Gov't

Council Honors Guilbeau and Starns; DeJohn Sets the Record Straight

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By Dave Freneaux

In the first Central City Council meeting of 2011 Council Member Aaron Moak presented plaques to Marty Guilbeau & Russell Starns for their service to the Central community. Guilbeau & Starns, who both chose not to seek re-election to the Central Community School Board, served as appointed then elected board members since the inception of the school system in 2007. Council Member Moak shared his thoughts on the contributions both Guilbeau and Starns have made to Central. Marty Guilbeau is recognized as one of the handful of Central citizens most responsible for the creation of the Central Community School System. Russell Starns, one of that same small group pushing for Central schools, is also widely recognized as a key leader in the creation of the City of Central, which was an important factor in gaining approval for creating the school system.

In other business of the Council, Council Member Louis DeJohn read a prepared statement in rebuttal to an article that was written in another local publication. Mr. DeJohn denied having said what was written in the article and read, word for word, a transcript of what he actually said at the last Council meeting. Council Member DeJohn called for the newspaper and citizens to refrain from telling only half of the truth and to seek ways to settle differences and come to the center. Woody Jenkins of Baton Rouge, the editor of the Central City News, attempted to speak after Mr. DeJohn's statement and again at the end of the Council meeting. Mayor Watts adhered to the ordinance passed by the City Council regarding public comment and did not allow Jenkins to speak. There was a brief but heated exchange between Jenkins and Mayor Watts.

Above: Marty Guilbeau (top) and Russell Starns are presented plaques by Councilman Moak

108 Comments

  1. Bebe

    January 13, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Gosh Dave! I was just so happy about discovering the videos, and singing your praise for this, and now this!!…lol. I guess its one thing at a time, one step at a time huh?…haha.

    Since “we want citizens (and I will add here..newspapers) to refrain from telling only half of the truth and to seek ways to settle differences”… could you please tell everybody who was the one ‘heated’ in the “heated argument” you contend here between mayor Watts and Mr Jenkins?

    Your contention seems to have the air of a half told truth, and leads one to believe that Mr Jenkins is not in control of his own self or lost control. I’ve never seen Mr Jenkins raise his voice, lose control or lose composure, but I have noticed that habit with the mayor!

    and is their way, the council and mayors way, of ‘settling differences’ to silence those who they don’t agree with or can’t control? Is that the new policy??

    • dave

      January 13, 2011 at 6:07 pm

      Bebe, what more do I need to for you do than present the actual video and audio of the Council meeting? And, how desperately biased and protective must you be to have to try to twist the description “heated exchange” into some kind of half-truth. I am pleased to know that this is the best you can do, especially in light of the fact that I have presented the actual video for your comparison.

  2. Kyle

    January 13, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Mr. Jenkins never lose composure? Apparently Bebe, you haven’t been reading the Central City News for the last 9 months in which he has criticized and made personal attacks on some very good people in this community, including the two men mentioned above in the article. He has made personal attacks against them, certain council members who don’t agree with him, and their families. He has ridiculed them in his paper for no reason other than to create controversy. He has printed lies about them. He has lost his composure as a journalist who is no longer deemed credible to a large group of people out here in Central. Look at his paper compared to Dave’s. Dave’s paper has actual news about Central that I like reading. Woody’s paper is nothing more than propoganda. All Woody does is glorify those people that he can control, such as the school board and certain council members, and give them front page headlines praising them, while those that he dislikes will be criticized and attempted to be humiliated. I have attempted to give Mr. Jenkins a chance, but after his past few editions, I agree that it’s time for him to pack up and leave us alone. FOR PETE’S SAKE..HE DOESN’T EVEN LIVE IN CENTRAL AND IS NOT A CITIZEN OF OUR CITY!!! WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!

  3. Bebe

    January 13, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    LOL…Kyle are you Daves double!!…haha.

    You should keep reading Central Speaks then, if that is what you like. No one is forced to read either. I read both, sometimes. And to avoid answering the question, are we using distraction??

    I asked Dave a simple, direct question Kyle. But I do appreciate your view!

  4. Kyle

    January 13, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Thanks, Bebe. No offense to you, I was just venting!

  5. Mike Mannino

    January 13, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Wrong Dave. I was there 5 feet away. You dont show Mr Jenkins. He did not lose control and get into a heated exchange.The only one that got heated was the Mayor so it is a half truth. Not gonna happen because of the simple fact he is way more experienced than anyone out here in a public forum. We are all rank amatuers compared to him. You think that after 25 years in the State legislature and dealing with Presidents of the US that he is the least bit intimindated by a small town City Council ? Gimmee a break. Thats ridiculous. And Kyle you are not giving the fine citizens that you say Woody controls much credit are you ? I know most of them and you are so far off base its not even worth responding. Some of you are so outraged that a large part of Central population has the same opinion as Woody that you want to turn into some kind of conspiracy. Its called denial and its exactly the same thing that happened this past election cycle to the Democrats. Failing to admit that maybe, just maybe they are wrong. Keep it up. I like it. Will result in finishing up cleaning up this council in the next election. But dont say you dont understand what happened because the truth is out there, some of you just wont admit it. Kind of like an addict. Until they admit there is a problem, no way to fix it.

  6. Mike Mannino

    January 13, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Oh and Kyle. You need to learn the difference between personal attacks and calling somebody out on their statements or opinions. Quite a bit of difference and I for one wouldnt put up with personal attacks. Thats not what is printed.

  7. Marty Guilbeau

    January 13, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Mike,

    After the council meeting Tuesday I confronted Woody about a statement he made about me in a recent CCN article in which he accused me of leading the effort against Wal-Mart in 2000. I told Woody that the statement was a lie.
    Wednesday morning my wife found a letter from Woody stuck in the door at her store. With the letter Woody supplied a copy of the Central Leader from 2000 where I was quoted as saying I was opposed to Wal-Mart being built so close to Biltmore Subdivision. NOWHERE in the article was I mentioned as the leader, just a two sentence quote attributed to a Marty Gilmore.
    Woody’s statement about me “leading the effort” was a plain and simple lie.

