Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Commission gives silliness a prime seat

We've spent some time recently fretting about folks potentially not getting along on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education. We have no similar worries about the Mecklenburg County Board of County Commissioners; we already know how dysfunctional that group is.

Your latest example is Item 8a on Wednesday night's meeting agenda, courtesy of commissioner Vilma Leake: "Seek clarity from Chairman (Harold) Cogdell regarding procedure and effective date for seating of commissioners around the dais at the meetings held in the meeting chamber."

Leake is unhappy at her new seating assignment, which is one of the seats at the far edge of the dais. That assignment came from Cogdell, who gets to make those calls now that he's the board chair. Leake complained about the seat back in Demember, but nothing changed, so she's back at it again, this time more formally.

If Leake wanted to know about procedure, however, she could've simply contacted county attorney Marvin Bethune, as we did this morning. Bethune's response, via email:

The only Board policy on seating arrangements is the attached 1979 policy, which reads: “There shall be adequate seating arrangements for the Board, staff, public, and media at all regular and/or special meetings of the Board.
Bethune and others say that as long as they can remember, the practice has been for the chair to determine where commissioners sit.

Leake also could've spoken with Cogdell if she wanted to know why he did what he did, but she clearly wants her complaint aired in public, not private. The board has protocol designed to limit silliness like this - specifically, a rule that requires any agenda item to be co-sponsored by two board members. In this case, that's former chair Jennifer Roberts and George Dunlap, who each should've known better than to allow this to move forward.

We haven't heard back from Roberts, who may still be smarting from Cogdell's unseemly unseating of her as chair. Dunlap, in a note to fellow commissioners today, said that Leake was upset at a remark Cogdell apparently made to media about no one wanting to sit near Leake.
Dunlap hadn't heard that remark, and neither have we.

Cogdell tells us this morning that he doesn't remember saying that "no one" wanted to sit next to Leake, but he said that the Republican members of the board requested to be placed elsewhere. Cogdell also says he remembers Dunlap telling him more than once that he didn't want to be beside Leake "because he would have to explain everything to her and that she talks during the entire meeting."

Cogdell says, and Dunlap agrees, that the board's time is better spent addressing other issues. But, says Dunlap of Leake: "Let her have her say and move on."

Leake already had that say at December's meeting. Wednesday's agenda item is nothing more than pettiness and preening, and it affirms once again that the board - at least three members, anyway - don't mind giving foolishness a prime spot on the dais.

Peter St. Onge


Skippy said...

Black entitlement, plain and simple.

Wiley Coyote said...

Leake is unhappy at her new seating assignment, which is one of the seats at the far edge of the dais.

...he rseat fits the sentence above, as she is so far on the fringe it's pathetic.

You get what you vote for.

I will unfortunately be moved into this God forsaken district from District 1.

I will have the pleasure of NOT casting my vote for her the next time she is up for re-election.

BolynMcClung said...

Case of raw, Case of raw

When I was just a little old
I asked my chair, where will I be
Will I be distant, will I be near
Here's what he said to me.

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not yours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.

When I was left without my place,
I asked my chair what lies ahead
Will we have rainbows, day after day
Here's what my chair said.

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not yours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.

Now I have political needs of my own
I asked my buddies, where will I stay
Will I be powerful, will I be lame
I tell them, put me on the night’s agenda

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not yours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.

Gee ain't politics fun
Bolyn McClung

Anonymous said...

I agree, there is no reason for her to aks this question as an agenda item. She will probably aks a bunch of dumb questions during the meeting. She has to aks for clarification on everything.

No one wants to sit near her because they are afraid that the dumb will be contageous.

Veronica said...

I'm just so proud of my world class city.

John said...

Any member who is displeased with their seat is more than welcome to vacate it immediately!

Don't let the door hit ya on the way out Ms. Leake!

The_Goat said...

Don't fret Observer editors. Just a few more months before you'll get to write your endorsement for her re-election...

DistrictSix said...

Look, just look, how fair the Observer is all you people!!!!

Just look at this story, they will hold over us, as an example of the fairness, while they post story after story, praising liberal agendas.

jenifer daniels - the friendraiser said...

@Skippy, black entitlement? Why can't this just be about Ms Leake and her quirks?

This is getting ridiculous and I don't mean the Commission.

Dee Are Pea said...

Vilma Leake was my teacher in high school. She was/is a complete nut job. I really don't understand how she stayed employed. Ms. Leake would freaquently leave class and disappear mid-period or not show up at all. You can imagine what chaos would ensue when 30 15 year olds suddenly had no baby sitter. When she did show up to class, her lessons never made any sense. I mean it took her 20 minutes to do roll call. I feel sorry for anyone who has to deal with her on a regular basis. In my opinion she should have to sit in the corner during the commission meetings.

Ghoul said...

DAP, I too attended Independence while she was there. She demanded, and was given, the adviser role to the student council, but after a few months they asked for someone else. But the principal, who was black, protected her, so the council met with another teacher behind her back.

She may have been one of the worst teachers in the system, but obviously could never be fired, no matter what she did and she knew it.

misswhit said...

In 2008 I attended several CMS related committee meetings in which Ms. Leake, as an observer (she said she came for the breakfasts provided), talked to the minutes' "scribe" (a CMS employee) throughout the entire meetings. Consequently the scribe did not have a clue as to what actually went on in the meeting--her minutes were quite amusing. Once this particular committee stopped providing breakfast Ms. Leake no longer made an appearance.