Giles Free Speech Zone

The purpose of the "Giles Free Speech Zone" is to identify problems of concern to the people of Giles County, to discuss them in a gentlemanly and civil manner, while referring to the facts and giving evidence to back up whatever claims are made, making logical arguments that avoid any use of fallacy, and, hopefully, to come together in agreement, and find a positive solution to the problem at hand. Help make a difference! Email "mcpeters@usit.net" to suggest topics or make private comments.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Why Has The County Executive Been Secretly Giving Tax Money To A Charity That May Not Be A Legally Authorized Charity?

Why has the County Executive been secretly funding a charity that may or may not be a legally authorized charity? 

It has been acknowledged by Mrs Vanzant that she had been giving between three and five hundred taxpayer dollars each year to a “charity” identified as “Night Out Against Crime”. 

This acknowledgement came as a complete surprise to most everyone at the County Commission Meeting on Monday. 

It was reported in that meeting that the state auditors had raised questions about the way the contributions had been made. Not once has the County Commission voted or even discussed this charity or making a contribution to it.

Under county rules no charity can be funded with tax money unless they are a legal 501c Charity and the paperwork is on file with the county. All non profits are required to apply for funds through the County Budget Committee then approved as part of the budget approved by the County Legislative Body. 

Last year the Campbellsville library, which everyone agreed was a worthy non profit was denied funding because they did not have the proper paperwork identifying them as a legal 501c non profit.  

In this same meeting it was also acknowledged that under Mrs Vanzant’s leadership the county attorney has been appointed for two year terms inspire of the county having gone through the process of getting the state legislature to pass a private act that made the appointment for a four year term.


These are only a couple of recent instances of Mrs. Vanzant ignoring the law and doing things her way, a way that has cost the county millions in lawsuits, attorney fees and financial blunders.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Giles County Executive Candidates Appearance On WLX

Just listened to the three candidates for Giles County Executive on WLLX from Lawrenceburg and was totally impressed with Capt. Graham Stowe, Mr. Lindsey did an excellent job also but I have to give a huge fail to Mrs Vanzant who failed to name one single accomplishment from her twelve years as County Executive.

Capt. Stowe has a plan that relies on innovative common sense approaches with an active leadership role and long term plans without a property tax increase or wheel tax. His vast experience and simple plan for keeping communications open through regular "Town Hall Meetings" is a huge step toward rebuilding trust in county leadership.

Mr Lindsey has a plan that relies primarily on possible grants from state and federal taxes which means more big government intervention. While he did say a wheel tax was not needed the additional spending he described as "needed" will require a bunch of new funding. While identified as an independent he talks more like a liberal democrat but even as such he has more experience and ideas than Mrs. Vanzant.

Mrs Vanzant would not rule out a wheel tax and/or a property tax passing off the responsibility as entirely that of the commissioners. She did say that the county was in financial good health with an expected half million dollars in excess income by the end of the fiscal year. and over 800 thousand dollars in excess school funds. If there is that much actual excess income why is the highway department so underfunded?

What are some of the things you heard that tonight during that debate that impressed you either positively or negatively?

Monday, July 21, 2014

News From The County Legislative Body That Met This Morning

Commissioner Flacy continues to have serious medical issues and was the only Commissioner not in attendance today. Commissioner Flacy was recognized for her twenty four years of service on the Legislative Body of the County. Prayers are requested for her.

 Others recognized for their long service were Commissioners Connie Howell and Jack Woodard each having served for sixteen years.

Questioned was raised by Commissioner Jackson as to the appropriateness of appointing a County Attorney for two years when the county is required to appoint the county attorney to a four year term.
Commissioner Harwell stated, " I been here twelve "year" and we ain't never done it that way".
Mrs. Vanzant stated that we've always done it for two years but we'll change cause the law says four years"

My question is why, since the four year term was initiated by the County and passed as a private act through the state legislature,  hasn't this law been followed before now. My concern is that it's just another matter of "we'll do things our way, regardless of what the law requires".

New School Board Member is former County Commissioner Edwin Lovell. Mr. Lovell was appointed after receiving the required eleven votes from the commissioner. Mr Clay Doggett received eight of the votes cast.

The Industrial Development Board was denied their request of altering their charter to place one more member on the Economic Development Committee. The Commissioner rejected the request choosing instead to keep the appointments to the Committee equally split between the city and county appointments.

Under Unfinished Business:
Commissioner Pope asked about the status of connecting the bathrooms at the AgiPark to the public sewer system. It was reported by Mrs Vanzant that they were with for Mr. Brooks to give his OK.

Commissioner Adams asked about the status of the Alternative School Building.  Mrs Vanzant responded that there had been some old records transferred to the building but that a leak was discovered and an architect was looking at the building.

Commissioner Adams asked about the status of the project at Exit 14, the wastewater treatment system. Mrs Henson, the county attorney, reported that they were waiting for a second rate study to be done and "hoped" to be able to report on it in September meeting.

Under New Business:

Commissioner Jackson made the motion to give $300.00 to a group called "Night Out Against Crime" and that the money would be taken out of the County Executive's fund.

The interesting things about this is that during the discussion it was revealed that the County Executive had been giving this group between three and five hundred dollars each year without any knowledge or approval of the Commissioners.

My question is why has this program been regularly funded in secret? Why hasn't it been included with the regular charities during the budget process. Are they a legitimate 501c charity and if not how can the county give them any money.

I have no questions about whether this organization is a good or bad program only, as to the way the County Executive has chosen to secretly fund them and what is their legal status.

Commissioner Jackson commended "the Budget Committee and the Financial Management Office for the very first time in history that the budget was approved before July".

I agree with Commissioner Jackson but would also remind everyone that when we were working to get the Financial Management Act of 1981 approved for the county, commissioners Campbell, Harwell and a couple of others including Mrs. Vanzant fought tooth and nail against it vilifying me and others in the process and did everything possible to sabotage it. To day with Commissioner Jackson's comment and the last audit report of no deficiencies I feel and all that worked on this program should feel vindicated.



Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Has The Ball Been Dropped On Development Of The Wastewater Project At Interstate Exit 14?

It's been years since talk began about developing the Exit 14 asset. It's been well over a year since actual actions began to be taken. We now are sitting and waiting for apparent Divine intervention to develop that very valuable asset. Why do I say waiting for "Divine Intervention" because there don't seem to be any human actions being taken. Everything seems to be bottled up in the County Executive's office and no information is being shared with the public or the commissioners as a whole.

There is a building with 6,500,000 square feet, over 17.5 miles of hallways yet it takes less than eight minutes to reach any point in that building from any point. About 23,000 employee work in that building each day with more than 120,000 visitors each year.
Now I tell you those things to give an idea of just how large and well planned this building is so that what I am about to say becomes even more impressive.

