Always question the timing

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Nothing is random.

Okay, some things are random. Lightning. The lottery. A few candidates for Greensboro City Council.

But most things happen for pretty good reasons, generally following the rule of cause and effect.

For example, when UNC Board of Governors Chair John Fennebresque stepped down from his post on Monday, it was for very good reason: He ham-fistedly axed UNC System President Tom Ross, held a secret, one-man search process for his replacement and installed Margaret Spellings, a longtime advisor to President George W. Bush and protégé of Karl Rove.

It was a blatantly political appointment — Spellings will be the first president of the UNC System not to hold an advanced degree since the 1950s, has no previous ties to the state of North Carolina’s vaunted public university system and will draw in salary about 30 percent more than Ross commanded: $775,000 a year.

Fennebresque didn’t even try to pretend that his resignation, effective immediately, had nothing to do with Spellings’ appointment.

With the search completed, he told the Raleigh News & Observer: “I am stepping down from the board to make way for and encourage new leadership. Significant challenges lie ahead for the system as it continues to provide the unparalleled education our students deserve.”

It’s like he took a dump on the floor and ran out of the room.

In Greensboro, when Downtown Greensboro Inc. Chief Operating Officer Cyndy Hayworth stepped down last week, she was sure to iterate that the decision was not because of the parking-lot nap that landed DGI President Zack Matheny a DWI charge just a couple days before.

She told the Greensboro News & Record that her resignation had “nothing to do with what happened last week,” but she had the air of a person leaving the bar just before a heated argument turned into a fistfight.

Consider, too, the timing of the now infamous Winston-Salem Strip-Club Raid of 2015, when law enforcement agencies including state Alcohol Law Enforcement descended on three of the city’s topless bars and seized enough drugs to spread 122 charges around 25 people and shut them down for a month. The raid on Friday night dovetailed neatly with a piece in the Winston-Salem Journal a couple days earlier about the downtown club Lollipop’s, a fully nude concern that does not serve alcohol that the city is trying to seize and close through a lawsuit filed in May.

You could call it a coincidence, if you believe in that sort of thing. But not too many people in Winston-Salem are willing to speak for the strip clubs now.