A little history lesson is in order, I believe.
First off, a commercial. I don’t believe White Springs can govern itself. In our case Home Rule is a joke.
Managers since I’ve lived it town:
Marv Ray – Don’t know much about Marv Ray. The only thing I am sure of is he wouldn’t give me any 119 Requests so I filled a lawsuit and he Quit. Gutless wonder. He was only manager for 6 months after I moved into town.
Interim Robert Townsend. The self confessed pedophile. Without a Town Manager Robert stepped up to the plate and offered to take over the Town Manager duties in addition to is duties and the water waste water guy. Walter jumped for joy. He lasted six months or so until his sorted immoral behavior publicity became too much for him and he quit.
Henry Dunn. Came to us from Indiana. This, except for getting Townsend’ story in the Lake City Reporter, is the first time I did my own background check on an applicant for a town position. Here is what I found. He was fixing to be arrested for swindling money out of his small town’s coffers. The town fired him but he quit before they could geet the job done. But White Springs didn’t do a background check on the man by simply calling his ex-employer and getting the same information that I had gotten. He lasted six months. He was fired for gross incompetence and failure to do the job. He did one good thing as town manager is that he condemned the two houses on the south east corner of Mill and Kendrick which piss Tracy Woodard off and she went for his termination. It cost the town $6,000 t o settle his lawsuit against the town for wrongful termination. He was a joke but Walter loved him and so he was hired even though the t own knew that he had been all but fired from is previous position.
Then Townsend rethought his decision to “take the heat” for his sexual exploits with a seven year old little boy and Walter was his biggest cheerleader in coming back to take the manager’s post again. That was eight of the darkest years in White Springs history. I blame it all on Walter who wouldn’t hear of Townsends missteps and misdeeds as the Town Manager. It wasn’t until Townsend got caught playing hide the sausage with prison inmates that Helen, by now Mayor for the first time, had the courage to fire him, or at least ask for his resignation. Enter Andrew Greene a sexual partner of Townsend and then after carrying the old boy for 12 years we finally got rid of Greene. Greene of the fire department and the new sewer and water guy lived at the teat of Townsend for the remaining six years of Townsend’s tenure. Greene hid the evidence of Townsend’s misuse of the prisoners’ for his own, Townsend’s own sexual gratification. During Townsend’s time a Councilman name Mike Williams found out about Townsend’s sexual proclivities with young boys and resigned from the Council. I’ll never forget the breakfast Walter had with Mike Williams the day after Mike resigned from the Council. Walter was mighty upset and said he needed Mike to help him clean up the town and that he, Walter, would keep a close eye on Townsend. I hope Walter enjoyed the show with Townsend and the inmates.
Then after a tenure of Shirley Heath being the interim Town Manager for six months or so we hired an out of town guy from Maine named Bill Lawrence. He lasted 8 months before he quit. Helen wouldn’t even allow him to speak at town Hall meetings and he finally got frustrated and when home to Maine. Helen convinced him that the Griffin’s were , to use a minister in Town’s phrase from the pulpit, “The Devil Incarnate” Because his job depended on him hating us, the Griffin’s, we didn’t become friends until just before he and his bride left town. Again no background check or drug screen. Had Helen kept her mitts off of Bill and let him do his job he’d probably still be here and the town prospering. But Helen couldn’t do that so the die was cast and he left.
Then came Farley, the fired town manager of Live Oak and a personal friend of, you’ve got it ,Walter. He was a joke from the get go. According to his own testimony Farley was working 65 hours a week as town manager. It didn’t do any good. During his tenure. Tommie is working 20 hours per week. The only good thing he did for White Springs was, remember Henry Dunn 12 years prior?, actually got the two houses on the Southeast corner of Mill and Kendrick demolished. And Walter had a cow. Farley quit after about a year and, due to his wife’s illness, he said he couldn’t do the job anymore
After Farley came a second stint of Shirley Heath being the interim Town Manager.
And that lead us to Rhett’s favorite drug user partner Stacy Tebo. By now Helen was no longer Mayor and Rhett the Spencer took over. We all know the story of Tebo and what a waste if time her 3 years was with the town. By my estimation the Town when to Hell with Helen and then Rhett leading the parade. But the Council wouldn’t hear of releasing Stacy from her contract. Even Walter said, as they were voting to give Stacy a two year contract, that she was too heavy handed for White Springs and then turned right around and voted to extend Tebo’s Contract for two more years. Rhett implored and Spencer took over as Mayor and Stacy ran roughshod over the Town. Lots went on with Spencer at the Helm and the majority of the town was glad, for no good reason except to get rid of Spencer, that Helen got re-elected with two allies and became Mayor again. It took her a year and a half to get Tebo to resign and that brings us up to the present time and the LIAR which is Tommie Jerome Jones literally stole the Town Managership from the town by virtue of Anita knowing him and his record for Drug Abuse and multiple felonious conduct with the Council was apparently made aware of but the Citizens were kept in the dark about. Again, no drug test and no background check. It took me two days to find out about Tommie’s criminal record.
He has no skills and as I said is the consumate LIAR. He has accused others for his shortcomings and has yelled at Staff to do I things his way. He is not a leader of people and should never have been hired as either the Town Manager or the town consultant. All he has d one is spend money with Helen leading the way with no authority to do so.
So that is the 20 year story. Not a single one qualified to be town manager except for Bill Lawrence and then no one would listen to him. Helen screwed the pooch of this one. Instead of going forward with more and more skilled town managers we are going backward. Even Townsend would and was better than Tommie and may have less baggage than Tommie.
With this 20 year record and the liars and thieves we’ve hired as Town Manager I suggest again that we are unable to govern ourselves and await t he day when the state steps in takes away our misery. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving town. Walter and Helen should be so proud of our standing. They are so weak that they can’t even get rid of Pam. Its pitiful is what it is.