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, December 17, 2014

Change of Mind On ATV Ambulance

Congratulations to the Ambulance Committee for coming to their senses and voting against spending over $17,000.00 for a used ATV, an enclosed trailer to store and transport it and a carrier for it. Trailer hitches, extra vehicle and helmets not included.

The Ambulance Service headed by Mr. Roy Griggs had requested the committee allow them to move some excess money around in their budget and purchase this equipment to be used "for getting injured hunters out of the woods". While this may have sounded reasonable and necessary when presented by Mr. Griggs in the last meeting, sounder heads prevailed and examined the request outside the emotional plea of Mr. Griggs.

First of all the ambulance personnel do not go into the woods and get injured hunters, they do not go down embankments and cut people out of wrecked vehicles, they do not drive across field to get farmers from under overturned tractors, those things are done very efficiently by the Rescue Squad Members. What I strongly suspect the ATV would be used for by the Ambulance Service is to bobble around the very flat grounds of the Ag. Center during the fair; for parades, football games and other events where a crowd might be gathered, even thought those activities would allow for an ambulance.

It seems that the Ambulance Service padded their budget once again, this time by about $190,000.00 and now they are looking for a way to spend all that money. What a terrible agonizing burden that must be compared to simply not spending the money on frivolous wants and giving the taxpayer a break.    

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Do You Know This Man, You Should We Are Paying Him To Work Against Us


Cagle-2895


Charles W. (Chuck) Cagle is a shareholder and chair of the Education Law Practice Group for the firm’s Nashville office. He oversees the firm’s representation of over 70 public boards of education, two private schools, two private universities, and a private medical school in a variety of legal matters including employment issues related to both licensed and classified employees, employee and student discipline, employee and student rights, special education and disability accommodation, constitutional rights issues, sexual harassment and bullying issues, civil rights, desegregation, school system consolidation, tort liability, school system business practices, school funding, taxation, and school construction.

Mr. Cagle also is a registered lobbyist with the Tennessee Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance. His list of lobbying clients includes school superintendents, school employee professional organizations, school boards, private schools, and Pearson Inc the textbook and testing giant that is one of the pushers behind Common Core.

Mr. Cagle is the legal counsel for the Giles County School Board. 

Here’s an interesting thing about Mr. Cagle, not only has his legal advice been somewhat questionable, (remember it was he who told the School Board that they did not need a written letter of resignation from Dr. Webb and they could go ahead and appoint Mr Smith as Director, remember paying both Dr Webb and Mr Smith for being director then the big pay off to Dr. Webb), the questions of conflicts of interest are monumental. Understand that as the main lobbyist for Pearson Inc. his job is to present their interest in the most beneficial way for them. As a lobbyist and attorney for School Superintendents and numerous school boards across the state he has a unique position of influence with them. So what it basically comes down to is Mr. Cagle is representing both the seller of textbooks and testing materials and the buyer of those materials. Basically this is the equivalent of going into court with the District Attorney and your defense attorney being the same person. How can you come out ahead with that kind of set up.  Now add to that the fact that Mr. Cagle is a leader for SCORE who is pushing the Common Core scam down our throats and you can add the judge to the DA and defense attorney as being all the same person. Think there is a conflict of interest? 

Last Thursday night, according to the Cleveland Daily Banner the Bradley County Board of Education felt there was a conflict of interest because they voted to fire Mr. Cagle as their attorney because he is a registered lobbyist for interest other than school boards. 


Can Giles County be expected to follow the example of Bradley County, will our Board of Education even question the probability of a conflict of interest by Mr. Cagle. It’s very doubtful since this county has a history of not questioning the status quo, “we done it this way for 200 years”, of accepting whatever “officials” tell them and the matter of a “conflict of interest, even incredibly expensive ones, are dismissed with “I vote my conscience”.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

What Is A Conflict Of Interest And Are They Important In Giles County?

State law, Tennessee Code Annotated 5-21-121, has this to say about conflicts of interest for those counties operating under the financial management system of 1981

5-21-121.  Conflicts of interest. 

  (a) The director, purchasing agent, members of the committee, members of the county legislative body, or other officials, employees, or members of the board of education or highway commission shall not be financially interested or have any personal beneficial interest, either directly or indirectly, in the purchase of any supplies, materials, equipment or contractual services for the county.

(b) No firm, corporation, partnership, association or individual furnishing any such supplies, materials, equipment or contractual services, shall give or offer nor shall the director or purchasing agent or any assistant or employee accept or receive directly or indirectly from any person, firm, corporation, partnership or association to whom any contract may be awarded, by rebate, gift or otherwise, any money or other things of value whatsoever, or any promise, obligation or contract for future reward or compensation.

