by Sam Hieb
The new Guilford County manager wasn’t present at last night’s board of commissioners meeting, so he might not have an idea of what he’s getting into, considering the 6-3 vote was approving his hire was along racial lines, not party lines, as the Rhino speculated in yesterday’s edition.
Democrat Kay Cashion voted with Republicans to hire Lawing, while Cashion’s’ fellow Democrats — Carolyn Coleman, Bruce Davis and Ray Trapp —all African-Americans —- voted in opposition:
Trapp was quick to say that his vote against hiring Lawing had nothing to do with race.
The candidate who he, Davis and Coleman preferred is black, but Trapp said it is his qualifications and experience working in larger counties with larger budgets that makes him the better candidate.
Davis said he believes that candidate wasn’t hired because he is black.
“I tell you he only had one strike against him and that was the color of his skin,” Davis said of the candidate Lawing beat out for the job. The second finalist has never been identified.
Coleman said she is disappointed that Lawing had not hired any minorities to work in senior management and is disappointed by his explanation that he couldn’t find any.
Coleman also brought up a sexual harassment scandal in 2010 that led to the dismissal of Brunswick County’s head of Social Services while Lawing was county manager there.
Lawing starts his new position May 6. It’s a good bet he’s doesn’t know what he’s getting himself into, but after a career in local government he’s hopefully grown a thick skin.