Rocky Mount’s City Council: A Gentlemen’s Game or Should Be

My husband, Bob, played golf. His handicap late into life was a seven. He finally complained that he wasn’t hitting the ball as far as he used to, but, he still hit a straight ball down the fairway. Golf took him places like Augusta, GA., for the Masters, which was his favorite business perk. With wonderful memories, I have never changed my mind about the game of golf; it is a gentleman’s game. Mr. Knight’s exchange with W.B. Bullock on the City Council, makes it clear that Mr. Knight could use some schooling in the art of gentlemanly comportment….again. The City Council should conduct themselves as gentleman while doing the business of Rocky Mount, even Mr. Knight.

CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS

This last meeting ended with a brief verbal exchange between Councilman W.B. Bullock and Knight. Bullock, is retiring after having been in office since 2002. Mr. Bullock deserves respect for his time in rank. The Telegram article writes that Mr. Bullock is usually low-key in manner and quiet during council meetings, while Knight, who has been in office since 2003, at times can become blunt-spoken or fiery in tone. Bullock criticized Knight for doing what he believes Knight has been doing for the last seven or eight years in not sticking at all with the matter of the budget.

“That’s what the meeting was called for,” Bullock said.

“Well, good,” Knight said. “That’s why you’re going home.”

“I am, thank goodness,” Bullock said.

“And enjoy your time there,” Knight said.

Mr.Bullock deserves some indignation over this treatment. I have to say, “Just a damn minute here.” What happed to decorum and respect?…again.

Mr. Knight consistently lashes out at meetings and gets away with it. I keep waiting for the mayor, the mayor pro-tem, somebody!!! to say, “Excuse me sir, you are out of order.” or “We have heard you, Sir, and we are now moving on.” I know it is a cliche, but you sow what you reap. Mr. Knight wants respect and expects his wishes to be followed on the Council. That is hard to come by if you insist on disrespecting fellow councilmen or ignoring someone during their 3 minute opportunity to state their case. We seem to have Robert’s Rules of Order and Mr. Knight’s Rules of Order.

With some perspective, the drama can be hilarious. Forget what Mr. Knight says to Mr. Bullock, forget rudeness, forget the ‘My Will Be Done’ agenda, forget even Mr. Daughtridge and his responsible attitude towards his seat on the Council. Forget the shenanigans, pay raises, and the Director of Development’s downtown office. Instead, I suggest around 5:00 o’clock, my favorite time of day to play golf when it gets warm, that you grab your clubs and play at least 9 holes. You will find, as the sun goes down, there are shadows on the fairway, sand to play in, birds still singing.

This blog post salutes W.B. Bullock and Chris Miller for their years of service. They carried their own golf clubs up and down a lot of fairways. Mr. Bullock in a gentlemanly fashion, and Mrs. Miller collected and polite. That counts in my book. We salute you both. Thank you.

What is unacceptable is disrespect and ire. Do you remember the scene in Out of Africa when Karen Blixen is asked to join the men in the member’s longe of the all male club? Out of respect, they raise a glass to her. Enough already with bad behavior. When it comes to City Council business, Rocky Mount deserves an atmosphere of ‘glass raising’ out of respect for the process and the citizens.


“Success in golf (and as a City Councilman) depends less on strength of body than upon strength of mind and character.” -Arnold Palmer

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4 thoughts on “Rocky Mount’s City Council: A Gentlemen’s Game or Should Be

  1. Thank you, Stepheny and Ms. Walker, for your spot-on comments. Mr. Knight’s behavior is unacceptable and beyond rude – most especially his remarks to Mr. Bullock, who served through countless years as one of the only sane and responsible council members.

    Since no action has been taken against Mr. Knight’s atrocious behavior by the council, I wish there was a way for city residents to join together to censure him or show a vote of no confidence. I’ll sign my name to those!

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  2. Thanks for these articles that show us what goes on when Andre Knight is present. Maybe some golf lessons would be good.

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  3. You nailed it! I wish you did a Weekly Column in The Telegram.

    Thank you for your insight. You are the best!

    Tom

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  4. Stepheny, I am acknoweldging to myself, as a result of reading your post, that my mother was right, haha. My anger grew with every word. I was raised to respect others, and you have shown in this — one of my favorite posts of yours–that Mr. Knight lacks the ability, even at the most obvious time, to do the same. THis one time – the last chance he has, in his Council seat, to do the right thing towards Mr. Bullock, and he fails again. His true self showed up, his insecure, guilty, dispicalbe self, and I am so tired of his not being called on the carpet by whomever is the appropriate one to do so. All I can say is that one day, even if it’s at the pearly gates, Mr. Knight will finally have to acknowledge that his actions have been wrong, wrong, and wrong again. Thank you to W.B. and Chris for your years and years of dedication to Rocky Mount. Sorry for the rant, but this just did me in today.

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