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Should the number of Morgan County Commissioners be reduced?

10 replies [Last post]
Judy Byrge
User offline. Last seen 3 years 17 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 08/11/2010

Morgan County Commissioners voted to instruct the Redistricting Committee to keep 18 county commissioners as it establishes new district boundaries. What do you think?

Lyndabee
User offline. Last seen 4 years 45 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 06/24/2014
Reducing number of commissioners

I do not believe we need 18 commissioners for the size of this community. I also don't think they should be the ones to make that decision. Maybe it needs to be added to the ballots to be voted on by the people they work for.

COALFIELD1
User offline. Last seen 6 days 14 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 03/04/2011
Yes

I do think the county commission should be downsized. However, as long as Edwards and Tommy Francis keep slandering political opponents in public and acting like dumb and dumber, they probably are not going to be able to get anything done.

Rule #1 of negotiation is to find common ground and make sure both sides get something out of the deal, it's not continuously making accusations, grandstanding, and making a fool out of yourself and then expecting others to support you... it won't happen, they'll distance themselves and vote against you every time.

ALSO, they need to quit worrying about Becky Ruppe and worry about doing their own jobs, for their own sake, because if it keeps going the way its going they will not have them after the next election.

Lyndabee
User offline. Last seen 4 years 45 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 06/24/2014
Response to Coalfield

It would be wonderful to quit worrying about Becky Ruppe, unfortunately it has been a source of the animosity from the commissioners who were her supporters. So much so that they deliberately and disrepectfully do not want to accept Mr. Edwards or try to work with him.
Rule #1 when you have 17 commissioners who want to do nothing but spend, it's hard to find common ground...it's a little one sided. I do not feel either Edwards or Francis are making a fool of themselves. On the contrary, they are the only ones talking common sense and who are on the same mindset as the citizens of Morgan County. The meeting was proof of that. I don't think any of them want to pay these ridiculous taxes simply because the majority of commissioners are spend crazy. I have talked to many people who support Edwards and Francis and will vote for them again. However, I can't same the same for those 17 commissioners. Also, it's very immature and irresponsible to do the name calling game. It refects on the intelligence of the person doing the name calling.

COALFIELD1
User offline. Last seen 6 days 14 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 03/04/2011
Response

Shame on me for not coming back to the forum and noticing your post until now, some 9 months later.

But... I understand Becky Ruppe has a lot of support on the commission, but they are making it worse by constantly making their arguments about Becky instead of about the issue. You say that it is immature and irresponsible to do name calling, maybe I should have re-phrased it somewhat, but they did appear as dumb and dumber every week in the newspaper with the way they handled everything.

Since my initial post I have noticed a change with Don Edwards. He appears to have separated himself from Tommy Francis somewhat, which is a good thing for him. I think he began to notice that, although Tommy is probably a really nice guy and has some good ideas, his approach and tact were lacking and it was negatively affecting Don himself.

Let me say this, I actually like Don and I support most of his ideas and we share pretty much the same values, I just think he has handled himself wrong politically and it has basically nullified his position.

He is also guilty, as most politicians are, of telling half truths and/or "stretching" the truth. Take his latest article in the newspaper about not being able to vote as part of the Chamber Board. To read his letter you would think that County Executives have been able to vote all along and then suddenly he was stripped of this right, but that is not the case. The County Executive has never been able to vote until Don came around. The president of the Chamber at the time, Thomas Ruble, was going all lax with the by-laws to get his way. Through that, because it didn't 100% specifically state that the County Executive could not vote (it did say the only voting members were the 9 directors) then he started allowing Don to vote. The Chamber By-Laws had to be modified to specifically state that he could not vote in order to put things back to the way things always were and intended to be. He however, tried to leave a different impression in his article and stir up a lot of bad feelings, which I would say was a little "irresponsible" as you like to say.

Speaking of immature and irresponsibility, you Ms. Beeler have acted like that at the Commission meetings! You and your group sit during the meetings and call the commissioners very awful and hurtful things, and you are also loud and just plain disruptive, and then you just can't figure out why they don't want to listen to you! Quit show-boating so much, it hurts your position, focus your time on trying to make a change not start a war. Your behavior does reflect on your intelligence, and it isn't not reflecting well at the moment.

