"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."


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Scottsboro City Council Meeting

Tuesday night, December 28th, was the regular city council meeting this week. 1) 5 year Hazard Mitigation Plan for the City of Scottsboro was approved. The Hazard Mitigation Plan is necessary in order that city be eligible for Emergency Funds from FEMA, Federal Emergency Management Agency, in the case of flooding, storm damage, etc.. 2) City employee Cell Phone Usage Policy was approved and will become part of the city employee handbook. 3) New Job Description was approved for the new Ordinance Enforcement Officers position. 4) Declaration of Surplus Property for Street Department, 2 knuckle booms. 5) Bid approved for an excavator for the Cemetery Department. Awarded to Tri-Green Equipment of Scottsboro. 6) Resolution approved concerning the Plantation Point Golf Course. The resolution recommended that the Plantation Point Course remain as a city course until the current bond issue is paid. The Plantation Course, according to the GPC Board, is resulting in a loss of revenue, Home owners living on the course pay no fees for the privilege. It has been reported that out of 45 homeowners living around the Plantation Point course that only 7 are Goosepond Colony Course dues paying members. December 17 news article concerning this matter. http://thedailysentinel.com/news/article_9f34413a-0a38-11e0-b38a-001cc4c002e0.html 7) Gas collection system at the Scottsboro Landfill change order approved. Reports: This was the last regular scheduled meeting of the calender year.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Afghanistan Mission a Failure??

Here is the mission statement leading off Department of Defenses web site on Afghanistan: "In response to the events of September 11, 2001, the U.S. and its allies launched an invasion of Afghanistan to overthrow the Taliban regime and destroy the al-Qaeda terrorist network it supported. In the years since, the International Security Assistance Force, under NATO leadership, has taken charge of extensive provincial reconstruction and stabilization efforts, helping set the economic, political and security conditions for the growth of an effective, democratic national government in Afghanistan. As the lead member of the international coalition, the U.S. contributes troops to both the ISAF mission and Operation Enduring Freedom, tasked with pursuing al-Qaeda throughout Afghanistan’s inhospitable border region with Pakistan." http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2007/Afghanistan/
Take note, the listed site is more than 3 years out of date! Pictures of George Bush highlight the site. Also note the photo of the Captain inspecting grapes with no weapon, this is a Combat Zone. "Damn perfumed princes of the rear echelon" at work, killing our military for political purposes. If U.S. diplomats or the military brass think grapes will replace poppies or marijuana as a staple money crop they are insane!
A fantastic mission statement listed above, one problem, the mission can not be completed with the limited warfare options available to the U.S. Military in the Theater of Operations. The Taliban regime maintains control of approximately 60% of Afghanistan (growing) and al-Qaeda continues operations in surrounding nations and the world with the support of Islamic intelligence networks established in the nation's of Southwest Asia, Africa and Malaysia.
Map pictured above, story link, http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20101228/wl_time/08599203974800 An important disclosure in the story which reflects a failure in accomplishing the mission of combating guerilla warfare and terror tactics of the Taliban, al-Qaeda and insurgents, the establishment of static positions and bases in Afghanistan. One of the stated results at all service academies and military schools of tactics and leadership concerning the Viet Nam War was the failure of static defenses and positions in fighting guerilla warfare tactics. How quickly our military and civilian leaders forget this lesson.
Static bases and positions cost a bunch of money and support civilian contractors, it does not win a guerilla war and contributes to the death of service men and women.
An unfortunate moral to this story, we can not trust our government's elected officials to be truthful to American Citizens concerning the War on Terror.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Y'all

Here's wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

"A Christmas Story," short version.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Scottsboro City Council Work Session-Life Saving Award-Green Power Project and Goosepond Highlight Meeting

Tristin Stavig presented Life Saving Award by Scottsboro Mayor Potter. (Photo Ch 48-WAFF-News http://www.waff.com/Global/story.asp?S=13643914 )

Scottsboro Bio-Mass Project item 8.

Goosepond Colony Resolution discussion item 9.