Tennessee Code Annotated  Reference Number: CTAS-911
The County Financial Management System of 1981 contains a broad conflict of interest statute which prohibits the finance director, purchasing agent, members of the financial management committee, members of the county legislative body, or other officials, employees, or members of the board of education or highway commission from being financially interested or having any personal beneficial interest, either directly or indirectly, in the purchase of any supplies, materials,  equipment or contractual services for the county. No firm, corporation, partnership, association or individual furnishing any such supplies, materials, equipment or contractual services, may give or offer, nor may the director or purchasing agent or any assistant or employee accept or receive, directly or indirectly, from any person, firm, corporation, partnership, or association to whom any contract may be awarded, by rebate, gift, or otherwise, any money or other things of value whatsoever, or any promise, obligation, or contract for future reward or compensation (T.C.A § 5-21-121).
This is the statement offered by CTAS for County Commissioners to use in declaring a possible conflict of interest. Notice that the proposed statement leaves a blank space to be filled in by the individual commissioner identifying the specific reason for the possible conflict. Example would be an employee of the school system, the Highway Department, etc. What the County Executive has declared is that commissioners have a possible conflict of interest because they serve as County Commissioners.

“Because I am an employee of (name of government unit), I have a conflict of interest in the proposal about to be voted. However, I declare that my argument and my vote answer only to my conscience and to my obligation to my constituents and the citizens this body represents.”    

Now in light of these requirements I ask the following questions:How can a person holding an appointed office such as to the Power Board, Economic Development, etc do contractual work for the county or city without having a conflict? 


How can someone give a large monetary gift to the school system while receiving no bid contracts to provide services to that system without it being a conflict? 



If conflicts of interest are to be taken seriously how can Commissioners continue to mis-read such a ridiculous statement declaring they have a conflict of interest because they are commissioners instead of stating the name of their employer as cause for a possible conflict? As it is being read now every commissioner must declare a conflict because they are all commissioners. 

Monday, December 01, 2014

Why Are Empty Buildings Having Utilities Paid For Them?

What happened to the Old Records being moved to the former Alternative School Building? Why is the county paying utilities at the building if they are not utilizing it. Why hasn't the building been winterized and shut down altogether instead of being heated etc?

It seems that there is just no follow thru to good ideas that are approved then sort of just forgotten.

It seemed like a good idea to renovate the building owned by the county and store the Old Records, which had outgrown their cramped quarters, in a bigger and better facility. Money has been spent but then interest apparently waned and nothing.

It was a great idea to finally move toward the development of the interstate/bypass property. Money has been spent but slow action and lost interest seems to once again dominate the playground and everything just sits waiting for someone to do something. It's the responsibility of our leaders to make things happen, to do whatever is necessary to see that projects started are projects completed in a timely and satisfactory completion.    

Why Do We Recycle And Why Is It So Costly?

I've asked this question before but thought maybe it's time to ask again.

Why is Giles County's recycling program costing the county so much money instead of making money like other counties?

Is it because there is no one actually supervising the program, no one applying for state and federal grants for recycling and waste disposal?  Why do we pay a person to sit in a locked office or in the old records department doing personal tasks instead of conducting county business?

We have a Solid Waste Supervisor being paid by the county but what is he doing? I know, before I get the hate responses,  he is a nice guy but he's not being paid to be a nice guy, to sit behind a locked door or hang out in the Old Records Department.

It's time that the money being spent on Solid Waste be reevaluated and a new job description made that would move the county toward a profitable recycling program and a less costly solid waste program. At the very least the paid supervisor should be taking a more active part in such things as the cleanliness, appearance and activities at the recycle lot.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

New Judge For 22nd Judicial District

This from the WLLX website 18 November 2014

  J. RUSSELL PARKES OF COLUMBIA HAS BEEN APPOINTED AS 22ND JUDICIAL DISTRICT CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE.  ACCORDING TO A PRESS RELEASE FROM GOVERNOR BILL HASLAM'S OFFICE, PARKES WAS APPOINTED TO THE POSITION MONDAY.  HE REPLACES JUDGE ROBERT LEE HOLLOWAY WHO RECENTLY WAS NAMED TO THE TENNESSEE COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS.  PARKES, A LAWRENCEBURG NATIVE, HAS BEEN A MEMBER OF THE LAW FIRM HARDIN, PARKES, KELLEY AND CARTER IN COLUMBIA SINCE 1990.  THE 22ND JUDICIAL DISTRICT INCLUDES LAWRENCE, GILES, MAURY AND WAYNE COUNTIES.  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Why Spend Thousands of Dollars To Find What You Already Have?

Why is the School Board so determined to subvert the will of the people and look for another Director of Schools when they already have an extremely well qualified and proven leader in Mr. J.B. Smith?

There have been a number of claims or suggestions made ranging from racism to personal animus toward the current Director. What the real reason is I do not know since I have not heard a clear response to the question from Board members

Mr. Smith was appointed the Interim Director of Schools with the understanding and commitment,  that as soon as the time requirements, imposed by the election, were met he would be made the Director of Schools. This commitment was made in part based on the fact that Mr. Smith had been fully vetted in the previous search for a Director where he had been the second choice behind Dr. Webb.