Lyndabee
User offline. Last seen 4 years 45 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 06/24/2014
Answer to whoever you are Coalfield1

I don't pay much credence to someone who chooses to hide behind a name other than their own. You may be one of few that think my actions are immature & irresponsible because many people have applauded me for speaking out. I have never been disruptive and never called the commissioners awful or hurtful things. I would ask for proof for that false statement. I do not show boat, but try to make these commissioners hear what many people feel. They have closed ears and only do what they want. I'm sure they would be very pleased if we all shut up and sat down as you imply. They don't listen because they don't want to listen. Please do not attack my intelligence until you can show your intelligence by coming out from hiding. I'll debate you any day if I know who you are. At least I'm mature enough to sign my name and stand behind my beliefs. Until you make yourself known, I will ignore your silly comments to try to take away people's rights to speak out and I will continue to speak out as long as these commissioners ignore what the people who pay their salaries want.
As for the chamber...I might trust their judgment if the board was not stacked. The chamber receives tax payer's money and someone needs to be able to speak for how our money is spent. Would you like to tell me why Thomas Ruble quietly resigned his position and why the chamber members were never informed? Nothing was ever emailed to let us know he was leaving, although I can come to my own conclusions.
I believe your staying in hiding reflects on your intelligence.

COALFIELD1
User offline. Last seen 6 days 14 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 03/04/2011
Not so fast

I'm not in "hiding", I'm just not stupid enough to give you my name so that I can be attacked and have my name in the "letters to the editor" section every week.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I actually am aligned with a lot of the things you all have brought up... but I do not like the way you act and carry yourselves, and I don't want to be associated with that. You come off as a bunch of looneys!

Blah blah blah about the Chamber being stacked. As for the tax payer money, the Chamber receives that money IN RETURN for them maintaing the Three-Star Certification for the county. The Chamber is there for the businesses, not to be another county "committee".

As for the awful things that were said about the commissioners, I have to admit that I wasn't there but did hear first hand from someone who was sitting nearby. I will have to double check my story again just to verify that you were involved. If you were not, I'll eat my words and apologize. I'll get back to you on that.

On the Thomas Ruble thing, you'll need to call the Chamber to get more info on that.

Lyndabee
User offline. Last seen 4 years 45 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 06/24/2014
still in hiding

Sorry, but that excuse is cowardly. You are not credible if you are afraid to expose yourself. I think you're afraid to reveal yourself because of someone other than me. I do not feel that I attack anyone. What I write is about our frustrations with these commissioners. We've tried different approaches, would you like to suggest one that will work? I feel people in the community need to know the decisions that our commissioners are making involving their tax money. Tell me what I've written that wasn't worthy of people knowing about or truthful? My hopes have been to spark an interest for people to be involved, but it seems they see the situation hopeless from what I've heard from different people. Now tell me how you would like me to act and carry myself.

As for the Chamber, it is stacked! I was a member for months before they even listed me, then it was almost a year before I was able to get them to add our business to the advertisement. It took several requests. How is that helping a business? But that's not the reason I say it's stacked.

You can check your sources, but if they tell you I was involved in the things that were said about our commissioners they are wrong. I was totally as surprised as anyone even though I was sitting next to them. But I guess that makes me guilty. Start apologizing. Why not ask the source that said it? I don't mind being admonished for something I do, but not something I was unaware of.

Please continue your suggestions because I only want to be an asset to the community.

COALFIELD1
User offline. Last seen 6 days 14 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 03/04/2011
followup

I don't see it as cowardly, I see it as smart, I'm not going to give someone who I know will use my name the information they want.. basic strategy 101.

As for the Chamber business listing, I spoke in depth about that issue to several people in the "loop" of things and I can honestly say that there was no effort to keep you from being listed. I would attribute the mistake to a lack of technical aptitude with the person you were making the request to. There may have been a delay of about a month because there were other things happening at the time, but you were then listed in the members list. I believe what happened is that there was a miscommunication as to where you were requesting to be listed at. You were listed very quickly on the member directory, but it wasn't understood that you were actually requesting to be listed beside two other hotels in an advertising piece, once that became clear you were listed immediately. Honestly, no concerted effort to prevent you from being listed, it could honestly be chalked up to confusion/miscommunication.

I did go back and check my sources and they did say that you were involved in the things being said, but they did admit they didn't hear you say anything specific, so I believe it is guilt by association simply because you were sitting near the guilty parties. So I apologize for tying you to the acts of others, I hope you will accept my apology.