  8. bebe

    January 13, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    Well Dave, let me first say…Thank you for starting and doing the videos!! Yes, I did watch them!

    But I saw no heated exchange. Everything I saw was pretty much one-sided and yes I did watch the video you had posted this morning. Where is it Dave that I can view this ‘heated debate’ on the video to which you refer??

    Dave I don’t twist things, the truth is always my goal. And I expect that best from you too, but of course, you don’t have to live up to my expectations. That would be your own personal choice.

    So lets just ‘un-twist’ these twisted up words Dave…”heated exchange”, which implies there were two people, both persons are ‘HEATED’ (some implications could be…angry, loud, out of control, cursing and damning, obnoxious etc) and EXCHANGE some dialouge. Can we agree on that?

    Your statement, “There was a brief but heated debate between Jenkins and Mayor Watts.” That Dave is a half truth that YOU present. I am just requesting the whole truth Dave, which would be it was actually a one sided heated debate, with only one heated (see implications above) and the ONE who was heated in the exchange was NOT Woody Jenkins! Just want to make sure that no one is misled by that statement, as you say, we don’t want to present any half truths, now do we?

    But you just can’t bring yourself to say it or do that, can you Dave?

    It seems Dave, you are the one who is desperately biased and protective, always just trying to maintain the status quo, and I hope one day you can break free from that.

    You are very intelligent Dave, and what you present as your best, could actually be sooo much better and more credible, if you would just stop trying to be Mayberry. Mayberry is just an illusion, and we both know that. Be careful Dave, you know what happened to Mayberry!

    Best of luck to you and your best Dave.

    And thank you, thank you, thank you for the videos!!!.. 🙂 That was actually an excellent move on your part. Where ever did you get that idea??….LOL.

    • dave

      January 13, 2011 at 9:55 pm

      Bebe, the idea of videoing and making available city and school board events was started two years ago during school board elections and has continued for important meetings throughout these several years. The need to make every meeting available has become more pressing each time misinformation is presented in a newspaper. Before you jump in and say gotcha, please come up with a better slur against me than your liberal over-analysis of the words “heated debate”. I can give you 50 from another paper. Why don’t you give me 10?

  9. Marty Guilbeau

    January 13, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Mike
    I have a challenge for you and everyone else. Before anyone makes another comment regarding Mr. DeJohn’s comments, take the time to listen to what Mr. DeJohn’s really said concerning the permit fees and then read Woody’s editorial. I’m looking forward to your take on it.

  10. Mike Mannino

    January 13, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Marty,
    I dont call that accusing or a lie, I think that was a compliment. You did participate in the effort quite heavily as did Jon Simmons and a few others that were greatly impacted. So leader maybe should have been leaders. Either way, I was right there with the opposition at the hearing which included you, 100%. This is the kind of parsing of words that some of you get bent out of shape about that dont change the debate one bit. Now if you were not involved at all, that would be a lie and an accusation.
    Lets deal with some FACTS:
    – Woody is a degreed journalist with the sheepskin to back it up. Now you can argue about what they are teaching but good luck arguing he doesnt know what he is doing. Dont waste your breath. Dave is doing an outstanding job with his paper but he is winging it, His degree is not in journalism. Good for him and I respect that. But who is right and who is wrong when it comes to writing a paper ? The person with a sheepskin or the one with a desire to expand his horizons ? Depends on how you look at it.
    – A personal attack would be saying Louis spoke Tuesday night and boy did his breath stink and he should have cleaned up before he came out in public. Reporting the words that came out of his mouth or summarizing what he said is not a personal attack. Its reporting the news. Quite a difference.
    – Attacking Woody because he doesnt “live” in Central as Kyle does is personal and not taking all the facts into consideration which some accuse Woody of. He owns property in Central, his daughter and son and law live here, so he has as much right as any of us to comment on City issues because he pays property taxes, business taxes and permits,sales taxes and his daughter and son in law pay taxes here. He has a vested interest as all the rest of us. So I’m tired of hearing that broken down horse hockey argument by the un-informed.

    All the whining and crying and emotion needs to stop and start dealing with facts that people can debate that can really make an impact. Should we be arguing about what Louis said ? No, the debate should be about what is the right solution for this permit issue. We have become sidetracked. Maybe somebody planned it that way to get away from the core issue, that our permit system is severly flawed. And so on ans so forth. Everything turns into an emotional argument out here and the real problems get lost in the noise. I’m sick of it, its worse than a bunch of inmature kids and its becoming embarrasing. What you you think that Hunter Greene thought about that circus Tuesday ? Were you proud of that ? Probably shaking his head as he left, wondering how the hell we ever got a City started in the first place. Kyle you are right. Wake up people. You cant see the forest for the trees and this is heading in the wrong direction.

    • dave

      January 13, 2011 at 10:06 pm

      Mike, since it is on our site, I need to point out the factual errors. Newspapers do not pay permit fees (first amendment issue I think.) Newspapers do not collect sales taxes as advertising is a service, not a product, and the papers are free. There are no newspapers printed in Central, ergo no sales taxes paid in Central for newspaper printing. Finally, check your facts on property taxes.

  11. Paul

    January 13, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    Small town politics are alive and well in Central, on that there is no doubt. I am considered by many an outsider because I moved here a little over 6 years ago. That is not my opinion of myself, I have actually been told that by some native born Central citizens. Forget the fact that my kids have always gone to school here (provate school) and that I shopped here even when I lived in Baker. I bring that up because it supports the contention that there is a class distinction in this community. It not only exists towards transplants, such as myself, but I have noticed that the divide is geographical as well. For a town without railroad tracks running through it, there is still two sides of the tracks.

