A North Carolina County Commissioner is sticking by her statement that the next person who is hired for a vacant county manager position should be a “nonwhite male.”
Kim Ratliff, a county commissioner in Mecklenburg County, N.C., made her comments following the departure of former county manager Harry Jones.
“Some residents may have taken it the wrong way,” Ratliff said. “But I said what I said.”
Jones was voted out of his position last month. Ratliff, who wanted to keep Jones, said that other county officials should learn from Jones’ somewhat rocky tenure as county manager.
“There were some people the manager was not talking to," Jones said. "There were county commissioners who were not talking to the manager.”
Ratliff wants the next county manager to be someone who is open to communicating with all of their colleagues and "someone who is diverse — hopefully someone outside of North Carolina would be ideal for me."
Although Ratliff’s intention might have been to reduce conflict in the future, her comments have only stirred up controversy.
"I don't know the motivation for why she said it so I'm not offended at this point," said Commissioner Matthew Ridenhour. "I'm disappointed that it was said. Whether a person is Hispanic male, white female, or Asian male — that's beside the point. It should be the best person for the people of Mecklenburg County."
Ratliff tried to further clarify what she meant earlier this week, The Blaze reported.
“I wasn’t saying for white men not to apply,” Ratliff said. “What I was saying was we had a white male county manager. We had a black male. It’s a given those two genders and races will apply. I’m saying to the ladies of every race — take a chance at it.”
She added: “The person coming in has to be a strong candidate who is able to deal with conflict resolution, who is diverse, who has an open mind and who is able to engage everyone in the process.”