The task of designing this building was given to architect George Bergstrom and LTC. Hugh Casey on a Thursday afternoon and told to have it completed by the next Monday morning. That Tuesday the president approved the design and presented it to the congress. Sixteen months later 33,000 workers moved in the new facility. Sixteen months to plan, approve and build the Pentagon yet we can't even get started with a small project like the wastewater facility at Exit 14.
WHERE IS THE LEADERSHIP/

Interesting Information From The E-911 Board Meeting ON Tuesday 15 July

Some questions and comments about that meeting.

How does a person over look $33,000.00 and just accidentally leave it out of the budget as income and then after approval just happen to find it and low and behold it's equal to an expediture the director sans to make.

If the E-911 office has approximately a thousand square feet now do they really need a new building that is 4300 square feet and cost $850,000 to $900,000 dollars to build? I agree they need more space but a million dollar facility that is almost trip in size? This is an example of how priorities need to be established.

Much thanks and appreciation go out to Chiefs Dickey and Collins who challenged the need for such a large and extravagant new building and offered an option in the possibility of simply adding on to the existing building at a far less expense.

Chief Dickey asked, if the new building was built would there be enough money in their income to maintain such a building?  The director after much effort to redirect the question and it being asked several more times finally stated, "no".

Finally a motion was made by Chief Collins and approved by the board to study the cost of an addition at the existing building and to study the cost of a downsized new building.

The last issue raised was the matter of an investigation into the possible inappropriate behavior of the Director and inappropriate relationships at the 911 workplace.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Should Commissioners Be Paid If They Fail To Attend Meeting?

At the Legislative Committee Meeting on Thursday 10 July I raised the question of whether it was appropriate, ethical and legal to pay someone who did not attend meetings.

Currently the rule is that commissioners are paid for each committee and full commission meeting they attend. 

I provided the example of Commissioner Coleman who was signed in on 24 April, by Mrs. Vanzant, as having attended the meeting and being paid a full thirty dollars as a committee member, after the budget committee meeting had been adjourned and several commissioners had already left the room.

There was some outraged defense from other 7th District Commissioners, that I had no business being allowed to even bring the subject up.  Others suggested that all the commissioners be paid a flat fee for being commissioners whether they attended meetings or not. Even those who proposed that idea agreed that those who don't attend are less informed and able to represent their constituents. They even agreed that it was unfair to pay everyone the same amount whether they attended or not. 

As for Commissioner Coleman she was thirty one minutes late for this one hour meeting adding to her unbroken string of being late or absent from over 97% of the committee meeting she is a member of.

Another Power Grab BY The Speer/ Rackley Conglomerate?

At the Legislative Committee meeting on 10 July Mr. Dan Speer presented a proposal to the county to alter the make up of the “Industrial Development Board”. Currently there are eight members on this board equally divided between appointments from the county and city of Pulaski. 

Mr. Speer who appointed the original members while mayor, now wants to add an additional member to this board in the person of the chairman of the “Economic Development Commission”. 

The state requires that a minimum of seven members make up the board. There is no maximum number required. Mr. Speer was asked about putting Mr. Rackley on the Board and another person from the county so that the board would continue to reflect equal representation of the city and county. Mr. Speer quickly and firmly dismissed this suggestion with “NO”.  


The reason Mr Speer gave for having Mr. Rackley on the IDB is a matter of convenience that by serving on both boards it would provide more interaction. Well, he could continue to be a non member who attends the IDB meetings and still provide plenty of interaction.  


The Legislative Committee chose to send the request to alter the IDB make up to the full commission without a recommendation. Several commissioners stated they wanted to study the proposal and ask constituents about the proposal. This brought a protest from Commissioner Harwell who emphatically stated in reference to asking the people, “99% of the people wouldn’t understand what we was talking about”.   If anyone questions the accuracy of this quote you can simple request to view the video of the meeting.


Some questions that need to be asked by the commissioners before approving this “power grab” are, Why is Mr. Speer so opposed to the continual equal representation on this board? Why is it so important to him that the city have five members and the county only four? Could it be that he feels more control over the city appointees? 

I raised the question, at the meeting, it’s hard enough to get information from these groups now if another member is add from the Speer camp you’ll never get any information other than the bills owed. Yes, commissioners get a report each month, after threatening to cut off funding, but that report gives very little details and nothing about the huge and numerous lawsuits they have been involved in and lost. Those reports say nothing of the hoops local business people are required to jump through while giving huge tax breaks to outsiders.


A nine member board with five appointed by the city will, I believe, lead to a disaster for the 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Speech Given At The Democrat Sponsored Meet The Candidates Event At GCHS on 11 July 2014

This is the speech that I prepared to give, well the first three minutes of it was heard at least, at the candidates gathering sponsored by the Giles County Democrat Party. This was a really good event and I congratulate the democrats party for their outstanding efforts. I’m sorry so many candidates failed to appear and state their case for why they should be elected by the people of Giles County. Certainly there are legitimate reason for missing this opportunity but to me it was a simple matter of disrespect by most missing candidates.

“Good evening, I appreciate this opportunity…. but as my time is very limited…. let’s get right to it.
My name is William Allen Barrett…. or just Allen…. or Barrett or WAB and I’m asking to represent the people of the 7th District as their commissioner. 

Some of you no doubt have heard my name…. but maybe don’t know me…. I’m no politician…., I’m way too direct for that…  I’m just a simple… what you see is what you get kind of guy. Here’s the thing, I have enough self respect and respect for you to not lie to you or threat you like some unimportant dunce. 
I am a Constitutional and fiscal conservative, I vote as a republican because they don’t  Boo God at their conventions or seek to kill babies….. I respect this nation and its people,,,, and I believe it should be an English speaking nation that protects it’s borders. We are a melting pot but there are a lot of folks coming here that don’t want to melt…. just remake the nation into what it has never been…. a godless nation. 

I’ve been  married to my best friend for the past 49 and a half years.… Brenda is the Church Administrator at First Methodist Church in Pulaski. 

We have two children Kelly and Toby…. both graduated from Richland and we have three super grandchildren, two graduated from Giles County High…. and the other just graduated from La Verge High School this year.   

I was born in Murfreesboro where I grew up in the housing projects with my Mother, Granny, three sisters and brother … there I learned a lot of valuable lessons about survival. I sold the Daily News Journal  newspaper on the street at age nine until I could get a route at twelve. I worked on a coke truck…. then in a grocery store where I did everything from stock to paint signs in the windows…. I worked my way up to head meat cutter and then was drafted in 1964. I spent the next twenty years in the military working at a variety of different jobs.… We retired in 1984 and moved here, the only place in my life where… I… got to choose.  

During my time in the military…. I completed my college work at the University of Texas at El Paso, Columbus University and the University of Maryland….