    I went to numerous city council meetings in Baker and even served on a committee. Never once did I see the citizen’s voices stifled. Often times it would get out of hand, and we (the police) would have to restore order, but the public was never silenced. As much as Baker has going against it, they always had a strong sense of community. In that regards, we pale in comparison to them. It seems to me that this is all about ego and pride and I suggest that we would all be better off if served a big dose of humility.

    Life is not a competition people. Why can’t we take both papers for what they are and come to our own conclusions? This is not a soap opera so we can do without all the drama. My teenage kids are actually laughing at our example. Really! Laughing! Grown people acting like kids to the point kids say, y’all are acting like kids. When will enough be enough?

  12. Marty Guilbeau

    January 13, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    Mike,

    A sheepskin on the wall doesen’t give a person the right to take someone’s comments and twist them around just to mislead the public and smear them. Do what I suggested in the above post and let everyone know if what Mr. DeJohn said is what Woody reported. I listened to it today and all I can say is Woody has sunk to a new low.
    As far as his comments about me, I stand by the fact that Woody lied. For someone who has a “Sheepskin” on the wall, he should know better. Apparently, ethics classes were not required to get the ‘skin.
    Mike, I have an offer for you and Woody; lets have a public debate on the issuies, question each others motives, say what we want to say and then let the public make up their own minds. I’m ready any time, any place. The only request I have is that a polygraph test be given at the end to verify our answers.
    Looking forward to your reply.

  13. Mike Mannino

    January 13, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    I stand corrected. You are telling me that a newspaper is exempt from occupational license ? I have to defer to you on that. I knew they do not collect taxes on services and not printed here. However, you do both employee people and contribute to the local economy through purchases. Lunch, some supplies, gas, etc., etc. So both you and Woody contibute and have a vested interest.

    • dave

      January 13, 2011 at 10:45 pm

      Mike, I’m not saying I lack a vested interest. Difference here is that I do all of my shopping in Central and I pay property taxes in Central. Maybe the most important difference of all is that when I go to church, go to dinner with friends or visit my relatives, each of these is done in Central. And, in each case, I am worshipping, socializing and visiting with people whose lives are negatively affected by divisive misinformation on a regular basis. THAT…. Is a vested interest. I welcome those who moved to Central last month just as much as those whose families have been here for five generations. WE, the citizens of Central, have a TRUE vested interest.

  14. Mike Mannino

    January 13, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    Already did Marty, numerous times. And you know me as well as anyone out here and know me to be fair and objective. I dont care how you want to slice and dice it, the end result was that MrDejohn believes and supports giving Ch2 100% of whatever they collect, be it 10% less than what they collect now or whatever. Thats his opinion and I understand his logic but I dont agree. But I respect his position because we need all ideas out on the table to come up with the right answer. What I dont respect and where I have a problem is not standing behind what he says and admitting, yep I said it and heres why. If he did, I could handle that and no problem. If hes so proud of it and so sure about it, defend it, dont blast people because they dont agree !! I know we dont have professinal polititians and thats a good thing but some of these people need to take a course in conflict resolution. You and I work in the same place. Do you think we would get very far acting like this ? We better figure out the core issues, identify a solution, and get it implemented with out emotion and arguing coming into play or we wouldnt last long now would we ?

  15. Mike Mannino

    January 13, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    Oops just saw your post Marty. You know I wouldnt shy away from that but I have no influence on Woody so that would have to be up to him. Polygraph ? What for ? Opinions are not measured by such a device. What would be the purpose ?

  16. Bebe

    January 13, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    where did I say gotcha ya at?? My liberal over-anaysis of the words heated-debate? I was just trying to ensure we were on the same page, but I see that we read from entirely different books!..lol.

    I do so agree with you though that the videos are invaluable to stop this spread of misinformaton!!

    and Dave, no one is perfect, nor do I expect them to be. You are the only one who expects perfection, and sorry to tell you that is an illusion too. Not that the goal is not worthy, its just not reality.

    Sorry, if the anaylsis or me asking you to clarify the statement offends you. I just thought it was important to you as well to make that distinction in order to eliminate any half truth. I mean you had just stated previously in your article, that was your intention?

    And as you just pointed out to Mike, since this is your site and truth is your highest goal, you can now point that out and fix those factual errors! No need to say thank you!

    I can see you don’t appreciate my comment though or my help to achieve your stated goal because I am just scorned for it, or am I just being overly senstive now?…haha.

    Good luck to you anyway Dave! … lol.

  17. Marty Guilbeau

    January 13, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    Polygraph, why not, is someone scared? I know you well enough to know it’s not you. You, like myself have nothing to hide so why not. You know me well enough to know I’m full of information and I can promis a very eventful evening. We could even charge admission. That is why Woody will never agree to it. We can discuss everyone’s actions from the past as well as our opinions of where we need to go. But I have a better idea, let’s invite the school board and the council to join us! That way we can discuss CH2MHILL as well as what was covered up it the school system. It would make for a real interesting evening. And the polygraph would be the highlight!

  18. Kyle

    January 14, 2011 at 8:06 am

    I have had time to sit back and read all of the above comments. What is happening is exactly what Woody wants to happen….having us argue amongst ourselves over controversy that he created. We are all falling into his trap, including myself. Only this is, I am now smart enough to realize it. Everyone ask yourself this. Why is it that every time there is controversy, it seems that Woody is somehow involved in stirring the pot? Why is it o.k. for two council members to publiclly humilitate Sheri Morris at a council meeting a few months ago and spring a surprise attack on her and the mayor at a council meeting without notice to try and get rid of her for no reason? They embarrased her in front of an entire audience more than once and not many people jumped to her defense on here. But when the same thing happens to Woody at a council meeting, then it’s wrong according to some people.

