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 "" to suggest topics or make private comments.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Unusual Behavior At Highland Baptist Church?

The question has arisen as to just who were the mysterious visitors at Highland Baptist Church Sunday?

They are described as three middle eastern looking men who backed their car up to the door of the church during services then opened the trunk and got backpacks which they carried into the church building.

It seems that their story was they had never been to a church in the USA and wanted to take some pictures of what it was like. They left without incident.

Our prayer is that they were indeed as they claimed and this was nothing more than the curiosity of someone unfamiliar with our customs.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Giles County commissioner accused of aggravated statutory rape, sexual exploitation

Courtesy: Giles County Sheriff's Department
Courtesy: Giles County Sheriff's Department 
GILES COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A 71-year-old Giles County commissioner was arrested by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Wednesday following an almost three-month investigation.
Tommy Campbell’s arrest comes after he was indicted on two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, coercion of a witness, aggravated statutory rape, aggravated assault, misdemeanor theft, and carrying a firearm in a government building.
According to the indictment, Campbell attempted to influence a witness by allegedly firing a weapon in an effort to intimidate her.
The arrest followed a joint investigation that began in May when the TBI and the Pulaski Police Department began looking into allegations that Campbell was having sex with a minor.
According to the TBI, authorities found evidence that Campbell had sexual relations with a minor “on or around April 9.”
Campbell is being held at the Giles County jail. His bond is set at $75,000.
He also serves on the Giles County law enforcement committee, according to the district attorney.
News 2 is committed to covering crime across Middle Tennessee. Visit for more coverage.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Voter Fraud Through False Petitions Is A Crime Unless It Happens In Giles County

Obama Admin. Officials Convicted Of Voter Fraud In Obama Election

If you thought that Obama’s 2008 election just didn’t seem right, it turns out you were on to something. At the end of last month, two Democratic officials from Indiana were arrested and convicted of ballot fraud. It appears that Obama truly wasn’t eligible to be on the ballot.
Chairman Butch Morgan Jr. from St. Joseph County was convicted of felony conspiracy to commit petition fraud and forgery. Dustin Blyth, who served on the Board of Elections, was charged with felony forgery and several counts of making a false petition. Both men were charged and convicted for submitting fake names and signatures on petitions that were designed to get Obama and Hillary Clinton onto the 2008 primary ballots. Morgan seems to have been the driver of the actions.
County Sheriffs have uncovered that many locals of St. Joseph county appeared on the petitions, although they have sworn they never signed them.  
Unfortunately, the case wasn’t brought to the court until 2011, when Lucas Burkett of the Board of Registration decided that he felt too guilty to continue carrying the secret. Authorities determined that had the criminal action not taken place, Obama probably wouldn’t have appeared on the ballot in St. Joseph County.
What do you think should be done about such fraud?

Officials found guilty in Obama, Clinton ballot petition fraud

A jury in South Bend, Indiana has found that fraud put President Obama and Hillary Clinton on the presidential primary ballot in Indiana in the 2008 election. Two Democratic political operatives were convicted Thursday night in the illegal scheme after only three hours of deliberations. They were found guilty on all counts.
Former longtime St. Joseph County Democratic party Chairman Butch Morgan Jr.  was found guilty of felony conspiracy counts to commit petition fraud and forgery, and former county Board of Elections worker Dustin Blythe was found guilty of felony forgery counts and falsely making a petition, after being accused of faking petitions that enabled Obama, then an Illinois Senator, to get on the presidential primary ballot for his first run for the White House.
Morgan was accused of being the mastermind behind the plot.
According to testimony from two former Board of Election officials who pled guilty, Morgan ordered Democratic officials and workers to fake the names and signatures that Obama and Clinton needed to qualify for the presidential race. Blythe, then a Board of Elections employee and Democratic Party volunteer, was accused of forging multiple pages of the Obama petitions.
"I think this helped uphold the integrity of the electoral system," the prosecutor, Stan Levco told reporters.
“Their verdict of guilt is not a verdict against Democrats, but for honest and fair elections,” he said.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Do We Really Need A New High School?

With a continuing decline in population does Giles County really need a new high school?

A new high school was discussed at the last School Board meeting alone with a proposed adoption to board policy. Both issues are addressed in this thread.

A new school really? Redistribute the students and you have plenty room, do some creative scheduling and have school year rounded you have no problem with room, Oh, it's no longer about room is it? Now, the problem is with the physical building and the location. The problem at GCHS as stated in a comment on another thread,  is a lack of appropriate maintenance. Build a new school and use the same maintenance program and in five years you have GCHS all over again. How many times has money been set aside for a new roof or repairs that was never used on the roof? How many times has money been provided for restrooms, plumbing, painting etc that was used for some other thing lower on the priority list. What am I saying there has never been a real priority list that was actually intended to be followed except when Director Webb created one. When will people wake up and acknowledge that there are two high schools in Giles County one for whites and one for blacks, until this situation is fixed, nothing will really be fixed.

