• 73°

The case of Sandra Campbell highlights the core issue that haunts Rowan County, a lack of leadership. A leader is one who knows that their greatest asset is their people, and that leadership includes both developing people and enabling a culture that their people can be successful in, creating success for all.
Jim Holt’s March 7 article contains several quotes that highlight the lack of leadership and poor management in Rowan county government. Commissioner Jim Sides is quoted as saying “the first thing he (Welch) should do is protect himself” and that Sides would never throw Welch “under the bus.” This summarizes a political self-preservation mindset, not a leader’s concern for building an effective culture. A leader would ask why, after 22 years, hasn’t the employee management system highlighted and corrected any (if there are any) performance issues? How will this impact others in my organization?
A political self-preservationist would ask how he can protect himself.
Craig Pierce is quoted in the same article, stating, “for people being terminated, you give a reason; without that, they cannot go to the unemployment office.” This is the thinking of a poor manager who doesn’t understand management nor employee development. A leader would ask what has changed that has resulted in a 22-year employee no longer being effective, and if there’s some coaching that could improve the situation. A leader would realize that employees deserve feedback so they can improve and succeed, not so they can go to the unemployment office.
Paul Fisher demonstrated leadership in developing the community forum on growth. Paul Woodson demonstrated leadership by highlighting the positive assets of the community and its potential. Brien Lewis demonstrated leadership by calling for a leveraging of our educational assets. Our county commissioners demonstrated a failure to lead and manage, and only a concern for their own well-being.
— Richard Browne
Salisbury

Richard Browne is the professor of practice at UNC Greensboro’s Bryan School of Business and Economics.

When I read Jim Sides’ comments in Friday’s Post I couldn’t believe my eyes. Jim Sides, the same guy who bought a rundown 27-year-old mall without any plan for how to use it, or any cost/benefit analysis, talking about planning! The taxpayers of Rowan County are now on the hook for millions of dollars for repairs and renovations with no idea of the costs or the benefits. Apparently Mr. Sides’ idea of planning multi-million dollar commitments is “Trust Me!!”
To quote Mr. Sides “If we fail to plan, we plan to fail.” Too true! If you want an example of planning to fail, do a search on the county website for “strategic plan.” The library has one, the Health Department has one (2007-2008), the county has nothing! One really has to wonder what Jim Sides’ plan really is. Could it be to dry up the city, or at least the central part, and leave us with an empty shell surrounded by strip malls, like so many other small towns? I wonder.
Even now, with no clear-cut plan, the county manager is renegotiating leases at the mall. Is he getting increases in rent to cover necessary repairs or does he have to cut rents just to keep tenants in the mall at all? Once again, where is the plan?
Apparently, Mr. Sides is also privy to City Council’s inner thoughts, since he claims the city “would have aggressively pursued annexation of every piece of property in Rowan County not already claimed.” Nowhere in Vision 2020 is such a plan even mentioned. What was proposed was managed growth, most definitely not including “every piece of property.” Of course, Mr. Sides failed to mention getting his buddy Carl Ford to de-annex the airport from the city! Talk about hypocrisy!!
Mr. Sides also mentioned working together. His idea of cooperation seems to be “My way or the highway,” as shown by his demand the School Board accept a more expensive, less suitable central office site if they want needed operating and capital funding at all.
What is Jim Sides’ hidden agenda? Does he even have one, or is he simply flying by the seat of his pants? The taxpayers need to know, and in writing.
— Jack Burke
Salisbury

In regard to Mayor Paul Woodson’s statment in Friday’s paper under the headline “Fibrant benefits”:
He commented that Rowan County’s location along I-85 will eventually spur more development. With 80,000 vehicles a day driving through the city and county, “one day, they are going to stop and say, let’s put something in Salisbury, let’s put something in Rowan County.”
How many years have these vehicles been driving on I-85, and how much development have we seen? Not much! Also, he was very proud of us being ahead of Charlotte because it is competing for a data network similar to Fibrant. Big deal; we are ahead of Charlotte in one thing. Charlotte is getting two new major outlets that will create hundreds of jobs. I am glad we had a community forum and hope it will be successful in helping Rowan County grow.
— Dianne McNeely
Salisbury

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