What is the point of spending several thousand dollars going through the process and paying an attorney, whose advice has proven faulty and costly in the past, to find the best person for the job when by most accounts he is already in that position.

It's time, past time, that this county stop depending on what the elitist, out of touch "political educators" in Nashville want and consider what the people paying the bills want.  I can not more strongly endorse Mr. Smith for School Director and I urge the School Board to drop this expensive inaneness and appoint Mr. Smith as permanent director before he becomes so disgusted with the games that he withdraws and the county loses its opportunity to provide students with a higher quality education.      

From The County Legislative Meeting 17 Nov. 2014

Two members, Commissioners Beech and Campbell, of the Legislative Body were absent.

Two major issues were brought before the Legislative body for action.

1. Amendment 2014-36

This amendment authorized the non-controversial actions of reorganizing the Driving School which brings in a considerable amount of money to the county each year as well as helping drivers avoid more severe penalties, for minor offenses, on their driving record. It also provided money for the library and money to purchase a better sound system for the court.

This amendment also contained a provision for a new hire and a pay increase for a current employee and this was the part that was controversial. It was felt, very appropriately, that raises should be planned for and requested during the budgeting process not in the middle of the budget year. I believe that this request had been made during the last budgeting process and was rejected.  Commissioner Greene made a ,option to vote on the pay increase and new hire separate from the other three items. After the County Executive and commissioner Jackson throughly confused the issue during the twenty minute discussion it was defeated and the full amendment was approved.

It was during this discussion that the Nancy Pelosi quote of the day was made when Mrs Vanzant stated in reference to the proposed $5,000.00 pay increase, "This is not a raise it's paying for what they are worth to this county"


2.  Amendment 2014-37

This amendment was for the Board of Education to amend it's budget for 2014-2015

This turned out to be the most controversial matter discussed during the meeting. This amendment would have authorized or approved the already completed actions of restoring some previous cuts in staff salaries and salary increases for principals.

A large group of commissioners were very upset that the Board had taken actions and made expenditures prior to getting approval of the county legislators. When the vote was taken to approve nine voted against and ten voted for approval. The amendment failed because eleven votes, a majority of the total number of commissioners was needed to pass.

The question was raised as to what exactly did failure to pass this amendment mean. The basic answer was nothing unless it was not approved sometime before July which would then result in a negative finding by the auditors. There would be no change in what had already been done by the School Board.

Under new business Commissioner Reedy asked about the status of the waste water treatment plan at the I65/Hwy64 interchange. The response was the all to familiar refrain "Lucy is working on it".

Commissioner Aymett suggested that the county establish a method by which the citizens could be better informed and give feedback about issues to be discussed and voted on by the commissioners. Commissioner Aymett's concern was the need to have citizens more involved with their government and that would help create more trust of the government.
It was stated my the County Executive that a new extension had been installed to the county website and "as soon as they learn how to use it" more information about the issues would be posted.

I applaud the effort to increase involvement by the public but I fear if the "new" additions aren't maintained better than the calendar and other "older" parts of the website it will be just another expense without any benefit. I can only hope and wait to see the results and what happens over time.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Think Voting Machines Can't Be "Fixed"?

This is reposted from the Washington Times Newspaper

Chicago-area voting machine casts Republican candidate’s vote for Democratic foe
By Jessica Chasmar - The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 21, 2014
A Republican candidate for the Illinois state legislature was shocked to learnpastedGraphic.png Monday that the vote he cast for himself at a Chicago-area library was erroneously cast for his Democratic opponent.
“While early voting at the Schaumburg Public Library today, I tried to cast a vote for myself and instead it cast the vote for my opponent,” Jim Moynihan said  “You could imagine my surprise as the same thing happened with a number of races when I tried to vote for a Republican and the machine registered a vote for a Democrat.”

Mr. Moynihan is challenging Democratic incumbent state Rep. Michelle Mussman in the 56th District House race. He said he also tried to vote for fellow Republican Larry Kaifesh in the 8th Congressional District race, but the vote was again cast for the Democratic opponent, U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, The Daily Herald reported.
Mr. Moynihan said he brought the error to the attention of a judge, who determined the machine hadn’t been calibrated correctly.

Jim Scalzitti, deputy communications director for the Cook County clerk’s office, said the machine in question was removed from service to be re-calibrated immediately and that there were no other reports of voters having similar problems.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Early Voting Begins Wednesday15 October 2014

Early voting begins this Wednesday for a number of offices from US Senator to Amendments to the State Constitution.

One of the offices that will be decided during this election is for Pulaski City Alderman. I am running as a WRITE IN for one of those three offices.

