JAMES MADISON QUOTE - 1822

"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."

SCOTTSBORO WEATHER

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Legislative Delegation Public Hearing / County Commission Unannounced Meeting, Commission Chairperson - A Law suit is Not a Law Suit.


Monday afternoon the Jackson County Legislative Delegation and the Jackson County Commission held a "Public Hearing" to gain input to a recent proposed change in the TVA in lieu of tax distribution local law proposed by the legislative delegation. State Representative John Robinson displays the file containing the TVA in lieu of tax disbursements. There was standing room only for the hearing, many teachers were present and expressed serious concerns about their pay and benefits which are being debated during the current legislative session. Senator McGill stated he wanted to do what is right for the people of Jackson County.
I asked Ms. Bias several times if she knew the amount of the Jackson County Commissions budget, she did not have a reply, probably because she did not know the answer. She did say in reply to my presentation, "I will not make a comment." I asked in my presentation, "what was the amount of money in the Jaclson County Commission's coffers at this time."  Ms. Bias also requested the police to have me removed due to my repeated questions concerning the amount in the county commissions coffers. Ms. Bias is seen here giving me the "evil eye." (My presentation may be viewed at the bottom of this page.)

Daily Sentinel Article on the "public hearing:"  http://thedailysentinel.com/news/local/article_79ab7bee-7046-11e0-a5d3-001cc4c03286.html Clarion article: http://www.theclarion.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1637:in-lieu-of-tax-controversy-continues&catid=42:clarion-rotation-stories&Itemid=142

I wondered, what happened to the County Commission Staff and Commissioners, inquiries were made, the replies I received, "they all went to the Legislative Delegations Office." Pictures of the semi-secret, unannounced meeting:



Prior to the public hearing, a quorum, 3 members of the 5 person Jackson County Commission, Ms, Bias, Mr. Allen, Mr. Stone along with their Attorney and Administrative Officer, met in an unannounced, semi-secret meeting with the Legislative Delegation prior to the public hearing. There was a representative from the press present. It appears a special invitation was extended to the Clarion's reporter. Why was the Clarion reporter invited to the unannounced, semi-secret meeting and none others were invited? 

The Alabama Open Meetings Act prohibits a quorum of a political body from meeting unannounced or in secret to discuss future items which may come before the body in a regular meeting. The TVA in lieu of tax issue may come before the county commission at a later time. The Alabama Secretary Of State's listing of the Open Meeting's Act: https://www.openmeetings.alabama.gov/generalpublic/publicdefault.aspx  Manual for Public Officials: http://www.acca-online.org/oml/ag_open_meeting.pdf

During the public hearing Ms. Sadie Bias, Chairperson of the Jackson County Commission replied to members of the Jackson County Legislative Delegation that the law suit filed was actually not a law suit. Yes, Ms. Bias the earth is flat,  more B.S. from the county commission and their "dog and pony show political antics."

Copy of my presentation, click on image for an expanded view.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Corruption, Mismanagement, Scottsboro Multicultural Foundation



Some of the current managers and board of directors of the Scottsboro Multicultural Foundation see the Scottsboro Boys Museum as a Money Tree to fleece the public of funds and property. Preying on "White Guilt" coupled with no ethical standards, the foundation's management have abused a worthwhile project in Scottsboro, Alabama.

The records of the Scottsboro Multicultural Foundation have been requested for a long period of time, it became apparent there was a misuse of funds in July 2010. Finally, after filing of a legal action, the Jackson County Circuit Court Judge, Civil Case 2011-00024, ordered the Director/Chairperson and members of the Board of Directors not to interfere with the production of records. Not only has the Board of Directors interfered with the production of records, the Chairperson/Director and members of the Board of Directors present on April 20, 2011 at the board meeting are in contempt of the court order and conspired to remove myself and one other member who were committed to accountability of funds of the Scottsboro Multicultural Foundation.

Complicating matters has been a disbarred attorney advising the Board of Directors on legal matters. This includes submission of legal documents, changing of by laws, changing of the articles of incorporation. Also, after a review of records, it was revealed that at least one Board Member was never legitimately voted onto the Board of Directors. The Chairperson made a unilateral decision to bring the person on the board after a vote which did not approve the new board member. As if this is not enough, the foundation bylaws have never been ratified at a Board Meeting. When this was brought up at the April 12, 2011 meeting by me, I placed a motion on the table, the motion received a second, for the Board of Directors to accept the current bylaws, they refused and voted not to accept the bylaws. Yet, the misguided directors (misguided by the disbarred attorney) went ahead and amended the bylaws in a contemptuous scheme so they could remove the two persons from the board that demanded accountability.

