Our View: It's time to take care of business

Nov. 21, 2013 @ 06:10 PM

It doesn’t work with a toothache. It doesn’t work with a leaky roof. And it doesn’t work with bills: ignore it and it will go away.

For a decade High Point City Councilman Foster Douglas has owed the city thousands of dollars. With interest, his bill has reached $32,216.35. Douglas and his brother both owe this money from a dismissal of a lawsuit they filed in 2002.

The city twice tried to collect the money before Douglas was sworn in to office in 2008. In August, we reported that the money still hadn’t been paid in the five years Douglas has served on council. So, the rest of council directed city staff to try to collect again, by “re-executing the judgement.”

Douglas was served that judgement as he walked into a City Council meeting.

After the council meeting Douglas spoke to reporters. He said he would pay the money and said he planned to speak to his fellow council members about “how that is done.”

The leaves have fallen and here we are at Thanksgiving time. And still, nothing from Douglas.

Council members haven’t heard a peep from him about this issue.

Neither have the bill collectors.

His lack of response though, speaks loudly.

Douglas and his brother haven’t responded to the judgement. He didn’t even bother to file paperwork that could allow him to protect some of his property, according to the city attorney.

Is he ignoring this bill, hoping it will go away?

It’s not going to this time.

The city recently spent nearly $3,000 hiring lawyers from Greensboro to handle this. Those lawyers will try to figure out what Douglas owns so the sheriff’s office can go out and seize it.

Let’s hope that this time it’s taken care of for good — before the leaves return.