The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

New Leaders in Bessemer, and the White Sheep in Barack's Family

The Bessemer City Council has a new president...Jesse Matthews, and a new pro-tem...Jimmy Stephens. Congratulations to these two, I hope that things will run more smoothly now, and maybe things can get accomplished.

For instance, yesterday Mr. Gargas from Alabama Adventure visited again, reminding the council that when he was there in September discussing the $84 million or so hotel/indoor water park that is planned, the council/mayor agreed to provide a letter or something that would show their intent to work with Alabama Adventure to make this happen. The end of September was the deadline. Well here it is approaching the end of October and still no letter.

Hearing the mayor and former council president Dorothy Davidson trying to, first..remember that the guy was even there in September and , second, remember what they said then, and third, try to convince Mr. Gargas that they were working on it was just another example of the dysfunction this council has operated under. Screw around just a little bit longer and this gem will slip away also.

And then Mayor May and Dorothy Davidson got into a childish game of he said, she said, I said, you said regarding the Water Warrants that still have not been passsed that makes us not want to believe what any of them say. Children...behave!!! Go to time out!!

And of course the smoking ban was put off till the next council meeting. While it would seem this was at the request of the Clean Air people who requested this move, the real reason is that the council did not provide them with copies of the amended resolution until just before the council meeting, so the group did not know whether to endorse the new legislation or not. A clever ploy by a council hell bent on doing nothing.

And while Davidson probably had nothing to do with it, what's with the shifting of $500,000 from TIF funds to make payroll? Let's call it half a million. Isn't that unlawful?

TIF is Bessemer's Tax Increment Financing district, where new property tax revenue goes into a fund to be used only for improvements in that district. I don't think payroll meets those qualifications. What will be interesting will be to see who transferred this money, why Bessemer does not have money to meet payroll, is this the first time? Look for answers to some of these questions within the next week in the print media.

And I can't let the day pass without commenting on Barack Obama's discovery of the white sheep in his family, Dick Cheney. Can you think of anybody that would be more unlikely?

Let's thank Lynne Cheney who so often injects a little levity into the national dialogue. I mean, her book "Sisters" with its steamy lesbian sex scene written years before their daughter Mary came out as a lesbian (and with her partner provided them with a grandchild that W congratulated them on) added a twist to Daddy Dick Cheney's homophobia.

Now her research into the family tree reveals "Oops" an unexpected finding, Dick and Barack are cousins. Not kissing cousins (like the Elvis movie) but distant relatives none the less. Shouldn't that help us all get along? Let's hope so.


Anonymous said...

Good for Jesse! Odds are he will run for Mayor next time; Bessemer could probably do better, but certainly has done worse.

Hope he will discover what leadership is really all about and try to bring order to the city. Maybe the first thing he should do is inform the Mayor (and his legal team) who has control over all aspects of city finances - that being THE COUNCIL. After that, he might want to find out why the School Board hasn't beren paid & why the city is already running short on funds? If they haven't paid the School Board, they should be $2 million ahead of the game, not $500,000 behind. Maybe the former, ligtht-fingered Revenue Officer hired by May stole more than just $39,000. Or maybe someone else has had their hands in the cookie jar. Of course, they could have spent the money on new cars. They Mayor got his SUV, Travis is working on getting his new ride, and there is no telling who else is driving city vehicles these days.

Doesn't this all sound a bit too familiar? Aren't these the sorts of shenanigans everyone fought so hard against when Mitch was mayor? Seems Bessemer has returned to the glory days of old.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of the cars, didn't May take most of the city cars away from people when he was elected? He said it was to cut costs but maybe it was just one way to drive off any employee he didn't personally approve of. He certainly isn't worried about the money now.