse to pay her the remainder of the sum she is due. For that reason, we don't subscribe to their publication. When they pay us the money owed, we will sign up for a subscription that very day. It seems to be bad business to cheese someone off and lose a long term subscription. For the money they owe us, they would have made it back many times over in our subscription fees and advertising revenue.

I did pick up a copy of Friday's "Herald" to see if the write-up on the interview was there, and it was. Though I was accurately quoted with the minor exception of exact verbiage at one point, I do wish that there was more context in which to comprehend what was said and why. I do realize that for the sake of brevity, they must edit down content.

One thing that only those in the room knew is that one of the candidates did not even take the time to show up to the interview session. Yet, he has a full write up just as the rest of us did as if he were present. That bothers me a tiny little bit, but I can live with that idea. As a matter of fact, I was the only one of the four candidates that arrived on time for the meeting. The other two arrived late, but at least they took the time to show up. Jackie showed up just eight minutes late and Debbie Johnson showed up nearly an hour late, but at least she took the time to come out.

There were a few issues that were discussed that were not fully covered in the article, but again, I understand the idea of editing for content and space. There was one line of questioning that led to answers that I wish could have been further expounded upon in the paper. They were discussed at length in the interview. That would have shown how coherent I was actually being at the time rather than snippets. The topics covered, such as the discussions pertaining to borrowing money, expansion of town services, and working to solve our crime problem were in the article. There was much more context and even a few areas not written about. I just wish all of you could read a full transcript to get the whole picture.

I am not claiming any misquoting or being taken out of context at all. Actually the context was there, I just wish that you, the reader, could have heard the discussion in its entire context to perceive the flow of topic, thought, and get the whole discussion. I think that if you could have heard what was said, how it was said, and followed the entire interview, you would have gotten a much different concept of how the candidates stacked up against one another rather than just a few quotes. In my own opinion, the difference between how things read in the paper versus how the interviews went is stark. "Ah, so, Grasshopper, you have learned much in this experience." Or if you prefer Yoda, "Much you have learned from this interview, I sense, hhhhhhhmmmmmm. Very interesting. Very interesting, in deed." By the way, I love doing Yoda impressions. Frank Oz, look out.

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Also, in the interest of fairness, I did have to leave shortly after the portion of the interview with Jackie Lacy and me was over so I could return to work. Therefore, I did not get much of the questioning with Debbie Johnson, who unfortunately, arrived late. C'est la vie.

"The Herald" should be commended for their efforts in bringing issues to the public spectacle. Almost two thirds of a page was dedicated to this. They are doing the same with other towns, as well. Thanks, y'all.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Think about your vote

One thing that has always disturbed me about local elections is that one rarely gets to know about the candidates that are running for local office. Some newspapers try to give a sparse "voter's guide". "The Smithfield Herald" seems to have done the best job of having both a questionnaire and a Q&A forum at their offices. I have also gotten and filled out questionnaire forms for "The Selma News" and "The News & Observer". The N&O info is online. Radio ads give you just a quick glimpse, but nothing in depth. Newspaper paid ads generally are not informative.

That is why I have developed this site. I do believe that I am the only local candidate in Selma that allows you to see exactly what I think and where I stand on issues. My flyers have info on the back of them. My business cards have as much as I have space to print. There is no guile in my writing here. I may not disclose my every last thought on a given subject, but I certainly don't hide or mislead about things. I want the voters of Selma to feel confident in the person that they would be voting for.

Some will vote for a candidate because they are the first name on the ballot, some because it is the only name they recognize, because of a sign on the side of the road, or because the color of a candidate's skin or sex. FORGET ALL THAT. Vote for a candidate because of what he/she stands for, his/her ideals and vision for the town, and leadership.

There are negative things I could write here about my opponents in this election, but I don't want you to vote for me because of a negative or because you are voting against someone else. I want you to vote for me because of what I stand for, which has been outlined fairly well here since July. Read my posts here for the past months and find out what I am all about. I think that you will find a candidate worth voting for. Selma is my hometown, and I aim to serve my community.

And I thought that the Selma election was interesting

Nobody Running in Idaho City Election

OAKLEY, Idaho (AP) -- Municipal elections are coming up, but this city in southern Idaho has no candidates.

Oakley has two city council vacancies to fill in November, but no one has filed the papers to be placed on the ballot, and the deadline for write-in candidacy is fast approaching.

Mayor Garth Greenwell said he hoped somebody would come forward. If nobody does, the two council seats will remain vacant, and on Jan. 1 Greenwell will work with the rest of the council to appoint someone to fill each vacancy, attorney Steve Tuft said.

"Even if there is not enough council members to constitute a quorum, government cannot be shut down," Tuft said. "So it will be up to the remaining council members and the mayor to appoint someone if no election is held in November."

Idaho law regarding write-in candidates recently changed. In past years, voters could just write a name on the ballot, but now write-in candidates must declare their desire to run before the election, said City Clerk Beckie Clark. The deadline for those candidates is Oct. 25.

"There is nothing in the Idaho Code that says an election can be canceled, but it would be senseless to hold one with nothing on the ballot," said Idaho State Elections Superintendent Tim Hurst. "I would hope the mayor and council are out looking for people to file so the city does not give up its opportunity for an election."

