"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."


Friday, February 27, 2009

Hollice Kendrick

Today as I passed by the Kendrick-Sanders Agency on Veterans Drive I noticed a white wreath on the doors with a notice. I circled around the block to read the notice. I immediately thought about Hollice and wondered if this was bad news, it was.
Hollice was a friend and I enjoyed our conversations about Scottsboro politics and life. He will be missed by many folks in our community. To all the good folks in the Kendrick Family I offer my condolences, God Bless you in your grieving. May you receive comfort in knowing that Hollice is smiling on you from his Seat on God's Heavenly Council.
The Daily Sentinel article: http://thedailysentinel.com/story.lasso?ewcd=50c2cfafcb6cb29d

Monday, February 23, 2009

Jackson County Commission Meeting

The Jackson County Commission meets on the second floor in court Room #1 on the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month at 4:30PM. The County Commissioners from left to right: Mr. Jack Smith, Mr. Jack Allen, Ms. Sadie Bias, Mr. Gaylen Stone, Mr. Horrace Clemmons.
1) Public Comment from citizens: a)Mr Carl Barnes, the new Jackson County Park Manager spoke about the Catfish Festival on May 16, approval was given for a $1000 contribution to the Festival. b) Ms. Ellen O'Connor made a presentation and presented questions to the commission concerning the County Commission Audits ending in 2006 and 2007. Ms. O'Connor requested a detailed General Ledger Report for the 2006-2007 year. Ms. O'Connor also requested specific income statements for Oct-Dec 2008. Ms. O'Connor had completed the county official request form for the records. 2) There were 11 items on the consent agenda approved. 3) New Business: A motion was made and approved to place speed bumps in Hollywood on Bob Haas Road. The Town of Hollywood will reimburse the County for the work. 4) The Commission adjourned into an Executive Session. This item was not on the Agenda, the Session lasted for about 40 minutes and apparently involved a disciplinary action concerning a member of the County Public Works. A request was put forward by the County Engineer to suspend the employee for 80 hours, the Commission approved the request.
UPDATE: Feb. 24, 2009-The following document is Ms. O'Connors questions she submitted to the County Commission.
Jackson County Audits 05-06 and 06-07
I would like to address the following quote from the 06-07 audit report: "According to the report auditors found that procedures were not in place to ensure that the capital assets listing was accurately maintained. A reconciliation of capital outlay expenditures and additions to capital asset inventory was not performed. Also, some capital asset purchases were coded as non-capitalized items." The audit itself further stated: "After adjustments, capital assets appear to be fairly stated."
When going back to the 05-06 audit report, it is clear that this statement has been written for 3 years under Status of Prior Audit.
My questions are:
-Who makes the adjustments during the audit itself?
-Who is responsible and accountable for the data entries into the computerized book keeping system?
-What type of education background does the person in charge of all the data entry have?
-Is this person familiar with the terms: Capital Assets Listing, Capital Outlay Expenditures, Capital Asset Inventory, and the proper coding for non-capitalized items?
In 05-06 "cash with Fiscal Agent was understated by $66,734.83."
In 06-07 "cash with Fiscal Agent was understated by $42,517,85."
The reports for each year state these dollar amounts:
-"Debit service expenditures were understated by $299,857.50" for 06-07.
- In 05-06 "debit service expenditures were understated by $298,500.00."
-"Intergovernmental revenues were understated by $36,763.00." for 06-07 audit.
- In 05-06 "Intergovernmental revenues were understated $33,352.00."
My questions are:
-What does "understated " mean and why were they understated?
-Is this a good business practice?
-Why do these statements continue to appear?

Scottsboro City Council Meeting

City Attorney Steve Kennamer answered several legal questions concerning the Goose Pond Zoning issue.

