Proactive Government

  • Encouraging and affording citizens a greater involvment in their government is vital for a good and healthy government. The commission can and must do a better job of being open to its people. The county now has a website and computer monitors in the annex in response to my November 2016 campaign. Change will come about if wanted bad enough and being persistent.
  • The majority of our county manuals, ordinances, and documents should be on-line. I will work toward that goal. I have many at the bottom of my Macon County page.
  • Video streaming of county meetings into homes would be convenient for citizens to be knowledge of county businesses while getting the kids ready for school the next day. Grants and donors will be sought to support video streaming.
  • I will propose presentations to the County Commission be in open Macon County Alabama government Power Point to project it on the two monitors so that citizens may follow along, as compared to ONLY staff and the commission with handouts. How rude and controlling is that when the only citizen in the audience is without the ability to follow along? The county will supply the computer and projector.
  • Chairpersons of county committees and boards will provide an update of their activities and focuses into the next year to the commission and citizens no less than once every year.
  • All county commission meetings, less stringent exceptions, will be held in the evening to accommodate the majority of our citizens. Normal work hour "continuation meetings" will be the exception, as I am able to do so, as compared to a routine means to bypass citizen participation and observation of debate of important and controversial issues and ordinances. In my opinion the county is not following the intent of state law or worse. My letter to the Attorney General concerning the frequent use of recessing of meeting was replied to with an AG opinion with "Although this method of meeting may not be preferred, this Office finds no violation of the Open Meetings Act."
  • I will as a member of the commission work toward having all chairpersons of the many county committees address the commission on an annual basis to what was accomplished in the previous year and goals for the forthcoming year. Along with their meetings listed in the on-line county calendar, their committee members and their on-line contact information is necessary to begin a dialog. One needs to know who to speak with and how to easily contact that person for assistance. These committees serve a valuable service to the county and citizens need to know of their activities and goals.
  • Mr. John Sophocleus of Auburn University and writer for the Alabama Gazette shares his commentary on Macon County's desire and actions for more insulation from the public in the Gazette's January 2018 edition.

    "Postscript: from Macon county with the highest Doug Jones win (88.1%) but still 2.7 points under par turnout as one of the contiguous Felon Hubbard counties. Witnessing Rep. Pebblin Warren helping Hubbard with jury selection in Judge Walker’s court may still turn off some from going to the polls, if only to participate by writing in. Jones’ top two (Greene and Macon) counties only had 0.2% and 0.3% write-in results. Macon is one to observe these next few years to see if those who turned out for Jones but did not make the effort for a tired old corrupt Hillary type Democrat a year ago will continue to make a difference on the margin.

    A specific citizen, Frank Dillman, accepted the big and all-powerful actions of the commission for years. After observing the level of secrecy in Macon county government, use of public funds, and receiving tips from employees into activities at the county shop, Frank took a stand and has been a noted fixture at county commission meetings and writer for the Tuskegee News. This current iteration of laws ignored/suspended at the expense of taxpaying citizens begins July 2015. Dillman submitted (when the county had no stated policy) an Open Records Request for street addresses where Chairman Louis Maxwell purchased fuel using his county issued gas card. Multiple letters mailed and read during commission meetings resulted in Maxwell responding, “I am not worried,” seemingly insulated from law. I remember similar hubris from Lee county commissioners before the mileage scandal removed all but Commissioner Harris.

    Little surprise retaliatory actions escalated against Dillman exercising rights commissioners swore to uphold upon taking office. Suspending Alabama’s Open Records Act commissioners developed a plan proposing their county attorney review all Open Record Requests where citizens reimburse them rounded up to a quarter hour, expressly forbidden by law. Prior to the Executive Session to “discuss county’s open record policy,” Dillman was reluctantly granted a copy of the 2018 proposed budget as New Business. After the session, he was compelled to surrender his copy and denied request to reimburse the county $1/page for the document and told it would NOT be on the county’s newly created website. Policy was indeed discussed during an Executive meeting, identified in commission minutes as “Legal Matters.” Dillman was the only citizen in attendance when the commission recessed to Executive Session.

    Macon county finally developed an Open Records Policy and Open Meeting Policy these past months. It appears Dillman’s efforts are pushing this commission toward more transparency. This makes me hopeful Macon county may have a chance at improving after witnessing the corruption and incompetence of Lee county commissioners who sold their souls to the “I believe in Felon Hubbard” influence, which shows no sign of attenuation.

    Mr. Dillman’s efforts have been so effective at shining light on corruption and obfuscation that all camera equipment for streaming meetings, must be placed at the back of the annex; a wireless microphone (commissioners refuse to use their PA system) regardless of size is forbidden from the dais. A press member put a small wireless receiver/microphone beneath the dais; it was ordered to be removed. First Amendment civil rights? Not in Macon county commission meetings.

    Dillman is retaining an attorney for litigation using his well earned Navy retirement to obtain public documents. The cost of justice is rising. Will Macon county ‘general welfare’ voters now discipline these corrupt members operating in darkness, or simply be more of the same after these voters showed they WILL go out and vote when a corrupt modern Hillary type Democrat is NOT one of the binary choices?"

Back to Issues page