Some Tough Questions For Munger and the Slate

I’m not sure which caption would work best with this photo – “We’re Totally Not a Slate,” or “Don’t Ask Us Any Tough Questions.” One tough question an interested voter might ask, “Do all members of the Blank Slate support political violence against opponents or just Mr. Munger?” Here’s another tough question an interested voter might ask, “How can you call yourself a “supporter of law enforcement” with an Antifa supporter on your slate?” To be fair, I didn’t ask whether a candidate was an Antifa supporter on my questionnaire. [Note to self: on 2021 questionnaire, ask candidates if they support domestic terrorism.]

Mr. Munger isn’t shy about his left wing political positions and he was still welcomed onto the slate. He was a candidate for town board in 2017 and has been campaigning ever since the last election and yet his social media feeds are almost entirely devoted to national political issues, not Huntersville issues. Here’s another tough question an interested voter could ask Mr. Munger, “Are you running because you want to make a difference locally or because you want to bring national Democratic politics to Huntersville?”

Another tough question voters should be asking any candidate, like Mr. Munger, campaigning on “revitalizing downtown” is what that actually means? It definitely doesn’t mean using their own money to invest in downtown. To me, it sounds like a polite way of saying I will use government force to take your property and have it put to a use that I approve of using other people’s money.

Does Huntersville really want to elect someone who is “interested” in attending an Antifa rally? Next time you see the slate out campaigning (unless it’s at one of the private house parties you weren’t invited to), make sure you ask them if they support Antifa too.

Eric

2019 Huntersville Candidate Questionnaires – John Aneralla

I emailed the following questionnaire to every town board candidate in Huntersville a month ago in an effort to provide voters with more insight into each candidacy. There was no word limit for responses. Only three candidates returned the questionnaire by the deadline (and one late entry from Mayor Aneralla): Dan Boone, Stacy Phillips, and Brian Hines. I am definitely not an undecided voter and there’s little doubt which candidates I could or do support, but this questionnaire was intended to benefit the hundreds of other voters in the Huntersville Politics group who are still undecided and who don’t know the candidates/issues as well, so it’s disappointing more candidates didn’t participate.

Election day is Tuesday, November 5. If you need more information about local elections, you can visit the Mecklenburg Board of Elections website here.

Eric


– A specific agenda item you want to work on if elected:  I want to continue to accelerate the town’s infrastructure projects (roads, sidewalks & greenways) to complement the over $550 million worth of local, state and federal road projects.

 

– For incumbents – any vote over the last two years you would change and why – or, if none, any item you wish you the board would have accomplished and why:  The hiring of a full-time town attorney sooner than we did. The new attorney has reviewed and updated many procedures and contracts benefiting both the town and its citizens.

 

– What is the proper role of town government and do you think there is any limit to what town government can use taxpayer dollars for:  The role of town government is determined by State statute, which a town should adhere to and not stray away from. Towns get into trouble for example when they buy bankrupt cable companies and try to compete with the private sector.

 

– If you are running on an anti-growth platform, how do you intend to legally halt or slow down growth in Huntersville? Be specific.:

 

– If not running on an anti-growth platform, how do you plan to deal with growth challenges if elected?:  Allowing for a wide variety of housing options balanced with commercial development should be the goal of town government. Updating the 2030 community plan will help direct the town staff, developers and elected officials well into the future.

 

– Should town government select winners and losers in business by providing tax incentives/tax rebates to certain companies over others:  In general, I am against any type of incentives given to one company over another. It should be government’s goal to keep taxes low combined with common sense regulations to create a positive environment for all businesses to flourish.

Only under VERY rare circumstances should government offer tax incentives to a business. A good example of this is when BMW received tax incentives to locate to the Greenville-Spartanburg area of South Carolina. BMW’s presence in the area brought in related businesses and suppliers that transformed the area from the dying textile industry to a high-tech manufacturing destination.

 

– Are you hoping to benefit yourself personally if elected? If yes, explain. If no, one example of prioritizing Huntersville over your own self-interests:  No, I only own my home and do not have any business interests in Huntersville.

 

– If elected, is it more important to you to vote the will of the people (however that is determined) or to vote your conscience (except when the board is acting as a quasi-judicial body):  An elected official should always vote their conscience after considering all sides of an issue and be able to articulate why he or she voted in the way they did.

 

– Does the town need to do more to ensure transparency and accountability in its departments, including the use of independent, professional audits?:  The town has a financial audit every year. In addition, with a new town manager and town attorney in place over the past 15 months, many areas of town government have been scrutinized internally and with assistance from outside professionals.

