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.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Giles County Executive Candidates Appearance On WLX
Capt. Stowe has a plan that relies on innovative common sense approaches with an active leadership role and long term plans without a property tax increase or wheel tax. His vast experience and simple plan for keeping communications open through regular "Town Hall Meetings" is a huge step toward rebuilding trust in county leadership.
Mr Lindsey has a plan that relies primarily on possible grants from state and federal taxes which means more big government intervention. While he did say a wheel tax was not needed the additional spending he described as "needed" will require a bunch of new funding. While identified as an independent he talks more like a liberal democrat but even as such he has more experience and ideas than Mrs. Vanzant.
Mrs Vanzant would not rule out a wheel tax and/or a property tax passing off the responsibility as entirely that of the commissioners. She did say that the county was in financial good health with an expected half million dollars in excess income by the end of the fiscal year. and over 800 thousand dollars in excess school funds. If there is that much actual excess income why is the highway department so underfunded?
What are some of the things you heard that tonight during that debate that impressed you either positively or negatively?
Monday, July 21, 2014
News From The County Legislative Body That Met This Morning
Others recognized for their long service were Commissioners Connie Howell and Jack Woodard each having served for sixteen years.
Questioned was raised by Commissioner Jackson as to the appropriateness of appointing a County Attorney for two years when the county is required to appoint the county attorney to a four year term.
Commissioner Harwell stated, " I been here twelve "year" and we ain't never done it that way".
Mrs. Vanzant stated that we've always done it for two years but we'll change cause the law says four years"
My question is why, since the four year term was initiated by the County and passed as a private act through the state legislature, hasn't this law been followed before now. My concern is that it's just another matter of "we'll do things our way, regardless of what the law requires".
New School Board Member is former County Commissioner Edwin Lovell. Mr. Lovell was appointed after receiving the required eleven votes from the commissioner. Mr Clay Doggett received eight of the votes cast.
The Industrial Development Board was denied their request of altering their charter to place one more member on the Economic Development Committee. The Commissioner rejected the request choosing instead to keep the appointments to the Committee equally split between the city and county appointments.
Under Unfinished Business:
Commissioner Pope asked about the status of connecting the bathrooms at the AgiPark to the public sewer system. It was reported by Mrs Vanzant that they were with for Mr. Brooks to give his OK.
Commissioner Adams asked about the status of the Alternative School Building. Mrs Vanzant responded that there had been some old records transferred to the building but that a leak was discovered and an architect was looking at the building.
Commissioner Adams asked about the status of the project at Exit 14, the wastewater treatment system. Mrs Henson, the county attorney, reported that they were waiting for a second rate study to be done and "hoped" to be able to report on it in September meeting.
Under New Business:
Commissioner Jackson made the motion to give $300.00 to a group called "Night Out Against Crime" and that the money would be taken out of the County Executive's fund.
The interesting things about this is that during the discussion it was revealed that the County Executive had been giving this group between three and five hundred dollars each year without any knowledge or approval of the Commissioners.
My question is why has this program been regularly funded in secret? Why hasn't it been included with the regular charities during the budget process. Are they a legitimate 501c charity and if not how can the county give them any money.
I have no questions about whether this organization is a good or bad program only, as to the way the County Executive has chosen to secretly fund them and what is their legal status.
Commissioner Jackson commended "the Budget Committee and the Financial Management Office for the very first time in history that the budget was approved before July".
I agree with Commissioner Jackson but would also remind everyone that when we were working to get the Financial Management Act of 1981 approved for the county, commissioners Campbell, Harwell and a couple of others including Mrs. Vanzant fought tooth and nail against it vilifying me and others in the process and did everything possible to sabotage it. To day with Commissioner Jackson's comment and the last audit report of no deficiencies I feel and all that worked on this program should feel vindicated.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Has The Ball Been Dropped On Development Of The Wastewater Project At Interstate Exit 14?
There is a building with 6,500,000 square feet, over 17.5 miles of hallways yet it takes less than eight minutes to reach any point in that building from any point. About 23,000 employee work in that building each day with more than 120,000 visitors each year.
Now I tell you those things to give an idea of just how large and well planned this building is so that what I am about to say becomes even more impressive.
The task of designing this building was given to architect George Bergstrom and LTC. Hugh Casey on a Thursday afternoon and told to have it completed by the next Monday morning. That Tuesday the president approved the design and presented it to the congress. Sixteen months later 33,000 workers moved in the new facility. Sixteen months to plan, approve and build the Pentagon yet we can't even get started with a small project like the wastewater facility at Exit 14.