Friday, October 14, 2005

News on the addition of town services

What the news story as reported on WMPM's web site does not tell you is that the services that Selma will be paying for are not just for Sysco. Also, that the $1.25 million for water and sewer have already been paid for by grant money to the town. We will save about $100K a year in not renting an electrical substation from Progress Energy when Selma builds its own. As much as I am not one for municipalities owning utilities, that is just smart business. You service a major customer, expand your system for future growth, and stop paying rent on something that expensive that you can own, all in one deal.


Town Of Selma Spending Over $4.8M To Provide Services To Sysco The Town of Selma will build a new $3.6 million electrical substation and spend another $1.25 million to extend water and sewer service to the Sysco plant being built. Selma leaders say the projects will also help attract future growth in the area.


"The Selma News" had a more in depth article on the issue, if you are interested.

Selma Council moves on work for Sysco
By Kelly Lake, News Editor
Oct 13, 2005 12:03

Much of Tuesday night’s Selma Town Council meeting was spent in making sure that the town’s responsibilities for water, sewer and electricity for Sysco was on target.
Sysco is the national food distribution company that is building a plant in Selma.
Town Manager Jeff White told Council members the town needs to make sure that it does not hold up any of the work being done at the new plant.
Council approved ordinances Tuesday night for a $3.685 million new electric substation to serve the facility and a $1.25 million project ordinance for water and sewer for the property.
White noted that the town will finance about $3.35 million on the electric work but that the town has received....

Read Town Council decisions in the Selma News - your local source for your local news.

The Herald's article on the antique show

click here for article

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Something I wish would be changed

From the Town of Selma's official web site: "The Town Council of Selma is comprised of four Council members and the Mayor. The Mayor is elected to a two-year term and the Council members are elected to four year, staggered terms. They are elected "at-large" and they represent everyone in the town."

I wrote earlier about the idea that the Town Council is elected "at large". For a while I have pondered whether this is a good idea or not. I tend to think not. West Selma has no representation on the Council. The sentiment of frustration over lack of representation has been expressed to me before. The county is considering district elections for school board. Some people are realizing the merits thereof. So how about Selma?

One of your Selma Town Council Members

For those of you who do not know, one of your Selma Town Council Members is a "shutterbug". Perhaps you have seen Jeff Weaver about town during Railroad Days with his camera. Well, he does professional photography, as well. Check out his web site.

I have had the pleasure of getting to talk to Jeff recently and have enjoyed the little time we have had to chat. Fortunately, he is not up for election this year and running against me :^) Then again, I don't know the results of this year's election yet, so it could happen some time.

An interesting meeting. Come and meet me there.

The new Johnston County Republican Men's club will be hosting a very special guest speaker on Tuesday night, October the 18th. The speaker will be Lisa Rhodes Littler, former aide to Senator Jesse Helms. Mrs. Littler will be sharing her experiences and recollections of working with Senator Helms as she worked her way up from receptionist to a Legislative Assistant. Lisa Littler worked with the Helms organization from 1990 through 1996, and then maintained close working ties with the Senator's staff while he was chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.

Lisa Littler will be sharing her recollections of working with the Senator on Tuesday night, October the 18th at 7 PM in the banquet room at Legend's Tap and Grill, Blackstone Plaza in Selma, near the Hwy 301 and 70 intersection. Feel free to come early and enjoy a good meal, some Republican fellowship, and stories of what it was like to work with Senator Jesse Helms.

For venue information, menu, and directions, contact

Election results in other towns

I am amazed at the results of election in area cities like Raleigh. First, I have no idea why their elections were yesterday and ours are on November 8th. Second, I am amazed that a tax and spend, bond issue loving, money wasting, TTA loving, highway 540 hating liberal like Charles Meeker could be re-elected. Just as Israel wanted a king and along came Saul, Raleigh is getting what they want. Wasting a billion dollars on light rail, stonewalling the progress of 540, and raising property taxes is not what the citizens of Raleigh need. I won't be so arrogant as Mr. Meeker as to the affairs of the citizenry and the best interests of the town.

I am glad that I left Raleigh to live in Johnston County right about now. I lived in Raleigh for years, but got tired of the high rent on the town house in which we were living. We eventually moved to a rental place in Smithfield until we could afford to purchase a house. We chose Selma for our hometown. Raleigh has a lot going for it, and had a lot of things we liked and needed that were convenient. The commute was shorter, shopping was easier, and restaurants were more abundant. However, we chose to move to this area from Wake County for a reason. Now, it is time to serve the community I call home.

West Selma residents...take heed

For some time now, I have been thinking about the whole idea of our Town Council being elected totally "at large". That means that the smaller of the two "districts" in Selma has less opportunity to elect council members, since there are fewer people in this district. The west side of Selma is totally unrepresented on the Town Council, as I understand it. Remember that I can be the ONLY member of the local council to represent anyone west of the Hwy 301 dividing line, in reality. Have your say about west for me. How much more simple can it be said?

Monday, October 10, 2005

A long day and a neat site

It has been a long day at work today. At least I can still take a few moments to write here. I plan on being at the Town Council meeting tomorrow night. Come and see me as well as see how the town is run.