Last night was a City Council work session. The outline: 1) Mayor Potter presented Life Saving Award to Tristin Stavig for saving the life of one of her teachers. Ms Stavig saved the life of High School French teacher Deborah Jones during the week of November 22, 2010 by performing the Heimlich maneuver. Article from The Daily Sentinel about the event. http://thedailysentinel.com/news/article_9d0a4caa-fc06-11df-9962-001cc4c002e0.html
WAFF video article about Ms. Stavig's lifesaving event: http://www.waff.com/Global/story.asp?S=13643914 2) City Engineer made presentation concerning the 5 year update of the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Plan. Info on Hazard Mitigation from FEMA http://www.fema.gov/plan/mitplanning/index.shtm 3) City employee Cell Phone Usage Policy discussion, item will be an addition to the City Employee Handbook. 4) Discussion concerning addition of Ordinance Enforcement Officer Job Description. 5) Surplus property report concerning 2 knuckle booms which are excess property at the Street Department. 6) East Maple Street discussion was removed from agenda. 7) Cemetery Department bid opening report for excavator at the cemetery. Tri-Green Equipment of Scottsboro was the accepted bid meeting specifications for $18,250.00. 8) Change order discussion concerning land fill gas collection project involving $47,492. This will include connecting cell 2 and the rental of a flare burner. Approximately $16,000 of the funding for the change order will come from the grant money of which the total amount of $500K will have been spent after the change order. After the project is complete the methane gas collected from the land fill will be utilized as fuel for electric power generation. Excess power will be sold to the TVA for 13 cents per Kilowatt hour according to city officials. The TVA pays the higher rate for the purpose of claiming the carbon credits which this project will generate. It is expected this project will generate not only electricity but $100-$200K of annual revenue after payments for this project. A very positive move on the part of the city for this Bio-Mass "green power" project. Kudos to Mr. Blizzard for his work on this project. 9) Item 9 was added to the agenda by request from Mr. Smith. Resolution to allow Goosepond Colony to continue control of Goosepond Colony (GPC) until the Bond issue is satisfied. Mr. Wheeler commented the current GPC bond issue will be paid in 2023.
In other info received from city officials. - There maybe discussion soon to restructure the GPC bond issue. - There is a reluctance on the part of the GPC Board to refinance current bond issues.
The solution to the Plantation Point Golf Course will be decided by the GPC Board. Hopefully the GPC Board will work with all involved. Kudos to Mr. Smith for bringing this resolution forward.
Mayor Potter Reports that the FEMA payment from last years April Storm Damage has been disbursed by Alabama's Emergency Management Agency. Daily Sentinel article: http://thedailysentinel.com/news/article_1d0e58c4-0e22-11e0-aae6-001cc4c002e0.html

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Trouble in Paradise--Scottsboro City Council and Goosepond Colony

Work Session agenda. Click on image for expanded view. Item 9 was added, Discussion on Goosepond, discussed below.
Council regular meeting agenda. I spoke after the work session meeting, signing up at the regular council meeting to remind the distinguished council members that the GPC Board is the legal authority to make decisions concerning Goosepond Colony, after Mr. Smith's presentation concerning GPC in the work session.

Plantation Point - Goosepond Colony - City Council - Issue - Debt - Viability

More controversy has arose concerning Goosepond Colony (GPC) as a result of political posturing by city council members and finacial troubles of the Goosepond Colony Plantation Point. This is not the first time that controversy has embroiled the Scottsboro City Council and the Goosepond Colony's Park Board.
Goosepond Colony is the crown jewel of the City of Scottsboro. http://goosepond.org/ .
The current park board has performed an excellent job of managing the complex. They were forced to undertake a monumental task of bringing the park out of a near bankrupt status due to previous boards inept and corrupt influences in the management of the Goosepond facility.
The current financial situation is a result of past park boards poor management, the purchase of the Plantation Point Golf Course and the adjoining home lot properties. The current park board, consisting of a bank officer, accountant, business persons and an engineer are stating the Plantation Point facility is not a profitable operation. Unfortunately, now enter city officials in the attempt to propagandize and further complicate the issue by political posturing.
When the Plantation Point brings the whole Goosepond Colony complex to near ruination Council Member Smith, who has been a life long city employee, comes forward and attempts to inflict further damage to Goosepond Colony with the suggestion that the "city should take over the entire complex." Unfortunately, this philosophical socialist fails to recognize the Code of Alabama's requirements of this situation, which is nothing new as laws have been broken, bent and threw in the trash previously in relationship to Goosepond Colony by the city council and previous park boards.
The Scottsboro Parks and Recreation Board, Goosepond Colony Board, is a seperate corporate entity of the State of Alabama, Code of Alabama, 11-60-1 thru 20, like the School Board, like the Water Sewer and Gas Board, like the Electric Power Board. Just as in the case of Goosepond Colony, the city signs off on the loans of the school board and the water board as guarantors of those boards loans. Some city officials might have you think the city guarantees only the Goosepond Colony loans.
Now comes some city officials and expect the citizens of Scottsboro to fund a special group of golf course homeowners for their living style around a golf course in which they pay nothing in the form of fees to live? NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT!
Allow the Goosepond Colony Park Board officials to do their job. The city council and other city officials should work close with the officials of Goosepond Colony to resolve this situation, not compound the problems by political posturing and deceitful propaganda.
The answer is simple, charge appropriate fees for living around and/or on the golf course if the home owners wish to save the course. If that does not work, sell or lease the money loosing Plantation Point course in order to save Goosepond Colony.
Previous Daily Sentinel article on Plantation Point Appraisal: http://thedailysentinel.com/news/article_d0047644-0192-11e0-ad91-001cc4c002e0.html
Today's article in the Daily Sentinel concerning Mondays Scottsboro City Council meeting: http://thedailysentinel.com/news/article_b65cb8ac-07b2-11e0-af83-001cc4c002e0.html