Does anyone bother to read the law anymore, certain;y not the school board or they would know that they are already required to disclose conflicts of interest to include "familial relationships in advance of related board decisions".

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Are Open Meetings A Thing of The Past In Giles County

It's very clear that the County Legislative Body held secret/private meetings to decide who would be serving on the various committees of that body.

Now we find that the Director of Schools,  apparently with the full blessings of the School Board, does not believe in open meetings. Having fired the football coach at GCHS he presided over a closed meeting that excluded the local newspaper.

Later he apologized for this oversight but an apology is not sufficient to cover such a major violation of state law, established protocol and just good policy.

I am very disappointed and concerned that this is just another example of the county slipping back into the closed meetings and denial of public involvement in the activities we the public are paying for.

Secrecy may protect the government employees but it's a heck of a way to run a railroad.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

New Cost Revealed For Renovation and Move by Emergency Service Department

It was revealed in the County Legislative Meeting that the new cost to renovate and move the Emergency Services Department from the Courthouse Annex to the Old Alternative School Building on Cedar Lane will be approximately $128,000.00.

County Legislative Body Appoints School Board Member

During the County Legislative Meeting on 21 Sept. 2015 the following appointments were made.

County Executive Janet Vanzant was re-elected Chairman of the Legislative Body of Giles County.

Commissioner  Melissa Greene was elected Chairman Pro Tem

Commissioner Tommy Pope was re-elected Chaplain

Mr. Paul Allen was elected by the Commissioners to complete the unexpired term of the 1st District School Board Position. Mr Allen was elected from three nominees that included Mr. Bobby Hastings and Ms. Bridget Hargrove.  Congratulations Mr. Allen!

New Interim Attorney Appointed To Fill Position Until Mr. Dunnavant Returns

Until County Attorney Richard Dunnavant, who was badly injured in a horse accident, returns to his duties Attorney Chris Williams has been appointed by the County Executive as the interim County Attorney.

I congratulate Mr. Williams, whom I opposed earlier in favor of Mr. Dunnavant, and believe he will be a good attorney for representing Giles County.

One of the problems with this position has been the confusion that seems to have existed with the responsibilities of this position.  I remind everyone that the County Attorney represents and works for the County not just the County Executive.

New Committee Members For County Legislative Body

Yesterday the County Legislative Body met and elected new members to Committees. It was a very smooth process clearly aided by the private meetings that were held before the official meeting, to pick the nominees for those committees. What is even more disturbing in that not one single official raised any objections to this clear violation of state open meetings law. When I approached the acting County Attorney to congratulate him on his appointment as a temporary replacement for Mr. Dunnivant and to lodge a complaint he very respectful and wrote down the complaint but when Mrs Vanzant asked him what I wanted that was the end of that.

The committee Members with a (C) are the chair and those with (VC) are the vice chair. No Secretaries were named since all meetings held in the Annex Conference Room are video recorded.

Ambulance/Rescue Squad: Woodard; Pope; Adams; Pollard (C); Brown (VC); Turner; Campbell

Audit: Caldwell; Jackson (C); Rose; Reedy (VC); Greene; Cobb; Campbell

Budget: Cary; Jackson (C); Adams; Turner; Pollard (VC); Faulkner; Campbell

Buildings: Cary; Wilburn (C); Risner; Journey; Aymett (VC); Faulkner; Goolsby

Environmental: Caldwell; Jackson (C); Rose; Turner; Amyett; Faulkner; Goolsby

Highway: Woodard; Pope (C); Risner (VC); Journey; Pollard; Cobb; Campbell

Insurance: Caldwell; Wilburn; Adams; Reedy; Greene (C); Cobb; Coleman  

Law Enforcement/Safety: Cary; Pope (C); Risner; Journey (VC); Greene; Brown; Coleman

Legislative: Caldwell; Wilburn (C); Rose; Journey (VC); Greene; Faulkner; Goolsby

Public Service: Woodard (C); Pope; Rose; Turner (VC); Aymett; Brown; Coleman

School: Woodard; Pope; Adams; Reedy; Aymett; Cobb (C); Coleman (VC)

Following Committees are appointed by the County Executive

Beer Board: Cary; Adams; Aymett; Campbell

Ethics: Adams; Pollard; Brown; Campbell, Janice Curtis

Flood Zone/Appeals: Jackson; Greene; Mike Goode; John Wright

Veterans Service Officer: Dwight Tucker

Financial Management: These are appointed by state statute Janet Vanzant County Executive; Phillip Wright School Director; Barry Hyatt Highway Director;  Appointed by rule of Commissioners Stoney Jackson Budget Committee Chairman; According to Mrs Vanzant three commissioners are appointed but this is incorrect as the statute does not require three commissioners only three people, Mrs Vanzant has convinced and bullied commissioners into believing that these appointment must be commissioners in order to prevent the nomination and appointment of private citizens.  The three appointments are Commissioners Cary, Faulkner, Reedy

There were also two Ad Hoc Committees named the committee to continue exploring development of I 65 and Hwy. 64  Commissioners Faulkner (C); Cobb; Reedy; Journey; Turner.  The other Ad Hoc Committee is the Convenience Center which consist of Barry Hyatt; Tommy Hyatt; Commissioners Cobb and Caldwell.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Are Voting Machines Reliable For Providing Honest and Accurate Election Outcomes?