 

– Do you support the public education status quo in Huntersville?:  I think Huntersville should continue to pursue all options proposed by the Huntersville Education Option Study Commission to ensure excellent education options for all children in the town.

 

– Cats or Dogs (or Chickens)?:  Dog

 

– Best place to get pizza in or around Huntersville:  I grew up in a family with a pizza restaurant, so pizza is one of my favorite foods. Fortunately, in Huntersville we have many great pizza establishments!

 

– Your favorite 19th century French political economist:

 

– Person/group most responsible for influencing your political views?:  My dad. He taught the value of hard work and not relying on government to be successful.

 

– How can readers find out more about your campaign? (social media, website)?:

www.electjohnaneralla.com

704-895-0586

2019 Huntersville Candidate Questionnaires – Brian Hines

I emailed the following questionnaire to every town board candidate in Huntersville a month ago in an effort to provide voters with more insight into each candidacy. There was no word limit for responses. Only three candidates returned the questionnaire by Friday’s deadline (and one late entry from Mayor Aneralla): Dan Boone, Stacy Phillips, and Brian Hines. I am definitely not an undecided voter and there’s little doubt which candidates I could or do support, but this questionnaire was intended to benefit the hundreds of other voters in the Huntersville Politics group who are still undecided and who don’t know the candidates/issues as well, so it’s disappointing more candidates didn’t participate.

Election day is Tuesday, November 5. If you need more information about local elections, you can visit the Mecklenburg Board of Elections website here.

Eric


– A specific agenda item you want to work on if elected:  Town being more Proactive in getting things accomplished whether its road improvements, greenways or economic development.

 

– For incumbents – any vote over the last two years you would change and why – or, if none, any item you wish you the board would have accomplished and why:  I put a lot of time and effort into researching and understanding the issues at hand so when it comes time to vote I am very confident that my vote is what’s best for the town. So there is not a decision that I recall that I would reverse.

 

– What is the proper role of town government and do you think there is any limit to what town government can use taxpayer dollars for:  Provide community local services such as Police and Fire Protection, land use regulations, public recreation facilities, waste collection and maintenance of town owned roads to name a few.

 

– If you are running on an anti-growth platform, how do you intend to legally halt or slow down growth in Huntersville? Be specific.:

 

– If not running on an anti-growth platform, how do you plan to deal with growth challenges if elected?:  We live in a fantastic area and due to our proximity to Charlotte we are experiencing and will continue to see growth. Every project that comes in the door has to be viewed independently of others and decided on if in the best interest of the town at that time.

 

– Should town government select winners and losers in business by providing tax incentives/tax rebates to certain companies over others:  When the Town appropriated $1,300,000 for the improvement and expansion of Patterson Road in order to entice a German company to locate their North American HQ in Huntersville it was a win for the residents of Huntersville. By our proactive approach to increasing our commercial tax base we also made that area more attractive for new commercial development. My understanding is the other land is under contract and the total investment in Huntersville, all because we built the road, will be north of $80,000,000. That is a win/win scenario.

 

– Are you hoping to benefit yourself personally if elected? If yes, explain. If no, one example of prioritizing Huntersville over your own self-interests:  It is my observation that every person running has good intentions in wanting to serve the community. I have not met anyone on the local level that does this for selfish gain.

 

– If elected, is it more important to you to vote the will of the people (however that is determined) or to vote your conscience (except when the board is acting as a quasi-judicial body):  Every vote I consider what is the best for the community, while also recognizing that not everyone is going to be happen with my position.

 

– Does the town need to do more to ensure transparency and accountability in its departments, including the use of independent, professional audits?:  We have a great Town staff who are transparent and are held accountable.

 

– Do you support the public education status quo in Huntersville?:  We formed the Huntersville Education Opportunity Study Commission to look into what, if anything, we can do to provide additional school options for our residents.

 

– Cats or Dogs (or Chickens)?:

 

– Best place to get pizza in or around Huntersville:

 

– Your favorite 19th century French political economist:

 

– Person/group most responsible for influencing your political views?:

 

– How can readers find out more about your campaign? (social media, website)?:

www.electbrianhines.com

FB – @electbrianhines

704-949-0171

2019 Huntersville Candidate Questionnaires – Stacy Phillips

I emailed the following questionnaire to every town board candidate in Huntersville a month ago in an effort to provide voters with more insight into each candidacy. There was no word limit for responses. Only three candidates returned the questionnaire by Friday’s deadline (and one late entry from Mayor Aneralla): Dan Boone, Stacy Phillips, and Brian Hines. I am definitely not an undecided voter and there’s little doubt which candidates I could or do support, but this questionnaire was intended to benefit the hundreds of other voters in the Huntersville Politics group who are still undecided and who don’t know the candidates/issues as well, so it’s disappointing more candidates didn’t participate.

