‘Stable’ – really?

Published 10:36 am Tuesday, November 22, 2011

To the Editor:

Thadd White in his Nov 12th article (“Lamb leaving Bertie”) began with, “A decade of stable leadership in Bertie County will soon draw to a close”.  Really???

I submit that more than two years of that decade has been fraught with questions about Zee Lamb’s “service” to the citizens of Bertie County.   I’m sure most of your readers are aware that at the height of the recession, while telling all other county employees that no raises would be given due to economic conditions, Mr. Lamb got a $52,000 per year  raise in a September 2009 closed session of the Bertie County Commissioners, at which Mr. Lamb was present since he was the County Manager.

Evidently Mr. Lamb’s “stable leadership” did not include informing the taxpayers in Bertie County who pay his salary – or the other county employees who did not get a raise  – of this fact.  This was discovered by the citizens of Bertie County 17 months after Mr. Lamb received the raise.

If you have followed the long legal battle between the citizens of Bertie County and the county manager and the county commissioners, then you are aware that the “Friends of Bertie” sued the county commissioners to get the tape of that closed meeting in which Mr. Lamb received this inordinate pay raise, so they can find out exactly how it came about – a piece of information that has been doggedly withheld for over two years.  This legal proceeding will be heard in court on Jan. 23, 2012 and by that time Mr. Lamb will be in Chowan County.

Thadd White wrote an article that appeared in the News-Herald on August 7, 2010, entitled “It’s all Zee’s fault”.  He claimed that the citizens of Bertie were unfairly persecuting and blaming poor Zee for all sorts of catastrophes. In the 14th paragraph in that article, Mr. White states, “When he (Zee Lamb) has tried to accomplish things, he’s done so without hiding behind other people.  He shoulders the responsibility of his office the way he should.”   Of course this article was written prior to the news in early 2011 that Mr. Lamb had received his huge raise  and had failed to tell this to the Bertie County taxpayers.  It was also written prior to the fact that the county commissioners have had to take the major portion of the heat for this act while Mr. Lamb – not exactly shouldering the responsibility – hid behind their coattails.

In the very last paragraph of Mr. White’s article on Nov 12, he reveals that Mr. Lamb’s salary in Chowan County will be only $116,000 per year – over $30,000 less than he received in Bertie County.  If Mr. Lamb was doing such a good job in Bertie and he truly “shoulders the responsibility of his office”, don’t you think the cut in pay and the timing of his leaving – prior to the January 23 court hearing – is rather telling?

Roberta L. Wise