It's a stick up!
Officials all over Tennessee have been force fed with an unpalatable dose of reality after studying the results of August's local elections. Voters are sick of tax increases and the old ploy of using education as leverage no longer works. Unfortunately for those officials who are convinced higher taxation solves all problems, the "it's for the kids" tactic has outlived its effectiveness and voters are rebelling in droves. Alternatives to property tax hikes like the wheel tax and sales tax are also unpopular at the polls. Wilson, Macon, Marshall, Coffee, Hickman and Franklin counties, all failed big time in an effort to dig deeper into residents pockets. But, it seems the tax and spenders still haven't mastered the concept of fugal government. Instead of re-evaluating fiscal policy, they forge ahead with the same dreary plans that have caused the statewide rebellion. Cleveland and Bradley county governments are locked into the tired idea that there are alternative sources of funding besides taxation that will allow them to continue the spending spree. They either fail to understand or are unwilling to accept that all government spending originates from the pockets of working people and that there is no hidden treasure. There is no panacea to their problem, the party's over, the coffers are empty, they must change direction and quit spending. Unfortunately, in Bradley county, most of the people controlling the purse strings either are employed by, or are closely associated with the beneficiaries of government spending, and the ones that are not, are unable to muster the courage to lead the charge for change. I predict that "homeland security" will replace the failing "it's for the kids" ploy for more money, and that urgent efforts will be made by legislators to change Tennessee law to remove the citizen's voice on tax increases at the polls. It remains to be seen if voters will allow that to happen.
What do you think?
A sad note.
Most of our regular readers will have noticed that Susie Lofton's regular column "Windowbox" is absent this month and it is with great sadness that this editor is losing an accomplished veteran writer and asset to The People News. Susie's priorities faced a sudden change when her husband Walter, accepted the position of pastor for The Church of God at Fairview. At the same time I am happy for Susie and Walter, it is with sadness I had to accept her decision. May God bless you Susie, thanks for the years of hard work, we will miss you.
Dumb and dumber.
Two quotes in the August 8th Cleveland Daily Banner, seem to sum up the abilities and professionalism of Bradley County Director of Elections, David Ellis. The first - New technology, according to Ellis, has caused local elections to"rise to a new level of accuracy and dependability." And later in the report - Some expressed concern over the wrong ballot being given to voters at precincts. "If a voter did receive the wrong ballot, the voter had every opportunity to request assistance from an election official." Ellis said. 'There are signs in the back of every machine which says to request assistance before casting a vote." Ellis said the confusion shouldn't have been enough to effect the outcome of any race.
If this is the "new level of accuracy and dependability" Ellis has achieved in his over 20 years in the Bradley county election office, one wonders what level of accuracy and dependability he was achieving previously. The truth is, accuracy and dependability is as reliable as Ellis' words - and what are the Bradley County Election Commission or the Tennessee State Election Commission doing about it? Absolutely nothing of course. That's why Bradley county's elections are such a mess.
What do you think?
It's a dirty business
It amazes me how low some people and businesses will stoop to make a sale. A customer informed us that a Cleveland Daily Banner advertising person had told them, after discovering that they had placed an ad in The People News, that the Banner would handle all their advertising needs and that it was a waste to advertise in The People News because they only deliver to Polk county. This Banner representative is obviously having trouble meeting her sales quota so if she would call me, I will be a gentleman and offer to run a free ad in The People News telling potential advertisers of her plight and urging them to give her a break.
What do you think?
The power in education
Bradley County Schools Energy Manager, Johnny Mull said there had been an increase in energy usage in his annual report to the Bradley County Board of Education and that he was not as pleased this year as he's been in the past. Mull said that although there had been a significant increase in energy use there had also been an increase of 350,000 square feet of space to the school system.
The position of energy manager is new to Bradley county and for the first few years it seemed to be paying off with identifiable savings. This year though, no real conclusion could be reached as to its effectiveness or necessity. It seems the Bradley County School system is paying principals a bonus of as much as $5,600.00 a year to save on energy consumption. So is an energy manager really necessary? Or, having an energy manager, is it necessary to pay principals a bonus? An energy manager could be cost effective but to pay principals extra to do what they should be doing anyway seems to be an unwise use of tax dollars. Using the same concept, teachers could be paid extra to turn off the lights or close the windows when the air or heat is on - or paid not to open them. If we are to have an energy manager then he should be reporting incidents violating sensible energy saving policy. He should also be required to justify his employment by identifying clearly definable energy and cost savings.
What do you think?
The power in education- suggested that Bradley county school principals were personally receiving a bonus for saving energy. That assumption was based on a report in the Cleveland Daily Banner that I misinterpreted. The bonus the principals receive is actually used within their school to help purchase unfunded supplies. My apologies to our school principals for any confusion the editorial caused. This correction was added to this page on October 5th 2004.
"What do you think" Continued
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