"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, September 27, 2013

Scottsboro City Council, Regular Session, Sep. 23, 2013

The  Monday, Sep, 23, 2013 Council Meeting was continued until October 3, 2013.
AGENDA for Sep 23, 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Inquiry to the Scottsboro Electric Power Board Regarding Trees, Power Sub-stations, and Costs of Tree Cutting between S. Broad St. and Trammell Stadium in Scottsboro, Al.

Today at 9AM I interviewed Mr. John Powell, Finance/Human Relations Manager and Mr. Jimmy Sandlin Director of the Scottsboro Electric Power Board (SEPB). Mr. Sandlin and Mr. Powell were very cordial, open and willingly assisted me in my quest for information

My interview was a scheduled meeting to inspect Public Records. Copy of the request below.
The following information was provided via a public documents request  1) 3542 Board Feet of saw mill grade logs were sold to Moss Hardwood. This sale brought $1192.85. 2) Pulp grade timber was sold to C&E Industries in the amount of 130 net tons. Estimated sale will be between $20.00 to $30.00 per ton. Estimated sale may be up to $3000.00. A sale check from C & E has not been "cut" as of this writing. 3)  Two contractors, L&S Construction and Thompson's, were paid for 70 loads of debris removal at $50.00 per load, total payment for debris removal was $3500.00 dollars.
 My "WAG" estimation for total man hours involved for 6 employees working 50 hours each equals 300 estimated total hours at an average of $15.00 per employee per hour equals an estimate of
$4500.00 for man hours worked. Estimate of 100 gallons of fuel at $3.00 per gallon=$300.00  Estimated cost of project: $8300.00; estimated funds to be held in escrow for purchase of trees is $2700-$4100.
                              Scottsboro Electric Power Board Visit
A suggestion, SEPB has a Google Blog http://sepbblog.blogspot.com/  the power board should use it. There are hundreds of applications and information dissemination possibilities with the Blogger. Let some high school or local college students run it as a Journalism project.

The 2014 Jackson County Commission Deficit Budget with Borrowing Authority - Commission Regular Session

Jackson County Commission 2014 Deficit Budget with borrowing authority. Regular Meeting of the Jackson County Commission at the Jackson County Courthouse,  Scottsboro, Alabama on Monday, Sep. 23, 2013.  "The commission has been spending more than they take in for several years," said Mr. Matthew Hodges, Chairman Jackson County Commission.

   BUDGET DOCUMENTS -click on document for an expanded view.
2014 - $7,788,796.38 General Fund Revenue

2014 - $8,705,273,.71  General Fund Expenditures

Regular Session Agenda and notes

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Trees versus Power - A failure to communicate properly, clearing of power lines or clearing for advertisers?

There has been much discussion of late about the cutting of trees between South Broad street and the Scottsboro Football Stadium. My video concerning the issue.

Jackson County's Clarion Newspaper filed this story: http://www.theclarion.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6893:trees-cut-to-prevent-power-disruption-sandlin-says&catid=42:clarion-rotation-stories&Itemid=142

WAFF Ch 48 Story: http://www.waff.com/story/23489593/scottsboro-superintendent-made-decision-to-cut-trees-near-stadium?utm_content=bufferd0c8e&utm_source=buffer&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Buffer
WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

More from WAFF: http://www.waff.com/story/23480309/scottsboro-residents-upset-over-trees-cut-near-high-school-stadium

Scottsboro's Electric Power Board Director Jimmy Sandlin says the trees were removed because they were creating a hazard for the power lines. Others say, not so fast, the trees were removed because of advertising on the newly refurbished Trammel Football Stadium.

Several facts stand out: 1) The Scottsboro Power Board nor the Scottsboro Board of Education announced to the public in advance of the tree cutting project. 2) There was a problem with clearance on part of the power lines in the area of the cutting, but not all. 3) What happened to the logs - where did they go, were they sold? 4) Is the property in which the trees were cut and the logs produced TVA property or property of the City of Scottsboro (Part of the property is below the 600ft TVA reservoir flood level). Did TVA survey the area and give a recommendation?