County Commission Meeting

Click on image for an expanded view of documents.

Monday, December 13, 2010

TVA SALE?? A way to fund green energy projects? What is "clean and green?"

Some of us are acutely aware the definition of "clean and green" has a variety of meanings to corporate executives and politicians. "Clean or green" may include energy sources which are not sustainable nor clean energy sources, such as expensive nuclear power.

Fair Use rights for not for profit news reporting, photo by TVA

Tennessee Valley Authority, TVA, Bellefonte Nuclear Plant. No power has been generated from the nuclear plant, construction began in the mid 1970's, construction ended in the late 1980's. The nuclear plant construction license was cancelled in 2006 by the TVA, the two near complete nuclear reactors were cannibalized of their steam generators and other equipment in the same year. The equipment was sold for a reported $49 million.
Recently the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, NRC, re-instituted the previously cancelled construction license for Bellefonte without 1, one, vote of approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The vote of the commission was one vote disapproved, 3 votes jointly approved-disapproved. The Chairperson of the NRC, Mr. Jackzo, along with the Senior Staff of the NRC, disagreed with the reinstatement of the construction license calling the decision to reinstate the construction license "unprecedented."
The violation of atomic safety protocol in licensing of nuclear reactors casts a shadow of doubt over the RELIABILITY of nuclear licensing and the NRC. A case is pending in the Washington D.C. Federal Court concerning this issue.
Recently a complaint has been filed with the TVA concerning construction of major plant components without the approval of construction of the plant from the TVA Board. A contract was awarded to Babcock & Wilcox Nuclear Energy, Inc. of Canada to manufacture two steam generators. The reported costs are said to be $300,000. The letting of the contract to construct steam generators for the plant appears to have violated several Federal Laws. This gross waste and abuse will cost the ratepayers in excess of $250,000,000. Previous article: http://arklite.blogspot.com/2010/11/tva-plans-to-spend-160-million-on.html

Fair Use Rights, not for profit news reporting for government logos.