Election day is Tuesday, November 5. If you need more information about local elections, you can visit the Mecklenburg Board of Elections website here.

Eric


– A specific agenda item you want to work on if elected:  We need a magistrate in Huntersville.  Our town has over 56,000 residents and growing. It is almost a 16-mile drive one way from the Huntersville Police Department to the Mecklenburg County Courthouse where our magistrates are housed. Our law enforcements’ time matters. A domestic violence victim’s time matters. By having a Magistrate in Huntersville, it will help keep our town safer.

 

– For challengers – one specific vote over the last two years you disagreed with and why:  “Town of Huntersville Public Records Fee” was on the 9/16/19 agenda. After backlash from the public who thought it was terrible to charge citizens a fee for public records, the item was removed from the agenda and never discussed. While it felt like a small victory for transparency, I wish this measure had been voted upon so we knew where the commissioners stood. After the new board is sworn in, this measure could resurface and infringe on our rights. If I am elected I would always oppose such measures.

 

– What is the proper role of town government and do you think there is any limit to what town government can use taxpayer dollars for:  The proper role of town government is to help the town run smoother and stay the course of long term success. I believe that the town government should be a good steward of tax dollars and be cautious and mindful how money is spent, because it belongs to the citizens.

 

– If not running on an anti-growth platform, how do you plan to deal with growth challenges if elected?:  Huntersville is growing and will continue to grow.  We need to be focused on being a town that is a great place to live and work and avoid becoming a commuter town where people live here, but shop and work in other towns.  Huntersville needs to be proactive in being business friendly, but not just to large corporations, we need to treat small businesses with as much enthusiasm as the big companies, because this will help Huntersville keep its charm.

 

– Should town government select winners and losers in business by providing tax incentives/tax rebates to certain companies over others:  Absolutely not. As I mentioned above, we need to treat small businesses as well as we treat the large companies. Instead of providing tax incentives, we should streamline the planning process, which would save companies (large or small) money and help them reach their goals quicker. 

 

– Are you hoping to benefit yourself personally if elected? If yes, explain. If no, one example of prioritizing Huntersville over your own self-interests:  If elected I must bring on help at my business to cover the hours I can’t work and take a loss in getting paid myself. However, I love this town and I want to ensure that we go the right path so citizens don’t get priced out of living here and all citizens know that they have an ear that will truly listen and fight for them.

 

– If elected, is it more important to you to vote the will of the people (however that is determined) or to vote your conscience (except when the board is acting as a quasi-judicial body):  I think it’s more important to do both. However, I would never take any vote lightly, never dismiss the input of citizens, and would always put Huntersville first. 

 

– Does the town need to do more to ensure transparency and accountability in its departments, including the use of independent, professional audits?:  A happy government is a transparent government. I don’t think audits are a bad thing and I see them as a way to build a trusting relationship between the citizens and government, while we can also hone our budget needs and remediate any issues that may service. 

 

– Do you support the public education status quo in Huntersville?:  I support children getting whatever options best fit their educational needs.  I don’t think it is the place of the government to dictate to a parent/guardian what is best for their child, especially when it comes to something as critical as their education, because that will shape the child’s life forever.  I am open to all options out there that give children the best education they deserve, because educational needs are not a “one size fits all” situation.

 

– Cats or Dogs (or Chickens)?:  I have all three.  I am not picking sides on this one. 

 

– Best place to get pizza in or around Huntersville:  Mama’s eggplant parm pizza is amazing.  Rocky’s has the best cheese pizza.  Romanello’s chicken ranch is great.  I think Huntersville might be on our way to being a pizza destination.

 

– Your favorite 19th century French political economist:  Bastiat?

 

– Person/group most responsible for influencing your political views?:  Mister Rogers.  Which probably just got some major eye rolls, but in all seriousness, I live my life trying to be the neighbor Mister Rogers wanted me to be.  I believe if we can respect those that are different from us and listen to each other, we can actually accomplish a lot for our community.  It comes down to caring about the people in the community and doing what is best for our neighbors above anything else.

