There has been much waffling by Cleveland and Bradley County officials on the subject of combining services to save the taxpayer money. The Government Study Committee has waffled, Bradley County Mayor, D. Gary Davis has waffled, Cleveland Mayor, Tom Rowland has waffled, even Cleveland Attorney Jimmy Logan is guilty of waffling on about how important and cost effective combining services can be, but none of them has been able to convince me that they are serious about saving money. Do you know why? Because the only real way to spend less money is to cut spending and cutting spending requires making cuts, a word not warmly embraced by the present leadership. In a nutshell, what they are proposing is like adding your breakfast to your lunch with the intention of loosing weight. The only real way to loose weight involves eating less, combining meals will likely just cause bloating. So it is with government spending. It takes courage and resolve to loose weight, waffling on about the benefits of being thin means little when you look in the mirror.
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So, surprise, surprise, Cleveland High School's expensive and trendy geothermal heating and cooling system is not working as planned. The hand wringing and forehead wiping has begun but where are the people who recommended a system that for decades has proven virtually useless. Geothermal heating and cooling systems look good on paper - free energy is mighty attractive and sounds sooo good when pitched by the right salesman. And interestingly, it is only public projects that are foolhardy enough to spend money on them. The writing is on the wall city taxpayers, prepare yourself for the added cost of replacement with a conventional system, but not before expensive patches have been tried. All this is not new, geothermal systems have been plagued with problems since the 60's and countless millions of public money has been flushed away trying to make them work. Cleveland employed architectural and engineering advice that is supposed to protect taxpayers from this kind of waste. The damage has been done and there is no going back but someone is responsible and a head needs to roll, publicly.
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Ugh - bad boy, bad boy
Someone who's opinion I respect said he thought I was being a little hard on Bradley County Sheriff, Dan Gilley. He said Gilley was a good sheriff and that I should back off. I agreed that as sheriffs go, Dan Gilley is probably better than most but he has a vital flaw that doesn't allow us to judge how good he really is. He is paranoid about secrecy and doesn't release any information if it could make him look bad. As a newspaper editor, this is an important and worrying trait, especially for the head of the most powerful department in the county. Sheriff Dan Gilley is completely unapproachable unless it involves a boost to his public image. He has built a wall to filter the truth from the citizens and is becoming more and more isolated from the people he represents. That cannot be good. I had reason to call his office in an effort to shed light on the mystery surrounding Deputy David O'Boyle's resignation from the force over an incident which shut down Interstate 75 because shots had allegedly been fired at the deputy. The result, any questions I had needed to be put in writing and submitted for a reply. Hardly a "The freedom of the press shall not be infringed" policy. O'Boyle had proven himself an able and courageous officer during his years on the force but apparently he had lied about the I-75 shooting and was forced to resign. I say apparently, because what actually happened is somewhat of a mystery and Gilley isn't talking. O'Boyle was instigational in retrieving millions of dollars from the proceeds of the sale of narcotics being transported along the interstate and was a decorated K9 officer. He was a likable person and the type of law enforcement officer any community would be proud to employ - so what went wrong? This is the dark side of Gilley, he limits what the citizen can know by limiting the media. Should I "back off"?
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The United Nations is responsible for ensuring honest elections throughout the world. They typically send inspectors to developing countries to eliminate election fraud. Normally, the UN is not on my Christmas card list but maybe some of the money American taxpayers give them could be put to good use if they were to send inspectors to Tennessee. This state's election process is a mess. Tennessee Coordinator of Elections, Brook Thompson, and the State Election Commission, have failed to ensure honest and tamperproof elections and have sanctioned electronic voting terminals that have been criticized in other states as being easily compromised and unreliable. They have also failed to enforce their own regulations and have appointed county election commissioners that lack the knowledge to oversee a fair ballot count. Maybe it is time to call in UN inspectors if our own people are unable to carry out the task. It is not just Tennessee that is dropping the ball at the voting booth. Lawsuits have been filed in various states by groups concerned about vote fraud. According to an Associated Press report, lawmakers from Maryland to California are expressing doubts about the integrity of paperless voting terminals made by several large manufacturers which up to 50 million Americans will use in November. The charges include shoddy balloting equipment which is open to tampering by hackers and software bugs. And the use of hardware, software and modems that could allow results to be published before polls closed. In California they are asking the state to join their lawsuit but it seems state election commissions could be part of the problem, not the answer. We ask that before Tennessee is disgraced in front of third world countries, Governor Phil Bredesen, investigate the effectiveness of Brook Thompson and the State Election Commission and the violations of election rules of conduct.
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"What do you think" Continued
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