According to WKSR’s website a lawsuit filed over the vote in November 2014 has resulted in Representatives from Micro Vote (the voting machine company) pulling the totals for possible use in that lawsuit. 

There has been a great deal of suspicion of the voting machines and those who have access for some time now. While many larger districts and states have  convicted hundreds of people of voter fraud and found the machines had been tampered with, we in Giles County are simply told that, “there's no possible way the machines can be tampered with". Here voter fraud is laughed at and people are put in office in spite of their illegal activities as long as you are a democrat that is. 

Now we are told, that regardless of the requirement that a representative of the company, supplying the machines, provide a technician to work on them, we have a regular citizen volunteering to work as a technician on the machines. We just went through that with Mr. Rackley “volunteering” to serve as the technician for these machines. While I doubt that Mr. Wong would bring the same highly questionable prejudices to the job, I believe having a local person leaves far too much room for possible tampering with the vote. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

How Much Representation Should We Expect From Our Elected Commissioners?

If you paid someone to cut your grass and they cut only half of it would you pay them the full amount?  If you agreed to pay someone to guard your house for a week end and they showed up then left after an hour would you pay them the full amount agreed to?

Let me make it very clear about a year ago I went to the Grand Jury about a fraud and theft that had taken place involving the County Executive and a 7th District Commissioner. The matter was that the Commissioner Mrs. Vicki Coleman committed a fraud by declaring she had attended a committee meeting and being paid for it while she clearly did not attend that meeting. This was done with the full knowledge and approval of the County Executive Mrs. Janet Vanzant. Video evidence shows the fact that Mrs Coleman did not attend the meeting, in fact she was not even in the room until after the meeting had been adjured and committee members were leaving.

Today at the Environmental Committee Meeting, where the very important and expensive matters of setting up convenience centers for waste disposal and establishment of recycle centers. Mrs. Coleman signed in as attending this meeting. The committee meeting started at 9AM. This meeting lasted until 10:37 AM  but Mrs Coleman could not be bothered to stay that long or even half the meeting. In fact Mrs Coleman left the meeting at 9:20 but no doubt she will collect the full dollar amount for having attended the full meeting. I also noticed that another commissioner apparently is learning from Mrs Coleman because Mrs Goolsby another 7th district commissioner also left shortly after signing in as attending, she lasted until 9:25AM.

This seems to have become a pattern for Mrs Coleman having taken place several times in the past. It would seem to me that a Commissioner has an obligation to be involved with the operations of the county and the well being of it's citizens rather than ripping us off at every opportunity. Even more I would expect a higher ethical behavior from someone who is an ordained minister pledged to serving God and following His instructions instead of stealing from the citizens and lying for financial gains.

It's an amazing testimony of filing bankruptcy which left others to pay her debts, voter fraud and thief  of taxpayer money and an attitude that she does not have to answer to anyone for her dishonorable behaviors.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Will There Be A March From Minor Hill To Pulaski O 18 July 2015

Currently there are plans being made by a group from Fisk University to march from Minor Hill School to Pulaski in what they refer to A MARCH AGAINST FEAR. According to the E-Mail I have this is more a march against southern heritage than against fear. The justifications for this march are mostly based to pure fabrications.  

The E-mail is dated 6/29/2015 is from an Edward Trimmer (trimmer@martinmethodist.edc). 

The e-mail states that they "seek local churches or groups who have vans that they are willing to share in transporting marchers". 

This is from the body of the email: "On July 18,2015, students from the historic Fisk University in Nashville invite all who seek racial equality, social justice and peace to march 14 miles from Minor Hill, Tn to Pulaski,Tn. in an effort to grow a moral movement for positive social change. This march will be in solemn commemoration of the victims of the Emanual AME massacre in Charleston, SC. and embarked upon because we believe it’s time to move forward together in the spirit of unwavering hope and love that will dispel the hatred that’s forever changed those families and many throughout the country”.

So far this sounds like a legitimate movement in support of the family struck down in the senseless murders by a depraved man in South Carolina but then this next paragraph appears and a more sinister activity is unveiled.  

“We have chosen the route from Minor Hill to Pulaski based on data from the Southern Poverty Law Center that indicates that Tennessee has 29 active hate groups- more than any of our surrounding states. In February a Tennessee man and member of a Klan -affiliated church was fined and sentenced to jail for burning a cross in an interracial couple’s yarding Minor Hill. Just 12 miles away, the small town of Pulaski is known as the 1865 founding sight of the KKK and the modern-day epicenter of that supremacy. Every October the town plays host to the Ku Klux Klan’s “Heritage Festival” where racist skinheads, neo-nazis and klansmen have flocked for decades. The knights and their families march up and down the street with KKK flags, selling racist tracts, pins and Klan robe patches.”

