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

Click for Scottsboro, Alabama Forecast

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Jackson County Commission Regular Session, One Cent Sales Tax Issue, April 28, 2015

South Side of Jackson County Courthouse (photo by G.Morgan)

Jackson County Legislative Delegation will have a community meeting on  Wednesday, May 8, 2015 at 7:30 in the morning at the Scottsboro Water Sewer and Gas Operations Center at 519 East Willow St. in Scottsboro, Alabama.

One cent sales tax issue: Clarion Article by Heather Garner - "Last week members of the Jackson County Legislative Delegation, at the request of the Jackson County Commission, submitted a bill to the House and Senate to authorizing the county commission to levy an additional and sales use tax. The bill proposed, states “at the next general, special or primary election held in Jackson county or at special election called by the County Commission, the electors of the county shall vote at a referendum. On the ballots used at the election, the proposition to be voted on shall be stated substantially as follows: “Do you favor a local law authorizing the Jackson County Commission to levy a sales and use tax of up to one cent per dollar for the Jackson County General Fund? Yes; No;”"  Read more at: http://www.theclarion.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9194:tax-bill-submitted-to-legislature-&catid=42:clarion-rotation-stories&Itemid=142 

AGENDA

VIDEO

Jackson County Commission Work Session/Community Meeting at Rosalie Alabama April 20, 2015

Commissioners left to right: Mr. Venable, Mr. Ledwell, Mr. Hodges, Mr. Guffey, Mr. Miller
(photo by G. Morgan)

Agenda

JACKSON COUNTY COMMISSION
WORK SESSION AGENDA 
APRIL 20, 2015



I. CALL TO ORDER, WELCOME –


II. CALL OF ROLL TO ESTABLISH QUORUM, INVOCATION, AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE –


III. APPROVE AGENDA OF MEETING APRIL 20, 2015


IV. PUBLIC COMMENT FROM CITIZENS –


V. DISCUSSION ITEMS FOR COMMISSION –

1) ROLL OFF CONTAINERS 
2) PURCHASE A LAWNMOWER FOR THE PARKS DEPARTMENT
3) MAINTENANCE DIRECTOR 


VI. REPORTS FROM STAFF: 

A. COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR

B. COUNTY ENGINEER 

C. COUNTY ATTORNEY

D. SHERIFF

E. OTHER


VII. ADJOURN –


_______________________________
MATTHEW HODGES, CHAIRMAN
JACKSON COUNTY COMMISSION


Jackson County Commission Video




Monday, April 27, 2015

Scottsboro City Council Regular Session April 27, 2015 First Monday Trade Days Weekend Coming Up

Scottsboro City Hall (photo by G. Morgan)

BIG News - 6.5ac to be sold, declared excess, property behind Impact Learning Center on John T. Reid Parkway.
Property appraisal for this property to cost $5000.00

FIRST MONDAY TRADE DAYS MAY 2-4

This weekend is a First Monday Trade Day's Weekend - May 2-4, 2015, Saturday Sunday and Monday. There are very few folks that set up on a Monday, due to work, unless the Monday is a holiday


First Saturday at 5PM is the Cruise In. Old vehicles and the best of class are shown.

CITY COUNCIL AGENDA
Click on image for an expanded view.

VIDEO

Jackson County Historical Association Meeting, Scottsboro Depot, Presentation by Mr. Patrick Stewart on Relics Found in the Union Army Civil War Encampments surrounding the Scottsboro Depot

Welcome to Scottsboro. The Jackson County Courthouse clock tower may be seen in the background.  The large clock towers served a time keeping purpose along the railroad.  The Scottsboro sign has since been removed. (photo by G. Morgan)

CHANGES
(Photo usage - Fair Use Rights for non-profit news reporting in this article)
Circa mid-1960's  Southern Railway Depot - Scottsboro, AL (Credit: Tom Rock)

www.scottsborodepotmuseum.com Depot in poor state of repair, circa 1987



July 2011 (photo by G. Morgan)

The Scottsboro Depot Museum Today, a Jackson County Historical Association project.


Jackson County Alabama is rich in history. Some of the artifacts of our history may be found at the Scottsboro Depot Museum. The Depot is described on their web page: "The Memphis & Charleston Railroad figured significantly in the Civil War, and the depot was of strategic importance in the peace that followed. It served as the commercial, cultural, and economic center of a growing community. In 1870, the depot was designated as the center of a new town whose boundaries were to extend one-half mile in each direction. In 1891, a new passenger depot was constructed east of the old depot, but the original depot building continued to serve as the hub of rail freight operations for another hundred years. Since 1991, the depot has undergone renovation with funds from private donors and grants. Today, it houses a growing collection of photos and artifacts that reflect the importance of the railroad in Scottsboro's development."