My suggestions are this, and keep in mind when I say these things I am stating what I think the perception is and I don't mean to attack in any way:

  • Choose your battles wisely. On some of the letters you have written you have complained about some relatively minor things that probably weren't that big of a deal. I'm sorry I don't have specifics, I just remember thinking that when reading them. Here is the issue, if you complain all the time about things that could be let go of or overlooked, things that are minor, then people start thinking of you as just a complainer. Don't make everything a Chinese fire-drill, save the all hands on deck attack for the larger issues. I understand that you feel all of these smaller issues added together becomes a major issue, and you may be correct, but if the perception is killing you it doesn't matter because you won't be able to change anything. Strategy 101.
  • Try not to attack the other side. You may take offense to the word attack, but that is the way it comes off. Don't get to personal with your letters. You should draw attention to problems and specific votes, the way people voted, etc., but give it more as fact and not so personal.

    There are several reasons for this:
    (1) some people will totally dismiss you when you do it just because they don't like that sort of tactic

    (2) the people you are complaining against automatically go on the defensive and you leave them no room to gracefully change their mind about a subject because doing so would be caving or "losing" a fight

    (3) in this county everyone is related, if you say something harsh about someone or in a way that could be construed as an "attack", they will become defensive on their relative's behalf and then talk about you negatively to others

    When reading your letters in the paper, and even some of your posts to me here, I have this visual picture of you red faced and mad, and just raging while you write. You have a lot of passion about what you are writing about, I get that, but be careful when choosing your words and phrasing when you are so passionate about a topic because sometimes that passion can come through the words in the wrong way.

  • Don't align yourself with certain individuals, align yourself with the truth and what is right. The perception to the public is that you are part of "Don's army". The appearance is that your allegiance is to Don, not to what is right and correct. I'm not saying it is wrong to support Don, on the contrary, just make sure that your arguments are more about what is right and fair and less about the particular politician. Focus on the issue, not the person. The politician in question may change at any given election, but genuine issues will remain if they remain unchanged.
Lyndabee
User offline. Last seen 4 years 45 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 06/24/2014
advice

Very good & wise advice. I really do like constructive criticism. I have had a lot of people ask me to keep the letters coming, but maybe as you say I need to pick my battles more wisely. People who don't attend the meetings, don't know what's going on & that's why I write the letters. That's the only way they know. I try to get them to come, but they say it doesn't do any good.
In all honesty & I'm being totally honest, I had no idea what was going to be said in that meeting. I don't lie. I make mistakes, but I don't lie. I do accept your apology & hope you accept my word as truth.
I would really like more conversation with you, but prefer in private. I would appreciate an email from you. You can remain anonymous that way. You have some good advice & I'd like to talk to you more.
Oh & I don't know why it has to be Don's army instead of my own beliefs. I didn't know Don or Tommy before they were elected, so I based my opinions on what I was seeing. I happen to agree with them & I feel Don has not been given a fair shake. Tommy has been the only one that I've seen who was interested in keeping spending in our county down to avoid higher taxes which are killing people. I just wish I could pay some people's taxes myself. It's hard enough to worry about buying food & meds without worrying about whether you're going to lose your home because of taxes. I really believe it was a major mistake buying the funeral home & even bigger mistake to go in debt more right now. Something just isn't right about this whole deal with the amount of the purchase & the hurry to redo it.
Enlighten me...my email is lyndabee@highland.net. Use the subject "improving Morgan County" so I will recognize you if you choose to email me.
Someone gave you wrong info on the Chamber. I asked several times just to be listed as a member. I wasn't listed until I wrote a letter to County Exec. This was after several attempts to get it done myself. If the Chamber has that much trouble getting something that simple done, then I see a problem there too. When someone pays for something, they should get what they pay for. I wasn't the only one that had a problem getting listed. Just so happens it was a friend of mine.
You did make me smile when you wrote I was red faced & angry when writing you. Totally on the contrary. I was really enjoying our debate...(with a smile). Guess I do need to work on my wording if I sounded angry. Just enjoying a good debate with a good debater.

COALFIELD1
User offline. Last seen 6 days 14 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 03/04/2011
Thanks

I have enjoyed the debate also :-)

I do accept your word as truth, and I will consider emailing you to speak further about this in private.

I totally agree with you on the funeral home purchase, the county (we through our tax dollars) overpaid on that property in a major way. Sometimes we have to overpay for things, when you are in a bidding war for example, or the person is asking a little more than its worth but the benefits outweigh the overpayment. The property, given its location right beside the courthouse could be argued that it would have been justified to overpay by a small amount just to secure it before it got away. But... we more than overpaid on that building to the point of being ridiculous. There is no rebuttal, no counter argument for it, nothing, we spent way too much. If I figure out what the deal was all about I will certainly enlighten you, but I need to be enlightened myself first.

Thanks for the lively debate!