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8 October 2017

Local Government Rips Cooperative District Board

Following our August issue concerning the questionable actions of the Cooperative District, both the Evergreen City Council and the Conecuh County Commission have taken steps to bust up the Board of Directors and obtain more oversight concerning it's actions.

The County Commission removed Commissioner Johnny Andrews and former Commissioner David Cook and replaced them with Commissioners Wendell Byrd and Michael Riley.

After a convoluted stumble and start, the City Council have taken a series of actions that would leave Mayor Pete Wolff and Councilman Luther Upton on the Board of the Cooperative District, and increase the number of members from four to seven.

Changes also include an established meeting date for the Cooperative District - which is open to the public.

Thanks to Commissioners Wendell Byrd and Michael Riley, that date has been set as the second Wednesday of each month at the Depot in downtown Evergreen at 10 a.m.

For a bit of background on what's happened so far, you can read Leon Windhams's City Council reports at his blog Conecuh County News And Views.

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20 September 2017

City Council Starting To Ask Questions

Word I'm getting is that the Evergreen City Council has stopped being a rubber stamp for the Mayor's personal agenda and has started asking serious questions concerning actions at City Hall and with the Cooperative District.

It seems the Council is starting to question the legality of member placement on the Board of Directors of the Cooperative District, and whether any of their actions since last November are even legal.

In Leon Windham's write-up, according to the City's own attorney, it appears they are not.

We'll see how it gets reported by local media who cover the City Council meetings, but if you live in the City, you may want to ask your Councilmember just what's going on - and show your support to those brave enough to buck the status quo.

You'll find more information at Leon Windham's Conecuh News And Views.

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31 August 2017

  

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5 August 2017

Walking Tall For A Better Conecuh County

While moronic megalomaniacs continue to bash me and this newspaper on the radio and on YouTube for properly informing the people of this county of what takes place around here, they have no idea just who’s watching from across this country - and around the world.

Their sphere of influence may be limited to a few hundred square miles or to their cult following, but their narrow-minded thinking barely makes it across the parking lot.

Rather than making Evergreen and Conecuh County friendly, open, and all-inclusive, they would rather squeeze out anyone they perceive as a threat to the little Empires they’ve created using every bully tactic they can come up with, and attempt to shut down anyone who speaks out through public intimidation and retaliation. I haven’t backed down - and neither should you. Not if you want a decent place to live.

In the case of attacking me and this newspaper, they have no clue just who’s watching - or what opportunities our county may be missing out on based on their childish actions. Or who’s attention they may have attracted.

Yes, this is a small, community newspaper intended solely for the people of Conecuh County, but because of our website, we have a world-wide audience.

And some very interesting groups, organizations, agencies, and businesses have been watching what’s taking place.

Here’s a small listing of who’s been watching: State of Alabama Unified Judicial System, State of Alabama Information Services Division, U.S. Department of Labor, Georgia Department of Education, U.S. House of Representatives, Northeastern University, Auburn University, University of Alabama, Universities Space Research Association, Daimler AG, Premiere Inc, Amazon, USDA Office of Operations, Yale University, Republic of South Korea, US Department of Defense, Navy Network Information Center, US Department of Justice.

Frankly, I’m humbled by the influence and reach this newspaper actually has.

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For an accurate report on last Tuesday's City Council meeting check out
 Leon Windham's Blog at Conecuh County News And Views


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10 July 2017

I don't usually post articles from our print edition until it's had time to clear the shelves, but I'm noticing a lot of traffic to our website, and I suspect many of those visitors from out of town are looking for the article that caused Luther Upton and WPPG to go absolutely off the deep end.

Upton has certainly used some fowl language and wild claims and, rather than forcing people to take his word for actual reality, I thought it necessary to go ahead and post the segment of my of July article that has him flopping like a fish and dragging anyone he can - including WPPG's advertisers - into the fray.

Read it for yourself and see if I'm the monster he's trying to paint me as.

Publicity Stunts

This county is not going to lure hordes of visitors generating vast sums of revenue with a giant American flag, or the embarrassing claim as Big Foot capitol of Alabama.

The Cooperative District seems to be playing “Squirrel!” trying to get people to salute the flag instead of looking at all the empty lots, and it's empty promises of greatness.

If all the promises had been kept, Exit 96 would look like Branson, Missouri by now.

Now don't get me wrong. The activity at Exit 96 has been good for Evergreen. The new restaurants offer variety for local patrons and employment for our people. We should be thankful and appreciative of the businesses that have chosen to locate there.

It's the organization and leadership behind the Exit 96 Project that's questionable. Pete Wolff and company should get credit for at least getting something going for Evergreen, but it might have grown to the point the current leadership needs to step aside and hire someone more accustom to managing these type of projects. Keep in mind, none of the people on the Board of the Cooperative District have ever managed a project of this scope before.

Since it's inception, all of the focus has been on Exit 96, and downtown Evergreen where local, family-owned businesses choose to locate, continues to dry up. Now that Exit 96 has started, let someone – or something - else take over the Interstate project and focus should move towards revitalizing downtown.

As it is, in it's initial stages of growth the Exit 96 Project has been oversold to the public with almost weekly promises that haven't been kept. And unfortunately, the project isn't living up to expectation.

Perhaps that's why there seems to be so much secrecy behind the operations of the Cooperative District.

