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 "email@example.com" to suggest topics or make private comments.
Monday, January 26, 2015
Saturday, January 10, 2015
What Happened With The School Director?
So let me be very clear about my thoughts on Mr. Smith.
Mr. Smith was wrong in what he did and he has admitted it. I was very disappointed but one mistake is not a pattern, unlike what was tolerated from Mr. Jackson. So the bottom line, for me at least, is that what he did was wrong and not done alone. I believe that Mr. Smith understands what he did was wrong and that he will not make that mistake again. He also knows that there are many watching him with the sole purpose of removing him as Director. I believe this was a learning experience and Mr. Smith will recover from this and continue as a good Director.
Thursday, December 25, 2014
Merry Christmas To Everyone
So Merry Happy Birthday To Jesus The Christ, Through Whom the Salvation of God Was Offered To All Mankind.
May this day be filled with the happiness of celebrations, feasting, remembrances and family. May all your life be filled with the full joy of Christ's birth in you
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Change of Mind On ATV Ambulance
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
Thursday, December 11, 2014
What Is A Conflict Of Interest And Are They Important In Giles County?
Monday, December 01, 2014
Why Are Empty Buildings Having Utilities Paid For Them?
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?
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
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Why Spend Thousands of Dollars To Find What You Already Have?
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 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"?
Chicago-area voting machine casts Republican candidate’s vote for Democratic foe
Monday, October 13, 2014
Early Voting Begins Wednesday15 October 2014
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?
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
Thursday, October 02, 2014
This Is A Topic Requested By A Reader Concerning Amendment One To Be On This November
This is the request:
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
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?
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
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?
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.
Tommy Pope – VC
Tommy Pollard - C
Rose Brown – S
Jimmy Dean Caldwell
Roger Reedy – C
Melissa Greene – VC
Danny Ray Cobb – S
Bill Cary – VC
Stoney Jackson – C
Louise Faulkner –S
Bill Cary – VC
Tracy Wilburn – C
Lois Aymett – S
Jimmy Dean Caldwell – S
Rose Brown – VC
Tommy Campbell – C
Bill Cary – S
Tommy Pope – VC
Tommy Pollard – C
Danny Ray Cobb
Jimmy Dean Caldwell
Dustin Rose – VC
Danny Ray Cobb – C
Vicki Coleman – S
Joyce Woodard – S
Tommy Pope – C
Tommy Campbell – VC
Jimmy Dean Caldwell
Dustin Rose – VC
Tommy Beech – C
Shelly Goolsby – S
Tim Turner – S
Rose Brown – C
Shelly Goolsby – VC
Tommy Pope - VC
Tommy Beech – S
Danny Ray Cobb – C
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.
Tommy Pollard was appointed to fill Bill Holt’s unexpired term.
Commissioners Steamrolled By Deft Tongue Of County Executive
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Why Hire A Part Time Attorney When You Can Get A Full Time Attorney With More Experience?
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.
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 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
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Were The Early Vote Totals Made Available To Some Candidate Camps Prior To Closing Of The Polls?
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
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Tennessee Ranked Third In The Nation For Corruption of Public Officials
Friday, August 08, 2014
Congratulations To All Participants In The Election.
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!
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
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
What I Will Do If Elected To Serve The People OF The 7th District
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.