Columbia County B.Y.O.B. Finances

OPINION by The Arrowflinger

What you are about to hear in this poor quality audio recording is the last three minutes of The Austin Rhodes Show of Friday, May 18, 2018. Your arrowflinging protector shook things up, more than a little, one might think.

When GB&T bank board members Rick Allen and James G. Blanchard were mentioned in the present tense, it was in the context of a meeting with law enforcement several years ago, before the bank merged with South State Bank and that Board of Directors was disbanded. Also, neither was a voting member of the Board with management oversight.

As to former Columbia County Commissioner Scott Dean, who was the acting chairman of the county finance committee, he actually did not object AT THE AWARD MEETING, but just listen to what he said in making the astounding motion to let Ron Cross and Charlie Allen vote!

Dean’s conviction was on charges unrelated to this banking vote. Judge Blanchard being the judge who put him in prison and would not grant a retrial despite recanted testimony is more a demonstration of how weird events get twisted in Columbia County. The Arrowflinger tried to get Judge Blanchard, a former family business partner, to discuss this ugly banking matter back in 2014, but somehow we had trouble connecting. There is more there, perhaps, for a later date.

With respect to Edward J. Tarver, he was a member of the GB&T Audit Committee in 2008 and 2009, before becoming the US Attorney on December 17, 2009. Tarver had audit responsibility for the 2008 Financial Statements, which later became the basis for the Columbia County bank selection in April 2010. About a month before his nomination, The United States Securities and Exchange Commission sent the GB&T Chief Financial Officer Darrell Raines a letter expressing questions, possibly requiring a restatement of those 2008 financials.

Imagine that! A sitting US Attorney’s immediately preceding bank Audit Committee work was questioned by the SEC! None of this seems to have dawned on Columbia County Finance. Or did they know? Or did one of them know?

As for Rick Allen, perhaps he can confer with his cousins who owned 40% of GB&T and his brother, the GB&T shareholder who delivered the bank a timely $100 million cash infusion and draft a banking bill like he wrote about in the Augusta Chronicle last year. We have the perfect title. We can call it the Rick Allen B.Y.O.B bill…..BAIL OUT YOUR OWN BANK bill.

-AF

 

The Boardroom Trail to the Talisman

OPINION BY The Arrowflinger

Talisman – an object held to act as a charm to avert evil and bring good fortune.

The revelation to the American public that its establishment media is biased, lazy, and protective of their turf surely by now must extend to the Augusta contingent of “recognized” media. After all, activists brandishing Georgia Open Records Requests and publishing their own stories reinforced by documents offering obvious proof got too big to ignore between 2011 and 2013.

By 2014, you might think their “professional” inquisitiveness would have taken hold, but the Metro Spirit took resolute opposition to perceived competition to extremes. When the reformers started investigating the Reynolds Street Parking Deck boondoggle the Metro Spirit cover was one of black helicopters over the deck. Somehow, they later were acknowledging the discovery of liens on the property under the parking deck as common news. There is no way they would admit that the City Stink blog systematically awoke Augusta to such a ridiculous circumstance without THEM! The exception was Metro Spirit Writer and radio talk show host Austin Rhodes occasionally would provide some coverage to the alternative media, most recently with the absurd Tractorgate Scandal that saw Augusta men and Equipment secreted three counties away for work on private property of an ex-Augusta contractor.

The Columbia County Commission meeting of May 6, 2014 was covered by Spirit reporter Eric Johnson, who promptly disregarded the directly presented challenge to then Finance Committee Chairman Ron Thigpen’s bonus with Georgia Bank and Trust. That bank was awarded a highly irregular mass banking deal with the county, with Thigpen recusing himself from the commission vote.

Instead Johnson decided to interject his own bias and implied that the real subject was instead Chairman Ron Cross, then up for reelection. The acknowledgement of all of our enhanced “time and attention on this stuff” was very true, however. He even got handed key documents in the hope that he would pick up on the story. No way Jose.

Collateral Metro Bank

Astounding. Georgia was number one in mortgage fraud in the USA for 5 years from 2000 to 2004, leading to a tsunami of bank failures in 2008 through 2010, losing 1/5 of the state’s banks, yet NOBODY can come to suspect any alligators in their local banking swamp. The “media” ad sales blindfold “reporters.” “Their” advertisers cannot be corrupt because they pay the media’s way.

What the Spirit’s Johnson blew off was a chance to investigate how Columbia County’s cash infusion into his bank may have boosted Thigpen’s bank bonus. Had he pursued it he might have found the Talisman. From there an epic of financial gamesmanship might have been his prize!

In this burgeoning saga, the Talisman is a man, recently the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, Mr. Edward J. Tarver. When the bank executive compensation contracts were changed for 2008 and 2009, before his appointment as US Attorney, Tarver sat on Georgia Bank and Trust’s Audit Committee. (Page 23)

For the bank, Tarver had to do absolutely nothing to ward off scrutiny from investigators. All he had to do was sit in his office. Mr. Tarver is a fine man by all accounts and is respected but the simple fact is that he could be a cross between Nelson Mandela and Billy Graham and be the Talisman. Common sense says that one look at documents signed by Tarver or approved by his bank audit committee would make federal agents turn away. That is just how things are in the real world.

He wasn’t the only well-positioned protector of the bank, either. Someone in Authority upon seeing this picture of the Bank Board in 2007, the year before the financial world came unraveled might have whistled and exclaimed with eyes as large as saucers, “these are the most powerful people in Augusta!”

The story almost sounds straight out of Washington DC and the recent news bombshells over the conflicts between the FBI and Department of Justice up there.

In Columbia County’s banking controversy, the bankers are off enjoying their stock sale proceeds but the county finance department and the finance committee of the County Commission will now have to explain why they have been incompetent, or far worse.

May be no Talisman for District One Commissioner Doug Duncan, who is running for the Chairmanship of the Columbia County Commission with the backing of those same bankers. He had the chance to investigate 3 years ago, shortly after taking his seat, but dropped the ball. Former GB&T Chairman Robert Pollard, Former GB&T Chief Operating Officer Ron Thigpen, and Former GB&T Voting Board Member Larry Prather are listed as Duncan Supporters.Former GB&T shareholder and current Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross, who voted for the suspect award of the county primary banking contract to GB&T, is said to be a Duncan contributor.

Law enforcement on three levels of government has the greater responsibility of having turned a blind eye until the Statute of Limitations expired, possibly allowing financial thieves to escape prosecution.

There are no Pulitzer Prizes that will be awarded to Augusta “journalists” from this scandal, either. The artwork was nice, though!

-AF

Augusta’s Black Hole of Transportation Finance

OPINION by the Arrowflinger

Two months ago on the 13th of March, Augusta Engineering Director Dr. Hameed Malik appeared before the Engineering Committee of the Augusta Commission to provide an update on the downtown Transportation Investment Act projects. Please listen to these comments by Dr. Hameed referencing the need for Augusta to cut, downsize, delay, and even cancel the TIA projects in the middle of the program and especially the end of the Augustan TIA program. At the end he mentions discussions to do another REGIONAL TIA with other counties.

What? Augusta gave away $109 million to 12 other counties to make TIA work and its OWN projects face lack of funds? Only in Augusta!

Source – CSRA Region TIA Constrained Tool Master Spreadsheet
supporting the CSRA TIA Program at the time of passage in 2012

What? The projects at the end are short of money after the Augusta National Berckmans Road TIA projects were built to the hilt?

What? The first project completed, Riverwatch Parkway was to cost $30 million ($20 million TIA) but news reports said the TIA money was $30 million and the total cost $65 million. Doesn’t this scream that the 15% revenue shortfalls and enormous overruns mean that the out of control program needs a new regional one to cover it all up, and, as Dr Hameed said, to finish the present TIA projects?

Why are the politicians not telling the good people of Augusta and Columbia County, the other major donor county, that the Georgia Legislature passed Single County TIA/Tsplost in 2016, so Augusta could keep its $109 million after 2022? Even tiny Dade County can have its TIA without all of these complications.The 2016 bill prohibits getting out of a regional TIA mess until it is complete, so they are stuck.

Agraynation.com readers will recall several downtown projects got sent to the back of the TIA bus to allow the Augusta National finagling to build the Berckmans Road project to the max. Furthermore, during the TSPLOST debate and later this site provided enough facts to the public that Columbia County decisively, including the financial trickery in the numbers now apparent in the 16% shortage in funding.

Senators Hardie Davis, Jr. and Bill Jackson of the Augusta Delegation hatched this money transfer out of Augusta back in 2010. Now the damage is coming clear.

Why do establishment politicians continue to embrace a failed regional government while feeding it Hundreds of millions of dollars? Why do none talk about the double taxation that hit Augusta area to the tune of another $550 million with the new fuel taxes in 2015?

Only Representative Barry Fleming showed the bravery to promise corrective action.