I am asking everyone that is qualified to vote in the Pulaski City Election to please cast your vote for me as your representative on the Pulaski City Council.

To cast a vote for me simply look at the bottom of the list of candidates for Pulaski City Alderman where it states WRITE IN. Simply tap the WRITE IN BOX and a keyboard will appear then just type my name ALLEN BARRETT.  One vote only will prevent canceling out your chosen candidate.

I ask you to please cast a vote for me and be assured that you will alway be heard and I will represent you not the government.

What's Going On With The School Board?

People got fed up with the old School Board and replaced it with new members, now those new members seems dead set on acting like the old board and in some cases worse than the old Board.

It's bad enough that the Board pass a new policy that puts severe limits on the opportunity for the public to speak which takes us right back to twelve years ago when there was no public input and in fact you would be arrested if you simply asked a question that they did not like. What is so frightening to public servants about allowing the public to be part of the decision making processes?

Now comes the idea to spend more money in search of a new Director of Schools. Not long ago the attorney for the School Board stated that if Mr. Smith was appointed as Director on a trial basis there would be no need to go through another full fledge search and hire process. I believe this was stated because the process for hiring a new Director had been so recent and Mr. Smith had been the second choice behind Dr. Webb.

Regardless of the reasoning the fact remains that Mr. Smith was appointed to the position of Director with the understanding that it was for a trial period that would lead to the permenant position if all went well. I understand this is basically a new Board but unless there is a problem that causes them to   believe that Mr. Smith is not performing well, this new expense should be avoided and the comitment upheld by appointing Mr. Smith to the position of Director of Schools.  




Saturday, October 04, 2014

Congratulations To Bo Wallace and Ole Miss In Their Upset Victory Over Alabama

Number  11  OLE MISS 23       Number 3  ALABAMA   17
With shades of Giles County High School football championships dancing in my head, Bo Wallace again has put the skeptics in an uncomfortable position. 
Three touchdowns and second in rushing.
Even with the controversial missed call ending the first half, when Alabama defensive back Cyrus Jones nearly jerked the head off I'Tavius Mathers with a blatant face mask grab, Ole Miss could not be denied and Bo Wallace could not be contained. 
Ok, maybe he isn't the best quarterback in the game but he has proven to be a high sight better than his critics have tried to label him. He not only threw for three touchdowns 18 of 31 for 251 yards he did it with an amazing amount of poise, guts and savvy with some mighty big throws on third down.    



Thursday, October 02, 2014

This Is A Topic Requested By A Reader Concerning Amendment One To Be On This November

This morning there was a request to post this topic. While I am always happy to post suggested topics this one comes with near perfect timing. I have been working on this topic for several days and am very pleased to post it now. Anyone requesting a topic can ensure it's quick post if it is accompanied by a comment. 

This is the request:

"Instead of every thread being something inflammatory and negative, why not start one about why people should vote YES to Amendment One? Just a thought. If this blog is all about informing the masses, I think this would be most appropriate."                           Thursday, October 02, 2014 7:44:00 AM


In 2000, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that, “A woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy is a vital part of the right to privacy guaranteed by the Tennessee Constitution,” with that ruling they wiped out almost every state law that regulated abortions. That is the plain and simple fact of the matter.

Are there still some laws that regulate abortion in Tennessee of course there are, there is that very important law that requires every abortion clinic to post a sign with 40 pt Arial font in their waiting rooms declaring that it's illegal for anyone to coerce a woman into having an abortion. Wow, that is powerful.

Tennessee also requires that a minor must obtain the consent of at least one parent before getting an abortion. Guess who checks whether that is a legitimate parent or just an older friend that signed the paper? No one.

In 2012 there was a law passed that required doctors who perform abortions must have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. That has been under attack since before it was passed.

Want to guess which agency is required to inspect abortion clinics for proper equipment, procedures, cleanliness. I don’t know either and neither does anyone else, because there is none. 

Want to guess what the waiting period is for an abortion in Tennessee it’s the same as the restriction on how late in the pregnancy you can have an abortion. That’s right there is no time restriction on either. 

In Tennessee you can walk into an abortion clinic on the day you are to deliver and have an abortion within the hour.

If Tennessee has such strict laws limiting abortions as those supporting abortion on demand claim, please explain why since 2000 more than 25% of women seeking abortions are from out of state? 

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

QUESTION OF THE YEAR

Who authorized the hiring of Attorney Chris Williams to represent the Election Commission in the appeal court hearing involving my challenge to the election violations in 2010?

On 19 November 2010 The Election Commission was asked by the County Attorney to approve the hiring of another attorney and this request was passed but according to the Election Commission it was NEVER AUTHORIZED to be acted on.

I have yet to find a single County Commissioner who voted to hire an additional attorney.

So how did over fourteen thousand dollars of county tax dollars find its way into the pockets of Mr. Chris Williams?