I became a Baptist Minister and served two churches in Giles County for over twenty years…. I am now retired and operate the “GILES FREE SPEECH ZONE”… a blog that keeps the county informed and gives an opportunity for citizens to know about and discuss local issues.… This has led to being…. both vilified and praised…. depending on whether you’ve been exposed for political misdeeds or not.

So… Why should you vote for me?????  the best way to know what I’ll do in the future….. is by what I’ve done in the past. 
My name is still on the lawsuit that prevents county wide zoning; I’ve organized honkathons and petition drives to oppose the implementation of wheel taxes, and property tax increases…I researched and led the fight to establish the financial management act of 1981 as the county budgetary system which by the way…. led to the county having no deficiencies in the latest audit and requires more openness in how the budgets are made and used
I alone…. publicly challenged the largest water rate increase in our history and stand for a consolidated water system where everyone has access to public water and pays the same low rates; I was the first one…. to stand up against the abuses and cover ups of the director of schools and the school board….  As a result they had me arrested… but… it resulted in the public being able to speak at School Board Meetings and the Board acts more in the open, not necessarily wiser but more openly.

I was the first…. to alert the community to the fact that the Hospital Funds were being dipped into and spent without authority from the county commission…. That won me a lot of friends among the bosses. 

The main thing to remember about me…is that when I get into a thing…. I don’t let it go until completion is realized. That means I will be on things like…. the wastewater project at the interstate and will be asking and demanding answers on it’s progress every week instead of allowing it to linger in never never land…. where it’s been for almost a year. 

Once we were a nation of laws that sought to protect the individual citizen…. today we are a nation of convenience… where the Constitution matters little…. when it’s inconvenient, this county has also drifted into a disregard for the law in favor of selfish convenience….. that’s why we’ve  been involved in and  lost so many lawsuits. I will…. work to restore the rule of law and equality to individuals in this county. 

I will continue to demand…. that local officials follow the law and that citizens be allowed to be a part of the decision making process..… This’ll be done in part by holding some committee meetings in the evenings…. along with community meetings before every Full Commission meeting so that citizens can express their thoughts on the issues that effect their lives and well being…..    I firmly believe… we can not… be properly represented if we don’t talk with each other…. my phone will always be answered and your questions will always be responded to…. I will do all in my power…. to keep you informed and a part of the governing process. If you’re like me…. you’re sick and tired of being told to pay the bills… and keep your mouth shut about what the bills are for….. Government is supposed to be… about serving the people… not the people serving the government. 

Each of the current commissioners in the 7th District has openly stated, in committee meetings… their support for a wheel tax and a property tax increase…..  I.. will.. NOT.. support a wheel tax in any amount…. nor will I support a property tax increase. And I will fight against any attempt to impose either…. I’ve sat through every budget committee meeting this year…. I’ve asked more questions than most commissioners and I’ve gone through the budget throughly… there is…. sufficient ways to cut the spending without harming services. 
As you walk around tonight asking questions of candidates, ask them if they even know what the property tax rate is for the county….  ask if they know… where our property tax rate fits in the list of other counties in the state. Ask why we continue to lose population.  Ask where they were when committee meetings were held and situations discussed. 
I appreciate you listening to me… I apologize if I don’t get to visit in your home before the election…. I don’t walk so well anymore.  

But please go and vote…. and if you’re registered in the 7th District please… cast your vote for a more open honest government by voting for only one commissioner, William Allen Barrett. Thank you I look forward to your questions.    

Friday, July 11, 2014

Who is the Director of Schools?



As Reported on WKSR:
Former Director of Schools Dr. Timothy Webb has rescinded his letter of resignation to the Giles County School Board. 
The move was confirmed to WKSR after yesterday’s school board meeting. Board Chair Mike Young said he received a text message from Webb July 3 stating he was rescinding his resignation. When asked if he expected the move, Young replied, “no.” School board members met with their attorney in a private executive session prior to last night’s meeting about contract issues and Young confirmed the discussion involved Webb. The school board is currently paying two directors: Webb and Interim Director of Schools J.B. Smith

This is a classic case of doing the right thing but doing it the wrong way at every possible opportunity.

Last night with an attorney sitting there and School Board Member Greene asking directly of him, "are we doing anything illegal or that can be used against us in a legal action" the attorney twice assured them that there was nothing wrong with what they were doing all the time knowing they were paying two directors of schools. Knowing they had hired an interim director without accepting the resignation of the former director. Has the resignation of the former director ever been officially accepted, it absolutely was not accepted by a vote in an open school board meeting.

This whole thing has been one huge cluster flub from the beginning and only gets more messy with each new decision. Why is the School Board continuing to pay Dr. Webb? Why are they continuing to rely on attorneys who have led them down this road of disaster with bad advice?  When will the Board rely on common sense in making their decisions or failure to make those decisions?

I for one am fed up with the secrecy and ineptness and stupidly illegal behavior.
Based on what I know Dr. Webb did the right thing by resigning but the School Board and its attorney should all be fired for their total incompetency in handling this matter. They have not only created a major financial burden, a legal nightmare they have embarrassed the entire county.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Disinterest, Neglect, Inconvenience, Incompetence What Ever The Reason The Result Is Commissioner Coleman Fails The 7th District.

When you read the duties of a County Commissioner the main thing it states is that the Commissioners are responsible for the finances of the county, setting the tax rate, budget etc. Part of the way for meeting this required responsibility is to form a Budget Committee made up of seven commissioners, one from each district.

This year the representative on the Budget Committee from the 7th District was Commissioner Vicki Coleman. Each member of the committee is elected by the commissioners from that district. Commissioner Harwell cannot vote on any financial matters so he’s essentially disqualified. Commissioner Coleman requested to be on the Budget Committee and since Commissioner Campbell had served before, she was placed on it to represent the 7th District.

It was almost immediately that Commissioner Coleman stated that she could not attend the traditional Tuesday meetings and they were rescheduled for Thursday Mornings.  

According to the records maintained by the County Executive, since January the Budget Committee has met eight times with Commissioner Coleman actually attending four of those meetings, however of those four meetings she only attended two Budget Committee meetings from gavel to gavel.

This is the scheduled Budget Meetings since January 2014 along with Commissioner Coleman’s attendance

16 January 2014 – Commissioner Coleman was in attendance

20 February 2014 – Commissioner Coleman was in attendance

6 March 2014 – Commissioner Campbell sat in for Commissioner Coleman

24 April 2014 – Commissioner Campbell sat in for Commissioner Coleman. Commission Coleman arrived after the meeting was adjourned. She was signed in by the County Executive with a notation that both commissioners were to be paid $30.00 each.