It is not by chance that the route from Minor Hill to Pulaski has been chosen by this badly misinformed group. Sam Davis, the boy hero was captured in Minor Hill and wrongly hanged in Pulaski where a monument now stands.  The Southern Poverty Law Center has lost so much credibility due to their own racially biased views that the FBI recently dropped them as a source for information on hate crimes and activities. 

“We recognize this as proof that our racist history isn’t just back to haunt us. It never left. We know we live in a country where racist violence exist — unabated and unreconstructed — both in symbol and in policy”. 

Clearly this is at least in part an effort to continue the current attack on all signs real and imagined of southern heritage. 

I understand that this group currently does not have a parade permit, will they be allowed to march without a permit. In consideration of the extremely dangerous for any group to be walking, even single file is dangerous, this thing should be stopped before it accomplishes the mission of hysterical separation.

Want to check this out call the mayors office. I have the email


County Executive Plain Out Lies During Legislative Meeting

Today when the question was asked by Commissioner Amyett to have the E-911 budget taken out of Resolution 2015-34 "Appropriations to nonprofit charitable organizations" and voted on separately, the County Executive made one of her patented snarls then told a complete outright lie. 

She stated, "Whatever E-911 ask the county for we have to give it to them".

The county is obligated to give the same amount as last year. There is no question about that but as far as increasing the contribution it is ENTIRELY VOLUNTARY, plain and simple. The County then when off on some wild story about if they are not given what they ask for they will close up and it will cost the county a lot more. Well, first of all there is no danger in them closing and if they were by some slim chance to close we have the option of joining with Lawrence County to provide the E-911 service. All this was smoke and mirrors to get what she wanted but the fact she straight faced lied is the most egregious thing that happened in the meeting and the saddest part is that most of the commissioners there knew she had lied but refused to challenge her.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Last Of The Questions I Tried To Ask At The Public Hearing On The Budget.

Page 14, Line Item 55733-105 Line item The pay for supervisor of the Transfer Station is listed at $50,000 where last year it was $34,113.00 an increase of $15,887.  How can this be justified? Do we even have a transfer station?

Page 14 line item 55710-312, contract with private agency $70,006.00. Is this the dead animal pick up? How do you justify using taxpayer money to subsidize the income of certain private individuals and especially when some commissioners may benefit from this subsidy? 

On Page 15, Line Item 56900-101 shows a new employee listed at a salary of $34,113.00.   Does this position have a job description? Was the position advertised?  Was the position approved by the Commissioners? 

Under this same 5699 line Item the part-time employee position has been eliminated and the same amount is listed for other salaries and wages. Who will be the recipient of that $12,485.00? 

You gave extra many to the Senior Citizens to help with meals for shut ins then gave money to the Human Resources Agency which listed meals to shut-in as one of their expenses.  Is this an overlap of efforts?  
How many of the “charities” have actually been checked as to what they actually do and if they are actually qualified 501c charities? 

These questions could have been responded to this morning during the six minute Public Hearing but no one on the Budget Committee made and effort to give any answers and those other commissioners  in the room had no opportunity to answer anything. 

Tomorrow The Commissioners vote on this budget, I urge you to call your Commissioners and ask these questions before they vote.  

Yet More Questions Asked At The Public Hearing On The Budget

I could find nowhere that identifies the Ambulance Service as giving any money back to the county.                                                                                                       What page and line item is that money listed under?                                                 

Is page 2 line item 43100 “General Service Charges” $1,610,000 what the ambulance services gave to the county, if so that means the Ambulance Service had another loss of over a million dollars.

In addition to pay increases at the Ambulance Service  there are $3000.00 listed as a new item for medical and dental services this is separate from the $19,450 for Medical Insurance. To whom does this apply?

Where is the line item that shows how much was collected and paid to the collection agency for the Ambulance Service. Is that page 13 line item 55130-317 Data Processing Services  $110,000.00. 

More Questions But Few Answers

These are more of the questions I tried to ask at the Public Hearing on the Budget.

There are a number of new positions listed in this budget that I have been told are being filled by the Emergency Management Director and his assistant. 

Page 6, Line Item  51750 - Codes Compliant;
Page 10, Line Item 54150 - Drug Enforcement; 
Page 11, Line Item 54310 - Fire Prevention & Control; 
Page 12, Line Item 54900 - Other Public Safety; 
Page 16, Line Item 57700 - Flood Control. 

In addition to this also listed on Page 11, Line Item 54490 - Other Emergency Management

I understand all these are positions to be held by The Emergency Management Director and his Assistant. I understand these are part time positions.  

How much time each week will be spent on each job and if the position of Emergency Management is a Full Time salaried position  how much time is spent each week on this specific job.

