"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."


Monday, September 26, 2011

Jackson County Commission Meeting - County Employees Get Pay Raise

Today's Agenda

The big news, all county employees will receive a 3% pay raise. The Probate Office Employees will receive a 5% pay raise. Last month the Commission's administrative staff received a 5% pay raise for the additional workload of the County Park.

Will the commission's administrative staff receive an additional 3% pay raise? Will County Employees, specifically male personnel in the county maintainace department file an unfair personnel practices grievance due to unfair payroll treatment and sexual discrimination for the unbalanced pay increases favoring female office personnel in the county commission and probate offices?

The County Commissions Budget was submitted and approved. After the meeting I inquired of the County Administrator, Sandra Erickson, as to the amount of the approved budget, she stated the Department Expense Budget is $16 million with expected revenue receipts of $15.5 million. She further stated the $500K shortfall would come from the General Fund Budget.

Scottsboro City Council Meeting

Agenda of the Scottsboro City Council Meeting

Agenda item #1, presentation by Fire Department chief and Training Officer. City Council Members Ms. McCrary, Mr. Speers and City Finance Director Rick Wheeler attended the Alabama Fire College for an orientation session and experienced Fire Fighter Training classes. City Officials attending are presented with Fireman's Helmets, goggles with their name plate. Mr. Speers was absent due to a school business commitment.

Other agenda items.
All bids will be effective Oct. 1, 2011, approved contractors. a) Rec-Com cleaning was awarded to BC&C Cleaning of Dutton Al. for $70.00 per day; b) Rec-Com pool chemicals contract was awarded to Anders Pool Co.; c) City's fuel bid was awarded to McPherson Oil of Trussville, Al. for .075cents over actual cost of fuel; d) City Oil and lube products bid awarded to Jackson Oil Co,: e) City streets paving bid awarded to Jackson Paving of Guntersville, Al.; f) Street Striping bid awarded to J.C. Cheek Co of Lacey Springs, Al..

Other Agenda items:  8) Amendment to wrecker rotation policy approved. The change involves 2 major issues, a) all wrecker services must have insurance listing the Scottsboro Police Department as one of the insured and b) investigation proceedures for unreasonable fees complaint. 9) Knights of Columbus Road Block, County Park Road & Hwy 72, approved for Sat. Oct. 1, 2011 7AM till 4PM for fund raising for the A.R.C. http://www.thearcofalabama.com/chapters/jackson.html 10) Road closing in front of Brownwood School approved for Nov. 4, 2011 from 8AM till 2PM for American Heritage Day. 11) Public Hearing for Liquor License for the Veranda Cafe. There was 1 person which spoke in opposition to all alcoholic beverage licenses favoring a prohibition to all alcoholic beverages. 1 person spoke  in favor of the license stating it was a renewal of license.  The license was approved. 12) 1 vacancy on the Planning Commission, it is a Mayors appointment. The Mayor will hold off on the appointment until after the new Planning Ordinances are complete. 13) 1 vacancy is open on the Museum Commission finishing the term of Mrs Liz Bennett, term expires in October 2012. Interested parties should turn in requests to the City Clerk no later than 4:30PM Oct 7, 2011 14) ALDOT agreement for paving project approved, cost share with city, $675K in paving costs. Broad St will be paved in the spring of 2012.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Goose Pond Colony Board Meeting

The 3rd Tuesday at 4:30PM is the Scottsboro Parks and Recreation Board meeting, this one was no different except for the speeches of right wing golfers who proclaimed we will be drilling for more oil, there will be big changes come November 2012 and suggestions that board members resign. And of course, Bellefonte and the TVA will make everything all right.Yes, right wing extremism has afflicted the Plantation Point Golf Course.  For a moment I thought I heard Sara Palin stand up and shout, "drill baby drill, free clubs for all and beer in every cart!"

The right wing golfers did not stick around till the end, they missed the revelations about the budget and plans. The right wingers were more concerned about supper than Goose Pond Colony. They all marched out in a symbolic jester filing past the "Godfather" of Plantation Pointe, gathering their approval as they left.

