"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, October 31, 2013

Scottsboro City Council and Public Hearing October 28, 2013

Scottsboro City Council Regular Session and a Public Hearing regarding the change in the city Wrecker Ordinance. Full coverage in the 2 part video below.

VIDEO-Part 2

Jackson County Commission Regular Session Oct 28, 2013

Jackson County Commission, left to right: Mr. Venable-Dist.2; Mr. Ledwell-Dist.4; Mr. Hodges-Chairman; Mr. Guffey-Dist. 1; Mr. Miller-Dist.3 (photo by G.Morgan)
Big Issue: Roads and Security.  Entrance X-ray machines certified and Radiation Safety Program established with plans; Chief Deputy is Radiation Protection Officer.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

TVA Regional Energy Resource Advisory Council (RERC) Inaugural Meeting in Hollywood, Al. and Citizen Presentations to the Council

On Wednesday, October the 23rd the inaugural meeting of the TVA Regional Energy Resource Advisory Council (RERC) took place at TVA's Hollywood, Al. Training Facility. More about this advisory council. http://www.tva.com/rerc/index.htm 

RERC Charter: http://www.tva.gov/rerc/charter.htm

News articles: Chattanooga Times Free Press - "TVA is creating a new 19-member panel known as the Regional Energy Resource Council to offer ongoing input into how TVA balances the need for reliable power and low-cost electricity with energy efficiency, cleaner energy and transmission requirements." http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2013/sep/17/tva-forms-advisory-energy-panels/
al-com - "Scottsboro resident Goodrich "Dus" Rogers, President and [CEO] of the Jackson County Economic Development Authority, is the new chairman of the recently-formed Regional Energy Resource Council for the Tennessee Valley Authority."   http://www.al.com/business/index.ssf/2013/09/scottsboro_man_jackson_county.html

The Press is Coming - "They may ask some questions...questions...questions."

From TVA: "The Council consists of up to 20 members. They are chosen to ensure objectivity and balance in representing a broad range of views and interests, including environmental, industrial, business, consumer, educational, and community leadership interests. All members of the Council are persons possessing demonstrated professional or personal qualifications relevant to TVA's energy resource activities. Meet the Council members here. "

FACA by Ms. Love, TVA Office of General Council
Info link: FACA Overview


RERC INFO & WHO IS TVA by Dr. Joe Hoagland, http://www.tva.gov/rerc/members/hoagland.html
Info links:    RERC Overview  Introduction to TVA


VIDEO Citizen Presentations to the RERC

TVA-RERC Part 3, Wrap-up

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

SUNSHINES ON Jackson County Alabama Legislative Delegations Distribution of TVA-IN-LIEU-OF-TAX-FUNDS

Jackson County Alabama Discretionary Fund Committee to meet twice monthly to deliberate and decide on the TVA-in-lieu-of-tax funds distribution. Next meeting announced to be held Nov. 5, 2013, at 2PM.
10 Years in the making, SUNSHINE WINS!
Photo-Sunlight Foundation http://sunlightfoundation.com/

Today the Discretionary Funds Committee met at the Jackson County Legislative Delegation office in Scottsboro, Alabama. The Discretionary Funds Committee distributes the TVA-in-lieu-of-taxes. The committee consists of the three Jackson County Legislators, a representative from the County Commission and the County Revenue Commissioner. This is the first time the deliberations regarding the funds dispersal has been open to public transparency.

Senator McGill announced, due to less TVA-in-lieu-of-tax funds, all fund requests approved would be reduced by 25%. Some requests were apparently incomplete and did not have total amounts of money for specific items stated in their requests and could not be approved. "The Choices Program" funding request was approved for $7500 less the 25%=$5625.00.

It was reported that the current Discretionary Fund's account balance was $131,485.00


Monday, October 21, 2013

City/County Report - Combined Scottsboro City Council Meeting Report and County Commission Work Session Report - Music on the Square-Remembering Victims of Domestic Violence

The Jackson County Commission Work Session was cancelled due to a lack of a quorum.

