It’s really sad to see the crowing from the senior village staff, the Strickland-Pizzella gang, and The Friday Group over a Moore County judge’s decision to dismiss an open meetings complaint against the village. The judge, Jim Webb, suggested the plaintiffs waited too long to file a complaint. He did NOT say the complaint had no merit.
The village actually hindered the plaintiffs’ ability to adhere to any statute of limitations. The village dragged their feet for months in responding to plaintiff requests for documents. It would make no sense to file until after you gathered all the pertinent documentation.
It’s really no surprise that Webb agreed to dismiss the complaint. Webb is a longtime local politico known to hold politics in higher regard than *silly things* like, say, The Constitution. You could have overwhelming evidence in support of your position, and it would STILL be a 50-50 chance on which way Webb would rule. Webb is very impressed with the local political establishment and likes to look out for them. (He HAS to be getting close to mandatory retirement age.)
Village attorney Mike Newman’s law firm, Van Camp, Meacham, et. al., has an unusually large amount of political influence over the folks who work in the Moore County courthouse. Many times, an abundance of political capital can make up for a lack of competence.
Remember, the village has had FOUR attorneys on the payroll to deal with this complaint. Newman has led the crowing for the village. Instead of addressing the merits of the complaint, Newman devoted most of his energy to bashing Kevin Drum personally. The language in Newman’s ‘victory’ statement sounds an awful lot like the vile trash typically spewed by Newman’s BFF, village manager Jeff Sanborn.
You dare to question Sanborn or get in the way of his agenda, and he will try to stomp all over you. Mostly, I’ve seen him try it against women. There’s no telling if he has the cojones to try it with someone who can shove it all right back down his throat.
We don’t have democratic representation here in Pinehurst. We have a thugocracy orchestrated by people who think working around — ignoring — two of the village’s five elected officials counts as a “consensus of the council.”
The plaintiffs, former councilman Kevin Drum and NC Citizens for Transparent Government, have already been preparing for filing an appeal with The NC Court of Appeals. This time, their complaint will be heard by three judges in Raleigh who don’t give a hoot about Pinehurst cocktail parties or Moore County politics.
Remember THIS, folks. This is really all about taking power away from vile under-handed people and their thugs who like to conduct village business behind closed doors — and shining some sunlight on the affairs of the village and the goings-on at village hall.
This Open Meetings law complaint is far from over. Don’t get mad at Kevin Drum. He’s actually doing a service for the rest of us. Blame the arrogance and amorality running the show at village hall for thumbing their noses at the law and running up big bills for US to pay.