However, I do agree that advertising is atrocious, a media advertising program is sorely needed. Not only for Goose Pond Colony and Plantation Pointe but Scottsboro events such as First Monday Trade Days and the availability of industrial property in the area.

             Click on the agenda image for an expanded view.

The GPC 2012 budget was approved, $3,003,474 is the projected income with projected expenditures of  $2,881,694.

The boat owners representative mentioned several serious and high risk safety related problems which he stated must be fixed. 1) Dock 3 has defective transition plate which is a walking hazard. It was stated this equipment must be fixed as it could cause an injury as a result of a trip-fall resulting in injury and a liability event. 2) Dock 3, lights are burned out at the docks end. 3) Docks were reported as lifted from their supports during the 2009 spring storm. It was reported that poles are bent and some supports may be off of the retaining collars. It was stated that a high wind could cause the docks to move or "wheel" around causing  severe damage not only to the docks but also to private property. It was also reported the hazards have been in existence for some period if time according to the boat owners representative. Employees are aware of the problems but have not resolved the issues.

Shh, TVA nuclear power plant secrets - The Browns Ferry Nuclear Reactors

 The Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant, 12 air miles southwest of Athens, Al. and 30 air miles west of Huntsville, Al.

The General Electric Mark 1 series of reactors like the ones at Browns Ferry and 20 other sites across our nation.  http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/GE-reactors-Japan-UnitedStates/2011/03/14/id/389407  The most serious problem, as Mr. Gunderson explains in the video below, is the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) failure to regulate and provide safety measures for the protection of citizens. The NRC is more concerned with protecting the financial interests of the nuclear industry rather than citizens. This type of nuclear reactor is a catastrophe waiting to happen!

The Browns Ferry nuclear reactors are flawed. Nuclear Engineer Arnie Gunderson of Fairewinds Associates ( http://fairewinds.com/ ) tells why these reactors are disasters waiting to happen.

Fairewinds Introduces a Japanese Language Edition and Identifies Safety Problems in all Reactors Designed Like Fukushima from Fairewinds Associates on Vimeo.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Scottsboro City Council Meeting

                          Click on image for an expanded view.

September 19, 2011 City Council Work Session. Please note the above agenda and my notes. Low bidders for supplies, materials and services were announced, approval will occur at the next regular council meeting.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Scottsboro City Council Meeting

City Council agenda for Monday Sep 12, 2011, click on picture for an expanded view.

Items 4 & 5 taken off of agenda. These items were discussed at the work session. J.P Parsons made a presentation concerning the 150 year Civil War Commemoration  in Northeast Alabama, Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia. There is a fee of $1000 required for participation in the events and advertising. It was suggested that the county and 3 cities each contribute $250. There was considerable discussion concerning the Wrecker Rotation. Some off the rule changes discussed were: fair and reasonable service charges; required insurance amounts and listing the city on the policy; standardized towing and storage fees for impoundments, accident scene towing and recovery fluctuates. Daily Sentinel article on wrecker rotation issue: http://thedailysentinel.com/news/article_279b2ac8-de5c-11e0-8210-001cc4c03286.html

The precious metals purchase ordinance was passed. Businesses buying scrap jewelry will be required to hold items 15 days prior to placing items up for sale or scrapping for melting in accordance with state law. This does not involve bullion or coins.

The Bynum Soccer Field  Complex bid was awarded to Jackson Paving for $3,180,549.42

Micah Way will be closed from the High School entrance to the Wal Mart north entrance on Saturday, Sep 17, 2011, 7AM till 5PM also on Oct 18, 2011 4:30PM till 7PM for Track Meets.

Police Department weapon swap was approved.

Thursday Oct 8, 2011 East Laurel St. will be closed for the Scottsboro Electric Power Board Open House.

 Cell B6 of the Landfill project was awarded to Veterans Construction of Birmingham, bid amount was for $201,331.10

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Jackson County Commission Meeting

Jackson County Courthouse, south entrance, closed due to security protections.

 Our new License Inspector was present, the Grandson of Commissioner Jack Smith. Some county officials have alleged that support for issues were gained by the hiring of this commissioners relative. One other commissioner has his grandson working for the county at the Road Department, that would be Commissioner Gaylen Stone.