I was leaving the courthouse and a duo, part of the band Crosswalk, was playing religious music in the bandstand; 35 second video of the duo. Tonight was Victims of Domestic Violence Remembrance Night; Crisis Services of North Alabama  http://www.csna.org/#!  If you are involved in an abusive relationship -SEEK HELP; encourage loved ones to seek help if they require counseling or medical help because of domestic violence.


Tonight's meeting of the Scottsboro City Council consisted of 1 item, a discussion of Wrecker Service Changes. Scottsboro Police Chief Ralph Dawe discussed needed changes which included storage costs and other issues. There will be a public hearing on the issue next Monday night where participating wrecker companies will be invited to discuss the issue prior to a City Council vote.

There will be a joint work session - regular session on November the 4th due to the Nov. 11 holiday.


Friday, October 18, 2013

Jackson County Commission - Secretive Deliberations - Discretionary Fund - Jackson County Legislative Deleagtion - Involves Millions of Dollars


Treating the tax-payers like a money tree is nothing new for Alabama Legislators. Alabama Senate District 8 Republican Shad McGill and the Jackson County Legislative Delegation gives new meaning to a lack of openness in distributing Public Funds. The infamous "Discretionary Fund" raises its secretive, non-transparent hand once again. 
JACKSON COUNTY LEGISLATIVE DELEGATION SUED OVER QUESTIONABLE EXPENDITURES OF PUBLIC FUNDS  "The Legislature cannot ... execute the laws it enacts." Julian Butler of Huntsville is former County Commissioner Horace. Clemmons' attorney.
"SCOTTSBORO, Alabama -- Lawmakers for Jackson County violated the state constitution by setting themselves up as the Jackson County Discretionary Board, a four-man group in charge of millions of TVA dollars in an unrestricted account, according to a legal challenge filed Wednesday. " http://blog.al.com/wire/2013/01/sen_shadrack_mcgill_sued_over.html

 This is nothing new, as the previous Democrat Senator, Lowell Barron, had also utilized the public funds as a reelection tool. Up until recently Senator McGill and the other legislators had been quite about the funds distributions. As we approach election season pictures are appearing. Seems that Mr. McGill and Mr. Barron have the same self interests. Senator McGill being the fine principled politician would never hide the deliberative process on the distribution of public funds-right? We shall see come Tuesday October 22 at 2PM. The County Commission Chairman, Mr. Matthew Hodges indicated the Delegation Office was supposed to issue a press notice. I've not seen one, but I appreciate Mr. Hodges informing the public of this meeting as it was unannounced until last Tuesday. 
The Jackson County Commission passed a resolution Tuesday, October 15th to place a member of the commission on the Discretionary Fund Committee. Mr. Hodges places the Issue before the Commission for a vote. Agenda and other issues posted below.
LEGISLATIVE DELEGATION PURCHASES BUILDING-THEN EXPECTS THE COUNTY TO PERFORM UPKEEP ON THE OFFICE SPACE "SCOTTSBORO, Alabama -- State lawmakers from Jackson County have taken the unusual steps of incorporating as a nonprofit and buying an office building on the courthouse square in Scottsboro. The trio of lawmakers last summer bought the pink brick building, formerly a nail salon, with $100,000 that lawmakers awarded to themselves out of TVA-in-lieu of tax payments. The delegation members in Jackson County also provided themselves $2.3 million last year to hand out to private and public agencies without restriction." http://blog.al.com/wire/2013/02/jackson_county_lawmakers_passi.html   

The creation of a not-for profit entity for the distribution of public funds gives new meaning to abusing law and public position - particularly when those public funds are utilized for their reelection and wasting of public funds.
VIDEO of Commission Meeting

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Serious Crisis Looms - The Next 24 Hours will Determine the Destiny of Our Nation - 1:PM-DEAL REACHED?

Military.com photo (Fair use)

A deplorable state of our nation- http://www.military.com/daily-news/2013/10/15/troops-next-paycheck-disappears-if-us-defaults.html?ESRC=todayinmil.sm 
"The troops will get paid on Tuesday (15 October, 2013), but the check after that could come in the form of an IOU if the nation defaults on its debt obligations, Treasury Department officials said.
Default on top of the government shutdown would cancel out the hastily-crafted legislation that brought back furloughed Defense Department civilian employees and allowed for the payment of back pay, death benefits, incentive pays, re-enlistment bonuses, veterans disability benefits and survivor benefits. All would be eliminated if Congress and the White House fail to reach agreement on raising the debt ceiling to avoid default on Oct. 17, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said last week."