TVA sale urged to fund green energy projects - timesfreepress.com Chattanooga Times Free Press: "As chairman of the Federal Communications Commission in the 1990s, Reed Hundt pioneered the auctions of the nation's airwaves that ultimately generated more than $40 billion for the federal Treasury and allowed the cell phone industry to flourish."
"In his current role as head of the Coalition for Green Energy, Hundt is pushing a similar idea he claims could help to both create green jobs and a cleaner environment without costly government subsidies."
"Hundt, who heads the Coalition for Green Energy, said Thursday the time has come for the federal government to sell the Tennessee Valley Authority [TVA] and use the proceeds to create a private, nonprofit Energy Independence Trust to lend money for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects." (The problem, what is "clean and green energy" for some is not clean, green nor sustainable energy solutions for others, example-nuclear power.)
The Knoxville Metro Pulse reports on this issue in an article titled, "TVA for Sale:" "From the standpoint of news-cycle timing, the Washington, D.C.-based Coalition for Green Capital nailed it. General Motors’ new stock offering on Wall Street was fresh in its media frame, a rousing success story about how the federal government can actually get back much of the taxpayer money it had invested in a massive (socialist, as conservatives are fond of saying) economic rescue project. Just two days later, the Coalition managed to land a story in some major Tennessee newspapers that basically asked, “Why not try the same thing with that massive (socialist) economic rescue project known as the Tennessee Valley Authority [TVA]?”...On its face, the auction question might seem to have been brewed up by a Tea Party anti-“big government” committee in a back room at Fox News. In fact, the new wave of congressional “No-We-Can’t”-ers, who will soon take hold of the Republic’s purse strings, typically hold in high suspicion, if not outright contempt, the agenda of the group now posing the TVA question. The Coalition for Green Capital represents an assemblage of entrepreneurs, investors, attorneys, financial experts, and policy wonks from the energy efficiency, wind, and solar energy industries. They take credit for doing the legwork that almost carried off the passage of the American Clean Energy Leadership Act, variously referred to as the climate-change bill, the green-jobs bill, or the carbon cap-and-trade bill. Its detractors variously referred to it as the global-warming-myth bill, or, of course, the one-world-socialist-communist-nazi-government bill."
Department of Energy (DOE) has allocated the following amounts for specific nuclear projects. (If you will note, Bellefonte is not on this list.) The order of the DOE list is:
Vogtle, Calvert Cliffs (They are going to give a conditional guarantee to the French government, AREVA, for the operation of Calvert Cliffs.), South Texas, VC Summer, Comanche Peak.
DOE has $10.2 billion in unallocated authority, $7.5 billion will go to Calvert Cliffs, South Texas and VC Summer are next in line. {Provided by Michael Marionette. Executive Director, Nuclear Information and Resource Service, NIRS. http://www.nirs.org/ )
Historically, there have been other moves to sell the TVA. This time around the movement to sell the TVA could be successful with Mr. Hundt on board. TVA can not afford to proceed with nuclear expansion due to its debt. DOE is reluctant to authorize money for the TVA's further expansion into nuclear power due to TVA debt and mismanagement. A $26 billion debt, a culture of management deceit and a crystal palace bureaucracy has rendered the once great American Project to end the Great Depression and provide electrification and industry in the southeast U.S. is now a liability in the form of a non-accountable government corporation.
It is revealing to note the support the TVA has from southern Republicans. The reasons for this support are related to the corporate contractors of the TVA funneling money thru PACs and corporate contributions to the reelection campaigns of the southern Representatives and Senators. The southern Republicans demonstrate their love of socialism, as long as the deceitful, bureaucratic system of the non-accountable TVA supports their reelection.
Unfortunately, the relationship with the TVA for county and municipal governments have become that of a suckling animal depending on TVA in lieu of tax money, which is at a lower tax rate than privately owned public utilities. Many local utilities within the TVA service areas are part of the TVA system, they are called TVA Power Providers Association, TVAPPA. The TVA hides part of their debt within the TVAPPA.
Ultra-Conservative Republicans which support socialistic corporations such as the TVA are a short step away from fascism.
If only the TVA would be forthcoming in their disclosures and not foster a system of management deceit with the support of southern U.S. Representatives and Senators in the TVA district. This writer does not believe the TVA, with its current executives, will foster openness and honesty in its management of the TVA. This culture of current management deceit is very disturbing considering risk disclosures and the deceit pandered on local communities in relationship to nuclear power plants. This deceit and the resulting debt may result in ending the TVA.
More than 15 years ago this GAO Report reveals the mismanagement of the TVA. www.gao.gov/archive/1995/ai95134.pdf Little has changed, the debt is the same, rates have increased, executive management has came and gone, unfortunately a lack of oversight by Congress has resulted in management abuse by the TVA Executives with the blessings of the TVA Board.
Within the above GAO report a warning was provided on page 47, "The outcome of TVA’s nuclear program could limit capital funds available for needed improvements to its coal and hydroelectric plants." Then there was neglect, now there is negligent inaction resulting in catastrophe. The Kingston disaster and to a lesser extent the Widows Creek fly ash spill are both a result of management failures concerning plant and facility upkeep. TVA employees have related TVA's dam fleet is in serious need of improvement in both facility upkeep and power generation improvements. These failures rest solely on executive management. Yet the "out of touch" TVA Board provides its Chief Executive Officer, CEO, with a healthy financial increase to a $3.6 million compensation package.
Congress has failed miserably in offering constructive oversight of the TVA. In a private or publicly traded business setting, the actions of the TVA board along with its CEO would be a historical footnote long ago.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Jackson County Commission

Click on image for an expanded view of agenda with remarks.The Jackson county Commission adjourned into a 17 minute Executive Session. When the meeting was reconvened a vote was taken to appoint Mr. John Porter as Co-Council with Mr. "Rocky" Watson of Ft. Payne as the Attorneys representing The Jackson County Commission in the case involving the Jackson County Park. Issues involving the Jackson County Park and the current law suit. http://arklite.blogspot.com/search/label/Jackson%20County%20Park

Previously the Jackson County Commission allegedly violated aspects of the Open Meetings law while involved in disputes over the hiring of a County Engineer while in mediation sessions at Mr. Watson's office in Dekalb County. Decissions were announced after the fact in the Commission Meeting regarding changes in Jackson County's Personnel Policy. Alabama's Open Meeting's Law was moved from the Criminal Law into the Civil Law in 2005.