  19. Kyle

    January 14, 2011 at 8:07 am

    Marty: Are you saying Woody left a paper in your wife’s business’s door? Has he bothered to talk to you or your wife face to face or give you a phone call?

  20. Jon Simmons

    January 14, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Mike:
    I often read these articles and comments, but am rarely inclined to post. So many of these things quickly deteriorate into the seemingly never-ending debate over the comparative accuracy, motivation and objectivity of the two newspapers. In my opinion there is no question which one is preferable, but my opinion will never sway anyone who believes otherwise. Eventually the marketplace will decide on one or the other (or both or neither.) Certainly it won’t be decided on an opinion forum, so I generally choose to stay out of it in this particular arena.

    However, when I saw my name in one of your posts it prompted more than a passing interest. It may be irrelevant to whatever the heck the main topic is here, but to reinforce one of your points you seemed to imply that I was one of the “leaders” of the opposition to Walmart (alongside Mr. Gilmore.) My memory is admittedly not as reliable as it once was, but although I did attend several meetings, I believe my comments were limited to questioning the location. Hardly in opposition, and certainly not a leader thereof; in fact, I acknowledged the need for a revenue source such as Walmart could provide, which has certainly been proven true. (My lovely wife would testify to that as well.)

    Again, maybe Walmart isn’t relevant to the main thread, but when one of the topics is setting the facts straight, I wanted to get at least that one correct, especially when names are cited. I assume Mr. Gilmore would agree.

    Now, what does everybody think of Les Miles?

  21. Jesie

    January 14, 2011 at 10:17 am

    “The ordinance passed by the City Council regarding public comment”
    As I was not at the meeting I can not say what happened, but sounds to me as if most of the people involved just got their feelings hurt and I am sure that the people involved new about this ordinance.

    My question is how does someone like myself or anyone else attanding the Council Meetings know this is required? If I had not read this today I would not have known about it. Is there any signs up inside the doorway telling anyone who comes to these meetings that it is required to fill out this card / paper to be able to question or speak?
    The reason I question this is at one of the meetings I did attend myself and several others were told by part of the council and others at the coincil table that we could sign a paper stating we wanted to let someone else use our time (3 min’s)to speak. Then when it came up after the meeting started we were all told this was not correct and was not allowed. So why not have the MAYOR state that if you want to speak you must sign the card then there can’t be anymore of this crap like I just read about above.

    • dave

      January 14, 2011 at 10:56 am

      Please watch the first five minutes of Tuesdays Council meeting. The clerk explained the rules and the meeting was recessed for five minutes to allow people to sign up. I do think you will see the Council amend these rules soon.

  22. Marty Guilbeau

    January 14, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Mike,
    I listened to Mr. Dejohn’s comments again this morning and here they are (uneditied).
    “They (CH2MHILL) have 90 % of the fees but 100% of the work and 100% of the liability and responsibility. Personally, I don’t think the city should get a nickel out of it. The 10% was originally set up incase they were not collecting enough money to cover the services without asking us to raise taxes. After 3 years, I think we can safely say that that money is not necessary so, what we’re doing, we’re taxing the people ourselves. And, I suggest that…I’m not on the permit committee and all, I haven’t even met with them, talked with them. But, when it comes down to the public comments, one of the public comments I will make is that if they have a fee structure where the city gets taxes, I will appreciate it if we delineate it and get it off of there. But I’m just one voice.”

    This is what Woody printed;

    At Tuesday night’s council meeting Councilman Louis Dejohn said that he thinks it would be a good thing if 100 percent of permit fees go to CH2MHILL.

    As you can see Mr. DeJohn never said any of the things that Woody printed.

    This is why a polygraph would be necessary in a debate with Woody.

  23. guest

    January 14, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    It is rather comical reading some of the statements from adults in these sections. I really do not understand why the editor of this newspaper feels it is his responsiblity to correct and try to discredit another local newspaper. I have lost respect for this paper because of these actions. Instead of a newspaper it seems to be a new gossip (Central Enquirer). It is also funny that Im sure the first thing Thursday mornings these same people cant wait to read the others newspaper). You choose to run your corrections but if we don’t read everyday week we would not know you made a mistake and printed false information. Why isn’t time spent on bettering this paper. I read these papers online. I pick the other paper up when I chose to and I take this paper from the mailbox and place it in the recyclable bin since I have already read the articles and have not asked for it to be mailed (just as I will do with the new phonebook and all the previous books that clutter the end of my driveway that I did not ask for). If every business acted/reacted like this paper trying to discredit their comepetion Central business’s would be in trouble and many would be looking for other places to shop.

    • dave

      January 14, 2011 at 4:39 pm

      Guest,

      I believe a community newspaper in a city with no other media, (radio or TV), has to live up to a public trust. In my opinion, that trust is to give the community the entire truth. If that involves telling the “rest” of the truth that has been told on the street, in a meeting, or in another publication, I will do so. If that involves correcting an error or untruth, whether the original telling of it was intentional or an honest mistake, I will do my best to give the public the correct information. If you doubt my willingness to print the truth, send me your verifiable truth that is responsible to print and I will do so. Verify for me where I have made a mistake or failed to print the whole truth and I will apologize for my error and print what is true.

      The only way what we print will discredit anyone is if they have told less than the whole truth.

      Just my opinion.
      Dave

  24. Paul

    January 14, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Jon,

    These posts are heated enough, now you want to bring Les Miles into the discussion! I don’t think Dave could sensor those posts fast enough! LOL

  25. Paul

    January 14, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Clairification on my last post – didnt mean to intend that Dave sensors our posts, he doesn’t- I meant moderate the language! A Les Miles discussion could probably get dicey!

