Something is very wrong in the Land of Cotton



Dr. Robert Bullard
Environmental Justice Movement Founder

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sometimes Silence is the Lie

Published Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The council needs to be more open to citizens, Cobb said. (Cobb was a mayoral candidate)

"The government is probably not as responsive as it needs to be," he said.

Ernest Kidd said he would try to bring volunteer services to Vincent’s senior citizens. He also said that the well being of Vincent’s schools is of the highest priority.

"I will go down to the Shelby County school board and fight for our schools," he said.

(Really Mr. Kidd? But it is fine that these kids you are such a staunch supporter of will have to attend school 4500 ft. from this large quarry?
*Mr. Kidd came around to our residence in his bid for Mayor and continually said "he wanted to keep Vincent small." What changed your mind Mr. Kidd? Money?)

McAllister said his primary goal is to bring in revenue and increase business opportunities in the town.

“As we all know, it takes money to run a city, and we’re short of it,” he said.
He also said he wanted to increase communication between the townspeople and the council.

Since McAllister is retired, he said he’d be a full-time mayor who keeps his door open.

(Read on to see what a study in contradiction this man is....)

Published Tuesday, August 26, 2008

As to the future, McAllister said, "We've got to do some business development, economic development to get our revenue up."

He also said, "I'm going to work with my contacts at the state level to see if we can get some things to help our revenues."

He said those contacts were friends he could contact to let them know "Vincent exits."

(We would love to know who those "friends" are Mayor.)

Published Monday, October 27, 2008

"I felt like I’ve got the time to devote to the mayor’s office. I’m retired. I’m going to be a full-time mayor," he said. "I’ll be here if people want to see me."

He definitely wants to see them.
(Except when they want to question him about the quarry and what he knew.)

McAllister identifies himself as a people person who’s looking forward to hearing citizens’ ideas about Vincent.

"I’m not an office person. I don’t stay in an office. I’m a people person," he said.

"As small towns go, revenue is a prime concern. We want to bring in business," he said. "Naturally, we want to increase and grow. We want to see our downtown be able to prosper and become what it was at one time."

McAllister plans to work with the industrial development board to look at prospective businesses that could come to Vincent, hopefully bringing jobs for residents. He said he’d like to see an employer bring 200 jobs to the area.
(My, what a convenient number he just happens to "come up with.")

Eventually, McAllister wants Vincent to be well-known — and not just in Shelby County.

"We want the people from the county level, to the state level, to the federal level to know Vincent exists," he said.

(Here we go with that "Vincent exists" again...)

Published Friday, August 28, 2009

McAllister also reminded the crowd of the town’s campaign to buy new lights for the Christmas tree.
(Excuse us, but didn't the Vincent Historical Society do that all on their own and donate the money to the Town?)

Published Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bridgette Jordan-Smith, a Vincent council member, confirmed she was part of a meeting with representatives of a company wanting to develop a quarry in Vincent, but would not comment further.

When asked whether she signed any kind of confidentiality agreement involving the issue, she refused to answer the question.

"I do not have any comment for the public and I am not going to answer any more of your questions," she said.

(The usual attitude from the convicted thief masquerading as a decent person. Tell us Ms. Smith, why does your husband keep writing bad checks to a local business? That is against the law in just in case neither of you knew.)

Repeated attempts to contact by phone Mayor Ray McAllister and council members Johnny Edwards, Larry King and Ralph Kimble were unsuccessful.
(Par for the course with all but Kimble.)

Council member Mary Lee Reynolds said she only knows that a lot of Vincent land has been bought up, but said she does not "officially" know anything about a proposal of a quarry in Vincent. She said she has not signed any confidentiality agreement.
(Mary Lee Reynolds has already "shown herself" by "working for WRQ" covered previously in this blog.)

Vincent town attorney Corey Moore confirmed at least some members of the town council and the zoning board met within the last month, individually or in small groups, in unpublicized meetings with attorneys representing the Vecellio Group of West Palm Beach, Fla. There were no meetings with the entire council present, Moore said.

Moore said no member of the council has signed any confidentiality agreement with the Vecellio Group.

(CYA mode in full throttle.)

(Enter the environmental vampire himself...)

Stephen Bradley of Stephen Bradley and Associates, a public affairs firm, said he represents the "entity that is bringing an economic development project to Vincent." He said the meetings took place on March 31.

