The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

August 9, 2012

It’s time to decide

Othar Woodard

TARBORO — It’s time to decide

To the Editor:

Now that the Local Government Commission has taken control of the finances of the Town of Princeville, it seems like a good time for the citizens of the community to discuss, debate, and re-evaluate their future options for the governance of their town.

The options seem clear: (1) continue along the path of electing (some) commissioners and (some) mayors who appear unqualified and lacking the necessary character and integrity to govern the town; (2) find new leaders with the right qualities to lead the town to fiscal responsibility and quality and fair services for all of its citizens; or (3) request to become a part of Tarboro and voluntarily give up the town’s charter.

The first option will surely lead to the risk of the LGC returning to the town sometime in the future to once again impound the town’s financial records.  Only this time, the LGC will certainly take the town’s charter. Then, Princeville will not only be known as the first incorporated African-American town in the nation, but also the only town in North Carolina’s history to have their finances taken over by the LGC not once, not twice, but three times.  Certainly, this would not be a desired outcome.

The second option would be most desirable, but achieving this will require the citizens in Princeville to get become involved in the political process and hold their leaders and themselves more accountable.

If the second option is not achievable by the citizens of Princeville, then there is option three. While it is not the most desirable option, it is not the least desirable, either. It would be better to voluntarily give up the town’s charter than to have it forcefully taken under a cloud of disgrace and shame because, let’s face it, the hallowed grounds of Freedom Hill and the proudly incorporated town of Princeville have been desecrated enough.

Othar Woodard