The Imperial Republican Party exposed

Congress and the President has a Constitutional responsibility to pay debt and pensions. Article 14, Section 4 of the United States Constitution: "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned."
The debt ceiling explained in 10 short sentences. http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/10/debt-limit-explained-ten-sentences  "Not much of a choice, is it? That's why it's time for Republicans to stop playing games with the financial equivalent of nuclear weapons and agree to raise the debt limit" - NOW!
Bloomberg Reports - "Reneging on its debt obligations would make the U.S. the first major Western government to default since Nazi Germany 80 years ago."

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Scottsboro City Council Meeting - October 14, 2013 and Scottsboro Historical Photos

Cline Picture Post Card, Laurel St. North Side of square, looking east. (circa early 1950's)
Cline Picture Post Card, First Baptist Church (circa late1940's)

April 4, 1931, first day of "Scottsboro Boys" Trial - Corner of Laurel and South Broad St.

Earliest known photo of 1st Monday, or as some called it, Horse Swappers Day. Taken from the proof photo-ex-Asheville Post Card Co. owned by Garry Morgan
The Goatman and Son in front of the old Word Motor Company, Market Street, East Side of Square (circa late1940's)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Scottsboro City Council Work Session, Budget Hearings Part 2 - Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, Focus Jackson Report

Monday was a Work Session of the City Council. Prior to the council meeting there was a Budget Hearing, this was the second hearing. Mr. Rick Roden, CEO of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce presented an excellent justification for further funding. The City of Scottsboro provides the Chamber with $65,000 in annual funding. Much of the money goes to the Impact Learning Center and other Focus Jackson Programs.
Work Session AGENDA

Budget Session, Part 2, Jackson County Chamber of Commerce Presentation

Friday, October 4, 2013

Bulldozer Accident Injures One in Scottsboro - Citizen Concerned About Accident Cause Coverup

UPDATE: Oct. 9, 2013 Scottsboro Mayor Melton Potter confirmed Monday that Scottsboro Street Superintendent Ronnie Dolberry was suspended for 30 days without pay. The accident occurred at the tree clearing site between Trammel Stadium and South Broad Street. The injured employee was not identified.
Mayor Melton Potter confirmed that an employee with the Scottsboro Street Department was injured when a bull dozer he was operating suffered an equipment failure and flipped injuring the employee. (Fair Use picture, You Tube, of bull dozier rollover accident.)
Mayor Potter stated the employee was treated and released from the Highlands Medical Center Emergency room with a sprained neck last week.

I received a phone call from a private citizen informing me of the accident as there was a concern there would be an attempt to cover up the accident event due to a failure to repair the equipment's brakes. According to my source, the brakes failed on the piece of equipment and as a result the equipment could not be stopped and rolled over.
According to the concerned citizen the brake failure had been a previously identified problem, but because of the expense of fixing the problem, the equipment was allowed to continue to be operated causing this accident and the injury to the city employee. 
The Mayor also confirmed that disciplinary action had been initiated against an unidentified supervisor but could not disclose the specifics of the disciplinary action.
The Mayor stated that no OSHA Investigation had been initiated that he was aware. OSHA Reporting requirements: http://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/new-osha300form1-1-04.pdf  This is a reportable accident.
Names have not been released concerning the accident or disciplined employees with the City of Scottsboro.

Scottsboro City Council Budget Hearing

Scottsboro City Council had a budget hearing on Monday Sep 30, 2013
>$20 million dollars balanced budget<
>4% tax revenue increase<
>Utilities increased 8-10% over previous year<
>Chief White retires Jan. 1, 2014 from Fire Department<
>Approximate cost to resurface 1 mile of road-$80,000<
>Rec-Com requested $355,000 for heat & air system for swimming pool<
>Picnic & Playground equipment needed at Carver Park<
>911 Board has requested an additional employee be funded<
>70% of dogs for city are adopted. Not true for county involvement.<
Next budget hearing, Oct 7 at 5PM