I found this neat site about small town statistics. I looked up Selma. Check out the info online about our town.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Radio spots

I have completed two radio spots to play on WMPM. I have already gotten advertising rates from the station. I am budgeting for two weeks of ads prior to the election. If you want, you can preview these two ads right here online. I have converted the files to Real Media format. You will need Real Player in order to hear them. Real Player is a good, solid, and free audio/video player and CD burner program. It is available free at the Real Media web site. The advantage of using the Real Media format is the smaller file size, saving bandwidth on free web hosting servers and file space. It is also optimized for streaming audio.

Here is the first cut.

And the second.

Antique Show

I see that the weather cleared out a bit Saturday afternoon to help with the Antique Show. As of 1 PM, there was still a misting drizzle. By 4 PM, it was rainforest hot and humid outside, but clear. Today was much cooler, but still a little humid and dark skies.

It will be interesting to see how successful (or not) the antique show turned out overall. I am sure that it will be a learning experience, either way.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Firefighters let mans mobile home burn to the ground because he hadn't paid them $25 "fire protection" money.

There is no excuse for this sort of behavior by supposed firefighters. I was in the fire service for about a decade. I didn't care if someone was paid up on PAC money or their extortion fees as to whether I helped them. That is why I really hate "subscription services" for fire and EMS. At least around here we do pay the tax dollars for services and should expect them to be rendered. I don't want to ever see this sort of thing happen in Selma with either fire or EMS. We do have issues with the fire department that will need to be worked out. Thankfully, I don't forsee this sort of unconscionable act or mentality happening here.


INTERNATIONAL FALLS, Minn. There's outrage in northern Minnesota after firefighters allowed a man's mobile home to burn. Carl Berg had failed to pay the 25-dollar annual fee required for fire protection for homes outside International Falls city limits.

Berg says he couldn't afford the fee or fire insurance. He says he lost everything in last month's fire.

The Fire Department poured enough water to put the fire out temporarily and make sure everyone was safe. But when the blaze rekindled later, firefighters let the flames destroy what was left.

Fire Chief Jerry Jensen says he doesn't want to see that happen again. He says a firefighter's job is to "put out fires, not to watch them burn."

Local officials have been haggling for two years over how to pay for fire protection.

Remember the online Selma election poll! You can still vote if you haven't already!

Free Vote Caster from
Free Vote Caster from

Il pleut, il pleut

Ah, nothing like two days of a heavy rain for for the first two days of an outdoor furniture show. Since the East Coast Antique Show was going to go on as originally planned, I was hoping it would go well. However, I firmly believed that the town should have cut its losses, licked its wounds, shut down the show this year, and maybe focus on next year.
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This week's issue of "The Selma News" had two write-ups on the show. One was an article on the events leading up to the event. The other was a lengthy letter to the editor. Personally, I feel for the promoters and come down on their side of things. They spent thousands of dollars and invested careers to work on this show and got little response. Then they received sharp local criticism for pulling out of the show. I live here. I know what they were going through from personal experience, since I have seen similar things happen with different events. I assess no blame for the show's promoters in this whole cluster (well, you know the rest).

Friday, October 07, 2005

You can help

As you can see below, I have been working on getting more public exposure for the upcoming election. We are working on a limited budget. I don't have a lot of yard signs to put all over Selma like the other candidates are doing. Maybe next time, I will be able to afford more professionally printed materials. There are so many things I wanted to do, but unexpected budgetary issues have hit, not to mention personal family emergencies this week.

I am getting some newsprint ads. I have also printed up thousands of half page, two sided flyers. The flyers look just like the picture below, in the next post on one side and have some of my personal "propaganda" on the other. I have about a dozen one sided, vinyl and grommet type banners that I will be putting up.

If you would like to put up one of these hand lettered, unique banners, contact me. My home phone is 965-9695 and my cell is 623-7649. You can also click on my email link to the right of the page. ALSO, if you would like a stack of flyers to take to your church, civic group, or to give to others, please just contact me.

You can still assist financially to help me put more newsprint and radio ads out there. You can donate through PayPal with the button on the right of the page or you can just contact me directly.

When I get the audio for the radio ads cut, I will put them online, as well. Fortunately, I don't have to rely on having to pay for a professional audio production company or a lame radio station quickie ad. Because I have some radio and production experience and sufficient quality equipment, I will be doing the production and distribution myself.

Newspaper ads

Look for my upcoming newspaper ad in "The Selma News". It will run in the three issues prior to the November 8th election. It will not be as big as Charles Hester's quarter page ad, but it will be what I can afford and was comfortable with purchasing. It will be the same thing as on the front of my flyer. Next, listen for radio ads on WMPM. I have the script written and need to work on the ad next. Again, it will be what I can afford and feel comfortable with.

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Today's meeting at The Smithfield Herald

At 9:30 this morning, I met with the staff of "The Smithfield Herald" for a candidate roundtable discussion/interview session. Jordan Cooke, a staff reporter, coordinated getting the candidates out for the meeting. There were four staff members from The Herald present. I was there a bit early. A representative for Jackie Lacy arrived just before meeting time. Jackie herself arrived shortly thereafter. Debbie Johnson arrived just as the Q&A session ended for myself and Jackie. I couldn't stick around for Debbie's session, too. She was given the opportunity to answer the same set of questions that Jackie and I did.

