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An (Imaginary) Interview With Allen Thomas

By Anthony Noel

Allen Thomas

I’ve been watching Mayor Allen Thomas since he was Pitt County P&Z representative Thomas. I’ve given him multiple chances to explain why he remained in that seat for months after he was legally required to step down. More recently I’ve asked him about his outsize campaign signs posted in rights of way, in violation of state law.

The mayor has consistently refused to answer.

As I followed Andrew Gorman’s live-blog updates of Tuesday’s mayoral debate, more questions came to mind – but given Thomas’ dogged refusal to speak with me, I’m pretty sure asking them would be a waste of time.

Between Thomas’ refusals to answer a fellow resident’s questions about his apparent flouting of state law, and his performance in Tuesday’s debate, it isn’t hard to imagine what he might say. And since that’s the best anyone is likely to get, here’s how I imagine it might go.





(And as always, Mr. Mayor, if you’d like to offer actual replies to these questions – versus accusations, recriminations and distractions – I’ll be glad to sit down with you.)

Question: You said in Tuesday’s debate that your campaign hasn’t taken “a dime” from bars, rental property owners or those profiting on internet sweepstakes. Yet contribution records indicate otherwise. So which is it?

Answer: That’s a negative question. We can’t move our city forward by being negative.

Q: But taking donations from owners of such businesses might suggest, in at least some voters’ minds, a quid pro quo. Given some of the things this council has done to benefit such businesses, don’t you think it’s a legitimate question?

A: It’s negative, and I don’t like negative, especially when it’s about me. And I don’t know what squid have to do with it anyway.

Q: Wha… Uh, okay. Let’s look at your large campaign signs.

A: I sure hope everybody is, ha ha.

Q: Yes. Good one. It’s pretty hard not to, since a bunch of them are in places the state says they are not allowed to be.

A: Well, nobody’s told me to move them.

Q: Should they have to? It’s a law on the books and with only one other exception, all the candidates seem to be following it.

A: More negative. I told you, I don’t like negative. We can’t move this city forward with negativity.

Q: Okay, but since almost everyone else is posting their signs on the honor system, do you think you should, too? It seems kind of like following traffic laws. Even though a cop isn’t following you and watching your every move, you still do the right thing.

A: Hey, I dug those holes and put those signs up myself. It was a lot of work. I’m not going out and doing it again. Forward. City.

Q: Huh?

A: Sometimes I don’t use complete sentences.

Q: Okay. Let’s talk about the three-unrelated issue.

A: Do we have to? I’m really tired of it. The people complaining just need to get over it.

Q: They don’t seem ready to. They’re suing the city.

A: We get sued all the time. It’s no big deal. This is beginning to sound negative. City. Move.

Q: The change was opposed by neighborhood residents, ECU, even the P&Z, which you used to chair.

A: And if I still did, they’d have okayed it! Ha ha. Crime. Jobs. Parks.

Q: Uh… Yeah, so why do you think four councilors went against the will of pretty much everyone – except landlords – on this?

A: Because. Forward. Positive. Pirates!

Q: I think we’re done here. Anything you’d like to add?

A: Arrrrrrrrggggghhhhh!!!

Responses (2)

  1. This is one of the most fantastic and hilarious(ly believable) things I have read in quite a while!

    • Anthony Noel says:

      Thanks Ashley. Some think the sign thing is minor, but when you consider the additional prominence it gives candidates who choose to cheat, there’s a cumulative effect. Again, appreciate your kind comment. It was fun to write.

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