by Linda Moore
Guess what I have? I have all the credit card and travel receipts from the Bradley County Education Central Office. This is going to be a "Linda Vents" article. Y'all are going to want to read and savor this information. Get a cup of coffee or a glass of sweet tea and give a gander to an interesting read. It ought to be interesting just because I'm so angry. Alas, they've spent so much money that I can't possibly list it all. But I'll hit some mighty itchy high spots and I'll tell you what I think that the County Commission is going to do. I would like for my County Commissioners, Bill Ledford and Jeff Yarber to pay extra close attention to this. Bill, Jeff, you know you're representing a lot of hard working, blue collar folks that voted for you in good faith to do things up right; that includes me.
Remember this word, "Accountability". Y'all, It seems that folks that work for the Bradley County School system love to eat at Logan's Roadhouse. They also have a penchant for Chick-Fil-A and Cracker Barrel is in the heap. I'm not talking about two or three times a year. I'm talking about nigh onto every week and very often a few times a week. School folks are doing business as they run a steak knife through a Logan's Roadhouse steak. I'm beyond curious. I want to know, "What business are y'all school officials doing while you're eating up my tax dollars sitting at Logan's Roadhouse"?
Bob Taylor? Troy Weathers? Other board of education members, (many of y'all are on here), Could we get an explanation please? Seems to me that papers and the such would get a mite messy while scarfing down those steaks? I don't see any teacher's names that I recognize. I see, board meeting, board meeting, board meeting, board meeting, board meeting.... Y'all get the picture? Yet y'all are before the County Commission every time the doors are open for a meeting caterwauling and pity-begging about computers. I've been adding up all this money that you've spent on Logan's, Chick-Fil-A, Cracker Barrel and some other choice places and I've got some astounding results for some things we could be buying besides Logan's Roadhouse steaks. And gentleman, we could buy these things for educating the young'uns. That makes a lot more sense than swallowing those tax dollars and then flushing the remains down a commode some where. You're literally flushing tax money away. I am grossly offended.
Bob, Troy, I'm going to remind y'all that 50% of our county young'uns are economically disadvantaged. Let's get rid of the fancy terminology and break it down so that you gentleman can understand it better. 50% of our county young'uns are poor. That would mean that 50% of the parents were poor. Y'all are eating at Logan's and I'm looking for discounted bread and meat. So are my neighbors. So are at least 50% of the other parents of Bradley County. Yet the best you can do is trip-trop off to Logan's and eat up our tax money? Don't either one of you tell me that we don't pay property taxes if we don't own property. The HUD housing is mostly all in the city. If we're not buying we're renting. When a tax increase comes it ups our rent. Only some of our landlords aren't going to charge us an extra $25.00 a year. They'll tack on $25.00 a month and cover all the property tax increases. But that's neither here nor there. Y'all are eating up our tax money. While some tax paying parents struggle to make ends meet and pay those taxes...... y'all got no more respect than to just go eat it up at Logan's.
But wait! There's more waste than just food! People, we are jet-setting off a "few" school educators all over the U.S.A. I see Las Vegas, Texas, Chicago, Georgia, on and on. And for what reason do we jet set them to these fancy Hilton's and the such? For seminars. We send them to two or three day seminars. And we're sending two or three or four folks at a time. What good does it do to send three people to a two day seminar? How many teachers do we have? Is it that these two or three people are supposed to impart profound knowledge to the masses? I disagree with the vast bulk of these fancy shamancy seminars with their high dollar motel bills and their Delta airline tickets. Some of those trips could buy six computers for kids at one time. Isn't this a common cry? "Our children need computers; our children need reading coaches; our children need......" A lot of good it does our children to need anything with the way y'all slop at the trough at Logan's. I'm so sick of seeing the words "Logan's Roadhouse" on Visa credit card statements that I can't stand it. I always thought I couldn't afford to eat at Logan's. Then I found out I've been paying for Logan's for quite a while and very often.
Hey, Jane and John TAXPAYER, is this what you want to pay for? Do you want to pay for Logan's and jet-setting seminars? If so you're paying for superficiality. I reckon we ought not to be so surprised. It seems that everything around Cleveland/Bradley these days is a popularity contest and those who can make the most noise win. Or, John and Jane TAXPAYER, had you rather pay for computers, books, reading software or other hands-on educational supplies? Had you not rather pay for something that last for years instead of something to go through the digestive system or is gone after three days?
This is what should happen. The county commission should withhold the extra growth money from this year. The Board of Education wouldn't be shafted. They would get the same growth money that they got last year. By doing this we could save and invest for future educational needs. We will have a tax increase. I suggest that we save a percentage for investment purposes or just plain old earned interest so that we don't have to have tax increases in the future. Y'all County Commissioners need to think of the future of our community and it's children and not be cowed by the caterwauling and pity-begging done by the Board of Education members and the army of the deceived.
I think that the County Commission is going to kowtow to the Board of Education. They are going to kneel in submission. And nary a question about this grievous waste of money will ever be asked. And in so doing, ultimately we're all going to be shafted.
Here's 21 months of Visa Statements, $33,747.91 Let's just round that up to $34,000.00. This is mostly food, (and a whole lot of it), and travel. There are a few incidentals and nothing that I see for kids.
What can we buy? Hmm,
What could we buy for "real" education? On line, where I have been posting the expenditures, I've been buying Dry Erase Markers and Computers, (imaginary), for our children. I figure I can get a fantastic deal on some Dell Computers for a maximum of $700.00 each since we're buying in bulk. With 34K, I can buy 48.5 computers for kids. I betcha that Dell would kick in one and a half computers just for the huge order. But what else could we buy? An education at the Lee University is running right at 59K for four years. If your child was four and you started paying for that education now you could drop the cost to 29K a bit more if your child is a bit older. We could buy one College Education at Lee University with this money. But wait? What about Cleveland State College? Isn't tuition around $1600.00 per 12 hours? That would be three college educations? And we'd have money left over? With no lottery tickets involved. The only thing that would be involved would be the money that has been eaten and flown in the past 21 months by our beloved money spenders.
Bill and Jeff, the people that voted for y'all don't live any where near Logan's Roadhouse. Most of the people that voted for you were born in Bradley County. I ask both of you to consider the costs to your constituents very carefully before y'all start voting. I also ask that y'all take a very close gander at where all this educating money is going off these Visa cards. Howard, I'm straight up ashamed of you. You used to be my favorite commissioner. You've become another tax and spend casualty of political wars. It just ain't that important to be popular Howard. You ought to pay heed to the country folks that put you in office instead of a bunch of Logan's Roadhouse warriors.
If any of y'all reading would like to read some actual credit card receipts; then by all means, e-mail me. I'll be more than happy to shed some light on some truth with a URL.
I don't know who is responsible for this quote but a good friend e-mailed it to me today and I find it to be quite apropos for this situation. "Duty, honor and country must be the ethos of government - not plundering, not pillaging, not personal pleasure".