Since the positions of Emergency Management Director and Asst. Director are salaried positions how can there be $6,000.00 for overtime. How can this be justified for a salaried position when those personnel have so many other new duties. How are they distinguished for pay purposes. Will time cards be maintained for each separate position and if not are these new positions salaried? 

The total  increase in salary for these two personnel is, Director’s new salary $58,197.00 an increase of $4,637: while the Assistant Director’s  new salary is $55,427.00 an increase of $10,005.00.

More Questions Offered At Hearing On Budget

 Page 17, Line Item 58600 Employee Benefits - Who is benefiting from these expenses such as life insurance at $4,000.00? This is in addition to the other Insurances listed.

 Page 6, Line Item 51600-101 Registar of Deeds: Page 7; Line Item 52400 County Trustee’ s Office  and Line Item 52500 County Clerk’s Office - Each of these show that last year there was no money budgeted for the supervisor or deputy salaries but benefits are shown how is that possible? 

There are a number of places for various insurances that total well over a $100,000.00. How many of those policies were bid out, advertised and had competing bids? When will those policies be up for renewal?

This Is One Of The Questions I Tried To Ask At The Public Hearing On The Budget

QUESTIONS FOR 2015/16 BUDGET HEARING           29 JUNE 2015

1) The amount contributed to the Industrial/Economic  Development Board was increased by $10,000.00.   I understand this was to pay a new employee. Are you aware that employee also serves as a City Alderman in direct conflict with state law against conflicts of interest and Ethical Behavior, the same conflict that prevent Mr Speer from serving as Mayor and Director of Industrial/Economic Development Board?  

Tenn. Code Ann. § 8-17-102  (2014)

8-17-102.   Chapter definitions -- Application to jointly created instrumentalities, utility districts and school districts. 

  (a) As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

   (1) "Commission" means the Tennessee ethics commission;

   (2) "County" means a county, metropolitan or consolidated government, inclusive of any boards, commissions, authorities, corporations or other instrumentalities appointed or created by the county or an official of the county. Furthermore, for the purpose of this chapter, the county election commission shall be considered an instrumentality of county government; and the administrator of elections and other employees of the election commission shall be considered county employees. Likewise, for the purpose of this chapter, the county health department shall be considered a county department and its employees shall be considered county employees;

   (3) "Ethical standards" includes rules and regulations regarding limits on, and/or reasonable and systematic disclosure of, gifts or other things of value received by officials and employees that impact or appear to impact their discretion, and shall include rules and regulations regarding reasonable and systematic disclosure by officials and employees of their personal interests that impact or appear to impact their discretion. The term "ethical standards" does not include personnel or employment policies or policies or procedures related to operational aspects of governmental entities;

   (4) "Municipality" means an incorporated city or town, inclusive of any boards, commissions, authorities, corporations or other instrumentalities appointed or created by the municipality; and

   (5) "Officials and employees" means and includes any official, whether elected or appointed, officer, employee or servant, or any member of any board, agency, commission, authority or corporation, whether compensated or not, or any officer, employee or servant thereof, of a county or municipality.

(b) If a board, commission, authority, corporation or other instrumentality is created by two (2) or more local government entities, such creating entities shall, by amendment to the interlocal agreement or other agreement creating such joint instrumentality, designate the ethical standards that govern the jointly created instrumentality.

(c) Utility districts shall be considered separate governmental entities and shall be governed by ethical standards established by the board of commissioners of the utility district in conformity with § 8-17-105(b). Water, wastewater and gas authorities created by a private act or under the general law shall be considered separate governmental entities and shall be governed by ethical standards established by the governing board of the water, wastewater or gas authority in conformity with § 8-17-105(b).

(d) County, municipal and special school districts shall be considered separate governmental entities and shall be governed by ethical standards established by the board of education of the school district.

Financial Committee Public Hearing On The Budget

It's rather amazing that in an effort to discredit my questions during the Budget Hearing this morning the reporter chose to focus on one, possibly, miss stated question instead of any of the other nine questions. 

I was given three minutes to ask my questions and even though I was the only person who was allowed to speak, my request for additional time was denied, thus I had to say everything within that three minutes, I had to skip part of the prepared questions, then the meeting which started at 9am was adjured at 9:06 and commissioners were paid for a full meeting. 

Now for the possibly of a miss stated question. On 23 June WKSR reported under the title "E-911 Recesses Budget Meeting".The problem was reported as "the 911 Board Meeting was adjured because of budget problems" ."Members voted to contract with Putman and Hancock for an audit". 
24 June under the title Pulaski Board Approves Budget this statement was made "A yearly resolution for the city to enter into an interlocal agreement with Giles County E-911 was tabled until board members are able to read the agreement".

I wonder why there was nothing reported about the hearing being a totally non responsive hearing or the denial by the chairman that he had the authority to adjust the time allotted to speak. 