Elect folks like Barry. Send the others down the road where they sent your money.
-AF

Banking Hard Right into a Wrong Place

OPINION by the Arrowflinger

Well, Well, Well Scott Johnson, What an interesting set of developments since we last talked. Back then, y’all couldn’t identify the Commission Finance committee member who essentially redirected a huge 5 year Columbia County banking contract to Georgia Bank and Trust after First Citizens Bank won that bid, but lately you have gotten really good at finding and disclosing facts about Pam Tucker. Austin has insinuated that you were “looking for dirt” on Ms. Tucker during her vacation, her conversation got very efficiently recorded and replayed, and there was a further dust-up involving a banker. Heaven knows that wasn’t one of the GB&T bankers. No one dare do that back when the banking contract went down. A majority of the commissioners, including 2 out of three on the Finance Committee, were GB&T shareholders then, including one who was the Chief Operating Officer of the bank!

What are the new Developments?

Well, that bank wound up being the 2016 flagship of the whole American Banking Association, when its CEO Dan Blanton became chairman of ALL of the bankers. The ABA was regaled with a story we all heard, GB&T’s claimed focus of “Doing the Right Thing.” Based upon What I have seen there is absolutely no question the executives of that bank were doing the right thing – for themselves! Your doings are trickier, because your finance committee and finance department were “Doing Tha’ Thang Right!”

In the last 15 months the United States Attorney of the Southern District of Georgia very arguably an unwitting protector of the entire mess, left his post after 8 years and was replaced just 6 months ago.

In the last 15 months GB&T sold out at a premium of around $49 per share, up from the dark $9 per share days of 2009, just before your secret finance committee member swung over $100 million of Columbia County’s money into rescuing them.

Meanwhile, the employees of 83 percent of area banks who didn’t work for that bank, many who lost everything in 2009 and got no rescue from you all, and the 100 GB&T employees who lost their jobs after years of propaganda will read this with keen interest. What is worse, we read that you are quoted promising retaliation against one of them for questioning not only Tucker’s departure but that of another departed division director as well.

This was and is a national scandal and you are sitting in the middle of it.

Columbia County Finance got caught “Doin’ Tha’ Thang Right” but the taxpayers didn’t even get a peck on the cheek.

They ain’t gonna be happy with YOU!

An Ice Storm Came to Columbia County Government

OPINION by The Arrowflinger

July 22, 2014 found Columbia County Administrator Scott Johnson in the studio of Augusta radio station WGAC for an hour on the Austin Rhodes Show. The general topic of discussion that day was the upcoming Special Purpose Local Option Sales tax or SPLOST. An Arrowflinger called in to discuss the SPLOST projects and to opine that discussion was needed as to how secure the bank accounts into which SPLOST funds would be deposited were. (More on that to come.)

Toward the end of the show talk shifted to praising long-time Columbia County Emergency Management Director, Pam Tucker for her astute planning and the county’s superb response to the Winter 2014 ice Storm. Listen and admire the warmth, for these days the only warmth is emitting from anger, as Administrator Johnson and now Former Director Tucker are in the midst of a political war being fought by Columbia County District 1 Commissioner Doug Duncan against Tucker. Both are running for the Chair of the Columbia County Board of Commissioners, along with Developer Mark Herbert.

The way Columbia County has gravitated toward rank cronyism, perhaps we should call it the Columbia County Board of Collusioners.

May 22 is Election Day. May Columbia County elect the best candidate, or,more providently, the least damaging one. An emergency management professional has the training to do that.

Maybe Columbia County should hear how highly her current antagonists once regarded Pam Tucker.

Are Herbert or Tucker any Match for THE ARMADA?

OPINION by The Arrowflinger

Rarely, if ever, has there been such a display of raw, naked, affluent power as this fundraiser handbill for a candidate for the Chair of the Columbia County Commission.

This invitation to a (fundraising) “Event” for Doug Duncan, now the District 1 Commissioner, might have dissuaded Mark Herbert and Pam Tucker from even qualifying. It didn’t.

It is breathtaking. This is a crew perfectly capable of raising $400,000 or even more, if they want to maintain their ironclad control of Columbia County.

They do.

Over here one finds fellow Commissioners Trey Allen, Gary Richardson, and Bill Morris. Not an overt sponsor on this invite, current Chairman Ron Cross has been cited in the Augusta Chronicle as donating heavily to Duncan’s campaign. On it we find stalwart backers of Cross from earlier campaigns like Jean Garniewicz and the Ivey Brothers.

Over there one sees the names of three voting members of a board of directors of a bank, that kinda, sorta got a timely backdoor bailout from Columbia County, Robert Pollard, Ron Thigpen and Larry Prather.

A bunch of the rest are developers, realtors, and builders.

Of course, no campaign endorsement list for a Columbia County incumbent politician worth his, or her, salt is complete without Sheriff Clay Whittle. He has been at this for decades now, hasn’t he?

The most amazing aspect of this list are the power brokers from old Augusta throwing their weight into this contest. State Department of Transportation Board member (former Chairman) and former Augusta Commissioner Don Grantham, former Georgia Representative Barbara Sims, and former State Department of Transportation Board member and former Augusta Commissioner Bill Kuhlke are on this list. Throw in names like McKnight and Hull – both of those last names emblazoned on the new Georgia Cyber Center for Innovation and Training in Augusta – and you get a stunning array of power.

This election might have been over before it started.

But then again…

The political seafloor is littered with invincible armadas that suddenly developed holes in their Hulls.

-Arrowflinger

The Road to Plunderdome

Two Plans Enter, No Taxpayer Leaves

OPINION from The Arrowflinger

Legendary singer James Brown would be aghast over the Arena controversy that bears his name.

Over the last eight months, even jaded political observers of the already lunatic-run government of Augusta, Georgia have been riveted to the orgy of anger, intrigue, arm-twisting and name calling that left left the consolidated county hopelessly, and possibly permanently, divided. South Augustans of all races, yes including whites, found that the constantly-enriched downtown, central business district, media and hill fiefdoms want them to add the biggest capital building project in the city’s history to a gaggle of incredibly mismanaged and costly efforts with the TEE Center, Parking Deck, Judicial Center, Library and Municipal Center renovation efforts. Worst of all they found themselves denigrated for living in South Augusta.

The establishment faction rolled out a tour de force against Mayor Hardie Davis for pursuing a location at the defunct Regency Mall property on Gordon Highway. The scrutiny, detailed analysis and coverage, finally summoned into play after being virtually nonexistent during the earlier fiascos, was gratifying to behold. Mayor Davis and supporters of the Regency site were caught off guard. They very justifiably complained of a double standard. In that, they are absolutely correct.

The political spectacle could be seen coming in the piney woods of Lincoln County three years ago. On a long enough timeline and given enough rope, the Hapless nine man and one woman Augusta Commission stumbled blindly into a trap of their own making, yet one laid by a merry band of intrepid busybodies, gadflies, curmudgeons, Augusta Todayers, Political Watchers and City Stinkers, with one Arrowflinger in the mix. (Perhaps we would best term the bunch The Augusta Emancipation Reclamation Project but that awaits some sort of official proclamation that frankly might not come until the Augusta Lynx return to ice skate on Broad Street some Midsummer day.)

The activists set the stage for this uncivil war by amassing such outrage over the blatant mismanagement and looting on those earlier big projects that they were able to defeat SPLOST 7A 2014 in May 2014. By the time that plans and project lists were being made for SPLOST 7B 2015, a new Arena on the project list would have meant near certain defeat.

While some of the activists sought to defeat SPLOST 7B 2015 outright, in a repeat of the long-shot 2014 vote, a couple of them worked behind the scenes targeting the new arena as being the best avenue to either defeat the SPLOST if it was on the list, pressure commissioners to eliminate it from the list , or failing both, to reduce it to such a miniscule funding total as to force the city into a later conflagration. The commissioners, notably Marion Williams, were reluctant to even attempt listing the Arena at the full $110 million. Sequentially the designated SPLOST funding was whittled down to about $20 million, then $15 million, and at one point looked to be zeroed out and off of the list. Commissioner Hasan insisted on putting some money on the list and the project appeared as line 10 of 12, way down on the list of the Quality of Life projects. Even worse, the verbiage was misleading to the voters, reading

Modernized James Brown Arena $6,000,000
Address needed upgrades for aged and outdated James Brown Arena, including possible new multipurpose area with a seating capacity of approximately 9,000 for concerts, sporting events, community events, meetings, futurity, and other event.

How does “Address needed upgrades” for a mere $6 million become “Build a New Arena for $120 million to $200 million? The real outrage should be the fact that the Mayor, Administrator, and Commission are YET AGAIN taking voter approval on a fractional portion of a facilities cost, just as others had done with the municipal building and TEE Center, as carte blanche authority to build a much greater project. Even worse it is the biggest expansion of this bait and switch trickery ever at TWENTY FOLD expansion.