Scottsboro City Council, the Mayor was on an official trip to Washington D.C.
The big issue that has "hung over" the City Council for several months was resolved, the zoning of the Goose Pond Island Industrial Property. The property was taken into the city limits several years ago as R1 while part of the Aluminum Mill was still operating. The vote carried 3 votes for the M1 rezone, 2 votes against the M1 rezone. The Council voted as follows, yes for the rezone or no against the M1 rezone: Mr. Bell-Yes; Mr. Smith-No; Mr. Speers-Yes; Mr. Thomas-No; Mr. Hodges-Yes
The council vote was preceded by a hearing on the rezoning issue, 2 persons spoke concerning the issue.
New business: 1) Mr. Elbert Dougherty was appointed as Airport Manager. 2) Mr. Joe Rogers, Ms Arlene Grede and Mr. Elbert Beaird were appointed to the Tree Commission. 3) A vacancy was announced for the Port Authority Board. Requests to be placed on this Board must be submitted to the City Clerk no later than 12 noon, Thursday March 19, 2009. 4) Public Hearing for an Alcoholic Beverage License to be issued to Pamela Smith, business name: Scottsboro Wild Horse Saloon, 3502 S. Broad St. Mr. Speers asked several questions about the name Scottsboro in the name of the establishment. A discussion ensued with Mr. Speers making a motion to table the issue, a second was received. The vote concerning the Alcohol Beverage License will be made at a subsequent meeting. 5) Public Hearing for an Alcoholic Beverage License to be issued to Charles A. (Von) Hamm, East-side Quick Mart, 1007 E. Willow St. The license was approved after the hearing. 6) Bid Opening for Fire Department pick up truck was awarded to Harbin Ford as low bidder for a 2009 Ford Pickup for $22,904.00 7) Bid opening for a Landfill Compactor was awarded to Tractor Equipment Company for $206,000. 8) Uniform and shop towel bid was awarded to Ameripride as low bidder. 9) Reports: Mr. Speers announced a Black History Month Celebration at the Rec-Com on Feb. 28, Saturday 6PM, there will be several guest speakers.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

More on Bellefonte

TVA's big dream, 4 nuclear power units at BLN, Bellefonte. The TVA is near their Congressional mandated debt cap of $30 Billion. In last weeks TVA Board Meeting it was announced there has been a "serious reduction in load," decreasing electrical sales, demand is way down except during historical peak load times where peak load is increasing. The TVA's liabilities are increasing while sales are decreasing. The Chief Financial Officer of the TVA reports, (1) "we have a serious economic situation due to low sales, (2) the Kingston Disaster, up to $825 million cost, (3) a $3 Billion Dollar loss in Retirement Funds and Nuclear Plant Decommissioning Funds from the Stock Market loss....(4) the North Carolina legal action concerning air pollution could cost the TVA $1 Billion...(5) a settlement was reached with Areva for cancelled fuel assemblies for Bellefonte from units 1&2, Areva sued for $47 million, TVA and Areva settled in arbitration for $8 million." Total debt was not revealed in the Quarterly Meeting. Last quarter debt disclosure reflected a debt of $25 Billion plus. Link to viewing TVA's February 12, 2009 Board Meeting in Knoxville, TN On-Demand Video Stream (Windows Media)

TVA's Bellefonte Units 1 & 2, 3 miles from Scottsboro, Al. at Hollywood, Al. on the Tennessee River.

If the TVA is to continue with the nuclear project they must stop the lies being pandered on local citizens by TVA's Officials and local politicians. Unfortunately our elected leaders and governmental officials can't seem to figure out there are citizens who will not tolerate the continuing stream of lies and deceit pandered by elected officials and governmental bureaucrats in relationship to the Bellefonte Nuclear Project. It is the lies and circumvention of laws and policy in building this power plant that causes the delays. The bureaucrats and the propaganda machine of the nuclear industry attempt to blame delays on "environmental activists." When in fact the delays are created by propaganda artists and downright lies on the part of governments officials. The TVA, politicians and bureaucrats can't seem to bring themselves to tell the truth concerning Bellefonte, not to mention a continuous stream of lies about other energy issues and national problems. How will a broke TVA pay for Bellefonte? TVA refuses to discuss or disclose that information.
Once again we read in this mornings newspaper about the deceit of Bellefonte and how the political powers lie to citizens.
First off let me say I appreciate the Daily Sentinels reporting of this continuing saga. Thank God we have a newspaper that does report the story instead of hiding it.
In this mornings weekend edition of the Daily Sentinel another story attempting to clarify yesterdays story about the Nuclear Plant Construction. There is much that is not said and lies that are being told, once again. It is very disappointing to see a recently elected Federal Official in the name of Parker Griffith "lie thru his teeth."
Mr. Griffith states in this mornings D.S. about Bellefonte, "We have been waiting for this day for quite a while. (Meaning the alleged reinstatement of the construction permits for Bellefonte.)Bringing down the cost of energy has always proven to be a big shot in the arm of a failing economy, and I am proud to say we are one step closer to that."
Mr. Griffith, I am shocked and ashamed to say that you are this areas political representative in Washington. You are not telling the truth and are pumping the areas residents full of more Washington political B.S. Nuclear power is not cheap and it will not bring down the cost of energy. Your statement is nothing more than a political feel good story that does not reflect the truth. You Mr. Griffith continue the Washington tradition of lying to the public.
NRC's comment about reinstating a defunct, expired, cancelled construction license, permit: ""The request to reinstate construction permits for Bellefonte is unprecedented," according to NRC spokesman Ken Clark." Article in the Knoxville News: http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2008/aug/28/tva-considers-project-bellefonte/?printer=1/
Fellow citizens, "if you can't do it right you ought not do it at all." An old adage that holds much weight. The NRC in this case has violated their own policy and the law in this matter. The Bellefonte license was withdrawn, it is no longer a valid license. There is no reinstatement of a defunct, not valid construction license-permit, the NRC is making up the story as they go, they admit it, "unprecedented" is their statement. The TVA and area politicians are attempting to peddle political influence in attempts to circumvent law and NRC policy, they are being successful, for now.
If Bellefonte is to be built this type of political and bureaucratic deceit only hampers the process and will result in legal action being filed against the parties involved. From NRC official documentation, "BLN Unit 1 was approximately 90% complete and Unit 2 was approximately 58% complete." Unfortunately those figures do not hold weight, the reactor vessels and operating controls were stripped many months ago. Why not do it right instead of making it up as you go? Toshiba, Westinghouse, Bechtel getting nervous for their billions of dollars promised?
Isn't it wonderful, we as citizens and rate payers are still paying on a defunct Bellefonte Nuclear Plant, Areva and TVA settled for $8 million in a $47 million suit Areva filed against the TVA for cancelling the nuclear fuel assemblies for Bellefonte Units 1&2.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Bellefonte Permits Reinstated says headline.