WHERE IS THE LEADERSHIP/
Interesting Information From The E-911 Board Meeting ON Tuesday 15 July
How does a person over look $33,000.00 and just accidentally leave it out of the budget as income and then after approval just happen to find it and low and behold it's equal to an expediture the director sans to make.
If the E-911 office has approximately a thousand square feet now do they really need a new building that is 4300 square feet and cost $850,000 to $900,000 dollars to build? I agree they need more space but a million dollar facility that is almost trip in size? This is an example of how priorities need to be established.
Much thanks and appreciation go out to Chiefs Dickey and Collins who challenged the need for such a large and extravagant new building and offered an option in the possibility of simply adding on to the existing building at a far less expense.
Chief Dickey asked, if the new building was built would there be enough money in their income to maintain such a building? The director after much effort to redirect the question and it being asked several more times finally stated, "no".
Finally a motion was made by Chief Collins and approved by the board to study the cost of an addition at the existing building and to study the cost of a downsized new building.
The last issue raised was the matter of an investigation into the possible inappropriate behavior of the Director and inappropriate relationships at the 911 workplace.
Monday, July 14, 2014
Should Commissioners Be Paid If They Fail To Attend Meeting?
Currently the rule is that commissioners are paid for each committee and full commission meeting they attend.
I provided the example of Commissioner Coleman who was signed in on 24 April, by Mrs. Vanzant, as having attended the meeting and being paid a full thirty dollars as a committee member, after the budget committee meeting had been adjourned and several commissioners had already left the room.
There was some outraged defense from other 7th District Commissioners, that I had no business being allowed to even bring the subject up. Others suggested that all the commissioners be paid a flat fee for being commissioners whether they attended meetings or not. Even those who proposed that idea agreed that those who don't attend are less informed and able to represent their constituents. They even agreed that it was unfair to pay everyone the same amount whether they attended or not.
As for Commissioner Coleman she was thirty one minutes late for this one hour meeting adding to her unbroken string of being late or absent from over 97% of the committee meeting she is a member of.
Another Power Grab BY The Speer/ Rackley Conglomerate?
Sunday, July 13, 2014
Speech Given At The Democrat Sponsored Meet The Candidates Event At GCHS on 11 July 2014
Friday, July 11, 2014
Who is the Director of Schools?
This is a classic case of doing the right thing but doing it the wrong way at every possible opportunity.
Last night with an attorney sitting there and School Board Member Greene asking directly of him, "are we doing anything illegal or that can be used against us in a legal action" the attorney twice assured them that there was nothing wrong with what they were doing all the time knowing they were paying two directors of schools. Knowing they had hired an interim director without accepting the resignation of the former director. Has the resignation of the former director ever been officially accepted, it absolutely was not accepted by a vote in an open school board meeting.
This whole thing has been one huge cluster flub from the beginning and only gets more messy with each new decision. Why is the School Board continuing to pay Dr. Webb? Why are they continuing to rely on attorneys who have led them down this road of disaster with bad advice? When will the Board rely on common sense in making their decisions or failure to make those decisions?
I for one am fed up with the secrecy and ineptness and stupidly illegal behavior.
Based on what I know Dr. Webb did the right thing by resigning but the School Board and its attorney should all be fired for their total incompetency in handling this matter. They have not only created a major financial burden, a legal nightmare they have embarrassed the entire county.
Monday, June 30, 2014
Disinterest, Neglect, Inconvenience, Incompetence What Ever The Reason The Result Is Commissioner Coleman Fails The 7th District.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Fraud and Abuse By The County Executive?
Thursday, June 19, 2014
A Request For Records
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Mr. J.B. Smith Appointed As Interim Director of Schools
After a tremendous void was left by the resignation of Dr. Webb as Director of Schools then the additional turmoil created by Board Member Storey resigning, the Board appointed Mr. Smith as Interim Director of Schools. In order to take this position Mr Smith will take a leave of absence from the position of principal and then if he is not hired as the Director of Schools he would return to his position as principal at Bridgeforth.
I congratulate the Board and Mr. Smith on their decisions. Mr. Smith has a proven record of accomplishments as principal and will no doubt add much to the disciplined leadership and morale needed in our school system. .
Don Storey Resigns From School Board
Mr. Storey stated there was, "two very troubling things about this situation". "It was wrong getting rid of Dr. Webb and not following Board policy which was a grave injustice to Dr. Webb". "Another part that bothers me even more is some of these things date back to last fall". That contrary to Board policy, those things should have been brought before all the Board members prior to confronting Dr. Webb and that Dr. Webb should have been confronted by the full Board long before Monday and given an opportunity to explain and/or make corrections. Mr. Storey closed his remarks by saying that, "when we hired Dr. Webb we asked him to balance the budget and get rid of the 120 day contracts that were costing the system too much money and we told him to move whoever he had to, to do it" .He did what we asked him too and "getting rid of the best, most child loving, enthusiastic directors ever is the wrong thing to do".