Citizens might remember that officials like Mayor Davis, commissioners like Sean Frantom, former Mayor Deke Copenhaver, the Chamber of Commerce and the business supporters of SPLOST 7B 2015 all promised that cost controls would be in place for the SPLOST-funded projects. Davis was quoted as saying “….”That we take every step forward to put in place unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability so we are demonstrating to all of our citizens that we can be good stewards of taxpayers resources”

The statements of Mayor Davis, Mayor Pro Tem Davis and Commissioner Frantom in this WJBF Channel 6 report prior to the vote are telling!

The tune they sang then is octaves lower than the “Lets BUILD IT NOW!” they seem to sing today. Land acquisition agreements are not planning, they are obligations to proceed.

2015 SPLOST 7b 2015 was passed by the voters on Tuesday, November 03, 2015. Now it looks like they might get bypassed on actually getting to vote for or against building the biggest project in their history. Instead, on May 22, 2018 they are being virtually TOLD “We are building this thing on one of two places, whether you like it or not.”

Tractorgate blew away their last figment of credibility that their sworn “Cost Controls” will ever exist.

Augusta government is the laughingstock of Georgia. Pigkiller in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome exclaimed [laughing]”PLAN? There ain’t no plan!” In Augusta looting is always the plan,even when it is on a ballot in two places.

Two plans entered, no Taxpayer Leaves.

Plunderdome.

They will build it just for its looting potential.

-Arrowflinger

Was it PERJURY?

By The Arrowflinger

(In the latest coverup in the Augusta Equipmentgate Scandal, which saw City of Augusta, Georgia resources deployed to work on private property in Lincoln County in March 2017  has just been released. In it, the Augusta Richmond County Grand Jury issued a statement which said they found no criminality had occurred.)

The Presentment of the Augusta Richmond County Grand Jury of yesterday, June 27, 2017 on the Use of Augusta manpower, heavy equipment, trailers, supplies, fuel, fringe benefits and trucks on Private Property in Lincoln County back in March contained this statement:

The testimony revealed that the excavator was never actually used as the weather at the time was inclement.

The presentment also says that the Augusta Mini-excavator was  on the Lincoln County private property from March 8, 2017 to March 17, 2017.

That statement is most interesting as video taken on March 16, 2017 at the Lincoln County site shows a large freshly-installed culvert and drainage work that certainly seems to have been performed by an excavator and the only excavator in evidence was the one owned by the City of Augusta.

District Attorney Natalie Paine needs to determine which witness provided that testimony and whether perjury occurred.

If there was no perjury in the production of that presentment, she needs to explain why not and, while she is at it, explain why so many material aspects of this incident were omitted from any investigation by her or the Augusta Richmond County Sheriff’s office.

-AG

No Account, But Headed to Judgement Anyway

Comments of Al M. Gray to the Augusta Commission

No Account, But Headed to Judgement, Anyway

Tuesday June, 20 2017

 

Mayor Davis and commissioners, thank you for the opportunity to speak. I never intended to return to this chamber, yet here I am. One should never say ‘never’ and that is borne out by the power of events that have shaken you, me and the people of Augusta.

No Account, But Headed to Judgement, Anyway sounds like a sermon harkening to passing into eternity that we all face, but as Mayor Copenhaver once told me “You ain’t dead yet!.”

Older folks used to have a description that was applied to crooked, lazy people. It was that they were “No Account.”

Your Equipmentgate scandal has assaulted the Rule of Law, not that this body, mayor, administrator, district attorney or Sheriff intended that consequence. That result grew out of the cronyism that has destroyed our protective institutions From Washington down. The accountants safeguarding our money threw math out, the lawyers forgot nobody needs them if there is no law, the press lost objectivity and credibility, and pastors escorted the money changers into our temples, not out. Our protectors decided to be No Account.

At Commissioner Sias’ last meeting DA Paine was posed the question “Is the RULE OF LAW DEAD?” After all, the most powerful, revered man in Georgia politics, had $2 million invested in banks and other financial institutions involved with drug money laundering, among other things. The Legislature two sessions ago decriminalized banking crimes in our state which was number 1 in mortgage fraud five years running. Then there is Equipmentgate. What happens in Atlanta and Washington is not yours, but what happened in Lincoln County is fully on your account, but you want to be no account for that.

Some of it comes from misguided instinct to protect the defenseless, who are anything but that. Elements of this body and friends of the mayor pro-tem rallied to defend her last week, but the fun poked at her soon will rain all over you. The rest of this body is protecting a nice lady administrator with the same instinct. At $187,000 per year and much power, she isn’t defenseless either. She is responsible for about 2/3 of this scandal, in my opinion.

16 years ago a sweet, attractive planning director supported by the full Columbia County commission abruptly left her position. Failures proved her plan flawed, deceptive, and outrageous to the no longer defenseless people.

2 weeks ago, we were walking with our dog Lilly. We came upon a flock of molting geese, whose wings were of No Account. Now geese are mean, big and can peck or wing-whip a beagle. One ran out of the woods, but Lilly caught it. The goose wing whipped her and got to the water. Lilly jumped in and outswam it. The goose did something it isn’t supposed to be able to do and that was to dive! While that one was escaping another goose ran out doing something even stranger. It ran low to the ground, head and all, like a snake! It didn’t want to be seen with its No Account wings.


You are faced with the same thing. This body is confronted by the truth of Equipmentgate. You must do the impossible for the next 6 months and together rise to account before Augusta. Justice must be served and accountability restored. Former Director Johnson must be dealt with, this Administrator must be phased out, her contract not extended, and a forensic audit of the landfill done.

The consequences of the 1/3 of the scandal resting with the Sheriff’s Department are simply chilling. The Sheriff must remove those involved.

Lady Justice has been dead in Augusta so long she stinketh like Lazarus. It is time for her resurrection.

Thank you.

-AG

Update: At the conclusion of these remarks, Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis, Jr. took umbrage with them and made thinly-veiled threats that “there will be consequences!”

Mr. Mayor is voteless and toothless! He doesn’t have the guts to call the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in on this OUTRAGEOUS SCANDAL. He could you know.

Mums the word from Augusta’s No Account County Commission, as there was not even a second for Commissioner Marion Williams’ motion to request that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation conduct an Investigation that the Augusta Richmond County Sheriff’s office botched.

At least one Augusta Commissioner isn’t No Account!

Rocking Their World – Digging into Augusta’s Equipment Scandal

By Arrowflinger Al

On Thursday, May 25, 2017 citizens of Augusta, Georgia and surrounding counties were shocked to learn that City of Augusta personnel, vehicles, materials and construction equipment had been found deployed and operating on private land in Lincoln County, Georgia, 40 miles from their assigned work site at the Augusta Solid Waste Facility on Deans Bridge Road.

This week the resulting uproar concluded with the resignation of Augusta Solid Waste Director Mark Johnson. Will the Johnson resignation calm the turmoil surrounding a botched investigation by a conflicted Augusta Richmond County Sheriff Department, who turned out to be the custodian of an excavator used in the misbegotten affair, the apparently imprudent white commissioners defending Johnson against evidence, black commissioners defending an Administrator who bungled accountability, and a District Attorney who remains to be kept clueless of the events?

Stay tuned. What happens in Augusta, should stay in Augusta. This time it didn’t and the repercussions look to be immense.

Here is the first hand account of the events from March 15, 2017 through May 28, 2017. Names have been replaced by Pseudonyms.

********

Wednesday March 15, 2017

2017-03-15 17:23:00     THE ARROWFLINGER reaches top of a hill on an easement road between lands of Cox, Kitchens, bank and partners Troy Meeks and Landowner O of Statesboro, sees construction equipment and stone pile. Stops to video beagle. Joined by neighbor and Informant.

2017-03-15 18:17:15     THE ARROWFLINGER meets Informant going back to get serial numbers and photos of an equipment trailer he claims is City of Augusta owned. Informant wants to know who bought the property where the stone pile is. THE ARROWFLINGER states he has met Landowner O but not his partner.

Texts Between THE ARROWFLINGER and Informant

2017-03-15          19:01:29               Informant           Phone Number Redacted            I got confirmation its county equipment

2017-03-15          19:09:41               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Do you have a guess about when it was bought?

2017-03-15          19:14:26               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            I can find out

2017-03-15          19:44:20               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            You know, if they are not alerted and they are getting rock for free, they will be at it for days because that road has to be rocked all the way to Booths Branch road. They excavated and installed a 30 or 36 inch pipe in the creek bed last week.

2017-03-15          19:50:06               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Your bud who is talking to you might/probably spill the beans, but if we just observe for a few days and take pictures we will have a better picture. The land was bought by Landowner O (guy I met) and Landowner M of Statesboro. We need the serial number off the equipment and the ARCSWD inventory or purchase record. If it looks strong, then state investigators should be called.