The questions started out with why we wanted to serve the town. Then it was on to the three biggest issues facing Selma and the biggest future issue. We talked about town projects and financing for them. Another question dealt with encouraging future business, like the town did Sysco. Look for our answers in The Herald. I am not sure about in which issue the info will be published.

Apparently, The Herald is having these meetings for candidates in the larger towns in Johnston County, group by group.

Overall, I believe that I did well. I had already given thought to most of the issues inquired about aforehand.

Just by way of a news item and not criticism, Jackie Lacy has actually hired a public relations consultant for this small town election. Interesting.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

REMINDER - voter registration deadline is October 14

If you want to vote in the November 8 municipal election and are not yet registered to vote, you will need to do so by October 14th. Here is the web site for the Board of Elections for more info.

East Coast Antique Show

The East Coast Antique Show is going on this weekend. I really hope it goes well. Considering the late "restart" of show promotion and the pull out of the original show promoter, I can only hope that it will go well. I will not be disappointed for Selma should the show not be a huge success, all things considered. This show could be a good thing for Selma if it works. I have my personal pessimism on the topic, but still hope for the best.

By the way, as of tonight (Thursday), the weather forecast for Selma calls for: Friday Occasional showers. Isolated afternoon and evening thunderstorms. Highs 75 to 80. Lows in the upper 60s. South winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 80 percent. Saturday Cloudy. Showers likely in the morning...then a decreasing chance of showers in the afternoon. Highs in the mid 70s. Southwest winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60 percent. Sunday is looking sunny. Since this is an outdoor furniture show, we can only hope that the weather is in our favor.

Comment section now turned back ON (owned by Google and the host of my web site) now offers an option that allows comments to be left on blogs and hopefully prevent some of the spam comments left on my blog. I was getting a lot of comments left on my blog by people/companies promoting goods, web sites, and pornography on my blog. For a while, I just read and deleted the offending sites after investigating whether or not they were legitimate or not. I got tired of deleting comments, so I simply turned off the comment option. Now, a word key verification option allows people to leave feedback if they enter a word in a box that they see on the screen that only a live person would be able to see and type. Yip, yip, yip, yahoo!! The comment capability is now back on. The word verification will look something like this:

Pictures on this site

It looks like Photobucket is acting up again and not uploading the pictures to my blog. I may have to find a new provider. Sorry about that.

Selma Railroad Days

I got a simple email about Railroad Days:

From all indications the 30th annual Selma Railroad Days was a successful event. The weather was nice, the crowds were large, and the parade was long. We have about 500 photos of the event and the race results posted on the Railroad Days website. To view these pictures go to

Here is a picture of me at Railroad Days at my information booth. The crowd had died down a bit at the time of the picture. We handed out hundreds upon hundreds of flyers.

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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

I am not a huge fan of such things as giving corporate incentives

I am not a huge fan of giving private industry tax payer funds, tax breaks, or other incentives on the hope and promise of bringing more jobs and revenue than was invested by the local government(s). Dell and Sysco are two that come to mind. Dell was perhaps the most outrageous deal in quite some time. Now, even a small town such as Micro has done the same. For the Micro slaughterhouse, both the county and the town are contributing to an incentive package. Rather than offer a great location, work force, utilities, zoning, and cooperation, many local governments prefer to bribe businesses to come locate to their jurisdictions. I just plain have a problem with this as a corporate welfare package. Seldom have I heard of great benefits derived from such agreements. I have heard plenty of negative, however.

I personally would like to open a used book store here in Selma. I already have sufficient inventory to open a decent sized store. I doubt that I would get an incentive package to do so, nor would I expect one. Small businesses and taxpayers get hosed while large business grows at our expense.

Often times, businesses would relocate to your area, anyway, such as in the Dell deal. Taxpayers took it on the chin, none the less.

Smithfield Herald and N&O efforts

I have been impressed so far with the efforts of "The News and Observer" and "The Smithfield Herald" in wanting to cover the local municipal elections. Reporters from both papers have been in touch with me, and the Herald reporter has taken the time to get to know me on a first name basis. The N&O, although a Raleigh paper, has taken the time to call me for opinion on a few stories, asked for a bio, and published my bio. I do wish that they would at least put the rest of the candidates on their web site, though.

I just got a call from Jordan Cooke of the Herald, as he said he was going to do. He wanted to set up a time to meet with all of the local candidates for a "round table" forum. Sure, I am game. Friday morning, I plan on being at the Herald offices, as we planned. Thanks, Jordan.

An addition to the list

I see that "The News & Observer" has finally added Jackie Lacy's bio to their web site. Whether it is from slow response or slow publishing, I don't know. Either way, the N&O still has not listed Charles Hester or Tommy Holmes on their web page.

Railroad Days review

The WMPM web site is reporting that 10,000 people attended Railroad Days in Selma. I don't know about the accuracy of that figure, since it seems a bit bloated to me, but I do know that there was a strong attendance this year.