After the business meeting of the Jackson County Historical Association (JCHA) Mr. Patrick Stewart gave a presentation about relic hunting and history of the area surrounding the Scottsboro Depot. The videos will be presented in two parts, Part 1, above, the Depot Tour and Part 2, below,  JCHA meeting and Mr. Stewart's presentation.


The question - "Where did the 1500 wagon loads of rocks go?" Answer - to build defensive fortifications surrounding Scottsboro for the Union Encampments.

Before Mr. Wendell Page passed away he told me of a rock wall running north from the Park/Shelton Cemetery off of the Old Larkinsville Road. Mr. Page was certain this wall was connected to the Civil War. The wall is depicted below and is on the west side of the Mountain Ridge we refer to as Tater Knob. This appears to be the last remnants of an Union Army Defensive Fortification which would have ran north and south along the base of the mountain offering a formidable defensive line protecting the Union Soldiers and Command wintering and stationed in Scottsboro. (Photo's by G. Morgan taken in 2011.)

This area appears to be a cannon emplacement



Location of Rock Wall, last remnants of the Federal fortifications surrounding the encampment, red and yellow line in both Google Earth screen captures. The area of the wall is private property and should not be entered without the landowners permission


Skirmish at Scottsboro
Directed by Scott Lancaster for The Daily Sentinel Oct. 8, 2012

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Scottsboro City Council Meeting Work Session, April 20, 2015

Scottsboro City Hall (photo by G. Morgan)

During this council meeting there was a city recognition award given to Ms. Sierra Lewis for her scolastic and sports abilities as a Student and Champion Bowler at Scottsboro High School. Ms. Lewis has received several awards for bowling. Her sports skills are impressive, but so are her writing skills which may be seen in the article titled, "Striking from Chicago to Alabama," in Sierra's words - "Bowling is not just throwing a plastic ball down some slick wooden lanes, hoping to knock down a few pins. It’s about focusing, concentrating on your shot frame by frame and executing every shot, doing exactly what you know to do." - Link  http://www.iabowling.com/striking-from-chicago-to-alabama/  

Also depicted in the below video, toward the video's end, is Council Member Keith Smith's eulogy to Mr. Elvin Kennamer: Mr. Smith said, "He saved my life," recounting the story of how he (Keith Smith) would have drowned, if not for Mr. Kennamer diving in the water at a local boat dock on the river, and pulling him out after having gone under the water twice. 

Mr. Elvin Kennamers military record is impressive and full of sacrifice. His story is documented by Wes Mayberry's artcle in the Daily Sentinel last Veteran's Day: "Now 90 years old, Scottsboro resident and proud World War II veteran Elvin Kennamer sits down at his dining-room table. It is four days until Veterans Day, and Kennamer begins to peruse some old newspaper clippings and family photos from his early years and time in the service. This time of year always holds a special place in Kennamer’s heart, as it is a day to recognize and honor those people, like he and his four brothers, who made and continue to make so many sacrifices in serving in the armed forces to protect our nation and its freedoms." http://thedailysentinel.com/feature_story/article_132f8630-6b3d-11e4-829d-37e046d58c9f.html 

Mr. Elvin Kennamer was born on July 18, 1924, he passed away on April 16, 2015.
He was a resident of Scottsboro, Alabama and was preceded in death by his wife Marie.

The service was conducted by his nephew, Mr. Steve Kennamer, and Mr. Kenneth Randles. Burial was at Union Cemetery in Woodville, Alabama.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:
Veterans Memorial Park of Jackson County
1616 Heroes Drive
Scottsboro, AL 35768
In memory of Elvin Kennamer and
In honor of Joe Fitzgerald and Jimmy Tanner.

AGENDA
(click on image for an expanded view)

AGENDA ITEM 2 on the agenda - A non-profit organization started by Dr. Ata offers help to poor citizens.

VIDEO

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Scottsboro City Council, April 13, 2015 - Storm Sheltering Questions - 24/7 Alcohol Sales in Scottsboro Now Allowed

Scottsboro City Hall (photo by G. Morgan) The big news issue, 24/7 alcohol sales.
Resolution becomes effective Wednesday morning at 12:01 AM.

Storm shelters in Scottsboro, 1 at the Jackson County Courthouse, issue brought forward to council.