I must report this to citizens who have supported the Scottsboro Boys Museum because they deserve to know the truth. Misuse of taxpayer funds, gross mismanagement, failed accountability and misappropriation of funds have occurred. Some members of the Board of Directors have conspired to cover-up the misuse of funds by the Director of the Scottsboro Boys Museum, Chairperson of the Board of Directors, Curator of the museum, one in the same person.

In a recent vote, April 20, 2011, by the Board of Directors of the Scottsboro Multicultural Foundation, the Directors voted me and one other person off of the board who were attempting to obtain records as entitled by the laws of the State of Alabama and maintain accountability. A Temporary Restraining Order was signed by Judge Jennifer Holt prohibiting the interference in the production of records. The court order mattered naught to the conspiring members of the Foundation Board of Directors. The Foundation Board removed us via a change in the By Laws, conducted a kangaroo court proceeding at the museum and made false and slanderous allegations concerning diversion of funds at the behest of the Chairperson/Director and the disbarred attorney. The board members who were falsely accused did not have access to any funds at the bank. The removal of the two board members was a malicious action to cover-up wrong doing and gross mismanagement of funds and property of the Scottsboro Multicultural Foundation by irresponsible officers of the Foundation.

Public tax-payer funds have been donated to the Scottsboro Multicultural Foundation by the City of Scottsboro, Alabama; The Jackson County Commission and the Jackson County Legislative Delegation. Federal Grants via the University of Alabama have been utilized to support the foundation. Representatives of the political entities and University have been advised as to the pending court actions and fund misuse described herein.

Members of the board of directors contrived a plan to falsely accuse and then remove two board members to prevent the further disclosure of records, particularly the IRS Form 1023-Application of Non-Profit Status, the March bank statement, property inventory records, museum accession records, receipts of over $4,500 in travel expenses, contracts and other documentation involving the Foundation Chairperson/Director.

Misuse of funds (discovered so far). Total cash and goods benefiting the Museum Director/Chairperson/Curator for the past year totaled over $10,700 (all without appropriate receipts or IRS documentation showing benefits received by the Director/Chairperson/Curator). Making matters worse, the Treasurer resigned in August of 2010 but continued to sign checks, and members of the board of directors conspired to cover up this issue. The Chairperson/Director also signed checks, many made out to the Director. It was also discovered there were a considerable number of blank checks cashed, with no name on the checks as to whom paid.

A review of meeting minutes and bank statements partially produced per court order reveal over $3,200 of store purchases made with no receipts provided. The checks reveal the funds were utilized to purchase goods at surrounding retail stores apparently for the personal benefit of the Director/Chairperson. A review of the bank statements and records provided demonstrates there were fewer than 16% of receipts on hand for purchases by the Chairperson/Director who handled funds and signed the checks. There were also cash donations not properly handled.

The Chairperson/Director/Curator has also refused to return loaned property totaling $650, a receipt was produced but the property was refused to be returned. The loaned property is reflected as such in the Museum accession records which the Chairperson/Director/Curator refuses to produce.

An investigation by law enforcement must occur, as public tax-payer funds have been mismanaged and misappropriated. I have contacted the Scottsboro Police Department and discussed the matter with investigators of the State of Alabama, and I have been informed the District Attorney's Office has been contacted. I cannot determine the outcome, but as a concerned citizen I certainly have a responsibility to insure that misuse of public funds does not occur and report wrong-doing when I see it. It is obvious in the case of the Scottsboro Multicultural Foundation that there is gross mismanagement and misappropriation of public funds.

I will discuss with anyone the records I have disclosing the mismanagement of the board of directors and the abuse of tax-payer funds. It is wrongful for anyone to attempt a coverup of any wrong-doing in this matter involving tax-payer funds. I do not think it would be the intention of any responsible official to prevent the release of any information which points to mismanagement or corruption by the Scottsboro Multicultural Board of Directors.