The aircraft pictured is a Russian YAK with a Red Star visible on the wing. The Bellefonte defunct and gutted power plant is in the background. The TVA is a socialist governmental corporate entity of the U.S, the Russian YAK fits in nicely.

If you will notice the caption over the picture reads that the units are placed in a "terminated" status. Does terminated mean reinstated, within our government anything is possible, including a Russian YAK over a proposed Nuclear Power Plant. Who knows what the future will bring, the communists??

I think this article is a result of political grandstanding earlier in the week by our Washington Legislative Delegation making promises they can't fulfil.

Links: http://thedailysentinel.com/story.lasso?ewcd=8a8d15b279c90c2c

Monday, February 16, 2009

Scottsboro City Council Work Session

Tonight was a short meeting with 2 items on the agenda. 1) Police Chief Ralph Dawe spoke about cages for the new Animal Shelter. It was mentioned that kennels or cages were not budgeted in the original plans. 2) Presentation of Ben Sanford Youth Center Awards, 2 young people were presented Certificates of Appreciation from the City of Scottsboro. 3) Citizen Presentations. a)Mr. Bob Starkey made presentation to the City Council concerning his property at Goose Pond Island Industrial Park. b) Mr. Garry Morgan- I received an anonymous letter Friday outlining 6 allegations pointed toward City Department Head Management. The following is my presentation to the council concerning these allegations:

"This past Friday, Feb. 13th I received an anonymous letter from an alleged Scottsboro City Employee which expresses concerns in 6 allegations related to Management Practices of Department Head(s).

I do not know if the concerns expressed are truthful or false. If the allegations are false they undermine the management practice of the City of Scottsboro.

If the allegations are true they point out short comings of one or more city managers, if true these shortcomings must be corrected. Either true or false the allegations stand to have a detrimental effect for the citizens of Scottsboro if not addressed and resolved properly. This is the reason I stand before you tonight.

There are 6 allegations identified as allegations in the attached letter which I will outline below. These allegations relate to City of Scottsboro Management Practice and /or Organizational Communications up and down a supervisory chain of management.
1) Department Head threats directed toward employees.
2) Unfair application of promotions and pay raises.
3) Unfair application of attendance policy.
4) City Employee working off duty for Department Head in private job.
5) Department Head misconduct...
6) Fear of reprisal for reporting Misconduct

An Objective Based Performance Standards Rating System has been the subject of previous concerns and discussion with the City of Scottsboro in relationship to its management practices. The lack of objective performance standards was identified as a short coming in the personnel management system as it relates to upper level supervisors and Department Heads several years ago.

4 years ago examples of the standards of practice for government institutions for an Objective Performance Standards Evaluation System was presented to Human Resource Management under the direction of Mayor Deason. The problems then are still evident now and have not been properly addressed. It is up to the Mayor and this Council to determine the outcome of the continuing saga of Department Head Performance Evaluations."