"I'm officially handing in my resignation, I'm done, you go out and make decisions on your own, I don't want to be associated with you". All the Board Member were present except for Mr. Greene who joined the meeting via phone.
Monday, June 16, 2014
Dr. Webb Resigns As School Director
The decision is believed to be the result of the controversial School Board Meeting held last Thursday where questions were raised about his personal and professional conduct.
It is reported that Dr. Webb acknowledged several professional and personal failures in his resignation.
The questions now seem to center on whether those Board Members who voted to keep Dr. Webb were more interested in covering for him than in dealing with problems affecting the entire school system.
Friday, June 13, 2014
Fireworks At The School Board or Just a Fizzle of Smoke?
It seems some are chaffing under the strong leadership of Dr. Webb and have reached out to some School Board Members to bring down their wrath on the Superintendent.
There can be no question about Dr. Webb having turned the school system upside down, but that seems to have been exactly what he was hired to do. Has his methods been easy or smooth no, but neither has been the task. Some have been removed from comfortable positions, some removed unfairly, some have been challenged to greater performance, some have been replaced by those far less competent.
When you have a school system with as many inherited problems as this one a shake up is required, just as with the county as a whole. Too much was let slide over the years with the emphasis on the "painted
facade" while the foundations continued to deteriorate.
The only surprise in this, to me, is that it took so long to catch on to the total sham created by the former Superintendent, now there seems to be a rush to condemn by some who were instrumental in creating the problem by their in-action with the former superintendent.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Meth Labs In Minor Hill But No News Is Good News?????
Add to that the timing. In 21 days, law enforcement believes a lot of the money for meth cleanup will be gone, so there is a question about who will then get the bill. And one site is so dangerous no one even knows how much it will cost to clean up.
Monday, June 02, 2014
Free Meals For School Children This Coming School Year
As with all "free" things there are questions that must be asked. With this program being totally funded for only one year by taxmoney through the federal government what will happen next year when the funding runs out? Will the federal government again step in and pay the full amount or will they as usual start something then expect the local governments to pick up the price tags? When I have asked this question I have been told "I don't know about next year, I'm just be glad we have it this year". Because one asks about future finances does not mean one is unhappy with what is available today. If the county is going to be hit with a very large expense next year should they not be planning for it now? Waiting for the crisis may be the pattern for county government but it by no means is the best way to operate.
Another question is what price will be extracted this year. Giving a program, any program, to the federal government is never a wise decision as it always takes away from our choices. Will these new "free" meals be tied to Mrs. Obama's requirement that all children, but her's, be fed a certain diet. Last year millions of dollars of uneaten food was thrown away by school systems that yielded to the politically correctness of feeding vegetables and fruits to growing teenagers whose bodies craved meat and potatoes. Children went home hungry and raided the refrigerator and pantry and any other possible place where "real" food might be found. Is a meal that is thrown into the trash a meal worth having at any cost? A growing body needs and deserves fuel for that growth somehow lettuce, broccoli and bean sprouts just don't get the job done.
My hope is that good, nutritious, desirable meals will be served and eaten, instead of thrown in the trash, and the federal funding will be complete but only time will tell and history is not on our side. .
Sunday, June 01, 2014
Is There A Need For A Democratic Primary?
I spoke with a democrat recently and they suggested this topic as they were rather put off by well known democrats not wanting to be identified with their party.
I think that were I a democrat I also would not want to be identified with Obama the most secretive lawbreaking and worst president ever, Biden the idiot vice president that can't put three words together without embarrassing everyone, Harry Reid the most corrupt liar to ever become a multimillionaire from being a senator, Nancy Pelosi whose last brain cell died many years ago and now isn't smart enough to stay on her psychotropic medications. Why would anyone want to be identified with the baby killing amnesty for illegal aliens and special benefits for those unwilling to work?
After all the accomplishments of the democrats and pretend conservatives such as high unemployment; high gas prices; astronomical utilities and cost of food along with a national debt that our great grandchildren will still be paying on a hundred years from now, then add to that a general malaise that the nations best is behind us and who can blame those pesky democrats for wanting to remain hidden.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Is it a matter of ignorance, self absorption or just plain I don’t care?
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
What Does The Term Radical Mean And Who Really Is A Radical?
I find it interesting how often the term "radical" is used on the blog and wonder what those who use it so often actually mean by it? Who or what is a radical and is it really such an objectionable term as intended by some posters?
Monday, May 12, 2014
Do People Selling Prepared Foods Have Health Department Approval?
