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

Of Bradley County Tn.

JUNE  2007

                            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

Alien invasion

Before the multicultural crowd start hyperventilating at this "What do you think" I should tell them it is not about illegal immigration from our neighbors to the south but it is every bit as alarming, it is extraterrestrial aliens taking control of the minds and bodies of some of Bradley County's elected officials, (or that's what it seems like) and the infestation may not be confined to local leaders. Have you noticed how President Bush and Governor Bredesen have been acting mighty strange lately and have taken on a greenish tinge?

The same can be said for the worrying actions of many local officials.

It is like they are not from this world.

What the heck is going on?

On a recent trip to Franklin Tennessee, the newly formed local team-building task force of superior beings underwent a remarkable transformation into what Director of Bradley County Schools, Bob Taylor likened to a "love fest."

Ewwwww. What did he mean?

There was no mention of the delights discovered while visiting Franklin schools but County Mayor D. Gary Davis commented that he had become friendly with Taylor and Board of Education Chairman Troy Weathers in a way he never thought possible.

God help us... What is happening to the physical universe when someone actually admits in public that they like Weathers.

And Sheriff Tim Gobble.... This once likeable and clean-cut young man has become a crazed ogre demanding this and that while all the time threatening lawsuits if he doesn't get his way. One is expecting at any moment to hear that he is on the courthouse roof shouting "I AM THE KING OF ENGLAND"

Gobble and some of our other leaders demands are so outlandish and out of character that I don't think they can be blamed on the everyday maladies associated with Hiwassee River mercury pollution or tainted pet food, so it must be that our leaders have been compromised by some alien force, the secret of which is being kept from the

Pete Edwards
Editor - Publisher

unsuspecting taxpayer.

How do you recognize and defend against these sinister cloaked inner personalities from the evil depths of the outer universe and downtown Cleveland?

Fortunately for the taxpayer these beings have no super powers and are all dependant and addicted to the one thing they want from earthly inhabitants..... Money. Money to the average citizen is a means to survive life to live another day but to them it is much more, unable to make it on their own they need your tax dollars in ever increasing quantities to fulfill their self proclaimed destiny of power, influence, fame and fortune.

Like earthly addicts they will lie and cheat to get the next bigger and better fix of money but once they get it, they metamorph into compassionate and concerned creatures that have even been known to hug a senior citizen for their vote.  Until they need the next fix.     

So remember, if a city or county official makes a compassionate plea to raise taxes for a worthy cause, beware they may have an alien inner self.

Enough of this silliness, lets move on.


The Cleveland City Council are not renown for their wise decisions. In fact some of them fit perfectly into the description in the silly piece above. But, every once in a while they do conjure up some wisdom and act accordingly. A case in point is the hiring of Janice Casteel as the new Cleveland City Manager. It would have been a no-brainer for most people to come to the conclusion that as Ms. Casteel has been instrumental in the everyday smooth running of city hall for years, she should have been the obvious choice but council members bantered back and forth as if intending to insult the lady even further. It is my opinion that Casteel was a much stronger candidate the last time around when Joe Cate was selected. I could never fathom why they chose Cate in the first place unless it was for payback for previous services rendered to the good ol boys. There was no doubt he was what is euphemistically called a team player, but did he have the background in city management necessary to make a city tick? I think that Casteel is an underutilized city resource waiting to bring the City of Cleveland out of the shadows into the sunlight.

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

More praise

Kaylee Radyminski, for those of you who don't already know, is the Cleveland teenager who started Tunes 4 the Troops, a now nationally recognized charitable program that collects unwanted CDs and DVDs for shipment to US military personnel overseas. With the support of her mother Stephanie, Kaylee has brought entertainment to troops that crave reminders from home, has re-enforced the knowledge that people back home have them in their thoughts and at the same time helped enhance the reputation of Cleveland Tennessee as a caring and patriotic city. For this we should all thank Kaylee and be proud of her achievement.

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

Budget time

It's budget time for the City of Cleveland and Bradley County. Cleveland has already passed a $36.6 million general fund  budget without a property tax increase, yet still managed an increase of $1.1 million over the current budget. The council also voted to increase the rainy-day general fund balance to 25% of revenues but could not leave a good job alone and found it necessary to raise the residential sanitation tax 10% to $6.63 each month. One thing is puzzling though, the city always seems to find extra money throughout the year to fund pet projects but advertises a bare bones budget. I wish someone would put the record straight as to where the extra money comes from?

And Bradley County's budget is always rife with controversy. Bradley Country Sheriff Tim Gobble says there is more money in the county's coffers than is being published, an anomaly between state and local accounting (which could account for Cleveland's extra funds) but Mayor D. Gary Davis says there is not.

The federal government has used creative accounting for years to disguise actual federal spending, so creative accounting locally is not entirely out of the question but to be fair to Davis and his accounting staff, they seem to be passionate about a balanced budget with no tax increases. That doesn't mean the county budget will not increase, it will, if preceding years are a gauge, it will increase between 15 and 20% but the increase will be from growth in projected collections not a tax increase. No department is being asked to cut their present budget as is so often implied, rather the budget cuts often reported are cuts to budget requests above the present department operating budgets.

A salary increase of 3% for all county employees has already been guaranteed by Davis, but some departments are asking for more. Sheriff Gobble has refused to reconsider his request for salary increases to bring his department in line with surrounding police agencies. Gobble wants his budget raised  $4.26 million to $14.96 million from the present budget of $10.7 million, a raise of almost 40%. which some would argue shatters his campaign promise to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars and to operate the sheriff's department for less than his predecessor.

Tom Collins, Superintendent of the Bradley County Road Department has requested an 18% increase over his present budget but this he says is to pay for increased cost of materials and to maintain the status quo of the present budget.

As I have said before, county government growth of 15 to 20% each year is unsustainable without massive property tax increases down the road, and it sends a dangerous message to departments like law enforcement that there is a bottomless pit of money if additional money is raised through tax increases. It may be that the road department need some special treatment because of their lack of control over the rising price of staple road building materials such as gravel and asphalt but an increase to the road department should still require a balanced budget without new taxes or a tax increase.

Sheriff Gobble needs to appreciate what Mayor Davis already knows, the citizens of Bradley County (their boss) will not tolerate tax increases of any kind, for any reason. Live within your means or step down and let a more able manager do the job.

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