My daughter, Claire, is a wise counselor. Though I have no research to substantiate this, I’ve come to believe that I outgrew my fabulous mother and her wisdom; Claire certainly has outgrown mine.
Granddaughter Sarah Katherine is wisest of us all. It just works that way. Or so I believe. Granddaughter, Anna Claire, what can I say!
Claire brought me to task after I wrote a blog post about Councilman Andre Knight choosing to stay on the plantation. Several of my grown granddaughters mentioned to Claire, “Grammy had gotten a little over the edge, don’t you think?” They were all correct, I am indeed guilty of not going after the specifics but speechifying. We get a lot of speechifying from Mr. Knight and Mr. Blackwell at City Council Meetings and though I have no confidence in that changing, I hope to do better.
I return to a favorite quote a Naval friend gave me. “If you can not explain it now, to those involved, and present, here on the mid-watch, then how will you ever defend it later when called to account at the long, green table?” This table is a metaphor for the November election.
‘The long green table’ is associated with a Naval Court Martial or Court of Inquiry. The purpose of the Inquiry is to examine all particulars concerned with the event in question and to determine facts and cause, corrective and disciplinary action called for by the findings and suggestions of the inquiry. Traditionally, the accused sat at a table covered in green felt used in wardrooms on ships to help keep objects in place when the ship pitched and rolled. Today, we have the scene in the movie, A Few Good Men, as the setting for the inquiries into Mr. Knight’s performance. A Tom Cruise-like character is pressuring, maneuvering our witness….I WANT THE TRUTH. Click on: https://youtu.be/9FnO3igOkOk
A Few Specifics: There is no mandate for Mr. Knight’s reelection.The U.S. Census data shows Rocky Mount lost 3,136 people from 2010 to 2020, bringing the city’s population down to 54,341. Knight’s last election was Oct. 2019.
Blackwell’s Ward #2 was particularly hard hit, with a loss of 1,101 people in 10 years. Knight’s Ward lost 742 people in 10 years. The population in Ward #1, represented by Councilman Andre Knight, is approximately 7,241. In the Oct 2019 election between Knight and Terrick Pittman the unofficial results showed Knight with 748 votes, or slightly more than 56.1 percent, and Pittman with 580 votes, or slightly more than 43.5 percent. Five people cast write-in votes. At that time 16-year incumbent Andre Knight defeated challenger Tarrick Pittman by 168 votes. Think about this….only 1328 ballots were cast.
The election is in the hands of non-voters
ONE MORE SPECIFIC: When politicians use redistricting to manipulate the outcome of elections, it is called gerrymandering — a practice that undermines democracy and stifles the voice of voters. This is why Councilman Knight did not want the redistricting in ward 1 to include the voters from Belmont Lake Golf Club, which was under consideration. Those voters were unlikely to vote his way. I missed the fact that Ward 2 ( Rueben Blackwell) now includes the Happy Hill neighborhood that has been in Ward 4 with Councilman T.J. Walker. I wish an exit poll of the 1,101 people who moved from Ward 2 were available.
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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