2017-03-15          19:55:49               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Landowner M used to work with Director as a contractor

2017-03-15          19:57:10               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            The trailer was purchased by the county and I took pic of the vin number the escalator was seized by the county and falls under the sheriff

2017-03-15          19:58:16               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            I will go back early tomorrow and photo the vin of the track hoe

2017-03-15          20:04:11               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            I am gonna go out early on my walk. Probably find a good spot on Booth branch near gate to observe.

2017-03-15          20:12:31               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Sounds like the Boyz came to play in our backyards! I am amazed.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Texts of March 16, 2017 Between THE ARROWFLINGER and Informant

2017-03-16          09:40:44               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Good morning! A dump truck left about 10 minutes ago. Let’s observe today. They plan on ditching the low spot inside the gate. So they don’t plan on stopping today. I think another rock truck might be coming

2017-03-16          09:43:09               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Ok

2017-03-16          09:44:30               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            I think if you want to do this up right, we need to notify Sheriff Beggs followed shortly by Roundtree. The pols will just f**k it up. So will we if we go for a big ‘got you’ as delicious and tempting as that might be.

2017-03-16          09:45:40               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Get the pros in. If they f**k it up then I or we can raise hell.

2017-03-16          09:48:38               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Right

2017-03-16          09:51:26               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            I got a conference call T 10 I will get with you after that

2017-03-16          09:53:06               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            They dropped a load at the second wet spot between gate and creek.

2017-03-16          10:46:00               THE ARROWFLINGER     Two dump trucks videoed entering gate and then leaving after dumping loads at stone stockpile on hill.

2017-03-16          11:08:00               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            2 trucks came and dumped. Got some video

2017-03-16          11:08:08               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            No tags

2017-03-16          11:08:33               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Got names of haulers I think

2017-03-16          11:51:58               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Got pix and video of all equipment with serial numbers

2017-03-16          13:12:45               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            I can call Augusta Commissioner MW and just talk to him he can’t stand Director

2017-03-16          13:30:11               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Yes, but anything Augusta Commissioner MW can do can be done if law enforcement drops the ball. Law enforcement can remove these people. Augusta Commissioner MW can only fire them

2017-03-16          13:31:30               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Law enforcement can surveillance them when they bring in dozers and graders

2017-03-16          13:36:09               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Ok I will stand by you know more than me

2017-03-16          13:37:07               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Also I don’t see permits posted

2017-03-16          13:38:47               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            I am going to call Sheriff Beggs In a bit

2017-03-16          13:39:04               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                           Knitter is doing research

2017-03-16          13:40:15               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            On Augusta database. Knitter is a systems person

2017-03-16       14:06:00       Knitter emails THE ARROWFLINGER a .pdf showing that Landowner M attended a prebid conference for landfill work  at the ARC Solid Waste Facility on 1/20/2017

2017-03-16       Around 14:00:00       THE ARROWFLINGER calls ARC Chief Deputy, with whom he had conversed about contract mismanagement and fraud during the Augusta SPLOST 7b campaign in 2015. Tells that 2 pieces of equipment are reported to be operating in Lincoln County and one of them is assigned to the ARC Sheriff Department Shooting range at the Deans Bridge Road landfill. Chief Deputy denies that Sheriff Department has any equipment.

2017-03-16       15:21:00   THE ARROWFLINGER is texted the email address of Augusta Richmond County Chief Deputy by same for purpose of uploading pictures and serial numbers from Canon camera that is not net-connected.

2017-03-16       16:56        THE ARROWFLINGER sends ARC Chief Deputy summary of situation, events, observations and equipment serial numbers

2017-03-16       18:16        Chief Deputy requests pictures be emailed, saying he will “get to the bottom of this.”

2017-03-16       18:38        THE ARROWFLINGER suggests that ARC Chief Deputy hold off until following Monday, based upon information from inside Solid Waste Department that additional ARC assets would be deployed to Lincoln County site. It was noted that even heavier equipment would be needed to place the stone.

Texts of March 16, 2017 Between THE ARROWFLINGER and Informant Resume

2017-03-16          18:48:07               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            ARC Chief Deputy Redacted is now interested. Told him waiting til Monday to pursue is advised. Told him I now believe this is a real deal. Suggested CID come up under coordination and advice of Sheriff Bruce Beggs.

2017-03-16          19:07:53               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Sweet

2017-03-16          19:29:50               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            I suggested that. Told him I will be here.

2017-03-16          19:32:42               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Nice

2017-03-16          19:40          THE ARROWFLINGER called back by Lincoln Sheriff Beggs, who indicates he has discussed with ARC Chief Deputy

2017-03-16          22:30:00          THE ARROWFLINGER takes his dog, Lilly, for a tour of fields and then down Booth Branch Road. There was a navy blue 3/4 ton, long wheelbase pickup pulled into a 4-wheeler path onto Corps Land about 80 yards from the red gate into the combined properties and grading project. Did not get License plate.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Texts of March 17, 2017 Between THE ARROWFLINGER and Informant

2017-03-17          02:10:00          THE ARROWFLINGER awakens during interlude when heating system was off. Hears heavy truck in the distance. Goes outside and finds the sound coming from Booths Branch Road. Quickly dons insulated Coverall, grabs automatic pistol and digital camcorder. Calls Informant. Gets no answer. Jumps in truck. Drives to red gate at properties/ grading site. Waits and listens. Concludes that the truck was leaving, not entering.

2017-03-17          09:43:08               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            All equipment was removed in the middle of the  night.

2017-03-17          09:45:06               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            No stone deliveries this morning?

2017-03-17          09:46:57               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Long trailer and excavator are GONE

2017-03-17          09:47:46               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Well it might be back on Monday

2017-03-17          09:48:29               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Unless someone said something to them

2017-03-17          09:49:05               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            I think the latter. Sold out. Again

2017-03-17          09:50:03               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            They should be delivering more rock at the standing water spots

2017-03-17          09:50:12               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            They ain’t

2017-03-17          09:52:27               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Yea well we have proof they county equipment out here

2017-03-17          09:55:53               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            I am with you I think someone tipped them off

2017-03-17          10:01:28               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Can’t talk anymore. We might have given the right people what they need.

2017-03-17          10:10:22               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            I just got a call (From Inside Source at ARC Landfill) we should talk

2017-03-16       About 10:20        THE ARROWFLINGER  calls Landowner K, with whom Landowners O and M has an easement agreement with cost-sharing provisions to discuss the condierable part of the construction on her land. She states she is not paying anything and that Landowner M told het that they can repair the easement road at least cost because they have connections in Richmond and  Columbia Counties. Also discussed was the new culvert installation and the work done on US Army Corps of Engineers lands.

2017-03-17          12:42:21               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            I have a visitor (ARCSD Investigator) at 3 who may want to come talk to you, if you are open.

2017-03-17          12:48:39               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Sure

2017-03-17          15:04:34               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            You coming to my place or yours

2017-03-17          16:09:08               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            They (investigators)are headed back to you.

2017-03-17          16:09:40               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Ok I am tell them everything I know

2017-03-17          16:10:16               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Tell them the truth. They will want your source.

2017-03-17          16:10:37               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            We went out to the site.

2017-03-17          20:07:00               Informant calls THE ARROWFLINGER and reports an automobile parked at entrance gate to the combined properties where the work was going on.

2017-03-17          20:09:24               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Should I call the investigator?

2017-03-17          20:10:28               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Call 911

2017-03-17          20:11:17               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            And tell them what?

2017-03-17          20:17:42               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            I called the shield (sheriff?) number they sending someone out

2017-03-17          20:30:00 to    20:50:00 THE ARROWFLINGER spots Director emerging from around posted gate: Augusta Director explains that he came to check on one of his contractor’s pieces of  equipment, as Bobcat Rentals had called his contractor concerned when an ARCSD investigator called earlier in the day. Shows text and photo sent.

2017-03-17          22:09:00               THE ARROWFLINGER      Transmits video of Director to ARCSD Investigator

2017-03-17          22:35:39               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            (pictures of Director)

2017-03-17          22:53:48               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Yup Director

2017-03-17          22:55:22               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Sent to investigator and our Sheriff

2017-03-17          22:55:47               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Send short video too

2017-03-17          22:55:54               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted      Sent

2017-03-17          22:56:03               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Sweet

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Texts of March 18, 2017 Between THE ARROWFLINGER and Informant

2017-03-18          01:12:04               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Directors name is not on the property his equipment’s showed up there and he drives out here to check why?

2017-03-18          01:13:58               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Monday I will tell cid he was out here

2017-03-18          01:17:23               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            He knew where it was!

2017-03-18          01:18:16               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Yea

2017-03-18          01:18:31               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Probably 500 yards inside gate?

2017-03-18          01:28:24               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            The bob cat belongs to Bobcat Renter which is anther contractor who works for the landfill

2017-03-18          01:32:31               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Yes, that was the name Bobcat (of Augusta) gave Redacted LEI.

