I have had the privilege and opportunity to be an observer and reporter of elected city council, county commission, appointed government authorities, boards open to the public and to just about any kind of public government meeting where elected officials presided. Since choosing the newspaper profession in college back in 1958, according to my approximations, just here in Monroe County I have warmed a seat at close to 500 such meetings.
I have reported on elected and appointed politicians’ ego-serving diatribes with a majority of the lambasting never getting personal, other than the supposed polite and at times sarcastic comment, “I disagree with the gentleman/gentlelady”. As one state representative commented, “It is a gentleman’s rebuke of an opposing opinion honorably expressed”.
Now to the justification of the two previous paragraphs: I was an interested observer at the Forsyth City Council meeting last week where at the end of agenda, council members are given the opportunity to comment individually, normally positive comments, sharing with other council members and often bringing a discussion to aspects of city business they are aware of. Again it’s normally a positive aspect of the meeting where gentlemanly and respective commentary is given. But not this past meeting.
Councilman Greg Goolsby took advantage of his comment time to advocate in “gutter” language, being broadcast live on the city’s internet connection, to ask the city attorney to find a way the city could “take away” the city’s required legal advertising from this newspaper.
The “gutter” language diatribe lasted a full five minutes and why Mayor Eric Wilson did not use his gavel to shut up “Cussin’ Goolsby” in an attempt to restore decorum and respectability is still a puzzlement. Maybe at those taxpayer-paid soirees, they just don’t teach gavel using!
Then to add insult to injury, when Cussin’ Goolsby finally ceased his cussword laden, blaming diatribe, Councilman Chris Hewett actually applauded and Councilman Julius Stroud commented he totally agreed and supported Goolsby’s vehement outburst, commenting “I totally agree. Greg don’t apologize for your words.”
As previously reported, the city manager doesn’t read this newspaper, Council Hewett cancelled his subscription and got a refund, so I guess Greg and Julius have joined the “we don’t care what goes on in our town and county” choir. They have now joined other former city council members and mayors as tainted “public” servants….as many of you have expressed, our city has been embarrassed again!
By the way, the mayor, council members and staff will be in Atlanta later this month under the guise of getting more training, visiting with our legislators, and having a “retreat”, better known as a taxpayer-paid soiree.
WRITING OF soirees, the biggest and best soiree began Monday up in Atlanta under the God Dome where our legislators have begun their 40-day and night tenure to spend and save our pocketbooks.
Having talked with two out of our four Representatives, Susan Holmes and Robert Dickey, one of the front-burner issues in this legislative session could be a serious and lengthy discussion on legalizing gambling, specifically casinos. Attempted to contact our Rep. Dale Washburn and Sen. John Kennedy but no response from them. Guess they have their own agendas. Wonder what they are.
Yes, I am in favor of casinos, and I think our location is an ideal site, getting the north and south I-75 bounders to stay over at one of our 14 motels and contribute to the local economy by “investing” at our local casinos. Our CVB could really capitalize on that, but continue to promote Juliette.
SOMEBODY WHO reads this column, please solve this mystery (if it is a mystery). How do inmates in our local jail and state prisons get cell phones, drugs and just about anything they want or need while they are incarcerated? Why do they get to watch TV? Are prison guards and jailors as corrupt as they are portrayed?
HEY GREG! If our local newspaper does not portray our county/cities as you so cussedly stated, what do you suggest we do to correct your perception? Don’t report school, church, club news? What about don’t report obituaries? Guess you don’t want it reported anybody is dying in Forsyth. What about business news? Guess you don’t want anybody to know we are growing and new businesses are coming and looking at Forsyth-Monroe.
Greg…what happened to your idea of a giant sign over North Lee Street welcoming people to downtown Forsyth? Remember the picture I sent you from Ogden, Utah? Don’t guess you do!
Guess I can understand why you don’t want real estate news, new homes being built, new contractors building new homes, since you are a contractor/builder. Obviously you consider that competition.
You must be upset with a car dealership giving the MP coach a new car to drive for a year. Guess you thought you as a city councilman you should be given the car.
Why are you so upset stating this newspaper “does not depict our community” when the school superintendent says our schools are on the right path. Oops, in your opinion, that does not portray our communities positively, by your definition. Will and I have decided to offer you Greg, Councilmen Julius Stroud and Chris Hewett, City Manager Janice Hall, Mayor Wilson, to “work” for The Reporter. We want to give you the opportunity for each of you to choose, of all the stories and pictures we have taken, you reported, provided, you come work for The Reporter for one week…duh just one day, prepress day….Tuesday.. If you so choose, you take the photographs, you write the stories, you write the headlines.
Let your compatriots be “p---ed” at you, take away your city salaries, benefits, soiree benefits, etc.
Don Daniel is the founder and former publisher of The Monroe County Reporter. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org