Tennessee Code Annotated  5-21-111.  Budget -- Hearings -- Supporting documents -- County action.  states "(2) Such publication shall also contain a notice of a public hearing to be conducted by the budget committee at which any citizen of the county upon five (5) days' written request shall have the right to appear and state such citizen's views on the budget.". The statue says nothing about a three minute time limit that the committee has chosen to impose nor does it state anything about answering questions or altering the time allowed for speakers. What the law does not define the committee has the authority to define, in other words the whole thing of limiting one person to three minutes and not answering questions is completely decisions made by the Committee, which like many other things refuses to take responsibility for. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

New Assistant Director of Schools

I must say that it was with a surprised shock that I received the news that Mr Michael Gonzales had been chosen as the new Asst. School Director.

I was shocked because of his past performances and can feel this is nothing but one big mistake.  

 I believe as School Board Chairman Mr. Gonzales demonstrated an attitude of such gross arrogance and insecurities that he became a distraction to the whole community. His behavior in having private citizens arrested when they legally refused to yield to his dictatorial demands, then subsequently being less than truthful under oath during the trial. showed such character weakness as to render him unacceptable to hold any leadership role in the Giles County School System. I believe that his behavior and weak leadership as Principal of Elkton School is additional proof this was a big mistake. .

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Solid Waste Problems and expenses

With all the turmoil over the surprise changes taking place in the Solid Waste industry some important questions beg to be answered. Certainly there are many questions yet to be answered with the city's waste, but most of those can't be answered at this time. The County is making efforts to come into compliance with state requirements, and the hiring of Mrs Julie Philips is certainly a step in the right direction.

I congratulate the Commissioner who pushed to make these changes but must also continue to question the motives and common sense that allows the primary person responsible for putting the county in such a precarious position to continue working for the county. I must say that the reason given for not firing the person, "he comes to work every day and is close to retirement", to be one of the most irresponsible explanations ever given in support of a non productive employee.

How many private haulers are operating in the county?

How many of these haulers have had to raise their rates or plan to raise their rates in the near future?

Will those rates go down if the city reopens the transfer station?

What is the salary that Mrs Phillips will receive, will it be the equal of what Mr. Watson was making?

What is the new salary of Mr. Watson, who I understand will now work in Old Records? Will he continue to draw the high income he previously received as Solid Waste Director?

How much is being spent on "Old Records" and why were they not transferred to the old Alternative School site that was to be remodeled for that purpose?

How did Mr. Watson, whose productivity is so incredibly low, get so much power that he can't be fired for cause or to block the Old Records move?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

School Board Meets Monday 20 April 2015

The Giles County Board of Education has announced that they will hold a called meeting on Monday 20 April 2015 at 5PM at the Central Office Building. 

It is reported that after this meeting the Board plans to have interviews with the three remaining applicants for the job of School Director.

Those to be interviewed are Dr. Tammy Sheldon of Fayetteville, Mr. Phillip Wright of Columbia and Mr. John Bush of Lewisburg.   

The public has been asked if they have questions to be considered for these interviews to submit them to the Chairman at

This meeting will be open to the public.

Does The Term Conflict Of Interest Have Any Meaning In Pulaski/Giles County?

With the announcement that Mr. Matt Crane has been appointed the "Giles County Business Entrepreneurial Development Center Director", a number of questions arise as to the appropriateness of such an appointment.

Mr. Crane is also a Pulaski City Alderman and as such he has a responsibility to vote on a number of matters that will directly and indirectly impact his new position as Giles County Business Entrepreneurial Development Center Director, major of which is the EDC/IDB budgets which contain his salary among other things.

Several years ago the state determined that Mr Speer could not serve as Mayor of Pulaski while serving as a paid employee of the IDB/EDC, so how is it that Mr. Crane is not in violation of this same ruling?

There is simply far too much overlap in his duties as Giles County Business Entrepreneurial Development Center Director and those as a City Alderman.

While I believe that Mr. Crane may be an excellent City Alderman and an employee of the IDB/EDC it is completely inappropriate that he attempt to fill both positions at the same time, there are just too many conflicts and potentials for conflict.

IDB/EDC Requirements To Be Members?

What are the general requirements for being on Economic Development and Industrial Development            Boards?

It seems that there is very little turn over among members of these groups. Should there more people given the opportunity to serve the county through these Boards or should the same people continue to serve year after year after year?

I believe that both these Boards have become small inactive cliques that allow their one employee to generally go unanswerable to anyone since the chairmen of these Boards seem to be mere rubber stamps of his activities.

Is There A Homeless Problem In Giles County?

I know there are a large number of families and individuals in Giles County that are having problems paying their bills which has resulted in utilities being cut off and eviction notices posted.

What provisions are made for those who have fallen on harder times and are in need of lodging? I understand that many churches are providing help to a large number of people with help paying utilities, providing food and temporary lodging of a day or two but what of those who have more long term needs?

How many homeless people are their in Giles County? How many children are in the school system who are known to be struggling in their home situations? What are the means by which these people are being dealt with?

