"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."


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Jackson County Board of Education Superintendent Selection

Jackson County Alabama Board of Education Web Site Logo  
(Fair Use for Non-Profit News Reporting)

Scottsboro, Alabama - August 25, 2015 Jackson County Board of Education Superintendent selection, part 1. The first three Superintendent candidates were interviewed Tuesday; the second two candidates will be interviewed Thursday. Full videos will not be released until Thursday evening. Selection will be Friday morning at the Jackson County Board of Education meeting.

Dr. Bart Reeves, a Guntersville School System principal, was selected in a split vote by the Jackson County Board of Education (#-2) as Superintendent. Dr. Reeves was also the finalist in other Board of Education Superintendent searches. http://www.advertisergleam.com/news/education/guntersville-principal-a-superintendent-finalist/article_7f246a46-edaf-11e4-b7cd-b3e5202be376.html

Board Member Cecil Gant, while standing, declared, "Divine guidance led us to seek Dr. Edwards as interim board superintendent." Dr. Dale Edwards was the Guntersville City Schools Superintendent. Daily Sentinel Article: http://thedailysentinel.com/feature_story/article_65c0e548-14f1-11e5-9b3d-23726380c955.html  Further background on Dr. Edwards by, now retired HuntsvilleTimes Staff writer, David Brewer: http://blog.al.com/breaking/2010/01/edwards_named_guntersville_sch.html

After watching the videos and candidates, it is my opinion that Dr. Angela Guess was the most qualified for the interim position. Dr. Guess will be retiring at the end of her term and she serves as Assistant Superintendent at this time, The next full term county superintendent will be determined by election.

The Jackson County Board of Education declines to select the most qualified candidate and maintains its' history of having a male as the county board superintendent. Is the action discriminatory, that is not for me to say. However, there is the appearance of a discriminatory action and it is my belief there should be an investigation into the matter due to the failure to select the most qualified for the position.
Dr Angela Guess, Assistant Superintendent Jackson County Board of Education (photo by G. Morgan)

Opinion on Alleged Discriminatory Practice Regarding Jackson County Board of Education Selection of County Schools Superintendent; by Garry Morgan, Department of Defense Race Relations Equal Opportunity Management Specialist, DRRI-DEOMI, Retired

Dr. Guess was not afforded the opportunity of an initial introduction, as stated by the board attorney. Question #1 was asked immediately after an explanation of how the interview would take place. The Board Attorney ignored his own statement regarding the interview process opening introduction by not allowing Dr. Guess an introductory statement afforded to the male candidates. 
All short video segments - http://arklite.blogspot.com/2015/09/jackson-county-board-of-education.html

Board Member Cecil Gant's long and unrelated statements regarding selection of Dr. Edwards as Interim Superintendent during Dr. Guess's interview. Mr. Gant's statements were unnecessary, peculiar and brings to mind the declaration by Mr. Gant prior to the vote on Friday, August 28, 2015 regarding Dr. Edwards selection as Interim Superintendent was influenced by "divine guidance." ( video:  https://youtu.be/mgreiIJezRY  )  Dr. Edwards is from Guntersville, as is Dr. Reeves, the School Board Superintendent selectee. 

There is the appearance of a discriminatory action. Mr. Gant's diatribes may point to an attempt to cover-up an intentional action of sexual discrimination by indicating that "divine guidance" had taken place. Dr. Guess was passed over for selection as the Interim Superintendent, she was serving as the Assistant Jackson County School Board Superintendent..

It is my opinion, there should be a formal investigation regarding sexual discrimination by the Jackson County Board of Education regarding the failure to select Dr. Guess as Interim Superintendent and the final selection process for the Superintendent. 

It is suggested that the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare should conduct an investigation regarding sexual discrimination as Federal Funds are being received by the Jackson County Alabama School System. Three reasons for investigation - 1) Dr. Angela Guess appears to be the most qualified candidate per the public interview process. 2) The unusual opening sequence by the boards attorney regarding Dr. Guess, and 3) the subsequent statements not related to the selection process by Mr. Cecil Gant when asking questions of Dr. Guess during the public interview.   
Garry Morgan, U.S. Army Medical Department, Retired; Department of Defense Race Relations Equal Opportunity Management Specialist, DRRI-DEOMI, Retired

Jackson County Board of  Education Superintendent Candidates Bios
Click on page image for an expanded view.

Jackson County Board of Education Interim Superintendent videos may be viewed at the Board of Education's web site, Apple Movie Player is requirted, link:http://www.jackson.k12.al.us/  Direct Moodle link: http://moodle.jackson.k12.al.us/course/view.php?id=1325   I will have my short candidate intro videos up later.

Board of Education Meeting, 8-28-15

The Jackson County Board of Education has a very informative "About Us" page listing with area demographics and schools listings, worth the time to check it out: http://www.jackson.k12.al.us/?PN=AboutUs

Ken Harding, Jackson County Alabama Schools Superintendent retired July 1, 2015 
(Ken Harding election photo by G. Morgan)

Past Superintendent Ken Harding retired on July 1st, 2015. A Daily Sentinel article about Harding's retirement by Wes Mayberry quoted Harding as saying, "“God has richly blessed me in my career in the education business. In this job, even though I felt like I was being tested at times, I feel like this is what I was supposed to do,” he said. “I am proud to be a part of this system and am proud to have played a small role in getting the system to where it is today.” Read more at - http://thedailysentinel.com/feature_story/article_12aad77e-ef3a-11e4-8ff6-23c8fb06e374.html

Dr Dale Edwards replaced Mr. Harding as superintendent, passing over Dr. Guess as Interim Superintendent.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Jackson County Commission Regular Session and Budget Hearing

