In the Editorial endorsements, the Editor endorsed Randy Fairbanks for the District 1 County Commission seat. In justifying this selection it was stated that the “$20 million difference could go toward schools…,” of which I have a serious problem.
When Jesse Register was over the Hamilton County Schools, he repeatedly reached deep into our pockets and whined that it was for the children. However, when the school system either did not replace a teacher who retired or quit, or teachers were laid off, no one ever explained who this was for in the end. Did the children benefit from the lack of teachers? And where did our money go when the teacher complement decreased?
By the way, I don’t have any problem with the endorsement for Randy Fairbanks, and I wish him the best. It’s the distribution of the money that concerns me.
There were other words used here, such as, “…or other needs” and I can only wonder why this money cannot be set-aside until there is enough available to build a minimum security jail that can concentrate on inmates sentenced and need treatment for drugs and alcohol use, and mental health problems in the jail. The old jail is a serious problem and shouldn’t be used. It is a matter of time before the wrong person is placed in this jail when the inmate population is high and the law suit that hits us will be staggering, all of which can be avoided. Unfortunately, this may be what is needed to get the funding. A little foresight on the part of the Commissioners would be appreciated, since I know that this has been brought before them in the past.
Who else do you think should get a huge chunk of the $20+ million? I would like to know.
Considering the problems with the old jail (still being used) and overcrowding, the costs associated with the jail alone will be high. This doesn't begin to address the cost increases associated with fuel increases and increases in electric power, etc. When we have increases at home in our electric bill, the gasoline in our car, and groceries, we must adjust our budget to fit these additional costs or go without something that we want.
In law enforcement, we don't have these options, because of law mandated requirements. Many of these requirements can be foreseen and the budget is adjusted for the following year accordingly. If the Commission fails to provide the funds for the budget, there will assuredly be a visit to the Commission when these higher costs go into effect. Sheriff Hammond isn't any more to blame for this than we are for higher gasoline costs. However, the Commission needs to provide the monetary support for the Sheriff's Office instead of trying to embarrass the Sheriff for political reasons.
It is amazing that most of the time we have one patrol vehicle in Hixson, but no one criticizes the Police Chief for not providing more police officers, instead of police technicians. When Harvey suggests doing away with volunteers and adding personnel, at a greater cost, of course, this is acceptable to the Editorial Page Editor. I must be missing something here. Harvey has proven himself to be a capable politician. He says what some people want to hear, they drink his Cool Aid, and then they provide support. If Harvey gets into the Sheriff's Office he then needs to do as he says. If Harvey fails, then a new Sheriff will take over in 4-years. What our community will lose is a Command Staff that is second to none, and had provided excellent law enforcement protection for our community. What do these people care..., they would get into an Office that they have no idea what is needed in the way of leadership, management, or administration. The taxpayers suffer..., and as we have seen in the past, this seems to be okay to some influential people. Please keep these points in mind when you vote on Tuesday.
It boggles my mind how some people can think that $28 million can still buy what we got a decade ago. The 1982-83 budget for the Oklahoma City Police Department was $29.3 million, and I know this since I was a principal person who put this budget together. In 2013-2014 we're talking about a $28 million budget. To me, this is strange. If anyone believes that Chris Harvey can do better with this money..., they would be in for a rude awakening. Mr. Harvey himself hasn't dealt with a budget of this size and the needs of the Sheriff's Office at this level. We would be getting an unknown variable in this situation, and this bothers me. The amount of misinformation put out by people at the watering hole (obviously looking for a job, if Harvey is successful) have done a disservice to our community, not helped it.
On the day that Officer Jacks graduated from the Academy, I was present. My presence was for a friend who had graduated from the Academy, and I was merely in the right place to meet her, as I met others from that class as well. She was full of life, promise, hope, and desire to help her brothers and sisters in Blue to make Chattanooga a better place to live. Any time that someone attempts to get your weapon, please keep this special young woman in mind. She would not want anyone to end-up like her by hesitating to one's compromise.
