Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Half Million Dollar Budget Deficit

Mayor Evans announces the budget shortfall
Mayor George Evans announced a $470,000+ budget shortfall in his report during the bimonthly city council meeting, tonight. Several council members voiced concern about the budgetary issue. Among them were Dr. Williamson, Dr. Newton and Councilwoman Keith, all addressing the issue in their closing remarks.

The issue was not discussed fully during the meeting, due to the absence of Dr. Allen, Council President.

Another monetary issue raised was the demolition of the buildings at 1204 and 1205 Water Ave. A budget overrun was announced for the nearly $400 thousand project.

The Mayor also reported that he asked for a state audit of the city's funds.

It's a 'dog eat world'The issue drawing the longest discussion was the possible appointment of a new clerk and treasurer. Councilman Randolph complained that it was a "dog eat world" when he stated that the two currently holding the positions should continue to hold them.

Councilwoman Crenshaw asked that all future communications from the President, in her absence, should be made in writing.

Among other issues discussed at the meeting were repairs for the Public Safety Building. The building, which was recently re-roofed, is leaking, and in need of immediate repair.

Police Raid Home for Wayward Kids

Early Saturday morning, police raided the Reclamation Ranch, a home for at-risk teens in north Alabama. According to reports, 11 boys were taken into custody amid allegations that a child claimed to have been abused.

Initally, all of the children, which includes 20 girls and 20 boys, were taken. After 8 hours, according to the home's website, the girls were released.

The boys and girls dormatories are 2 miles apart, in different counties. The boys are housed in Blount County, the girls in Walker County.

Those in the ranch report police broke down the door with a battering ram, entering with weapons drawn. The Ranch's website accuses police of using "Waco" terminology. The school's superintendent was initially handcuffed, and it's staff was forced to sit at gunpoint while police searched the facility.