I usually do not separate my opinion pieces from my articles, but after attending last night’s meeting, I just have one word… “hypocrisy”. The dictionary defines hypocrisy as the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense. Simply The definition of a hypocrite is a person who pretends to have certain beliefs, attitudes or feelings when they really do not. An example of a hypocrite is a person who says they care about the maintaining a very tight budget but who are continually talking about buying new equipment and spending money on economic development
As my belief and my observations show that Leaders (Like Fire Chief Pittman) are born and not trained, I see an over-abundance of hypocrisy among politicians whether locally or nationally. Let’s use Chief Pittman as an example of Leadership. One thing a person notices is that he is modest, and thinks about others and those who are serving alongside him more than he feels he has to exemplify his talents and abilities which are several. People follow him and want to be a part of his brotherhood because they respect him and would follow him anywhere. And we, the people, now for the first time in two years feel safe. He doesn’t brag or complain but takes responsibility. He doesn’t need to speak about one thing and do another as our politicians do
You know how people complain about Joe and his requests for public records, but when Stacy Tebo was in charge and an official could not or dared not request such information, well you guessed it, “Let’s go the Joe Griffin” because people will not think twice about his requests. And yes, the records were paid for mainly by the officials. These officials constantly complained, even in writing to the Florida League of Cities about the abundance of requests (which by record in 2015 Joe Griffin had ordered some 468 records which were paid for since he had moved to White Springs over a decade prior).
Rather than going into diatribe by diatribe on this issue, I wish only to speak of what transpired at last night’s meeting, January 14, 2020.
There seems to be an ongoing problem between Councilwoman Tonja Brown and Nikki Williams. Frankly they just don’t like each other . As we have provided you information on the blog, the Carver School is registered in the state of Florida as a historic building. But all councilors at one time or another have voted to have the building demolished…but in another breath stood up for the William’s family to retain the school from being demolished. Another sign of pandering and changing sides when necessary. Well last night the sale of the old jail building was discussed again. Tonja Brown did not wish to have the building sold because her grandfather or great grandfather had built the old jail building. Nikki Williams told Ms. Brown in no uncertain words that Ms. Brown didn’t even hesitate to allow the Carver School to be demolished and the Williams family has had prominence with that school’s history, but she wants to keep the old jail under the guise of the Town and it is not up for demolition but for sale.
What was heard last night from Ms. Johnson, also may have bias against certain members of Ms. Brown’s special events team. Don’t pick on volunteers like Ms. Johnson who are so valuable to the community and who have offered their professionalism throughout the various projects but who have not been contacted to attend meetings. One minute Ms. Johnson receive accolades for her design and decorations abilities which they need for MLK day and the next minute she is told, that like the council members, should you miss three days, you are out. But what if, like Ms. Johnson, you are set up because no one called you on purpose and there were no notices of the meetings?
The most conflicting item however, was, with respect to Kenny Hutcherson. Mr. Hutcherson was one of the most talented backhoe operators we have ever observed, but last night more information was brought out about how helpful a man Mr. Hutcherson was. Although his praises were sung last night, a councilor was the one who brought out the fact to our blog that Hutcherson had been paid some $100,000 to $150,000 without council approval during his bout with cancer. In fact we were asked to send it to the Ethics Commission, but any actions by management fall under the Rudd Act and will not be heard by the Commission. Even the Rhatt Watch brought up the situation several times in its articles…but last night the Council decided that they would have a street name change…“Kenny Hutcherson Memorial Drive” . Suggestions were made to change one of the Suwannee Streets or as a sub name like Martain Luther King Memorial Drive aka Spring Street AKA Highway 41. What” My Jaw dropped at the words. We were pushed to report and complain because money had been decided upon by Rhett Bullard and Pam Tomlinson, but when the temperature suits one, the Councilor changes the course? Of course Joe and I concur it would be very nice for someone who was with the city for that many years but couldn’t stop from discussing the hypocrisy of it all.
By the way the MLK event will be held this coming Monday (the Third Monday of the Month) and although we received $450 from Scott Gay and Julie for the food and accouterments, Tonja Brown could not give a time in which the event would start. Ms. Johnson stated that if the Lake City Police Chief was to speak, because of the Lake City Parade, the Chief may not be able to make an 11:00 a.m. event, but Ms. Brown had no idea and there has been nothing in writing which is a shame. It was stated that Council woman River’s mother will be a grand marshal in the Lake City parade. Apparently Ms. River’s Great Grandfather was an honored man and we would love to see articles to place on the blog for others to see, or it should be submitted to the Jasper News.
There’s another thing and it relates to the Brazil family. Tom Brazil fought continually for the return of our firefighters. Joe and I even attended two meetings of the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners because we knew we were shortchanged with Stith and Greene . Tom Brazil Sr. brings out interesting points and also has looked over White Springs to assure things do not go awry but the star of the family is Beverly (Mrs. Tom, Sr.) Brazil. When others could not or would not assist Town Manager Tommie Jones, Mrs. Brazil took the time away from her family and her love of her own equine to help in the office. Not only that, but she takes minutes at the meetings and basically helps where she is needed. She is a very intelligent lady and is very kind and considerate to all she meets. Last night, she even got up from her chair and passed paper to Ms. Johnson as well as to Joe Griffin. When have you ever seen Pam get off her chair…it’s rare even at Town Hall except to have a cigarette out back.
While Tommie Jones receive continual praises for what he is doing, even though as a “Manager” he brings no solutions but continually complains, even about his employees, I have never heard the Council praise Mrs. Brazil and that is a real shame. Not even our Manager has Thanked people in the open and unlike a real manager, we hear more complaints from Mr. Jones than we hear positive information. And it is always added that he helped someone to give himself that last bit of credit that could not be given alone to the individual. That isn’t good and it surprises me how little our Manager and even our councilors know about business or what is good and what cannot be tolerated and that is probably why such bad decisions are made.
Joe and I continually have placed self help information on the blog because of experience and it is ignored, but apparently I need to realize Leaders are born and not raised. And unfortunately all men(and women) are not equal from the standpoint of experience, attitude and intelligence.
Karin for the blog