County saddledwith 3 divisivecommissioners

We will first apologize for what seems like the beating of a dead horse. But in our defense, the horse keeps finding a way to kick back.

This week, we were once again given a glimpse into the warped and narrow-minded agenda of three county commissioners, each of whom is also a member of the equally narrow-minded Bladen Improvement Political Action Committee.

You can read an overview of the incident in Editor W. Curt Vincent’s Page 1A story today, but that’s just a capsule play-by-play of what took place when the issue of the upcoming sales-tax referendum was brought up Monday.

Each of the three commissioners — Delilah Blanks, Michael Cogdell and Arthur Bullock — profess their intentions to want what’s best for the county, but their actions speak an entirely different language.

The leader of this three-headed PAC monster is certainly Blanks, who has helped to lead the charge to defeat a quarter-cent sales tax increase, first to benefit education (twice) and now to benefit property owners, whom she apparently doesn’t care much about and refers to them as “rich.”

Cogdell and Bullock have been good soldiers and fallen right in behind Blanks.

But not one of these three can offer a justifiable and logical reason for defeating the referendum, instead attempting to give credibility to their actions with half-truths and any kind of camouflage they can create to protect their own agenda — leaving folks to make assumptions for the real reason they are against it.

Blanks claimed on Monday she supported putting the referendum on the ballot so voters could decide, yet she was on record just two months earlier as voting against it along with Cogdell and Bullock.

But Blanks is no stranger to lying, misremembering, massaging the truth or twisting the circumstances over the years — remember her attempt to vote twice in an election, claiming she was “testing the system;” or her claim that Chris Ellis shouldn’t have been fired from the county tax office after evidence of sexual emails and actions in the office surfaced because she said “it wasn’t job-related.”

All three claim they would support the referendum if it were to benefit education and EMS, yet when it would have benefited education through capital projects they wouldn’t support it; and the county recently added 1 cent to the property tax rate to benefit EMS.

And trying to get their hole-filled reasoning past a group that includes Charles Ray Peterson, perhaps the most cerebral member of the board, only serves to highlight just how silly these three really are. Blanks likes to call Peterson names every chance she gets, but all Peterson does is regularly school all three of these malcontents.

The real elephant in the room is this: The nine county commissioners were all elected to do what’s best for the residents of Bladen County as a whole, not only those with the same color of skin. Blanks, Cogdell and Bullock are merely building a legacy that falls far short of that.



“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; and working together is success.”

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