The Lee County Board of Commissioners on Monday voted Republican Kirk Smith the board’s newest chairman, according to a press release issued by the county.
Smith received votes from himself and fellow Republicans Andre Knecht, Bill Carver, and Arianna Lavallee (formerly Del Palazzo), who will be the board’s new vice chair.
Democrats Cameron Sharpe and Mark Lovick – both of whom did cast their votes for Lavallee for vice chair – voted against Smith. Democrat Robert Reives was absent.
Smith, who is in his third non-consecutive term on the board after winning the 2018 race by just 55 votes, was likely the most controversial choice available among the board’s Republicans. As recently as June, several citizens attended a meeting of the Board of Commissioners to decry social media comments he made that were perceived by many as racist.
But the recent backlash against Smith is essentially just the latest in his history of controversy. Both as an elected official and a private citizen, he’s made divisive public statements on a number of topics going back nearly 20 years. They include calling environmental activists names like “eco-marxists,” advocating that low income students in public schools be given peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch, voting no on scholarship opportunities for young people attending Central Carolina Community College, making false statements about other elected officials and then blaming the county staff, bizarrely claiming that Nazi organizations were dominated by something called “the virtuous macho gay male,” flip flopping on coal ash when it became beneficial to do so, attacking the service of a combat wounded veteran, referring to the media as an “enemy of the people,” targeting student athletes at Central Carolina Community College for locking their arms in solidarity during the playing of the national anthem, and even calling the COVID-19 pandemic which as of this writing had killed 284,000 Americans “political hype.”
Smith and Lavallee will be chair and vice chair until December 2021.
Meanwhile, multiple residents forwarded The Rant a screenshot of a Facebook comment by Sharpe calling President Donald Trump a “dead loser” and a “shit bag” on a video of a recent Trump rally in Georgia.
Sharpe confirmed he wrote the post and said he regretted his choice of words but not his “frustration and sentiment.”
“When I made that comment, I was getting ready to be a pallbearer for a friend and fellow Commissioner who died from COVID,” he said in a statement, referring to the recent death of Commissioner Kevin Dodson. “I see the President holding super spreader events to protest an election that he lost with no regard for people attending and health care workers who will have to take care of them like my wife. I was at my tipping point and used language that I should not have. It was an emotional time and I made the statement in haste. It is time for this country to come together and fight this pandemic. It is real.”
The election of the racist, COVID-denying, right wing conspiracy monger Kirk Smith as Chairman of the Lee County Board of Commissioners is the worst thing that could happen to Lee County right now. May the gods help us.
Cameron’s has acknowledged his choice of words could have been better and they were understandable given the moment.
After all when you are speaking to and about the Devil sometimes you have to use language the Devil understands.
Less we forget, this however IS NOT Sharpes first outburst Even during the 2020 election.
In my opinion Sharpe is a “Hot Head” and should have such things under control, by now.
But Kirk Smith isn’t a hot head?? Come on now.
It’s a sad day for Lee County when we are represented by Mr. Smith. Let’s hope we can get through until December 2021 and do better.
I thought Trump and the pandemic were the worst we had to face but now another for to face. Pray for all of us.
So you didn’t like the booming economy that Trump helped to create and the Democrats destroyed by shutting everything down.
Surely you are joking…….
Here’s the real story, not Trump and his cult’s bee ess:
Trump will leave office in January with a historically bad record on the economy.
That sounds discordant since many Americans believe the economic fable that Trump has repeated relentlessly throughout his term. But placing his bottom-line results alongside those of his predecessors paints a deeply unflattering portrait.
Alone among the 13 presidents since World War Two, Trump will exit the White House with fewer Americans employed than when he started. He will have overseen punier growth in economic output than any of the previous 12 presidents.
His throwback “America First” agenda has failed to restore the old economic engine that powered an earlier era’s prosperity. On Trump’s watch, industrial production has fallen. The Federal Reserve says the manufacturing sector fell into recession in 2019 even before the coronavirus pandemic hit.
Last week was the 38th in a row in which at least 700,000 Americans filed first-time claims for unemployment benefits.
Holiday-season lines at food banks dramatize the scale of human suffering. More abstract measures, such as the US trade deficit and ratio of government debt to the size of the economy, have also worsened during Trump’s term.
“Trump’s economic record ranks near or at the bottom compared with other presidents,” concludes Moody’s chief economist Mark Zandi, who compared the economic results of all presidents from the last 70 years.
“The economy under his watch has performed very poorly.”
I love a booming economy , but not at the expense of feeding children who are poor, thru no fault of their own, peanut and butter sandwiches and ignoring a pandemic that just yesterday killed the mos US citizen s in one day in history. We have to put humans above politics or $$. Where are our Christian values?
CDC and WHO were very confusing at the beginning. I don’t believe the numbers either. Dying with and from are 2 different things. If China and WHO didn’t lie, maybe we could’ve prepared better.
Trump inherited a strong economy from Obama. The economy continued to grow under Trump, perhaps booming for three years. However, just like the Super Bowl 51 Falcons, Trump couldn’t finish. It’s still his economy and he choked. You can’t just play 3 quarters and then head to the locker room. Now, with the Virus raging, people dying and the economy tanking,Trump, who lied to us about the virus and claimed it was a hoax, is only focused on the election that he lost by more than 7 million votes, a landslide in the popular vote and the electoral college.
Cameron was right. Trump lost and is nothing more than a one term President who was impeached, a Loser. He needs to quit whining about the Refs. and go home.