AGENDA
(click on image for an expanded view)
Speed Limit change resolution, agenda item 4


VIDEO

Saturday, April 11, 2015

TVA Integrated Resource Plan Presentation at Huntsville, Alabama on April 9, 2015


 TVA’s Draft 2015 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) and the associated Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) are studies that take a long-term look at ways that TVA can meet future demand for electricity...  http://www.tva.gov/environment/reports/irp/

Ghosts of Bellefonte (photo by G.Morgan)

"TVA's draft 20-year plan for electricity generation anticipates more reliance on natural gas and renewable energy but no current scenario projects the utility completing work on the Bellefonte nuclear plant site near Scottsboro...Bellefonte got new life in 2011, when TVA's board voted to support a $6 billion effort to complete a reactor at the plant. But that effort was effectively halted in 2012 due to slowing power demand. TVA has seen its electricity sales flatten, reducing the need to add new baseload generating capacity, officials said last night."

TVA is deceitful in their plan - "TVA characterizes the energy efficiency results in the draft IRP as an unprecedented commitment to energy efficiency. Not only is this description misguided, it also disregards TVA’s unfulfilled commitment to energy efficiency in the 2011 IRP - when TVA promised to become a “regional leader in energy efficiency...The draft 2015 IRP firmly caps the growth of energy efficiency programs — they cannot catch up with the 2011 IRP goals until at least 2025.  This leaves TVA behind regional energy efficiency leaders and well behind national best practices." http://blog.cleanenergy.org/2015/03/24/tva-2015-draft-irp-views-clean-energy-through-a-blurred-lens/

TVA has also reduced their Energy Efficiency (EE) Budget by 25%. It is disturbing that TVA has no problem in misleading the public. It is one thing to talk about Energy Efficiency, it is another to implement Energy Efficiency as an energy generator. TVA talks the talk, but they do not walk the walk as to Energy Efficiency implementation. 

It is BREDL/BEST/MATRR members position that TVA does not implement Energy Efficiency at higher levels because this would save rate payers money, thus reducing income for the TVA. Less income for the TVA equals less Executive Bonuses. When TVA was asked if the Executive Bonus structure was a reason for a lack of Energy Efficiency being implemented they did not directly answer the question; first presenter on the citizen comments on Part 2 of the videos below. 

Southern Alliance for Clean Energy chart, 


Documents
2015 Integrated Resource Plan Draft Report (PDF 4 mb)
2015 Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (PDF 6.7 mb)
Notice of Intent (PDF, 200 kb)
Scoping Meeting presentation - October 24, 2013 (PDF)
2015 Integrated Resource Plan Project Quarterly Update November 3, 2014

Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) - "TVA should be pursuing the full 14,400 GWh of energy efficiency, and targeting even higher levels may further increase benefits to TVA ratepayers."

VIDEO Presentation of the IRP in Huntsville, Alabama, Part 1 and Part 2





TVA Safety Moment Video

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Jackson County Commission, Community Meeting at North Sand Mountain High School, Proposed 1% Sales Tax Issue

Jackson County Commission from Left to Right: District 2-Jason Venable; District 4-Stacey Ledwell; Chair-Matthew Hodges; District 1-Tim Guffey; District 3-Dennis Miller (photo by G. Morgan)

Monday evening's commission meeting was held at the North Sand Mountain High School in Bryant, Alabama. 28 citizens were in attendance, including 5 elected officials. 

The Jackson County Commission will be traveling around the county during work sessions in the next few months explaining OUR county's budget problems and seeking public input. 

Currently, the Jackson County General Fund has no revenue from sales tax.

DEMOGRAPHIC INFO LINK FOR JACKSON COUNTY
Demographics (median income, population, home ownership, industry base, etc.) for Jackson County Alabama may be found at: http://www.city-data.com/county/Jackson_County-AL.html

Jackson County Commission Chair Matthew Hodges described specifically what the 1% sales tax increase will be used for if approved: 1) Road infrastructure; 2) Volunteer Fire Departments; 3) Resource Officers in Schools; 4) Industrial development. Estimated Revenue increase for Jackson County if the sales 1% sales tax issue is approved - $3.3 million dollars. 

Explanations are given in the part 2 video below, and the results are explained, if there is no increase in revenue, in Mr. Guffey' s video; the bottom line - citizens will decide whether Jackson County will reduce services or an improvement of services will occur. 

1% proposed sales tax increase; first - the state legislature will decide if  the citizens may vote on this issue; second - the citizens will decide by a vote. 