2017-03-18          01:33:24               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            See it’s all dirty

2017-03-18          07:18:27               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            And it is why I have been looking to just leave. I have been fighting it like nobody else in this state for 5 years, except for hunting seasons, and have only lost “friends” who are on the gravy train. Knitter and I have been looking in McCormick and Abbeville counties but now I am thinking northern Mississippi or North Carolina. Yeah, it is like this all over, but any place else I don’t know about them and I damned sure won’t look again. I seesaw between going apes**t exposing how utterly crooked the Augusta area is, making fun of the ridiculous fakery, and just leaving. I think this deal is the last straw.

2017-03-18          12:49:37               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            I white Silverado just pulled out with a bobcat I think it was Bobcat Renter

2017-03-18          12:49:59               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Ok

2017-03-18          21:02:18               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            When we ride Lilly to tour fields for deer we will ride down Booths Branch Road to the gates and back. Probably in the next 30 minutes

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Texts of March 19, 2017 Between THE ARROWFLINGER and Informant

2017-03-19          09:51:08               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Yesterday they hand dug a drainage ditch to drain the mud puddles 10 yards inside the gate. They also unloaded 3 rolls of geotextile fabric at the rock stockpile.

2017-03-19          09:51:24               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Took pix

 

 

 

Monday, March 20, 2017

2017-03-20          06:16:34               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Heavy truck just went down Booth Branch Road I am going to see what’s going on

2017-03-20          06:19:36               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Ok

2017-03-20          06:36:55               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Drove Ranger out last  4 wheeler trail to left on Corps Land just before gate. Gonna walk Booth Branch past Landowner K.

2017-03-20          11:02:14               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Well, my early morning hike was a quiet one. No turkeys seen or heard.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

2017-03-21          10:10:55               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            A big truck just went down

2017-03-21          10:11:51               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Ok

2017-03-21          10:12:34               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Landowner O probably will keep on plan to finish

2017-03-21          10:13:22               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            It was the trash truck

2017-03-21          10:15:37               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Lol

2017-03-21          10:16:18               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Filled my roller can up an hour ago

2017-03-21?       11:10:00        THE ARROWFLINGER      Researches Grantor and Grantee Indices of the Clerk Of Superior Court of Lincoln County to ascertain if Landowner O and Landowner M had transferred any property interests to Director. Finds no evidence of that. Finds Easement agreement from Landowner K to Landowners O and M after a $5000 payment which settled the access rights of the parties. Noted that all landowners bear maintenance and improvement costs.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

2017-03-22          08:11:29               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            I’ve been in the woods sense sun up haven’t heard any turkeys

2017-03-22          08:30:11               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            They have been in hiding. I did see a gobbler on the side of a road in McCormick County Sunday.

2017-03-22          12:37:34               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Hey I am sorry about this morning I wasn’t trying to be rude

2017-03-22          20:41:07               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            I know. No problem. I want to talk over how you work from the house.

2017-03-22          20:41:56               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Ok

2017-03-22          20:45:55               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            I thought I heard turkeys this morning on my walk back down below the houses on Bamboo Trail.

2017-03-22          20:46:22               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Bambi

2017-03-22          20:46:24               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Sweet

2017-03-22          20:46:43               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            We can chat in the morning

2017-03-22          20:46:57               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Ok

Thursday, April 27, 2017

2017-04-27          11:33:00               THE ARROWFLINGER Calls ARCSD Investigator looking for update and leaves message requesting a return call

Friday, April 28, 2017

2017-04-28          15:38:00               THE ARROWFLINGER Calls Lincoln County Sheriff and leaves message asking him to prod ARCSD into giving an update citing uncertainty over personal status with respect to activity in the public eye

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

2017-05-02         15:15:00               ARCSD Investigator calls THE ARROWFLINGER, apologizes for delay in responding, then says that the investigation was completed and turned over to the Augusta District Attorney and to the Augusta Administrator for an audit. Knitter hears the conversation because the Bluetooth truck phone grabbed the call and it was broadcast in the yard.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

2017-05-16          19:52                     THE ARROWFLINGER      Texts Commissioner G to suggest that he look out for special audit funds for Administrator’s Office. No Response.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

2017-05-18          19:52                     THE ARROWFLINGER Turns over pictures and summary of events as they existed March 15 through March 20, 2017 to Osprey. Osprey is an Augusta resident with contacts who might discuss.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

2017-05-20          09:32:09               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Those Statesboro guys are up here for the first time in ages. They are boring perk test holes with an auger.

2017-05-20          12:01:36               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Oh

2017-05-20          12:03:12               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            I thought those guys  would squirm their way out of any trouble

2017-05-20          12:06:31               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Does Landowner O even know? Landowner M is SCI and was With Dabbs….but is Landowner O an ARC contractor, too?

2017-05-20          12:08:48               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            I Think Landowner O is a. Contractor

2017-05-20          12:24:35               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            It’s awful funny they ran out of money and had to move all the equipment out at at 3 am

2017-05-20 13:12:00        THE ARROWFLINGER    calls Commissioner MW, leaves message to please call

Monday, May 22, 2017

2017-05-22 16:40:00        THE ARROWFLINGER      texts Commissioner G to relay that Osprey has pictures and video of Lincoln County events. Concludes with “Its Y’all’s Hellhole”

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

2017-05-24 11:32:00        THE ARROWFLINGER      calls Commissioner H, leaves message to please call

2017-05-24 11:38:00        THE ARROWFLINGER      calls Commissioner MW, leaves message to please call

2017-05-24          19:29:20               THE ARROWFLINGER         Phone Number Redacted                            Well, you were right. They are blaming the guy who retired 2 days into the investigation, saying it was a mistake that the equipment got sent.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

2017-05-25 09:12:00        THE ARROWFLINGER      Called Osprey. Both agreed that more commissioner angles needed than Commissioner G and Commissioner F, with whom Osprey had communicated.

2017-05-25 09:32:00        THE ARROWFLINGER      gets call from Commissioner MW, explains background and the developments to that point. Agrees to forward the unchanged, original questions and information of 3/15 to 3/20/2017 to ARC Clerk of Commission

2017-05-25 11:57:00        THE ARROWFLINGER Emails information sent to Osprey on 05/18/2017 to ARC Clerk of Commission

2017-05-25 13:08:00        THE ARROWFLINGER confers with Osprey, who had talked with Director earlier, and who recommended that THE ARROWFLINGER call Director directly with issues and questions.

2017-05-25          13:27:00               THE ARROWFLINGER Called Director. Asked if Landowner M, Landowner O, or Bobcat Lessee are Augusta Contractors and if he knows any of them. He said no. Asked if DW of Stateboro was a contractor. He said they were but had not done any work since 2013. Said that Landowner M’s firm was not awarded Landfill contract after he was on bid documents at January 2017 bid meeting. (Confirmed by THE ARROWFLINGER) Award contested and work might be rebid.(THE ARROWFLINGER agreed, as it had been in the newspaper) Director asked about stone purchases and stated that Augusta purchases aggregates under annual bulk purchase agreement and stockpiles various stone products at landfill. (Known in Advance by THE ARROWFLINGER)When asked how Director knew where Bobcat Lessee’s equipment was when Director and THE ARROWFLINGER met at the gate to the combined properties at 8:16 PM on March 16, 2017, Director stated that he was directed to follow the power line and that the equipment was parked under the power line.

Director asserted that the reason he could find his way in the dark when spotted coming out of the gate to the combined properties at 8:22 PM on March 16, 2017, was that he arrived in the daylight. (Official Sunset was 7:37 PM, but conditions at his exit were clearly past darkness)

Director repeated his purpose for coming out of the gate to the combined properties at 8:22 PM on March 16, 2017 was that a contractor at his facility called him, after being unable to contact Director’s subordinate employee, and was concerned about verifying the location of the Bobcat and cutter, so he drove out to the site in Lincoln County to locate the equipment and report back to the contractor, which he had done.

Director queried THE ARROWFLINGER about why he was not called earlier into the process of determining the status of the investigation. THE ARROWFLINGER said that the investigation was in the hands of ARCSD and that he was told that it was turned over to the DA. THE ARROWFLINGER turned to Osprey, an Augusta citizen, to investigate because Augusta is his city. THE ARROWFLINGER had performed considerable free work for Augusta and insisted on better contract controls since 2011 and did not feel compelled to conduct an investigation based upon GORA requests because that cost money and the Augusta Commission had failed to act to provide a solution to that obstacle when it had been proposed.

Director suggested that he had answered all questions truthfully and that THE ARROWFLINGER should accept that, to which THE ARROWFLINGER responded that there were too many inconsistencies in how the work was sequenced and suddenly halted when the investigators arrived at the Augusta Solid Waste Facility on 3/16/17. Director asked if THE ARROWFLINGER had approached the landowners to which THE ARROWFLINGER responded that the investigation should have done that and no report had been issued.

