Insofar as allowing the Citizens to express their thoughts and dreams, Mayor Helen Miller was a star of the evening. In my previous comment or concern as well as that of Joe’s, one thing that should have been stressed at this workshop are the problems this Town and it’s council will face. That was not done in my opinion, thus everyone was open to economic development when White Springs is broken and the state of our finances and police and fire protection should be a main concern. Part of this way of thinking is not to be critical of others but it is because of the industry both Joe and I were in. When you were in the board room,or if you were an officer or manager, one had to make quick and accurate decisions to fix a problem. There was no time to wait but hit while the iron is hot. So, I was told I could not work for a Government Agency or be in politics because I am too direct and expect results immediately, and this is a learned response so that the agencies I worked for would prosper and not suffer a problem. It was all team work and bringing forth solutions to the immediate problems and taking care of them. So forgive me if I am too blunt because obviously I like to handle a problem with gusto and passion NOW.
The Workshop started with what each councilor wished to see happen in the upcoming year. Our new councilman Tom Moore, is one of the most compassionate of them all. He still would like the $3,000 plaque to honor all the veterans of White Springs and the cross walk on Highway 41 so that pedestrians can cross to the Willie Guy Turner Park and the Dollar General Store. Mayor Miller commented that the pedestrian Walk Way definitely could be done under the definition of “Transportation” from our Local Option Fuel Tax Money or LOFT.
Councilor and former Vice Mayor Tonja Brown just stated we need to work on the Town Redo and to clean up the John Graham Park by cutting grass and trimming as well as digging out ditches. The digging of ditches was a major focus for some whose homes are suffering water because of the drainage problem which will be brought up later.
Councilor and former Mayor Spencer Lofton discussed the fact that the area by the Carver School was being mowed and he was working on an operation plan with more mobility. He discussed SHE and the fact that he was working on a new contract to present to the School Board. Now, Spencer Lofton should not be negotiating contracts in accordance with the Sunshine Laws without full Council awareness and approval. At this point, Mayor Miller asked that Spencer Lofton provide the contract he was working on to the Town Manager so that it could be presented to the entire council. He said he had it on his phone. Mayor Miller indicated that the School Board is intending to sell the property and has secured appraisals and Lofton felt that it should be sold to White Springs (and we pay for the $3,000,000 of repairs and water and sewer piping. SHE doesn’t even have enough water pressure to fight a fire. He also discussed the $600,000 Grant and was hoping to secure additional funds through Representative Chuck Brannan (whose name he forgot and who knows about the misspending of LOFT during his tenure as Mayor) and Congressman Al Lawson. I remember he initially went to Senator Montford so I guess, that avenue is over. He also talked about securing $2,000 from First Federal for the batting cages and now he is on the Board of Directors for the United Way. He doesn’t have any plans for September as a time out for himself and would like to put together an October Fest with Arthur Natteal. Mayor Miller asked that he provide all that information to our Town Manager to be provided to the Town Council.
Tonja Brown then asked that we have a community flea Market and she was told that Jasper has one the first Saturday of the Month. The problem is that we had one of the best Swap Meets Ever which brought all kinds of people in Town at the Hardware Store in White Springs but because it occurred at the same time as the Azalea Festival and Stacy Tebo without warning of any kind, demanded $30.00 from each vendor, some of which never even make that much money, there has never been a Swap Meet again.
Walter McKenzie said that we work better as a team and have common goals and courtesy for each other as well as Transparency. He feels there should be a thorough review of People’s complaints and getting LOFT handled is important and we need to find a way to get an answer rather than not resolving the issue. He said we are a very small town and we get by wit good relationships and maintain those relationships with the County, State and even the National government. He mentioned that the Suwanee Bike Association donated $1,000 to Miller’s 501 3 (c). He then discussed his visit to Flat Rock and how they revitalized the Town to bring in more tourism. He then said that we needed to do something regarding our Fire department because we lost good firefighters and a good leader because of disagreements.
I just wish once the Councilors would tell everyone that there is no fire department in White Springs and no one answers calls, except Genoa. Maybe then the Citizens would realize what a dire strait we are in. They can brag about the Protection Class assigned by the ISO of a Class 5 all they want but it was given to us because of Chief Kevin Pittman and the former firefighters. If the ISO really checked at this point, knowing we have no fire department but have to wait for Genoa to protect us, we would be a class 9 or 10. The only way Steve Stith has maintained that class is because he lies on paper but if we had house or business fires here, that would change everything. And what business would want to move to a town where their insurance would be high because of a bad protection class or more importantly that there would be no fire department to fight a major fire and we would have to wait for Genoa and Jasper. Start telling the truth councilors. The RHATT Pack Watch did, but there are some new owners and people that do not read the blog that think they are safe and they are not protected whatsoever.
Karin for the blog