Three previous board members have resigned due to corruption and mismanagement of the Scottsboro Multicultural Foundation's funds by the Director/Chairperson. This is a shame. The Scottsboro Boys Museum project, along with the Scottsboro Multicultural Foundation's projects, were very worthwhile endeavors and vitally important to this community. As a former board member noted (in their letter of resignation over lack of accountability), this museum is about "teaching that racism and hiding wrong-doing is destructive and harmful to society as a whole." My aim is to reveal any wrong-doing and to protect the public trust.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Scottsboro City Council - Local Social Security Office to Close

             Monday was a Scottsboro City Council Work Session.
Agenda: 1) Discussion of uniform bids for the City of Scottsboro, it was reported that Aramark was the low bidder. 2) Discussion of Sanitation Departments excess property, a compost spreader and a flatbed truck. During the next regular council meeting this property will be declared excess. 3) Roy Light made presentation concerning an award of a CDBG Grant for improvements of a sanitary sewer in the area of Earl St. and Wallace Lane, more on CDBG Grants.   http://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/communitydevelopment/programs/   This grant awarded is $500,000, the Water Sewer & Gas Board will contribute 20% of this grant.

Mayor's Report: 1) Service Road update, Daily Sentinel article: http://thedailysentinel.com/news/article_a1adf3c6-6adb-11e0-8f0f-001cc4c002e0.html  2) Splash Park construction should be complete in 2 weeks. 3) Soccer Field and Tennis Court work in planning phase. 4) Andy Mann has resigned from the Scottsboro Industrial Development Board, his term will expire in 2012. Applications to finish Mr. Mann's term should be turned in to the City Clerk no later than 4:30PM May 13, 2011

Report on another issue: The Clarion's report on the closing of the Social Security office in the Jackson County Courthouse. http://www.theclarion.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1591:social-security-closes-satellite-office&catid=42:clarion-rotation-stories&Itemid=142

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ode to a Master Gardner, Honoring Master Gardner Vernon Bush, Jackson County Park, Scottsboro Alabama

This Window's Movie creation honors the work of Vernon Bush 2 years after the spring storm of 2009. Thank you Vernon for highlighting God's handy work.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Jackson County Commission - TVA in Lieu of Tax Fund of the Jackson County Legislative Delegation




Jackson County Commission agenda, click on image for an expanded view. The County Commission conducted another Executive Session.

Update from The Clarion on the TVA in Lieu of Tax: http://www.theclarion.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1593:delegation-writes-tva-in-lieu-bill&catid=42:clarion-rotation-stories&Itemid=142

Note Item D on agenda. Motion to consider and authorize filing a complaint in Circuit Court regarding the TVA in lieu of tax. The item was amended to include a Temporary Restraining order to prevent the Legislative Delegation from utilizing the "Cap Fund" authorized by Act# 99-550, June 1999.  The Clarions article concerning the issue: http://www.theclarion.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1504:ag-gives-opinion-on-tva-in-lieu-of-tax-funds&catid=42:clarion-rotation-stories&Itemid=142

Alabama Attorney Generals Opinion, 2011-048, 03/25/2011: "The Jackson County Commission is required to distribute any increase in the in-lieu-of-tax payments it receives from the Tennessee Valley Authority  pursuant to Ala. Code §40-28-2(b), which requires that this payment be allocated by local legislation. The current local legislation for Jackson County on the distribution of in-lieu-of-taxes payments applies to all in-lieu-of-taxes payments received by the county, including those received pursuant to the increase."

It is important to note there are many other political subdivisions and agencies which would be involved in this action, namely every city and town in Jackson County, the Economic Development Authority and the Jackson County Health Care Authority. This is not a simple action and I believe is ILL ADVISED as it stands to cost the taxpayers of Jackson County in excess of $100,000 dollars. Can the county taxpayers afford this cost? The simple way to fix this concern is for the Legislative Delegation to amend the current law. If they do not the resultant legal action will break the county financially. Meanwhile, attorneys become enriched. ACT No. 99-550 is pictured below. In 2010 the Legislative delegation received approximately $1 million dollars per the Special Acts distribution formula. This year it is doubtful the Delegation will receive any or few funds as the TVA in lieu of tax to the appropriate political entities was severly decreased resulting from lower power sales.

Click on images for an expanded view.







9 years ago I began an extensive inquiry and investigation concerning the TVA inlieu of tax "Cap Fund." During my inquiries I discovered and reported to the County Commission and the Legislative Delegation that the change in Special Act 99-550, relating to the TVA in lieu of tax in the "Cap Fund," was not advertised in any local newspaper as required by law. The change in the amount of money going to the Economic Development Authority and the Health Care Authority was advertised but there was no mention of the Act as it related to the "Cap Fund," the money going into the Legislative Delegation's account from the TVA in lieu of tax, changed from the previous Special Act, # 91-333, July 1991 and 5 other special acts dating to 1979. This is not a simple issue and will involve a broad range of local and state agencies as well as many political entities including the State of Alabama and maybe other counties of the state due to other similar local acts of other counties. This problem will surface once the case reaches other higher courts in Alabama.