The odd thing about this, which is not known by most, is that a one particular political organization decided not to come to Railroad Days because it was "smaller" than the other area festivals and was deemed not worthy of their time, considering that they were going to be at other county festivals. I even offered to share my booth with them...twice. Alas, they never attended. Their opposing party, however, was there, had a nice booth displayed, and was busily registering people to vote. What is wrong with this picture???


From the WMPM web site:

10,000 Attend Selma Railroad Days - Ten thousand people attended the Selma Railroad Days festival over the weekend. In the 30-year history, attendance records were shattered for the parade, as well as the number of parade entries and vendors. Joe Carter, Selma Parks and Recreation Director, said it was one of the largest Railroad Days ever held. “Everything went really well. We had an excellent day and beautiful weather,” Carter said.

Monday, October 03, 2005

A quote from Daniel Webster

On Sunday, I wrote a blog entry that referenced Daniel Webster, who was born in the town where I grew up. Here is a quote from Mr. Webster.

"I apprehend no danger to our country from a foreign foe . . . Our destruction, should it come at all, will be from another quarter. From the inattention of the people to the concerns of their government, from their carelessness and negligence, I must confess that I do apprehend some danger. I fear that they may place too implicit a confidence in their public servants, and fail properly to scrutinize their conduct; that in this way they may be made the dupes of designing men, and become the instruments of their own undoing. Make them intelligent, and they will be vigilant; give them the means of detecting the wrong, and they will apply the remedy."

Sometimes I wonder if that last sentence is true any more. I hope so. The rest of the quote is certainly happening before our eyes.

The latest eminent domain abuse story brought to you by Riviera Beach, Florida

In the name of "economic development", some cities are willing to take away the property rights of 6,000 people. I knew that after the Supreme Court ruling of Kelo vs. New London, Connecticut, that there would be a flood of eminent domain cases. To quote the article referenced here, Kelo vs. New London "upheld the right of government to seize private properties for use by private developers for projects designed to generate jobs and increase the tax base." Now, Riviera Beach, Florida is doing the same thing. This sort of thing makes me livid.

Do politicians and town officials start "running on stupid" and get stuck there sometimes? How arrogant do you have to be to say that you have no regard for someone's property, their heritage, their life's work and discount it as insignificant compared to the alleged and purely speculative benefits of economic development in this manner?

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Even people in Iraq support Troy for Selma Town Council

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WRAL added me to their list of Triangle blogs

Click HERE for their list of Triangle area blogs. There are area blogs on medicine, law, entertainment, sports, and politics. Look for the link to this blog there and check out other area bloggers.

For the several posts below

For those of you who are not aware, Selma does publish its town ordinances online for your reading pleasure. I have spent hours reading up on the town's ordinances on the web site.

I have found some ordinances that I am curious about or would like to see changed. I have decided to discuss a few of them. Since the web log shows posts in reverse chronological order, I wanted to put this explanation here, so you will get to see what I am doing for the next several posts below.

Two last issues and I will drop the ordinance review

Sec. 15-36. Required.
Every subdivider who proposes a subdivision of land for residential purposes shall dedicate a portion of such land, as set forth in this article, for the purpose of public green space, open area, park site, or construction of a recreation facility to serve the residents of the neighborhood in which the subdivision is located.

I really don't like extorting park space, clubhouses, or public spaces out of developers. It is just immoral. We already have a park system for their use at public expense.

Sec. 16-131. Payment of utility bills.
All payments for utility bills shall be in accordance with the official policies and regulations adopted from time to time by the city council and kept on file in the office of the city clerk.

I am not fond of the town being in the utility business as a whole. If you can find it in the "yellow pages", then we need to see if the private sector can offer the same or better services cheaper. If Progress Energy can run our electic plant at a cheaper cost to the town's residents, then we should allow them to do so. We do this with landscaping and other needs that the town has. If the town can perform the job with town employees more cheaply and effectively, then the town should do so. That is being responsible with taxpayer funds.

One problem that I see with the town's handling of the utilities is that there is NO grace period whatsoever with the utility bills. I have sent an electronic payment via my bank's web site to the town for utilities. Since Selma is not on board as a partner with my bank's financial dealings, my payment processing is slower and arrived a day late. Since making a payment with my bank is fast and easy (just five seconds), I tried doing it that way a few times. The payment was posted electronically on time, but arrived the day after the due date. There is NO grace period. I got nailed with a late fee of over $20 because of it. That is ridiculous. So instead, we write a check and take it to town hall each month. Not everyone's pay day will line up with the due date. We do our best to be on time, and for the most part are paying on time, every month. But a publicly owned utility should not be so harsh to its citizens who are paying for and own the electrical plant to begin with.

Sidewalks and pertaining ordinaces...a sore subject with me

In my continuing review of Selma ordinances, I found one that just "chaps my behind". The town supplies side walks upon which pedestrians have the ability to tred. I have one in front of my house. The condition of the sidewalk is horrendous. That is not my fault, it is the town's. And to fix it, it appears that the town wants me to pay for it.

