Elections - Who would you vote for?

Elections - Who would you vote for?

Posted in the Smith County Forum

Smith County Resident

Huntsville, AL

#1 Apr 26, 2006
Totally amazing isn’t it. A candidate for Office is using smear tactics to make incumbent look bad. Recently rumors about an elected Official spending $9.00 for a quart of oil at an oil change have surfaced. Forget the fact that the Official not only runs fast, blue lights & siren but also escorts funerals etc. Geez I wonder if maybe the synthetic oil is to ensure that the vehicle lasts not to mention that same oil at Wal-mart sells for $8.53 and you do the service.
It’s getting really bad when a person running is using ½ truths and can you believe it not telling the whole truth. Why doesn’t he say where he got this so called receipt? There could only be one of three possibilities:
1 – He made it up?– Very possible huh
2 – Got it from the service company?– Doubt it.
3 – County Mayors Office?– I bet ya this is it.
Do you think this person running or person (s) who gave up this receipt are worth your vote?
Charles Butler

Nashville, TN

#2 Apr 26, 2006
Why not do some research on each candidate? Who is actually qualified? Experience of each candidate? What will be done to help out Smith County?
defeated creek transplant

Westmoreland, TN

#3 Apr 29, 2006
Mr. Butler - I agree with you 100%. I'd love to know where the candidates stand on funding the new jail, cleaning up the never-ending litter, attracting industry to Smith Co., and establishing internet access to public records. Any idea on who is the most progrssive candidate?
Smith County Resident

Huntsville, AL

#4 Apr 30, 2006
Mr. Butler is right and Defeated Creek Transplant has asked a very good question.
No candidate who is responsible for the monies being spent and plans for the future has come forward with any plans or ideas for Smith County Future. The presiding Commissioners and Mayor have not brought in any new businesses into Smith County in the last 4 years. They have spent money on a Welcoming center, Horse Arena, Farmers Market, Senior Citizens Center and I hear that a ground clearing for a Fair Ground is in the works. All of this is being done while more money goes to and is requested by the School Board. There has been no new business opened in Smith County. There was some talk of a Super Wal-mart but that isn’t happening because if it were so, the revenue the County would see from the sales tax would pay for all the luxury items the Mayor and Commissioners have and or plan to build not to mention pay off the Schools and build a Criminal Justice Center which is desperately needed. They would rather rely on the revenue from a wheel tax on motorcycle to pay for their luxuries ill afforded.
There is no master plan for any type of development for the County and I for one would like to know what the county plans to do with the landfill. We see it everyday. Truck load of trash are brought to Smith County Landfill. How much more can it hold and what are we to do when it fills up. Voters want to know, who will step up and tell what they will do for the citizens of Smith County!!!
Smith County Resident

Huntsville, AL

#5 Jun 19, 2006
Can you believe the latest horse XXXX coming from the Mayors Office in Smith County.

The County has received a tremendous amount of money in grants. Some people say around 7 million dollars. No one appears to understand that the grants are only partial funding for projects the County has deemed the good residents NEED like a Horse Arena with a Farmers Market to be hidden next to it.

I for one believe the Mayor and Commissioners are trying to hide this fact from the good citizens by laying the Counties problems on the Sheriff. BUNK I say. The County has known for over 8 years that a new jail would be needed. The County has deemed it appropriate to ignore this. The Sheriff had to sue the County and the County has cut the Sheriff’s budget (I believe it is the same now for at least a couple of years) hmm no wonder there is a shortfall.
Certain items cannot be budgeted such as inmate medical expenses, food and who would have guessed the rise in fuel prices not to mention the cost of operating an old building.
Let’s see – Taxes were raised for the schools. And not just one County High School but 2 of them. Really amazing and so we then need a wheel tax – again that’s to pay for the new Schools. Then they wanted a wheel tax on Motorcycles – and yes it was for the Schools again.

Could it possibly be the Schools as well as all of this new construction that has us in a budget problem? I wonder if getting new businesses such as the alleged Super Wal-mart would have helped to pay for the Schools, Horse Arena, Senior Citizens Center, Farmers Market and of course who can forget the Welcome Center.

What do you all think????
defeated creek transplant

Westmoreland, TN

#6 Jun 27, 2006
I think the Sheriff can't manage money! He should be ashamed at his mismanagement. Maybe we should require him to take a finance class if he wants to run again!

plus - at least 3 of those unfunded employees are his family members. Nice play
Smith County Resident

Huntsville, AL

#7 Jul 2, 2006
Well defeated I do not know of a single department anywhere how stayed on budget when it came to gas this time. No one could have anticipated that. As far as the budget do not forget that is not the budget he initially proposed. The budget he is working with is the same for the last 2 years and is the one the commissioners & mayor set for him. Certain unforeseen expenses occurred and were taken from his line items which caused a short fall.
I do think your right about the finance classes though but it should be the entire board of commissioners & mayor.
They have received I believe 7 million dollars in grant money and I hear borrowed at least 1 million from a local bank which we have to match or pay off. This is done knowing that we are constantly behind in the school funding because the schools are always asking for more. The schools receive I believe 3/4 of our tax moneys and it is never enough. The school director took over the adult education building and initially told everyone they only needed to move in a desk and phone. Well I believe it's now $600,000.00 later and they moved in.
We are getting a Horse arena - Play ground - Farmers market - Show barn - Senior citizen center - Fair grounds - transferred the community / welcome center to the who knows what center, Paying more for the schools to operate. All of this is done with tax payers money at a time when we need more funds for road repair and to pay off not 1 but 2 schools.
These are all good things but it would be nice if they would have brought in some business to the area in the last 4 years to off set the Burdon to the taxpayer and possibly have waited till we could afford these new services.
defeated creek transplant

Westmoreland, TN

#8 Jul 2, 2006
I just think that once the sheriff was told that he had to reduce his staff to meet his budget, he should have done so. It was arrogant & short-sighted of him not to follow the direction.