30 April 2014 – Commissioner Harwell sat in for Commissioner Coleman.

1 May 2014 – Commissioner Harwell sat in for Commissioner Coleman

15 May 2014 – Commissioner Harwell sat in for Commissioner Coleman. Commissioner Coleman arrives for the 9:30 meeting at 9:46 and takes her seat at the committee table

21 May 2014 – Commissioner Campbell sits in for Commissioner Coleman. Commissioner Coleman arrives for the 9:30 meeting at 10:12 and takes her seat at the committee table, a recess is called at 11:20 and Commissioner Coleman leaves the room and does not return. Her seat remains empty for the remainder of the meeting.

An additional meeting to discuss ways to raise revenue for the Highway Department had been scheduled at Commissioner Coleman’s request, she failed to attend that meeting.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Fraud and Abuse By The County Executive?

This morning at the public hearing on the budget I spoke about three items of concern. One was the irresponsible way some contracts are made without any knowledge of what the contract involves.  The second was to ask about whether the county had pursued any efforts to have part of their airport maintenance expense reimbursed by the state, as the city has.
The third thing was a simple matter of the County Executive using taxpayer money to reward her friends who are members of the County Legislative Body.  
On 24 April 2014 a budget committee meeting was held. Commissioner Coleman, who is on the Budget Committee but only attended 2 and ½ of the six meeting held, was absent from that meeting and Commissioner Campbell sat in for her. After the meeting was adjourned Commissioner Coleman walks in and goes straight to the county executive. Mrs. Vanzant then writes Commissioner Coleman’s name on the sign in sheet and makes a notation that both Commissioners Campbell and Coleman were to receive thirty dollars each for the meeting. This was not only unethical on the part of the County Executive but also Commissioner Coleman, who was aware or should have been aware this was inappropriate but said nothing, it is also a violation of Commission rules , and is criminal in that it constitutes fraud and misappropriation of taxpayer funds.
My comments, not surprisingly, were met with dead silence.       


Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Request For Records

This morning I submitted a formal request, under the Freedom of Information Act, for all records pertaining to the resignation of Dr. Webb. This includes his evaluations, counselling/disciplinary records, and any and all other documentation held by the education department and it's employees.  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Mr. J.B. Smith Appointed As Interim Director of Schools

Tonight the School board took a box of lemons and turned them into lemonade.

After a tremendous void was left by the resignation of Dr. Webb as Director of Schools then the additional turmoil created by Board Member Storey resigning, the Board appointed Mr. Smith as Interim Director of Schools. In order to take this position Mr Smith will take a leave of absence from the position of principal and then if he is not hired as the Director of Schools he would return to his position as principal at Bridgeforth.

I congratulate the Board and Mr. Smith on their decisions. Mr. Smith has a proven record of accomplishments as principal and will no doubt add much to the disciplined leadership and morale needed in our school system. .  

Don Storey Resigns From School Board

At the standing room only called School Board Meeting tonight Don Storey after an impassioned speech verbally resigned his position as School Board Member representing the 3rd District. Mr. Storey strongly criticized what he described as "mishandling" the situation that led to Dr. Webb's resignation.

Mr. Storey stated there was, "two very troubling things about this situation". "It was wrong getting rid of Dr. Webb and not following Board policy which was a grave injustice to Dr. Webb". "Another part that bothers me even more is some of these things date back to last fall". That contrary to Board policy, those things should have been brought before all the Board members prior to confronting Dr. Webb and that Dr. Webb should have been confronted by the full Board long before Monday and given an opportunity to explain and/or make corrections.  Mr. Storey closed his remarks by saying that, "when we hired Dr. Webb we asked him to balance the budget and get rid of the 120 day contracts that were costing the system too much money and we told him to move whoever he had to, to do it"  .He did what we asked him too and "getting rid of the best, most child loving, enthusiastic directors ever is the wrong thing to do".
"I'm officially handing in my resignation, I'm done, you go out and make decisions on your own, I don't want to be associated with you".    All the Board Member were present except for Mr. Greene who joined the meeting via phone.



Monday, June 16, 2014

Dr. Webb Resigns As School Director

In a very quick turn of events, this morning, it seems Dr. Webb has decided to resign as Director of Schools.

The decision is believed to be the result of the controversial School Board Meeting held last Thursday where questions were raised about his personal and professional conduct.   

It is reported that Dr. Webb acknowledged several professional and personal failures in his resignation.

The questions now seem to center on whether those Board Members who voted to keep Dr. Webb were more interested in covering for him than in dealing with problems affecting the entire school system.  

Friday, June 13, 2014

Fireworks At The School Board or Just a Fizzle of Smoke?

Seems there may have been some raised blood pressures at the School Board Meeting last night, 12 June.

It seems some are chaffing under the strong leadership of Dr. Webb and have reached out to some School Board Members to bring down their wrath on the Superintendent.

There can be no question about Dr. Webb having turned the school system upside down, but that seems to have been exactly what he was hired to do. Has his methods been easy or smooth no, but neither has been the task. Some have been removed from comfortable positions, some removed unfairly, some have been challenged to greater performance, some have been replaced by those far less competent.

When you have a school system with as many inherited problems as this one a shake up is required, just as with the county as a whole. Too much was let slide over the years with the emphasis on the "painted
facade" while the foundations continued to deteriorate.

The only surprise in this, to me, is that it took so long to catch on to the total sham created by the former Superintendent, now there seems to be a rush to condemn by some who were instrumental in creating the problem by their in-action with the former superintendent.  

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Meth Labs In Minor Hill But No News Is Good News?????

Authorities in Giles County are investigating after finding two meth sites, including one near a school.

Add to that the timing. In 21 days, law enforcement believes a lot of the money for meth cleanup will be gone, so there is a question about who will then get the bill. And one site is so dangerous no one even knows how much it will cost to clean up.
Walter Chavez is now under arrest for allegedly cooking a lot of meth in his rented garage apartment across the street from Minor Hill Elementary School.
"Luckily school was out," said Giles County Sheriff's Deputy Scott Nations. "We are pretty sure this has been going on for a while. He had a child that attended that school, and obviously their safety wasn't his first concern."
Just a few miles away, off a secluded rural road, another renter named Gerald Melton was arrested on a probation violation for cooking meth. But for the first time in this county a meth cook was storing his meth in a well.
"I interviewed the guy, and he said the bottles were gathering up around the house. So he bagged them up and either by himself or with somebody he thought that putting them in the well was a good idea. And it's not," Nations said.
Officials had to carefully remove the bottles from the well one by one without breaking any, using a giant claw similar to what you might use to grab stuffed animals at a carnival.
Nations ended up pulling 20 bottles of meth out of the well, and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is now testing the water to see if any of the chemicals have seeped into other wells in the area.
The cleanup from this one site could cost several thousand of dollars.
And, soon, no one knows exactly where that cleanup money is going to come from. Federal grants expire July 1. The belief is that there is enough money left for cleanup, just not as much.
Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
 Question is why this hasn't been a big news story here? 