Thursday, April 02, 2015

School Board Meets And Gives Even Bigger Finger To The Public

It has been made very clear tonight, by the actions of this School Board, that not only do some not care what the people, they represent, have to say but they obviously do not care what State law says about Open Meetings the difference between a "Meeting" and a "Work Session" and the fact that you can not take a vote or make a decision in a "Work Session" without violating state law.

Mr. Wamble did an excellent job, even after the attempts at bullying him into silence. Mr. Wamble read the Tennessee Code Annotated covering "Open Meetings" and the fact that there is a difference between a "Work Session" and a "Meeting". He stated the fact that state law does not allow for decisions or votes to be made during a "Work Session" but only in an official "Meetings".  Even when it was pointed out that more than a few times it had been stated by Board Members that they had decided to reduce the number of applicants for the Director's job. After Mr. Wamble made it very clear that the Board could either follow the law and do a revote or they could have a judge tell them to do a revote, the school board attorney tried to refocus the situation from being a decision to being a recommendation that was made by the Board in the Work Session but no one was having any part of that.

The Board showed even more arrogance when some members got up and walked out of the meeting without even a motion to adjourn much less a vote to adjourn. Clearly many on this Board not only have a personal agenda/vendetta they have no desire or interest in what the people they are supposed to represent want/believe or have to say.

Questions have arisen about a meeting held at GCHS supposedly between Mr. Lovell, Mr. Brewer and Mrs. Cindy Young where Mr. Brewer was reportedly convinced to change his vote and removing any chance that Mr. Smith would have an even chance of being considered for the Superintendents position.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

School Board Gives Minor Hill And All Citizens The Finger

Yes, that is right, the Giles County School Board gave the citizens of Giles County and especially the residents of the 2nd District a great big finger with their decision to not wait for the County Commission to Appoint a replacement to  fill the empty seat on the School Board.

Let's look at a few things that I believe violated either the law or the spirit of the law in this School Board action.

First a work session was used to arrive at and make a decision, not just some minor decision but perhaps the most important decision they will be called on to make this year. There is a difference in a work session and a regular public meeting or a called special meeting. What was done tonight fails to meet any of those requirements.

Second, was there a ten day notice prior to the "special called meeting" and was the subject of that special called meeting made known to the public? The only public notice I know of was on WKSR and that was not ten days ago and it involved a called meeting for the purpose of voting on a "Cooling Tower" for Richland School. There is no other business that could legally take place during that called meeting but the announced "Cooling Tower".

Third, why was there such a hurry to reduce the number of candidates for the position of School Director, that they could not wait two more days until the County Legislative Body could meet in a legally called "special session" to appoint a person to fill the empty School Board seat? Is there not a School Board Meeting on that same day. Why wasn't a full School Board allowed to make this decision?

It is not secret that I have been a supporter of Mr. Smith for the permanent position of School Director. While I agree that he may not have the greatest educational qualifications I believe that he has proven his ability to take a school and turn the students and staff into a pride filled productive place of real education. I believe that he can do the same with the whole system if given half a chance and some support from the Board. To say that support has been lacking would be a compliment in light of the open hostility that has been shown by some Board members.

If the School Board must decide against the leadership of Mr. Smith at least make some effort to do it legally and without the shadow of prejudical personal animosity toward the man.

Let there be no misunderstanding on my position, I believe this School Board has acted in ways that have been extremely prejudical to open, honest debate and decision making. They are an embarrassment by their secretive behavior, their overt rejection of the "Open Meetings Law",  their disingenuous negotiations and their unwillingness to set aside personal prejudices and look at what is best for all the county.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Interlocal Solid Waste Authority Has Failed To Honor Their Contract With Us But Demands We Continue With Them Because Of A Contract That Is Now Completely One Sided.

The fact is that ISWA broke their contract with the city/county by letting bids out separately instead of as whole, as has been done since the agreement was begun. 
One of the first statements on their website is their "mission statement" that states, "The ISWA was formed out of the Solid Waste Act of 1991 to share disposal cost and to educate the region of Franklin, Lincoln, Giles, Moore, Bedford, and the city of Tullahoma.
This was the first time some one got the bright idea of splitting the members, against their charter, up and seeking bids for individual entities. Well one thing is very clear if they break the contract then they have no power to hold us to that contract. If each member is to be treated as an individual then what is the point of paying these people membership fees and not have them do anything for us? According to their stance on the contract we as a county are bound without benefit to them for eternity or until all the other members vote to allow us out. 

ISWA not is imposing a last minute demand that will result in charges more than doubling per ton for disposal making us the highest payer under their authority.

I must say that both Mrs Vanzant, Mayor Ford and Mr Harrison are doing the best they can with what they have so far. 

This came about as a result of ISWA wanting to buy the three transfer station assets and then lease the land for a total of over one million dollars.  Each member is being required to back a loan through a bank and Duck River Cooperative to the tune of $200,000.00 each this is after the grant is deducted.  