Well, it seems that, in what some might label money laundering, the money was paid to the County Attorney with checks signed by Mrs Vanzant the County Executive and Mrs. Garner the Financial Management Director, who then paid the same amounts with checks written on her private account to Mr. Williams.

It is interesting to note that my attorney, who charged the same hourly rate, charged approximately the same total amount for the entire procedure that Mr. Williams charged for less than a day for the appeal.

Is it possible, as I suspected before, that the county paid Mr. Williams for defending Mrs. Coleman during the election fraud court case?

What Does It Mean When A County Official Refuses To Answer A Question Because It's From A Citizen?

When the County Executive angrily states that she will not answer a question because it's from a "mere" citizen, it seems that County Executive has moved from a public servant to a master of the public.

Many are the times when the County Executive simply ignored questions from the public or simply dismissed them with some superficial buck passing or a scowl that made her irritation more than clear.  

During the 9-1-1 Board Meeting held on 16 September 2014 it was made abundantly clear by the County Executive that she was above answering questions from the public especially if those questions exposed her as being less than truthful and non responsive to more than one complaint of sexual harassment, hostile work environment and threats of intimidation.  Her direct response was "I don't have to answer any of your questions you are a citizen" she then got up to leave.
 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

New Finance Director For Marshall County

According to the Marshall County Tribune, a new Director of Finance was hired and its none other than Ms. Melinda White the former Assistant Director of Finance for Giles County.

After conversations with some reliable sources it seems hiring a Director of Finance in Marshall County is as interesting as hiring some of the employees in Giles County.

 It seems they had just hired a Director of Finance but the person quit after a week. Then instead of hiring one of the two other people that had applied or opening the process to new applicants I'm told they simply relied on the CTAS representative Doug Bodary, who, according to sources lobbied heavily for Ms White. Now I don't doubt Ms. White will do a good job, she is qualified and did a good job here.

The problem seems to be that there was a little matter of some derogatory information about the other candidate sent to the hiring committee and it is suspected, by some, to have come from Ms. White herself.  Personally, I would be very surprised if the information came from Ms. White, she seems above such behavior. I would however, suspect someone at a higher level whose character has been proven to be more accustomed to such low behaviors.
 

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Five Mile Circle Around The Courthouse To Be The City Limits, Really?

Is the city really in the process of annexing everything within a five mile circle of the Courthouse into the city?
There will be two Public Meetings, both on the same day to discuss this plan. The meetings are scheduled for 9 AM and 1 PM on 30 September 2014 in the Courthouse Annex Basement Conference Room.  Anyone who wishes to speak must send a written request to the County Executive's Office. If acceptable to the County Executive they will be allowed to speak for three minutes. 

If other public meetings held by the County Executive are an indication don't expect any answers or responses to your enquiries, only three minutes to express your views and ask your questions.

Listed below are the new Committee Assignments For County Commissioners.   C is for Chairman; VC is for Vice Chairman and S is for secretary.

Ambulance/Rescue Squad Committee
Joyce Woodard
Tommy Pope – VC
Tim Risner
Tim Turner
Tommy Pollard - C
Rose Brown – S
Tommy Campbell

Audit Committee
Jimmy Dean Caldwell
Stoney Jackson
David Adams
Roger Reedy – C
Melissa Greene – VC
Danny Ray Cobb – S
Tommy Campbell

Budget Committee
Bill Cary – VC
Stoney Jackson – C
David Adams
Roger Reedy
Tommy Pollard
Louise Faulkner –S
Vicki Coleman

Building Committee
Bill Cary – VC
Tracy Wilburn – C
Tim Risner
Tommy Beech
Lois Aymett – S
Louise Faulkner
Shelly Goolsby

Environmental Committee
Jimmy Dean Caldwell – S
Stoney Jackson
Dustin Rose
Tim Turner
Lois Aymett
Rose Brown – VC
Tommy Campbell – C

Highway Committee
Bill Cary – S
Tommy Pope – VC
Tim Rinser
Tim Turner
Tommy Pollard – C
Danny Ray Cobb
Vicki Coleman

Insurance Committee
Jimmy Dean Caldwell
Tracy Wilburn
Dustin Rose – VC
Roger Reedy
Melissa Greene
Danny Ray Cobb – C
Vicki Coleman – S

Law Enforcement Committee
Joyce Woodard – S
Tommy Pope – C
Tim Risner
Tommy Beech
Melissa Greene
Rose Brown
Tommy Campbell – VC

Legislative Committee
Jimmy Dean Caldwell
Tracy Wilburn
Dustin Rose – VC
Tommy Beech – C
Melissa Greene
Louise Faulkner
Shelly Goolsby – S

Public Service Committee
Joyce Woodard
Tommy Pope
Dustin Rose
Tim Turner – S
Lois Amy
Rose Brown – C
Shelly Goolsby – VC

School CommitteeBill Cary 
Tommy Pope - VC
David Adams
Tommy Beech – S
Lois Aymett
Danny Ray Cobb – C
Vicki Coleman

Financial Management Committee
Members appointed by statute: County Executive Janet Vanzant, Interim Director of Schools J.B. Smith, Highway Commissioner Barry Hyatt, Budget Committee Chair Stoney Jackson. The three commissioners chosen to fill the open slots were,  Tommy Pollard, Louise Faulkner, Roger Reedy.

