Puffy BebeThe first hearing, of three, for the Bebe Heiskell/Development Authority property tax increase, was held today at noon and may still be going on as this is published.

A second meeting will be held tonight at 6, and a third next week also at noon. All three will be in the main courtroom on the top floor of the Courthouse.

Two short meetings to discuss and rubber-stamp the proposed 2016 county budget are slated for 11:30 today, both AM and PM. The PM meeting due to a mistake in the original announcement, which they legally have to follow.

You should try to attend every meeting possible, to let your elected leader know how you feel about what she’s doing to you. (Especially the night meeting because Bebe will be in an especially nice mood for that one.)

Budget Hearing Schedule Mistake

You participating and objecting won’t stop the train, but maybe Heiskell will lose a few seconds of sleep worried about it – assuming she’s got any shred of conscience left. (She certainly does not.)   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

Call Steve Tarvin

Even as the Sole Commissioner tightens her screws into every county taxpayer’s wallet, State Representative Steve Tarvin, commenting on LU Saturday, doubled down on his position against allowing a vote on sole commissioner government:

    “While the number of Walker County Citizens wanting a Board of Commissioners is growing, the majority does not want that system at this time.”

Apparently he’s talked to every single person in the county? How do you know what the majority wants when you won’t let the majority vote? If nobody wants it, let us vote and prove it, and we’ll shut up.

That’s all we’re asking, as citizens and taxpayers: don’t make the change yourself, just put the issue on a ballot and find out what the majority actually wants instead of continually SAYING what you THINK the majority wants.

(In other news, we will no longer have voting for president, congress, governor, or state legislature because the people who already hold those offices know what the majority want and will from now on just pick their replacements based on that knowledge.)   Tiny Facebook

Hutcheson has gone through two bankruptcy trustees in the last two weeks.

Ronald Glass / glassratner.comEarlier this month Sandra Austin was appointed to supervise the dying hospital’s sale efforts. She quit within days and has now been replaced by bankruptcy/liquidation expert Ronald Glass.

As noted last week, the CEO swore in court they had a buyer who would make a $20 million offer within a week. That was three weeks ago this next Friday, and Hutcheson still hasn’t been bought.

Hutcheson employees are still working without health insurance, scraping together supplies, going without working equipment, waiting to be laid off, and worrying if their next paycheck will bounce.

Erlanger in Chattanooga, Hutcheson’s rejected ex-partner, is meanwhile doing so well financially that all its employees are getting an unexpected $400 bonus.   Tiny Facebook


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As required by law, Commissioner Heiskell is holding three public meetings to announce a 1 mil tax increase (11%) for the benefit of her Development Authority.

Walker County Tax Meeting Notice

Meetings will be in the main courtroom of the Courthouse, Wednesday at noon, Wednesday at 6 PM, and the NEXT Wednesday [9/30] at noon. There will also be a brief meeting about the proposed county budget for fiscal 2016 (which starts Oct. 1) before the Wednesday noon meeting.

As Heiskell said in 2010, she makes these decisions based on what she “knows” and not on what the people want, but you should still try to attend if possible so she knows how you feel about the way she’s screwing you, your neighbors, and your children.

Here’s the budget proposal. You’ll note that it’s very brief, despite being quite expensive, and Heiskell still won’t do a line-item budget deeper than department level. Basically the least amount of information allowed by law, per her usual.

Walker County Republicans voted back in March to have the Commissioner do a line-item budget but she cares as much about the Republican Party’s wishes as she cares about everybody else’s: not at all.   Tiny Facebook

Reviews of the second annual Walker County Fair are a bit mixed, but lean towards negative.

Mountain Cove Farms Fair / Slide Mountain Cove Farms Fair / 4H Sheep Exhibit

Several say they had a good time, or the kids liked it anyway, but the majority have complained about the long drive, the long walks required by the way it was laid out, dilapidated fair rides, filthy foul-mouth ride operators, shows that closed too early, and “all day” ride wristbands that expired halfway through the day.

The bottom line verdict: Lake Winnie is just as close, costs the same, and gives a much better experience.

What about the crowds? Some claimed the place was packed, and the county’s already started a rumor than 7,000 people attended on Friday. But based on the photos and the Walker County Messenger video above, the event was… underattended.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

Fort Oglethorpe police officer Cecil Kevin Shadwick, age 44, fired for an alleged sexual relationship with a teenager. They say he wasn’t just sleeping with a 16 year old, he was doing it while on duty.

Kevin ShadwickShadwick previously worked for Ringgold for a while, and apparently his supervisor there knew about the relationship and cut him loose, but never reported it – allowing him to continue his career in law enforcement.

