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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Crossing the political aisle can help solve problems, Decatur Daily

With all of the financial problems Alabama is facing, Morgan County included, nobody is taking a second look at Franklin, Morgan County Sheriff's Office for ignoring employee pay increases, education, and training for her staff vice paying for a duplicated effort.  Franklin's desire to spend $400,000.00 for her own personal dispatch will cost twice as much as using 911 services.  Folks there is a reason Franklin wants to hog her own dispatch.  It is the same reason she doesn't want dash cams in all of her vehicles.  Why does she care?  She is rarely in the office?  Could it be because she is rarely in the office? She personally called an arrestee after one of her cronies man-handled the lady and offered to make a settlement if the lady would not file a lawsuit.  I guess you can't blame her.  She is eaten up with Federal lawsuits.  We understand more are coming.  Happy New Year, Franklin!  Enjoy your $400,000.00 equipment and your employees' expense.  Pray you stay in office until all of us die out.  Once one of us is elected, we will request a forensic audit of all accounts.  It will be interesting to see how much of the $400,000.00 went into discretionary funds from other MCSO pots of money.  It will also be interesting to see how all of the other monies have been spent over the years.  We expect it will be eye opening. Once again the fox is in the hen house.

Decatur Daily Article, January 4, 2016
The new year has been rung in, and Alabama faces many old problems, not the least of which are the lingering budget crisis and the lack of any real solutions to making the state’s economy stronger.
Much of what emanates from Montgomery these days is legislation designed to keep voters distracted from the real problems lawmakers don’t want to tackle, such as the broken tax code and the growing disparity between the wealthy and everybody else. Instead, they give us open-carry legislation, tax credits for students attending private schools, and immigration bills that ultimately are ruled unconstitutional.
Meanwhile, the state’s General Fund continues to have gaping holes big enough to drive a fleet of trucks through. The answer, if it can be called such, has been to take money from other state agencies, such as the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, to fill the gaps.
Deep cuts were the first solution the Republican supermajority tried, along with borrowing from various trust funds. The latter option has been pretty much exhausted.
Loopholes remain in the tax code that allow large, out-of-state corporations to avoid paying their fair share of taxes, while the working poor of this state struggle to put food on the table. Because wages are so low in many of the new jobs created in Alabama, many working poor, especially those with children, rely on public assistance.
Even with a supermajority, Republicans often are divided on how to solve the problems. Some adhere to the Grover Norquist no-new-taxes mantra, while others have come to the realization that, without new revenue, there are no solutions.
Lawmakers must put aside philosophical differences and look at the budget problems through an unfiltered lens. A lean, accountable government is desirable, but one that has enough tax revenue to function properly is an absolute necessity. This is achievable, if only we can have a meeting of minds.
Everyone, including Democrats, must have a place at the table if our problems are to be solved.
Closer to home, elected officials have shown an ability to come together on regional economic development issues. Continuing tensions between the Decatur City Council and Decatur City Schools, however, are an impediment to progress.

A deeper level of city and regional cooperation on other matters could make the area economically stronger. It’s clear that state government is financially strapped and can offer only limited help. The more we become self-sufficient, the better we can fend for ourselves and grow our economy.