These three committee slots were once again filled with commissioners after the County Executive violated state law and defined nominations as being open only to commissioners. The Financial Management Act  plainly states and it is repeated in the CTAS Manual that any citizen can be appointed to the three undesignated slots, but when it's only a state law vs this County Executive why would anyone expect the law to be followed? 


Ethics Committee
David Adams
Tommy Pollard
Rose Brown
Tommy Campbell
Janice Curtis 

Adult Oriented BoardDavid Adams
Roger Reedy
Louise Faulkner
Vicki Coleman
DeWitt Booth

Beer BoardStoney Jackson
Tommy Beech
Lois Aymett
Rose Brown

Flood Zone Board of Appeals and Committee
Bill Cary
Stoney Jackson
Melissa Greene
Tommy Campbell
Mike Goode

Regional Planning Commission
Tommy Pollard was appointed to fill Bill Holt’s unexpired term.

Commissioners Steamrolled By Deft Tongue Of County Executive

Well it looks like the commissioners got steamrolled once again by the county executive with a very deft tongue and quick change of topics.

Mrs Henson, speaking as the County Attorney, was asked to present some information. She responded by making a very unclear statement about county wastewater and not being able to use general funds to pay for it. She stopped speaking and the County Executive went quickly to the next item of business. Commissioner Amyett raised her hand to speak and asked if she could ask a question. The County Executive made it clear that they had moved past Mrs. Henson’s comments but that she would allow Commisioner Amyett to speak. Commissioner Amyett asked if Mrs. Henson was speaking of wastewater in general or if it was something more specific. After some fumbling and a couple of looks at the County Executive she finally answered that it was the wastewater at Exit 14. Now we find after all these years that the county doesn’t have the money for the treatment facility. The money must be used from “enterprise funds”. A member of CTAS will be brought down to address the issue with the Environmental Committee.    

So my question is how many remember that in the beginning there was a company that was willing to build the wastewater treatment facility at no cost to the county but the County Executive nixed that idea. Seems having outsiders make any money was just not acceptable. 


My suspicions are that there will be a private local person who will make a bid to develop the wastewater treatment center in conjunction with the EDC/IDB.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Why Hire A Part Time Attorney When You Can Get A Full Time Attorney With More Experience?

The County Legislative Body will meet on Monday and part of what they will do is hire a new County Attorney to replace Mrs Henson.

There is only one person who has applied for the job that is willing to make it his full time focus and has  the experience without the political obligations to serve the county.

Attorneys who are too closely involved in the political and family intricacies of personal enhancement will not be able to serve the county with fairness and professionalism. This is especially true when the attorney has a very checkered history of legal problems of their own.

It is my understanding that Assistant DA Dunnavant, will if chosen, retire from the DA's office and devote his full attention to the duties of County Attorney. This would be a great improvement over a part time county attorney who is unable to attend many meetings and require the hiring of additional attorneys to help from time to time.

I can only hope for the county's sake that the Legislative Body will do the right thing and ignore the heavy lobbying that has been done and appoint the best attorney for the county not the most connected.

Monday, September 08, 2014

What's Happening With The "Investigation" into the 9-1-1 office.

It's been over two months now since charges of inappropriate conduct, abuse by an authority figure, sexual harassment by an authority figure, sexual misconduct and the creation of a hostile work enviroment had been created.  People have claimed they were fired for refusing sexual advances and for not helping to cover up misconduct by others.

When I raised this question at the E 9-1-1 Board Meeting I was told after a long silence that the matter was under investigation. In the room at the time were representatives from the local media but there has been nothing in the local media about the issue. I'm sure this would not be a matter that anyone would not want fully covered and the facts exposed for the good of all involved. I understand that the attorney assigned the task to investigate has completed his assignment but still no word of any findings.

Can't Address The Election Commission With Out Being On The Agenda?

When the Chairman of the Election Commission demanded that I request to be on the agenda prior to being allowed to speak at a meeting I questioned what the procedure for getting on the agenda was. Mr. Rackley then yelled that I knew the procedures. I had better know what the procedures are because there are no written guidelines for getting on the agenda that are maintained by the Election Commission or the Election Office.

When I asked about the procedures I was told that they follow "Robert's Rules Of Order" when I asked what edition they didn't know.  So if you want to speak or ask a question at an Election Commission Meeting chaired by Mr. Rackley it seems you must be a mind reader with a full knowledge of every edition of "Robert's Rules of Order".

