2013
06.19

Interim LaFayette City Manager Max Morrison says Walker County cut its funding promise to the library renovation project from $1.5 million to $1 million, and now can’t come up with the last $300k of that.

Library Renovation April 2013

Mayor Florence and three present members of the council all agreed during last Monday’s meeting that the county seems to be pushing the city to pay money the county owes to finish remodeling, and Councilman Bradford suggests the county is doing something shady:

    “‘The Bank of LaFayette is going to make her a loan, but put on paper that it is really us?’ council member Ben Bradford asked. ‘It sounds like (the county) is trying to use our property to get around some kind of law or regulation.'”

City council willingness to call Bebe Heiskell out on her crap just shows how politically weak she’s become. Everybody’s tired of her crooked, unaccountable leadership and tired of being bullied or threatened.

    “Heiskell stated that should the SPLOST vote in November pass in Walker County, she will soon afterwards take out a loan against the SPLOST to help the library finish out the remainder of its renovation.”

That’s typical of the Commissioner’s thin threats. Pass SPLOST or your library won’t get done. Bullying, attempts at intimidation, and broken promises. That style of leadership is no longer effective or wanted; props to LaFayette leaders for finally saying what everyone else thinks and refusing to take responsibility for the county’s debts.

SPLOST sales taxes were renewed by voters in 2008 with the understanding that some county funds would go towards a library renovation. That was in the ballot language and also mentioned by advocates for the tax. Funds generated by SPLOST are supposed to be set aside for specific projects mentioned in the vote. If the Commissioner told the city or library she would commit $1.5 million to the project and then failed to do so, it could be grounds for a major lawsuit.   Tiny Facebook

According to Commissioner Heiskell, one reason the library is being shafted is the county’s lack of funds. Last week she took steps necessary to obtain a $3 million loan to fund the county through September. $3 million in June is a million more than last year’s $2 million loan taken out in August, indicating that the county’s financial position is growing worse.

Heiskell Speaking / Times Free Press

Heiskell continues to blame the county’s bad finances on everything except herself. In addition to taxpayers, seniors, and the rising cost of asphalt, Heiskell also blames the money crunch on lower fines in county courtrooms. She says she has no choice but to take out this loan and furlough the county employees who reelected her last year.

    “‘It comes out of next year’s budget,’ said Walker County economic development director Larry Brooks.”

Take it out of whatever you want, Walker County doesn’t even HAVE a 2013 budget.

    “‘In the 12 years I’ve been here, asphalt, just as an example, has gone from $22 a ton to $67 a ton, and I have only raised the millage less than half a mil in all that time,’ she said. ‘And so it’s catching up to us. I have yielded to the citizens who screamed and hollered, ‘don’t you dare raise my taxes,’ and I haven’t done it to any great extent. But it’s finally catching up with us. I’m having to do some things I don’t like.'”

That explanation might be more acceptable if the county was buying asphalt at the same level it was twelve years ago, but we’re not paving roads at a significant rate. They’ve bought asphalt for the driveway at Mountain Cove Farms, but beyond that the county is paving only a mile or two each year. Notice Heiskell is also blaming you for not begging her to raise taxes earlier. This is all YOUR fault, you Walker County taxpayers who don’t demand she raise your taxes annually. Not her fault, even though she wastes money left and right.

    “Furthermore, revenue from court fees are also down, she said. ‘State court used to bring in about a million dollars a year, and then for about a year and a half it sort of dwindled down low…'”

She’s also blaming former State Court Judge Bruce Roberts. Judge Roberts refused to screw Walker County residents in court like his predecessor and replacement. How dare he punish people based off their crime instead of fining people based on the county’s financial needs.

County employees who voted for Bebe last July and last November because you believed the lies about losing your jobs if she was replaced: Think about your life situation and your decision-making process when you’re sitting at home with an unpaid furlough once a month or whatever she comes up with to avoid cutting funds for her special projects. Consider that extra day off as an opportunity to rectify this situation by becoming LU contributors. The many of you who don’t care for the boss, but have held back over the years out of fear for losing your job(s), no longer have any reason to protect this woman.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

After Saddle Ridge school opens in August, LaFayette Middle will have space again to house 6th-8th grade classes. That means the stopgap Sixth Grade Academy will no longer be needed, leaving former LaFayette High School on Cherokee Street empty.

Goodbye LMS Academy

Walker Co Schools has been talking to GNTC about using some of the space for sports programs, but has no solid plans for the building’s future.   Tiny Facebook

Examples of abuse under the state’s existing property seizure laws continue to trickle out, leading legislators (and Gov. Deal) to promise reform. But the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association continues to fight reforms, saying any law that keeps deputies from taking people’s assets without due cause will benefit criminals. (And also take away law enforcement agencies’ unaccountable cash piles.)   Tiny Facebook

If you’re looking for employment, there will be a job fair tomorrow morning in Trenton. The jobs will be for Dade employers if you’re willing to drive over the mountain every day for work. Job fair, which runs from 9 AM to noon, is sponsored by LaFayette Dept. of Labor office.   Tiny Facebook

Over the summer, GDOT will expand the GA 136 turn lane for Naomi Elementary school to make more space for parents picking up students. Catoosa’s Woodstation school will also be getting a longer turn lane on GA 151. Both projects are relatively inexpensive (for GDOT anyway) since the properties involved are already part of state road right-of-ways.   Tiny Facebook

One year ago, LU exposed Commissioner Heiskell’s sales tax fraud in Tennessee. She used the county tax exempt number to buy items for herself in the Volunteer state on multiple occasions.

Tax Exemption

Purchases were later explained as being for a “yet unnamed private foundation” to benefit Mountain Cove Farms. The private foundation was never mentioned before, and hasn’t been mentioned again since.

If she’s this irresponsible and crooked with a small amount of sales tax in a neighboring county, how trustworthy is she here at home? Judging by the county’s financial situation, not very.   Tiny Facebook

LHS Senior Devan Greene received the “Person Who Goes the Extra Mile Award” during Times Free-Press’ annual Best of Preps banquet.

Greene played soccer for the Ramblers last season despite a devastating leg injury requiring six surgeries over four years.   Tiny Facebook

City of Moultrie wants to change its public indecency ordinance to include saggy pants. Is this something LaFayette should do too, or is it too much infringement on someone’s rights to express themselves? Sagging is tacky but is it really “indecent” ?   Tiny Facebook

(Obviously this is a racist plot to discriminate against plumbers, appliance repairmen, and fat guys who ride bicycles.)

This Friday at 7, LaFayette DDA will be sponsoring an outdoor concert at Joe Stock Park.   Tiny Facebook

Also, Back Alley Productions presents “See How They Run” June 21, 22, 28, and 29 (This Fri/Sat and next Fri/Sat) at Walker County Civic Center.   Tiny Facebook

Groups seeking to set up state-funded public charter schools for the 2014-2015 school year have until Friday to get their paperwork turned in. So far eleven requests have been filed, locations not yet announced.   Tiny Facebook

Waffle House CEO Joe Rogers’ former housekeeper has sued her ex-boss, accusing him of sexual harassment. She provided a sex tape of herself with Rogers, but a judge has ruled the video doesn’t prove harassment and violates the man’s right to privacy.

As one LU Facebook commenter said, wouldn’t it be better for her to have a video showing a rejection of the man’s advances instead of one showing her sleeping with him?   Tiny Facebook

(Will that be “smothered” “covered” “topped” or… “all the way” ?)

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