Jeff L. Thigpen Register of Deeds

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Say It Ain't So.....Dr. Cole!

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Dr. Cole's possible resignation is surprising and disturbing. From my experience with her and talking with those around her---she is an amazing lady! Bennett College needs her voice and hand at the helm. I pray they work through the rough patch and she stays.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Did you know? Luna was Lynne Thigpen!

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Luna on Bear and the Big Blue House has been portrayed by Lynne Thigpen (no relation, but I'll claim her!) who passed away in 2003. I never knew that she was truly a gem of a person! She had a great voice and still sings the Goodbye song---a personal favorite. The discussions between Bear and Luna could bridge the divisions between the Board of Commissioners. haha. They are insightful and my daughter always stops at full attention when they start singing.

Yes, I have issues with Disney, Inc. (I could never see how Eisner could make $500m in stock options a year.) But Lynne Thigpen was truly a blessing! She has an Elementary School named after her too....

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Supervisor Training continues...."lep, lep, lep, rigt, lep"

Today we reviewed county personnel regulations with HR Director Sharisse Fuller; legal issues with County Attorney Jonathan Maxwell; FMLA and ADA regulations also. The ol' head was spinnin' near the end! I'm ashamed to say as a County Commissioner how little I knew. I did not have the exposure, knowledge and experience of dealing with personnel reg's in the way I deal with them now as a Department Head.

Nothing like lifting the hood and takin' a look.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2005


Spent several hours in Raleigh this morning attending a Judicial Committee Meeting. Richard Bowlin gave Senators an overview of E-Recording. Security issues; cost of E-Recording Council; and "encryptions and hashing of information" was batted around for about an hour. The committee adjourned to reconvene on Thursday. The mortgage satisfaction legislation was discussed in another committee at the same time and received favorable action.

Reminds me of my favorite political song!

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Rev. Falwell lays smack down on Sen. Warner and Allen in Va!

Just watched the end of Hannity and Colmes. What's going on in Va? Rev. Falwell ends his interview with a pointed statement. "We have two US Senators in Va- Warner and Allen, if either voted against particular judicial nominees, I'm sure they would not get re-elected because I WILL actively work against them.

Oh yeah, he's feeling better....

Monday, April 25, 2005

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D) VT has blog....

Sen. Leahy's blog has some promise.

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Sunday, April 24, 2005

Allen Johnson's column

I'm passing on the column re: T&R.

Friday, April 22, 2005

All Supervisors going through "Basic Supervisory Training"

As part of our overall reorganization, I am sending all supervisors through Basic Supervisor's Training conducted by Guilford County Human Resources. The trainings consist of 5 one-day workshops over the course of the next three weeks. The workshops cover basic supervisory roles and expectations to team building, ADA/FMLA issues, worker's compensation, Guilford County Personnel Regulations, conflict management, performance management and creating a respectful workplace.

I am participating with my supervisors in this training. We finished Team Building training today. This was the second training. The first was General Management Skills for Supervisors. The supervisors were actively engaged in the dialogue and exercises. Fred Starling with the HR Group, Inc. was a great workshop leader. He was enormously helpful and insightful throughout the training.

Sharisse Fuller does a great job as HR Director, deserves much credit for putting these trainings together and I appreciate the opportunity for Register of Deeds staff to attend!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

City Council decision not to support T&R Commission.

While I disagree with the decision, it was no surprise. The reality is that the decision reflects the positions of people in Greensboro in many ways. I can say this, I know. After all, they are, I have, and now am partially, elected by the citizens of Greensboro. There is a market for opposition and I know folks' names and faces. I'm sure members of Council sought to have a compromise resolution and it fell apart for reasons I'm not clear.

I believe the comments of Council members both pro and con should be listened to closely, chronicled, and seen as a "teachable moment" about how hard this work can be. The discussion was at times articulate even though I disagreed with certain argumentative statements. I'm not going to belabor the vote on along racial lines and I won't use this moment to chastise Council members who voted against it. That would be too superficial and continue to fuel the apprehension that manifested in the 3-6 vote.

Instead, the challenge is clear--the T&R process must continue to be vigilant and seek truth. Let's hope the process at its end will have answered the critique of Council and transcended their reservations and reasoning behind their decision not to support.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Ah-lulv-u! Ah-lulv-u!

Great words! Michelle and I heard Elle say "Ah-lulv-u" after we prayed last night. We appropriately called relatives and family and made her repeat it for over an hour. Needless to say, she slept late this morning.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Follow the Triad Orioles!

Follow our team in the Men's Senior Baseball League (MSBL). We are 38-7 over the past two seasons.

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Another comment re: Truth and Reconciliation Commission

I was in the coffee shop this morning and heard this guy talking about the T&R commission. He said folks didn't know what they were talking about--"it was just a bunch of Nazis and Communists and they did exactly what they wanted to do--kill each other".

Now--what if a person like this used that kind of reasoning around, say, education. "Oh that kid is white trash-if he fails, he's just getting what he deserves because that's what white trash kids do--fail.
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Sure there were members of the Klan, Nazi, or Communist Parties and people were killed. But there's a little more to the story. Once again, I don't care if people have different views or opinions related to the T&R or 1979, or any issue for that matter. But folks need to use their noggin's. Stereotypical over-generalizations are a wonderful way to sow the seeds of a passive division, or passive denial about an emotionally charged issue that is not going away.....

That's why the discussion needs to continue.

Friday, April 15, 2005

The most integrated place in America.............

Not our schools, churches, or neighborhoods, but.....

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AM I WRONG? Be honest. Golden Corral is the only place in America where a constant flow of people from all nationalities, races, and classes come together, crossing party lines to strive for a common goal: The BUFFET.