Jackson County Courthouse south side. (photo by G. Morgan)
    Jackson County Commission - Budget reduction blues - Projected that near $700,000 to be cut from county budget due to budget shortfall. This will affect the entire operation of services at Jackson County Courthouse.It is estimated near 6000 poor and elderly will be adversely impacted by the necessary budget reductions due to cuts to the Council on aging, meals on wheels and senior Rx programs. Most likely, cuts to retired county employee workers insurance will take place. 
Partial list of projected cuts 
Senior RX program, Council on Aging, Meals on Wheels, Rural Transportation - $20,000-$40,000; these programs receive Federal money, for every $1 lost will equal $2 in Federal Funding. County Health Department - $27,000; County Extension Programs, 4-H, Forestry programs etc; Court House Security, one door open; District Attorneys Office-$20,000; Courthouse opening limited to 36 hour week. Current worker and retiree insurance cuts; Registrars Office cut of funds; possible up to 15 people may be laid off; salary cuts to officials and employees, the courthouse operations will be 36 hours instead of 40 hours.

(Click on image for an expanded view.)

Regular Session Video

Full Budget Hearing Video (41 minutes)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Tennessee Valley Authority Board of Directors Meeting August 21, 2015 - Report

TVA Power Fist (Fair Use rights for non-profit news reporting and commentary.)

Chattanooga Times Free Press article
"TVA directors on Friday adopted a $10.7 billion spending plan for fiscal 2016 that will raise electricity rates by 1.5 percent. The rate hike, the same as in each of the past two years, will raise an extra $200 million from customers in TVA's seven-state territory."

Meeting Agenda

The TVA has changed their format, the above link is dead!  This is the current link reflecting the changes in the slide presentations:  https://www.tva.com/file_source/TVA/Site%20Content/About%20TVA/Our%20Leadership/Board%20of%20Directors/Meetings/2013/February%2014,%202013/board_slides_021413.pdf


Listening Session - Citizen Input
Part 1 Sierra Club

Part 2 - Speakers from the Southern Environmental Law Center and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

Part 3 selected citizen comments. Tennessee Environmental Council, BREDL/BEST/MATRR, PSR.

TVA Executive Presentations
Presidents Report

IRP Report - an excuse for nuclear power.

Chief Financial Officer's report, FY 2016 budget. 3rd Quarter debt increase. .
Official TVA Video

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Jackson County Alabama 1% Sales Tax Issue - Voters Have Spoken

(photo by G. Morgan)

Final vote for the 1% Tax issue, all precincts reporting - Yes - 2622; No - 3947

VIDEO with Interviews and voter tabulation process.

Jackson County Commission Work Session and Scottsboro City Council Agendas and Videos







Friday, August 14, 2015

Town Hall Meeting with U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions at Scottsboro's City Hall, august 13, 2015

U.S. Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions (R) meet with local citizens, politicians and government officials in Scottsboro Thursday at Scottsboro's City Hall. Wiki's Bio on Senator Sessions - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Sessions  (photos by G. Morgan, videos below produced and videography by G. Morgan - All Rights Reserved)

Complete Video of Town Hall Meeting 

Citizen Comments and Questions

Senator Sessions on Citizens United and Campaign Finance Reform

The Citizens United Case
"Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, No. 08-205, 558 U.S. 310 (2010), is a U.S. constitutional law case dealing with the regulation of campaign spending by organizations. The United States Supreme Court held that the First Amendment prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by a nonprofit corporation. The principles articulated by the Supreme Court in the case have also been extended to for-profit corporations, labor unions and other associations. "  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_United_v._FEC

Campaign Finance Reform 
"Campaign finance reform is the political effort in the United States to change the involvement of money in politics, primarily in political campaigns."

"Although attempts to regulate campaign finance by legislation date back to 1867, the first successful attempts nationally to regulate and enforce campaign finance originated in the 1970s. The Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) of 1972 required candidates to disclose sources of campaign contributions and campaign expenditures. It was amended in 1974 with the introduction of statutory limits on contributions, and creation of the Federal Election Commission (FEC). It attempted to restrict the influence of wealthy individuals by limiting individual donations to $1,000 and donations by political action committees (PACs) to $5,000. These specific election donations are known as ‘hard money.’ The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) of 2002, also known as "McCain-Feingold", after its sponsors, is the most recent major federal law on campaign finance, which revised some of the legal limits on expenditures set in 1924, and prohibited unregulated contributions (commonly referred to as "soft money") to national political parties. ‘Soft money’ also refers to funds spent by independent organizations that do not specifically advocate the election or defeat of candidates, and funds which are not contributed directly to candidate campaigns."

"In early 2010, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that corporate funding of independent political broadcasts in candidate elections cannot be limited pursuant to the right of these entities to free speech."

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Scottsboro City Council Meeting, August 10, 2015 - Senator Sessions Town Hall Meeting Announcement

Announced by Mayor Potter - U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R) will hold a Town Hall Meeting on Thursday,  August 13, 2015 at 3:30 PM at the Scottsboro City Hall Auditorium.

Message from the Scottsboro Police Department on Public Safety - http://scottsboropd.org/?p=752


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Jackson County Commission, Information on 1% Sales Tax Proposal - Video Presentations

Jackson County Commission - Scottsboro, Alabama Jackson County Courthouse August 3, 2015 - Information Session on Proposed 1% Sales Tax.


Click on image for an expanded view.

Video Jackson County Commission, Proposed 1% Sales Tax Information Session, with Questions and Answers - Part 1.

Video Jackson County Commission, Proposed 1% Sales Tax Information Session, with Questions and Answers - Part 2.

April 2015 - Bryant, Alabama - Commissioner District 1 Tim Guffey (R) discusses need for 1% tax increase and balanced budget.