"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."


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Scottsboro City Council Work Session and Regular Session January 8, 2018

Scottsboro City Council President Tony Wallingsford appoints Councilman Smith, Mayor Shelton and Chief Dawe to a select Committees regarding Police Department Vehicles. (photo by G. Morgan)

Mayor Shelton discusses need for police vehicles. (photo by G. Morgan)

Police Chief Ralph Dawe provides input to city council on vehicle needs. (photo by G. Morgan)

Councilman Smith asks questions regarding Rec Com funds for pool renovation and HVAC system.

Scottsboro Finance Director Rick Wheeler answers questions regarding Rec Com renovation projects. (photo by G. Morgan)



Jackson County Commission Regular Session January 8, 2018

Jackson County Commission approves 2018 liability insurance carrier, approves various personnel actions and other action items, note agenda and video below. (photo by G. Morgan)



Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Jackson County Commission Work Session - Property Tax Late Fees Discussed - January 3, 2018

Jackson County Courthouse, Snow Day, Facebook photo by J. Holt. 
Fair use of photograph for non-profit news reporting.



                                     VIDEO Photo Captures
Jackson County Revenue Commissioner, Jeff Arnold, discusses local law regarding Property Tax late fee of $2.00 per day for unpaid property tax. Previously the fee was going into Jackson County's General Fund. The law allows for the Revenue Commissioner to be provided an administrative fee. This will be the first time an administrative fee has been provided to the Jackson County Revenue Commission according to Mr. Arnold. The first payment requested will be 10% of the total tax penalty collected for the first year. Thereafter it was requested that the fee be set at 5% to the Revenue Commission. (photo by G.Morgan)

Commissioners discuss job classification amendments for the County Park, Solid Waste and Public Works. (photo by G. Morgan)

Mr. Felix Jackson, Candidate for District 2 Commissioner, 2012 Jackson County Commission Election (photo by G. Morgan)

During last weeks regular session, December 27, 2017, Mr. Felix Jackson was selected as the Jackson County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director, competing with 9 other candidates for the EMA Director Position. Mr. Jackson has been employed by the EMA Office since April 2013. 

Mr. Mike Ashburn was appointed by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey to be the Chairman of the Jackson County Commission in September of 2017 after the resignation of Chairman Matthew Hodges.  http://jcsentinel.com/feature_story/article_83d30d4e-9fd8-11e7-87f8-57791450beaa.html , the County Commission selected Mr. Jackson as the Interim EMA Director in October of 2017. 

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Scottsboro, Alabama December 21, 2017 The Continuing Saga of Court Referral - Alleged Procedural Failures in the Drug Testing Program - Pitfalls of Substance Abuse, Hardships on Family. Protest on The Jackson county Courthouse Square

The Continuing Saga of Court Referral - Protest on The Square - Family Hardships -Alleged Procedural Failures Relating to Urine Collection for Testing 
(photos by G. Morgan)

Family members of Court Referral clients tell stories of hardship to Jackson County Sentinel Reporter Will Whaley (Photo by G. Morgan)

Family members 'Protest signs' claim Court Referral places extreme hardships on families, forcing some into homelessness and going without food. (Photo by G. Morgan)

One lady related that a person had been placed on color code drug testing because a poor citizen did not have the money to pay for garbage collection in the county.

Allegations were made that Court Referral personnel had solicited for a "special treatment program" where clients would be placed into the program on Lookout Mountain when Court Referral personnel would be paid $1500.00. Allegations were also made regarding failed procedural/legal requirements in the security of urine specimen collection, transport and testing.

Hardships include being placed into extreme indebtedness, claims family members assisting in paying relatives fines. (Photo by G. Morgan)


One of my Facebook friends, Kim Rice, ask me what do I think is the perfect solution to problems at CR/CC, Court Referral Community Corrections, below is my answer and my reply to her question on Facebook.
Thanks for asking Kim.  A comprehensive Medical Treatment program with long term follow ups is a solution to substance abuse treatment. Perfect solution to a government structured program such as we have locally is not possible; however, there are solutions and programs in conjunction with courts and medical treatment that is better than the current local program.
1) Abolish the non-profit program, the current non-profit status is being abused to hide disclosures which would normally be available under a government sponsored program. Another solution would be to keep the non-profit program but actively recruit funders to provide 90-120 day inpatient treatment with a yearlong follow-up outpatient program. Cost share program - The substance abusers are currently paying for their testing, once released from inpatient care, which should continue.Government agencies, pharmaceutical, alcohol manufacturers and distributors should contribute to funding programs. So should a portion of law enforcement seizures.
2) Follow standards of lawand commonly accepted national protocols and procedures regarding treatment and legal standards described within this link: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-abuse-treatment-criminal-justice-populations/principles Note Principle #3, minimum 90 day inpatient treatment which must have an extended outpatient treatment period, to be effective, normally 1 year.
3) Currently, our current drug testing programs available to CR/CC do not meet Federal Standards. The current local legal standards of drug testing within our Court Referral System do not meet the standards of employment law. Other words, the current local standards within the Jackson County Courts System do not meet the standards of employment law or DOT testing standards. The folks who fail drug testing may be incarcerated by a legal standard less than employment law or the standard lower than a Commercial Truck Driver drug test. That is wrong. Guidelines may be found at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA); there are no SAMHSA certified labs in the state of Alabama. https://www.samhsa.gov/workplace/drug-testing  
The problem with what I am saying is money, money and more money. The current CR program diverts money from clients into the hands of attorneys, court system, managers of the CR/CC non-profit System. More money must be placed into treating the problem medically long term, not enriching program managers, attorneys (which are not patient care providers), drug dealers and government War on Drug Agencies which have proven ineffective. Note this, what kind of medical treatment and follow-up could have been provided with the Trillion Dollars spent on the War on Drugs? Note 1) above.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Jackson County Commission Regular Session, December 18, 2017 - 2 Part Video - Part 1 Public Hearing on County Rd 96 and Drainage Problems, Part 2 Session Agenda

Jackson County Commission Jingle Bells Trail Tree Photo by Jackson County Commission on Facebook, Fair Use for non-profit news reporting and commentary.


Part 1
Jackson County Commission Regular Session, Part 1 of 2. Part 1 being a Public Hearing on returning to the County Road Inventory from the TVA part of County Road 96, adjacent to the former Widows Creek Steam Plant. There were no comments regarding the Public Hearing from the Public or the Commissioners. There were two items related to drainage issues where citizens spoke. The first was Mr. Matthews from Section, Al. regarding drainage and flooding in Section. The second issue was in regards to flooding on CR 531 and CR 737. Discussion ensued, at times heated, between the Wasylow family and a Mr. Campbell, both residents and neighbors in the area.


Jackson County Commission Regular Session - Part 2 of 2 Business Session per Agenda.