The outgoing majority on the Lee County Board of Commissioners appears set to make a lame duck appointment Monday that will allow controversial Commissioner Jim Womack to keep his hands on at least one of the levers of local power.
Womack, who decided not to seek re-election this year and whose term expires after Monday’s board meeting, applied for a seat on the Sanford-Lee County Partnership for Prosperty, documents show. That organization is the successor to the old Lee County Economic Development Corporation and will consider opportunities for economic development, including the recruitment of new businesses to the area with tax incentives – which Womack has positioned himself against. The body is made up of local business and government leaders.
According to the agenda for Monday’s meeting, the board will appoint three members to the SLCPP – including “a business executive who resides in Lee County” and “a retired business person currently residing in Lee County.” Additionally, the agenda states “The Chairman of the Board of Commissioners will also appoint one sitting County Commissioner to the Board.”
Attachments to the meeting agenda show Womack is the only sitting county commissioner who applied for the seat. Womack lists fellow Republican commissioners Charlie Parks, Kirk Smith, and Andre Knecht as personal references. He says in the application that he wants “to help bring economic recovery and prosperity to Lee County through diverse expansion of our industrial base, expanded apprenticeship programs and growth in new energy opportunities.”
Along with Womack, board Chairman Parks is also going off the board after Monday’s meeting. He did not seek re-election. In this month’s elections, Democrats took control of the board, making it unlikely that Womack would win the appointment of the new majority which will be seated in December. By that time, Womack would no longer be a sitting commissioner.
Brian McRae, the president of Steel & Pipe Corporation who currently sits on the board, and Tommy Mann Jr., a retired businessman, applied for the other two seats.
Why is this news? Lame Duck appointments happen all the time. Right or wrong… It’s SOP. Oh I forgot it’s only news when Republicans do it.
While I agree that this happens all the time, it’s news because Womack is one of the two poster children for fracking in Lee County. Like it or not, the majority of voters in Lee County spoke loud and clear they were against fracking this past election when Mike Stone was sent home. I thought republicans were against micro managing. For years all I heard was how republicans didn’t want the Federal Government to micro manage State Government. Now that the Republicans control North Carolina, they sure don’t mind micro managing City and County Government. The majority of Lee County folk are tired of the extreme right wing that was taken over the Lee County Republican Party. In the end I think that Mike Stone, Jim Womack, and Kirk Smith are the best thing that could have happened to the Lee County Democratic Party. Their single minded extremism has caused moderate republicans to either change their party to UA or even Democratic.
The old “every one else does it” argument would not be used by individuals of integrity, especially those who profess so incessantly that they are patriots. Every one is on alert for Jim Womack’s next move. His stock had collapsed here and in Raleigh. When authoritarians are in power long enough they start ignoring rules and believe that they will get by with anything. Jim Womack and Brian McCrae? Really? The could only come up with three recommendations: Smith, Parks, and Knecht. Sad.
There is no question that the entire process has been rigged and that will come out. My comment about Jim Womack is based on his well known abuse of his positions of trust. My information now is that Brian McCrae was not a party to the contrived actions that have and will take place. He simply followed the instructions his was given in his desire to serve in the position.
Brian McRae got ticked off when a competitor of Steel & Pipe, his company, was being lured to Lee County with incentive monies. I and many others were on his side and signed his petition stating we didn’t think it was right to offer the incentives to a competing company. That issue apparently spurred Brian to become an outspoken “Teaparty” type republican. I’m not an expert on incentives, but I suspect that idea is from the Chamber of Commerce type republicans. Our republican Governor seems to be in favor of incentives as well. I certainly can understand Brian being motivated to get involved with politics due to his negative experience with incentives. What I don’t understand is why he has become an “in your face” type republican. I suspect if Brian looked at his petition he will see a lot of signatures from Democrats. I also suspect that Brian’s company will bid on many of the City of Sanford and CCCC’s upcoming construction projects that will be funded by bonds and possible tax increases that I’m sure his “Teaparty” brother and sisters railed against. It truly amazes me how many people vote Republican since they are against government spending, yet if they really look at where they derive their income, I suspect a good portion of it comes from some kind of government source. I personally think extremism from the right and left is what we all should be in someone’s face about.
This may be a meeting worth going to ?
It will be worth going to. You can bet on that.
I will go
Thought a lot on this blog … Charley says “Jim was picked as a Former business man ?” BS he is Still in the business of fracking up NC. Why not wait and put Doc Oldham our New Lee County Commissioner in ? he will be a ‘Sitting Commissioner asap and is also a Former Local Successful businessman ? “
Womack….please, please go away! You are ruining our county!
I wonder what would be the reaction if the coal Ashe dump was going close to Carolina Trace here all the expensive houses but since they buy water from Sanford, they should get the about the same amount of contaminated water the residents will have to deal with,
We are electing too many retired military officers to public office. The military officer issues an order and nobody under his rank can challenge his authority. Beside Womack, N.C. State Senator is retired military.
Being Elected to represent the voters is an entire different situation!
Give James credit, he saw the hand writing on the wall and didn’t file re-election while Mike Stone had to walk the plank for his antics!
It took me a while to figure it out, the two Republican/Christian’s Womack and Smith pray together on Wednesday then spend the rest of the week preying on the citizens of Sanford.
Jim Womack is not qualified to serve on the board of any entity in the City of Sanford or Lee County whose purpose is economic development. He has demonstrated time and time again that he doesn’t know how to do that.