"A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives."


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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Jackson County Commission Duel Session, Regular Session Continuation and Work Session - February 21, 2017

Jackson County Courthouse south side, photo by G. Morgan.

Next Monday's meeting, February 27, 2017 will be held at the North Sand Mountain High School on State Hwy. 71, Higdon, Al.

(Click on image for an expanded view.)


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Jackson County Commission Work Session February 6, 2017

Jackson County Courthouse south side, photo by G. Morgan

Monday's session of the Jackson county commission was a long one. I left after agenda item 11 to cover the important agenda at the city council meeting. There were 18 agenda items on Monday's commission meeting.


VIDEO Part 1 Agenda items 1 - 2

Jim Helm's proposal regarding the county park store, boats, gas etc. Agenda item 1.

VIDEO Part 2 Agenda items 3-11

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Scottsboro City Council Work Session - Property Mismanagement, Ball Field Fiasco Continues, Minimum $1.3 million Over Cost - Out come on Scottsboro's Cabin Cruiser Fiasco - February 6, 2017

The management of Scottsboro's property continues to be a problem. This is a boat similar to the one sold for $3000.00, a 1979 Marinette Cabin Cruiser. Fair Use photo for non-profit news reporting and commentary, unknown contributor. Blog article about the boat issue and Scottsboro property mismanagement. http://arklite.blogspot.com/2016/06/the-boat-and-mayor-of-scottsboro-deep.html 

Why is this important? The City Council is responsible for property management and management of the budget and finances of the City of Scottsboro. This responsibility is codified in the laws of the State of Alabama. The mayor may have erred in any number of issues, including the inappropriate sale of  Scottsboro City Property, such as the above boat, or for that matter the renovation of the ball field. However, the City Council is the responsible authority for property and money. You cannot delegate the legal responsibility for those areas the city council is responsible.

City Official's disclosed to me yesterday evening that the District Attorney found no criminality regarding the disposition and sale of Scottsboro's Cabin Cruiser although the law was not followed.

Scottsboro Ball fields, Scottsboro Recreation; photo from the City of Scottsboro dot com (Government Source) - Fair Use for non-profit news reporting and commentary. 

Ball Field Failed Planning
 Agenda Item 2 -  Ball Field "renovation dollars" to cost tax payers $2.396 million, $1.3 million more that originally stated. The Bond issue was for $3 million dollars and included the ball field project, the swimming pool project, the Fire Station renovation and an addition to the Heritage center.

Poor planning and mismanagement by the City Council and the unnecessary demolition of the entire field structure and infrastructure is the root cause of the mismanagement. 

The City Council is responsible for budget and property, there is no scapegoat for the City Council's responsibility in this failure. Early on in the planning phase of this project the City Council erred by placing responsibility on the previous mayor and a small committee to make decisions which were under the entire councils purview. 

Discussions with an elected official on this matter reveals that there may have been an intentional effort to completely demolish the ballfield and its' infrastructure to raise costs of "renovation" of this project. However, at this point intent cannot be proven. 

Many thanks to Mr. Wallingsford and Mr. Smith for having the courage to tell it like it is regarding this unfortunate problem regarding the mismanagement of our financial assets.

Essentially, the ball field project is not a renovation, it is a complete building of a ball field from ground up.

Next Mismanagement Item
Agenda Item 3 - Another unnecessary cost to the taxpayers of Scottsboro is the mismanagement of the Streetscape Renovation of the Downtown Square. The southside of the square will have traffic and parking diverted because of the 2 large park areas which have been inserted into the current square area at the southeast and southwest corners. It is estimated this unneeded work will cost tax payers approximately $200,000 in unnecessary renovation costs, possibly more



Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Sunlight Foundation - Reports of Federal Government Agencies Directed Not to Communicate with the American Public - January 25, 2017

From Az quOtes - Fair Use for non-profit news and commentary


"A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives."
Reports of Federal Government Agencies Directed Not to Communicate with the American Public (Fair Use Rights for non-profit news reporting and commentary. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.)
For the past decade, the Sunlight Foundation has advocated for all branches of the federal government to use modern technologies to inform and engage the American people, from social media to websites. We adamantly oppose measures that limit disclosing documents and data to the public, particularly the publication of scientific papers, research and analysis, or public access to government scientists or technologists that can explain the findings.
The following list are reported formal actions to limit public communication at federal agencies.
  • Officials at the Department of Health and Human Services were reportedly directed “not to send any correspondence to public officials (to include Members of Congress and state and local officials) between now and February 3, unless specifically authorized by the Department.” An unnamed HHS official told Politico reports were in doubt: “Contrary to erroneous media reports, HHS and its agencies continue to communicate fully about its work through all of its regular communication channels with the public, the media and other relevant audiences. There is no directive to do otherwise.” [SOURCES: PoliticoHuffington Post]
  • The Environmental Protection Agency froze grant making, restricted social media, and told its employees not to talk about it. [SOURCES: Washington PostPoliticoBoston GlobeHuffington Post]
  • On January 23, Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service was directed not to release “any public-facing documents,” including, but not limited to, “news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds, and social media content,” according to an email obtained by the Associated Press. On January 24, the USDA disavowed the order and stated that peer-reviewed scientific papers from ARS should not be blocked. “This internal email was released without Departmental direction, and prior to Departmental guidance being issued,” USDA said in a statement. “ARS will be providing updated direction to its staff. ARS values and is committed to maintaining the free flow of information between our scientists and the American public.” [SOURCES: Washington PostReutersPoliticoAPBuzzfeed]
  • The Department of the Interior and Department of Energy have both halted or limited social media use. [SOURCES: Washington PostGreenWire]
  • The Department of Transportation told employees not to publish news releases or social media until they receive new guidance from the Trump administration. [SOURCE: Politico]
  • The National Institutes of Health were “to hold on publishing new rules or guidance in the Federal Register or other public forums and discussing them with public officials until the Administration has had an opportunity to review them,” per Institutes spokeswoman Renate Myles. [SOURCE: Politico]
The White House has not confirmed these actions. White House press secretary Sean Spicer was asked about them in today’s press briefing but did not confirm.
If these reports are accurate, we call on the Trump administration to disclose the memoranda that have led to these changes to the public, explain their rationale, and reverse the measures.