Monday’s split decision by members of the Sampson County Board of Commissioners to provide themselves a reserved parking space at the courthouse is absurd, self-serving, heavy-handed and completely unnecessary.
It is, as we see it, a complete abuse of power.
Citizens should be disgusted by such antics, and, if they are, they should tell the three members who voted for the measure — Albert Kirby, Jarvis McLamb and Harry Parker — just how ridiculous such a move really is.
Likewise, anyone who thinks it is a good idea for government officials to carve themselves out a nice little spot in downtown Clinton to park should let their voice be heard as well.
We doubt there are many of those voices, though, given that most folks don’t like it when government officials use the authority of their elected positions to further their own personal agendas. And, designating themselves a parking space certainly falls into that category.
What were they thinking? Or, were they thinking at all?
Don’t they know parking in downtown Clinton is already limited, and businesses need any and all undesignated spaces for their customers? What about those trying to get to court. Eliminating another space does nothing to help them either?
And for what? How many times, for example will McLamb, who lives in the Plain View community, ever use a parking space at the Clinton courthouse? How about Mr. Parker? For that matter, how often are commissioners called upon to conduct business at the courthouse?
Certainly Mr. Kirby, an attorney, can likely make the most use of such a parking space, but how much of it would truly be on county business?
Kirby is the one who brought the matter up during Monday’s meeting, made the motion to designate the spot and, when chairman Jefferson Strickland urged a delay in making a decision on the abruptly added agenda item, refused to budge saying “I’m not prepared to withdraw the motion … We can talk about it, but I think it’s something that needs to be acted upon.”
And act upon it they did, with the measure passing 3-2. The action begs many questions, not the least of which would be why was this so important?
While we have often agreed with Kirby’s common sense approach to matters of budget and even fairness, none of that was evident in his latest motion. In fact, from where we sit, the only thing clear is that it should have never happened.
It certainly will make it harder for any of the three commissioners who OK’d this measure to argue about anyone else in county government benefiting from something because of their position.
All we can hope is that Mr. Kirby’s common sense will return and he, along with Parker and McLamb ,will rethink this very unwise move, rectifying what we believe is just wrong.