Vendor demonstrations of software systems for the Deeds office.

Aptitude Solutions, BIS, Hart Intercivic, AmCad, Alpha Corp. have done presentations. Fidler and Cott will be coming. We are learning about our options. I'm looking on during AmCad Demo. Amcad is in Randolph County.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Indexing Section in Register of Deeds finally get individual office space!

Staff in our Indexing Division wanted dividers placed in their areas. The project was scrapped before I came into office but now we've followed through on the project. This small project has been important for many reasons. First, ROD offices need to have proper indexing and it is a job that carries much responsibility and potential liability if not done correctly. My employees have been on top of each other for years. Now they can focus more without distortions. Second, I believe its good for morale and allows them some individual space. Third, this project is a sample of great things to come!

Construction phase
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Occupancy phase
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Friday, April 08, 2005

Sign up for the new Register of Deeds E-Newsletter!

Our first edition of the Guilford County Register of Deeds E-Newsletter will be coming out in the coming weeks. To sign up for the newsletter contact me at

Updates on changes in the office, pending legislation, and more!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

City Council and the Truth and Community Reconciliation Commission: "Greensboro's talking about it whether you like it or not"

Here are a few articles, blog discussions mentioning the Truth and Community Reconciliation Commission:

Ed Cone (and another recent article)
Sandy Carmany
Tom Phillips
Allen Johnson
Doug Clark
John Hammer

Greensboro Truth and Community Reconciliation blog and their website

I've been around this discussion for several years. Some agree the process should move forward; others do not. Do we support truth? Can we have reconciliation? Is T &CR needed anyway? Why do people say its a race issue when mostly whites were killed? (even though members of a white supremist organization were involved) The establishment says there goes the fringe driving Mandela and Lenin over Feb. 1 on to Nov. 3rd. The fringe says the establishment's gobbling down prozac and 'Red Bull' trying to medicate its way through its self diagnosed bi-polar disorder.

I've heard all kinds of comments..... prefaced by the term "extreme". Extreme statements like "Those communists deserved what they got". I overheard a guy say he knew several friends who urinated on the graves of those killed each year and then he laughed about it. Extreme denial-- "November 3, 1979 is in the past. No good can come from rehashing the past. We'd be better off forgetting it happened". Extreme confusion--was it a massacre or a shoot-out? Do they want the City to pay $? Extreme blame and scapegoating--blame the police; blame the Communists; blame the Klan; blame and scapegoat Nelson Johnson; blame the white juries; blame and scapegoat Jim Melvin (for opposing the TCR process); blame it on just a bunch of liberals and naysayers who support the project; Extreme apathy--"Whatever, let's watch television".

I am clear---no unstructured or informal way of discussing this painful and traumatic event has ever brought Greensboro to resolution on November 3rd. In all honesty, absolute resolution may never come even in a formal way.

BUT Greensboro--WE need not fear the discussion. My position is simple. Agree, disagree, discuss, listen, learn, and/or share if you want. Look at facts--common facts; disputed facts. Weigh the process and the actions of the commission members against your own understanding. Seek truth for yourself and be honest about it. If you're against it, be against it and tell someone why--or even engage the process and be reasonable. If you are for it, engage the opposition and continue to build support for it--and be reasonable. If you can commit to reconciliation, that's'll be good for the soul.

I could be wrong but I don't think the City Council will SUPPORT the TCRP. If this is the case I'd urge them to pass a resolution encouraging debate, discussion and/or to reconcile their differences into a modified resolution. Sure, you'll be accused of passing the buck by some but at least all sides will know you value a good fight for truth, clarity, and citizen driven efforts to get to the source of the infections that inflame old wounds.

I appreciate Tom Phillips and Sandy Carmany (most especially) on this issue because they are interacting with the public online from a position of disagreement re: TCRP.

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I had that feelin'! Carolina wins!

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Sunday, April 03, 2005

Pope John Paul.....

My feelings related to the Pope have covered the gamut--from admiration of his efforts for world peace to disagreement on some of his conservative stands on social issues and struggle re: the paternalistic and centralized nature of the Catholic church.

I must admit this gamut was greatly impacted by a personal pilgrimage to the Vatican during my semester abroad at Guilford College in 1990. I made it to the gates but the guards would not let me in to the main building. No joke. I was wearing shorts and told I could only enter with long pants. A 3 day journey; 3 mile walk from the train station; hopes of seeing the Sistene Chapel; etc---all down the drain because I had shorts on. Where in the bible does it say that someone can't enter a religious establishment because they have shorts on? Yeah, ok, I wouldn't make it regular dress to church....but a slow rage bubbled in my gut as my inner voice kept repeating the words to the old spiritual song with phases "Just as I am.....Just as I am....God loves me JUST AS I AM! I could not walk to the train station and get back in time . I looked all over the surrounding blocks asking myself, "Where's a #@%* pants salesman when you need one?!?? I sat in that circular area outside of the Vatican and wondered why? why? Well, I was crushed, hurt, and it stuck with me for a long time. I saw that experience as a reflection of the Catholic faith probably more than I should have.

But putting that event aside, I appreciate the life of Pope John Paul and all he did for peace and justice in the world during his tenure as the world's most influential spiritual leader. I appreciate his personal story--coming from Poland during WWII, hearing stories from those touched by him, his humor, and the way he approached his own death--with real dignity and faith.

I would have liked to seen his house! Regardless, the Catholic church is in my prayers as they seek a new spiritual leader. God bless Pope John Paul II......may he make it through heaven's gates, even if he's wearing shorts!

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