Scottsboro City Council Meeting

Click on image for an expanded view. There was no Old Business.

Last weeks work session link referencing this weeks decisions. http://arklite.blogspot.com/2010/11/scottsboro-city-council-work-session.html

The old Police Station located between Redstone Federal Credit Union and Kentucky Fried Chicken was not sold at last weeks auction. Previous auction listing of property with property appraisal amount. http://arklite.blogspot.com/2010/05/scottsboro-city-council-meeting.html

Board Appointments: Recreation Advisory- Mark Pepper, Ms. McCrary made an appoint but was inaudible; Abatement Board- Gail Duffey, Lindsey Garner, Kelley Goodowens; Airport Advisory Board- Rudder Williams, Jimmy Sandlin, Bud Henager. Appointments are pending from Mr. Hodges

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Goose Pond Colony Board Reports Serious Financial Losses

The Goose Pond Colony--Scottsboro Parks and Recreation Board.

Board Chairman and General Manager divulge bleak financial news at last nights board meeting.

Last night the Goose Pond Colony Park Board met and disclosed very sobering news. The Plantation Point Golf Course is creating a serious financial problem which may result in the loss of Goose Pond Colony, Plantation Point is a money looser. Plantation Point will have to be closed, sold or leased or there may not be a Goose Pond Colony for anyone to enjoy.
At Monday's Scottsboro City Council Work Session a presentation was presented by the Plantation Point homeowners representative. http://arklite.blogspot.com/2010/11/scottsboro-city-council-work-session.html Related Story from the Daily Sentinel. "Council vows to support Plantation Point homeowners:" http://thedailysentinel.com/news/article_7629c91e-f1c8-11df-a8a3-001cc4c002e0.html
Questions arise. The question now is will the city council take responsibility for a failed Goose Pond Colony in their support of the home owners? Will the City Council back off and stop with the political posturing and realize the facts of the situation?" It would seem some Scottsboro Council members are catering to "special interests" to make themselves look good at the expense of the City as a whole. This would not be the first time this has occurred, such as with the old Goose Pond Aluminum Plant Industrial Site.
Here are the loss figures for Plantation Point since 2007. 2007-$221,576; 2008- $157,579; 2009- $234,086; 2010- $269,728; 2011 projected loss-$346,581 Total 5 year loss with the projected 2011 figures is in excess of $1.2 million.
It was reported total repairs and updates needed to Goose Pond Colony is near $3 million.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Scottsboro City Council Work Session

Goose Pond Colony's new web site: http://www.goosepond.org/

Work session highlights. 1) Mike Ferry representing the homeowners at Plantation Point made a presentation concerning plans to sell the Plantation Point Golf course.

Main points of Mr. Ferry's presentation: A) October 6 homeowners were made aware that the Goose Pond Colony (GPC) Board, City Parks and Recreation Board, was planning to sell the Plantation Point Golf course.

B) It was pointed out that members of the Scottsboro City Council, Mayor and representatives of the park board met in secret to discuss the issues on 3 different occasions. It was confirmed by the City Council President, Mr. Hodges, the Mayor, Council Member Smith and Mr. Bagget, GPC Board President, the group met in secret involving this issue.

The current Open Meeting Laws of the State of Alabama exempts all Real Property transactions of a government body from disclosure until after the fact. Facts reveal, as disclosed in last nights meeting, the person that sold the Golf Course to the City is the one involved in the plans to lease or buy back the property. Councilman Smith stated he had serious concerns over the entire issue.

Any real property negotiations in this issue could be conducted in secret out of the public eye. The City Park and Recreation Board (GPC Board) is a seperate corporate authority protected and created by the Laws of the State of Alabama. The city of Scottsboro may appoint board members but that is the extent of the city's involvement into this matter.

The serious problems arising from this issue are established conflicts of interest. The First National Bank of Scottsboro holds the loan on GPC which includes Plantation Point. The GPC Board Chair is an Officer of the Bank. The City Council serves as a guarantor of the loans to GPC. The individual or one of the group of individuals the Plantation Point property was purchased is the same individual which is attempting to repurchase the property or gain a lease for the property. The property may not be sold less than fair market value upon submission of an appraisal from a licensed real estate appraiser.

