Get Ready for Mega $pending by Commissioners!!! New Jail, New Courthouse? New This? New That?? –Report by Robert A. Williams

The November 7, 2017 Commissioner’s Meeting was the shortest I have ever attended. Right around 25 minutes per my clock. But the very few things that were said and the very many things that were not said indicates new spending sprees by the commissioners with little knowledge of what they need and how the projects will be paid for.

But, let’s start from the start.

After the call to order, Pledge Invocation, Recognitions, etc. the first order of business was to accept the Republican Executive Committee’s nomination of Doug Bridges to fill the vacancy on the commissioners created by the resignation of Jason Falls. Followed by the Swearing in of Doug Bridges as a Cleveland County Commissioner. Mr. Bridges acceptance speech was short and sweet. “Ill, do the best I can, Thank You.” This is a good sign.

The next item on the agenda was Citizen Recognition. Nobody has signed up. That is a bad sign, but appropriate as the Commissioners let the words go in one ear and out the other ear and never do anything. That’s a fact folks.

Then there was the consent agenda. Commissioners often hide things in the consent agenda such that all the items are approved at one time and without discussion of any of them. A sneaky way of doing business. Hiding stuff from any member of the public that happens to be there observing the Commissioner’s meeting. It’s probably a crime to conspire to do such as this, but with the DA’s Office we have in Cleveland County it would never be prosecuted.

The commissioners agenda included a “Discussion of a County Engineer Position.” It was totally obvious that all discussions had already been done behind closed doors somewhere. I immediately smelled a rat. Commissioner Hutchins stated that the county needed an engineer without discussion of the need or what exactly the need was. Commissioner Allen stated they needed a good job description without stating just exactly what that job description would include. Commissioner Whetstine stated that time would be saved without saying what that time would be spent doing. Commissioner Holbrook, probably the most telling of all, that Clearwater needs were complex and that the Clearwater Expansion was at risk because of engineering. Newly sworn in Commissioner Doug Bridges, not knowing anything about any of this wisely just kept quiet.

Oh well, I thought. The Commissioners want to use even more taxpayer’s dollars to pay for the Clearwater expansion. Even after selling Clearwater $4.6 million worth of land for $1. Paying $11.5 million for water and sewer infrastructure expansion with ZERO payback. As I remember $4 or $5 million for road and train infrastructure for Clearwater. All in all, something upwards of $30 million, tax breaks and all for Clearwater to create only 180 medium paying jobs. Folks, you figure this out for yourself whether any of those $millions should have been given away like that.

What concerns me is the lack of understanding the commissioners have of what the job description for this new job will be, where the funds will come out of the Economic Development’s “black” (secret) budget or what? Anyway, the Commissioners directed the HR Department to come up with a job description for a County Engineer,

But, there are other concerns with this County Engineer. This may end up with being a whole new engineering department, bureaucracy and all to give free engineering to the Economic Development crowd or anyone else that comes through the door with their hands out for money. The Clearwater people will tell the commissioners what they want. It’s the “chatter” going around of a so-called need for a new jail, a new courthouse and all sorts of other new county building projects that spells trouble to me..

Think about this. The old Courthouse housed all county departments for almost 90 years and now houses the Earl Scruggs Center. Well over 100 years of service and still going. Burns and Crest High Schools, Shelby High School, etc are around 50 years old and still operating.

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Posted by on Nov 9 2017. Filed under CGG Investigations. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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