People are surprised about this? The same thing happened in Walker, we had a deputy sleeping with a teenager and the Sheriff let him quit instead of firing him so it’d stay out of his employment record.

This is what dirty cops do, they turn a blind eye to bad behavior until it can’t be avoided, then let their friends resign so they can take up the same job and same bad behavior somewhere else in a community that has no idea.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook


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For months, GA Representative Steve Tarvin avoided answering questions about putting sole commissioner on the ballot. Now he responds in the form of a dismissive, excuse-filled TV commercial on UCTV:

[Commentary added by LU]

Tarvin admits here he personally prefers sole commissioner, then says he would have let the county vote IF we had all paid $20 to attend the Republican meeting in March and IF enough of us had shown up to that meeting to out-vote Bebe’s employees.

And he says the sole commissioner vote petition is invalid because we didn’t sign it by precinct with a voter list.

Is every person who signed the petition a voter? No. Is every person who signed a Walker County taxpayer? Almost certainly. Are more than 10 or 15 of the 2,045 people who signed it not voters? Probably not. It’s a good size percentage of Rep. Tarvin’s constituency who signed, and he’s saying they don’t count because a handful of the names on the list MIGHT not be voters.

Tarvin is up for reelection in May. Call him [423 605 7328] and let him know, again, how you feel on this issue – and how you’ll vote if he can’t act. Maybe he’ll listen this time.   Tiny Facebook

Pot Plant

Drug task force finds 113 marijuana plants worth $135,000 growing on 11 sites in southwest Walker County. No arrests made, so far.   Tiny Facebook

Changes in city government.

Matthew Williams


Williams has been in charge of the DDA since November 2012 and has often been described to LU as the nicest guy around. His job duties include community events like Movies in the Park, city social media accounts, historical research/preservation, business recruitment, and grant writing.

Good luck to him and his family in Arizona.   Tiny Facebook

17 days ago, on September 2nd, Hutcheson CEO Farrell Hayes told a federal judge the hospital had a buyer who would pay $20 million for HMC within a week. (A week is seven days.)

Farrell Hayes in Court

His sworn testimony led to the hospital’s bankruptcy protection being extended, and his well-paying job being preserved, again.

    “Martin Ochs, who had asked a judge to end the case last month, decided against the move after testimony Wednesday, when Hutcheson CEO Farrell Hayes said he is about a week away from receiving a formal offer for the hospital.”

No buyers yet. Surprise!   Tiny Facebook


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$2,400 in interest, per day, for thirty years. On the backs of taxpayers.

That’s the kind of debt deal Walker County is entering into, in an agreement approved by Judge Wood on Tuesday with taxpayer input intentionally stifled.

All so Bebe can hide the expenses of Mountain Cove Farms, keep that property from being sold, and avoid raising taxes this year so she can win another election.

How did court actually go on Tuesday?

It’s said a picture is worth a thousand words. So instead of spending time typing another two or three thousand words about what happened in court with the bond and tax issue, here’s a picture that summarizes what occurred:

The Big Screw

[More later, probably.]   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

Tuesday night about 150 people showed up at a Walker County School Board meeting (at the old Osborn School in Chickamauga) to protest the unexplained firing (?) of a principal from the north end of the county. Deputies were called in at one point as the crowd grew aggressive.

Parents and teachers think Lori Vann was forced to resign from Cherokee Ridge Elementary in Wallaceville, but they don’t know why – and the issue wasn’t discussed during the public portion of Tuesday’s meeting.

When the “executive session” after the meeting ended, Superintendent Raines told remaining citizens that the principal they fear was fired is just “on vacation.”

Cherokee Ridge’s Web site still lists Vann as the principal; so far all the theories explaining her absence from the school are only rumors and conjecture.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

Steve Tarvin at Crystal Springs

A Chattanoogan.com editorial asking Steve Tarvin and Jeff Mullis to let citizens vote on sole commissioner has gotten a good number of responses from other residents of Walker County – and all agree, the time has come.

“Walker County, Georgia is very close to becoming the next Detroit.”

But none of these people’s comments count because The Chattanoogan didn’t pay for a voter list and verify they’re all registered voters who actively participate in Republican Party meetings. Those are the only constituents Tarvin will listen to, much to his own detriment.   Tiny Facebook


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Tuesday morning, Judge Jon Wood will finalize a decision in court that will financially enslave Walker County and its citizens, even those not yet living here or conceived, for the next three decades.

Chain Gang

Wood is being asked to sign off on a debt proposal from the Walker County Development Authority that locks Commissioner Heiskell’s pet project plans into place and implements a new irrevocable property tax until 2045.

