Sarge Butters fans aren’t going away
It’s time for the harassment to stop.
That’s the message Amy Vaughan-Jones and her son Will gave to members of the Mocksville Town Board and the community at last week’s town board meeting.
Both said that Vaughan-Jones, a member of the board, had been personally attacked on social media, and the comments went too far. Will said that cat feces was spread on board member Brent Ward’s front door.
“They’re people, too,” Will said. “You’re nothing special. If you want to come to my house like you did Brent’s house, I’ll be waiting outside.”
His mother, he said, supports law enforcement and loves animals.
She said that she has been the victim of social media harassment and falsely accused in an editorial in the Enterprise Record, reading from a statement (Read the entire statement on page 4.).
The issue started in April, when Vaughan-Jones started contacting Town Manager Matt Settlemyer about what she saw as problems within the Mocksville Police Department. Just over a week before the August meeting, Settlemyer told the department that the live-in cat, Sarge Butters, also the department’s popular Facebook image, had to leave the department.
That started the social media campaign to keep Sarge Butters at the department, and Sarge Butters fans say they aren’t going anywhere.
Alan Bagshaw of Mt. Airy said the town created it’s own nightmare by putting out different stories and then remaining silent. He encouraged board members to “hold each other accountable.” He said the group will continue to fight for Sarge Butters.
Susan Whitener of Advance said there has still been no clear explanation of why Sarge Butters was evicted, and said the cat didn’t appear happy in recent Facebook posts from his new home. “We will be at every meeting,” she said. “Records will be requested.”
She told board members that if they allow Vaughan-Jones and Ward to continue, they’re just as corrupt. “You are no longer the voice of the people who elected you. We’re not going to back down.”
Kim Silvers of Gladstone Road said it appears to be a personal vendetta used against the police department. “You people should really be ashamed of yourselves.”
Carol Yow of Salisbury Street voiced her support of the police department and Sarge Butters. “It is time to reunite Sarge Butters with his police department.” She said the police department has improved community relations, especially with the senior citizen population.
Penny Young of Clemmons asked who is in charge, two members of the board and the manager or the full board. The issue needs to be met with something other than silence, she said. “Not all super heroes wear capes. Some wear badges and collars.”
One man said the police decided to rescue a helpless kitten, and it turned out the kitten helped the police department.
Greg Bagshaw, a retired Mocksville police officer and father of Alan Bagshaw, said it isn’t the first time the idea of dissolving the Mocksville Police Department and turning law enforcement over to the Davie Sheriff’s Office (Vaughan-Jones had suggested this in an email to Settlemyer.) had been made. “This man (Pat Reagan, police chief) is one of the most progressive chief’s I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Jennifer Jackson of Morning Glory Circle said Reagan went out of his way to help her with an identity theft problem before he became chief. She said Mocksville has one of the best police departments she’s seen. “Now, we’ve got the grinch that stole the joy out of Mocksville.”
Justin Volke of Mocksville said the group trying to save Sarge Butters “is just a fraction of the voter base,” and that he supports Ward and Settlemyer. He said he didn’t know Vaughan-Jones. It is also being used for political purposes, Volke said.
Two board members spoke in favor of the police department – Brian Williams and Rob Taylor. “I stand with you and behind you,” Williams said, praising Reagan for obtaining a master’s degree in public administration. “We have a highly-educated chief who is devoted to this town.”
Taylor agreed. “Chief, you have our full support.” As an assistant district attorney, he said reports coming from the Mocksville Police Department have greatly improved since Reagan became chief.
Ward and board member Eric Southern made no comments on the issue before Vaughan-Jones read her statement.