Does the Health Department or any other governmental agency inspect, regulate and sanction the sell of all prepared foods sold in the county and state?
The question arises from the fact that there are a number of sellers of prepared foods, (home canned goods, baked goods, smoked and barbecued meats, cheeses etc.) that would be required to have Health Department inspections were they in a store or restaurant.
Tuesday, May 06, 2014
Bridgeforth Receives Award Again
Monday, May 05, 2014
Why Is The County Losing Students To Other Counties
I would like to see a discussion on this blog of why we are loosing our school children to other counties. I saw in the paper this week that Columbia Academy will be bussing students from Giles County next year and we already have lost several kids to Marshall and Lawrence County, Are our schools really that bad. What is going on here?
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
What Happened At The IDB/EDC Meeting This Week?
What could possibly have been discussed that the public was not allowed to be involved in? Was it possibly some great legal discussion but without their attorney present what legal activities could have been discussed?
Perhaps they wanted to discuss the huge increases they have requested for their budget?
Perhaps it was to discuss the big payout from the recent lawsuit they settled? Oh, you didn't know that the lawsuit had been settled with taxpayer money maybe it because there has been nothing on the radio or in the newspaper about it. Oh, well it's only been about two weeks so maybe the news will still show up somewhere other than on this blog. No, it could have been that they would have had one of their four attorneys present to discuss that.
Well, doggone it I guess they just didn't want the public to know what they were doing so they just turned a required public meeting into a closed meeting? Guess there is nothing like the convenience of snubbing your nose at the law and the people when it comes to getting your way?
Congratulations Go Out To Home Depot Once Again
No doubt Home Depot deserves to be recognized as the citizen of the week for not waiting to be contacted to help but making the approach and offer of unlimited help with much needed materials.
I'm also told that Fred's is another great supporter of the community with the same quick and generous offers to supply much needed items for those who suffered great loses from the severe weather.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
From the Financial Management Office
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Should The County Borrow Ten Million Dollars For Proposed School Improvements?
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Pardon Me If I Don’t Celebrate Earth Day
The revisionist history of Earth Day claims that the first one was on 22 April 1970 and was started by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, as a wonderful day to focus on cleaning the environment.
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Good Easter Greetings
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Support For Windows XP Ended on April 2014
Friday, April 11, 2014
April Meeting of "The Giles Patriots"
Monday, March 17, 2014
Yet Another Crisis For County Government
At the present time it isn't even known how many computers the county has that still operate with the XP System. No plan has been made as to which computers can be upgraded with new operating systems or how many will be more feasible to replace. Currently there is not even an estimate as to the cost of this latest "crisis".
This is the way the county has operated under the County Executive's leadership moving from one crisis to the next without any plan to meet future problems in a more efficient manner. How much longer will this county suffer from such unprepared leadership?
Thursday, February 20, 2014
These Are The Names Of Those Having Qualified For The Positions Listed
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Why Did The Economic Development Commission Spend Over $22,000.00 More Than Their Income
It's not often that a new year could start over $22,000.00 in the hole and expect to stay in business but what's to worry about when you can just go and take more tax money or utility money and toss it in the pot to pay for such things as $8687 for the director's salary; $171.00 for internet; $1900.00 for health insurance; $392.00 for meals and entertaining; $500.00 for professional training; $521.00 for retirement or $253.00 for telephones. Keep in mind these are expenses for less than a two month period.
Monday, February 17, 2014
Elections are upcoming what are your thoughts
Legalization of Marijuana Yes or No and Why?
Friday, January 10, 2014
Should The County Borrow Ten Million Dollars For Proposed School Improvements?
I don't believe there are many who have been in the school buildings that would disagree there is a great need for many repairs to those buildings. The problem is how to pay for such repairs. The county last year spent what was left of the hospital money, money that was bound by Legislative restrictions to be kept on deposit and only the interest used. So the committee was told that such an expenditure would require at least a twenty one cent increase to the tax rate. To Mrs Vanzant's credit she impressively stated to the committee that there was no way to know if twenty one cents would be enough since the tax penny has not had it's value established and the collections for the past year have been down. The reality of the matter is that the increase would be more in the area of a twenty five cent property tax increase. The alternative would be a wheel tax.
It was stated by a commissioner that with this being an election year it would be hard to raise taxes especially this high. Does that mean such a tax increase would come only after the election, in September perhaps?
The county simply can not afford such a debt considering the population is not increasing and a large number of people in the county are living under the poverty level or on fixed incomes. A huge tax loss will be experienced with the closing of Fafnir and some of the newer companies are operating on tax deferred programs.
The school buildings need repairs but part of the money will be for administration buildings on East Hill and the bus garage and with a lowered student population is there really that great a need for the number of schools currently in use?