Director asserted that Administrator’s office and ARCSD had determined that there were no criminal violations, but that one of his supervisors had retired as planned but moved up during the investigation. Director admitted that said supervisor had done work at the Lincoln Site. THE ARROWFLINGER asked for a copy of that investigators’ report but Director said he could not provide it.

THE ARROWFLINGER reminded Director of THE ARROWFLINGER’s powerful defense of Director in a commission meeting presentation on another matter.

THE ARROWFLINGER agreed to forward an accounting of the conversation to all who had gotten questions and information from THE ARROWFLINGER regarded the Lincoln County matter and he did.

2017-05-25          14:57:00               THE ARROWFLINGER emails ARC Clerk of Commission that he talked to Director and provided a summary of points upon which there was agreement, but not points of disagreement, which had been previously sent.

2017-05-25          15:16:00               THE ARROWFLINGER      Agrees to discuss the March Events in Lincoln County in an on-air conversation with Most Dangerous Man in Augusta Politics, Austin Rhodes of  radio Station WGAC.

2017-05-25          15:38:00               THE ARROWFLINGER      goes on the Austin Rhodes to discuss the March Events in Lincoln County

2017-05-25          23:47:35               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            3 weeks ago The investigator said it was referred to the DA and to City Administrator for an audit,  but the DA has nothing. When the guy called that day that my new truck grabbed the audio and output it on the speaker so Knitter heard him say it. They are trying to duck and cover but I am satisfied I have it covered with enough proof.  It would be helpful to show how Landowner M has recently been working there. They didn’t apparently get the contract and Dabbs Williams did work in 2011 I found. The equipment they have conceded and also that the supervisor who was moonlighting retired 2 days into the investigation. Your info was spot on. The heat is on and some of them are spinning deeper. Hope your trip is productive. We got rain!

2017-05-25          23:50:28               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Nice I heard some of it through the internet on the radio show good job

2017-05-25          23:51:17               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            If he was moonlighting why was he driving a county truck out there that’s the word I got from Inside Source

Friday, May 26, 2017

2017-05-26          00:13:44               out         Phone Number Redacted                            I wish I had walked up tge hill when the Bobcat brush cutter was being used and seen the truck. Pretty sure he was there on a weekday morning

2017-05-26          00:31:49               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Yup

2017-05-26          18:12:36               out         Phone Number Redacted                            Can you tell me who got retired?

2017-05-26          18:13:13               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            McKinley Williams

2017-05-28          00:35:00               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Also McKinley has worked there so long and knows all the equipment I can’t imagine he would make a mistake I think he is just covering for Director

Sunday, May 28, 2017

2017-05-28          00:35:45               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Did Director contact you? If he did he his trying to cover himself

2017-05-28          00:39:21               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            I was told to call him. I did.

2017-05-28          00:40:39               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Oh well he is a snake with a lot of political connections

2017-05-28          00:41:11               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            That’s based on my experience

2017-05-28          00:44:39               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            He said he did not know Landowner M or Landowner O…..the landowners. Said he did not know Bobcat Renter….the Bobcat lessee. Said DW has not worked there since 2014. Ssid stone is bought under annual contract and stockpiled. Got on my case for not calling him until after sending out claims.(emails to ARC Commissioners)

2017-05-28          00:47:22               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            That’s a lie Bobcat Renter was out there last year helping extend the sides of the land feel(fill) to meet the air space. Landowner M was out there all the time him and Director went to lunch several times

2017-05-28          00:48:03               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Said he got up here before dark is why he had no flash flight and found the equipment because it was under the power line easement. .. Trouble with that is my video is time stamped 8:48 pm (exit time)

2017-05-28          00:48:40               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Augusta Commissioner G is barbequed

2017-05-28          00:48:55               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Sweet

2017-05-28          00:50:38               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted            I have Commissioners Augusta Commissioner W and Augusta Commissioner G FURIOUS AND LOADED FOR BEAR for Tuesday’s commission meeting.

2017-05-28          00:51:01               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Administrator in deep S**t

2017-05-28          00:51:20               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Administrator.

2017-05-28          00:51:42               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Administrator

2017-05-28          00:52:29               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            I am going to have all their a$$es.

2017-05-28          00:54:14               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Good, if Director told you he didn’t know those guys he is lying. Why did he tell his staff he had property on the lake?

2017-05-28          00:55:47               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            That excavator has a small’ backward reflex clam-shell or scoop. Small blade. Not suited for moving stone piles. The loaders at landfill. ARE

2017-05-28          00:57:14               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Every one out there knows they mini excavator every one used it including McKinley

2017-05-28          00:58:31               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            What about the trailer the county just purchased did he make a mistake with that to

2017-05-28          00:58:33               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted           (I am hearing) Commissioner G says landfill doesn’t use that sort of stone. However, it is too fine to use for road without geotextile underlayment. There are 4 (actually 3) rolls of that there

2017-05-28          01:00:16               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Bull s**t we use crush and run all the time look at the camp sites at the sheriff range they have three sites up there for campers I know because I was told I could park mine there

 

2017-05-28          01:00:29               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Sounds like McKinley was the Bobcat operator up here. Isn’t that what you found out?

2017-05-28          01:01:29               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Yes I know he ran that for sure

2017-05-28          01:02:18               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Well that means an arc employee destroyed us government property

2017-05-28          01:02:45               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            The landfill Owens (owns) John Deere skid steeres (steers) not bob cats

2017-05-28          01:03:29               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                              McKinley loves Director and will cover until it’s his a$$

2017-05-28          01:04:29               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            I am gonna fry some a$$ Yes Bobcat was rented to Bobcat Renter by Bobcat Augusta. Director was concerned about it because Bobcat called him.

2017-05-28          01:05:49               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Yea brother he knew what was going on he just want to take his Own or parents Winnebago out there

2017-05-28          01:06:20               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            So Director was concerned about the Bobcat that destroyed corps woodland. And his supervisor ran it. Perfect.

Footage from March 16, 2016 as events were unfolding.

2017-05-28          01:07:07               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            You keep asking questions and I’ll keep giving information they can’t hide from us

2017-05-28          01:07:32               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            What about the trailer?

2017-05-28          01:08:18               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            The press and politicians want my hide. After 5 years you handed me something to tear Augusta apart with.

2017-05-28          01:08:19               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            That was county property no one made a mistake with that

2017-05-28          01:08:44               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            They brought it to me

2017-05-28          01:09:14               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            It does not have property tag or number on it

2017-05-28          01:10:09               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Oh, they are conceding that the trailer and excavator are Augusta assets

2017-05-28          01:10:51               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Yea

2017-05-28          01:11:26               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted            The landfill does have loaders and graders right?

2017-05-28          01:11:47               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            I would to see Director gone. I want to live out there in peace

2017-05-28          01:12:31               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            I am pretty sure that will happen.

2017-05-28          01:12:59               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Oh yea komatso 320 front loaders and they use roads department grader they also have a cat roller

2017-05-28          01:13:43               in            Phone Number Redacted                            I know because I have worked on all of it

2017-05-28          01:15:43               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Ok. Good. So you are sure others saw Director with Landowner M and know that Bobcat Renter did work there

2017-05-28          01:16:49               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            The investigator did not turn over anything to the DA like he said. It was his bad luck that his call to me telling me that came on over my car speakerphone so everyone in my yard could hear it

2017-05-28          01:17:37               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Buddy is ready to testify that he saw him up here in fact I was in the back (actually the passenger seat) seat of the investigators car and Buddy did not see me when he stopped them in the road and demanded to know who they were

2017-05-28          01:18:00               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            The sheriff’s department is screwed about as bad as Commissioner G and Director

2017-05-28          01:22:21               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            You can ask any one who works at the landfill when I quite Bobcat Renter was working out there and that was april last year

2017-05-28          01:23:29               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Commissioner G called you a disgruntled employee. I am gonna make him rue those words. (Because it was a smokescreen. Informant had nothing to do with the perpetrator’s actions.)

2017-05-28          01:23:38               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Talk to **** he was a supervisor and he just got hired back

2017-05-28          01:24:57               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Sorry I meant James ******

2017-05-28          01:25:17               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Why would he say that when I resigned

2017-05-28          01:26:19               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            I went to lunch with him and Director and I said grace before the meal. Dirty people

2017-05-28          01:26:30               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Don’t worry about that. You are gonna love it.

2017-05-28          01:27:07               Informant           Phone Number Redacted

2017-05-28          01:28:24               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                            Gonna go back to bed. Good night!

2017-05-28          01:29:23               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                            Good night from California

2017-05-28         14:23:00                THE ARROWFLINGER calls Landowner K and learns that no investigators contacted her after the mid-March incidents. Conversation lasts 39 minutes. Topics beside social updating of family and friends include the easement road work. Three times Landowner K reiterates that Landowners M and O kept saying that they  had connections to get the work done. No mention was made of Columbia or Richmond Counties in that context, as was the case in the mid-March conversation.

