News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


For safety's sake, more jailers needed


My son is a jailer at the Morgan County Jail. I am appalled at the idea that an attorney thinks they would have any knowledge of what a jailer goes through during an entire shift. I can't even fathom it and I get a small amount of insight into it from my son.

My son is very tense about the idea of having "pods" with up to 40 inmates compared to the existing "cells" with up to 13 inmates and the possible danger of having to enter one of these "pods" to stop any problem that might arise with a smaller staff than needed. The attorney also mentioned 78 jailers being enough with only 200 inmates, when the present jail usually houses more than 200 inmates. I would like to see this attorney put herself in my son's position for an entire shift for just a week and see if she still has the same opinion.

Cindy Jordan


Voters must elect competent public officials


Please, can someone tell these men (Sheriff Greg Bartlett and Commissioner Stacy George) to stop their childish behavior, and do the job they were elected to do? It is becoming embarrassing to try to explain to friends and relatives what is going on with this situation. Are they competing for laughs and finger-pointing with our unbelievable City Council and mayor?

I suggest they go to a mutually agreed-on site and duel it out.

In the meantime, maybe someone who cares about our city and county will sign up to fill the vacant offices that result from the need for a few good, sane men and women willing to work together to serve our needs as voting citizens.

If you are not a registered voter, please go register and vote. Together we can make a change.

Margaret Wyker


Teamwork, unity needed for security


The animosity between a sheriff and the County Commission is as old as politics itself. The same rings true here in Lawrence County. I cannot comprehend why there is such a power struggle between a sheriff and commissioners, other than ego.

The only people who suffer are the citizens of a county, whose only concerns are the basic protection and service our sheriff's department is to provide. Budget and staff cuts, federal funding, taxes and much more come into play with a government entity such as our sheriff's department. All these issues are of great importance when it comes to providing security for our county.

I am a special agent-in-training with the Criminal Investigation Division unit of the U.S. Army, and our motto is "Do what has to be done." Morgan County Commissioner Stacy George is doing just that by leaving the "food bill" money in the sheriff's department. That money is the taxpayers' money, not the sheriff's. It has always been an unwritten law that the sheriff make it a part of his/her salary, which is great for the sheriff, but bad for the department when citizens of a county already face massive cutbacks within their sheriff's department.

Every county has a different way of handling such cutbacks, but I believe Commissioner George's idea of using the food money to better the sheriff's department can only help the department, and the citizens of Morgan County. Ironically, this has been one of my ideas for the past five years as I am running for sheriff of Lawrence County.

All the money in the world will not solve the problems of a sheriff's department. Teamwork, community policing and unity will.

Billy Steele


Elk River project not in public's best interest


In response to "A vision for the Elk River": The only vision I see coming to the Elk River is the destruction of paradise to put in a parking lot. I too, have a vision. Mine is to be able to ride on the Elk River and look at the trees, birds (especially the eagles, herons and ospreys,) wetlands and wildlife, and fish at the fishing hole at the marina site.

I don't want to look at a bunch of boats at a marina or land cleared for parking lots, campers and tents. I don't want to see condo after condo after condo, like we see now at Bay Hill and coming to The Pointe. I don't want to swim in a lot of pollution in the water from sewage, runoff and fuel.

Bubba Doss' vision is not for the community on Elk River, but for himself. He states several times there is enough interest in RV camping to support this project but I have never seen any requests for such from the community. There is no waiting in line at Joe Wheeler State Park, nor is there a line at Bay Hill for campsites except maybe on a holiday weekend. It's clear there is not a demand for a marina or restaurant on the Tennessee River. Bay Hill, Florence Harbor and The Pointe Restaurant would be making millions instead of shutting down. That's a lot of destruction for just a few added jobs to our community.

Will Mr. Doss and TVA share with everyone the profits? This land belongs to all of us. When will it stop?

TVA is having an open forum on the Marina project Thursday at Rogersville High School from 5 to 8 p.m. Please come voice your opinions.

Robin Burchfield


Killing beloved family pet inexcusable


On Jan 23, our beautiful Labrador retriever, Honey, was cruelly and mercilessly shot by someone with a pellet gun. The damage was so severe she had to be put down.

We live in the Punkin Center area. Except for venturing out for a swim in the pond behind our house, Honey always stayed close to home. She never bothered anyone and didn't have a mean or aggressive bone in her body. My small children thought of her as family, as did my wife and I.

Since Honey's untimely death, my family has been overcome with grief. Having to see your children cry over something as senseless as their beloved pet being shot is as difficult to explain as it is to comprehend.

I hope whoever shot her that day in the vicinity of Kirby Bridge Road will see this letter and will feel some of the pain we have been feeling.

Just because we live in the county doesn't give people the right to take free aim on people's pets, especially if those pets are clearly tagged with the owner's name and number, as Honey was.

If owners go to the trouble of tagging their pets, they don't usually expect them harmed without first being notified of a problem. After all, that's what the I.D. tag is for in the first place.

Hank Little


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