Letter to the Editor – What Clemmons needs
Published 10:00 am Thursday, June 25, 2015
To the Editor:
The Clemmons Council continues to surprise. After capriciously forcing experienced and well-regarded city manager Gary Looper to resign, and abruptly firing the Town Clerk, the council began a painfully slow process to find a new manager. Last month the process ended, apparently without consideration of other applicants, when acting manager Larry Kirby agreed to postpone his planned retirement. This may be helpful to the current council, but only defers the problem of replacing Kirby by ignoring other possible candidates. The mayor and council have now replaced or added four key staff members, without following established personnel policy procedures, and with Looper’s treatment as a reminder of the price of any suspected disloyalty.
The mayor and council have been quick to claim credit for finishing work made possible by their predecessors. An example is the new Village Point connector road. The mayor, then a member of council, and several other current council members, scuttled an effort to do the same thing, at less expense, in March and April 2013. Real progress, however, is hard to find.
Priority items languish. The mayor and council majority aggressively opposed a bond issue intended to address the serious traffic problems on Lewisville-Clemmons Road, problems which will only grow worse. Their solution-a unilateral decision to propose an extension of Idols Road, truly a road to nowhere, which will only benefit landowners along the extended Idols Road (and some residents of Davidson County). Do we need a serious traffic accident before our village government tackles the Lewisville-Clemmons traffic problem?
The county has long awaited word about a site for the new library. The village badly needs a new library, in a different location, especially with the expected increased traffic once Walmart opens. Perhaps more important is the apparent understaffing of police protection, highlighted recently by serious complaints from Moravian Heights residents. The Sheriff’s department says we need more deputies — public safety should be given top priority.
The current mayor and council (excluding Mary Cameron) have in the past year demonstrated a remarkable lack of transparency. Decisions are made either without consideration at all, or based on discussions outside of council meetings. Personnel policy has been abandoned. The lack of open discussion at meetings is obvious (attend a few meetings, and you will see), and disappointing. What Clemmons needs, more than anything else, is some fresh faces among its elected officials, faces willing to ask hard questions, and to address those questions openly with due regard for public input.