The thing that sort of bothers me is that it seems you only have to be on the agenda if your name is Allen Barrett. Previous meetings have been open for questions and comments from the public. Oh, well guess I should have learned that you can't ask questions if they are hard ones or embarrassing to someone in a "power position".

School Board Takes A Giant Step Backward

Amazing, that one of the first things the new School Board does is take the public out of the meeting and moves their procedures back fifteen years.
Why has the policy of allowing public input at the end of the meeting being changed? It took an arrest and a two day trial to get the Board to allow input from the public and now they seem to be stepping backward. Why is it so hard for some people to realize that being elected to an office does not mean they become elevated above the public but are to serve the public.
School Board or County Commission or City Council means that the person is representing those who elected them, not that they are now above the public
If a person is required to request to speak five days in advance of the meeting when will the agenda for the meeting be published and made available to the public? What happens when new business that isn't on the agenda is brought up.  I fear this is just one more step toward eliminating public involvement and the School Board once again becoming isolated from those who pay the bills.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Were The Early Vote Totals Made Available To Some Candidate Camps Prior To Closing Of The Polls?

This is the response I wrote on the WKSR website in response to their news article.

How can you get so much wrong in such a short article. I never said i would be testifying before the Grand Jury on the matter next month or any other matter as far as that goes. What I said was that I did not doubt that it would be going before the Grand Jury next month. BIG difference.

The important thing is that Mr. Rackley and Mrs Bassham stated that "the surveillance footage, the election summary report and eyewitness accounts show the results were released at 7:09 that evening" .  They did not say that the information had not been given out to some prior to the polls closing. When I attempted to ask about the matter Mr. Rackley refused to answer stating that I was not on the agenda and would not be allowed to speak. It seems that until I have a difficult question anyone can speak at an election commission meeting but when I try to ask a question suddenly the rules change. The thing that I wanted to ask about, the release of early voting totals prior to the polls closing, was not on the agenda for the meeting so how could anyone possibly get on the agenda to speak about a non agenda item.
Mr. Rackley once agin show his capability to throw a hissy fit and tried to have me removed from the meeting for creating a disturbance but even the deputy sitting by the door was not aware of a disturbance.
Once again in an effort to avoid questions by the public and cover possible shortcomings and violations the air of secrecy has been stirred and created suspicions and mistrust. A clear statement that, "the early vote totals was absolutely not released by any official of the election office" would have gone a long way to dismissing the issue but when the culture of deceit rules there can seldom be any clarity.

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Truth Is The Truth Regardless Of Who Tells It


You have to know when enough is enough. #DaveDaily

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tennessee Ranked Third In The Nation For Corruption of Public Officials

Updated: Monday, August 11 2014, 04:09 PM CDT Stream WZTV Fox 17 Newscasts LIVE starting with Fox 17 This Morning at 4:30am and News at 9pm. NASHVILLE, Tn.

 A report by Main Street on Yahoo ranked the most-corrupt states in America. Academics from the University of Hong Kong and Indiana University ranked states based on levels of corruption, arrests and conviction records of public officials.  The researches find there's a correlation between corruption and higher amounts of public spending, especially in states where that spending goes to construction, police and highway projects.  

Tennessee was ranked third overall, cited for corruption among public officials.  


Friday, August 08, 2014

Congratulations To All Participants In The Election.

As with all things there are cause for celebrations, concerns and disappointments.

I congratulate all those who won their race and those who braved the thoughts of rejection to at least try. Winners are not always the ones with the most votes nor or losers always the ones with the least number of votes. The real winners are those who tried and gave their all, faced their competition with dignity and openness. I celebrate with you and look forward to working with you in the coming months to create a more open and productive County.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

OK, So I Lost!

The 7th District voters, not the people, decided they wanted commissioners who are ineffective, uninformed and unable to manage their own money. They decided to get rid of a double dipper who embarrassed the entire district by his behavior on you tube, and keep the liar and thief. The logic of such is beyond me except that many choose to ignore the truth because the lie is more convenient.

Teddy Roosevelt said, "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly. Who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

Because I was not elected does not make me any less correct. I did what I knew was right not because it would cause others to agree with me but because it was the right thing to do. I would much rather be truthful and honorable than to lie and deceive just to get something I wanted.  





Friday, August 01, 2014

WATER LINE COMPLETION IN DOUBT


When Mrs. Vanzant, the County Executive, spoke at Giles County High School during the Democrat sponsored event to meet the candidates, she surprised everyone there who had attended the County Budget Committee Meetings, by stating that the county did not have a financial problem.

After the other two candidates for County Executive had described the financial problems in detail, Mrs. Vanzant stepped to the microphone and announced that, “Giles County does not have a financial problem we are financially secure”.  