 

– How can readers find out more about your campaign? (social media, website)?:

Facebook.com/ElectStacyPhillips

www.electstacyphillips.com

2019 Huntersville Candidate Questionnaires – Dan Boone

I emailed the following questionnaire to every town board candidate in Huntersville a month ago in an effort to provide voters with more insight into each candidacy. There was no word limit for responses. Only three candidates returned the questionnaire by Friday’s deadline: Dan Boone, Stacy Phillips, and Brian Hines. I am definitely not an undecided voter and there’s little doubt which candidates I could or do support, but this questionnaire was intended to benefit the hundreds of other voters in the Huntersville Politics group who are still undecided and who don’t know the candidates/issues as well, so it’s disappointing more candidates didn’t participate.

Election day is Tuesday, November 5. If you need more information about local elections, you can visit the Mecklenburg Board of Elections website here.

Eric


– A specific agenda item you want to work on if elected:

 

– For incumbents – any vote over the last two years you would change and why – or, if none, any item you wish you the board would have accomplished and why:  I voted against district representation and term limits, because I am strongly opposed to district representation and believe it would pit different areas of our town against each other. It was a tough vote because I am a proponent of term limits. I wish this had been broken up into two different motions so we would have had the opportunity to cast an up or down vote on term limits. I will continue to work to implement term limits at the town level.

 

– What is the proper role of town government and do you think there is any limit to what town government can use taxpayer dollars for:  North Carolina is a Dillon Rule state which means the role of Huntersville’s town government (and the role of all town governments in NC) and what town government can use taxpayer dollars for is already defined and limited by state law. We may only take on the roles and powers and perform tasks expressly granted to us by state law or “fairly implied by the expressed power in the statute.”  Key roles granted to municipalities include public safety (police and fire protection, etc.), providing certain services to citizens such as trash pick-up, building and maintaining town streets and roads, planning and zoning, enacting local ordinances to protect the public good as long as they do not conflict with state law, providing parks and recreational opportunities for residents, and the ability to levy certain taxes and fees on citizens to pay for the roles we fill. I believe that we should closely adhere to Dillon’s rule and to state law. It is a much-needed limitation on the powers of local government.

 

– If you are running on an anti-growth platform, how do you intend to legally halt or slow down growth in Huntersville? Be specific.:  I am not running on an anti-growth platform.

 

– If not running on an anti-growth platform, how do you plan to deal with growth challenges if elected?  I will continue to carefully enforce our existing planning and zoning regulations as well as take more actions to ensure that developers are required to do more to mitigate the challenges growth brings to our town (like we did when we changed the Traffic Impact Analysis ordinance). I will also continue to listen carefully to the concerns of all residents and businesses and respond to those concerns. Huntersville will continue to grow but it must do so in way that is planned, responsible and doesn’t reduce the high quality of life we enjoy here.

 

– Should town government select winners and losers in business by providing tax incentives/tax rebates to certain companies over others?:  I personally strongly dislike tax incentives and wish that no one is allowed to use them. I do not believe that town government should be in the business of selecting winners and losers. Incentives also take tax dollars from our small businesses and give them to big businesses that compete directly with our small businesses. This is fundamentally unfair. That is why I have consistently voted against all incentives during my tenure as a Town Commissioner.

I believe that we should focus just as much on creating a business-friendly atmosphere that encourages our existing businesses to expand, grow and create jobs as we do on recruiting new business to town. We can do this by continuing to eliminate overly burdensome regulations, keeping our tax rate low, tackling the traffic challenges we face, keeping our community safe, and ensuring the infrastructure is in place to support their growth and expansion.

 

– Are you hoping to benefit yourself personally if elected? If yes, explain. If no, one example of prioritizing Huntersville over your own self-interests:  I am not hoping to benefit personally if elected. I am retired and view serving on this board as an opportunity to give back to a community that has given so much to me and is so special to me. As a board member, I do not look at issues in context of what is best for me, but in the context of what is morally right and what is best for our town and its residents as a whole. I prioritize Huntersville over my own self-interest by freely volunteering to serve our town on various boards and through various civic, charitable, and religious organizations.

 

– If elected, is it more important to you to vote the will of the people (however that is determined) or to vote your conscience (except when the board is acting as a quasi-judicial body):  I believe that I was elected to represent the citizens of Huntersville and that I work for them. They are my bosses. Whenever the will of the people is not in conflict with my conscience then I will vote the will of the people. When the will of the people conflicts with my conscience, I will explain to our citizens the concerns I have and work to try to come up with a solution or compromise that can reconcile the will of the people with my conscience? If that is not possible then I will follow my conscience and do what I believe is right for our town and its citizens.

