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Becoming Former County Manager Harry Jones

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That Harry Jones was unceremoniously fired this week should surprise no one, least of all Mr. Jones himself.

It might be considered ironic that the insular dynasty he systematically built up around himself over the last 13 years, designed to secure his position and power, wound up feeding a misplaced arrogance which ultimately led directly to his downfall.

On a personal level, Harry has always been a thoughtful and considerate gentleman with me, so I was sorry to see him exit with so little respect, as the first County Manager to ever be fired —

— until I remembered the botched property revaluation and his dismissive response to criticism, his sleazy mismanagement of the massive DSS crisis, the cold-blooded and outright vicious release of private information from former Sheriff and then-Commissioner Jim Pendergraph’s personnel records — an evident attempt at Chicago-style retaliation and intimidation of an elected official.

And then I started to remember the rest of a long list of Mr. Jones’ questionable actions, which collectively indicate that he had clearly been there far too long already.

Despite Jones’ increasingly destructive record, astoundingly, two County Commissioners still stubbornly voted against dismissing Harry Jones:

Dumont Clarke and Kim Ratliff.

As “representatives” of the people, they should both be deeply embarrassed. This should have been a unanimous action from our County Commission; but, if there is any justice, this will instead prove to be just the latest reason Mr. Clarke and Ms. Ratliff will both need to answer to the voters next year.

Best wishes, Harry. You’ll still be getting your six-figure taxpayer-funded salary for another six months — followed by a fat pension and benefits package. You’ll be just fine, Harry.

And now, hopefully — and finally, so will Mecklenburg County.

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