Many of you have heard of the famous Sherlock Holmes mystery about the “dog that didn’t bark.” It’s a short story from 1892 called “Silver Blaze.” It’s about the disappearance of a famous racehorse the night before a race and the murder of the horse’s trainer. Sherlock Homes solves the mystery, in part, by recognizing that no one he spoke to in his investigation said that they heard barking from the watchdog during the night. The fact that the dog did not bark when you would have expected led Sherlock Homes to the conclusion that the criminal was a not a stranger to the dog but someone the dog recognized, and therefore, would not cause him to bark.
Detective Gregory says, “Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”
Holmes: “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”
Gregory: “The dog did nothing in the night-time.”
Holmes: “That was the curious incident.”
Rocky Mount, NC has its own curious incidents. I think of the taxpayers as the dogs in our story who are rarely silent. Not anymore. Newspaper articles, social media, public comments at City Council meetings, podcasts, conversations throughout the community repeat everyday the names involved with the doggy business of the city.
Investigation has exposed controversial housing grants in the hands of an illegal, secret subcommittee in violation of the state’s open meetings law. The housing grant subcommittee isn’t advertised ahead of time, isn’t open to the public and meeting minutes aren’t kept, according to city officials. When it comes to policy making for Rocky Mount’s housing, it is the, ‘What’s in it for Me’ policy.
Sometimes Rocky Mount’s incidents quiver with tension. At last night’s City Council meeting (2/14/22) Lige Daughtridge was appointed to replace Andre Knight on the **NCEMPA board. The lack of Knight’s attendance was the impetus for Daughtridge’s nomination. Councilman Knight, Joyner and Blackwell launched into the finer points of the Texas Two-Step. You might pray for TJ Walker, who nominated Lige Daughtridge. You know ‘they’ will make his life hell after daring to cross them. My favorite part was insisting that the departing city manager was first lead and Knight second which excused everything.
**ElectriCities is a not-for-profit membership organization of municipally owned electric utilities that are spread across North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. They advocate for public power communities at the state and federal levels, and provide a number of administrative, technical, legal, and legislative services to support members.
There is a lot on the line as we approach the May 17 election. Bryson Williams and Crystal Wimes-Anderson are running against Joyner in Ward #3. We’re still waiting to know who will run against Blackwell. Tom Harris and Pete Armstrong are part of the field who are running for two of the available seats. The outcome will go a long way to put an end to the skullduggery. Just because you don’t live in one of these wards doesn’t mean the outcome won’t effect you. Keep barking! These are not strangers. We know them all too well.
The housing of Rocky Mount can be saved with leadership and will
Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
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