 

– Does the town need to do more to ensure transparency and accountability in its departments, including the use of independent, professional audits?:  Yes, I believe more transparency and accountability is important at all levels of government which is why during my four years as a town commissioner I’ve worked hard to make town government more transparent.

 

– Do you support the public education status quo in Huntersville?:  I do not support the public education status quo in Huntersville. I was a strong supporter of a possible municipal charter school. We need to have this option in the town’s tool box to help protect over crowding in CMS schools.

 

– Cats or Dogs (or Chickens)?:  Dogs, especially my campaign mascot Max.

 

– Best place to get pizza in or around Huntersville:  My refrigerator!  I love day old left over pizza.

 

– Your favorite 19th century French political economist: Frederic Bastiat for his developing the concept of opportunity cost, for his pamphlet The Law, and for providing the economic beliefs and theories that serve as the foundation for the Austrian school of economics.

 

– Person/group most responsible for influencing your political views?:  My parents influenced my political views.  From my Mother, “we don’t unwrap gifts unless they are paid for.”  From my Father, “you might not respect the man, but you will respect the rank.”

 

– How can readers find out more about your campaign? (social media, website)?

www.BooneForHuntersville.com

www.facebook.com/DanBooneHuntersville

Email me at: danboonenc@aol.com

Chief’s Departure Signals Positive Opportunity For HPD

After almost five years on the job, Huntersville Police Department Chief Cleveland Spruill provided his resignation to the town last Friday, December 14. He started with HPD in May 2014 after a long career in law enforcement that began in 1987. People immediately started asking why the seemingly sudden resignation, but rumors of the chief’s potential departure have been circulating for weeks now, especially over at HPD HQ. Another rumor that I still haven’t been able to confirm yet is that the town is considering giving Chief Spruill the Bearcat as a retirement present.

In case you’re worried about how the chief is going to pay the bills, don’t. He’ll likely be receiving his Special Separation Allowance (“SSA”) courtesy of Huntersville taxpayers once his retirement is official next month. What is the SSA you’re probably asking? Just a special benefit provided to eligible retired law enforcement in NC to see them through to social security eligibility when they reach the age of 62. Huntersville taxpayers are currently paying for this benefit for two other individuals.

So why does the chief’s departure signal a positive opportunity for HPD? Because the town now has a great opportunity to finally fix the morale problems that have been plaguing the department for years now, even before Chief Spruill was named chief. As I’ve already pointed out, low pay isn’t what’s wrong at HPD if you talk to the rank and file officers. And it appears the town has finally decided to do something about the real problems at HPD by naming an interim chief from outside the ranks of the current HPD leadership. The same problems I’ve written about before still apparently exist at HPD (abuse of surveillance equipment, abuse of the take home vehicle policy, abuse of overtime, etc.) so Interim Chief Bence Hoyle is going to have his hands full when he takes over in early January.

Sources within HPD have been reaching out to me since the news of Chief Spruill’s resignation last week to share some thoughts. No officer is still willing to speak on the record for fear of retaliation – which is justified since from what I hear command staff has been doing everything they can to find out who all is talking to me.

Regarding the breaking news last week – one source stated, “Most of us were jumping for joy when the news was made official. Now a few more in leadership need to be next on the chopping block.”

Regarding the next chief – the same source stated, “The worst possible mistake would be to just promote from within the current leadership ranks. The town needs to cut ties with most of the ranking command staff and maybe even demote or fire some of the lieutenants.”

Regarding Spruill’s time as chief – another source stated, “When Spruill came in, things temporarily improved, but he allowed command staff too much control so the problems under Potter continued. Spruill eventually seemed to disconnect from the department and many rank and file officers for unknown reasons. He let too many in command just tell him what he wanted to hear, while those same command staff undermined him behind his back as if they wanted to set him up for failure. These same people will now do whatever it takes to protect themselves when the interim chief starts in January.”

Here’s a suggestion for the incoming interim chief – instead of wasting time trying to find out who all is talking to me, why not spend time attempting to fix what’s wrong with the department and then no one will have a reason to talk to me. Might I suggest something easy like an anonymous, legitimate survey amongst all the officers as a start to get some honest feedback? For example, feedback like this from another source about HPD HQ being used like a free afterschool daycare. “How is it fair that Major Graham, who makes over $100K, has his kid dropped off at HQ in the afternoons after school and is allowed to hang out for 2-3 hours and run all over the place? If this kid gets hurt at HQ who is responsible? What if a criminal gets loose or if a major call comes in – who is going to babysit the kid while we’re all responding to the call?”

