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Editorial: Landis board should focus on helping Hosey, staff instead

In a town where it’s more important than ever to right the proverbial ship, the Landis Board of Aldermen isn’t helping.

And that’s caused in large part by Mayor Mike Mahaley.

The board, including Mahaley, debated Monday about who could claim credit for reporting allegations of embezzlement by former town administrators — a topic not important for the situation the town finds itself in. But discussion was particularly puzzling because Mahaley claimed he “had a really good idea for about four or five months of what was going on.” He raised the specter of the police chief and deputy chief being fired if they confronted former Town Manager Reed Linn about alleged embezzlement.

Contrast that with his actions following Salisbury Post reporting in January about a letter of concern from the state for overspending. Mahaley at the time called the article “fake news” and  and encouraged a crowd of meeting attendees to believe the same.

Yet, on Monday, he gave attendees another lecture, saying the public didn’t want to believe the truth.

The mayor can’t have it both ways.

It was a back-and-forth between Alderman Seth Moore and Mahaley, however, that was most unhelpful in getting Landis back to the business of governing.

After a statement from Moore statement that Mahaley was “the most incompetent mayor Landis has ever had,” Mahaley broke out his own insult.

“You are definitely the most unethical, smart mouth, smartass,” Mahaley said.

Whather disturbed or entertained, the crowd of attendees reacted audibly with “woahs” and “professional.” Police Chief Kenny Isenhour, leaning back in his chair, put his hand to his head. Town attorney Rick Locklear looked down and did the same. A woman Moore identified as his grandmother shook her finger at the dais and the Board of Aldermen.

Instead of dishing out insults or arguing over who was responsible for reporting embezzlement allegations, the Board of Aldermen should be focused on providing Hosey and town staff with the resources and assistance needed to run the town. That includes professional conduct during town board meetings.

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