prominence, change is a real possibility. To be sure, change will not happen overnight but as the vote margins level out between the heavily backed and the personally financed candidates the message will have been sent. Also, more ordinary and trustworthy people will be encouraged to run for office. As an added bonus, no vote is wasted if the platform on which the losing outsider campaigned is incorporated into the winner's future decision making process.
To the ordinary voters, the name and personality of the candidate voted for should not be important, it is whether your vote helps to change the political landscape for the better that counts. That's what I think.
What do you think?
Who's running this town?
Allan Jones, the infamous king of what has been called the payday loan-sharking business, seems to be calling the shots in Cleveland and Bradley County nowadays and he has most of the town's leaders licking his boots.
First establishing himself as a prominent property owner by buying up many unused buildings in downtown Cleveland, he then went on to take control of the quasi-governmental MainStreet Cleveland to promote revitalization of the area he owns, largely by using public money. Now he seems to have liberty to close public streets during Halloween for his personal entertainment, using city and county police to enforce the no-go areas of his choice. It was reported that he was handing out personal passes to his friends which allowed free passage through the police cordons.
It approaches a gray area of legality for a private citizen, no matter how influential, to restrict public access of public streets for a private purpose. The Editor of the Bradley News Weekly was threatened with arrest for daring to enter the no-go area uninvited. I do believe that had it been this editor, having witnesses present as he did, I would have chosen arrest. The fact that the singer Little Richard was in the area is immaterial. Entertainers of Richard's stature often insist that the public is kept at a distance but that doesn't allow private individuals to hire them and close off public roads. Had a reporter been arrested for disobeying the restriction, I believe Cleveland and its leaders could have faced an embarrassing time in court.
Where is Allan Jones mentioned in the US Constitution or its amendments? Where does it say that Allan Jones can use the civil police force to deny the 1st Amendment protection of a free press? Where in city codes does it say that a private individual can close streets for a party? In fact, where does it state that a private company, MainStreet Cleveland, can close public areas in order to generate funding as it does during Halloween? Although the public are not required to pay a fee, vendors are, with the proceeds fattening MainStreet Cleveland's coffers and not the city's general fund. The antics of MainStreet Cleveland are destroying the Halloween Block Party and have done nothing to enhance downtown but waste taxpayer dollars. Will someone explain what good they are except to Allan Jones?
If Jones' influence stretches much further, the name of our city may as well be changed to Jonesville. Come to think of it, that may be the plan.
What do you think?
Upholding the law
Still on the subject of the Halloween Block Party and the threatened arrest of the Bradley News Weekly Editor Barry Graham, could have posed a dilemma for city and county law enforcement. Had Bradley County Sheriff's Deputy Travis Greene, actually detained Graham and transported him to the county jail as he said he would, could he then claim immunity from damages because he was carrying out an order? Being a certified law enforcement officer, should he have known better? Also, do the citizens of this county want their police officers to treat them in the manner Graham was treated? Reporter or not, Graham deserved to be treated with respect, especially at a community block party event which is supposed to enhance and encourage community participation. Police training is designed to prevent occurrences where an officer oversteps the authority invested in him by the Sheriff and the community. Deputy Greene is not a member of the Gestapo, he is a police officer sworn to uphold the law and protect the public which he failed to do. He ignored police training and misused his authority. There should be a public inquiry to determine if procedure was followed and what action to take to prevent its reoccurrence. What is happening to Cleveland?
What do you think?
"What do you think" Continued
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