C) Mr. Ferry stated the contracts for the homes sold around the Plantation Point Golf course were sold as "Golf Course Homes."

D) Mr. Ferry stated he was informed the property would be leased and utilized for agricultural use. (My Note: The property in question is in the city Limits of Scottsboro and falls under the zoning of Scottsboro. The changing of any property usage must be approved by the Planning and Zoning Board.)

E) Residents want to be part of the solution but residents are diametrically opposed to the closing of the Golf Course. Mr. Ferry also requested that a resident be appointed to the GPC Board.

F) The home owners of Plantation Point requested a pledge of support from the city council. They requested the following from the city council (1) Prevent Closing of the Plantation Point Golf Course. (2) Insure that Plantation Point Operates as a Golf course. (3) Insure residents of the Plantation Point area are on the GPC Board.

Members of the City council commented they do not want act hastily on this matter. Mr. Smith stated he was not in favor of selling or leasing the Plantation Point property.

The Goose pond Colony web site: http://www.goosepond.org/
Back to the council outline. 2) Judge Don Word made presentation on updating 3 ordinances so that the City Magistrate has the option of accepting guilty pleas and the violator paying a fine prior to a court resolution. The 3 ordinances to be updated were the Noise Ordinace, Window Tint Ordinance and the Move Over Ordinace. 3) Discussion on updating court costs due to the State of Alabama raising costs. The Court fees will be raised by $21.00. Mr. Kennamer, City Attorney, stated the large majority of the court costs goes to the state. 4) Mr. Rick Wheeler, City Finance Director, outlined updates in the City Business License structure. The city will be adding 5 license areas to the local Business License requirements, they are a) Refrigeration contractor, b) Lawn Mowing Services, c) Moving services, d) Consulting Services, e) Automotive Detailing. 5) Police Chief Dawe gave presentation on update of Scottsboro's Radio communication system. The current system is an analog system and it will be required by the FCC that all communications systems operate with narrow band widths by 2013. The City of Scottsboro will be all digital upon upgrade. This will include all radio equipment within the city. The analog system will be maintained as a backup and communications point of contact for older systems in the area. The new update involves 234 radios and 3 repeaters. The total cost was reported to be $180,000. However, a contractor has stated they will offer a trade in if a contract can be completed prior to December 31, 2010. The deal offered was each radio will be given a $150.00 trade in allowance for a total trade in of approximately $35,000 taken off of the $180K total cost. 6) The City Clerk announced the annual State Department of Transportation Airport Improvement Grant. The improvement grant is a cost share grant of which the city's share would be $63,331.00 if approved.
The City Council Administrative committee met with the entire council after the regular council meeting to discuss the proposed "Texting Ordinance." A "Distracted Drivers" ordinance appears to be the way the city is going. There will be specific definitions within the ordinance to describe a distracted driver. Driving distractions may be anything from food consumption to texting or many other distractions. The key is the unsafe operations of a motor vehicle witnessed by a Peace Officer, an example would be weaving or erratic driving.

Monday, November 15, 2010

TVA Nuclear--Our Childrens, Grandchildren and Great Granchildren's Future?

Is this to be the legacy we leave future citizens of Scottsboro and the Tennessee River Valley? http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/transport-environment/clyde-contaminated-by-radioactive-leak-from-nuclear-plant-1.1068103.
Nuclear power is not clean, it is not safe, it is not cheap and it has killed and sickened tens of thousands. There is a better way thru energy efficiency-conservation, hydroelectric projects, improvement of dam generation fleets antiquated equipment, biomass projects, natural gas combined cycle, wind and solar.
The TVA knows nuclear power is not necessary and knows the risks, has alternative plans but caters to nuclear corporate puppet politicians and the nuclear industry. Nuclear power is about bottom line profit of giant corporations such as Westinghouse, General Electric, Toshiba, Babcock & Wilcox. It is not about providing you the citizen with safe, clean and economical electrical power.
In the Southeast TVA power is rated #4 in cost to providers. Their debt has grown, knocking on the door of $27 billion dollars. If TVA continues with their nuclear options the cost of power will continue to increase dramatically.
The problem locally is TVA Executives have violated law (under investigation) and taken shortcuts in the building of Bellefonte. TVA Public Relations persons have come to Scottsboro and presented untruthful information to the citizens of Scottsboro. The local political gentry show no courage and acquiesce to TVA's demands and deceit. Local politicians had rather support lies and deceive the citizens of Scottsboro and Jackson County than raise questions about the TVA's plans, all for a non-approved project where the TVA has falsely promised employment for thousands of local citizens.
Just remember Republicans, Lowell Barron was a strong supporter of the Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant. If you support nuclear power you support Democrat left wing liberals like our President who has received millions form the nuclear industry in support of his campaign, you also support massive debt plus government sponsored socialism.
To find out more about nuclear power, its hazards and solutions for our energy future go to http://www.matrr.org/ http://www.bredl.org/ http://www.cleanenergy.org/