I don't even know why we have so many officers or what they do. When is the last time that you saw the sheriff's office pull someone over? I have seen people run red lights in front of an officer without being stopped. Why do we have 1.5 times the number of officers as Putnam county?

We should cut back on the number of officers. make the prisoners do manual labor, and cut back on any non-essential services being provided to them.
Smith County Resident

Huntsville, AL

#9 Jul 8, 2006
Ok defeated transplant lets get one point at a time. In 3 parts.
“I just think that once the sheriff was told that he had to reduce his staff to meet his budget, he should have done so. It was arrogant & short-sighted of him not to follow the direction.”

I think that the short sighted Commissioners and Mayor do not believe in the public’s safety at all. What right do they have to put our entire population at risk!
The Sheriffs department has 3 major areas of responsibilities these are
Each must be manned and worked on by law. Contrary to what the Commissioners and Mayor want. They are the ones that cut the Sheriff’s budget to begin with and have allocated our tax monies to projects for special interest groups and have allowed the school system to run so there is an excess of monies in their budget.
They have built and or are building so many projects this last year that are costing the tax payers millions of dollars. Yes they received grant monies but the grant monies only cover a portion of the cost of these new developments and not the whole cost. Besides these new projects we still have to pay off not one high school but 2 high schools. They allowed this. Do not forget that the majority of our tax dollars go to the schools also keep in mind they wanted to a put a wheel tax on motorcycles to help pay for the schools earlier this last year.
By these poor business practices by our Commissioners and Mayor do you think they are right in asking the Sheriffs department to cut down on staff which is already at a minimum per findings which have already taken place and which the commissioners and Mayor refuse to follow.
Smith County Resident

Huntsville, AL

#10 Jul 8, 2006
YOU SAID (part2)

“I don't even know why we have so many officers or what they do. When is the last time that you saw the sheriff's office pull someone over? I have seen people run red lights in front of an officer without being stopped. Why do we have 1.5 times the number of officers as Putnam County?”

I do not know how many Officers are assigned to the Putnam County Criminal Justice Center. But you are alleging that we have more officers than they do, if so could it be because they are still working in an outdated, old jail and courthouse. If in fact we do have more personnel then possibly it is because the Commissioners and Mayor have ignored the reports and the problems for the last 8 years that I am aware of as well as the findings by not trying to build us a criminal justice center.
By your allegations such a facility would allow the Sheriff’s Department and Court system to run more effectively and efficiently.
However I do not believe the amount of personnel is correct. The Deputies respond to every type of call imaginable as well as assist other County Departments for example many times when an ambulance is needed they require that Deputies respond for their Safety for a variety of reasons. Every fire call requires a Deputy to assist also for a variety of reasons and it goes on. The services provided by the Sheriff are many and varied all based on the needs of the public as a whole and not special interest groups as the Mayor and Commissioners cater to.
The days of one riot one ranger is gone besides that was Texas. Common sense as well as procedure require 2 Officers respond to some calls such as domestics, fights etc. So if there was to be a reduction in service as the Commissioners and Mayor wanted, they not only would they be risking the safety and security of the general public but the Deputies who place their lives on the line answering these calls for help as well.
Smith County Resident

Huntsville, AL

#11 Jul 8, 2006
YOU SAID (part3)

We should cut back on the number of officers. Make the prisoners do manual labor, and cut back on any non-essential services being provided to them.

State and Federal law have pretty much ruled indentured servitude illegal. The Sheriff’s does have a work crew which does a lot of work around the county which is allowed by law. In Fact the Turner school which is where the Mayor has his Office was finished on the inside by Prisoners guarded by Deputies. Oops the Sheriff has actually saved the County Money there – someone forgot to tell someone about that. But see there would be a need for additional staff. Hmm as far as non essential services I do not know to what you refer to?

Shouldn’t there have been a push to bring in new business’s into the county which would have given the county another source of revenue through sales tax, which would have off set our property taxes instead of these business and our residents going to surrounding counties and giving them our hard earned monies..

I say this to you; the Sheriff of Smith County has devoted a very large part of his life and career to the Safety and Security as well as to the wellbeing and betterment of the Residents of Smith County regardless of private interest. This has not gone unnoticed by a good majority of the public.
Some like yourself have been shown or told about a small portion of what is out there. We have not seen the entire program as presented by certain individuals who for their own reasons have only told us the partial truths. Look at all of it and look at it hard then make up your mind.
Do we need all of the new projects being put into place at this time or should we have paid off the 2 new schools first and started these projects after doing other projects first?
Former Smith Countian

Westmoreland, TN

#12 May 14, 2007
Well, I hope they got what they wanted. A Sheriff that can save the county on prisoners' hair cuts! Since the county is out of money, there have been 6 to 7 new HEMI Chargers baught! You seen the price of those things? Oh yeah... Filled your car up with fuel lately... seen the price of Gas? Why buy a high horsepower car to "romp" in that guzzles gallons of gas? Buy something sinceable like the Ford police cruizer which has held true to thousands of police depts. nationwide and can handle the abuse! Another thing, next time you see the chief, sheriff, or county mayor, ask them about OVERTIME... that will be a good topic for them to avoid... go and get yourself a copy of the Sheriff Dept. Payroll records... you will be happy you did. Ya'll have been LIED to so many times!!!!!! Another thing, many of your officers who actually done their jobs and worked for a living have left...Smith County does not have any reliable law enforcement... There are a few men down there that are doing a great job, but there are some there... well, we wont get into that!

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