Additional Information: It was identified in an official Personnel investigation approximately 4 years ago, paid for by the City of Scottsboro, that a Performance Standard Evaluation system should be implemented. The City of Scottsboro has a performance evaluations system, however it is not an objective, contractual, Performance Standard Based Evaluation System as recommended in the official investigation.
Prior to the City Council Meeting I spoke with one of the Department Heads mentioned in the Anonymous Letter. I mentioned that I was going to speak with the council about the letter received as I was concerned that either there is a serious management problem or a serious problem with an employee attempting to undermine the management team of the City of Scottsboro. It became immediately apparent that the Department head became irate and irrational. The Department Head threatened me with legal action if I discussed the letter with the council. I stated no name would be mentioned, however it was apparent there was a problem. The department head additionally stated that I did not want to resolve anything and that I was creating a problem. The Department Head stated I should discuss the matter with the mayor. I told the Department Head the Mayor was also mentioned in the anonymous letter and that I was going to bring the letter to the council. The Department Head stated to me that they knew who the letter was from and the letter was not true. (This Department Head had no idea of what was in the letter to me unless he wrote it himself.) I explained that there would be no names mentioned.
In a subsequent conversation with the mayor he told me he did not know who the letter was from and had not seen this letter before I presented it to him. The mayor also mentioned that he wished I had came to him. Mentioning to me that I was former military and that I should know about a chain of command.
Well Mr. Mayor I am retired military and it is you who in fact works for me, as well as the other 14,000 or so other citizens. You are not in my chain of command and I am concerned over your and at least one of your department heads reaction to this matter. Since the employee felt they could not communicate with you or any supervisors the letter was sent to me. If an employee takes the time to write a letter, even an anonymous one, to a citizen then it is no longer just a city management problem, it becomes a question of a possible larger management failure and places the citizens in an undesirable position. You sir have the communications problem, it is the Mayors Office and the City Council who is responsible for the lack of an Objective Based Performance Standards Personnel Evaluation System and apparently a lack of communications in your organization. It is the long time historical neglect of the Office of the Mayor and the City Council that has resulted in the few, thank goodness, performance management problems that have occured. It is never so late to implement positive change instead of continuing with the good ole boy system of personnel selection and management.
Please, Scottsboro City employees, if you have a problem, you should give your Supervisor, Human Resources and the Mayor a chance to resolve your work problems. The buck should stop in the Mayors office. If for some reason you can't resolve your work problems with your supervisor, human resources or the mayor then you should write down your grievances and present them as described in your employee handbook. If all else fails, it is my suggestion that you submit to the council a formal complaint in the open meeting. Anonymous letters, even if they are valid, only displays a lack of fortitude. If all else fails there is always the advice of an attorney who is familar with labor law.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Jackson County Commission

The Jackson County Commission meets on the 2nd and 4th Mondays in Court Room 1 at the Jackson County Courthouse. 1)Ms. Sheila Corneilson of the Jackson County Democratic Executive Committee requested the County Commission establish new district voting lines. Ms. Corneilson stated the District Lines are not clearly established and there is no map designating the specific areas of the lines. (There was a map posted in the Jackson County Commission Board Room with specific lines posted.) It was stated that the lines must be established to fairly divide the county population per district within a 5% margin. The U.S. Department of Justice must approve any District Change. The last change was in 1996. It was stated the district lines may be changed once within a 10 year census period. 2)Ms. Kym Chapman made presentation concerning needed reflective lines on county roads in the Skyline area. It was mentioned this was a topic of discussion at a Skyline Town meeting with Senator Lowell Barron. Commissioner Jack Allen stated Mr. Barron had sent a letter concerning this subject. Roadway reflective lines will be applied in the near future to some of the roads in the area. 3) Ms. Sheila Washington requested funds for Black History month programs, $1000.00 was approved for Black History Month. A presentation was made by the Jackson County Multi-Heritage Foundation concerning a positive image for Scottsboro. This group will be concentrating on approving the appearance of our city and county by cleaning up trash and attempting to improve area appearances in areas where "urban blight" is evident, volunteers are needed. 4) 19 items were approved on the consent agenda. 5) Southern Health Partners were approved for providing health care to jail inmates. 6) Current Property Tax Millage rates were approved for 2009. 7) 50 rear loaded dumpsters were approved for the County Waste Management Department. Dumpsters will be rented/leased to customers.

