Note: The complete transcript for this meeting is not yet available. In the interim, specific statements made at this meeting will be posted on this site and answered by Neil and Cindy Girrard. Excerpts from the transcript are in normal type - comments in response by Neil and Cindy Girrard are in blue.
McMinn: I’m Rory McMinn and in light of what Cille Dickinson has commented in regards to a resignation of L.M. Smith, chairman of the board, I’m here to talk about the fact that I’ve known him for 55 years. We first met in 9th grade, we grew up together, we subsequently worked together in Chaves County. He is an outstanding, forthright individual, highly regarded by many and I think that what is happening is a railroad and there is nobody here that I can see other than possibly Elaine and some [garbled] who have listened to the tape of that meeting, so my concern is that this [garbled – suspicion?] that is made tonight is based upon more hearsay and innuendo than it is truth. And if you listen to the tape, you’ll find that it was a casual conversation primarily among three people, L.M. Smith, Jim Spiri and Winston Moore. And it was very casual. There was no outright emotional statements made by any one of those three people. However, the questions that were posed by Mr. Moore and Mr. Spiri to L.M. Smith were rather pointed in turn to get him to respond in a manner that would cause the question in regard to the Girrard [garbled] to be posed. It was posed to L.M. in his rightful position and in righteousness respond in a manner that he wanted to respond. When L.M. moved up here the first things he did was buy a fully decorated Christmas tree and Christmas presents for everybody in the Girrard household. The animosity that everybody thinks takes place between L.M. Smith and Girrard is non-existant and so, I believe that if you vote to have L.M. Smith resign, you’re doing so by mistake and it’s all innuendo and I, I guess that’s it.
Misdirection and misinformation embedded with deception. Let’s break them down one at a time.
McMinn: I’m here to talk about the fact that I’ve known him for 55 years. We first met in 9th grade, we grew up together, we subsequently worked together in Chaves County. He is an outstanding, forthright individual, highly regarded by many…
It is interesting that McMinn does not say how or where they worked together. Smith is an ex-Chaves County Sherriff’s deputy. He has done nothing to gain any significant exposure in any newspaper, either good or bad. If McMinn was also employed as a deputy, history shows that police camaraderie and solidarity are to be expected even when facts contradict.
There are other people who were not invited to this meeting who have also known Smith for all of his life and they say that they know him to be a bully. By Smith’s own admission, he was called on the carpet by the county commission for some of the conflicts in his early years. He wriggled out of that one by saying, “I don’t pick any of these people. The planning, zoning and enforcement does it.” (January 2018 LHPB meeting) It would seem the county commission has also in the past recognized his bullying attitude even though they allowed him to give an excuse to avoid being held accountable for it.
The Chaves County Sherriff’s office, like virtually all law enforcement agencies, had an ongoing attitude that if they could get one of the worst of the criminals out of the community, it sends a message that they want those worst offenders gone. This is precisely the attitude that Smith’s January, May and now July statements about our house burning down exhibits! If the U.S. and the Lincoln historical districts were supposed to be a police state or if we, the Girrards, were hardened or dangerous criminals, this might be an appropriate attitude – but since we are honest citizens with children with no history of conflict with the county and since Smith’s attitudes are about the appearance of our home, it is completely out of place. Frankly, it is insane. Further, Smith’s house and barn are far more intrusive to the architectural standards of the historical district than is the Girrards’ house – Lincoln’s Zone B was never a collection of mansions! If anyone’s home or person should rightly be forcibly removed from the historical district, it would be Smith’s. Smith’s attitude is completely hypocritical.
Smith’s attitude toward the Girrards is that of a vigilante, a misguided “historicity” zealot. Samantha Mendez rightly pointed out that there is no conflict between the county and the Girrards and that the 2009 issues (which arose primarily because of Neil Girrard’s injury he sustained while working on our property) were long out of date. But in spite of this fact and the fact that Smith is the one freely talking as the chairman of the historical board about burning someone’s home down, he has convinced the county commissioners that this is only about Lincoln’s “dirty laundry.” Jicky politics is the practice of those who have no issues to stand on.
