Cotham Answers Nay-sayers Over Firing With Poll

May 17, 2013

Mecklenburg County Chairman Pat Cotham

Mecklenburg County Chairman Pat Cotham has taken a lot of heat for the firing of County Manager Harry Jones last week.  So she’s decided to fire back at her nay-sayers by releasing results of a poll she commissioned.   

Cotham’s campaign committee paid Public Policy Polling to ask Mecklenburg residents about the decision to fire Jones.  The results came back in her favor. 

Fifty-four percent of people surveyed approve of the board’s move and 59 percent think commissioners should have more oversight of top county employees. 

Cotham says that confirms what she’s heard from constituents. 

“It seems a little, perhaps, aggressive in terms of going out to the voters and commissioning this kind of poll, just to prove your point,” says Catawba College political science professor Michael Bitzer.   

One of Cotham’s biggest critics, fellow Democratic commissioner Dumont Clarke, has never heard of a sitting commissioner doing this.  He called on her to resign her chairmanship of the board this week. 

“It’s an interesting poll, no doubt about it.  And what’s most interesting is that she felt like she had to do this,” says Clarke. 

The poll also addressed other issues such as whether residents approve of Cotham’s leadership.  Those results also came in her favor.