murder which was organized by then DeKalb County Sheriff Sidney Dorsey. Dorsey had lost his re-election bid for sheriff to Brown who was due to take office three days after his death. Dorsey was convicted of murder and is serving a life prison sentence but because of DA Tom Morgan, justice was not done. This kind of action by a top official of the US or state judicial system is not unusual and it is time for change if any confidence by the public is to remain. Bradley County and the State of Tennessee needs to set the pace with an accountability act that has teeth to stop abuse of office or incompetence by a DA.
What do you think?
Promised Land Foundation.
There is much controversy surrounding the proposed Promised Land Foundation's plan to build a residential rehabilitation complex for released jail inmates, drug and alcohol abusers and homeless people. Neighbors of the proposed location off Bates Pike and 64 Highway in the 4th District of Bradley County are not happy with the plan.
Before I give my opinion of why this program has become a controversy, let me reflect on Beverly Finnell, Founder and Chair of PLF. Ms. Finnell has repeatedly shown herself to be a devout Christian with a love and trust in God that transcends just church worshipping and following the gospels. She follows what she believes is the Creator's wishes and tries to serve Him through charitable work and the example she sets. This What-do-you-think is not intended to reflect negatively on her or her work but I believe she is a good lady caught up with the wrong crowd, so as usual, I am required to speak up and tell it like it is. Even if it offends some people.
Now, why is this on-the-face-of-it worthy and laudable idea causing so much controversy and conflict when most of the part players are good and charitable people? Could it be that had Ms. Finnell contacted her neighbors from the get-go to solicit their input and support, invite participation at board level and treat them as valued neighbors the PLF project would have met with little resistance? As it is the board has members that have a track record of alienating the citizens of Bradley County with every project they propose. Jerry Bohannon, CEO of the Cleveland Bradley Chamber of Commerce is one and Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland and County Mayor D. Gary Davis are two more that are distrusted by citizens of the county. This distrust did not appear overnight, it has manifested itself from years of double dealings, misleading statements and untruths. The neighbors of the proposed PLF rehab center are suspicious of these people and feel they can't trust what they say, so is it surprising that they don't believe what Ms. Finnell and Executive Director David Webb assure them. You know what? I have to agree with the neighbors. Bohannon and crowd can't be trusted. Nor can Rowland or Davis. That doesn't necessarily make them bad people but it does make them unsuitable for bringing the community together. And why was it thought necessary to involve them over the heads of nearby residents to the facility? Unfortunately for Ms. Finnell, the damage has been done and is unlikely to ever be repaired but if this project is to stand even a small chance of success and acceptance from the community, anywhere in the community, intimate and timely involvement of those most affected is essential. This invariably doesn't happen in Bradley County that's why every project results in controversy and dispute. Our community is caring and charitable beyond expectation but it has been infiltrated by a few self-serving and selfish people that want control of any project that has the possibility to generate money. They see the PLF as a fund generating project that could garner millions of dollars in grants and appropriations, so they are keen to take a leading role. Even if the PLF ignores neighbors outcries, the result will be the same as the Museum at Five Points and the Tri-State Exhibition Center. Run unsuccessfully without real and valued citizen participation by the same crowd that despite leader support fail to achieve full potential. It is sad really, that a project designed to praise the Lord and to help our fellow man has been waylaid into conflict and distrust. And one other thing that David Webb and Jeff Yarber may wish to contemplate before accusing Karen Wooden and the organizers of the neighbors group of being troublemakers and misleading the public - it is not for them to prove to you why they don't want the PLF in their community, it is for you to persuade them why they do.
What do you think?
"What do you think" Continued
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