GREENSBORO, NC (WWAY) – He was the Brunswick County manager for the better part of a decade and he’s leaving on good terms, but Marty Lawing’s journey to Guilford County is becoming a rocky one.
After a six to three vote to approve Marty Lawing as the new Guilford County Manager at least one member of the board of commissioners is claiming race was a factor in his hiring.
"It's obvious that it was not a fair process,” said Commissioner Carolyn Q. Coleman. “I'm not going to call anyone a racist but I had questions about it. To determine who the top three candidates would be we voted on the basis of points, but when we got to tabulating those points an African American candidate had the most points."
The three African-American members of the Guilford County Board of commissioners all voted against the hiring of Lawing, but at least one says it wasn’t due to his qualifications.
"I was one of the three that voted against hiring Marty and my vote didn't have anything to do with Marty,” said Commissioner Ray Trapp. “Since the process began when we first got the list of candidates and all of their qualifications Marty was number two in my book. Marty stayed number two in my book up until the vote. My vote wasn't necessarily against Marty as much as it was for another candidate that I thought fit Guilford County better."
Trapp says that despite the rocky start to Lawing’s tenure that he does have what it takes to successfully balance the budget shortfall that has plagued Guilford County.
"The goal is to move Guilford County forward and to keep Guilford County running smooth operations and I think with Marty we will definitely get that,” said Trapp.