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

Of Bradley County Tn.

JULY  2008

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







This Is The End

by JC Bowman

This is the end, beautiful friend. This is the end, my only friend. The end of our elaborate plans. The end of everything that stands. The end. ---Jim Morrison

I started writing my column, "The Public Square," over a decade ago. It was something I enjoyed and it was a great way to reduce stress. I have been faithful and prolific, writing numerous words for The People News, touching on numerous subjects. But I am now winding down my public discourse here. It is a bittersweet moment for me. It is time for others in the community to step forward with a fresh perspective with their own unique commentary. I promise to not let "The Public Square" go out with readers' lamenting an eventual unsatisfying climax. I will try to give you more bang for your money, rather than just fade away with a sad whimper. But for me this is the end.

I will be finishing out 2008 with a few more columns. However, beginning in January 2009, my friends, you will be on your own. I love religion, politics and community. America is the greatest nation on Earth and anyone who does not believe this to be the case - the airport is waiting. As Americans we have made a commitment to one another: it was written in our Declaration of Independence, it is written in our Bill of Rights, and it is found throughout our Constitution. This promise is one that the American people have believed in, marched for, and even sacrificed their lives for. Sometimes we seem to forget what is important, and sometimes tragic events awaken us to remind us who we are as Americans. In the end, you are only deceiving yourself if you think that God is not in control.

There are those that like to spread rumors and gossip, so for the record I am not leaving angry at anyone nor was I asked to leave. I appreciate the opportunity afforded me by this paper. It is just time for me to do a few things I have on my list of "what I want to do before I kick the bucket" and my next step is to work on a book. I have written articles, studies, peer-reviewed pieces in addition to several guides.  I have written several manuals and technical briefs.  I have literally been published around

J C Bowman

-J. C. Bowman, a native of Cleveland, is a well informed and outspoken conservative educator. Is a freelance public policy analyst who resides in Cleveland, TN. Prior to this, he was Director for the Center for Education Innovation at Florida State University.  He served as the Director for the Florida Department of Education Choice Office and as the Chief Policy Analyst of the Education Policy Unit for Florida Governor Jeb Bush.



the globe.  In addition to English, I know my words have appeared in Arabic, Spanish, Italian, Creole and French.  I have ghostwritten things for a few people that might even amaze some readers.  However, I want to write a book for myself.  Therefore, I need to take some time to read and research, and then focus on my magnum opus, which will be the grandest of epics (at least for me).  I do not know where that road will lead, but I am looking forward to the journey. 

Will I ever come back after 2009?  Sean Connery has taught us all to: "Never Say Never."  It has been a great run and someday I would love to compile some of my old columns, a few are blessed with the touch of the sublime.  There are some items in those columns that are certainly worth repeating and some items that should be tossed into the dustbin of history and best forgotten, but my return will be highly unlikely.  I have poured my heart out in some articles that have appeared here, and sometimes I just went through the motions.  When I went through the motions readers were quick to let me know.  My readers kept me honest and real.  I do not think any other local writer engaged with his audience as much as I have with mine.  I might contribute an article now and then, but nothing planned regularly after this year.

There is speculation I am jumping into some political races.  I have been asked if I was running for Mayor.  NO, I like our current leaders.  Would I be running for the Bradley County Commission?  No plans to do that at this time; I have two great commissioners in my district that I support.  I have been asked, how about the city or county school board?  Hmm, now my interest is peaked.  I have been asked by a few

to seek the 2nd District Bradley County School Board seat or maybe a city school board seat?  My answer is to once again quote Sean Connery:  "Never Say Never."  But the real truth is:  I would rather assist in running our family business and keep helping my friends in the faith-based community to make a difference in the lives of other people.  It is my passion.  But I do love the youth of this community and believe I can make a difference.  But I don't need a title to make that difference, nor do you! 

We will be moving our offices within the next three months to South Lee Highway (in front of Scott's Furniture next to the Bread Store) and expanding our church accounting business, Lawhorn & Company.  In addition, EPPC Global Management, our non-profit continues to grow as we help organizations across the world.  I knew I would always be involved in education and education reform.  However, a decade ago I had no idea we would be involved in AIDS Research, Diabetes Research, Obesity Issues, Hunger, Foster Care, Returning Prisoners Ministries, Job Skills Development, Low Income Housing, Healthy Marriage, Anti-Pornography Research for Minors, Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation, Racial Reconciliation, Elder-Care or a host of other issues.  I had no idea we would have written $152 million in grants or helped organization manage and evaluate these grants. I just knew that hard work and trust in God eventually pays off - if not here, then in eternity.  So I have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams. 

I have learned that political parties are important at times, but certainly not more important than the candidate who runs for office, and certainly less important than the people who are to be served.  I have quit asking people what political party they belong to, and started asking people if they believe more government is the answer to the great issues of the day.  I like to ask them if the faith and community organizations out here making a difference deserve a level playing field if they can demonstrate equal or better results.  We need men and women of character to seek political office, we need less influence by special interest groups and the power of incumbency needs to be curbed--so I still embrace the concept of term limits. 

Yes, soon I will be exiting stage left. But as a fifth generation Bradley County resident I will not wander too far off the reservation. It is a good time to be alive for people who still place value on truth and decency.  I appreciate the many men and women who work quietly behind the scenes to help make Bradley County a better place.  The people who rarely get their name mentioned, but without whom our lives would not be as good.  For example, the many underpaid and underappreciated city and county employees.  I look at the exceptional school systems we have, I see room for improvement, but deserved pride in their many accomplishments.  I look at Lee University and Cleveland State and know we have great institutes of higher education.  I look at the Greenway for example and I see a community moving forward, progress which is good for our community.  I hope someone interesting will step up and take my place in 2009.  Make an appointment and take your application by the People News today. 

--J. C. Bowman is a public policy analyst who resides in Cleveland, TN..
He can be reached by email at:

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