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Archive for January 18th, 2013

Skip Alston should take up mah-jongg

Not sure if spiking the sheriff’s Segways are a signal that Guilford County commissioners are reversing course, but rest assured John Hammer has more than a few suggestions, one of which is doing some equity pay in reverse on the next county manager, whether or not it’s acting manager Sharisse Fuller:

One thing the commissioners should look at before they hire a new manager is the salary for the manager. The Guilford County manager is grossly overpaid compared to other top government administrators in the area. It goes back to the days of former Guilford County Manager Roger Cotton, who thought he should make more than the superintendent of schools, so he got a huge raise. Of course, the county manager no longer makes anything close to the superintendent of schools because in spending no one can keep up with the schools. But the superintendent of schools has over 10,000 employees reporting to him. The Guilford County manager has around 650.

Regarding former Chairman Skip Alston haunting his old stomping grounds, hey, it’s free country. Too bad his presence prompted current Chairman Linda Shaw to embarrass appointed successor Ray Trapp by saying she’d wished Alston had run again.

Alston said he was at the retreat because he’s “got nothing else to do.” Perhaps he should take up mah-jongg.

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Guilford commissioners spike Segways

In a bipartisan 5-4 vote, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners denied Sheriff BJ Barnes’ request to purchase seven Segways with federal forfeiture funds. Democrats Bruce Davis and Carolyn Coleman joined Republicans Alan Branson, Hank Henning and Bill Bencini in voting against the request.

Barnes reasoned that the purchase of the Segways wouldn’t cost the county anything and went a step further by accusing commissioners of wanting to use the forfeiture funds to help ease the county’s $41 million budget deficit.

But Barnes offered up another reason: Segways would keep school resource officers from being winded in case they half to run “half-mile or so” to confront a dangerous situation.

Not too sure about that one —doesn’t make me feel any better to think of a law enforcement officer confronting a dangerous situation on a Segway. I would prefer the adrenaline to be pumping following a good run.

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