"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, June 20, 2016

The Boat and the Mayor of Scottsboro - Deep Throat 11 - The Expose Continues - Shh, we had a boat, now we don't, the Mayor sold it, where's the money, but don't tell anyone - Update and Sexual Harassment.

Photo of Mayor Melton Potter at the State of the City Address. Photo by G.Morgan

(UPDATE JUNE 30, 2016)
Code of Alabama 1975 § 11-43-56 “Except as otherwise provided in this title, the council shall have the management and control of the finances and all of the property, real and personal, belonging to the city or town.”

UPDATE - July 6, 2016:  Whose fault is it, the Mayor, Mr. Wheeler, or the City Council, maybe all?

Informant says "Boat case forwarded to DA's office for review."
In other developments, the informant has reported more incidents of sexual harassment from the financial department for the City of Scottsboro. Unfortunately, it appears that our fearless leaders are as confused about this issue as they are on Das Boat. It seems the boy just can't keep his "camera to himself." And City Leadership does not want to correct the problem, instead they hide the problem. This is turning into a multi-issue mess of failed leadership practices and incompetence. 

Sinking Boat Politics - A lack of leadership and corrective action.
Sexual Harassment - "Prevention is the best tool to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace. Employers are encouraged to take steps necessary to prevent sexual harassment from occurring. They should clearly communicate to employees that sexual harassment will not be tolerated. They can do so by providing sexual harassment training to their employees and by establishing an effective complaint or grievance process and taking immediate and appropriate action when an employee complains."  
City of Scottsboro leadership has not required nor provided training regarding sexual harassment.

In December 2012 a citizen donated a boat to the City of Scottsboro. I vaguely remember a discussion about this as it was stated a boat would be good to show industrial prospects around the community. 
Goosepond Colony (GPC) Marina photo - The folks at GPC did not know any specifics about the boat other than to confirm the City of Scottsboro did have a boat tied up on the end of one of the docks. (Fair use photo for non-profit news reporting and commentary.)

The Clarion, article by Heather Garner - "After doing a public records request asking for a copy of the city council meeting minutes showing acceptance of the boat donation; city council meeting minutes showing the boat was declared as surplus property; a copy of the donation letter given to the Culvers and a copy of the bill of sale showing the boat was sold, it was discovered that the City Council never publicly accepted the donation, the property was never declared surplus, and that copies of the donation letter and bill of sale were not kept for recording, by the City. According to Rick Wheeler, City Finance Director, the boat was never listed as an asset by the City and it was never insured by the City."
More on the boat issue:
During today's discussions (June 30, 2016) with Mayor Potter regarding the insurance carriers loss control report, I asked the Mayor, who was responsible for management of property within the city in regards to the boat issue? His reply, "Rick Wheeler." 

UPDATE - Bill of Sale provided on June 27, 2016
Boat was sold in April 2014
(click on image for an expanded view)
This is a boat similar to the one sold for $3000.00, a 1979 Marinette Cabin Cruiser. Fair Use photo for non-profit news reporting and commentary, unknown contributor.

City took payments from purchaser
Clarion Report
"Records received by the City of Scottsboro, on a Cash Collection History Report, show cash payments in the amount of $2,300 on December 13,2013, $200 on January 3, 2014, $200 received on February 7,2014 and $300 on March 3,2014, received from Rick Nugent."

 There is other information which has been provided to me regarding Scottsboro's financial accountability and the numerous accounts of the City of Scottsboro. It is this citizens opinion that a forensic audit of the City of Scottsboro should be accomplished as soon as possible by the Alabama Department of Public Examiners which should include all financial accounts, cash records, and all property records and control policies.

Fair use for non-profit news reporting and commentary. 

Does the City of Scottsboro leadership pass the test of good governance?


Anonymous said...

have you thought about submitting these as letters to the Daily Sentinel? A lot more relevant to local area that the letters written by Joe Stapleton (not sure I have his name correct).

Garry said...

Forget that, the Daily Sentinel and I do not agree regarding their pandering to politician's egotistical needs. That is about as nice as I can be regarding their agenda toward political news and the government of the City of Scottsboro.

Anonymous said...

I think you would add much more credibility to your post by not using sources such as " verbal statement given to me ". Try by ....., or by a boat appraiser, or by a Google search of boat values. Not disputing all or some of whatever you are suggesting, I really don't know. But " a little bird told me" ( as a source) doesn't help solidify what ever you're alleging. I've noticed this in several of your post ( lack of even a vague attempt at identifying a source).

Garry said...

Thanks for your comment Mr. or Ms. Anonymous, here is my answer, called "Leadership Problems of Scottsboro."

Apparently, secrecy is more important than appropriate governance. You are an example, you are anonymous, even you do not want to be identified as to your comments. Do you know the appraised value of the boat?

An Unfortunate Fact - If I listed the name of my sources, I would have no source(s). "A little bird told me" are your words, they are a fallacy with the intent to discredit. If you want to know more about what is occurring, go ask, quit being lazy, or do you already know?

Leadership Failure - All is connected to failed leadership - People do not want to come forward to be identified, particularly city employees, they are afraid, and they have reason to be afraid. The management style of our Mayor and some Department Heads are based on politics, fear and retaliation. There is a basic lack of professional measurable performance standards in Scottsboro's personnel system. All of this is connected to the boat story, due to the failure of Scottsboro's leadership. This is all about leadership failures, which includes failed accountability.

Developing Story - The "boat" story is a developing story. One of the problems is the lack of transparency and intentional covering-up of facts. The story is listed as I find it, maybe a records request would be fruitful? Unfortunately, the Mayor and Clerk have refused to provide records with a few exceptions. They refer the requests for records to their attorneys, Lanier Ford in Huntsville for a song and dance in their 10 story high rise. How much is this costing citizens, I have asked this via a records request, that info has not been provided along with other requests for city records not being provided. Even though there is an attempt to hide records and not be transparent, I will request a Bill of Sale regarding the boat.

I have interviewed 6 people in this story. Whether you Mr. or Ms. Anonymous, or others, wish to believe this story is up to you, personally I could care less.

Disconnect, Secrecy, Culture - The reason for my reporting on issues of government is because of the disconnect of citizens to their government and government secrecy. Deceit and secrecy in government have been observed on many occasions while closely following local government's actions for 14 years.

An extremely conservative culture is problematic and dangerous. Such is the situation with the election of prior appointed officials into public office. Another related observation, there is an attitude among many connected to government, and in the community, which prefers secrecy. It is part of what I call the local "Klickish-Klanish-Klatches." The need for secrecy and compartmentalizing decision making and information into closed close knit groups. This is not part of good governance. Media could help, unfortunately local corporate media does not help, in my opinion there is a lack of investigatory will in corporate media at the local level.

Anonymous said...

I now understand a boat is missing.But when Keith Smith was Chief of Police there were police motorcycles purchased for the City. I never seen them used nor did I ever see where they were sold nor the price that they sold for. You can't say anything bad or what they don't agree with Mr.Bonner for the News Paper in this town,If you call the radio station Mr.Bell WWIC he will tell you he is good friends with the Mayor and he want let you ask are say anything about the Mayor.My ex worked for the City for 20 years if they say anything they loss there job.This hole City and County needs to be cleaned up.If you are talking to people from other Counties in Alabama they laugh at us as citizens of our County for letting these same people our dollars pay for rip us off.And we keep voting them in.