Yesterday was a regular meeting of the Jackson County Commission. The commission agenda is posted below. Click on image for an expanded view.

Monday, September 12, 2011

TVA SECRECY, Federal Sunshine Law

We are the TVA, shh, we have secrets and treat our ratepayers like mushrooms. Meanwhile, the local political gentry care specifically about TVA in lieu of tax money, not about the health, welfare and law governing the actions of government.

The TVA has a continuing problem with open deliberations as required by the Federal Sunshine Act. Commission Chairperson Sadie Bias along with Chamber of Commerce Director Rick Roden attended a tour, luncheon and discussion of Bellefonte prior to a TVA Board decission with a quorum of TVA Board members and staff concerning the Bellefonte Plant. Decisions do not have to be made for the law to be violated, any deliberation of an issue which may come before the board at a later date is a violation. http://www.tennessean.com/article/20110910/NEWS11/309100046/Critics-say-TVA-operates-secrecy

The "Tennessean" article quotes Spokeswoman Barbara Martocci, "[she] said informal board gatherings are briefings that meet the letter of the law..." "Board Chairman Dennis Bottorff of Nashville said great effort is made to be open.“That was a tour,” he said. “There weren't any kind of decisions being made."

If a briefing is conducted that is a discussion of information which may come before the board at a later date. The meeting was not just a luncheon as TVA officials would have you to believe, it was a "briefing" and discussion about the nuclear plant as TVA officials admit. The Federal Sunshine Law contains more than just provisions for decission making, the law covers deliberations of a quorum of Board Members.

Issues of Open Meetings and secret decission making has been an issue for the Jackson County Commission on previous occasions. The TVA has been chastised for its brand of secrecy as a government entity. It frequently attempts to use excuses such as commercial exceptions to avoid Freedom of Information Act disclosures. The TVA Committee process is a ruse to disguise secret meetings where approvals are made behind closed doors prior to the TVA Board meetings.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tea Party Event at Jackson County Park

Ms. Ellen O'Connor, Jackson County Republican Party Women's Club Chairperson.

The Tea Party held a political rally at the Jackson County Park Sunday. The rally kicked off with Blue Grass music played by Wills Town Junction. There were 85 people who attended the rally.

Ms. O'Connor gave a report concerning last years Tea Party Rally which raised $550. She introduced Tony Goolesby, Sylvania, Al. City Council member.

Mr. Goolesby said we are here today for remembrance of the First Responders who sacrificed so much on that memorable day in New York ten years ago. He stated, "God is the only one who can take a bad situation and make it better."
Goolesby spoke on two different occasions. He quoted several Bible Scriptures, Psalms 119-93, " I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life." He spoke for several minutes concerning his thoughts on this verse.  Mr. Goolesby in his second presentation spoke about Isaiah 5, 20-21 " (20)Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. (21) Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight." Goolesby said, "The government will never tell you the truth...I think this is what is wrong with America." His next scripture quote came from Ecclesiastes 3. 1-8, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens..."

The next Speaker was Alabama Senator Shadrack McGill.  Senator McGill delivered a prayer and quoted scriptures, 2nd Peter:  "3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires."
Senator McGill ask the question, "why are we befriending those who will destroy us?

 Ms. Kayla Carter sung the Star Spangled Banner and Amazing Grace. Mr. Goolesby delivered the Pledge of Allegiance.

Next up was the video, "We the People," a video letter to President Obama stating we reject your vision for our country.

Mr. J.E. Edwards was the next speaker. Mr. Edwards is retired, a World War 2 Veteran and has been a Red Cross Volunteer for 35 years. Mr. Edwards stated he spent 19 months in Europe during his tour of service during WW2. Mr. Edwards gave a special thanks to his wife for the period of time he was not at home during his Red Cross volunteer work.
 Mr Edwards is a retired teacher, he told of his days as a teacher and how he felt about the poor children in which many had not eaten when they arrived at school. I think Mr. Edwards held back a tear when his thoughts drifted to the children of Sand Mountain. God Bless our World War 2 Vets and the men and women who taught in Alabama Schools many years ago.

