The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.

DECEMBER    2006

                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.






Editorial for THE PEOPLE

What do you think?

editorial for The People by Pete Edwards

Promises, Promises

It is not unusual for politicians to forget campaign promises once they have been elected to office... To be correct, I should rephrase that statement - It is not unusual for politicians to forget campaign promises to Joe Blow once they have been elected to office. Public officials need Joe Blow and his family to gain the office they covert so much. It is important for them to gain power and prestige but they can't do it without convincing the public they can be trusted.  And, almost without fail the ordinary citizen gets duped into voting for an image that exists only in political advertising. A case in point, is our new Bradley County Sheriff, Tim Gobble.

He promised to reinvent the office of sheriff for the benefit of the ordinary citizen, to be available to the public and their elected representatives in an impartial and transparent manner. He promised fiscal responsibility to the taxpayer and to end the dictatorial style leadership of his predecessor. He promised equal treatment for all under the law. And, he promised to be receptive to public input and act accordingly. Recent events have proven those promises to be valueless - mere campaign promises not to be taken seriously.  After only a few short weeks Gobble's multiple personalities appear little different from our last sheriff. In short, it looks as though we have been screwed.... again.

Tim Gobble is a career public employee. Has always been insulated from the people who pay his wages. Not answerable to his employer the taxpayer for his actions, enjoying total job security providing he protect the status-quo of other public servants.

I believe the controversy that has erupted between Gobble and the County Commission is really one between a public employee trying to improve life for fellow public employees and the County Commission who hold the purse strings and represent the public. It is not, I repeat, not about Sgt. Coultry's take-home pay after being injured. There are thousands in the community who, like myself, would volunteer personal responsibility for any shortfall in Coultry's income. This is not about short-changing a courageous and gallant man in his hour of need as Gobble would have us believe, it is about where Sheriff Gobble's loyalty is and where it should be.

It may be time for the new sheriff to remember who he works for. Who pays his salary. Who invested in him the trust to serve the interest of the community above all others. It may be time for him to re-evaluate his commitment to the community, commitment to his

Pete Edwards
Editor - Publisher

"What do you think" Continued

campaign promises and the people who trusted him.

Harsh comments on a newly elected official? Yes. Did I contact Sheriff Gobble for his side of the story... for an interview? No I didn't. One of The People News writers e-mailed him requesting a sit down meeting, there was no reply... seems the door to the sheriff's office is already closed to all but the most influential. I believe it is going to be a long, miserable four years for Bradley county citizens and the County Commission.

That's what I think. What do you think?

Forced cleanup of

Most people desire to live in a clean and neat community with freshly painted houses, picket fences and mowed weed free lawns but the reality is, real life is not like that. We have to accept cracked pavements, unleveled sidewalks and ugly utility poles as part of the real world. Sometimes our neighbors are not to our liking, the way they arrange their lives and upkeep their property annoys us and, believe it or not, we annoy them. It is all part of living in a community and most of us accept it, except for one member of the Bradley County Commission and an overzealous building code inspector. They want the power of government to be used to punish homeowners who don't conform to their view of the world, including condemnation of private property.

The Commissioner in question, Stanbery Clan member, Lisa Stanbery, sees everything through the eyes of someone who has been spoiled and privileged most of her entire life. And, through the eyes of a property speculator who develops land to make money. The proposal she is trying to persuade fellow commissioners to adopt as law is what has been innocently called cleaning up the neighborhood. Lets make no mistake as to what this proposal is really about, its about throwing people out of their homes if they don't maintain them in the fashion Stanbery and other real estate special interest think they should. Of course, Stanbery doesn't have the authority to threaten homeowners herself so she has enlisted the help of Tina Rice, one of Bradley County's building code inspectors.

Ms. Rice has built a reputation as an arrogant public official who likes to call the shots and throw her official weight around. She has said that she refuses to go into some homes because they turn her stomach and that she needs more power to force homeowners to clean up the mess, even the power to condemn homes if she doesn't like them.

Although Rice may find it offensive for people to choose the way they want to live, it seems to me that given her propensity to abuse and misinterpret the authority invested in her, she should be the last person to be allowed to suggest stiffer laws and penalties. In fact, it would be safer for all of us if she were to be given a job in some back office shuffling papers away from the public and their property.

For those of you who think a law like this may be good for property values, you might consider the possibility that someday Tina Rice could be knocking on your door demanding to vet your living conditions and threatening  to condemn  your house. Couldn't happen in Bradley county or to you personally? Ask the people forced out of their homes in New London by the use of eminent domain (another innocent sounding name) at the whim of some self serving property developers and overzealous officials.

Laws like the one being proposed are always abused eventually by people just like Stanbery and Rice. To believe it couldn't happen in Bradley county is unrealistic and quite frankly, stupid.

That's what I think. What do you think?

Something to consider

Recent Bradley County Commission meetings:-

October, held in Bradley Central High School office board room...  school board wanted more money for schools.

November, held in Cleveland public library... library board wanted more money for the library.

December, will be held at the Cleveland Bradley Chamber of Commerce.... wonder what they will be wanting?

May 2007, is scheduled for the Bradley Rehabilitation Center (nursing home).... hold on to your wallets. It could be an expensive year.

That's what I think. What do you think?

"What do you think?" Continued