2017-05-28          15:36:00               THE ARROWFLINGER      Phone Number Redacted                         Investigators did not contact you or Landowner K

2017-05-28          15:37:00               Informant           Phone Number Redacted                           Nope I talked to them once The day you were with them

Thursday, June 1, 2017

2017-06-01        19:00?                Augusta Administrator calls THE ARROWFLINGER on his land line phone (no logs)and a Q&A session resulted that lasted about 30 to 40 minutes. THE ARROWFLINGER called the Informant while the Administrator was on the other line to ascertain that the Informant would allow her to have his number. Later Informant called to state that he and the Administrator had talked and would continue the next day.

2017-06-02        13:08 Commissioner H calls to verify that the Administrator had talked to Informant

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

2017-06-06          15:27:00 ?             Director resigns and Augusta Commission accepts his resignation.

Can the good people of Augusta get their rogue government under control?

 

 

  • AG

 

Double-crossed at the Doubletree, Augustans Got a 22% Property Tax Increase

When your humble flinger of arrows climbed into his pickup truck one afternoon in the late summer of 2010 it was not dreamed that the trip was worth $4 million to $5 million to the people of Augusta Richmond County, Georgia, yet it was.

The Georgia General Assembly had empaneled a Tax Reform Council, chaired by former Atlanta Olympic Games chairman A.D. Frazier, and charged it with recommending a tax reform plan. Earlier, in 2008, the legislature had wisely rejected disgraced House Speaker Glenn Richardson’s G.R.E.A.T. (Georgia Repeal Every Ad valorem Tax) plan but still held the notion of “tax reform” dear, spurred on by the Georgia Traditional Manufacturers Association and others. Manufacturers wanted relief from Georgia’s sales-tax-exemption-limiting “Direct Use” requirements. Agricultural interests wanted sales tax relief, too.

The Tax Reform Council met in cities across Georgia. The meeting in Augusta came within 3 weeks of a furious Republican Party runoff for governor, which diverted attention from what was at risk. The Council convened at the Doubletree Hotel on August 30, 2010. A number of presenters had prepared remarks which were posted on the Tax Council website. This writer had not come to speak but rose and gave an impromptu talk in opposition based upon the enormous revenue loss that appeared to be in the making, including a critique of surviving elements of G.R.E.A.T. A sitting member of the Georgia House of Representatives, Don Parsons, was not paying attention enough to catch the name and dismissed the talk as uninformed.

The frightening thing was that the Tax Council withheld its report, despite promises it would be published in November, until the start of the 2011 session and the stated intent was for the plan to rocket through the General Assembly for a straight “up or down” vote.

The Augusta presentations included one that tipped off how draconian the sales and use tax losses would be for Augusta. An email to a key member of the Augusta Commission warned of the losses. Another to an organization promoting the bad tax deal laid out the reasons that killing it in 2011 were good.

Taxreformwarning_Page_1Tax Reform 2011 Killed_Page_1Lobbyists didn’t care.

The Augusta Chronicle reported “Twice panel members asked how to replace the revenue from new tax breaks such as elimination of the inventory tax. John Krueger, senior vice president of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, replied that he hadn’t polled his members about that.

“To be honest, I really don’t have an answer to that,” he said.”

The next year tax reform returned and passed. Not one of the location legislative delegation voted against it, not even “conservatives” Representative Barbara Sims or Senator Bill Jackson. Just as night follows day, the tax losses hit Augusta Richmond County so hard that in 2014, the Augusta Commission had to pass a 22% property tax increase to compensate for them.

The Augusta Commission got the blame but the damage was clearly inflicted by the General Assembly, with the local delegation going right along with it.

The sales taxes given up were were being passed on to purchasers of the manufactured goods outside of Augusta, Richmond County and now are being replaced by your property taxes, if you live in Augusta-Richmond County. The manufacturers were not likely to leave Augusta over taxes they had been paying for years and “tax reform” means that new businesses won’t be paying new taxes, either. Theories and subsidized jobs excited the politicians but this was a DEAD LOSS to the people, if one looks at the only thing that counts with revenue – CASH FLOW!

The entire progression of events might not have turned to the public’s favor, but it was a wonderful chance to demonstrate how The AURELIUS PRINCIPLE works to identify millions of dollars of savings to clients who might just be interested in saving those millions rather than paying them out. Cost Recovery Works, Inc. has used these techniques to stunning effect for clients many times and the tax reform participation showed how they work to potentially effect tens of millions in savings.

Millions of dollars in savings come from projects like this one – Just not for the poor, tax-besieged citizens of Augusta.

Thank your politicians.

Equal Protection, Equal Accountability

Comments of Al M. Gray to the Augusta Commission
Equal Protection, Equal Accountability
March 1, 2016

Mayor Davis, lady and gentlemen of the commission, thank you for the opportunity to speak today.
The baseball great Yogi Berra once said “If you come to a fork in the road, take it” but after its last two meetings perhaps this body should stop, back up and try another fork before the wheels come off of Augusta’s government like one of those KME firetrucks. Citizens, officials, and observers far and wide have been taken aback by votes to remedy a pay-increase scandal which represents a horrendous breach of Constitutional equal protection for the one employee and the simultaneous dismissal of equal accountability for 3 others who arguably had more responsibility.

The vote and particularly the commentary during the last commission meeting filled me and most observers with dismay, not just because of the ugly tone, but because the transparency so loudly promised during the SPLOST campaign is obviously dead. A citizenry who saw its garbage collection service cut in half now sees, yet again, tomfoolery to shift money between accounts to cover benefits to the downtown.They see the time-consuming machinations this administration has undertaken to do it during a time in which new SPLOST controls were supposedly a priority.

The biggest scandal in Augusta history – the financially ruinous Tee Center/Laney Walker Development deal – wasted more $tens of millions than a convention of con artists could dream up. The principle TEE contract required extensive records to be kept until the year 2020, yet neither side of the ugliness of the last 2 weeks wants to empower Augusta by learning from its mistakes there. One faction wouldn’t want it out during the state Republican Party Convention at the Convention Center out of fear of embarrassing party officials and the city. The other seems to want to maintain the sloppiness to get tens of millions more in loot with assertions of “it’s our turn, now” or “we are getting our share.”

Politicians like to create a façade of controls to hide the looting, but not controls to stop the looting. With the TEE center Augusta wound up with the daisy chain of “expert” controllers costing a combined $1250 per hour who controlled almost nothing and rubberstamped nearly everything. The powerfully-written construction management contract that Augusta won was turned into mush at their hands. Why?

Your Gift From the Copenhaver

Another Yogism by Berra– “It is Déjà vu all over again” – fits my 40 year odyssey out of Augusta, back, and now into this chamber. The mid 1970’s found me at the Labor Department in Augusta working to administer the old 13 county CETA employment programs. Fury erupted among the mostly black program management in Augusta that Columbia County had preselected an overwhelmingly white contingent of ineligible folks, but then came the embarrassing find that Augusta’s enrollees were mostly black ineligible folks.

A poor blind black woman with a young lad in tow came into the Program Directors’ office to see the Reverend F. Francis Cook. “This is my grandson, Jonathan, who sees about me, the best he can, but he needs one of those CETA jobs you all are handing out,” she said. Deputy Director Cook was in tears. There were no jobs left for the eligible and deserving grandson. He got crowded out by black politics. F. Francis Cook made sure we quit running a program for cronies, to make room for his people and for ALL people.

Yes, you can use the system perfected by the last administration to loot the people and discriminatingly spread $millions but “They did it and we are too!” makes a twisted concept of equal protection, while hurting the wrong people -people in your community.

What happened over the last two weeks destroyed confidence that this commission desires the promised transparency and reform. Choose another fork, one of real reform; this one is a dead end for Augusta.

Thank you.

Here is the video

Mother (of) Goofs – The Convention Center that Rick Built

This is the Convention Center that Rick built.
Conference Harrison Bldg

This is the parcel
http://gismap.augustaga.gov/PropertyCard/Default.aspx?pin=037-3-
That lay under the Convention Center that Rick built.

This is the Center Manager/Owner
paulssimon
That had the parcel
That lay under the Center that Rick built.

This is equipment the partnership deal said would be paid for by
Tilting Kettles
That Center Manager/Owner
That had the parcel
That lay under the Convention Center that Rick built.

This is the Administrator who worked with Rick to bill the city for


That kitchen equipment that was going to be the cost of
That Center Manager/Owner
That had the parcel
That lay under the Convention Center that Rick built.