Sec. 14-47. Petition for street or sidewalk improvements.
A petition for improvements signed by at least a majority in number of the owners of property to be assessed who must represent at least a majority of the lineal feet of frontage of the lands abutting on the street or portion thereof to be improved will be required. One hundred (100) percent of the cost of the improvements shall be assessed, not including the cost of improvements made at street intersections, and must be so stated in the petition. Petitions are valid for two (2) years after certification only unless seventy-five (75) percent of the estimated cost to be assessed shall have been deposited with the town. At the end of the two-year period a new petition must be presented.

There is more to this ordinace, which you can look for on your own. I have the remainder of it that I could copy and paste, but want to conserve space.

The town planted trees along the sidewalks years ago, probably before I was born. The sidewalks in my area are concrete slabs laid end to end. The walking surface is uneven because tree roots have grown under the sidewalk and buckled the concrete slabs or moved them. This is a safety issue that has boggled my mind for a few years now. I have seen people trip on the uneven sidewalk. I have done so, myself. It is not just in front of my house. We have been known to walk around our neighborhood, especially in the cooler months. The sidewalks all over are horrendous.

If someone trips and injures themselves on our decrepit sidewalks, all it will take is a motivated, intelligent lawyer to really ruin the town's day, so to speak. If we have a known hazard and do nothing about it, the town is opening up itself to liability. That is just plain inviting problems.

If I petition the town for a sidewalk repair, according to ordinance, I will be assessed the cost of doing so, even though the sidewalk is NOT my property nor liability. My property ends before the sidewalk. Yet, I mow the town's right of way along the sidewalk, often trim and try to edge along the sidewalk, and even trim the tree that grows branches that hang in the way of the sidewalk. None of those are my responsibility, but I do so since it is adjacent to my own property. It also makes my property look better and makes life easier on me. I also rake up leaves that fall on my lawn as shed by the town's tree. All property owners should do the same.

However, because a town owned tree buckled a poorly designed sidewalk the town installed, I should not be assessed the cost of the improvement. It is the town's own liability and self interest that should govern here. I would rather see the town spend the money on sidewalk improvement for the sake of safety and liability prevention than on building more parks, more library space, and the like. This is a "no brainer" for anyone who can rationally think. Maybe I am biased by my safety training and personal pedestrian activity. Maybe not. I have a background in health and safety. I have dealt with sidewalk issues, safety hazards, and fire codes for a living. Part of that job was risk avoidance, which is what I am talking about here.

One thing for certain is that if I am going to pay for a sidewalk, then I should be allowed to call it MY property. That means that if I want to install a toll plaza on my sidewalk, I should be allowed to charge a nickel or a quarter for every pedestrian that crosses my sidewalk, since I am the one paying for it.

To put a lien on my property for improvements made to city sidewalks that I do not own is immoral and should be illegal.

Bicycles, BBs, and Halloween

Here are some more of my views on some Selma ordinances.

Sec. 12-6. Bicycles on sidewalks.
No person shall ride a bicycle on any sidewalk of the town.

I never see that one enforced. Just sit on my front steps and watch.

Sec. 13-4. Air rifles prohibited.
Any person using an air rifle in the town shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Why should I be guilty of a misdemeanor if I want to set up a small target and trap in my driveway and shoot my Daisy Red Rider that I have had since I was about ten years old? An air rifle???? Come on, now. If I am not hurting anyone else's property, using it to vandalize, hurt, etc., who cares? If I need to scare a menacing dog off my property, I should be able to hit him with my BB gun without fear of being charged with a misdemeanor.

Sec. 13-9. Trick or treat visitations.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to appear on or in any public street or alley of the town or upon any property than his own premises for the purpose of making trick or treat visitations, except as provided in subsection (b) of this section.
(b) Subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to children twelve (12) years of age and under before the hour of 8:00 p.m. on each Halloween night in the residential areas of the town.

As much as I am at odds theologically with the concept of Halloween, restricting the age to under 12 and the hour to before 8 PM is a bit much. In the dying words of William Wallace, at least according to Mel Gibson in the movie "Braveheart", "FREEDOM!!!"

Did you know that your Selma tax dollars are available for giveaway?

Sec. 10-46. Definitions.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
Grant means a sum of money, not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00), established by the town council each quarter that is available for outside improvements in the D.A.R.E. district and which does not have to be repaid to the program. Moneys for grants are derived from noncommitted funds as described in section 10-52.
("D.A.R.E." refers to the Downtown Area Revitalization Effort.)

That is $2,000 each year that are eligible for give away in the form of grants. I dislike the very principle. No corporate welfare, thank you, regardless of the small amount. We need to abolish this program.

Ordinances dealing with the dead

As you can read here, I have looked at Selma ordinances and have found some that I have questions as to their validity or enforcement. I continue here.

Sec. 7-1. Illegal burial.
No person shall bury or cause to be buried any dead body in any place within the town other than in a public cemetery owned by the town or a public cemetery owned by private persons duly licensed and operated as provided in this chapter.

Sec. 7-19. Hours of Memorial Gardens.
The Selma Memorial Gardens shall open at 8:00 a.m. and close at sunset. It shall be unlawful to be within the cemetery grounds at any other hours without written consent of the town, and trespassers will be prosecuted.

