Vote should have been unanimous

Published 9:54 am Friday, January 13, 2012

At this point in his tenure on the Franklin City Council, there is little Councilman Greg McLemore says or does that surprises.

Claiming that his need to be outspoken and controversial on just about every single issue before the council stems from a desire to buck the system in order to effectively represent his constituents in Ward 3, McLemore has earned a reputation as a contrarian, regardless of whether his position has any merit, serves his own ward or benefits the greater good. His most recent vote against hiring the new city manager — the lone dissenting vote, of course — and his comments afterward are another sad example of his common-sense-be-damned attitude.

The city has been searching far and wide for a new manager and has seemingly found a highly qualified candidate in outgoing Morehead City, N.C., City Manager Randy Martin, who has more than a quarter-century’s experience in city management and related government affairs.

McLemore, who has never been afraid to find a racial divide where one didn’t exist previously, made the following statement following his vote against hiring Martin: “He has no experience in a diverse locality.” What an odd choice of words from someone who had no government experience himself, in a racially diverse community or otherwise, before beginning his term on the council.

McLemore has had many opportunities in his short political career to put aside his personal agenda and work with his council colleagues to create a united front as they try to work through the many significant challenges ahead. Sometimes leadership requires marching to one’s own beat, and sometimes it means realizing that keeping your opinion in check serves the greater good.

If McLemore truly wants to be a city leader and serve his constituents well, it is about time he stops being so insistent on practicing the former and starts learning how to accomplish the latter.