The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

February 26, 2013

Two Princeville board members offended by citizen's question

THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
Submitted

PRINCEVILLE — PRINCEVILLE – A question asked during the town's monthly meeting Monday caused tempers to flare for two board members while a separate issue dealt with one board member who criticized the police chief's work.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, Annette Waller asked mayor Priscilla Everrete-Oates, commissioner Isabelle Purvis-Andrews, and interim town manager Maggie Boyd if they planned to attend the special community meeting called by the Local Government Commission at 6 p.m. today at Princeville Elementary School.

Today’s meeting was set by the LGC to answer questions or concerns that citizens and commissioners may have about the town’s financial condition. A similar meeting was held in August. Citing previous engagements, none of the three attended.

Everette-Oates and Purvis-Andrews were offended by Waller's question and asked her why she singled them out? Everette-Oates' expressed her frustration with LGC for calling the meeting. She said she had asked LGC to attend January's monthly meeting, but the state agency refused and later set a date for today's meeting

Everrette-Oates asked, "Do you get mad at them when they don't attend? Why are you getting mad at me when I don't attend?"

She did not say whether or not she would attend the meeting, but she did say she may have other obligations.

Purvis-Andrews became furious, saying her mother and father are sick and for that reason she didn't know whether or not she would attend the meeting. Boyd did not comment on the issue.

More than 75 people attended LGC's August meeting which gave the citizens unlimited time to speak. If LGC had attended the town's monthly meeting, the board room would not comfortably accommodate that many attendees and citizens are alloted only two minutes to speak.

Today's meeting was requested by commissioner Calvin Sherrod. Sherrod attended the August meeting and didn't comment on that issue. In an unrelated issue, he drilled Police Chief Joey Petway concerning the lack of traffic violations his department is issuing and the work ethic of his department. For more than a year, Sherrod has pleaded for Petway to increase writing traffic violations.

"I've been addressing that issue for the last couple of years about speeding on (N.C.) 111 and (U.S.) 64 (Alternate). I haven't seen any changes. I see a lot of your officers parked in different areas. (It) Looks like they're not clocking no cars. Most of the time they are jaw jacking on the cell phone. I can't figure out what is happening."

Petway responded, "If you feel that strongly about that, come and ride with us. Come with us. Don't criticize us. Just come with us and ride with us. Stay with us for eight hours and you would see.

"I didn't just start (policing) in Princeville. I've been working in law enforcement for a long time and I know how to police. I've policed the East Coast from D.C. to South Carolina. I can take care of myself and I can definitely take care of the community. I do apologize if you think that I'm not doing the job that you need me to do, but I'm going to stand fast and do what's necessary."

Purvis-Andrews complimented the police department.

"We have to separate reality from TV life," she said. "This is not cops and robbers like you see on TV. This is real life.

"I see them when they're riding around. I see the chief cruising around in the town as well. I see a lot of things they are doing. I want the citizens to know they are doing a good job in protecting our lives as well as their own."