We need your help and support. My wife, Mary Shkut, a long-time volunteer and servant in Marvin has been told she will be forcibly removed and/or arrested for trying to fulfill the duties of her office on the Village Council.
Dear Friends, Neighbors & Community Members, We need your help and support. Believe it or not, my wife, Mary Shkut, a long-time volunteer and servant in Marvin has been told she will be forcibly removed and/or arrested for trying to fulfill the duties of her office on the Village Council. Those with particular agendas (~ for brevity, I’ll call them The Village Center ‘Urban’ Development Squad; The Liquor License Annexors at Tom Short; and The Marvin Creek Gate Crew ~) have done everything possible to vilify her over the years. And their antics have gotten pretty ridiculous. Mary has done nothing but protect people in Marvin for years, support our laws and provide residents with help and information. Because I'm tired of seeing her bullied, I'm writing this, hoping to appeal to the community for support. Please read the letter below from Mary's website. Once you've read everything, please consider leaving your signature and a quick comment of support. We'd appreciate it more than you know. https://www.mary4marvin.com/signthepetition Gratefully, Mike Shkut
Dear Marvin Friends and Neighbors,
After careful deliberation (and quite a bit of angst!), I accepted a short-term appointment to the Marvin Village Council. (See a bullet-point summary here) When asked to consider being appointed -- to finish Councilman Salimao's term and represent those who voted for him -- I was reluctant at first. Yet I eventually accepted and looked forward to listening to neighbors and trying to find solutions for issues and concerns again. (See past experience here). Council Seeks to Unlawfully Vacate the Appointment After writing the Council to say, "I looked forward to working with them", they responded to say they would not recognize my appointment as 'valid', and had directed staff not to provide me with support. I knew this majority might have different priorities, but this response seemed irrational, given that I would be in the minority. I can only guess that my tendency to keep people informed, support low-density, small-scale commercial development, and maintain processes, have made me a target for the opposition. (See samples in The Public Records Folder.) Upon information, belief and according to the Council’s last two meeting agendas, the majority intended to have me removed from any Council meeting; arrested, if necessary, so they could declare my seat ’vacant' and appoint someone else. Though the appointment is valid, challenges to a title can be heard -- but only through a State-level judicial proceeding. (N.C.G.S. §128-6) A city council does not have the authority to make a determination, then arrest and remove an appointed public officer — especially for political reasons. (See my attorney's letter) Not So Much About the Office, As It Is About the Rule of Law I have never had particular ambitions to be on the Council. (I generally prefer to keep my head down and do what I hope is good work for the community.) However, this Council's apparent willingness to seize unauthorized power, subvert due process and deprive a citizen of civil liberties, feels like a major affront to the rule of law. It would be hypocritical of me to expect people to stand up for what’s right, and yet, not be willing to do the same myself. So, I have no choice but to stay strong, and committed to my oath of office, regardless of the consequences. Government Shut-Down in Marvin? Sadly, Yes. In the meantime, there are duties to fulfill -- for example, the Village budget is due today, residents are waiting for event permits in time for July 4th events, etc. -- Despite the risk of being removed, Councilman Epps and I called for a special meeting to avoid a Village shut-down, yet it's unlikely the Mayor, Vandenberg or Dispenziere will attend. I believe this council should put dissension aside, hold meetings, host healthy debates, fulfill their sworn duties and refrain from affronting the rule of law. If You Agree, I Could Use Your Support The Council meeting, from which I was to be removed, was first planned for June 12th, then rescheduled for June 28th. It seems the Council majority might be reconsidering the agenda since they cancelled Thursday's meeting as well. In the meantime, it's important for me to prepare for the July 10th meeting. I could surely use your support. Please consider signing the online petition on my website and leaving supportive comments. If you are able, please also consider... => Attending the July 10 meeting to provide friendly faces in the meeting. => Encouraging others to sign and submit comments through the petition Thank you for all your help and support through the years!
With heartfelt gratitude and service,
Mary G. Shkut Councilor, Village of Marvin