I guess I have been more than disappointed with Councilman Walter McKenzie throughout the years I have lived here. Not only has he not ever followed the law because he apparently feels he is above it, but for the last two years regarding our loss of the best Fire Department we ever had, he didn’t wish to hurt the status quo or his position as councilor, so he hung in there with Spencer Lofton and Rhett Bullard and of course Tonja Brown likewise hung in with her gang.
When the Letter of No Confidence came up from the Fire Department, did Walter McKenzie do anything about it? Factual information was included but no, Councilor McKenzie just said it would only be fair if we heard Andrew Greene’s side of the Story not giving the fire department one iota of being honest and truthful. You can’t tell me that McKenzie did not know that Greene was given the red fire suv but he did not question it or he did not even bring up the fact that we had no local firefighters. He just allowed our fire department to go away and leave the Citizens of White Springs without any fire or medical assistance. If it had not been for Hamilton County EMS, we would have had no medical assistance for our people. Yet did McKenzie balk at the fact that there was a complaint about the EMS using electricity at the Fire Station? No, he did not because he likes his job as councilor. Did he ever go further in questionning the roster for which we the Griffins indicated that those who were listed as firefighters worked for Century and resided as far as Miami and Calahan plus Alachua County. No, because he did not want to hear about it. McKenzie has been doing whatever the status quo wants because being a councilor or vice mayor is that important to him.
Even when I heard he called the Sunshine Manual (regarding the so called emergency meeting which wasn’t a hurricane or a flood or anything determined as an emergency when it could be handled two months ago), “dribble”, Well Mr. McKenzie, if Joe won’t tell you, I will. If you would have read the law behind that sunshine law you would have found that an injunction could be sought due to you not waiting for 72 hours and the camp would be over.
No we don’t wish to hurt the children in any way or Mr. Strong. But Mr. Strong is a businessman and if he felt White Springs should have secured insurance for the basketball camp he should have brought it up to the Council. He is a separate entity of the Town and McKenzie doesn’t care if White Springs is protected or if Hamilton County School District is protected, only that he looked good to the Strong Foundation as if he was there for the children. If someone would have followed the penalty of McKenzie’s inadherence to the law required, there would be no basketball camp come Monday but an injunction because the Law should prevail in White Springs.
Yes, you looked good to Mr. Strong and Tanja Brown was throwing her arms in the air giving McKenzie her glee for being a lawbreaker.. And furthermore, there is no way that a Tulip (Special Events) Policy will be free for the Strong Foundation, but McKenzie, you and Brown and Lofton don’t mind spending other people’s money but would rather listen to Stacy Tebo and the most incapable ignorant Town Attorney we have ever had. That is why Helen Miller wishes to review Karen Hatton’s Contract. The tulip policy if Strong would have requested insurance besides the $2000 given to him from the council, should have been approved and secured on his behalf in April. IF THE COUNCIL APPROVED it then, the council would have had time to decide if they wished to fork over the money besides the $2,000 when we only have less than two months cash flow..
And as for Mr. Strong Assuming Stacy provided him with the insurance certificate, you know what they say “Assuming makes an ass out of you and me”. It was Mr. Strongs duty to secure insurance for his own foundation and to check into it earlier, like in April and in May, not at the last Minute in June. No none of you will take the blame, you will just jeer at the messenger and say to Joe “I don’t want to talk to you” but it is your fault and not Joe Griffin’s but who in White Springs follows the law? And that is Why White Springs has the reputation it does. Yes I believe in programs for the children but I blame the Town, Stacy Tebo and the Strong Foundation for not thinking about the due diligence owed the Hamilton County School Board which does not wish the liability for a program which is not theirs within their building. You can’t blame the School Board for wishing to be protected but our Town Manager and ignorant councilors can’t stand to hear the truth.
If you don’t change your ways McKenzie and I really don’t have any faith that you can because leopards do not change their spots, most likely White Springs will remain the most corrupt Town in Hamilton County and possibly the State. Joe tells me that McKenzie has been doing the same things for 18 years, going where the wind blows him and never following the law. But at least, I would hope that McKenzie could consider getting rid of Chief Steve Stith and his fake firefighters which Stith does not have except for names on a roster.