How is that fair, indeed. When leadership gets to play by different rules, whether at HPD or any other company/organization, we all know what effect that has on morale.

The town has a great opportunity to finally fix some of the problems at HPD when the interim chief starts in a few short days. And the town manager is going to have a very important decision to make when it comes to naming a full-time replacement for Chief Spruill in the next few months. Let’s hope we keep moving Huntersville in the right direction with a chief who will finally hold all officers to the same standards and require command staff to be accountable for their actions and the actions of their subordinates.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Huntersville.

Eric

Problems Persist At HPD Despite Pay Raises

I questioned months ago whether low pay and pay disparities were the only reasons officers were leaving or thinking about leaving the Huntersville Police Department (“HPD”). Spoiler alert – they aren’t. Low morale is another major problem within the department. And while the salary issue may have been addressed by the town board, our elected officials have been woefully inept at addressing the well-known issues at HPD causing low morale. The morale situation has become so bad at HPD that sources within the department have reached out to me for assistance even though they know they are risking their jobs by doing so. No officer has been willing to speak on the record at this time for fear of retaliation.

So, what are some of the issues affecting morale at HPD according to these sources? For starters: high ranking officers circumventing the 911 system to hide their personal problems, family members of high ranking officers being given preferential treatment after being lawfully stopped by HPD, rental vehicles supposedly needed for investigations being used like personal vehicles, officers abusing the secondary employment policy by getting paid for outside work while on the clock at HPD, EEOC complaints being filed, and just all around wasteful spending on things within the department that don’t make the community any safer. I’ve submitted multiple records requests related to a number of these items over the past week and plan to continue to investigate since the town board is unwilling to do any investigation of their own. I guess you could say I’m only taking the banal advice from the dais to say something if I see something…

Another source of ongoing contention is the abuse of the take home vehicle policy. This abuse has clearly continued with the tacit approval of the town board despite my reporting on the problems with the policy earlier this year (remember those $1,000 SSPBA contributions? I ‘member…). The current take home vehicle policy is not only costing taxpayers potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars every year, it also continues to be used as a reward for favored officers even if they don’t qualify for a take home vehicle according to HPD’s own written policy. Officer T. Seth Hager continues to be allowed a take home vehicle paid for by Huntersville taxpayers for his 80+ mile round trip commute to work each day even though he has only worked a total of THREE (3) K9 deployments so far this year according to data from the KBCOPS system provided by a source within the department.

Where is the oversight from HPD command staff?

Finally, the issue of overtime pay. According to sources, the majority of overtime is going to higher ranking officers, primarily certain lieutenants. One source described the situation as follows, “Some lieutenants openly brag about all of their OT, but they’re not even the ones responding to road calls. Most days we have more officers sitting in the office than we do on the road and by 4pm it’s usually a ghost town at HQ.” [Huntersville PD HQ is located at 9630 Julian Clark Ave. in the business park.] With crime being so low in Huntersville it would seem odd that so much OT is required, especially if that OT is going to higher ranking officers sitting behind desks at HQ. “We just have way too many chiefs and not enough Indians, too many supervisors,” is the root of the problem according to one source. The top-heavy nature of the department is a problem the town board is very familiar with after having just sat through many hours of discussion about pay bands and pay raises. The frustration with the situation was obvious when another source explained that, “When you walk into HQ you can even see certain lieutenants watching Netflix or youtube on their computers so why do they need all that OT when they could just be spending time in the office during normal business hours actually doing their work?”

According to town staff, overtime pay is counted as compensation by the NC Local Governmental Employee’s Retirement System. Why does this matter? Because all NC taxpayers are on the hook for the massive $40 BILLION in unfunded liabilities for state retiree pension and health benefits. If only we had an elected official in Huntersville who supposedly understands pension issues and could help explain the consequences of pension padding to the other board members…

Where is the oversight from town hall?

When is the town finally going to require an independent audit of HPD?

What is it going to take for town hall to take some action, any action, to address these issues affecting morale with as much vigor as they addressed the issues of low pay and pay disparities?

There is more to come. I am currently waiting for responses to multiple records requests and will provide updates once more information is obtained. But, the worst part is what I’ve described above isn’t even the tip of the iceberg. You can only hide behind a hashtag for so long before the truth is revealed.

My offer still stands. If you have any thoughts you’d like to share about the problems within the department, feel free to reach out to me. Your privacy will be protected.

Eric