Our View: Ups and Downs — City Council; Guilford County jailers

Mar. 22, 2013 @ 02:02 AM

THUMBS UP to the High Point City Council for voting unanimously Monday to ask the N.C. General Assembly to set up a referendum on proposed changes to the city’s municipal election system. City voters will decide likely in 2014 whether High Point’s elections will return to odd-numbered years and re-institute a system of primaries to narrow candidate fields for general elections. Perhaps, a double THUMBS UP is in order because City Council members let drop the proposal popular among some city officials to increase terms of office for the mayor and City Council members to four years instead of the current two. City voters decided in 2001 that terms should be two years, and there’s been little, if any, call from the general public for changing that.

THUMBS DOWN to the jailers at the Guilford County Jail in High Point whose errors in following established procedures for checking on prisoners resulted in two inmates escaping the jail last weekend. “There are policies and procedures in place there were not followed,” Sheriff BJ Barnes said Monday. “We are trying to determine exactly why it occurred, and we will take the appropriate action once we have that established. This is definitely something that we don’t want to see happen again.” Barnes said the fault for not following procedures, which include checking on inmates twice an hour, will lie with more than one person at the jail, but he did not indicate what punishment might be administered.

THUMBS UP to North State Communications for its treatment of about 800 customers in part of Thomasville earlier this week after the company’s cable television service was interrupted for a number of hours. North State contacted the customers to apologize for the interruption and inconvenience and then gave them $25 credits toward their monthly North State bills.

THUMBS UP to Vivan Ruden — and to the Mobile Meals of High Point program that she helped head up for more than three decades. Ruden announced earlier this month that she had decided to resign her post as treasurer of Mobile Meals, which she’s held the last 33 years. The organization provides meals each weekday to nearly 200 people in High Point, using volunteers for delivery and private financial contributions to fund operations. The organization does not, and never has, received any government money to support the program. It also depends primarily on High Point’s faith community as its pool of volunteer drivers to deliver meals.