Monday, June 24, 2013

An open mind about the next Mecklenburg County manager?

Sometimes you've got to chuckle, or at least smile, (some would sigh or cry) at the antics of the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners. Members seem to be perpetually explaining themselves for making comments they shouldn't.

It's commission Vice Chair Kim Ratliff's turn this time as she's being called on the carpet for her statement to WBTV that in her opinion the county needs as the next county manager a "non-white male who can have good working relations with all people."

She said "the person coming in has to be a strong candidate who is able to deal with conflict resolution, who is diverse, who has an open mind and who is able to engage everyone in the process."

That last part about someone with "an open mind and who is able to engage everyone in the process" will seem like a laugh-out-loud moment to many, given Ratliff's steadfast support of former county manager Harry Jones. Jones was fired last month in large part because he failed to do those things. The most stunning example was his dismissal of the need for an independent audit of the county's massively flawed property revaluation that will now cost millions to rectify.

Jones called the audit "neither necessary nor appropriate," saying a review would serve no purpose. Only after commissioners proceeded with the audit did he relent.

And Ratliff herself acknowledged that Jones did not speak to some commissioners though she added that some commissioners didn't speak to him either.

So her own words do make it curious why she was so doggedly in favor of keeping Jones on.

But it's her words describing who should be the next county manager that are getting her in hot water now. In an email correspondence over the weekend, a resident questioned her objectivity, noting "the county's Board Policy in the HR manual clearly states that you will not engage in unlawful discrimination with respect to all aspects of County employment policy and practice including with respect to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap and age."

Ratliff wrote back, saying her comments were meant to convey her feeling that a woman "could be the next county manager. "I believe in WOMEN hands down," she wrote, "which is the point I was making in my comments... Why do men feel entitled to be in leadership roles... My point is simple; the next Mecklenburg County Manager must be diverse and understand the diverse make-up of our citizens..."

Hold on, commissioner Bill James chimes in.

He answered in an email that he thinks the "person that is selected should be the 'best qualified person for the job.'" But he added that "statistically, it would be highly improbable that the individual selected in an impartial manner would have the same makeup as the previous manager."

"If that occurs," he wrote, "it would be evidence that the process was not impartial... The idea that two managers in a row would have exactly the same characteristics while representing a small percentage of the overall populations of possible managers is 'very improbable.'"

Ummmm. What's that about best qualified?

Maybe commissioners should take a breather from commenting on possible candidates before the applications come in. That would make it far easier for the public to actually believe in their objectivity, and that the best qualified candidate indeed gets the nod. 


Charles said...

Fannie, Ms. Ratliff's comments prove that the current board has no objectivity.

Ms. Ratliff needs to follow Paula Deen into obscurity.

Ray Travis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ray Travis said...

I am a "White male" and I find Ms. Ratliff's comments both racist and insulting. If that comment had been made by a "White male" in reference to a "Black woman" There would be calls for his resignation or dismissal. Therefore in the name of equal treatment, I call for Ms. Ratliff to resign her position immediately!

Unknown said...

Hello, we come.

Skippy said...

We have nothing but a bunch of racist garbage pickers running this town.. And Fannie, you 100% support thier agenda.. Bravo.

If any one in the Tea Party would have said vile comments like this, this paper would be outraged for weeks.. This is the last time you here about from the yellows at this paper..

But then again, consider who the cater to, the welfare seals are clapping for more sardines..

Wiley Coyote said...

Ms. Ratliff,

We wouldn't expect anything different coming a supporter of the racist, bigot Louis Farrakhan, whose group is on the Southern Poverty Law Center's list of hate groups.

Your bigoted, racist comment about White men proves your bias.

Way to go citizens of Mecklenburg County. You elected this racist.

Reggie Mantle said...

Can you imagine the outcry from Fannie, Taylor and the gang if Bill James had said, "What we need is a non-black..."

There wouldn't be the side-stepping you see in this piece about the phony revaluations. You wouldn't see a quote from James saying, "Well, what I meant was..." like Ratliff was afforded.

A gaffe in politics is when someone says what they really think. Gaffes such as the one from Ratliff show us what the Left really are: Haters of white men. And they will use race, gender and every other form of identity politics to usurp whites for their own gain.

Jack said...

I agree with the rest of the commenters, if she had said black instead of white The Observer staff would be leading the mob rather than burying the story as an opinion piece (below the nonstop coverage of a tv chef who used a racial slur 20 years ago). You should have included Ms. Ratcliff's full correction where she said "we've had a black male manager and a white male manager. It's a given that those to GENDERS...". Her correction goes on say, in effect, that she's not sorry she said it, she meant it, but if given the chance to say it over, she'd be more subtle about it.

Exline said...

Ratliff's remarks are extremely racist and narrow-minded. She is not trying to create an atmosphere of trust and communication but working to divide further. She needs to step down or be fired.

annnort said...

Ratliff needs to resign. The city and county boards do not need racists on them. This woman has shown she is definitely not qualified for her position. The boards need people with common sense and brains. Ratliff does not qualify.

Charles said...

I'm sure Taylor Batten will write an Op-Ed on this calling all the commenters racist.

Leslie Jacobs said...

Ms. Flono,

You need to call it for what is IS: Ratliff's comments were extremely racist and SEXIST. Why can't you say that? You would have if Bill James said something racist or sexist, or "anti-gay". Come on...admit it.

If a woman can lose her entire's life worth over uttering a derogatory WORD 30 years prior, then the next woman should lose her PUBLIC job for uttering a host of derogatory words while ON the job. Stop the rising hypocrisy in this country!!!!