Letters to the Editor for 2-13

Feb. 12, 2013 @ 06:53 PM

Please remember my mom on 20th anniversary of her death

It’s hard to believe this Friday, February 15th, marks the 20th anniversary of my beloved mom, Karen Calhoun’s sudden passing in a car accident. An amazing artist, arts administrator (passionate Director of the Union County Arts Council at the time of her death), community builder, and lover of life, mom made a powerful impact across the state (also serving as Arts Council Director in Rockingham and Anson Counties).

When mom died I was 20, meaning I am transitioning into living longer without her physical presence in my life than I did with her alive. I am so grateful for those 20 rich years of growing and learning with her; for all her beauty, strength, vibrancy, struggles, and healing. For teaching me at a young age to plant flowers, vegetables, heal boo boos with fresh leaves from our aloe vera house plants. For encouraging me to make art, dance, cook, sing, pray, be curious and courageous, and so many other gifts. I love and miss her very much and get to continue cultivating our relationship in ways known (like sharing this with you) and still unknown.

Mom loved people and touched many lives. It’s always a balm to my heart to hear folks’ memories and appreciations of her. If you feel moved to share any words or “Karen stories”, please send me an email and I will be sure to pass them along to my family. If you would like to share more publicly, it would be wonderful to read your reflections here in the letters to the editor section of the Enquirer Journal.

May we all be awake to the preciousness of each moment and soak in all the love that surrounds us.

All blessings & gratitude~

Karen Calhoun


The city council cares little for the taxpayers

In summarizing what I understand from the recent report on the City Council of Monroe by the law firm Parker, Poe, Adams & Bernstein, it appears the City Council of Monroe was acting a good bit like the Keystone cops of old.

All councilpersons  were micromanaging, some were recording people, some were guilty of nepotism, meddling and not necessarily talking to each other or sharing any city business with each other. How sad. They spent $50,000 of the taxpayers money to find out all of this.

It was very clear that four members of the City Council — Ashcraft, Gordon, Keziah and Desio — wanted to get rid of City Manager Wayne Herron  and since they had a quorum, they voted to fire him or rather to ask him to resign. By not firing and asking him to resign, they cost the City a lump sum to Herron of $150,654. I am assuming if they had fired him, he would not have gotten anything.  Are benefits included in this amount or were they added?

This was another expense to the taxpayers. In addition, the Council set aside $21,500 for a search firm to look for a new City Manager.The cost of another City Manager will double what we are paying for City Managers if you add what we are paying Herron.  Another expense to the Taxpayers. After this move, Greg Demko was named Interim City Manager. I am sure he was given a raise to move into this job. How Much? 

It also behooves me that the four councilpersons above did not bother to contact the other three councilpersons, Billy Jordan, Bobby Kilgore and Dottie Nash. Why wouldn’t the entire council meet to discuss such an expensive and important task of getting rid of the City Manager. Also, why wouldn’t the entire council consider whether Mr. Herron should be fired or ask to resign?

It also behooves me that Attorney Anthony Fox and his team  did not interview Former City Manager Wayne Herron. Maybe this would have shed some light on what was happening in this situation. Did the group of four who ask Mr. Herron to resign instruct Attorney Fox to not bother Mr. Herron? 

One of my main concerns in this matter is the amount the City Council is costing the taxpayers. It seems they do not have any regard to saving the taxpayers’ money as has been demonstrated by other moves by the City Council .The City budget is coming up and it will be interested whether or not our new budget will reflect an increase in taxes. I urge all city taxpayers to attend the next budget hearing.

Herb Joyner   



Take a stand for improvement 

I applaud Cheryl Marsh for her editorial comments in the Enquirer-Journal this past Sunday. 

She echoed my feelings to a “T” concerning how we should view Governor McCrory’s comments about putting value back into college curriculum.  It is high time that everyone acknowledges it takes hard work and dedication, not a hand-out, to achieve worthwhile goals.  Change cannot happen unless we have leaders that are willing, and brave enough, to take a stand for what they believe will improve the quality of our education system, the economy, and our opportunities to reach individual goals. 

Thank you Governor for your leadership and Cheryl for your support to bring about changes that will benefit all citizens of North Carolina.

Bill Little