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 "firstname.lastname@example.org" to suggest topics or make private comments.
Thursday, April 16, 2015
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?
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?
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
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
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.
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 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
Monday, January 26, 2015
Puzzle And Puzzle Some More!
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.