As usual Mrs. Vanzant has a penchant for saying one thing to one group while saying a different thing to other groups. In the Budget Committees that she attended there had been a consistent   discussion of being short of money for the county. The Highway Department needed more money, the schools needed major repairs, etc, etc. The solution was for a property tax increase and a wheel tax of fifty dollars proposed by Commissioner Campbell and a few others. The proposal for the wheel tax was later changed, with Commissioner Campbell’s support and approval, to $75.00 per registered vehicle. 

So when Mrs. Vanzant stated that the county did not have a financial problem it came as a major surprise to those who had attended those Budget Committee Meetings and listened to her earlier pleas for more revenue. 

Now, I have learned that there is not enough money to finish the water line project from Minor Hill to the Campbellsville area. Mrs. Vanzant has used the extension of water lines in the county as her major, and some believe only, accomplishment. My information is that a special called Meeting of  Commissioners will be held immediately after the election to discuss yet another crisis of this pitifully prepared county administration. 

Why are there no plans already to prevent this kind of thing? What happened to the money allocated for this project? How long have they known that this important project would not be completed? Is this another example, like the wastewater treatment facility at Exit 14, where a project is started then left unattended? Why are there no plans for anything beyond today for this county? 
It seems that The Emergency Management personnel have plans for almost every possible situation from mass casualty events to weather related events, but the County Executive just slowly moves from one crisis to the next. 


Why hasn’t Mrs. Vanzant been more honest about this situation and let the public know? We are not children who need to be protected from the truth we are the ones called upon to pay the bills. Perhaps that is the problem, she feels a need to hide the bills until after the election. So keep everything “peachy keen and rosy red”  then after the election present the bills. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What I Will Do If Elected To Serve The People OF The 7th District

Some have whined over and over that I should run a "clean campaign" and not talk about the crookedness and lack of integrity of my opponents, just tell what I would do as a Commissioner. 

Well, I would not steal from you or lie to you as some elected official have done in the District.

I will not attack any citizens and call them vile perverted sexual names then file false police reports to cover it up.

I will expect to be treated not with special priviledges because of being a commissioner but as a regular citizen with the protections of the U.S. Constitution and the State Constitution.

I will not hide bankrupcies, I have none, and then ask to control your money.  

I will continue to keep the people of the county informed not only via this blog but also through regular scheduled town hall type meetings where issues can be discussed prior to commission meetings. 

I will donate the pay I earn to local charities minus any tax liability on those earnings. 

I will continue to attend every meeting I can possibly attend and will continue to speak out for the interest of the people not for the government. 

I will work on each and every project until it is completed and provide updates regularly. How often have you wondered what was happening at the Exit 14; the status of water lines being run; which roads were scheduled to be paved, the status of lawsuits and investigations of political appointees and other officials. As a Commissioner that information will be more readily available.  

I will not support any property tax increases or a wheel tax. 

I will work to freeze the property tax for seniors in accord with state law.

I will be available for your questions and suggestions. Your phone calls will be returned.

I will not take part in pushing through budgets and amendments without a through examination.

I will at every step keep the citizens informed and involved. 

As a commissioner, if I have not made a difference in four years I will not seek re-election.

You can tell a lot about what A person will do by what they have done. I have successfully organized against higher taxes, and a wheel tax; I led the movement to bring the Financial Management Act of 1981 to Giles County and bring a more secure financial system to the county and a more open process for budgeting; I fought against county wide zoning and remain the only name on the lawsuit that prevents it's implementation; I led the way in forcing the School Board to open it's meetings to public comment; I exposed the illegal and unethical behavior of the former School Director and Financial Management Director.

When other media was ignoring such things as the County Executive secretly and illegally giving tax money to an unauthorized charity I exposed it; I was first with information about the lie that provided money to build the new School Offices; I told you about the EDC/IDB lawsuits, mismanagement and underhanded activities; I informed you about the County Executive changing a vote after a Commission Meeting that caused the state to step in on the sell of beer near churches etc; I have stood shoulder to shoulder with individuals who were being abused by the government system; I have told you about the E-911 investigation that is taking place now.

While I don't know everything and am not able to do all things I do know and am able to do a few things but more importantly I know how to get the information and use the energy by simply asking you the people. 

People say that, "we deserve the kind of government we get", I strongly disagree and say, "we get the kind of government we choose". If you want to continue the downward spiral of our current direction and remain the bill payers without a true voice on the commission then continue to vote for those in office but if your desire is to have a government more responsive to the people, more responsible with your money, has a plan for our future and will lead with integrity, experience, sensitivity to the people and foresight then you must vote for me and the other conservatives on the ballot. 

A person who is unwilling to be honest about their political affiliation is a person who will be dishonest about other issues as well. 

I am asking that as you go vote, please consider casting only one vote for your 7th District Commissioner and let it be for me.  Thanks.

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.