New year's restitution.
January 2004, the start of a brand new year. Just as the first month of 2003 didn't reveal the year's future, so it will be again. Only God is privy to our future but He has blessed us with intuition that can sometimes supply clues to the way ahead. Time has a bad habit of scuttling the most carefully laid out plans. Tim Gobble, Lee Reese, Gary Hicks, George Poe, Rod Davis, Bambi Hines, Avery Johnson, Joe Cate and Tom Rowland all witnessed unexpected life changes that were scarcely imaginable at the beginning of 2003.
These are unsettled times politically in Bradley county. Gone are the days of business as usual tranquillity. Even the hitherto socially immune are gaining the spotlight, beginning to be held accountable for their dastardly deeds. Just as the actions of an unruly US Supreme Court has signaled the need for massive change, it is likely that local judicial icons such as the Grand Jury and their partners in business, the appointing judge and District Attorney's Office will soon lose their credibility and be despised and distrusted by the citizens. And just as with the Gobble spectacle, investigations will be held, resignations forced, jobs lost and businesses ruined.
The past year has sounded a warning bell to what the Weekly warmingly referred to as the "Cleveland cocktail club" but I liken to a government sponsored Mafia. Unlike the Sicilian Mafia though, who's leaders are well known and high profile, the Cleveland Mafia has a hidden hierarchy covered by a protective layer of likable but ruthless scalawags we affectionately call our elected leaders. Some of these "leaders" believe they have been accepted into the inner circle when in actuality they are conveniently being used as front-men, while others are truly Mafia lieutenants patiently waiting their turn at the top.
The time has come to finally put an end to a system that has kept wages artificially low while forcing up prices. The time has come to end the unfair tax breaks, the overpriced contracts, the shady land deals and the victimization of the weak. The time has come to start this new year off on the right foot. The time has come for restitution.
What do you think?
A shot in the foot.
Sheriff Dan Gilley has been playing Russian Roulette with his integrity for years but the number of empty chambers are dwindling. Gilley shot himself in the foot recently when he miscalculated the popularity of our volunteer servicemen. The arbitrary exclusion of National Guard men and women from employment opportunities in his department speaks for itself and needs no extra comment, but how he handled damage control, says volumes about the man. In typical fashion, Gilley attempted to convince the citizens that he was in fact the victim of unfair media distortion - remember disgraced Police Chief Lee Reese did the same. In an official tantrum like Reese's, Gilley, in a letter to the Cleveland Daily Banner and the Bradley News Weekly, viciously attacked negative coverage and an outspoken editorial the Banner had run. He suckered the Weekly into defending him by honoring them with a rare but orchestrated interview.
Sheriff Gilley does not tolerate negative publicity and has employed a small army to shield him from scandal. This time even his close allies at the Banner could not condone his unthinkable behavior and urged him to reconsider.
Gilley went ballistic, but his damage control seemed to have successfully quenched the fire.
Veterans Affairs Director Gary Bennifield, went from outrage to support for Gilley in an unexpected turnaround just about the same time County Commissioner Howard Thompson made a motion to increase funding for Bennifield's office. Of course, the fact that Thompson also has one of Gilley's Special Deputy's get out of jail free cards and is beholding to him, had no bearing on his sudden compassion for the Veterans Affairs Office.
And, the Weekly didn't seem to recognize Gilley's attack on the Banner as being similar to Reeses attack on them, go figure the Weekly's logic. Seems like double standards to me, especially as the Weekly had complained that the Banner hadn't condemned Reese's actions when the muck was being tossed in their direction.
My prediction is that Sheriff Dan Gilley will continue to lose favor and his damage control team will become less effective as the year draws on. I believe Gilley's supporters witnessed a side of him that could not be wiped clean and will not be forgotten so easily.
What do you think?
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