EDITORIAL: Salute to Marine role model

York Dispatch Editorial Board
Melvin G. Carter gets pinned to the rank of brigadier general by Brig. Gen. Dimitri Henry and Maj. Gen. Michael Groen during a ceremony in which he was promoted to brigadier general in the United States Marine Corps at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia, August 9, 2019. 
Photo by Lance Cpl. Mitchell Collyer

Thumbs up: And a salute to Melvin Carter, a William Penn Senior High School graduate who last week became the U.S. Marine Corps’ latest brigadier general.

The 54-year-old officially was promoted Friday, Aug. 9, at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia, near Marine Corps Base Quantico.

He’ll serve as the Marines’ director of intelligence, responsible for being the commandant's principal intelligence staff officer and the functional manager for intelligence and cryptologic activities.

Carter, now living in Arlington, Virginia, said he serves with about six other African American generals, making him especially honored.

More:William Penn graduate promoted to brigadier general in Marines

"I'm incredibly proud, honored and really overwhelmed," he said. "I realize that now I have a responsibility that now I pass on to the next generation of Marines." 

At York High, Carter ran track, played football and was the president of his class, but his family was unable to afford to give him a college education.  

After joining the Marines, he graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta with a bachelor's degree in banking and finance, and also spent time studying at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and Harvard Business School.

Prior to his current assignment, Carter served as the director of intelligence for the Joint Special Operation Command.

Thumbs up: The current management at the York County 911 Center is reportedly working on an improvement plan they hope will prevent a partial privatization of the troubled facility.

In a public post, Facebook user Tana Rockey identified herself as a longtime employee of the 911 center and said the at-work team includes supervisory and administrative staff.

"Their combined effort will prove there is no need for the Board of Commissioners to seek an outside company to move the Center into a positive direction; the answers lie within," the post read.

Several police chiefs, including Guy Hettinger of Penn Township, center, attend a public meeting for York County Commissioners to hear a report on the audit of the 911 Center by IXP Corp. Wednesday, July 24, 2019.
John A. Pavoncello photo

More:York County 911's dispatcher union 'cautiously optimistic' about privatizing

More:IXP Corp. offers to take over all nonunion positions at York County 911 Center after audit

We hope the county commissioners hear them out and pursue a local solution if one is to be had.

The commissioners are considering outsourcing management at the 911 Center after IXP Corp., a New Jersey firm contracted to audit the facility, reported poor management and training, chronic understaffing and an overall toxic culture.

The company president recommended the privatization and had just the company in mind – his own.

County officials must consider every proposal to improve the center, even one coming from within.

"We’re going to give them an opportunity to present a plan of action to us," Commissioner Chris Reilly said the managers’ efforts. "You know, I think that’s only fair. I welcome their input and look forward to seeing what they are proposing."

What’s most important is that action is finally being taken to address longtime concerns about the center.

That seems to be the feeling of the rank-and-file, who wouldn’t be affected directly if their management is privatized.

The union representative for dispatchers at the York County 911 Center is "cautiously optimistic" about potential direction from a private company.

"I can’t honestly say whether it’s a good move or a bad move, but at least it’s a move," said Steve Mullen, president of the local chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. "They’re trying something different to resolve the issues that have been there for quite some time."