The next speaker was Mr. K.Carl Smith, a U.S. Army Veteran. He wore a t-shirt which proudly proclaimed, "I'm an FDR Republican, a Fredrick Douglas Republican.
 "I do not want a slave master Republic." Mr. Smith spoke of the distinct differences between President Obama and Mr. Douglas, "Obama rejects our Constitution, Frederick Douglas supported our Constitution."
"We are fighting a battle of propaganda." Mr. Smith talked about the 4 values of Frederick Douglas, 1) Respect for the Constitution, 2) Respect for Life, 3) Limited Government, 4) Personal Responsibility.

"Who are the Frederick Douglas Republicans," he asked? "We are people who are not afraid to stand up for our beliefs and convictions. We are every day citizens who will fight for liberty and justice and are not satisfied with the status quo. This movement is not about the color of our skin, this is about values."

In his book Mr. Smith goes on to say, "Frederick Douglas Republicans are not bound by race, color, creed or religion. We come together as a united front..."

He spoke about Jesse Jackson and liberals being about insults, accusations and instigation's.

Mr. Smith had this to say about diversity, "Jehovah God initiated the first diversity program as he ordered his disciples to carry the word of God to the world."

Mr. K. Carl Smith was an excellent motivational speaker. I spoke with him afterwords asking if he had any political ambitions. He stated to me, "I do not at the moment, but if I do it will be at the Congressional level. His book is titled, "Frederick Douglas Republicans, A Movement to Reignite America's Passion for Liberty." Good luck to you Mr. Smith, we need people such as yourself in Washington to change the course of negative endeavors. Consider a run against Mr. Brooks.

The last speaker was Mr. Paul Reynolds, National Committeeman, Alabama Republican State Committee.
Mr. Reynolds stated, "I need feet on the ground, we need to raise $300 million dollars."

The most impressive portion of the rally was Mr. K. Carl Smith, a graduate of Alabama A&M University. He has the "right stuff," and he is a person which could motivate the people of U.S. Congressional District #5 to vote for him. I thought he was a down to earth motivational speaker and well grounded in his values. He has an innovative approach and is well versed in the "Art of Engagement." He is the "Conservative Messenger." http://conservativemessenger.org/ This Keith Smith is a Classical Liberal.

What are Frederick Douglas Republicans? http://scottsborostories.blogspot.com/

The question and challenge, will the Jackson County Tea Party distance itself from the Republican extremist "Southern Strategy," a covert policy of racial discrimination expressed in advertisements and secessionist 10th Amendment rhetoric and political policy?   http://scottsborostories.blogspot.com/2010/09/republicans-southern-strategy-racism.html   

As Mr.Smith pointed out the Democrats of the 19th and 20th century practiced slavery, racial discrimination and exclusionary policy, so did the Republicans. No doubt times have changed, members of the "White Rooster" conservatives, Alabama Democrats of old, remaining have migrated to the Republican Party and make up a base of the right wing extreme. There are Democrats which do not subscribe to extremist exclusionary political action just as there are Republicans which do not subscribe to exclusionary political action. There are conservative Democrats which display values akin to conservative Republicans but are separated by political party lines.

The terms conservative and liberal are frequently confused and utilized as a divisional tactic of both political parties. We desperately need unity and solutions for our many problems,  the most pressing being our national debt. Will the Tea Party subscribe to American Unity or support exclusively Republican Party political strategy? That is the question in which members of the Tea Party must answer. An American independent political party is needed, the Tea Party could be the beginnings of that independence if it decided to go down the road of Independence in the Spirit of America and remove itself from current political divisionary tactics.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Remembering 9-11-2001 in Pictures & Video on Scottsboro Stories

 Photographs from "The Day That Changed America" by AMI, edited by Garry Morgan)

We are approaching the 10 year anniversary of September 11, 2001, an event we know as 9-1-1, an event that changed our nation forever. Pictures and video on Scottsboro Stories.  http://scottsborostories.blogspot.com/2011/09/remembering-9-11-2001-in-pictures-and.html