It started simply enough. I wrote a story about the HORROR stories we, as a town, have had with Town Managers and how it could all have been avoided if we just did background checks on our applicants. The story published on Monday of this week was “Long Story, Same Out Come” The story talked about all of the town managers we have had over the last 20 1/2 years and how the Horror Stories, including Tebo, could have been avoided if we just did a background check. We knew Tebo was suing her former employer but no one bothered to call that employer and get the other side of the story.

Then it became evident that Tommie Jerome Jones was picked for the Town Manager post out of the Sunshine. I believe Helen and Anita got together and DECIDED that Tommie was the man. Don’t know if Walter or Tonja were involved or not. I believe Tom Moore was the only Council member that we knew wasn’t involved. This was on Tuesday afternoon.

When it became evident that he was going to be selected after Tuesday night’s workshop and since my idea of simply doing a background check was denied by Helen I decided to call Tommie and tell him I was going to write a story on the need for a background check. To say he was less than enthusiastic about the idea. That was when he could have told me about the Criminal Problems he had had when he was a young lad. BUT HE DID NOT TELL ME. I CAN NOT SAY WHAT I WOULD HAVE DONE WITH THAT INFORMATION BUT I DIDN’T HAVE IT AND TOMMIE COULD HAVE GIVEN IT TO ME.

So I decided to take a quick look and see if I could find out anything. Again Tommie could have told me. The Clerk of the Court for Dade County found 17 violations of state laws committed by a Tommie Jerome Jones with his birthdate. 17 times in front of the judge.

Then Wednesday morning happened and Tommie, knowing that I now knew about his sorted past refused to tell the Council about his past. Some would say that my evil side took over and I really went to digging. I found out that he had a conviction for two first degree Felonies and did prison time for them together. I still don’t know about the misdemeanor charges but will know on Monday. He got sentenced to 5 years and got out In 2 years and two months for good behavior.

Still no word out of Tommie and by his statement yesterday he thought I was picking on him because he was Black instead of the LIES he told by being silent on his record. Not a single time have I discriminated against a Black because they were Black. II did call Joe McKire a “house nigger” once because he was the White Council members lackey. I have picked on Tonja because she can’t read or have a thought for herself. “House Nigger” is a term in the dictionary, by the way. But in 20 1/2 years those are t he only two things I have done that remotely could be considered racist.

But Tommie and Nikki are both Racist because all they see is some one trying to get to the truth as an enemy and not a good citizen. It is like they couldn’t make it on their own and must protect themselves from people who would expose the truth. He called me a racist for exposing the truth. The story title was something about “all Nikki sees is colored by her being black and thinking she is oppressed because of it” I become a racist simply because I grew up in the White Privileged South according to Nikki and Tommie.

All of this brouhaha could have been saved had Tommie said Tuesday night or Wednesday morning that he had a criminal record. But he didn’t and that was a huge error in judgement I believe. Then Friday happened, And boy it was a day of accusations and counter accusations. If Tommie had just come clean about his past, well he didn’t which I believe was a lie on his part.

It boiled down to a charge leveled against me for assorted criminal activities including violations of Ethics Laws of the State of Florida. Tommie was not a public employee, in fact when I approached him about me helping him get a handle on our, the town’s, desperate financial situation, His resume, which leaves out approximately 8 years of his life, doesn’t show any training or familiarity with money matters. I have such a background and my wife is a financial wiz. But no Tommie, insecure as he is, has said I was trying to bribe him with my offer of help.

To sum up this article all of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday could have been avoided if Tommie has just fessed up to his prior activities. I guess I could have just set on the information but then the town wouldn’t know and I believe strongly in Open Government. As of Friday afternoon Tommie has not even filled out a Town Application. He got the job without an application when we have denied others the position because they hadn’t filled out an application. This special treatment is abhorrent to me. Why not tell the truth, why not be honest and tell the truth, the whole truth. Why not expect nothing that others have been required to do. Except in Tommie’s case he is Black and so therefore he believes he gets special privileges. Its a pile of horse crap as far as I am concerned. I can’t wait to hear Walter’s take on all of this. Would we have hired a convicted felon. I sure hope not.

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