WJTV News Channel 12 - New Bern politician calls for more blacks on committee

New Bern politician calls for more blacks on committee

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NEW BERN, N.C. -
New Bern Alderman Bernard White said he's merely being honest.
"You can't have a search committee without having some blacks on it," Alderman White said. "You do that, and you're really slapping us in the face. You 're saying we don't really exist."

The search committee referenced by the Alderman is a group of community leaders put together to find a new city manager.

Alderman White said he's the only black person on that panel.

He said when the names were first suggested back in December, he told the mayor he wanted more black people on the committee.

Alderman White said Mayor Dana Outlaw promised it would be worked out so the alderman voted in favor of the panel.

But the alderman said the mayor didn't follow through on his promise.
However, Mayor Outlaw said he didn't explicitly promise to name additional black people to the panel because he doesn't have the legal authority.
He said he legally could only promise to try to work out a solution.

The mayor also said the board will decide who to hire in the end.
"The ultimate decision of the city manager selection will be 42 percent black, which is three aldermen of the seven elected officials," Mayor Outlaw said.

The mayor said he wants to move on and instead focus on the actual search for a city manager.
"I'm trying to get the best city manager for the city of New Bern, and I had a suggested list produced by myself," Mayor Outlaw said. "Folks that are going to ensure the city of New Bern gets the very best city manager to efficiently run our city"

"Equal rights and justice does not occur up there on that floor," Alderman White said. "It doesn't occur on that floor."
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