Editor’s Note: I have taken advantage of the Commissioners, in the Federal Lawsuit against THEM, calling me a publisher of “false gossip” to actually use the word “gossip” as a better way to protect the identity of my trusted sources. And then to challenge the Commissioners to prove what I published is wrong or not true. The Commissioners have never taken the bait. Why? Because they know what I say, gossip or not is true. So, here we go, one more time.
The “gossip” I received today was that there was a family connection between the owners of the company that received the winning bid and a FAIR Association Board member. Now, it you remember, I have already written about Commissioner Doug Bridges also being on the Fair Association Board and also the Commissioner who made the motion to accept the bid in question. I still consider that a conflict of interest, especially since Bridges made the comment that he did not think the $300,000 fence was needed, right before he made the motion to approve it. You can form your own opinion about that. It’s a straight forward thought process that goes like this; when Doug Bridges made the motion to approve the $303,000 spending for the unnecessary Fair Fence, who was he representing? Cleveland County citizens that voted for him or the FAIR Association? If you have to think even ONE second about that, it is an obvious conflict of interest.
But this article is not about Commissioner Doug Bridges. The gossip I received today from a trusted source is about another Fair Association Board Member, Angela Jenks Beam. Daughter of Fair Director Bobby Jenks-the same Bobby Jenks that offered and paid former Secretary of Agriculture Meg Scott Phipps a bribe and then turned States Evidence to send Phipps to prison. To save his own hide according to other gossip. And common sense.
Fair Association Board Member Angela Jenks Beam is also allegedly married into the family of the company owners who Doug Bridges made the motion to give the Fair Fence job to. And will receive $303,000 for the job. So, what is that? A conflict of interest for Angela Jenks Beam? Insider trading? Anything? Or just what? All I know for a fact is that I attended the Commissioner’s Meeting and sat on the front row to hear better. When the Fair Fence work was approved, nobody said one word about any real or maybe perceived conflicts or any other issues that might be unethical, illegal or just smelly business. But, of course, they never do.
So there, you have it folks. The latest gossip about the Fair Fence. Where the work has already started, I am asking the Commissioners (not the County Manager) to answer the questions raised in this article. I double dare them to answer these questions. I am not interested in reading some phony propaganda article they will likely plant in the Shelby Star. I want to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. Or whatever part of the horse that is appropriate?
As for the rest of the taxpayers in Cleveland County, YOU ask the commissioners AND the County Manager about this yourselves. And see what kind of answer you get. And remember this quote from a famous political journalist who said this about politicians, “don’t believe anything until it is officially denied.” You decide just what that quote means.
Stay Tuned folks. And Also remember that the majority of Cleveland County Commissioners are up for election in 2020. Susan Allen, Ronnie Whetstine and Johnny Hutchins. I would like to see three commissioners elected who will actually do what is right for Cleveland County Citizens as their first priority. And not just say they will in their campaign speeches.