Attached are my notes on the issue related to my presentation to the County Commission 6 years previous requesting the County Commission acquire an Attorney Generals Opinion. This request was denied.

Click on the image for an expanded view. 



Scottsboro City Council


Click on agenda image for an expanded view of agenda.

Scottsboro City Council, New Business: 1) Resolution for Shriner's Roadblock, 5 Points and County Park-Hwy 72 intersection, plus 2 other intersections, fund Raiser approved for Apr. 17, 2011, 7AM-2PM. 2) Bid Opening for Street Department Dump Truck, paid from FEMA storm cleanup funds, $58,000, Bobby Park, Tuscaloosa, Al. 3) Bid Opening for sod Cedar Hill Cemetery awarded to Arnold's Landscaping for $11,250. 4) Bid opening for Carr Engineer's contract for paving of Service Rd on the northwest side of Hwy. 72. Bid awarded to Jackson Paving for $531,800. 5) Contract approved for Auburn University to study the Personnel system and Job descriptions of the City of Scottsboro. This contract to be paid for by Legislative Delegation funds, $18050.00 provided to city by the Jackson Co. Legislative Delegation. 6) Contract approved for $14,000 to KPS for Subdivision Regulations. It was reported there will be several public hearings and an approval process for the new regulations and city ordinance related to subdivisions. 7) Law Day resolution approved for May 1, 2011. 8) Budget Amendment approved for Police Department for hazardous waste cleanup due to meth lab arrests. The DEA used to pay for the cleanup, due to Federal Budget cutback local governments must now pay for the cleanup. The budget  amendment for the Police Department was approved for $5000.

Reports: Mayor Melton Potter and Council Member Thermon Bell were out due to seperate family deaths. May God Bless the Potter and Bell families during this time of sorrow.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

CLOSED MEETING SCHEDULED, VIOLATION OF OPEN MEETINGS ACT??

             Jackson County Commission Chairperson Sadie Bias
               Senator Shadrack McGill, Alabama Senate District 8

The Jackson County Commission and the Jackson County Legislative Delegation announces in the weekend edition of the Daily Sentinel, http://thedailysentinel.com/news/article_21f6da04-623d-11e0-b6da-001cc4c03286.html ,  they will "hold a closed meeting" Monday, April 11, 2011 at an undisclosed location to discuss and deliberate concerning the disposition of TVA in lieu of taxes. "...the meeting will be a time to reach an agreement between both entities on how the money [TVA in lieu of taxes] should be used...We are confident an agreement will be made." Quoting Keisha Gardner, Legislative Delegation District Coordinator, as reported in the newspaper.

The Alabama Open Meetings Law, "Section 36-25A-1 (a) It is the policy of this state that the deliberative process of governmental bodies shall be open to the public during meetings as defined in Section 36-25A-2(6). Except for executive sessions permitted in Section 36-25A-7(a) or as otherwise expressly provided by other federal or state statutes, all meetings of a governmental body shall be open to the public and no meetings of a governmental body may be held without providing notice pursuant to the requirements of Section 36-25A-3. No executive sessions are required by this chapter to be held under any circumstances. Electronic communications shall not be utilized to circumvent any of the provisions of this chapter."

The article states the meeting will consist of Senator Shadrack McGill, Rep. John Robinson, Rep. Wayne Johnson (the full delegation), Commission Chairperson Sadie Bias, County Administrator Sandra Erickson and legal council for both groups.

If the full commission is not present what decision is to be made concerning the county commission? The Jackson County Legislative Delegation is a political entity, members of the state legislature and an entity of the political subdivision of Jackson County, a body politic (body politic- A group of persons politically organized under a single governmental authority, the state legislature, under law.) with the authority to issue public funds, the delegation has issued considerable public funds. The meeting should be open to the public.