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Allegations/Complaints from Scottsboro Street Department Employees--2009 Storm Damage

Letter from the Alabama Attorney Generals Office. (Click on image for an expanded view.)
Original complaint document to the Alabama Attorney General, Alabama Emergency Management Agency, the Mayor of Scottsboro and City Council President based on allegations made by employees of the Scottsboro Street Department.
Troubles within the Scottsboro Street Department have been occuring for some period of time. Communications and management dilemmas have been a historical problem within this department. The following report does not place blame but is an expose that describes issues that the citizens of Scottsboro should be aware.
This summer allegations of wrongful conduct and/or alleged criminal activity were brought forth by the City of Scottsboro Street Department employees allegedly involving Street Department Supervisory employee(s).
Street Department employees brought forward allegations to me in person that alleged criminal activity had occurred within the department, the employees stated they felt they could not come forward as they were afraid of retaliation that could include termination. Since governmental employees were making allegations to me of wrongful conduct, I informed the employees I would turn over the allegations made by them to the Alabama Attorney Generals Office and the Mayor of Scottsboro. I also informed the employees I would not disclose their names unless ordered to do so by law enforcement in an official investigation or as ordered by a judge.
The Alabama AG has refused to investigate the complaints unless the Street Department employees make formal complaints directly to the State Attorney General, per letter shown above. The employees making the initial complaint were informed of the reply from the State Attorney General.
The allegations involved practices and FEMA reimbursement related to the April 2009 storm damage and cleanup. An investigation was initiated by the Scottsboro Police Department per request from the Mayor's Office to insure there were no abusive practices or malfeasance.
An outcome of the investigation was requested from Mayor Potter on Monday November 8, 2010. I inquired if the employee allegations were founded or unfounded and offered an opportunity for the Mayor to make a comment concerning this alleged incident? Mayor Potter had no reply but deferred comment to the City Attorney, Mr. Steve Kennamer for a reply. Mr Kennamer replied in the Mayor's presence-- "We [City of Scottsboro] have forwarded the case to the Alabama Attorney General for investigation ." Neither the Mayor nor the City Attorney had any further comment concerning the allegations by Street Department employees.
The Attorney Generals Office has informed me, via the letter displayed, they will not investigate unless the Street Department employees file an official complaint. The Mayor has been provided a copy of the letter displayed above from the Alabama Attorney Generals office.
UPDATE--Nov. 12, 2010-Information was received that several Street Department employees and at least one previous Scottsboro Police Department employee were interviewed in the course of the investigation. Further disclosures revealed during the initial interview process the street department supervisor was present during the initial interviews. This could be interpreted as a very questionable and negative step in the investigation as the presence of the department supervisor would serve as intimidation and cause a reluctance of employees to disclose information. In subsequent days the interview process was conducted without the presence of the department supervisor. The Scottsboro Mayor will not disclose if the allegations by employees were founded or unfounded. A Scottsboro City Official has informed me the city has not been reimbursed for the 2009 storm cleanup operation.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Jackson County Commission

Senator McGill at the Jackson County Commission meeting. Senator McGill commented on his first experiance in Montgomery, "very humbling, like a 12 year old's first trip to Disney World." http://thedailysentinel.com/news/article_5ba94d3e-e918-11df-922e-001cc4c002e0.html
Senator Shadrack McGill delivered the invocation at today's Jackson County Commission meeting after an introduction by Chairperson Sadie Bias..

Jackson County Commission Meeting Agenda. (click on image for expanded view)

Reference item F under new business. After the meeting I inquired of Ms. Bias, Chairperson Jackson County Commission how the money appropriated to the Chamber of Commerce would be utilized. Apparently a feasibility study is necessary for a new business prospect which is looking to move into our area. She suggested I call Mr. Bailey at the Chamber of Commerce for more information. According to Ms. Bias the Legislative Delegation will be contributing a similar amount for this study. The Mayor of Scottsboro commented there had been no decision made concerning their portion of a feasibility study.