McMinn: I think that what is happening is a railroad
That is exactly what it is – a railroad – but not in the direction McMinn is implying! All we, the Girrards, did was ask the county commission to remove Smith from the board because of what he had said. The county responded with all sorts of jicky maneuvers behind closed doors. We did not ask anyone to show up – we saw immediately that it was going to be jicky when the county commission sent it back to the historical board and we saw no reason to be there to be the sacrificial lambs at this one-sided event where we wouldn’t even be allowed to speak! It was the historicals who stacked the deck and invited all those loyal to the illusion of historicity of Lincoln to show their solidarity and support for Smith’s threats to burn us out!
Nita Taylor, county manager, made a special stop at our house the Sunday before the meeting to invite us to the meeting but she never told us that we and our property were to be on trial as the agenda displays their intent. We were never allowed to hear the tapes where Smith issued his implied threats to burn us out for ourselves before this meeting even though we asked simply to hear them in any possible way. (see our July 11, 2018 email to Nita Taylor which she never answered here)
We had simply asked the county commission for Smith’s removal from the board because the commission is the appropriate entity to remove Smith and Smith’s words are completely appropriate for gaining his immediate dismissal – as everyone but the historicals and those under their influence immediately know. But somehow, with no public discussion whatsoever but only behind the scenes ex parte communications, someone on the county commission decided that the board should handle its own “dirty laundry.” Well, the dirty laundry was not handled – it still stinks! Smith’s comments are as inappropriate and threatening as ever and now it seems he has the backing of the county commission. It is simply unimaginable that any American child should have to live in fear that some government official might come around some night and burn down their home! The county commission, by its own jicky actions instead of dealing with this in public, has made this situation exponentially worse!
Railroad is indeed the exact word we use for the July LHPB meeting – along with judicial farce, kangaroo court, jicky politics and a few other epithets not fit for printed publication.
McMinn: and there is nobody here that I can see other than possibly Elaine and some [garbled] who have listened to the tape of that meeting…
If we had been there at the meeting, we would have been included in that number! And no one at the meeting ever got to hear Smith’s words either! Nor would we have been allowed to speak either except perhaps for 2 minutes before the accusations and innuendos against us would have been made – a practice entirely contrary to the principles of justice and fair hearings. We were told that getting a recording of the tape was very difficult – and we have found that it is. The historical meetings of January through June 2018 were being recorded on equipment that was over 10 years out of date – the recording device they used requires Windows 98 to access it! Nor will the county do anything to update any of these recordings to make them accessible even though there is obviously now a question of propriety involving the chairman of the historical board.
McMinn: so my concern is that this [garbled – suspicion(?)] that is made tonight is based upon more hearsay and innuendo than it is truth. And if you listen to the tape…
As of this writing, we have now been listening and transcribing Smith’s exact words and we find them to be much worse than even what we were told and what Smith said to Neil in May’s LHPB meeting! If one does listen to the tape that is precisely all that Smith’s statements in the January meeting are based on – hearsay and his own uninformed opinions. He has never once (apart from a bizarre Christmas event – see below) spoken to either of us. We never even knew who Smith was before all this – up until March 2018 we always called him “Pennsylvania-Dutch” because of his barn and we never even knew his name! It is equally obvious that McMinn’s opinions are based on the hearsay and innuendo that Smith told him! Gar-bage in, gar-bage out.
McMinn: you’ll find that it was a casual conversation primarily among three people, L.M. Smith, Jim Spiri and Winston Moore. And it was very casual. There was no outright emotional statements made by any one of those three people. However, the questions that were posed by Mr. Moore and Mr. Spiri to L.M. Smith were rather pointed in turn to get him to respond in a manner that would cause the question in regard to the Girrard [garbled] to be posed.
Here is truth blended with fiction. It was a relatively unemotional conversation (that also involved Becky Borowski – why is she excluded?) This actually makes it worse. Smith is calmly and casually discussing the issues of the historical district and he arrives at the “solution” of burning down our home! It has been long noted that the worst crimes and immoralities occur in board rooms and not on the streets. This is one reason the Open Meetings Act was required – to keep the atrocities to a minimum! In fact it is the calm nature of evil that is possibly the worst thing that occurred at the January meeting. Smith simply exposed his own inner sickness and now he and others are trying to cover it up.
