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I believe that Commissioner David Williams should come out from hiding under the sofa and get together with Blanchard and Rivenbark to put a stop to the destruction of the Pender County Health Department by Commissioner George Brown and County Manager, Rick Benton. There may still be time.

What about Commissioner Jimmy Tate? I’m feeling sorry for Commissioner Tate right now. George Brown has used Tate to be his bad guy in the local press in his attack against the Health Department. Brown took advantage of Tate because of Tate’s connection as a member of the Board of Health. Both, George Brown and Rick Benton knew Tate loves the publicity, but what Tate didn’t know then, which he knows now, is Pender County is being looked at in detail by an independent source and he has a good chance of being the fall guy for Brown and Benton when the facts come out. Rick Benton has already hired an outside Attorney for the county because he feels this situation is above County Attorney, Trey Thurman’s head.

Brown and Benton have been creating havoc in the Health Department since early April. Jimmy Tate had nothing to gain out of these attacks against Dr. Griffith other than his dislike of the Griffith’s assistant, Gwen Smith and his want to get rid of her. I think Jimmy will soon learn that Ms. Smith will turn out to be the best friend he could have right now.

Commissioner Tate’s constituents are from a lower income rural area in Pender County and they can’t afford to lose him as their representative. Nor can Jimmy’s constituents lose the services which are presently provided at the Health Department. Jimmy needs to think about them as goes through the next few weeks.

I’m not too worried about Commissioner Brown. He will be voted out in the upcoming election and Freddy Brown will be in his place. Jimmy Tate needs to go ahead and back away from George Brown asap and start marching in a different direction before Freddy Brown arrives.

Mr. Tate should also find a way to help get rid of B of H Chairperson, Roberta Bost. Then he needs to find a way to get rid of Shirley Steele and others in the Health Department who have followed Shirley’s lead. That includes her good friend over at the animal shelter, Darlene and the 70 something year old Ann Miller who has decided to file an age discrimination complaint become someone in the Health Department inadvertently describe her as elderly. They both have been causing unnecessary trouble from the beginning of this train ride.

Shirley Steele was the nurse that accused the Health Department of Drug Abuse, Misappropriation of Funds and Medicaid Fraud. None of it was proven true after an internal investigation and none of the facts stating it was all a lie were ever released to the press. Yes, she changed her story, but the local press was not interested as to what she ended changing it to. Shirley Steel’s story became, she “thought she smelled alcohol on someone’s breath a few years ago”. There was never any evidence of any Drug Abuse for those of you who keep screaming Drug Tests. It was all a lie in Shirley Steele’s attempt to destroy the good name of the man who built that place along with all the employees under him and the doctors who provide money making services for the county. Why is she still there? Who is protecting her?

Shirley Steele has created too much damage and is out of control. The county has wasted too much time dealing with her and is spending way too much too much money because of her lies. Shirley Steele has destroyed the ability of the Pender County Government system as a whole to function! Employees no longer want to put their hearts into the jobs they once were proud of and which they enjoyed showing up each day for. PLEASE GET RID OF HER NOW!

Shirley Steel feels she has the god given right to sit in Dr. Griffith’s chair and wants George Brown to put her there. Shirley Steele does not run Pender County, but she is doing her best to control the ones who do. There was a very good reason Dr. Griffith told her he would no longer support her to take over as Health Director when he retired. This is the perfect example of, “H” has no fury ……..”

Commissioner Tate is the only person who can organize enough support to get this Health Department back on the right track. Timing is a must. With the right steps, Commissioner Tate has a chance to come out of this smelling like a rose. Mr. Tate needs to make this a priority and act now. One good reason is, Commissioner Tate’s statement about how they will all need lawyers before this is all over with. I think that's a very good reason to start with Mr. Tate.

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