Discussion on al.com Scottsboro Forum concerning the proposed closed meeting. http://www.al.com/forums/scottsboro/index.ssf  (post 7800 CLOSED MEETING TO BE HELD BY COUNTY COMMISSION MEMBERS AND LEGISLATIVE DELEGATION )

"Doc's Political Parlor and Small Town Political Gazette" :  http://www.politicalparlor.net/wp/2011/04/09/small-town-political-gazette-040911/comment-page-1/#comment-313526


If there is any question about whether the Legislative Delegation is obligated to follow the Open Meetings Law go to this link, The Alabama Open Meetings Act, A Manual for Public Officials, page 8. http://www.acca-online.org/oml/ag_open_meeting.pdf

    

                              State Senator Shadrack McGill
                                 State Rep. John Robinson
                                State Rep. Wayne Johnson
 Jackson County Commission and Senator McGill, left at table head.

Previous Clarion Articles on the issue: http://www.theclarion.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1504:ag-gives-opinion-on-tva-in-lieu-of-tax-funds&catid=42:clarion-rotation-stories&Itemid=142 

Previous Daily Sentinel Articles on issue:  http://thedailysentinel.com/news/article_5da1dcea-fc06-11df-80e3-001cc4c002e0.html   http://thedailysentinel.com/news/local/article_566e76b0-5a41-11e0-849e-001cc4c03286.html  http://thedailysentinel.com/news/local/article_39597972-0194-11e0-94bb-001cc4c002e0.html

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Government shutdown, military disaster...

                                      U.S. Army photo

For those who think the coming government shutdown is a positive thing, consider our military involved in combat, they will not be paid, the military families will not receive money. Not a positive action with troops in the field. Congress must resolve this en passe immediately.

A military service member involved in combat who has a family will not receive money for their food and necessities, our Congress are imbeciles if they think the military force will not be adversely effected by their inability to make decisions and pass a budget.

The last time this specific situation occurred was during the Regan administration in 1981, I remember it well as I was assigned in Korea with the 2nd Infantry Division. The military forces were not happy and contingency plans were made concerning en masse mutiny. Fortunately the budget was passed and our military families did not go without food.

The military services have emergency relief funds which would last maybe 2 weeks to feed their families and cover cases of extreme hardship in the case of a government shutdown.

If the shutdown occurs, the first active military payday occurs on the 15th of April, the reserve, the retired force and the disabled veterans will receive no pay if the government shutdown continues until the end of the month.

This situation will result in an increased terrorist threat of our nation if the shutdown occurs for more than 2 weeks.

 Service Member families will be adversely affected, this will create serious morale problems within the active force and will be disastrous for military service recruitment.

Army Times story: http://www.armytimes.com/news/2011/03/military-contingency-plan-government-shutdown-031111w/

Air Force Times story concerning Continuing Resolution to fund Department of Defense: http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2011/04/defense-house-to-fund-pentagon-040511w/

Scottsboro City council Meeting


Yesterday was a short city council meeting, 4 minutes in length. For an expanded view of the agenda click on the above image.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Has Fukushima's Reactor No. 1 Gone Critical?

image by "Digital Globe"

       Fukishima Daiichi Facility after explosions as viewed by satellite imagery


                       Cutaway drawing of a GE Mark 1 Reactor.
IAEA-Fukishima Report: http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/tsunamiupdate01.html It is interesting to note that this report on the reactor status states reactors 1,2 and 3 cores are exposed but stable, http://www.slideshare.net/iaea/summary-of-reactor-status-1-april-2011-1300-utc There is nothing stable about an "exposed" reactor core. Note the report states there is no information on the #1 reactor. Note article below, it has "gone critical." Trusting the report is an issue, hiding the truth is another issue.

Has Fukushima's Reactor No. 1 Gone Critical?  Good question, the real question in reference to civilian nuclear power activities, can anyone trust the nuclear power industry? There are known health risks and scientific facts concerning the physics of a nuclear reaction. Unfortunately the nuclear power industry  lies about risks.

In the early days of the manufacture of nuclear weapons a criticality incident occurred, it was called "tickling the dragon." Unfortunately it led to the death of the scientist involved. It should be obvious 1 and possibly 2 of the reactor vessels at Fukishima are ruptured and a "melt down" is occurring. At least one reactor has became uncontrollable, in all probabilities there are 2 reactors which have reached a point of no return. The question becomes, just how far has the meltdown gone? Has the meltdown penetrated the confines of the reactor containment structures?

This is one of the better articles I have seen on the subject of the Fukishima nuclear disaster, http://www.zimbio.com/Fusion+power/articles/XfpPuePkED3/Japan+Fukushima+Nuclear+Plants+Reaching+Critical