    Just thought I would clarify that before it got blown out of proportion.

  26. Kim

    January 14, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    I am still confused. Where does C. DeJohn want the other 10% to go? I also did not see the brief, heated debate take place.

  27. mike mannino

    January 14, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    John,
    I have the utmost respect for you and Marty for all that you have done and you both know that. But you are both being drawn into a debate that has gotton off the core issue, probably just what they want.

    I payed both of you a compliment on the Walmart issue because its where I first saw both of you get involved in the Community, not that you were not before, but I first recognized then. To be absolutely accurrate, I guess I should have said on x date, at 7:01 PM, at x location, when the sky was blue, no wind, and a beautiful summer day, Mr Guilbeau and Mr Simmons both participated in discussing their concerns about the proposed Walmart at the corner of Sullivan and Wax Road. Their concerns were either about the location or the impact on the community. Mr Guilbeau was neatly dressed in brown slacks and Polo shirt and Mr. Simmons had just returned from getting a haircut and Blah Blah Blah.

    Does that really change anything about the fact that many of us admired you as someone willing to get up in front of a group and defend our community ? And someone that gave people like me the courage to do the same ? To me thats a leader and it was meant in the context of not some ring leader of a criminal enterprise but a leader of the community that sets an example of good citizenship. I’m sorry if you take offense to that so I will be careful in how I pay people compliments in the future.

    Now Marty,
    I stand by what I take Louis to mean. He clearly is OK with CH2 getting 100% of what they collect and I do understand his logic. Not questioning that one bit and we need peoples ideas, all of them to come up with the best solutions. Where this discussion breaks down is he is trying to deny that is what he meant. How else can you take it and what is the difference in the end answer ? Doesnt matter how you phrase it, how you quote it, 100% or not a nickel is the same thing. So why are we arguing about it ? The core issue, which is completely lost in ALL of this is the fact that we have a flawed permit system that needs improvement. Where is that discussion ?

    Now one more point of clarification for me if you will. How can Louis say he is not on the permit committee and has no input when I clearly heard him say at a council meeting that he personally negotiated the reduction of the fees for the school and fixed the commercial structure ? Who is on the Permit committee ? Were they involved in the discussion ? Who gave Louis the authority to take this on if he is not on the Committee? I know some of the answers but you go find out and tell me. Gotta watch what you say in these meetings or dont forget you said it.

  28. Kyle

    January 14, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    DeJohn wants to get rid of the 10% now, which would reduce the permit fees by 10%. After speaking with a couple of councilmembers, I want to reiterate again…the city council sets the permit fees by ordinance…not CH2M. The city council set the original and current permit fees at a rate high enough so that the costs of the permit office would pay for itself without having to subsidize it from the general fund, according to a councilman. In other words, let the people that are using and buying permits pay for the cost of the permit office, instead of “joe taxpayer” that never has to get a permit. The council had no data from EBR when setting the original fees as to how many permits were issued in Central, and they wanted to make sure they had enough money to operate the permit department so that they wouldn’t have to borrow from the general fund that would be used for street repairs, grass cutting, etc. Now that the council has almost 3 years of data to review, there is talk of considering lowering the permit fees by 25 – 30%.
    Councilman Washington pointed out that the current contract with CH2M says the council can give CH2M up to 90% of the permit fees collected to cover the cost of running the permit office. The council can choose to lower that percentage based upon actual permit fees collected. So, Dejohn wants to lower the permit fees by reducing the amount given to CH2M and the city not keeping the extra percentage.

  29. Jon Simmons

    January 14, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Mike, no offense was taken as I assumed none was intended. Your compliments are appreciated and humbling. I have no intention of being drawn into an unresolvable debate. I was simply clarifying a statement about my position on an issue that was both controversial and polarizing to many people at the time, and may still be to some. Believe it or not, some folks never get over things, even in Central.

  30. Marty Guilbeau

    January 14, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Come on Mike, Louis did not say “It would be a good thing if CH2MHILL received 100% of the permit fees”. like Woody reported. I posted word for word what Louis said and what Woody printed (no sheepskin required). Mike the bottom line on this one is Woody misled the public to smear Mr. DeJohn. But, hey, that’s just the kind of person Woody is.

  31. Central Guest

    January 14, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Guest,

    You are a fresh of breath air. I totally agree with your sentiments. I read online and basically use the paper that is delivered in the mail for the Sudoku puzzles then use both the CCN and CS to help light my grill when I am ready to smoke something.

    I work with several people from Central and we get a kick out of reading the CCN online and then go about an hour or two later to CS site just to see them refute what CCN printed.

    Since we are all having friendly debates about our council let talk about some real issues that everyone should be discussing: INFRASTRUCTURE.

    When are our leaders going to take a good hard look at the lack of infrastructure our city has. Central’s main streets are mostly state routes. Everyone is so quick to say those are state roads and they should pay for them. If that is the case our streets will never be improved. It will take local money to fix what needs to be fixed.

    How long has Sullivan Road been under contract for construction plans with EBR Parish. It seems like an eternity but it has been going on for the last 4-6 years (that is un-excuseable). Also, it didn’t help that a local group of citizens along with our Mayor had issues with EBR Engineering in regards to a 4-lane boulevard vs. 5-lane roads (which are a safety issue). What a great return on our tax dollars.

    Also, people don’t realize that Hooper Road (Blackwater to Devall) has been designed since the mid ’90s as a 5-lane section but the hold up was the battle over assessing sewer user fees to everyone who is currently dumping their sewer tail line into the existing ditch. Sewer must be designed and installed by the local municipality. At the time, it was EBR Parish responsibility now the responsibility lies on Central to fund this. This project is suppose to be under re-design for the last 2 years. What is the hold up on it. Is it funding or is it another case of a consultant taking longer than need to complete a design? When is it expected to be finished?