Scottsboro City Council Meeting

1) Vacancy on Housing Authority Board announced, Mayors appointment, interested individuals should have their requests turned into the Mayor by 12 Noon March 5, 2009. 2) Councilman Smith's appointment to Abatement Board, Gail Duffey was appointed. Her term will expire in 2010. 3) A 2.5% Sanitation fee increase for local residents and business plus a $1.00 per ton fee for garbage brought into the waste disposal facility by other entities was approved. This would result in a 30 cent increase for households on their monthly garbage bill. 4) Announcement of vacancy on Personnel Board, requests must be turned in by 12 Noon March 5, 2009. 5) Mayor Potter selected Mr. Jim Olyneise to Planning Commission. 6) Infrastructure Grant Change Resolution change for KTNA in the Scottsboro Industrial Park approved. 7) City Engineer/Planner Job Description approved for Classified Position. 8) Aldrich Publishing approved as the City of Scottsboro Web Site Designer. This will cost the City a $4000 one time fee plus domain fee of approximately $150 per annum. 9) Alcoholic Beverage License Public Hearing for Lakeside Grocery on the corner of Veterans Dr. and Clemons Rd., license approved. 10) Bid opening for Compost Turner for Solid Waste, Global Repair Ltd. of Canada won the bid at $30,950.00, approved. It was stated that this was the only manufacturer of this equipment. The old machine will be turned over to the Street Department for composting, it was also made by the Canadian company. 11) High Country Automotive was approved as the low bidder for an SUV for the Recreation Department costing $22,923.00. An automotive dealership from Panama City, Florida actually had the low bid; however since the bid was within 3% of the local dealer, High Country was awarded the bid. 12) Mayor Potter reported: a) The TVA cancelled the Hydrilla meeting in Guntersville today, it will be rescheduled at a later date. b) The newly formed Warrant Division of the Scottsboro Police Department has collected $17,500.00 in fines owed and made 31 arrests on 50+ warrants issued. 13) Mr. Smith announced the death of Mr. Ben Matthews, Mr Matthews was recognized for his service to the City of Scottsboro.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

More Evidence of Deceit from the TVA at the Kingston, Tn. Toxic Waste Spill Site

Fair Use, not for profit news reporting - photo by Knoxville News

Damage and contamination due to TVA's neglect of existing facilities. Citizen's lives destoyed and drinking water contaminated in the Kingston Fossil Fuel Plant disaster due to a waste holding pond dam collapse.

Fair Use Rights not for profit news reporting - Photo by Hurricane Creek Keeper John Waltham - South Wings Aviation.

Evidence of the Widows Creek TVA Fossil Fuel Plant Toxic Waste Spill in January 2009 seen on this aerial photo of Widows Creek. The TVA has not been truthful in this spill nor the Kingston Toxic Waste Pond Dam Collapse.

Fair Use for photo usage, not for profit news reporting Knoxville News photo

Site of the worst Toxic Waste Spill since Love Canal, near Kingston, Tn. TVA has stated the water is safe, according to the Environmental Integrity Project the TVA is deceiving the public.
Data Reveals Significant Heavy Metal Contamination in Water Samples Downstream of TVA Kingston, Tn. Disaster Site. TVA has repeatedly stated that the water is safe, apparently this is not the case. http://www.environmentalintegrity.org/pub599.cfm Test results, http://kelleycampaigns.com/coalash.html
The coal ash holding ponds at Widows Creek contain more hazardous wastes than the ones in Kingston, Tn.. http://www.environmentalintegrity.org/pubs/Widows%20Creek%20v%20%20Kingston.pdf None of the waste holding ponds have liners to prevent leakage into underground aquifers. Stevenson, Alabama's water supply is obtained from local wells.
There is a serious issue of trust concerning the TVA. A question that should be on everyone's mind, can we trust the TVA to operate a nuclear power plant at Bellefonte without deceiving the local population if a radiation leak occurs?

Monday, February 2, 2009

City Council Work Session

Tonight's meeting was short, about 20 minutes with 3 items on the agenda.
1) Discussion on a 2.5% sanitation rate increase due to ADEM's implementation of a $1.00 per ton "tax" on landfill waste. 2) City Engineer job description discussion. The Mayor stated there have been 6 applications taken. ( There has been no council approval of this job or the advertising of this position.) There was discussion as to the classification of the position, appointed non-classified versus regular classified under the city's personnel system. 3) Mayor Potter discussed the City Web-site contract, placed on the agenda for next Monday's regular council meeting. 4) Mayor Potter announced that the TVA will decide the "hydrilla" issue at Guntersville on Feb. 9, 2009.