Friday, May 10, 2013

Former Gov. Jim Martin backs Harry Jones

Former N.C. Gov. Jim Martin is coming to the defense of ousted Mecklenburg County Manager Harry Jones. Martin, a Republican, writes in a letter to the Observer that Jones was a "scapegoat" for a failing board. He concludes by saying that Jones "was a giant among Lilliputian pygmies."

Here's Martin's letter:

Harry Jones is a decent and honorable gentleman. I had not met him
until a few years ago when he recruited me to chair a 35-member ad hoc
Committee for School Building Solutions. By 32-3, we recommended
policies and procedures to relieve overcrowding in suburban schools
and renovations for outdated inner-city facilities. Since then, I have
come to admire him and value his dedication. He deserved better than
to be dismissed in such a callous fashion.

As a former Mecklenburg County Commissioner (1966-72), I fully
understand the authority and responsibility of the elected Board of
Commissioners to oversee and employ the County Manager. Harry always
knew that he served "at the pleasure of the Board," and that any
mistakes or errors by any County departments ultimately were his
responsibility. As they added up over time, that made him a convenient
scapegoat for the Board. Rather than acknowledge and repair their own
mistakes, it was easier to blame Harry, knowing he was too decent and
professional to blame them.

It only added insult to injury for the Board to deny him the courtesy
of a farewell statement and even the right to retrieve his personal
belongings from his office. Instead, he was treated as if he was a
danger to the realm. Led by an inexperienced Chair driven by personal
pique, the Board acted in a dishonorable a manner.

Like the legendary Gulliver, Harry Jones was a giant among Lilliputian

Jim Martin


Common Sense said...

I would agree 100% with Governor Jim Hunt. The County Council is completely at fault. It's SAD that Mecklenburg county and the Democratic lead council has created a mess.

WE need both parties, as we can clearly see, Democratic lead Mecklenburg county is not the answer.

Elect Harry Jones as Congressmen Watts District

Bussta Brown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bussta Brown said...

Former Governor Martin is very much on point. The County Board, being true to its history, is dysfunctional. And it's members of both political parties.

Agree or disagree with Harry Jones' job performance, after 13 years of service his public dismissal was handled in an extremely poor and disgraceful manner.

And no excuse is a good one as to why Harry was not permitted to return to his office to retrieve personal belongings. The building is secured.

Anonymous192 said...

My gosh! The previous Boards may have been Lilliputians, particularly when led by the midgets of all midgets Parks Helms and Jennifer. But, Harry Jones has shown himself over and over to be a spiteful, vengeful, tiny little man and Jim Martin showed that he was nothing but a political hack when he issued his UNC coverup. Now he verifies it by defending a fellow Mecklenburger who has done nothing but feed at the public trough while sticking it to a particular segment of the taxpayers in Mecklenburg. That "let them eat" cake culture crosses party lines as Martin has proven: Most politicians are miserable self-serving human beings who don't give a lick for the taxpayers. A pox on all their houses except, in this case, Pat Cotham, and the commissioners who are working with her to try to right the wrongs perpetrated on private citizens by Harry and his merry band of thieves. Oh, and in addition to Harry, all his top staff must soon go, since he chose them based solely on their willingness to advance his arrogant, self-serving culture, unless, of course, the BOCC wishes to perpetuate the arrogant ruler culture Martin signed on to.

Wiley Coyote said...

The only shining light we, the people have had in the past 15 years from the BOCC, was when the residents of Hawfield Road told Parks Helms where to stick it and a judge backed them up.

By the way, where is the $7 million the Whitewater Center owes us Parks, Jennifer? You know, that "quality of life" thingy you wasted our tax dollars on you said we must have.

Anonymous192 said...

Martin must be afraid local political cronyism is on the verge of eroding slightly under Pat Cotham. You know, the same political cronyism that brought us Samara Foxx, Rodney's lovely daughter, the judge's daughter, Mary Wilson, and no doubt brought Martin his gig on getting to the false bottom of the UNC athletic/AA studies. Not to mention the most flagrant example of cronyismm to date: the nomination to a cabinet position of the incredibly qualified, delightfully congenial, masterfully skilled Anthony Foxx.

Anonymous192 said...

Parks Helms and Jim Martin--two arrogant old fools trying to stay relevant Their party chiefs really ought to shut them up.

Anonymous192 said...

I bet it was particularly galling to these two old redneck relics, Helms and Martin, that three women on the BOCC, Pat, Vilma and Karen, brought a fellow male down. Both just proved again they are from the ignorant era and backwoods place where a woman's job was in the kitchen--barefoot and pregnant. You go, Pat, Vilma and Karen. You go away, Helms and Martin, never to be seen or heard from again, and PLEASE take Ole Harry and his protege, Bobbie Shields, with you.

cltmeckreader said...

Way to go Jim Martin! It is good that people with good sense are speaking out. Even if merited (which is questionable given the actual facts, not just supposition), the shoddy way that this took place, and the self congratulating (tipping off the O, etc.), shows weak leadership.

True leaders know how to get things done. Sadly for our community, this event was not a reflection of that kind of leadership.

Samuel said...

Jim Martin just lost all credibility.

Anonymous192 said...

Cltmeckreader: And going after a private citizen who criticized Harry in an email by going to his employer was not shoddy? Harry Jones and his defenders epitomize "shoddy" and tacky, and people totally lacking in class.. Locking his office and showing him the door was exactly what Harry Jones hoped BofA would do to their employee who had the guts to criticize Harry Jones. In case you did not know, that kind of dismissal is standard in the private sector even when employees are merely being laid off, not fired. But, no doubt, you work in the public sector where employees hang around forever whether they are effective or not.

Baldfaced Lie said...

Hmm, go with a former Governor with decades of impeccable public service....or a amateur just elected that huddles like a school girl with Vilma Leake...or radio talk show hosts that imitate Glen Beck....or forum dwellers that complain about everything?

I'll go with the Gov. Jones got the shaft.

Anonymous192, do you know what the email Jones sent actually said and to whom it was sent to?

Anonymous192 said...

Yep. I know what the CO reported to be the actual email said and to whom it was proportedly sent. And, I would wager a bet that you do, too, although, true to your name, you will try to deny it since you can no longer obfuscate. What county staff position do you hiold again? One of those "General Managers," otherwise known as Harry sychophants?

Redlight said...

Disappointed in the governor.

Kevin M said...

Umm...who cares?

Who cares what a former governor thinks of a former Mecklenburg employee?

Could the Observer not find anything else to OpEd about?

Do your writers adulate government to such an extreme that it renders them unaware of anything else going on in the world?

West Norton said...

You can't just kick your fellow criminal to the curb. There should be some Honor Among Thieves--Should have re-assigned ole Harry to a cushy position--Ex-Gov Martin should know

jay1937 said...

I suggest this story (article) has been up long enough. Cannot the Observer move on to more important updated stories? So much has been going on in the world of politics but the Observer and it's staff seem to be stuck in neutral and possibly do not want their readers to know what is happening outside of their very small world!