    Greenwell Springs Road which is currently being overlayed is supposed to have been designed and sitting on the shelf but since it is a state route the issue of who is going to pay for the design and construction of the sewer is holding it up. I guess with the overlay it will be like 15 to 20 years before it will be actually be built which will then be 30 years too late.

    Central will soon be like Zachary where our roads will not be able to handle the development that will continue in our area.

    Problem number one was that our new Central government promised not to raise taxes on its Citizens. This opened it up for Central School systems to request for a tax increase for new schools; therefore, taking away any taxing leverage our city would have for addressing our infrastructure needs. What we are stuck with is the Central portion of the half cents pothole tax voted on by the Parish back around 2005.

    It will be nice to have new schools but the city should have been progressive with addressing infrastructure to promote smart growth in which those additional taxes could have gone to the school board to fund new schools.

    Hopefully in future elections new leaders will be elected to help move Central in the direction is so greatly deserves. The last election was a step in the right direction where we had 2 new council members elected hopefully in the future it will replace 2 more along with our mayor.

  32. Kyle

    January 14, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Central Guest: You are incorrect with your statement about Central having to install sewer lines. East Baton Rouge parish is still responsible for all sewer work in Central due to the fact that EBR still collects the sewer user fees. They currently have some funding in place for the sewer work, the state of Louisiana is appropriating sewer funds thanks to our local legislators White and Richardson, and the city has kicked in some dollars to help speed up the process. The Hooper Rd widening wasn’t supposed to take place for another 12-15 years on the parish’s Green Light Plan. However, the city of Central stepped in and appropriated $7.5 million towards this project, which will move it up on the Green Light Plan to within 3 years. I know this for fact as I asked just a week or so ago from Michael Songy, who works with CSRS, which is the firm that manages the Green Light Plan. I asked him about the status of this project, and he told me it is moving on time. So, this city is helping pay for the widening of two state roads (Sullivan and Hooper) to help speed up the process. This was the mayor’s idea from the beginning, and the past council went along with it. That’s good thinking to get this project moving faster.

    As for the two newly elected council members you referenced, what exactly have they done towards infrastructure improvements?

  33. Mike Mannino

    January 14, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Guess who handles EBR sewer work ? CH2. ANother story in itself with Central connections.

    Kyle,
    Best explanation of the permit issue yet. Thank You. If Dejohn would have spent his 10 minutes reciting this, it would have been better received that the butt ripping he unsuccessfully delivered.

    Central Guest,
    You and I speak the same language on infrastructure ! I have been saying for a while, not another bit of development until infrastructure is in place or we are doomed to become south BR. And you are right about the pace. Look at the Central Thruway. A project that was approved via a tax election 10 years ago and all other projects in the package have long been completed. We always get the short end of the stick when it comes to parish funding.

  34. Ray

    January 14, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    Once again many thanks to the Guilbeau and Starns families for there service to our schools and city. I didn’t recognize a heated exchange in the video but I did perceive a sense of “Gotcha” when Woody was not allowed to speak. Just my opinion, but it seemed the council and mayor wanted Mr Jenkins to get a taste of how they feel when he writes opinions and articles directed at certain council members or the mayor in his publication. I’m sure Mr Jenkins will have a response but it will have to wait a week before being made public just like everyones else’s. Woody is not hard to find. He is always out in the public for you to question him. The man “Ain’t Skeered”.

  35. Marty Guilbeau

    January 14, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    Mike,
    All BS aside, you can make a half hearted argument that Mr. Dejohn thinks CH2 should get all of the permit fees collected. But his main point was that the city should not be receiving money from permits because the permit fees were intended to make the permit process self sufficient and not a revenue source for the general fund. He also thinks that the 10% was originally intended as a cusion until further data was collected.
    Agreed?

  36. Central Guest

    January 14, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Kyle,

    I will believe it when I see it. I can promise you that Sullivan Road has been purposely delayed due to the fact that Mr. Watts would not play by the rules/politics of Mr. Holden. It will probably be another 5 to 7 years before Sullivan is built. Hooper Road will end up being about a $20 – $25 million or even more with the sewer not to mention another couple million or more in ROW. It will probably take another 2 – 3 years in design if it is not held up for political reason then another 2-3 years to build. also, the Central Throughway wouldn’t be as far along as it is without ARRA funds.

    As far as Central putting up the money. The city basically had their arms twisted to put a portion of their 1/2 cents pothole tax money. Central thought that the Parish would fund the projects while using the 1/2 cents sales tax on other things they wanted to. They learned quickly that nothing would get done without having to use those tax funds on Green Light Projects.

    Ask yourself why South Baton Rouge projects are nearly complete and funded while Central Projects are still in the design phase except for Central Throughway.

  37. Mike Mannino

    January 14, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Agreed Marty ! Never in dispute. Its not halfhearted, thats what he means and there is not a thing in the world wrong with that because I know what the logic is. I just dont agree. My only complaint about the whole issue is that he is not willing to admit what he believes. Instead, he choses to create more controversy and more division about how this was reported though in the end, its means the same thing.

    You know I’m no hard headed dummy ! I am in full understanding of what he means and why. Do not have any problem at all about his position, it is fine for discussion along with other ideas.So why is there this much heated retoric ? People out here are not stupid, they know also but it irrates them to see someone deny the obvious. Take responsibility for your beliefs and statements and people will have much more respect whether they agree or not. Take a position, clearly explain it, listen to other ideas without condemning, and we will have far fewer arguments out here, just healthy debate.