"We had 15 or 16 people involved in the meetings. It was impossible to get everybody's calendar coordinated to meet at one particular time," he said. "The meetings were held at several times throughout the day."

Bradley said it was essential for the meetings to remain unpublicized because the possible project is a “very significant economic development project for Vincent.

Vecellio Group representative Rob Fowler, an environmental lawyer with Birmingham-based law firm Balch and Bingham, assured people that the company is using some of the best available mining technology, including state-of-the-art dust control systems.

"You hear people yelling and screaming about the dust, but we're capturing the dust," he said.
(Environmental lawyer? Anti-environmental is more like it. His history speaks for itself. What Mr. Fowler truly relishes is accusing anyone who opposes him as screechy, fear-mongering, no-growth zealots, etc.)

Published Thursday, May 7, 2009

A number of other community residents are frustrated by the lack of information available about the plans for the quarry.

They have tried repeatedly to get information from McAllister and members of the Town Council, but to no avail.

"All the mayor can say is, "I don’t know anything" but he obviously does because he’s been meeting with these people. He admitted to me that he has been meeting with them, but said he doesn’t know any details. The mayor hasn’t done anything but be evasive."
(Please see page at bottom of blog body; "Land sales to mysterious companies.")

McAllister has refused to return repeated phone messages left for him in an attempt to get his comments.
(But he is "a people person"...)

Vincent Town Attorney, Corey Moore, confirmed for the Shelby County Reporter on Wednesday that the Vecellio Group of West Palm Beach, Fla., has purchased more than 1,000 acres in Vincent over the last several years. Moore also confirmed that McAllister, members of the Town Council and members of Vincent’s zoning board met individually or in small groups with lawyers representing Vecellio.

Those meetings all took place on the same day, March 31.

"We elected the mayor and council members to represent us, and for them to go behind our backs and hold secret meetings is corruption. What are they trying to hide from us?"

Alabama’s open meeting laws require that municipal bodies give notice to the public before meeting, even when the body will simply deliberate matters it expects to come before the body at a later date and time. A town council is considered to be in a meeting when it has a quorum, or a simple majority of its voting members present.

Dennis Bailey, an attorney who represents the Alabama Press Association and its members, said the issue of serial meetings, like these, has not yet been litigated in Alabama courts.

A serial meeting is one in which a government body holds a series of meetings with small groups of the governing body, rather than as a whole, to discuss a public issue in private with the intent of avoiding a quorum.

He said courts in other states have decided that serial meetings are, indeed, in violation of those states’ open meetings laws.

"The position of the Alabama Press Association is that these serial meetings are in violation of the Alabama’s open meetings act and with the appropriate case we intend to litigate," Bailey said.

Published May 8, 2009

Mayor Ray McAllister said the Town Council regrets not being able to talk to citizens about the project.

"As Mayor, and on behalf of the Town Council, I want to say that we regret the delay in announcing this project," he said. "It was certainly not our intent to delay the announcement, but officials from White Rock asked for extra time to work out engineering and other details before the project could be announced."

In the press release, McAllister said that the rock quarry was originally supposed to be announced sooner. He said if it had been announced when originally intended, Vincent citizens would already have information about the project.

(And the citizens having information about the project is a bad thing because? Mr. Fowler & Mr. Bradley already alluded to that in the press by saying they would encountered "opposition from the citizens." You bet your Dixie cups you would have!)

Published Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Company representative Rob Fowler, fielded questions from those in the crowd, including Vincent citizen Mickey Kitchens "If you don't get the zoning permits, what will you do with the property?" asked citizen Ed Bartlett.

"I don't know. It's our property, so I imagine we'll hang on to it," Fowler replied.

Fowler especially attracted a small crowd through much of the meeting, with citizens directing their questions — or complaints — to him; "My property value is going down, and you can say what you want to about that," said resident Mickey Kitchens.
(The obvious question in this is why did they buy all of this land, investing millions of dollars and they did not have the required permits or "approval" of the officials? Because the "fix" has been in from the start.)

Council member Ralph Kimble, who has publicly stated his position against the quarry, said he wouldn't change his mind.

"You cannot put a dollar figure on quality of life," he said. "What they do here will affect that. I don't care what they say."

Well said, Mr. Kimble.

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