Over the past several weeks, the Wilson Times has been highlighting candidates for council and mayor. Gillettia Morgan got her turn in the September 17, 2023. She’s running for re-election for the District 1 council seat. [“… In the community, some people say, ‘Gillettia doesn’t talk. Gillettia isn’t being seen.’ …,” Morgan said. But I digress.]
Kudos to the Times for asking for Morgan’s stance on Vick Cemetery, which is not only in her district, but she can practically see it out her front door. Here’s that part of the article, with my annotations.
Morgan went on to say:
Vick Cemetery must be a big, rather than a little fire, because this is not my experience with Councilmember Morgan. Despite my outreach to her since 2019, we had our first and only substantive conversation about Vick Cemetery after the May 11 open forum about the discovery of 4,224 graves. At that time, she and Mayor Carlton Stevens promised transparency and accountability. However, she has not responded to my emails since June 1. Here’s the last one, which I sent to her and the other three council members that attended the Vick Cemetery Reconsecration. (To be fair, NONE of them responded.)
More important than responding to me, Councilmember Morgan has taken none of these actions. When New South Associates presented the GPR report at the August 17 council meeting, she asked no questions and made no remarks. She is hung-ho for a fence around Vick, but didn’t inquire how one could safely be erected, given New South’s caution against disturbing graves.
“Mov[ing] behind the scenes” does not engender transparency and accountability. “Behind the scenes” got us gravestones tossed into a landfill (or wherever they are.) As I remarked via email to Councilmember Michael Bell two weeks ago, this is not an issue that can be remedied via behind-scenes deals between city officials. Councilmember Morgan is not solely responsible for Vick Cemetery’s fate, but she is especially responsible because it’s her district. She needs to talk. She needs to be seen. She needs to lead the fight to right wrongs done to Vick Cemetery in the City’s name. And justice for Vick does not mean “the best way the council sees fit.”