Scottsboro City Council Meeting

The Scottsboro City Council and Mayor, Attorney and clerk. From left to right, Mayor Potter, Council Member Gary Spears ( Mr. Spears is absent on every other Monday due to pursuing his doctorate degree.), Council Member Thermon Bell, City Clerk Cathy O'Shields, City Council President Matthew Hodges, City Attorney Steve Kennamer, Council Member Carol McCrary, Council Member Keith Smith.
New Business item 1) Rules were set aside and the Recovery Zone Economic Development Bond issue was approved. Mayor Potter and Mr. Larry Ward of Morgan Keegan, Birmingham, finalize the Recovery Zone, RZED, $6.5 million loan for the City of Scottsboro's Service Road extension project on John T. Reid Parkway. 45% of the bonds interest will be payed by the U.S Government. Mr Ward highlighted Scottsboro's Bond rating was responsible for the 3.42% interest rate Scottsboro RZED Bond issues. More info on RZED bonds: http://www.occ.treas.gov/static/community-affairs/community-developments-investments/spring10/articles/bond/cde10spring04.htm

Item 5 on the council's agenda was the City Council Committee assignments. There will be an Administrative Committee meeting after next Mondays Council meeting, Nov. 15, 2010 in the Conference room area. It has been my experiance the administrative meetings usually involve all council members.
City Council Outline: 1) RZED Bond issue, see picture above with story. 2) Commercial Development Authority Board appointment to finish the term of Janet Sage ending in March 2011, Patrick Stewart was appointed by Mr. Bell. 3) Annual one time pay raise for city employees approved, full time-$150, part time $75, temporary $50. 4) Solid Waste Authority bid openings for truck awarded to Tractor and Equipment of Decatur, Al. for $153,920. 2 bidders did not meet bid specifications. 5) Council member committee assignment list, see above picture.

Friday, November 5, 2010

TVA plans to spend $160 million on towers--Bellefonte Gross Waste & Abuse

Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant-Stories of Waste and Abuse
Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant.

Gross Waste and Abuse at Bellefonte reported to TVA IG. Violation of Federal Law, Title 31 U.S. Code, Anti Deficiency Act prohibits the Federal government from making purchases without approval or appropriations. There is no approval to build or construct the Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant from either the TVA Board or The Nuclear Regulatory Commission. If the plant is to be built all laws, policies and proceedures will be followed in order to protect the public.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Republicans Win District 8 Senate Seat--Historical Event

Republican Shadrack McGill 20,596 votes.
Update: Nov. 3, 2010 story, Daily Sentinel http://thedailysentinel.com/news/article_ac7d4ca6-e710-11df-bc08-001cc4c03286.html
Democrat Incumbent Lowell Barron 20,013.
History breaking event, Republican elected to the District 8 Senate Seat, a very inexperienced Republican. The Jackson County Citizens will now live with their choice in this election.. This is the first Republican Senator since Reconstruction.
In the western part of the county, Wayne Johnson, Republican defeats Buth Taylor Democrat.
Now we shall see if the Republicans were all hot air concerning reforms such as Ethics and PAC to PAC transfers. What will the new Republicans do with Jackson County's TVA in lieu of tax money?

New Scottsboro City Council Seated

Mayor Potter makes the Introductory announcement for the Swearing-In Ceremony of the new City Council members.
Municipal Judge Don Word swears in Ms. Carol McCrary, Place 3, Ms. McCrary's mother holds the Bible for the ceremony.

Judge Don Word administers the Oath of Office to Mr. Keith Smith Place 4, Mrs. Smith holds the Bible for the ceremony.

Mr. Matthew Hodges, Place 5 receives the Oath of Office from Judge Word, Mrs. Hodges holds the Bible for her husband.

The Scottsboro City Council seated prior to the election of a President. Mr. Steve Kennamer, City Attorney, served as interim council president. Mr. Matthew Hodges was re-elected as President and Mr. Thermon Bell was elected as Council President Pro-Tem.
The first order of business after the election of officers was adjournment of the Induction Meeting. A work session was held after the Induction meeting.
Work Session: The Tree Commission presented a plan to the City Council to build a "Mayors Park" in the City Park. Cherry Trees and a plaque was proposed to be erected honoring Scottsboro Mayors since Mayor Lonnie Crawford. The Tree Commission stated the work will be accomplished by contractors costing the City $1905.00 . It was stated a vote of the council would not be necessary since the money was already budgeted. All on the council stated they did not have any problem with the "Mayors Park" being built. Formal approval of construction for this project at City Park was not acquired in any open, regular City Council meeting. This meeting was not a regular meeting, it was a work session.