Scottsboro Tree Commission Meeting Videos
Scottsboro City Schools Superintendent, Dr. Judy Berry's Presentation to Tree Commission 

Scottsboro Electric Power Board Director Mr. Jimmy Sandlin's Presentation to Tree Commission

Tree Commission gets tough intro and an "aura of a clandestine nature."

Tree Commission gets tough finale.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Scottsboro City Council Work Session September 16, 2013

Monday was a work session of the city council.

Jackson County Commission Work Session, Sep. 16, 2013

Monday September 16, 2013 was a work session of the Jackson County Commission.
Greg Wade makes presentation to commission concerning the deteriorating condition of the county road by his home.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Scottsboro City Council - Combined Session Sep. 9, 2013

Monday was a combined work session and regular session of the Scottsboro City Council.
Items 1-4 were approved during the Regular Session. There was a public hearing for an alcohol license which was approved for Norma J. Baker at the Bass Quick Stop location on Parks Avenue.
A Resolution was approved per a request from Mr. Smith in regards to a residence on the west end of College Ave. A creek runs under the home and has destroyed the foundation. The city had requested help from the Federal Legislative Delegation to expedite FEMA fund disbursal.. The Resolution was addressed to the Federal Legislators as individuals. This issue has been ongoing for over 2 years. 
Mayor's Report: 1) Mayor suggested the 5th Monday, Sep 30, 2013 at 4:30PM be the time for the Budget Hearings at City Hall. 2) The Scottsboro Fire Department has the Breast Cancer T-Shirts for sale-$10.00 each; the Fire Department raised $35,000 last year for cancer patients via their
"pink shirt" sales.

Regular Session of the Jackson County Commission, Sep. 9, 2013

Monday, Sep. 9, 2013 was a Regular Meeting of the Jackson County Commission.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Jackson County Commission Work Session and "We want our property back."

Approximately 1.5 acres of property (50ft. by 1320ft. marked on Google map) between South Broad Street and Bob Jones Avenue was deeded to Jackson County in 1966. The County Attorney, John Porter, reported the original owners deeded the property to the county for unknown reasons. The property owners heirs and families are requesting the county return the property to them. Mr. Porter stated to the commission that he would draw up a deed to transfer the property to the original owners which are attempting to sell the property. Mr. Kenneth Looney is serving as the previous owners attorney. (see video below)
My thoughts based on experience and reading: In Alabama any property that is to be disposed of by a government entity, such as Jackson County, must be declared excess. Governmental Real Estate property can not be "given away," it must be sold for fair market value unless there is a stipulation in the deed that the property is to be returned either for non-usage or after a specified time frame. (Section 94 of the Constitution - State of Alabama prohibits giving the property away in aid of an individual or corporation. http://www.legislature.state.al.us/codeofalabama/constitution/1901/toc.HTM  ) It is my understanding that none of the conditions described are contained in the deed.
Mr. Porter briefs county commission on "we want it back" property issue, Commission Chairman Matthew Hodges looks on.
Surplus equipment discussed and Sheriff's Department Uniform bid will be rebid, see video below for full report.
In other business, the commission held a budget hearing for Public Works after the work session. It was disclosed that the original 2014 budget for Public Works reflected proposed expenditures of $3.4 million dollars. It was reported that total revenues are estimated at $2.495 million. Those figures reflect an original deficit of $905,000 in the Public works account, expenditures vs revenue. The expenditures were revised to reflect a $2.7 million budget for public works. It was stated, "the public works fund will need to be supplemented." The "supplemental funds" needed will be approximately $200,000.

Monday, September 2, 2013

First Monday Chronicles, Labor Day Weekend 2013 - Photographs Around the Square Saturday Morning, August 31st

In memory of an ole knife trader and friend, Mr. John T. Dolberry, may he rest in peace. From the First Monday chronicles of 2008 Labor Day.

The earliest known photograph of First Monday, then known as Horse Swapper Day, or as the Ashville Post Card Company called it, Jockey Day. I purchased the former Ashville Post Card Company original proof photograph of this scene in 2007 on an online auction.

Photographs of the 2013 1st Monday Trade Days Weekend.