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When Calabash Mayor Anthony Clemmons ran for election last year, he said, “The citizens of Calabash are calling for a ‘better today’ as well as a ‘better tomorrow.’ They want to see leadership, integrity and confidence restored to the office of mayor, and I fully support their goals.”
When a Beacon reporter called him on deadline for a brief pre-election interview over the telephone, Clemmons spoke off-the-cuff and apparently voiced what was in his mind and heart without a prepared script.
The former Calabash commissioner told the reporter he was challenging former Mayor Keith Hardee to offer citizens a choice, reiterating he was the more qualified candidate in leadership, integrity and management.
He promised Calabash was entering into a new era.
After he won the Nov. 6, 2007, election and defeated Hardee with more than 70 percent of the vote, Clemmons said, “We all need to join hands and work toward the betterment of Calabash.”
Newly elected Calabash commissioner John Melahn, who ran as part of a team with Clemmons and Mayor Pro Tem Forrest King, said, “The people of Calabash will know what the dickens we’re doing.”
Yet seven months to the day after the election, last Friday, June 6, commissioners called a last-minute special meeting to discuss fire services, only to cancel the session upon the advice of a “consulting attorney.”
Commissioners then convened into a closed executive session to discuss a legal matter. What the legal matter was, is still unknown.
This week, when a reporter called Clemmons to ask questions about the cancelled fire services meeting, a town employee said Clemmons was too busy to talk and requested the reporter submit questions he would answer as time permits.
After the reporter declined to do this, Clemmons apparently had more important Calabash fish to fry and did not return the call.
We hope the mayor will not forget his responsibilities to be accessible to the media and maintain an open government so citizens can be aware of the decisions that are being made as they’re being made.
Seven months after he was elected, we hope Mayor Clemmons and his fellow commissioners will remember to live up to the promises they so candidly and vividly outlined before the voters they vowed to serve placed them in office.