Monday, June 02, 2014

Free Meals For School Children This Coming School Year

When school starts again one big change will be that students will no longer be charged for their meals. Of course this will be a great financial benefit to those parents who have been paying large amounts for those meals. I certainly celebrate that the children and parents will both benefit from not having this expense.

As with all "free" things there are questions that must be asked. With this program being totally funded for only one year by taxmoney through the federal government what will happen next year when the funding runs out? Will the federal government again step in and pay the full amount or will they as usual start something then expect the local governments to pick up the price tags? When I have asked this question I have been told "I don't know about next year, I'm just be glad we have it this year". Because one asks about future finances does not mean one is unhappy with what is available today. If the county is going to be hit with a very large expense next year should they not be planning for it now? Waiting for the crisis may be the pattern for county government but it by no means is the best way to operate.

Another question is what price will be extracted this year. Giving a program, any program, to the federal government is never a wise decision as it always takes away from our choices. Will these new "free" meals be tied to Mrs. Obama's requirement that all children, but her's, be fed a certain diet. Last year millions of dollars of uneaten food was thrown away by school systems that yielded to the politically correctness of feeding vegetables and fruits to growing teenagers whose bodies craved meat and potatoes. Children went home hungry and raided the refrigerator and pantry and any other possible place where "real" food might be found.  Is a meal that is thrown into the trash a meal worth having at any cost? A growing body needs and deserves fuel for that growth somehow lettuce, broccoli and bean sprouts just don't get the job done.

My hope is that good, nutritious, desirable meals will be served and eaten, instead of thrown in the trash, and the federal funding will be complete but only time will tell and history is not on our side.    .

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Is There A Need For A Democratic Primary?

Why are so many people who are active in the democrat party running for office as independents? Is it because they don't have a democratic primary to run in? 

I spoke with a democrat recently and they suggested this topic as they were rather put off by well known democrats not wanting to be identified with their party. 

I think that were I a democrat I also would not want to be identified with Obama the most secretive lawbreaking and worst president ever, Biden the idiot vice president that can't put three words together without embarrassing everyone, Harry Reid the most corrupt liar to ever become a multimillionaire from being a senator, Nancy Pelosi whose last brain cell died many years ago and now isn't smart enough to stay on her psychotropic medications. Why would anyone want to be identified with the baby killing amnesty for illegal aliens and special benefits for those unwilling to work? 
After all the accomplishments of the democrats and pretend conservatives such as high unemployment; high gas prices;  astronomical utilities and cost of food along with a national debt that our great grandchildren will still be paying on a hundred years from now, then add to that a general malaise that the nations best is behind us and who can blame those pesky democrats for wanting to remain hidden. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Is it a matter of ignorance, self absorption or just plain I don’t care?

I’ve already been warned that I would lose friends and votes if I wrote about this matter but since I have never traded what I believe is right for votes why start now. Most of my friends are patriots and they will understand and agree.

Last year at graduation I was disgusted by the lack of respect shown by many during the presentation of the colors and playing of the National Anthem.  This week I attended a graduation ceremony in Franklin and found much the same attitude of disrespect for our nation and its people. I wish I could say it was only younger people that continued to keep their caps on and yak on the phone and to each other during the National Anthem, but sadly group included people old enough to know better but chose not to do better.

Now, I come to the saddest part Observance of Memorial Day. While I believe that our military Veterans  should be honored and respected every day Memorial Day is not about Veterans but those who have died, both military and civilians,  in the service of our nation. A Memorial Service is in honor of the dead and the conduct should be appropriate to the dead. Can you imagine the uproar that would be created if politicians stood at the doors of Carr and Erwin or Giles County Funeral Home or any place else where a funeral was being conducted and were actively campaigning for election? The behavior of some candidates at the Memorial Service Monday on the Recreation Center  grounds is deplorable. I’m not talking about candidates that were there to simply take part in the services but those who were passing out literature for their campaign. Equally bad is a county executive that sits with her husband away from the crowd and watches the interaction with other who might be friendly to her opposition.

Does the Flag, The National Anthem and remembrance of the dead who sacrificed so much no longer matter, are those things that symbolize our freedom now so insignificant that they n longer matter? I have a hard time believing that they are insignificant to the woman whose eyes still fill with tears at the thought of her husband, brother or child who died in the snows and mud of Europe, the steaming heat of a Pacific island, the bitter cold of Korea, the jungles of Viet Nam or deserts  in the Middle East or a thousand other places where our defenders have laid down their lives. I find it inconceivable that these things have become insignificant to the guy who stares into the reflection of “The Wall” and cries like a baby as he remembers a Brother that died in his arms.  We have not taught our children well the lessons of freedom nor have we remembered the sacrifices that gave life to those freedoms. 

Refusing to stand and respectfully behave during the playing of the National Anthem is disrespectful to the entire nation of citizens and to disrespect  Memorial Services is to disrespect every single person who made that ultimate sacrifice. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

What Does The Term Radical Mean And Who Really Is A Radical?

This question was requested for discussion by a blog reader?

I find it interesting how often the term "radical" is used on the blog and  wonder what those who use it so often actually mean by it?  Who or what is a radical and is it really such an objectionable term as intended by some posters?    

Monday, May 12, 2014

Do People Selling Prepared Foods Have Health Department Approval?

This is a topic that has been requested by a reader.

Does the Health Department or any other governmental agency inspect, regulate and sanction the sell of all prepared foods sold in the county and state? 

The question arises from the fact that there are a number of sellers of prepared foods, (home canned goods, baked goods, smoked and barbecued meats, cheeses etc.) that would be required to have Health Department inspections were they in a store or restaurant. 

    

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Bridgeforth Receives Award Again


Congratulations to all the students, teachers, co-workers and principal at Bridgeforth Middle School.
For the third year in a row they have been selected for the Tennessee Value Added Achievement Award.  

Monday, May 05, 2014

Why Is The County Losing Students To Other Counties

This topic was requested by a poster.

I would like to see a discussion on this blog of why we are loosing our school children to other counties. I saw in the paper this week that Columbia Academy will be bussing students from Giles County next year and we already have lost several kids to Marshall and Lawrence County, Are our schools really that bad. What is going on here?

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

What Happened At The IDB/EDC Meeting This Week?

What Happened at the IDB/EDC meeting this week that required the removal of members of the public from their meeting?

What could possibly have been discussed that the public was not allowed to be involved in? Was it possibly some great legal discussion but without their attorney present what legal activities could have been discussed?

Perhaps they wanted to discuss the huge increases they have requested for their budget?