But it is simply not true that the questions were pointed in any manner to get Smith to name the Girrard property as his example of the worst property in the district. Is McMinn using innuendo to say that there was some kind of agreement or cooperation between the Girrards, Spiri and Moore? If so, that is pure conjecture that has no basis in reality whatsoever. Smith chose us as his example all on his own. (Examine our rebuttal of Smith’s gossip, hearsay, self-generated opinions and innuendo at the January LHPB meeting here).
Also, it is to be noted that neither Mr. Moore nor Mr. Spiri were asked to give their take on the conversation. Smith’s comments are shocking and disturbing to everyone who hears about them – except to his friends and supporters and to the county government. Apparently these people have completely departed from all decency and common sense and now believe that arson is a viable solution to what they perceive as “problems” in the historical district. This is the same path the Nazis and the Soviets took.
It is simply insane to believe that burning a neighbor out is an appropriate solution. Even Becky Borowski, Lincoln’s top cheerleader, said that her initial response to Smith’s statements at the May LHPB meeting was “Holy crap! That’s not the way you conduct a meeting.” (July LHPB meeting) Everyone we talk to about this is shocked and knows immediately that Smith’s words are a threat – but the historicals who know their house of cards is being called into question because of Smith’s threats cannot admit the truth. McMinn seems much more like the bully’s sidekick in his statements here than anything else. And all of it is simply insane.
McMinn: It was posed to L.M. in his rightful position and in righteousness respond in a manner that he wanted to respond.
Righteousness does not threaten to burn down anyone’s home. If this is either McMinn’s or Smith’s notion of righteousness, it is delusional! And news flash: no one has any rightful position to threaten to burn someone else’s home down! Duh.
McMinn: When L.M. moved up here the first things he did was buy a fully decorated Christmas tree and Christmas presents for everybody in the Girrard household.
This is a complete misrepresentation of what happened. Smith’s ridiculous, anonymous, clandestine Christmas visit a few years ago is dealt with here. The incident happened in 2015, four years after Smith had been on the board, not a “first thing.” We never received any Christmas tree from Smith (we don’t even practice Christmas and have never once put up a Christmas tree since we were married in 1999!) and the gifts were primarily for the children but were largely inappropriate and we had to return or give away nearly everything because whoever gave us the gifts (we’ve heard a report that it wasn’t even Smith at all who paid for the gifts!) didn’t take the time to find out who and what we are. Smith got caught in the delivery of these gifts and never responded to our invitation for him to return some time for coffee. Now, McMinn refers to this bizarre event as if it entitles Smith to recognition as a good philanthropist who has only good will toward the Girrards. Historical revision rides again.
McMinn: The animosity that everybody thinks takes place between L.M. Smith and Girrard is non-existant…
Everybody can’t be wrong here. If there’s no animosity from Smith toward Girrard, why does he want the Girrards’ house to burn down? If there’s no animosity, why was this kangaroo court event staged to keep the truth from being known? All this is a no-brainer to most people!
But this statement is completely contradicted by Smith’s statements in January 2018 (on the tape that was not played). Smith said, “I know that, probably about seven years ago, the state police accompanied child welfare, did a home visit. Nobody went to jail on that deal. I wanted it burned down myself but it still exists as is.” (January 2018 LHPB meeting) Seven years ago Smith wanted our house to burn down! For seven years Smith’s animosity against us has been brewing in his mind that now just knows his delusions are “fact in his brain.” (July 2018 LHPB meeting – see Smith’s January statements here.) Deception is being produced as “fact” at the historical board meeting once again!
McMinn: I believe that if you vote to have L.M. Smith resign, you’re doing so by mistake and it’s all innuendo and I, I guess that’s it.
No, it would have been the right thing to do. It would also have been the right thing to do to play or have a transcript read of Smith’s exact words for the people making the decision. It also would have been the right thing to do to put the matter before some judges who are not so biased toward the historical ordinance and who insanely believe they practice “righteousness” as they oppress and harass their neighbors and fellow American citizens, the homeowners of Zone B. But the historical board is not and never has been known for doing the right thing. Their true colors are showing quite clearly here.