  38. Kyle

    January 15, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Central Guest: There is a website for the Green Light Plan on the city of Baton Rouge’s webpage. You can get up to date information on projects and their schedule. Talk to people at DOTD and ask them about the Hooper Rd project, and they will be glad to explain the situation and tell you politics has nothing to do with it. That project was delayed back in the 80s…long before Central became a city. Now that Central is a city, our mayor and council have stepped up and got this project going and moving forward years before it was scheduled to start in the Green Light Plan…so please don’t say it’s being held up for political reasons. Same thing for the Sullivan Rd project.

    As for South Baton Rouge projects getting done faster, I can’t disagree. But it’s not just Central. There are projects in Baker and Zachary that don’t get done as fast either with the parish. That’s why the three mayors of Central, Baker, and Zachary have united to help one another.

    Simply put, all I see now is working PROGRESSING on improving Sullivan and Hooper thanks to our becoming a city. Had we not become a city and had our leaders step up, these two projects would still be 15 years away.

    As for the Thruway, check old newspapers and you will see that this $60 million project is the largest roadway project ever constructed in EBR Parish on a city-parish level. It involves several bridges and an overpass and had lots of environmental studies with it. It wasn’t as simple as widening a 3/4 mile stretch of George O’Neal Rd. In talking with Mr. Songy at CSRS, he explained that the Thruway project involved parish and federal funding and was awarded in seven different contracts. All that aside, the project is well underway and should be finished in a year. Joe Greco was instrumental years ago in seeing this project get started.

    Again, check out the Green Light Plan page and you will see the whole list of projects that haven’t been started yet, so I don’t think we can say that Central is being shorted.

    Finally, Mike…thanks for the compliment on that being the best explanation of the permit issue!!! All it takes is a phone call or two to get a good explanation.

  39. Marty Guilbeau

    January 15, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    One more Mike, Why did Woody spin it to make Louis look as bad as possible. You can’t argue that he didn’t. You and I and everyone else who actually read Louis’s comments know that he did.

  40. Kim fralick

    January 15, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    Who knows the intentions of a man’s heart except that man and God. I submit to you as Gods Word says in Jeremiah that man does not even know his own heart. So how can you Marty say that woody meant to discredit Louis ? Hum… Are you or I or anyone on par with God. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but call it that and not a fact!

  41. Kim fralick

    January 15, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Oh and let’s not forget , it is his paper. Any questions and disagreements should be directed to him. The coucil however works for us and is therby accountable to us. This of course requires the people such as woody to be able to speak at the meeting. Now there is a novel idea. Oh I forgot it is not novel, just follows the previously written ordinance:)

  42. Mike Mannino

    January 15, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Marty,
    To answer you I talked to Woody. He is very confused as to why people took things the way they did about that article. And knowing him as I have come to know him, I can tell you he was sincere. Why dont we all stop trying to make something out of nothing everytime a comment by a politian is made ? As I said, I have absolutely no problem with what Louis said because I understand where he is coming from. Nor did Woodys article give me any different impression. Louis firmly believes that this company does all the work on permits, they should get all of what is fair to charge, and thats it. I wasnt at the meeting but I clearly understood from what was in CCN where Louis was coming from. I really had to look hard to find anything that indicated to me what all of you are complaining about. Its no different than when he subs something out. I have a different view of how we should be managing but his logic is solid as a rock. So he should defend himself on that basis if that is what he believes. Problem gone as far as he said she said, everybody understands.

    So maybe we should stop looking for reasons to find fault with what either paper prints and look for fault in ourselves. Our bias, our views that cause us to read things that are not there, and our blind loyalty to people that will not let us admit the truth.

  43. Marty Guilbeau

    January 15, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Mike & Kim,

    The final paragraph in Woody’s article says “We Just wonder how long the people of Central will slumber before they wake up and make the politicians end this travesty”.

    The article only mentions ONE POLITICIAN, Councilman DeJohn! It does not mention the fact that Mr. Dejohn wants to reduce permit fees. Woody’s intent was to have the reader think Mr. DeJohn wants to give more money to CH2MHILL.

    Do what I did today, ask a few people to read Woody’s article then read Mr. DeJohn’s comments. Everyone said the same thing; You can make a case to defend Woody’s comment but you can’t defend his intent.

  44. Mike Mannino

    January 15, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Marty ???????????? That is not what I took from that article. Never crossed my mind. And the travesty is the permit system of which he speaks for many residents. ASk anyone that has built a house lately and see what they say.

  45. Kim

    January 15, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    Marty,
    We should all have a friend such as you to defend us.(no sarcasm here)
    Still think that he (Mr. Dejohn) should have just addressed the confusion of where he thinks the money should go, instead of a sermon about loving neighbors. Also think Woody should have been given a chance to respond. Of course my opinion is just that, my opinion and nothing more.

  46. greg

    January 16, 2011 at 12:16 am

    Mike, A few days ago I was trying to make a point to Dave, in your defense, dealing with some of the same views being discussed with this article. Mike, sometime back you took offense to Dave headlining an article about No Wrong Doing concerning all the information you were going through concerning CH2MHILL and the City. I felt like you were correct in your disagreeing with Dave. But now I believe you are trying to defend, with Woody, exactly what you were disagreeing with Dave about.
    So Dave, I withdraw my previous objection and apologize because I think I understand why you headlined the article that way now.

    • dave

      January 16, 2011 at 2:17 pm

      Greg,
      You are very generous. Thanks. Actually, you do prompt me to share the rest of the story about that article. I am not a journalist by trade, so there has been much “learning as I go.” One such lesson is the perception of the HEADLINE. I personally don’t read a headline and form an opinion on that alone. If I am interested in the issue, I read the article. I am told that “Many people only read the headlines.” News to me, but I heard it enough times since then to believe there is some truth in it.