A dirty deal meant to hide Heiskell’s poor financial management through the next election and give her hidden funds to push expensive construction plans – something taxpayers will have to carry for a generation.

Here’s the public announcement (feel free to skim or skip, we’ll explain it):

    Legal Notice, Walker County Messenger, 09/09/15: “gpn13 WM2430 NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED that on September 15, 2015, at 9:00 A.M., at the Walker County Courthouse Annex in LaFayette, Georgia, the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of Walker County will hear the case of STATE OF GEORGIA vs. WALKER COUNTY DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY and WALKER COUNTY, GEORGIA, Civil Action File No. 15 SUV 0674, in the Superior Court of Walker County, the same being a proceeding to confirm and validate the revenue bonds designated “Walker County Development Authority Economic Development Revenue Bonds, Series 2015” (the “Series 2015 Bonds”), in the original aggregate principal amount not to exceed $17,500,000. The Series 2015 Bonds are to be issued by the Walker County Development Authority (the “Authority”) for the purpose of obtaining funds (1) to repay loans obtained by the Authority from Walker County, Georgia (the “County”) to finance the costs of acquiring and improving land for use as two industrial parks owned by the Authority, known as “Rock Springs Industrial Park” and “Walker County Industrial Park,” (2) to finance the costs of improving the Industrial Parks, (3) to refund the Authority’s Taxable Revenue Bond (Ohio Logistics Project), Series 2011, presently outstanding in the principal amount of $643,300, (4) to finance the costs of acquiring from the County (a) its Civic Center and its Agricultural Center located at 10052 North Highway 27 in Rock Spring, Georgia and (b) its Mountain Cove Resort Properties located on Dougherty Gap Road in unincorporated Walker County, and (5) to finance the costs of issuing the Series 2015 Bonds, in order to promote and expand for the public good and general welfare industry, agriculture, commerce, natural resources, and vocational training and make long-range plans for the coordination of such development, promotion, and expansion within the territorial limits of Walker County. In such proceeding the Court will also pass on the validity of the security for the payment of the Series 2015 Bonds, which consists of the Intergovernmental Economic Development Contract (the “Contract”) between the Authority and the County and the Trust Indenture and Security Agreement between the Authority and U.S. Bank National Association, as trustee, each proposed to be executed in connection therewith. Under the terms of the Contract, the County (1) will agree to make payments to the Authority in amounts sufficient to enable the Authority to pay, among other things, the principal of, premium, if any, and interest on the Series 2015 Bonds when due and (2) will agree to levy an annual ad valorem tax on all taxable property located within the territorial limits of the County, at such rates within the one mill limit or such greater millage limit hereafter authorized under applicable law, as may be necessary to produce in each year revenues that are sufficient to fulfill the County’s obligations under the Contract. All questions of law and fact pertaining to the right to issue the Series 2015 Bonds and to provide the security therefor will be heard and determined. Any citizen of the State of Georgia residing in Walker County, or any person wherever residing who has a right to object, may intervene and become a party to this proceeding. WAIVER OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY: NO PERFORMANCE AUDIT OR PERFORMANCE REVIEW UNDER SECTION 36-82-100 OF THE OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED SHALL BE CONDUCTED WITH RESPECT TO THE SERIES 2015 BONDS. This the 28th day of August 2015. /s/ Carter Brown, CLERK, Superior Court of Walker County 9-2,9″

That’s actually the short version, cut down to one long paragraph for public consumption. The long version is here, in a 102 page legal document.

There’s no time to go through the long, long proposal line by line, so to sum it up: Walker County Development Authority, which exists under the county but is legally separate, will sell $17.5 million in bonds (debts).

$10 million of that will go to the county to pay back a loan Bebe took out earlier this year (half of which was for Hutcheson, half to cover her wild spending), a portion will go to cover this year’s county budget shortfall, and the rest will go to Development Authority “projects” including the Audia Plant site and the industrial park in Rock Spring.

The county will turn over the Civic Center, Mountain Cove Farms, the Agriculture Center, and any claim on the industrial parks to the Development Authority which will then include them as “projects” too. Those properties will be locked down so they cannot be sold or used for collateral again through the entire length of the loan.

What IS the length of the $17.5 million loan? Up to thirty years: “with a term not exceeding August 1, 2045” [3rd page, 16th page]. The means of paying it back will be a 1 mil tax increase the county agrees to charge property owners in return for the funds [5th page, see below].

WCDA Bond Proposal Page 5 Excerpt

That tax increase, like the properties involved, will exist for thirty years.


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