According to documentation the Cooperative District filed in October of last year to float a $4 million bond issue, which it sued the people of Conecuh County to do, by July 1st there was supposed to be an Adams Drugs store, a Holiday Inn Express, and a public amphitheater on the site all generating revenue to help pay off the bond issue.

They aren't there. And neither is the Dreamland Barbeque we heard about, the Pizza Hut that closed, but was supposed to be rebuilt “on this side of the Interstate,” Subway has not moved into a newly constructed building on the site, which has remained empty for months now.

According to financial reports, the Coop owes the City of Evergreen $2.1 million, has maxed out a $1 million line of credit from the Bank of Evergreen, and had to float yet another $375,000 loan from Cadence Bank.

A 2016 financial report shows an $888,664 negative balance on it's books. Other reports show it in the red $558,447 in 2015, and $463,575 in 2014.

These are negative balances, people. Not profit. They seem to be going in the wrong direction. But then again, the members of this Board are the same people who gave away, lost, frittered away, $350,000 of taxpayer’s money when they pushed the disastrous Evergreen Wood Products deal.

So salute the giant American flag as you drive by and know your tax dollars are being well managed.

As for Big Foot... ya know it's something cute, odd, Podunk, and Hee Haw. But to me, it's rather embarrassing. It's not something I'd want to put on a resume if I were trying to get a major manufacturer to locate in Conecuh County.

And to be honest, we already have too many out of state deer hunters.

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7 July 2017

A Lot Of Hot Air

I understand this month's issue generated a lot of hot air from one of our local politicians this morning on the radio. I didn't hear it, I don't listen to that station, but from what I've been told Evergreen City Councilman (Cooperative District Board Member) Luther Upton just about popped a cork.

Amazing how simply disagreeing with their decisions or their opinions can send some politicians over the edge. Even to the point of calling up people's dead relatives to try and push their false narrative.

I was told this "gentleman" even stooped so low as to try to tie the name of my dead father into the B.S. he's trying to sell to the people of Conecuh County - and to the listeners within the range of WPPG, Evergreen Mayor Pete Wolff's radio station.

Desperate people do desperate things.

My real regret is that Lee Peacock, a reporter for the Evergreen Courant who apparently works part-time at the Mayor's radio station, also participated in Upton's diatribe.

Would his working for the Mayor and being a City Councilman's radio sidekick be a conflict of interest when covering City Hall for the Courant? I would think so.

Actually I think Lee is "good people" and a good reporter. I just wish he wasn't being pulled down the wrong path.

Many people in Evergreen have been fooled - generally by those whom we choose to elect to public office.

And that's unfortunate. But that's where we are in Conecuh County.

Later in the day someone provided me with a recording of Upton's rant, and against my better judgment, I listened to it.

I've heard that kind of garbage before. Now I can understand why he and disgraced Commissioner Johnny Andrews are such "close associates." Put them on tape or in a video and they sound just alike. (I'm starting to get a collection of these things.)

Rather than stoop to their level, I'll just present one piece of proof to some of what Upton had to lie about:

"The Cooperative District doesn't owe the City of Evergreen any money, the City of Evergreen owes the Cooperative District."

That's a lie. The Cooperative District owes the City $2.399 million. Or is it $2.5? See below.

And a preview of what's coming next...

"There was no Adams Drugs, Holiday Inn Express, or amphitheater supposed to be there."

That's a lie. The Adams Drugs was supposed to be there last April, the amphitheater and the Holiday Inn Express by 1 July.

"Pizza Hut wasn't supposed to move across the Interstate."

That's a lie. It was, and supposed to open in 2017.

Upton asked his audience, "what has this little guy ever done for this community besides complain?"

I've spent 30 years helping to protect the citizens of Conecuh County by exposing lying politicians, illegal meetings, and bad decisions - taken a lot of heat for it - and gained very little for my effort. Myself and my family have sacrificed a lot for this community and paid a heavy price. Mostly at the hands of people like Upton and Andrews who we exposed for deceiving the people of this county, and who have openly disparaged our reputation within the community and no doubt damaged our ability to obtain advertising.

So, here's some of the proof. I have more. By now you all know I won't put something in the paper without it. Now do I get a 22 minute retraction and an apology from the Mayor and the City Councilman?

I should, but I doubt I will. I didn't get one from the County Commission or disgraced Commissioner Johnny Andrews when, in his official capacity as a County Commissioner, he lied about me and this newspaper - and neither did Leon Windham after Andrews called him a bastard during a Commission meeting - and lied about that too! That's the disgrace. Then add on a few drug charges and an FBI investigation.

I would imagine the mayor and councilman may have some explaining to do to the rest of the City Council, and their constituents after next month's issue comes out.

I'll take the heat for what I write, but bringing my dead father into this made this personal. That only goes to show how low some people will go.

No, wait a minute, when you get exposed and you're absolutely desperate - always call someone a racist.

The people of Evergreen voted this guy into office - and the mayor puts him on his radio station and let's him get away with it.

That's just sad.

 

 

15 August 2017

No Comment Necessary

 

Subject: RE: City Ad "Summary of Ordinance"
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2017 12:04:04 -0500
From: City Clerk <cityclerk@evergreenal.org>
To: 'The Monthly View Newspaper' <themonthlyview@mindspring.com>
   

-------- Original Message --------

Jim - 

Unfortunately, the Mayor has instructed me to deny you permission to run any
more City notices.

I'm very sorry, but those are my instructions.

Michael V.  Hinson CPA
Interim City Clerk/Treasurer

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