This is the lawyer who looked in vain for the city commission-executed PARTNERSHIP CHANGE
permitting
Augusta Attorney Andrew McKenzie
That Administrator to work with Rick to bill the city for
That kitchen equipment that was going to be the cost of
That Center Manager/Owner
That had the parcel
That lay under the Convention Center that Rick built.

This is the Architect paid to prevent contracting snafus
who got excluded from reviewing the purchase for which
That lawyer found no partnership change to allow
That Administrator to work with Rick to bill the city for
That kitchen equipment that was going to be the cost of
That Center Manager/Owner
That had the parcel
That lay under the Convention Center that Rick built.

This is the land right Augusta found it had under its Convention Center after
Air Rights?
That Architect noted his exclusion from the purchase review that might have stopped
That which the lawyer found no partnership change to allow
That Administrator to work with Rick to bill the city for
That kitchen equipment that was going to be the cost of
That Center Manager/Owner
That had the parcel
That lay under the Convention Center that Rick built.

This is the Manager/owners parcel value for which Augusta was forced to trade the equipment to use its own building
on
That empty land right Augusta found it had after
That Architect noted his exclusion from the purchase review that might have stopped
That which the lawyer found no partnership change to allow
That Administrator to work with Rick to bill the city for
That kitchen equipment that was going to be the cost of
That Center Manager/Owner
That had the parcel
That lay under the Convention Center that Rick built.

These are the $8250 in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 campaign contributions from the Center Manager/Owner
paulssimon
Rick got after buying

That equipment value it became necessary to trade for
That empty land rights Augusta found it had after
That the Architect noted his exclusion from the purchase review that might have noted
That which the lawyer found no partnership change to allow
That Administrator to work with Rick to bill the city for
That kitchen equipment that was going to be the cost of
That Center Manager/Owner
That had the parcel
That lay under the Convention Center that Rick built.

This is the rival donkey in Congress grinning like a mule eating briars

That Rick got those campaign contributions from the Center Manager/Owner seeing
That equipment value it became necessary to trade for
That land right Augusta found it had after
That Architect noted his exclusion from the purchase review that might have noted
That which the lawyer found no partnership change to allow
That Administrator to work with Rick to bill the city for
That kitchen equipment that was going to be the cost of
That Center Manager/Owner
That had the parcel
That lay under the Convention Center that Rick built.

Blame it on the Evans UFO

The first report in this series, Conflict in Columbia County, peered into the April 2010 vote to grant the mass banking contract of Columbia County, Georgia to GB&T, Georgia Bank and Trust, a bank in which 2 commissioners, Ron Cross and Charlie Allen held stock and a third, Ron Thigpen, serves as Chief Operating Officer.

The award came after an extensive Request for Proposal was issued to about a dozen local banks in January. Responses were due by February 18th. Four county employees were designated as evaluators of the proposals: Water Director Billy Clayton, Accounting Manager Debra North, Finance Director Lee Ann DeLoach (then Reece), and Phyllis Swain. After the evaluations were compiled and the scoring totaled, First Citizens Bank scored the highest of the responding banks, with GB&T in second place. First Citizens quoted a minimum interest rate on deposits of 1%, with DeLoach noting the lack of a floor with GB&T relative to First Citizens and Swain noting that First Citizens had the best rate. The initial recommendation was to award the agreement to First Citizens.

GB&T had quoted a variable rate with a floor of 0.75%, 0.25% less than First Citizens. This put the minimum interest rate income from First Citizens 33% higher than GB&T.

That is when the UFO landed and all sorts of communications were disrupted. In this case UFO means Unidentified Financial Official. Some member or members of the County Finance Committee put the award on hold and sought direction from Jeffries, the County’s sole-sourced Bond Underwriter. When asked the identity of the Finance Committee member(s) who initiated the request from Jeffries, the county administration could not provide it, not could it provide any correspondence from Jeffries other than an Analysis showing that the county would earn more with GB&T. That analysis became the basis for what came to the commission as “Option Two” and a revised recommendation to award the mass banking arrangement to GB&T.

Out of a Finance Committee comprised of then Chairman Scott Dean, who is now in prison on an unrelated conviction, commission chairman and GB&T shareholder Ron Cross and District one commissioner and GBT executive Ron Thigpen, who was the UFO? If the UFO landed in the commission chambers, why is there no video, no tracks and no sign of his coming and leaving, only a mystery document which turned out to be wrong, predicting higher interest rates that never materialized and costing the county dearly?

Citizens-activists working with agraynation.com also sought whether First Citizens or the other banks responding to the RFP were invited to rebid or comment on the Jeffries analysis.The county answered that there was no written contact found with First Citizens after notification that their bank was on the list of finalists.

Finally, a response to a Georgia Open Records request to Columbia County, shows that the county was paid the 0.75% minimum throughout 2011 and 2012 on nearly all of the accounts covered by the mass banking RFP, rather than the much higher rates expected when the deal was awarded to the three commissioners’ bank.

Doesn’t an old construction guy like Chairman Cross know that nothing produces more controversy and lawsuits in procurement than awarding bids based on new criteria that have been denied to the other bidders? Isn’t doing something like that and having it lose 33% more revenue than the recommended vendor even worse? How much of his net worth is in that bank stock and its related business ventures, anyhow?

A lot of answers are due Columbia County voters before May 20.

Here is a video presentation recorded in the waning days of April 2014.

Next up in the series – County Revenue Vaporized by the Evans UFO?

Conflict in Columbia County?

Would y’all just look what we have here! In April 2010 the award of Columbia County’s Major banking agreement was on the Columbia County Commission agenda. Uncomfortably, three Commissioners had stock in Georgia Bank in Trust at the time of this vote. The county attorney seemed concerned about the whole area of ethics but it looks from up here in the pine woods that the entire commission was prepped to put on ballerina slippers and tiptoe through the minefield of awarding the county’s mass banking agreement to, well, Georgia Bank and Trust.

District One Commissioner Ron Thigpen was Chief Operating Officer of GB&T (very recently promoted to President). The county attorney found he could avoid the technical definition of a “Conflict of Interest” by recusing himself from this, an official vote of the commission. The county attorney found that the other GB&T shareholders Ron Cross and Charles Allen, Jr., held less than 5% of the bank’s shares and the bank being publicly held fit another exception in the Ethics Ordinance. The final step in the fanciful footwork that carried them to apparent safety was getting the not-ensnared commissioners Scott Dean and Trey Allen to bless the choreography and allow Cross and Charlie Allen to vote, which they did, awarding the banking deal to their bank.

Did the commission gracefully tiptoe across the ethics minefield on gilded slippers, as they would have us believe? Or were they really tap-dancing across it wearing snowshoes?

One of the Rons sure looks like he stepped on one of those Vietnam -era “bouncing betty” mines with a slow trigger. After all, it has taken 4 years for the damage to pop up and show itself to the taxpayers of Columbia County.

The mine had “Appearance of a Conflict” written all over it. The shrapnel might just now be striking. Wasn’t the key issue for Cross and Allen really how much their stock made up of their total assets and how much they stood to gain? How could Thigpen make myriad impartial decisions, beyond just that commission vote, like whether to increase or pay down debt when his bank stood to gain or lose revenue from the county’s deposits there?

Coming up next in the series is “Blame it on the UFO!”

-AF

The Mary Davis Sand and Gravel Company

By Arrowflinger Al

Remember the good old days out here in the rural counties when your commissioner could rock, grade and maybe even pave your driveway if you supported him? Well, those days are gone out here because our commissioners don’t want to go to prison. Now, there is hope and help from our good neighbors down in Augusta  with their new Public-private partnership we are  calling the Mary Davis Sand and Gravel Company. Call  Augusta Mayor Pro-tem Davis at (706) 821-1831 and you may be able to arrange what one of my neighbors got here in Lincoln County – men, trucks, trailers, supplies, fringe benefits, and heavy equipment expended fixing a private road. All for FREE!

No need to worry about tipping the Augusta workers either because they get the greater of 3 months severance pay or a full retirement if they get caught.

Even getting 300 tons of stone like THIS isn’t impossible, because the Augusta Landfill down on Deans Bridge Road has stockpiles of everything you need – sand, gravel, screenings, surge stone and even rip rap. Those can be loaded up and sent out to us through the same gate that the equipment loaned to my neighbor was.

If you look at the pictures of my neighbors’ Augusta built Project, there is even drain pipe furnished with the deal you get from Mary Davis.

You don’t even have to pay a registered contractor with expensive insurance, permits, a business or contractor’s license in your county, either. Those gifts give a pretty big bonus to your free work value  from Mary Davis.

If the equipment from the landfill is tied up and can’t get to you, then the nice sheriff down there has a guy who will meet your equipment needs with no delay stationed at the shooting range next door.

Augusta taxpayers and residents, you do not qualify for this program, so don’t attempt to call. You give but cannot receive.

We out here in the sticks thank you for your generosity and the kind treatment we get from Mary Davis Sand and Gravel.

Mary rocks our world.

 

-AG