But Laurinburg Councilman Curtis Leak's diatribe against Craig Honeycutt right after council finished honoring the outgoing city manager, was ill-timed and ill-placed.
The District 1 councilman, who represents one of the largest minority communities in the city, said he was bothered that Honeycutt has repeatedly to failed to place a black on the city's management team. The 12-member team, made up mostly of city department heads, helps advise Honeycutt on the day-to-day operation of the city.
When Honeycutt countered that Marcus Smith, who is black, is on the management team, Leak became dismissive of Smith, the city's information technology director.
Leak described Smith as a mere "token" whose only responsibility was managing his cell phone.
Honeycutt 's treatment by Leak was even shabbier.
"Well ... enjoy your plaque," Leak told Honeycutt at one point. "Now let's vote."
Later he expressed thanks to the Alamance County for hiring Honeycutt away from the city.
Why Mayor Matthew Block, who is supposed to be wielding the gavel at council meetings, did not bring the silliness to an end is still a mystery.
Only moments before, Block was saying what an upstanding public servant Honeycutt was. How about standing up for Honeycutt?
If Honeycutt's feelings were not enough of a concern, one would think Leak's reckless critique of Marcus Smith would raise a red flag. Unless the city wants to find itself in court, it may want to curtail labeling some minority employees as tokens as other not.
And for all Leak's sound and fury, what did it accomplish? Nothing.
His fellow council members voted down his motion to place another black — Kenneth Monroe — on the management team. Whatever support Leak may have had, crumbled when it was learned that his complaint had more to do with the fact that he had not hand-picked the black team member.
Maybe Leak's only goal was to show some discourtesy to Honeycutt as he made his way toward the door. If true, the effort may prove to be more of a disservice to Laurinburg as it looks for its next city manager.
The city may be hard pressed to find a prospective administrator willing to be second-guessed at every turn or have staff browbeaten in public.