It is probably difficult to most of you to wonder why we stand for what we have stood for. We have even been called hypocrites.
We have received comments that we have allowed the Camel Club to enter into the Council and have done wrongly by supporting Helen Miller, but honestly, under the circumstances of the previous officials and manager, I would have done the very same thing.
At least under Helen Miller, the Local Option Fuel Tax money will be used for transportation and our streets and roads may be fixed. Although we do not know where the $250,000 money which Miller stated we had because of the Sewer increase disappeared to and nothing has been done to this time, at least we will be working on the Wastewater Rehabilitation….something no one has considered in the last four years. This again has been left for Miller to handle and it sounds like she will.
In the meantime the previous “Gang of Three” did nothing and then we find out that one did something Townsend did and it sickened me. I do not like anyone who sexually abuses a younger person and that is what I understand happened and it was caught on a computer but the computer when found was given back to the perp by our Chief.
It was wrong for the Town Manager to go after a council member no matter what the circumstances were. It was up to the council members themselves and when Rhett, Willie and Tonja were fearful of doing the dirty deed themselves, they not only were not following the charter but cost the town close to $20,000 to protect Ms Tebo from something she should not been involved in and even our attorney stated there is no precedent that the town should have paid for Ms. Tebo’s defense.
The council consisting of the “Gang of Three” even gave Be Faithful $3,000 when there was no right for the Council to do that. Helen Miller through her benefactor provided a GRANT and no funds are guaranteed under a grant. Even though we were promised a new fire engine, that GRANT would not provide for more than $100,000 and it was obvious Be Faithful was using the money not for the children of White Springs but to pay her bills before filing bankruptcy again. Yet who brought Be Faithful in our lives? Well that would be Nikki and Anita.
And as far as I am concerned Stacy Tebo was responsible for Pam Tomlinson’s discriminatory and hateful treatment of Anita Rivers when Anita Rivers was working at Town Hall. Anita Rivers should have sued for Retaliation because it does not matter what her performance was or should have been, the fact that she was fired after making a complaint which cost the Citizens $26,000 or thereabouts, showed retaliation. Yet Tebo herself won the case of “Retaliation” and is such will be receiving a settlement from DeBary. No, as far as I was concerned, one or more of the old Gang of Three had no right to hire an outside attorney without council approval just to protect our Manager who was wrong in this instance.
Now insofar as the Carver School and the Williams family, yes, we fought for the building to be renovated and not to be torn down and felt since it was in the State’s historical register it could be renovated and saved with State Funds. Senator Bill Montford’s group was seen on the premises to look at the building after we wrote to him. It is an architectural building that differs from all other buildings I have ever seen in historical photos and was worth saving.
But now the Williams family has changed their minds and is fighting instead for a hurricane/ Tornado and inclement weather Shelter for the people and the people have stated through one of their representatives that the building could not be built on a different part of the land because it was too far and the school needs to be demolished. It is not our history and we would have fought with you to save the Carver, but it is of no use now since everyone agrees it is to be demolished for a more modern building for which we need at least $48,000 plus furnishings and possibly other equipment to facilitate the building. And it was wrong for our Town Manager to insinuate that a letter like the one written could not have been written by the Williams Family who were educators.
I have always fought for the fire department and I truly believe we have had the best fire department anyone could have had. And I know that our Manager and the Gang of Three did not wish Kevin Pittman to be chief and the excuses given were some of the most ridiculous I have ever seen. So here we are. Walter was going to Fire Stith if he did not quit and now indicated he knows Stith is back with Preuter…but has the council done anything at this time other than mouth services? No, but hopefully our New Town Manager will handle the matter. What most do not know is that we had a personal beef with Pittman and his former wife but that did not affect our admiration for the good work he has done and who he is today, so our Town Manager making accusations shows how lame she really was.
Now would I rather have the council we have or the one prior? I would have to say the current Council members, because there is hope. I do not like hearing that Grant Money from one area will be used for another area because in my opinion that Is as illegal as what was done with LOFT. Am I happy that we are not taking care of our wastewater treatment plant situation and our roads before talking about doing something for tourism and the Barnett Tract? No. I feel the infrastructure should be completed first so that others will wish to be part of this town…that is if Walter McKenzie won’t get in the way as he has done in the past with those who wish to bring business to White Springs. Just because Walter was a RICO camel member doesn’t give him that right. And to tell you the truth he lied to the Jasper News in an article saying he knew nothing about the Camels when he was caught by that inquiry of Judge Scaff, where he had to tell the truth since he was under oath and reminded of such.
All of these areas we have been complaining about are for the benefit of the people. Yes we have fought against your lies and accusations about us and what wonderful things have you done besides lied about us, place Joe in Jail for something ridiculous and when we took the easy out so we did not have to go to court, you came after us again so that you could try to get both Joe and I in prison for something so small that it is ridiculous…and even the FBI decided to wash their hands of it and the new ASA when Hatton was removed, knew this was a plot to railroad both of the Griffins and dropped the case, you still were not happy.. You have taken advantage of Joe whereby we have paid thousands of dollars to the Town of White Springs for things which the Town should have lost because the complaints were lawful but Joe was pro see and then the Gang of Three and Hatton tried to put a collection agency on us again but fortunately I had all satisfactions. The Town Manager then took an injunction against us using Town Hall as her home and stating Joe was stalking her with his yellow Jeep, when we never were near her home and didn’t care to be. In fact the Jeep was just being sold.
So there is no reason that we should stick up for any of these people except for the fact that we will stick up for what is right even though the individual may be perceived as an enemy of ours. The nice thing is after doing so, we found out the true feelings of those we have assisted in the last four years and that is good because it allows us to wash our hands and no further help will be given now or ever.
And again I must stress, this thing with our current Town Manager “Tommie Jones, had nothing to do with his record. When we met him, we liked him and thought he would make a wonderful manager. In fact with his being close to having an MPA and his background with Sewer and Water, he was a great shoe in. However, we had no idea about his checkerboard background and were shocked. And it all started with our stating we should have background checks, not knowing he wasn’t the perfect honest individual he professed to be when we met. And then we were considered discriminatory. Then the lies came out about bribery and the fact that he did not have any misdemeanors and only the one felony for which he was placed in prison for two years and two months. I was criticized for stating such but should not the Town be transparent about who we hire and who is elected and what decisions are made? Obviously it is okay to attack us and even the former Town Manager, even though some of the areas you have stated about us were never true nor did they ever happen and to continually say we have no right to speak the truth or be transparent ourselves.
Tommie Jerome Jones lied about his background and lied about us and apparently is still lying to the council about what he is saying to people he has been advised to communicate with and that is our disappointment of him. But we have that right to be transparent about what we see is happening in White Springs and write same on our blog. It may be known that we have kept much information of what has transpired in the last four years to ourselves because we do wish this current group of officials to do the right thing for the benefit of White Springs.
So now you know. We fight for what is right and it does not matter whether the person has done horrid things to us or have lied about us. If they are in the right while others are doing bad things to them, we will come to their defense. It is not because we are friends with any one of them but because while no one has ever come to our defense publicly, we still will come to theirs if they ask. I can’t even count the number of people who have come by asking for Joe’s assistance and if he can help he will do it.
Karin for the blog