District 1 Commissioner Tim Guffey eloquently sums up the problems Jackson County Citizens face in this video segment due to a lack of funds. 
  video

AGENDA
JACKSON COUNTY COMMISSION
WORK SESSION AGENDA 

V. DISCUSSION ITEMS FOR COMMISSION –

1) COA EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION - paid by TARCG
2) SENIOR RX CONTRACTS - paid for by TARCOG and Legislative Delegation Funding
3) SURPLUS EQUIPMENT FOR THE JAIL to be sold on gov deals dot com
4) RESOLUTION FOR NORTHEAST ALABAMA WATER, SEWER AND FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT - discussion on water project

Regular Session -  1) MOTION TO HIRE A TEMPORARY WORKER FOR THE PARKS DEPARTMENT. - Approved


                                    VIDEOS 3 Part Series
Part 1 - Work Session and Regular Session; Part 2 - explanation of 1% sales tax issue; Part 3 - citizen input,concerns and closing remarks.

WORK SESSION & REGULAR MEETING


EXPLANATION OF PROPOSED 1% SALES TAX ISSUE


CITIZEN COMMENTS & CLOSING REMARKS

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Removed from the Jackson County Courthouse During a Tornado Warning - Pets Not Allowed - Citizens Not Informed

BeBe

A report on my experience at the Jackson County Court House during the tornado warnings this evening, April 3, 2015, approximately 8:30-9:00PM. There were two radar reported tornadoes during this time frame on or near the Jackson-Madison County Line. My Weather Underground Radar subscription indicated one tornado near the Jackson - Madison County line near Gurley. At that point I left to go to the nearest storm shelter, the Jackson County Court House.

Unfortunately some folks employed by Jackson County do not realize the importance of pets to people in storms. I was removed from the Jackson County Court House this evening during the tornado warnings because I brought my pet with me. Never before had this been a problem with pets in the court house during storms.

Mr. Felix Jackson, EMA Representative stated I must remove my dog, my reply, “I would not leave until the storm was over.” Jackson informed me, “I could stay but the dog had to go because of insurance reasons.” Again he was informed, “I would leave as soon as the storm was over.” (BeBe, my dog, was in a harness and on a leash, very quiet and much behaved.) His reply, "the dog must go but you may stay," My reply, "no, I'm not leaving unless you get the Sheriff’s Department to make me leave," and he did. If I must remove my dog, I would not have been present in the shelter.

Mr. Jackson left for a few minutes and returned with two Sheriff’s Deputies, one Lieutenant and one Sargent. On that note, Mr. Jackson informed me, "the dog must go, but you may stay." Again I stated, "I'll leave as soon as the storm is over," again Jackson stated, "the dog cannot stay." I was not going to put my dog out into the storm, BeBe was given to me by my wife before she passed away. No way was I going to treat my beloved pet in such a fashion

The answer would have been to say this - "Mr. Morgan, dogs are no longer allowed in the Court House, as soon as the storm is over please take your dog out and remember that you may not bring your dog into the court house unless it is a service dog." When I left I informed Mr. Jackson, with the two Sheriff's Deputies present, "you have not heard the end of this." Mr. Jackson replied, "You know where I'm at."

There are no signs posted at any entrance or exit at the Jackson County Court House that pets, during a storm, are not allowed.

I've attended 99% of regular commission meetings where decisions are made by vote, and never has there been any notice or information placed into the public view or discussion during any meeting about no pets in the court house storm shelter. BeBe has been with me on several occasions in the court house to take shelter from inclement weather. Never has there been a problem until this evening, when BeBe and I were put out into the storm.

Update: April 4, 2015 - 4:00PM I have been informed by Face Book message by those present witnessing the incident in the courthouse storm shelter, there was at least one other small dog present and Mr. Jackson went straight for me immediately after my arrival. Within 5 minutes of my arrival Mr. Jackson was asking me to remove my dog. 

Discussing this incident with retired law enforcement, there is a question whether there is a law affecting Jackson County which prohibits pets from public storm shelters in Jackson County. 

Today there is a printer originated notice on the door of the storm shelter entrance that says, "No Pets Allowed." I saw no such notice last night posted on the door to the shelter entrance. When was there a county commission resolution passed stating this policy? After review of video and agendas for the past 3 years I can find no such policy approved by the Jackson County Commission. County Animal Control Ordinance passed by resolution contradicts the actions taken by officials of Jackson County.  

As it turns out, pets in shelters is a national problem, there is an answer, "pet carriers."