I hope that the illegal burial "dead body" refers to human bodies. If someone wants to bury their dead pet cat or parakeet in their back yard, who cares? It is their back yard.

I realize that the purpose of the cemetary hours is to prevent loitering, odd rituals, grave robbing, and vandalism. However, if I want to visit grandma's grave after hours, why should that be a crime? If a grieving husband wants to sit by the grave of his departed wife until the wee hours of the morning, why restrain him? That is just insensitive and contrary to common sense freedom.

Ordinances about animals

I will abridge some of the ordinance here to touch upon the keypoints of interest to me. You can see the full text online, as I pointed out earlier.

Sec. 4-27. Keeping fowl--Generally.
Up to four (4) fowl may be kept on a single lot or tract within the town limit...
(1) The fowl will not be permitted to run at large and must be maintained in a house or coop of suitable construction and size for the number of fowl maintained in it.
(3) No house or coop may be located any nearer than one hundred (100) feet from any dwelling, hospital, eating establishment or school.

Wow, I don't see that one enforced. Just ride down Anderson Street past Selma Cotton Mill sometime and turn the corner towards Brack Wilson Park. Some days, it is a chicken safari.

Sec. 4-51.5. License and registration required.
All dogs kept, harbored or maintained by their owners in the town shall be licensed and registered if over four (4) months of age and shall have evidence showing vaccination by a licensed veterinarian. Dog licenses shall be issued by the town clerk upon payment of a license tax of two dollars ($2.00). The owner shall, at the time application is made for such license and upon printed forms provided for such purpose, put his name and address, and the name, breed, color and sex of each dog owned or kept by him

Other towns have abandoned this requirement, since it was costing more to enforce and run the dog tag requirement than they were taking in. Why tax my dog? What does the town care if I have a dog, anyway? She is mine, is well cared for, and bothers nobody except us. I have always had a problem with the concept of taxing a family pet.

Sec. 4-51.6. Tag and collar.
Upon payment of the license tax, the clerk shall issue to the owner a license certificate and a metallic tag for each dog so licensed. The shape of the tag shall be changed every year and shall have stamped thereon the year for which it was issued and the number corresponding with the number of the certificate. Every owner shall be required to provide each dog with a collar to which the license tag must be affixed, and shall see that the collar and tag are constantly worn

It is my dog, and if I don't put a collar on her, that is my business. We do put a collar on her for taking her for walks or while in public, which is appropriate. It is appropriate to keep a dog leashed in public, but on my property, that is my choice. I think I will take my Pekingese outside right now to poop on my front lawn (without a collar).

OK, now I'm back inside from violating town ordinance and can continue writing.

Sec. 4-59. Notice to owner and redemption.
Not later than two (2) days after the impounding of any dog or cat, the owner shall be notified, or if the owner of the dog or cat is unknown, written notice shall be posted for three (3) days on the bulletin board at the town hall and police station, describing the dog or cat and the place and date of taking. The owner of any dog or cat so impounded may redeem such dog or cat by:
(1) Paying for and procuring a dog license, if he does not have one for such dog;
(2) Having such dog or cat duly vaccinated for rabies if it has not been currently vaccinated before the redemption date;
(3) Paying a capture and notice fee and paying such other costs and charges imposed by the town for impounding and maintaining such dog or cat in the pound.

Sec. 4-60. Disposition of unclaimed dogs or cats.
It shall be the duty of the animal control officer to keep all dogs or cats so impounded for a minimum period of three (3) days. If, at the expiration of the third day from the date of notice to the owner or the posting of notice, such dog or cat has not been redeemed, it may be disposed of by turning it over to the county animal control officer to be destroyed in a humane manner, under the direct supervision of the county animal control officer.

We have had the displeasure of having a cat put in "kitty prison" and had to bail her out. A gray and white cat adopted us some time ago. She was most likely abandoned here in the neighborhood. She started coming around and we started feeding and loving on her. Since we didn't know her name or to whom she belonged, we gave her the generic name of Fluffy, even though she wasn't really fluffy. We took the responsibility of getting her spayed, vaccinated, and supplied with food, water, and shelter. She spends most of her time outdoors, but we try to keep her inside as much as possible. She was an outdoor cat from birth, it appears. She is feral to most people, but tame with us. She is actually rather sweet and loving.

One day, she went missing. After two days, I went to the animal shelter in Smithfield. There she was. We paid the $25 and got her out of kitty prison.

In the many times I have been in town hall, I have never seen notices of captured animals. Maybe I am just missing it, but I have never seen a notice posted as ordinance requires. I have looked. If the town is not following its own ordinance, how can it expect town residents to do the same? I would be rather angry if my pet is destroyed because of a lack of compliance. Furthermore, we had better comply with the time frame as a MINIMUM. By the way, the county animal control agency does not dispose of animals in a humane way, nor do they have a good track record of following time lines with impounded animals.

Sec. 4-65. Number of dogs or cats.
It is unlawful for any person to have or keep more than three (3) dogs or cats, six (6) months or older, on any lot or tract of land in the corporate limits of the town, except when such keeping is in a district and in conjunction with a business, such as pet stores or kennels, that is a permitted, special or conditional use in that district.

