Serving Kenly, Selma, Smithfield, Princeton & Pine Level since 1973

No transparency in Johnston County government circus

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The gift they give is a circus that runs all year. Every act in the circus has a common theme — the performers hide behind the “personnel order.” The order keeps heads in Johnston County government insulated from revealing negative issues to people. The personnel order is the center ring of the circus, from County Manager Rick Hester and the county commissioners who appear to have no control over major issues, i.e., the CSX rail hub, to Chad McLamb who answers no inquiries and doesn’t allow possible pay-for-play financial issues to be exposed to the sheriff whose office has transparency only when it favors his agency.

The school board and Superintendent Ross Renfrow are the latest circus act to perform and their act seems to be the group of clowns who appear to mime, not talk, and some are beating others over the head with rubber mallets as they are upset with other certain school board members. Fortunately, a whistleblower — who should be commended — exposed a significant issue that affects how schools are operated. Of course, the clown school board, which really isn’t transparent, is embarrassed about a convicted felon in their ranks teaching kids and falsification to allow kids to play football.

Fifty thousand dollars for a school mascot change? More than $1 million paid to the sheriff’s office for our now 15 school resource officers who are already paid and equipped by the sheriff’s office? A school budget short $1.5 million! Had it not been exposed, would we have ever known about those issues?

Exposing problems involving our elected officials here remains a serious issue without transparency and with those officials using the personnel law to mask every serious issue. No doubt there are many things we don’t know about because the circus ring of county government is separated and we are the spectators in the stands, not allowed behind the curtains.

I agree that a need exists for people to be allowed to freely express their views — whether negative or not — to the school board and all levels of county government. I believe that a complete overhaul is needed in elected and appointed officials here. The circus needs to leave.

Jim Davenport