Perhaps it was to discuss the big payout from the recent lawsuit they settled? Oh, you didn't know that the lawsuit had been settled with taxpayer money maybe it because there has been nothing on the radio or in the newspaper about it. Oh, well it's only been about two weeks so maybe the news will still show up somewhere other than on this blog.  No, it could have been that they would have had one of their four attorneys present to discuss that.

Well, doggone it I guess they just didn't want the public to know what they were doing so they just turned a required public meeting into a closed meeting? Guess there is nothing like the convenience of snubbing your nose at the law and the people when it comes to getting your way?

Congratulations Go Out To Home Depot Once Again

Congratulations go out to Home Depot once again for their unselfish and quick response in offering aid through the Emergency Management Team to those folks suffering property damage form the storms.

No doubt Home Depot deserves to be recognized as the citizen of the week for not waiting to be contacted to help but making the approach and offer of unlimited help with much needed materials.

I'm also told that Fred's is another great supporter of the community with the same quick and generous offers to supply much needed items for those who suffered great loses from the severe weather.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

From the Financial Management Office

The claim has been made that “all” the county departments have “CUT” their budgets to a point that they cannot possibly be cut anymore and we “MUST” have a property tax increase and/or a “Wheel Tax”.
There has even been the claim that we have not had a property tax increase in years. I agree that the property rate has remained the same but the fact is there has been a huge property tax increase with the reappraisal.  Go ask property owners if they are paying more this year than they were before the reappraisal?

Here is a list of the different departments along with their Actual Audited  Budget for 2012/2013; Their Budget for 2013/2014; and what they have requested for the coming budget year.
County Commission  -  42,161  -   44,414  -  52,076
County Executive  -  131,231   -  181,004  -  186,418
County Attorney  -  33,290  -  40,000  -  42,000
Election Commission  -   198,393  -  279,642  -  282,778
Register of Deeds  -   15,390  -   42,810  -  60,313
County Buildings  -  385,061  -  670,352  -  439,085  (This does not come out of general funds).
Accounting and Budgeting  -  308,402  -  446,284  -   451,428
Property Assessors Office  -  335,810  -  403,736  -  426,006
Reappraisal Program  -   32,955   -  34,249  -  36,600
County Trustee Office  -  14,706  -  56,696  -  47,193
County Clerk Office  -  27,693  -  88,701  -  93,947
Circuit Court Clerk  -  186,588  -  174,716  -  179,442
General Sessions Court  -  124,693  -  166,699  -  167,470
Chancery Court  -  142,813  -  191,741  -  197,270
Judicial Commissioners  -  28,872  -  30,839  -  31,040
Courtroom Security  -  141,485  -  192,689  -  200,036
Sheriff’s Department  -  1,402,902  -  1,790,296  -  1,872,161
Traffic Control  -  3,370  -  4,276  -  4,550
Drug Enforcement  -  9,355  -  10,000  -  10,000
Adm. Of Sexual Offender Reg.  -  2,909  -  3,478  -  5,500
Jail  -  1,441,920  -  1,921,087  -  2,126,404
Juvenile Services  -  36,366  -  50,933  -  61,389
Fire Prevention and Control  -  2,992  -  2,767  -  2,800
Rescue Squad  -  205,000  -  219,681  -  229,000
Other Emergency Management  -  220,074  -  263,682  -  247,167
County Coroner/Medical Examiner  -  37,970  -  60,000  -  60,000
Other Public Safety  -  2,112  -  3,118  -  2,705
Local Health Center  -  65,023  -  58,793  -  69,650
Rabies and Animal Control  -  56,098  -  69,118  -  69,310
Ambulance Service  -  2,091,646  -  2,071,020  -  2,446,442  ( the middle number was amended during the year to 2,135,030)
Alcohol & Drug Program  -  0  -  30,301  -  30,301
Regional Mental Health  -  20,700  -  20,700  -  20,700
Aid To Dependent Children  -  5,363  -  0  -  0  (Amended Budget  for 13/14 added 7,000)
Other Local Welfare Services  -  23,989  -  37,763  -  57,018
Sanitation Management  -  67,025  -  67,025  -  70,100 (Amended Budget for 13/14 added 2,975)
Transfer Station Formerly Solid Waste  -  0  -  127,501  -  134,794
Other Public Health & Welfare  -  281,094  -  268,271  -  389,300
Senior Citizen Assistance  -  20,660  -  20,660  -  20,660
Libraries  -  103,696  -  127,596  -  129,696
Park and Fair Board  -  42,278  -  51,584  -  54,375
Other Social, Cultural and Rec  -  28,083  -  27,940  -  33,561
Agricultural Extension Service  -  132,996  -  145,467  -  146,595
Forest Service  -  662  -  2,994  -  2,750
Soil Conservation  -  74,614  -  100,260  -  102,163
Flood Control  -  0  -  34,510  -  26,650
Industrial Development  -  896,650  -  66,650  -  76,650
Other Economic & Comm Development  -  30,783  -  30,783  -  30,783
Public Transportation  -  60,734  -  62,000  -  62,000
Airport  -  44,641  -  45,591  -  48,000
Veterans Service  -   14,795  -  16,328  -  16,370
Other Charges  -  556,598  -  585,372  -  670,000
Contributions to Other Agencies  -  100,000  -  105,000  -  112,000
Employee Benefits  -  1,530,588  -  37,343  -  39,800
Miscellaneous  -  734  -  570  -  1,000
Administration of Justice Projects  -  0  -  460,000  -  0
Operating Transfers Out  -  8,537,105  -  9,030  -  1,000,000
Total General Fund  -  20,301,065  -   12,054, 059  -  13,375,446

One time transfers from reserves and change in where benefits are listed account for what appears to be a large drop from the 12/13 numbers to the 13/14 numbers 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Should The County Borrow Ten Million Dollars For Proposed School Improvements?