This would, of course, make it more, rather than less, of a need to use one's weapon during a potential or actual struggle where a person's firearm could be stripped away and used against oneself.
Lately, there has been a lot being said about the use of DPF during a struggle or attack. Officer Jacks (a White Police Officer) lost her life (2002) at the hands of her assailant; a 17-year old Black youth who was 6'2" and 200lbs in Sanford, FL was a killed during a scuffle; and a 17-year old White youth who was approximately 190lbs. at 10'8" was shot twice and killed when he rushed an armed Black man in Greece, New York (2009). One case shows us what can happen when we do not use DPF fast enough with an assailant, one case shows us what happens to an attacker when a person protects decides to use DPF to protect oneself from an attacker, and another case in Sanford, Florida may have been a similar use of DPF.
Officer Jacks loss of life and the lesson we learned from it should never be allowed to happen again.
As for Isaac Jones, III, he should suffer the life of an inmate..., forever. He should never be released from prison. And yes, this may have been one of those cases when the death penalty would be appropriate. I am at odds with the swiftness of the death penalty - no more pain, and the life locked-up behind bars - where suffering never ends.
Sandy Hughes has a point in her argument. How effective are lay people in making decisions about issues in education? As we have seen in Hamilton County, even a former Principal seems to have lost touch with the issues in education. When money, instead of effective education programs, leads such a former educator by the nose it makes it difficult to support Ms. Hughes. After all, the former public school Principal hasn't done any better than the lay people on the HC School Board.
If you question what I write here, then check your property tax bill of 1995 and compare it with the student test scores of that year. Now, examine your property tax bill for 2010 and compare it with the student test scores for 2010. Any problem? You are pay a lot more for less. This is what the former Principal on our school board supported. How does this differ with what the lay people did on this school board? This does not differ one bit!
Sorry, Ms. Hughes, but although you have some concerns about the school board, the reasoning appears to be weak, at least when we examine the evidence. For your information, I have been concerned for some time, but the people keep re-electing the same people who caused the problem. This may be the problem..., or are the elections fixed? Unfortunately, I am not as naive as I once had been.
I agree with Salsa!
I was shocked to read Chief Cooper's testimony in this case. If Reporter Pam Sohn's article is correct, Cooper should be in trouble for perjury. Shame on these folks. It must be that the end justifies the means.
They wanted younger people in these positions. They didn't eliminate them, they placed 2 other young individuals in these positions.
In regard to the performance appraisals, shame on them for trying this stunt. Live by your signature. After all, these men only needed a satisfactory rating to prevail. It is a myth that there is a need for an outstanding, although an outstanding makes Cooper look that much more incompetent. He should just come clean and admit that paying to new Assistant Deputy Chiefs was cheaper than paying these older guys. This is the truth, although one of the Captains promoted was a serious mistake, and had to be undone.
People at this level should sign an agreement of service at will. In other words, continued service is at the discretion of the Police Chief. After all, these are political appointments. You can appoint a goat to an Assistant Deputy Chief, Deputy Chief, or Chief's position. It has always been this way, and always will be. Every level of government works like this. In this case, however, it appears that if these 2 men had been younger with less pay, they would have been allowed to stay. They cannot use age like this, it is just plain unlawful.
Don (Gorman), thank you for providing the correction to the use of "Office" over "Department." The use of "Department" indicates a subordinate organization under an elected entity other than the Sheriff. The Sheriff is the elected official, and hence, the use of "Office" is more appropriate.
Hopefully, the County Commission will provide the Sheriff with the funding necessary to build an appropriate correctional facility that would best serve the County without the threat of future litigation that would potentially cost the taxpayers millions of dollars. This is where we are heading.
It is incredible that a County Commissioner had sought the Sheriff's seat and advocated the need for a new jail. As soon as this person loses, he fails to even mention the need for a new jail. It is amazing how short the memory can be for some people, or is it just a shallow desire for some votes. Regardless, this is unfortunate. We need a plan with money to handle the problem(s) with the present jail.