Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Ruffin shared his intent to retire in the Hickory Record
On January 6, 2013, Durham County Manager Mike Ruffin wrote an article that states his plans to retire soon. “Ruffin: Kannapolis pastor retires after 40 years of faith service” appeared in the Hickory Record.
The Rev-elution has reported that multiple sources have shared conversations with Ruffin about his desire to retire in July due to conflicts with members of the current Board of County Commissioners. Ruffin denied the report through an email sent to Ray Gronberg, a reporter with the Durham Herald-Sun.
“Mike Ruffin is a former Cabarrus County manager who lives in Durham and serves as Durham County manager. He plans to retire in Concord soon,” reads the tagline to the article. (http://www.hickoryrecord.com/independent_tribune/opinion/article_df293abc-5823-11e2-9bc0-0019bb30f31a.html)
The tagline references Ruffin’s devotions that appear at www.devotions.com, and claims it as one of the more popular websites on the Internet for Christian devotions. It list Ruffin’s email address as firstname.lastname@example.org.
The mention of his pending retirement, and the place he plans to live, raises questions related to Ruffin’s denial of the Rev-elution’s report. Although the wording of Ruffin’s tagline fails to give a timeline for his retirement, the mention of it coming soon was done in a context outside the community that deserves to know what he means by soon.
When pressed by Gronberg, Ruffin refused to give specifics regarding his planned retirement. His lack of clarity, given his mention in a newspaper outside of Durham, forces a critical question about why he is so willing to mention retirement on his devotion website and in another newspaper, while failing to do the same with those in Durham.
Ruffin mentions his pending retirement in January. Soon would imply a decision within a year. Durham has a right to know what he means by soon. The right to refuse to share those intentions was taken away when he decided to share plans to retire with others. He has a right to remain silent, but not when he throws the bone to others while refusing to address the same back home.
The Rev-elution expects the Board of County Commissioners to press Ruffin on when he plans to retire. Given the issues currently on the table, this is a matter that needs to be treated like an open book. Members of the commission may desire to remain silent, but the truth is they all know the truth. That truth has been shared. Their response is dishonest and a serious violation of trust for those who expect them not to lie when asked a direct question.
To say they do not know, and to suggest reports were pulled from the sky, covers more than what Ruffin has shared. It exposes their rapid willingness to rally in support of one who has already share his intentions. Ruffin has done so with more than the members of the Board of County Commissioners. Members of the Board of County Commissioners are functioning under the pretense that Ruffin has limited his plan to retire to those closed door sessions. That is not the case.
How can we trust those who shift the dialogue by working to find a way for Ruffin to leave after July 1?
Ruffin has shared his intentions. It’s the truth. Commissioners know it’s the truth. Ruffin has written that truth in another paper.
So, why not face that truth?