This topic was requested by a poster.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Pardon Me If I Don’t Celebrate Earth Day


 The revisionist history of Earth Day claims that the first one was on 22 April 1970 and was started by  Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, as a wonderful day to focus on cleaning the environment.
Fact is Nelson was a fan of the Viet Nam war protestors and modeled an environmental protest after the demonstrations. He called them teach-ins.
One of the main speakers at that first demonstration was none other than Ira Einhorn—a leader of the drug, and free-love movements in the 1960s.
Why is Earth Day celebrated on 22 April each year? Kathleen Rogers, president of Washington, D.C.-based Earth Day Network, which was founded by the original organizers of Earth Day, claims 22 April 1970, was chosen for the first Earth Day in part because it fell on a Wednesday, the best part of the week to encourage a large turnout for the environmental rallies. “It worked out perfectly, because everybody was at work and they all left,” she said.
Well, again the revisionists have worked hard to alter history.  John McConnell first introduced the idea of a global "Earth Day" at the 1969 UNESCO Conference on the Environment. The first Earth Day proclamation was issued by San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto on March 21, 1970. Celebrations were held in various cities, such as San Francisco with a multi-day street party.
UN Secretary-General U Thant supported McConnell's global initiative to celebrate this annual event; and on February 26, 1971, he signed a proclamation to that effect, saying: “May there be only peaceful and cheerful Earth Days to come for our beautiful Spaceship Earth as it continues to spin and circle in frigid space with its warm and fragile cargo of animate life”.
Why March, because it marked the precise moment of astronomical spring in the h0orthern hemisphere. An equinox where the sun is directly above the Earth’s equator, which happens around the 20th of March and the 23rd of September each year.
So why was it changed to 22 April, many believe that it was because 22 April was the birthday of none other than Vladimir Lenin. Lenin’s goal was to destroy private property, a goal obviously shared with all the radical tree hugging dirt people.  
The United Nations secretary-general Kurt Waldheim observed Earth Day on the March equinox in 1972, and the United Nations Earth Day ceremony has continued each year since on the day of the March equinox but also works with organizers of the April 22 event.
Margaret Mead added her support for the equinox Earth Day, and with a very revealing statement in 1978 declared:  "Earth Day is the first holy day which transcends all national borders, yet preserves all geographical integrities, spans mountains and oceans and time belts, and yet brings people all over the world into one resonating accord, is devoted to the preservation of the harmony in nature and yet draws upon the triumphs of technology, the measurement of time, and instantaneous communication through space.”
This is one of the Earth Day Anthems
Our cosmic oasis, cosmic blue pearl
the most beautiful planet in the universe
our cosmic oasis, cosmic blue pearl
all the continents and the oceans of the world
united we stand as flora and fauna
united we stand as species of one earth
black, brown, white, different colors
we are humans, the earth is our home...
Do I want clean air and water of course, we can’t live without them. I am disgusted by people trashing up the planet. The problem is I abhor even more the idea of the government taking private property to protect some animal or insect that is very capable of surviving on its own. Worse yet is diverting water needed by humans to protect a non-essential organism. From the beginning of time to today there has been a constant extinction of animal species and the discovery of new species. God created all that is and none it, after Adam messed up, is intended to last forever, not even humans.     

So Earth is not my home, I’m just passing through and Jesus The Christ is my recognized God, He sacrificed for me, not the dirt I walk on. All that was created is intended for man to use not to worship. God is the Father but the Earth is not my Mother. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Good Easter Greetings


“He’s Alive”, “He is Risen” are only a couple of great proclamations that will be heard this day in churches and homes all over the world.  They are statements reflecting the fact that the tomb that held the dead body of Jesus is empty and the risen Christ has proven all that Jesus had claimed.
For those who believe in Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, this is indeed a great day of celebration. 

One of the great misconceptions about Jesus is that he stood silent before Pilate. Few things could be more wrong. It was, in the face of death, that Jesus declared to Pilate and the world that He was indeed a king, adding that the reason He was born was to come into the world and testify to the truth and that everyone on the side of truth listens to Him. Many even now take the position of Pilate and ask, “What is truth”. Many more declare they belong to Jesus but are silent about Him even apologetic. Have you ever heard someone start a comment with I believe in God “but”..…  What we as Christians need to be saying is, “I believe in God “and”……   

I fear that today we as Christians have sacrificed our obedience and lost our joy, for the comfort of silence and acceptance by the world. I can find no support in God’s Word for an apologetic, timid Christian having the full favor of God. I do find the words of Jesus that condemn “lukewarmness”.  

Christians are great at declaring their salvation to other Christians and in church but seem to miss the boat in their public pronouncements. It amazes me to see people parking their cars in the church parking lots with bumper stickers supporting abortions, non-traditional marriages, political candidates that have shown and supported ungodly behavior and policies. Even worse is hearing a Christian say that Christians shouldn’t be involved in politics. It’s because of the lack of strong Christians in politics that our nation now stands on the brink of destruction from within. 


Today we celebrate, as we should, the resurrection of Jesus, isn’t it also time to celebrate the resurrection of Godly values in our personal lives, in our families and in our nation?  

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Support For Windows XP Ended on April 2014

This information was taken straight from the Microsoft Official Website for Windows XP
What this means for you
If you continue to use Windows XP without XP support, your computer may still work but will become vulnerable to security risks and viruses. And as more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize for more recent versions of Windows, a greater number of programs and devices like cameras and printers won’t work with Windows XP. Windows XP end of support help for business.
Why Windows XP support ended
Windows XP is 12 years old. It’s typical to end service for software as it gets older and technology evolves. Most of us have replaced cell phones and even our cars over the last 12 years – now it’s time to replace your Windows XP computer with a new PC. Or you can check to see if your Windows XP computer can run the new Windows. We’ve outlined your options and are here to support you as you make your next step.
Help protect your personal files
We want to help your personal files, photos, etc. stay secure. To help ensure they stay secure, you’ll need to either upgrade your Windows XP machine to the new Windows (which may not work, learn more) or get a new Windows PC. If you get a new Windows PC we’ll help you migrate your files, photos, and more for free.

Thanks to a poster for reminding me to post this. More information is available at  Microsoft Windows XP on the net.

Friday, April 11, 2014

April Meeting of "The Giles Patriots"

Last night , 10 April 2014, “The Giles Patriots” held their monthly meeting where we were thoroughly enlightened by two of the candidates seeking election to the position of Giles County Executive. All three candidates for the position had been invited well in advance  but as usual Mrs. Vanzant found reason for not attending. I have never been in a meeting or heard of a gathering, where questions would be asked, that she has attended and stayed for the questions.
I am very pleased to report that both Mr. Lindsey and Mr. Stowe did an excellent job in presenting themselves to the group of approximately fifty and both were outstanding in their responses to the several questions that were asked of them.
The main emphasis of both impressive candidates was their leadership and administration skills.  Both men are retired military, Mr. Lindsey from the army and Mr. Stowe from the Coast Guard. Both candidates have extensive leadership experience with Mr. Stowe having an edge by virtue of having graduated from the Coast Guard Academy, served in the White House, commanded two different ships then was commander of the largest base in the Pacific. Mr. Lindsey’s stronger abilities seem to have been involved with mostly administration, serving on the Inspector General’s team with a focus on nuclear, Biological and Chemical weaponry. He is currently writing grants and guidelines for small businesses in the Huntsville area. Both men would be excellent for the position of Giles County Executive.

I believe all present were very impressed by both candidates. Some did express disappointment that Mr. Lindsey left rather quickly after the meeting adjourned, while Mr. Stowe remained and was among the last to leave the building having stayed for informal discussions and questions.  