What business is it of the town's how may pets I have in my home? If I want six cats, five dogs, a dozen parakeets, three lizards, fifty fish, a snail, and a partridge in a pear tree, that is my business. That ordinance is obviously not enforced. And I don't have to look any further than the other side of my fence or in my living room. And that is MY business, not the town's. There is no public nuisance, no public health issue, and no noise issue at my home. So what does Selma care?

I realize that there are many stories in the news about houses found with 120 cats, fifty dogs, etc. that are a health problem. I am not talking about that. We have cats and a dog. Who cares except us?

OK, this post is getting long, so I will truncate it here.

Some local ordinances and the municipal code

For those of you who are not aware, Selma does publish its town ordinances online for your reading pleasure. I have spent hours reading up on the town's ordinances on the web site.

I have found some ordinances that I am curious about or would like to see changed. I have decided to discuss a few of them.

Here is one that I had no idea about at first:
Sec. 2-1. Salaries of certain officers.
The mayor, councilmen, city manager and city attorney shall receive an annual salary as set by ordinance.

I didn't know what compensation was for town council or mayor. To be honest, I could not have cared less if there even was compensation. I didn't see anywhere what the "salary as set by ordinance was" on the web site. I did, however, see the list of town salaries as published in "The Selma News". Now I know that the councilmembers get paid $1800 per year and the mayor is paid $2400 per year. I also know the salary of the town manager and town clerk, as well as other positions. I am glad that "The Selma News" has been publishing public servant salaries, since we are the ones who are paying them. I now have a better idea of how our police department, public utilities employees, and others are paid.

I don't have a problem with compensating the town's elected officials, since they do put in time, effort, and carry responsibility. I do believe in the principle of 1Timothy 5:18 "For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward."

For certain, nobody will run for town council or mayor to get wealthy, and that is appropriate. It is not a full time job and the $150 per month is token.

I have other sections of code to discuss, but I think I will make them separate posts to break up the boredom for you.

Railroad Days

We were at Railroad Days yesterday...about all day. We got there real early within the set up period. I learned a few things about setting up. First, for our simplicity of a booth, we don't need to get there that early. Second, regardless of how things were done in the past, the organizers of the event don't like the idea of an eight foot tent going in a seven foot space. Fortunately, the info booth next to ours was moved to get them an electrical feed and the vendor next to us had plenty of extra space for us to put our tent on their side of the line. So we were able to allow the seven feet of space for another information vendor next to us, either way.

I am "lobsterfied". It looked like rain early on, but the sun came out and I am sunburned all over my face, neck, and arms. Even though I got a ball cap later on, I still got burned pretty thoroughly.

We met all types yesterday. Town officials, town employees, voters, and a lot of people from out of town. I had some good conversations, some odd comments, and some fun along the way. My observations that people are extrememly diverse in their personalities were furthered yesterday. As we handed out hundreds of campaign flyers, some were gracious and took the flyers. Some were indignant, some were callous, some were friendly. I had one individual (for some strange reason) give me a mean "Don't even...!!!", to which I asked "Don't even what?" She was angry with me for some unknown reason. I have no idea who she is, and she obviously does not know me.

My wife had one person ask her if I supported the war in Iraq as a requisite as to whether they would take a campaign flyer or consider voting for me. I am amused at that, since the Selma Town Council does not fund nor authorize troops to go to Iraq. Nothing like sleeping through civics classes in school.

I also got some feedback from some of you who have visited this web site. Thank you for your kind words. I welcome your feedback. You will find an email link under my profile section of the blog, and you are welcome to use it. My email is

Let private business run its course

I grew up in a small town, Franklin, New Hampshire, prior to moving to North Carolina almost two decades ago. I read three online editions of New Hampshire newspapers daily. I have been following one story of a piece of property that I am familiar with that was once owned by famous statesman, Daniel Webster. A developer wishes to make a subdivision out of the old farm. That area of the country needs more housing and the old farm sits there doing nothing. However, conservationists have gotten involved and this development has been stopped with planning and zoning problems. Several groups have wanted to preserve the farm simply because it was once owned by Daniel Webster. My take on it is "SO WHAT?" I don't care who owned it. Someone owned it before his father bought the property in 1800. Did you read that? 1800.

What I see now is that OUR tax dollars are going towards the effort with a half million dollar grant from the federal government. That's right, money from North Carolina citizens is helping to pay for a tract of land in a small town in Franklin, New Hampshire. Even though I don't live there any more, I am helping pay (along with YOU) for a piece of old, unused farmland in New Hampshire.

I hate that the developer had so many problems attempting to do something useful with the land. He was generous in offering much of the tract for a new school, as well as some of the existing buildings on that land. It had become an orphanage as well as a convent during its 200 + year history since Daniel Webster's father purchased the land.

The town was wrong for being so restrictive on private enterprise. They were also unwise to accept the deal of a new school and land for development for a school. Then we have a grant application and approval for our tax dollars (as if there weren't any more important things for our tax dollars to go to) to purchase the land. When will such things stop? It should have stopped with the town (actually, Franklin has a city charter rather than a town charter). Things like this are why I am running for town council here in my chosen hometown.