Haywood County Sheriff

Earlier this month, long-time Haywood County Sheriff Tom Alexander, in a surprise move to many, announced his retirement effective February 2.  Since his term expires in 2010, it is up to the county's Democrat Executive Committee to name a replacement.

Local attorney Bill Jones, the county's party chair, along with the executive committee, has set up a process for the Executive Committe to do its job.  Potential candidates submitted their resumes to Mr. Jones earlier this week.  An open forum will be held Saturday, January 24, for candidates to make their pitches and answer questions from Executive Committee members.  Balloting will be held on Saturday, February 7, with each precinct having one vote for every 100 votes cast for Gov. Perdue in November.

The Asheville Citizen-Times listed the following candidates:

-- Albert Allen, a retired N.C. Highway Patrol trooper who lost a bid for sheriff in 2002 to Alexander.

Deeply disturbing

To me there are a number of things that I would like to see in our next Party Chair. A commitment to grassroots politics, an ability to fundraise, and a continued commitment to competing in all 100 counties are all essentials for most people. But what is even more core, and is in fact so essential that it never seems to be mentioned is Democratic values.

Governor Perdue’s First Week

On Friday afternoon we sent out the latest newsletter from the Office of Governor Bev Perdue.  Hopefully you all are on our email list already, but if not, I have reproduced the newsletter below.  It details all the key moments from Governor Perdue’s busy first week.

Email communication is going to play a key role in the Perdue Administration, and I want to encourage everyone to sign up for the email list.  You can do that by clicking here.

You can help us by forwarding the newsletters to friends or directing them to this post right here.  We appreciate the help!  Working together along with tools like our website, our eTownhall, social networking, and North Carolina's blog network we are going to create a vibrant back-and-forth dialogue between citizens and state government.

The Only Thing They Have To Fear Is, Well, That We Are A Brand New State

Granted, I do not spend an inordinate amount of time reading conservative blogs (though it is occassionally useful/fun to see what horrors they may be wailing against from time to time). Today, having just gotten back from Washington, I thought it would be interesting to see what some of the more, shall I say, confrontational blogs had to say regarding the Inauguration and Obama's first two days in office.

Calling Lanier Cansler


It's never to early to put new government officials in the spot light to see how they perform, so without further delay, this is a call on DHHS Secretary Lanier Cansler to clean up a big mess a-brewing in the shambles of the house we call North Carolina's mental health system.  As usual, Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch weighs in early:

Earlier this month, Charles Franklin was fired from his position as director of the Albemarle Mental Health Center, the local management entity covering 10 counties in northeastern North Carolina. The AMHC Board of Directors took the action after layoffs, disruption of services and a state report that found a myriad of problems with the agency. A good background on the difficulties that led to this “Mental Meltdown,” including Franklin’s salary of more than $200,000, can be found in an editorial by the same name in the Elizabeth City Daily Advance.


Yesterday comes word that former Smoky Mountain Center director Tom McDevitt has been tapped as the state-appointed replacement for Franklin. McDevitt, for those of you who don’t know, resigned in September from his position leading the state’s largest LME in terms of geography. That resignation came as the result of an investigation by the Smoky Mountain News, a synopsis of which ran in the newspaper’s “Best of 2008″ column several weeks ago in the category “Sweetest Deals.”

It read in part: “While the state’s mental health system lay in shambles, the director of a regional mental health agency was having a bit of an easier go. Smoky Mountain Center for Mental Health Director Tom McDevitt allegedly paid himself two salaries, gave himself special perks, and changed the date of his hire to dodge taxes on his retirement benefits. McDevitt also paid his wife commission for real estate transactions and used a loophole in the agency’s guidelines to employ his daughter.

Rail roaded

Bob Geary, one of those journalists who digs deep and thinks hard, has an excellent story in this week's Independent about the state of transit funding here in North Carolina. It's not a pretty picture.

The massive economic stimulus package now being fashioned in Washington is expected to include billions of dollars for mass transit and intercity rail projects. But because of decisions made during the Bush administration, the Triangle stands to receive little or none of it, the region's transportation leaders say.

Bob seems to have found some hints of a silver lining, reporting that North Carolina's metro leaders are on the case, but I can't help lament this sad situation. We'll be living with the disastrous consequences of Bush-era policies for generations to come.

Kay Hagan follow-up ... and follow through

A topic of some debate last year on BlueNC was Kay Hagan's true standing on LGBT rights.  Some saw her race against Jim Neal (among three other candidates) in the Democratic primary as a slight or outright hostility to LGBT rights.

To further lay any of that to rest, US Senator Hagan will be a keynote speaker at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Carolinas gala this year.  (www.hrccarolinas.org)  HRC is the nation's largest LGBT advocacy group in Washington.  Their annual Carolinas gala is second in size only to their annual national gala in DC.

NC blogger Matt Comer reported on this earlier in the year, as did Pam Spaulding.

I'll link to Matt's summary of the posts. http://insidesource.q-notes.com/2009/01/11/hagan-hrc/


Subscribe to BlueNC RSS