Then I would hope that the Council as a Whole including McKenzie would immediately make a motion for the Town to beg for Kevin Pittman to come back as well as our former firefighters. And if Walter McKenzie does not stand up for our former firefighters, while Mayor Miller is in the fight of her life for the safety of our citizens, then I hope the citizens tell Walter McKenzie how worthless he really is. This is not high school Walter and you don’t have to play the cool kid with Tonja cheering for you, because you sure as hell are not. I’m sorry your life was not better so that you would not have to get all your accolades, even if not earned, this late in your life.
Regarding the fire departments in Hamilton County: the fire chiefs in Genoa and Crossroads are already being paid by the county, but in Jennings, Jasper and White Springs, the chiefs are being paid by the individual counties as (per an article in the Jasper news of October of 2013) Should one of those city fire chiefs respond to a fire outside of their city, they would be considered mutual aid by ISO and not be counted in the total number of appropriate responders for that particular incident.
It was noted that in order for the consolidation to work to satisfy ISO requirements, the county would have to assume liability and worker’s compensation for all firemen, including the chiefs, as well as be responsible for supplying bunker gear, paying for annual physicals, and whatever other expenses that would be incurred for every fire employee and volunteer. Land said that would have an impact on his budget.
So White Springs town Hall and Councilors you may continue to brag about our ISO classification of a 5 and attribute it to Steve Stith. That is not the case and with the current Call listing I provided from the Sheriff’s office, there is no way White Springs will retain the protection Class 5 unless we bring our former chief and firefighters back who actually worked to get us that classification. The money you get from Hamilton County and anticipate is not the highest priority for the Citizens. From the Sheriff’s call listing, it didn’t show call activity by the WSFD so don’t expect any more money than the $2,500 each for two quarters. The Highest Priority, is providing fire and safety for the Citizens of White Springs.
Now in reading the Fire Agreement with Hamilton County whereby they ask for two firefighters for calls outside of White Springs and will match two other firefighters from another location to comply with the ISO, that will work for fires and emergencies outside of White Springs, but if we do not have four volunteers in White Springs to man our fire equipment, you can say goodby to our Protection Class 5 and Hello to Protection Class 9 and higher insurance rates. Councilors (Not you Mayor Miller) how ignorant can you be to not want the best for the Citizens of White Springs? Lofton talks about bringing economic development like a dry cleaners in SHE but wouldn’t the citizens prefer Lofton wishing for a better fire department so their property did not burn down? Get a Grip on the most important things a resident of White Springs can have, Food, Shelter,and Clothing and enough money to get by for health welfare and enjoyment of their lives.
White Springs is lucky. We have a Fire Station which can be attributed to Mayor Helen Miller and her former Manager Bob Farley. wheres Crossroads Fire Station had termite and water damage and no safe parking in front of the building. Yet it seems as though there are firefighters in Jasper and Jennings, but none in White Springs and it is all because Stacy Tebo wished to protect Andrew Greene as did Rhett Bullard. And at what cost to the Citizens of White Springs?
Again if the Genoa Fire Department, which is a county department, responds to a fire in the town of White Springs, they are considered mutual aid because it’s a separate district and separate jurisdiction. So what do you plan to do about that White Springs and quit mentioning that Steve Stith wants to work for a protection Class 4. If ISO checks on our department randomly, watch how high our insurance premiums go up. And why? It’s because we have the Worst Town Manager in the History of White Springs and the Worst Fire Chief who never could run a fire department and of course protected Andrew Greene who passes out in a fire. Wow.
The 2013 Board of County Commissioners it quoted Mr. Land stating “Just having people on a roster does not suffice the requirement” and Steve Stith was the Fire Chief then and now. You councilors have ruined White Springs over and over again and who will wish to move here when they find out we only have a roster but no people to fight fires. Stith should resign or the Council should fire him and if Ms. Tebo objects, she should be suspended and since she has already breached her contract, it does not apply so you might as well fire her. From what we found out today about who she has been paying money to, it is absolute fraud against the Citizens of White Springs.
It is time the Councilors who the people have elected do their fiduciary duty drain the swamp for a better White Springs or you all will be the next ones to be drained when a fire hits White Springs.
Karin for the blog