As a frequent critic of our County Executive I was very impressed with her handling of the situation so far. It was her demand that ISWA show a financial statement before the matter would even be considered that stopped to bulldozer at least momentarily, and I believe it will be additional research by the County Attorney Mr. Dunnavant that will prove ISWA broke the contract and frees us from the absurdity we have been pushed into. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Poor Fences Make Criminal Relatives

I hope everyone is staying nice and warm, safe and happy during this very difficult wintery weather.

I hope all those with outside animals are able to take care of them without too much difficulty and inconvenience.

When I retired and moved with my family to Giles County my desire was to have a little farm and raise some cows, goats, chickens, etc. So we had a little farm out on Carr Hill Road, that was the name before the county changed it to Kerr Hill. Well, we had a number of cows but this one in particular is what I want to tell you about. This cow, and I'm sure some of you have had at least one like her, could be standing in thick grass up to her neck and would jump the fence to get to a patch of broom sage. The thing that was most bothersome was this cow almost always decided to jump that fence on Sunday Morning while we were at church or about to leave for church.  Now, we had a full field fence around the property but that did nothing to stop her. So I put a strand of barbed wire several inches about the top of the wire. Things seemed to go well until one Sunday morning when we drove up the driveway returning from church and there she was standing by the back door grazing in the backyard.  Well, change clothes and chase her back to the other side of the fence. No sooner did she get back on her side, than she just jumped over the fence and looked straight at me as if to say, "Ha, ha I ain't afraid of no barbed wire".  Now the point is, as some of you already know, it's mighty hard to keep a critter where it don't want to be.

The thing I didn't know at that time was that if a person's cow gets out it's not just a matter of the owner being responsible for any damages, but the owner can actually be arrested and serve time in jail if found guilty by a judge or jury.  Now, you might be saying who in the world would actually arrest someone and take them to criminal court because their cow got out of their fenced pasture.  Well, on Thursday morning next week you can go to the courthouse and watch the trial of an 82 year old man who has been charged with the heinous crime of allowing his cow to "roam free" that's the legal term for "the cow got out".
An Assistant District Attorney, his secretary, a judge, a court reporter, a bailiff, court security, jury and numerous other people outside the courtroom itself, have been involved preparing a case, and now prosecuting the case against this man.

The question is how much money has been spent, how much time has been taken away from real criminal cases, to prosecute this case?   Is justice better served by putting an 82 year old man in jail because his cow got out or perhaps by focusing on some real crimes. If a thief of taxpayer money isn't important because it's a small amount then what in the world is behind all this time and expense because a cow got out and did fifty dollars worth of damage to a relatives garden?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

City Audit Reveals $250,722.00 Payment To Unhook Industrial Development Commission From Empty Spec. Building

How much money has to be stolen before it’s considered stealing? I reported the thief by the County Executive, where she took tax money and paid Commissioner Coleman for attending a meeting that both knew she had not attended. Some said, “well, that ain’t very much”, so for them it appears stealing is OK depending on the amount being stolen. Of course I have to wonder if someone stole fifteen dollars from their billfold if they would have the same attitude. 

I reported on the County Executive’s scheme that give more than thirty thousand dollars of tax money, “under the table”, to an attorney friend. Still nothing was done, apparently that wasn’t enough tax money to be bothered with either.

So today I report on a little item listed on page 19 of the Pulaski City Audit that ended on 30 June 2014. It’s bad enough that $403,258.00 was spent on something identified as  “CONTRACTUAL SERVICES” that has absolutely no defining explanation for it and then there is the item of $250,722.00 that was paid on a Spec. Building for the Industrial Development Commission. 

Let me repeat that, on page 19 of that audit finding the City of Pulaski paid $250,722.00 for a spec. building for the Industrial Development Commission. That building continues to sit empty. 

On Page 28 of that audit is stated, “The Pulaski - Giles County Industrial Development Commission is responsible for long range planning for City of Pulaski, Giles County and other local city governments. The Commission derives its funding primarily from the City of Pulaski and Giles County. Its Board is composed of representatives from the City, County and others. The Commission is not deemed to be financially accountable to the City of Pulaski and accordingly is not reported as a component of the City".

In simple terms the Industrial Development Commission is not accountable to the city of Pulaski but the City is obligated to pay the IDC's debts without question.

Very close to that expenditure of $250,722.00, is listed the additional expenditure of $45,100.00 as the city’s share of the IDC’s regular funding.  

Some questions that arise from this revelation.

1.   With over $250,000 paid out for this building by the city where is it listed in the city’s assets?

2.   Why is this expenditure not explained or listed anywhere else in the audit as an asset, a liability, or by any other identifying characteristic. 

3.   Was the county asked to pay a part of this $250,722.00 and if so did they?

4.   When and where was this expenditure approved by the city council and in what minutes is the vote recorded?

5.  With the city actually using tax money to pay this mortgage who now holds title to the building ?    

6.  With the president of the bank that holds the note on this building, being the same person serving as the chairman of the IDC was the city and tax payer money used to avoid a loss to the bank?

7.  Will this be allowed to be swept under the rug like so much other questionable behaviors or will this involve enough money to finally “matter”?