Monday, March 17, 2014

Yet Another Crisis For County Government

With over a year since Microsoft announced they would end support for their XP Operating System, it was announced this morning in the County Legislative Meeting that no preparations have been made for this change that will take place on 8 April 2014.

At the present time it isn't even known how many computers the county has that still operate with the XP System. No plan has been made as to which computers can be upgraded with new operating systems or how many will be more feasible to replace. Currently there is not even an estimate as to the cost of this latest "crisis".

This is the way the county has operated under the County Executive's leadership moving from one crisis to the next without any plan to meet future problems in a more efficient manner. How much longer will this county suffer from such unprepared leadership?  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

These Are The Names Of Those Having Qualified For The Positions Listed

GENERAL SESSIONS JUDGE:
RICHARD H. DUNNIVANT
STANLEY (STAN) PIERCHOSKI
ROBERT CHARLES  (CHIP) RICHARDSON  JR.
RANDAL LEE SANDS
SHARA A. FLACY
HERSHELL KOGER

COUNTY EXECUTIVE
JANET PARKER VANZANT*
DANNY LINDSEY
GRAHAM STOWE   (R)

COUNTY CLERK
CAROL H. WADE*

CIRCUIT COURT CLERK
CRYSTAL GIBSON GREENE*

SHERIFF
KYLE HELTON*

REGISTER OF DEEDS
KAY GIBBONS*


TRUSTEE
BRANDON BEARD
JANICE CURTIS
JAMES R. “JIM” FRALIX
CONNIE FOX HOWELL
JULIE BUTLER PHILLIPS
TONY RISNER
MICHAEL (WOODY) WOODARD
JOHN W. MURREY

CIRCUIT JUDGES 22nd JUDICIAL DISTRICT
PART 1     JIM T. HAMILTON*
                 J. THOMAS (TOM) DuBOIS, JR  (R)
PART 2     ROBERT L. HOLLOWAY, JR. *
PART 3     ROBERT L. “BOB” JONES
PART 4     STELLA HARGROVE*

DISTRICT ATTORNEY  22nd JUDICIAL DISTRICT
BRENT COOPER (R)
CHARLES “CHAZ” MOLDER

COMMISSIONERS
1ST DISTRICT 
BILL J. CARY*
JANICE REECE*
JIMMY DEAN CALDWELL  (R)
JOYCE WOODARD

2ND DISTRICT
DAVID LEE BAILEY
STONEY JACKSON*
TOMMY POPE*
TRACY WILBURN*
TIMOTHY SCOTT

3RD DISTRICT
DAVID ADAMS*
CHAD BRADEN
TIM RISNER*
DUSTIN NEAL ROSE

4TH DISTRICT
TOMMY BEECH*
DUANE T. JONES
ROGER D. REEDY*
RONALD E. KRAMEDJIAN
TIMOTHY N. TURNER  (R)

5TH DISTRICT
LOIS AYMETT
RANDY BOAZ
MICHAEL D. DUNAVANT
MELISSA GREENE*
BILL MYERS
TOMMY POLLARD*
CALVIN R. SMITH
6TH DISTRICT
ROSE YVONNE BROWN*
DANNY RAY COBB
LOUISE FAULKNER*
DENNIS E. HASKINS
HESTER EUBANKS RODGERS

7th DISTRICT
WILLIAM ALLEN BARRETT (R)
TOMMY CAMPBELL*
VICKI L. COLEMAN*
SHELLY GOOLSBY
TERRY W. HARWELL*

SCHOOL BOARD
1ST DISTRICT
DOUG EAD8*
BRIDGETT HARGROVE
DARYL WILLIAMSON

3RD DISTRICT
JOY PARKER McMASTERS

5TH DISTRICT
JIM GREENE*
RICHIE BREWER


7TH DISTRICT
JERRY BYRANT*
BILL HOLT

ELKTON CITY
 MAYOR
CAROLYN S. THOMPSON*

ALDERMAN
PAYTON BLADE
FRANCES T. NEAL

LYNNVILLE CITY
ALDERMAN
JIM GREENE*
PATTY PATERSON
ROBERT WILBURN (WIL) SANDS*

MINOR HILL CITY
MAYOR
TRACY WILBURN*

ALDERMAN
DALTON BERNARD*
SCOTT JARRELL*

(R) RUNNING AS A REPUBLICAN

* INCUMBENT 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Why Did The Economic Development Commission Spend Over $22,000.00 More Than Their Income

For the period of 4 December 2013 thru 21 January 2014, a period of less than two months, the Economic Development Commission reported that they had income of $47,433.33 while having expenses of $69,725.16 a difference of $22,291.37. 

It's not often that a new year could start over $22,000.00 in the hole and expect to stay in business but what's to worry about when you can just go and take more tax money or utility money and toss it in the pot to pay for such things as $8687 for the director's salary; $171.00 for internet; $1900.00 for health insurance; $392.00 for meals and entertaining; $500.00 for professional training; $521.00 for retirement or $253.00 for telephones. Keep in mind these are expenses for less than a two month period. 


.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Elections are upcoming what are your thoughts

This topic, hopefully, will allow folks to discuss some of their thoughts about the upcoming elections and allow the topic about school funding to be returned to that topic.  

Legalization of Marijuana Yes or No and Why?

A reader wrote:  I would like a topic discussing the legalization of marijuana, medical or otherwise. I understand this is controversial but with states making it legal I thought it would spark some lively opinions.  

Friday, January 10, 2014

Should The County Borrow Ten Million Dollars For Proposed School Improvements?

At the County School Committee Meeting yesterday the proposal was presented for the county to have a bond issue of ten million dollars for twelve years. This would result in a payback of over twelve million dollars.

I don't believe there are many who have been in the school buildings that would disagree there is a great need for many repairs to those buildings. The problem is how to pay for such repairs. The county last year spent what was left of the hospital money, money that was bound by Legislative restrictions to be kept on deposit and only the interest used. So the committee was told that such an expenditure would require at least a twenty one cent increase to the tax rate. To Mrs Vanzant's credit she impressively stated to the committee that there was no way to know if twenty one cents would be enough since the tax penny has not had it's value established and the collections for the past year have been down.  The reality of the matter is that the increase would be more in the area of a twenty five cent property tax increase. The alternative would be a wheel tax.

It was stated by a commissioner that with this being an election year it would be hard to raise taxes especially this high. Does that mean such a tax increase would come only after the election, in September perhaps? 

The county simply can not afford such a debt considering the population is not increasing and a large number of people in the county are living under the poverty level or on fixed incomes. A huge tax loss will be experienced with the closing of Fafnir and some of the newer companies are operating on tax deferred programs.

The school buildings need repairs but part of the money will be for administration buildings on East Hill and the bus garage and with a lowered student population is there really that great a need for the number of schools currently in use?