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I normally would not respond to an open forum but I feel that it is necessary to respond to the concerns about my candidacy for District 2 of Morganton City Council. I never asked any official to change the nepotism policy on my behalf. I don’t think the nepotism policy for the city of Morganton would stand up in court anyway.

Now, in regards to stacking the deck, let me inform some people about the City Council’s ability to control employees. First, the City Council only supervised the City manager and the City Attorney. The City Council has no say in the hirings or firings of any employee for the city of Morganton In my previous 16 years on the Council, I know of no instance where a council member was involved in any personnel issue regarding any employee, again with the exception of the City Manager and the City Attorney. As to the city’s Nepotism Policy, I have always been on record as saying it was too restrictive. While I was on the Council I was able to change one portion of the policy about two people from different departments dating. The Council’s job is not to get into the bedrooms of city employees.

There seems to be some great concern about me filing to fun for City Council and the fact that my nephew works for Morganton Public Safety. During my 30 years at Morganton Public Safety, for 14 of those years my brother came under the auspices of my supervision on occasion and there was never a whisper of any wrongdoing concerning this. Also, my brother was still employed at Morganton Public Safety when I was first elected to City Council. Again, there was never a whisper of any wrongdoing on my part. My nephew held the Bible for me at my second re-election swearing in and there seemed to be no problem then. During my 16 years on the Council not one problem ever came up regarding any of my relatives being employed by the city of Morganton.

Why, now, has my filing for City Council become a concern? My family has served this city 100 years. Could this nepotism policy have been enacted to keep Larry Whisnant, the most experienced candidate, from running for office?

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