Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Coalition and A Covenant

There's been much ado about a piece of paper.  One that holds government's feet to the fire.  It's called the Constitution.  And here at home we have one called the "Commissioners' Covenant with the Citizens of Lee County."  

For a copy, download it here:

This document has been demonized by three candidates Ron Hewett, Amy Dalrymple, and Ricky Frazier.  They call it "unethical"!  But won't tell us exactly why that's so.  And they call the "coalition" sneaky and shady.   About that unethical part...read this in today's Herald:

Official: Commissioners can't enforce code of ethics
by Anna Johnson

SANFORD — The Lee County Board of Commissioners' code of ethics has no power to restrict the behavior or actions of candidates for commissioner, according to a University of North Carolina School of Government faculty member.

"I don't know of any authority the county would have to regulate the code of ethics through to the candidates," said Professor of Public Law and Government Frayda Bluestein.

Read more: Sanford Herald - Official Commissioners can t enforce code of ethics

Answer this my friends...why has this piece of paper caused so much stir?  Didn't a group of guys sign something a few hundred years ago to keep government accountable? What's the difference?
The group behind the "Covenant", The Coalition for Responsible Government,  decided to hold a forum for the candidates to discuss the points of the Covenant Saturday night at Grace Christian School.  It was recorded by WBFT Channel 46 TV and will be televised several times until election day. It was an event that kind of happened pretty quickly, but there was a reasonable notice given.  And all of the candidates were invited.  Every one of them received their invitations the same day in emails.  They had at least 5 day notice.  That's important to remember.  You'll find out soon.

At the end you can see the  letter sent by email with actual emails following.   Anyway, due to conflicts Amy Dalrymple nor Ricky Frazier could attend.  Amy did come by long enough to introduce herself.  However, Mr. Hewett came.  He arrived a bit late though.

Mr. Wood started the forum off by announcing the members of the Coalition.  You can see in the video that Mr. Hewett claimed no one knew who they were.  Or rather that Dan didn't know.   You'll also see at the end how unprofessional Mr. Hewett was.  He said at the forum he was given a 3 day notice.  In this morning's paper, he says 4.  I'm here to tell you he had 5 days notice.  See the emails below.

"Hewett also criticized the debate itself as being last-minute — it was announced four days in advance — and self-serving, since the questions were drawn entirely from the covenant." 

Regardless, the forum was very revealing.  Just about every topic Mr. Wood brought up was supported by ALL the candidates.  Except that little one called "incentives".  Well time will tell if our commissioners will learn a lesson on handouts.  

I'm still confused by Mr. Hewett's actions at the end.  He sounded very angry and defiant.

Check the schedule at http://www.wbft.org/.  

Anyway, Mr. Wood has released the letter sent to all of the candidates and the individual emails to this blogger.    Note email addresses are shortened for privacy purposes.

 Example of letter sent in email:
Coalition for Responsible Government
Sanford, NC 27330

October 14, 2012

Dear CAPT (ret) Hewett;

The members of our Coalition for Responsible Government in Lee County and the staff at Channel 46 WBFT Television jointly invite your participation in a spaghetti dinner and commissioner candidate forum this Saturday, October 20th, at the Grace Christian School Cafeteria, 2601 Jefferson Davis Highway, Sanford.  
The dinner will be served at the cafeteria beginning at 6:30PM and the forum will begin at 7:30PM, lasting until 9:00PM.  All six candidates for county commissioner have been invited to attend.  Each will be given 3 minutes for opening statements and 2 minutes for closing statements.  The remaining time of the forum will be committed to questions and answers, with opportunity for counter-arguments.  Questions will be directed to pairs of candidates by the moderator with responses limited to 2 minutes, each.  One minute counter-arguments will be permitted to each candidate when responding to the remarks of others.  In addition, each candidate will have one challenge card he or she may use in responding to the remarks of others during the forum.

Topics we expect to cover in the forum include Strategic Planning, Lee County Tax Policy, Lee County Budget, the 2011-12 Evergreen Audit and Fiscal Review, Public School Funding, Public Safety, Economic Growth and Development, and the Visitors Bureau initiative, among others. 

The meal will be provided to you and your immediate family free of charge.  

Please respond to me at the number below or by email indicating whether you will be able to attend.  Please also call me if you have any questions about the proceedings at the forum.


Dan Wood
Chairman, Coalition for Responsible Government
Lee County, NC
[email address removed by FBC] 
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2012 6:18:06 -0500
From:  <<earthwork
To: rehewett
Subject: Invitation

Mr Hewett,

Please see attached invitation, you should also be receiving one in the mail. You may RSVP by e-mail, or phone.

We hope to see you there.


Dan Wood
Coalition For Responsible Government

Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2012 6:23:11 -0500
From:  <earthwork
To: rickyrfrazier

Mr. Frazier,

Please see attached invitation....

 Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2012 6:20:45 -0500
From:  <earthwork
To: maxdolanxxxxx
Subject: Invitation

Please see attached invitation...
 Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2012 6:19:51 -0500
From:  <earthwork
To: airbornexxxx
Subject: Invitation

Please see attached invitation...
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2012 6:19:04 -0500
From:  <earthwork
To: fdp1
Subject: Invitation

Mr. Del Palazzo,

Please see attached invitation
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2012 6:17:00 -0500
From:  <earthwork>
To: dalrymplexxxx
Subject: Invitation

Ms. Dalrymple,

Please see attached invitation...

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