      The article about Mannino’s record request began as an effort to report that the City had finally produced all of the records that were originally requested. Given the black cloud that some seemed to feel was hanging over the City, concerned that we may have corrupt City officials, I asked Mannino if he had yet found any wrongdoing. I know that if you ask Mike Mannino whether the headline and article, taken as a whole, represented the entire truth of the matter on that date, he would say it did. I know this because he told me that. I also know that he had concerns over how the headline read, but he also knows that the article, as a whole, was accurate.

      The article, as I recall, was only two paragraphs long, and maybe 150 words. In the first 25 words of the article the headline is explained without question. The lesson I learned is that some people DO only read the headlines, and I DO need to take that into consideration when writing a headline.

      Here is the really interesting part. If articles in another newspaper contained suggestive or sensationalistic headlines, but the article, taken as a whole, fairly represented the truth, I don’t think anyone would be terribly offended. The offense comes when the headline misleads and then the article itself goes on in great detail to attempt to confirm the misinformation in the headline in explicit detail.

      To confirm for myself that CentralSpeaks.com has not been guilty, over time, of crossing that line and betraying what I see as a public trust to attempt to present the truth, I often challenge our detractors to give me three or five or ten examples of such misinformation. That challenge always is accompanied by the promise to admit my errors and publish the truth if I have erred. Most, if not all, drop the issue at that point. I am not claiming perfection, only a sincere attempt to tell the truth and a willingness to admit when I am wrong.

      To sum it up: I learned a lesson in that headline, even though it was true, and even though the article told the entire truth. I have been more careful since then to try to make our headlines interesting and cause the reader to want to read the article, while acknowleding that headlines have a “Stand-Alone” power of their own, especially since some people apparently don’t read the article that follows. So, those that see headlines in ANY newspaper and don’t like them, read the article then see if you still disagree. If you do, please speak out, often and loud, because my friends, neighbors and family in Central deserve the truth from Central’s media.

      Just my opinion,
      Dave

  47. Marty Guilbeau

    January 16, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Kim,

    Bottom line; None of this would have been necessary if Woody had printed what Mr. DeJohn really said.

    Mike,

    In an earlier post I challanged you and Woody to a public discussion to question our past actions and motivies. The only condition I have is that a polygraph be given at the end. That offer still stands.

  48. Mike Mannino

    January 16, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Dave,
    I have never questioned what you print as being true, in fact commended you for that. Just sometimes you dont print all of it right away.

    MArty, still waiting for my answer on why Louis is involved in the permit system if he is not on the committee?

    • dave

      January 16, 2011 at 5:58 pm

      Mike,

      I am proud not to print everything that appears as soon as it is possible to print it. Yes, it makes for sensational headlines, but you run the very real risk of misinforming the public. Goes back to my old-school belief that printing a community newsaper in a small town with no other media forms requires you to honor a public trust. I give you the example of the complete and total MISINFORMATION facebooked and printed in a newspaper regarding RedFlex. The ENTIRE Council was told it was a demonstration, EVERYTHING was above board, it was requested and initiated with the participation of everyone who should have known about it. It actually began as an initiative of a Council Member. Everything was fine……..except for the misinformation that was written about it, blaming people for things they did not do.

      I print everything that is responsible to print, when it is responsible to print it…..like when I know it to be true. Let’s face it, a little patience goes a long way in a small town. You can’t un-ring a bell. Tarnish a reputation that has taken someone 30 years to build in a small town, and you can damage a citizen more than someone who does not live in Central could ever know or care. Like the poor guy falsely accused and arrested for the Atlanta Olympics bombing said after everyone figured out he didn’t do it: “Where do I go to get my good name back?”

      Other than the bomb scare at CH2 last year, I can’t think off-hand of any news story that would have done damage to the City or its people by waiting a week to be printed. Do I print things that “Might” be true? Nope. Would CentralSpeaks.com be a more interesting paper to read if I did? Yep. Would I run the risk of damaging my friends, my neighbors, my relatives and my City? Yep. Will I EVER print something I don’t have good reason and good research to beileve is true just because it sells papers or advertising? Nope. That’s just me…..because Central is my home.

  49. Marty Guilbeau

    January 16, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Mike,

    I don’t think there was a permit committee when the school system permit issue came up. But you can call Louis to ask.

    I have a question for you; Wether CH2 perfroms the service or the city contracts it out, Do you think the city should receive revenue from the permit fees if they do not have any expenses related to the process?

  50. Mike Mannino

    January 16, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    No I do not Marty. Should be revenue nuetral, at the lowest cost available to the people who must obtain a permit. And therin lies teh problem with teh current setup. Anyone knows that the more people you put betweeen a service or product and the user, the more it costs as each one tacks on a profit. For this system, we had CH2, who contracted to Safebuilt and claimed to only Keep 10% with the 80% going to Safebuilt. We got 10%. Now from what can be determined, because thats hard if not impossible to find out from CH2, their people at the City Services office did work on public services and permits along with other contracted items. So its basically amounted to double dipping for permit management. Recently Safebuilt was cut out, the Company that was being given the 80% for doing nothing. CH2 took over. Somewhere in this convuluted mess, there is a big percentage reduction possible if you assume Safebulit was getting 80%.

    Add into all this mess, Safebuilt is about 50 miles from CH2 in Colorado along with several other companies that donated to Kip Holden and poof , when he won, CH2 got the sewer contract in EBR that has now tripled in cost. Similar stories all over this country on water projects they handle. Look it up.

    Call me suspicious, call me cynical, call me anything you want. Too many strange coincidences with this company to not be something going on.

    One last thing. I had a EBR Engineer that worked with the sewer project tell me that CH2 was nothing but a criminal enterprise working as a legitimite business. Take that however you want.

  51. Kyle

    January 17, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Dave:

    Your comment on 1/16/11 at 5:58pm sums things up pretty good for me as to how a paper should be printed. WITH FACTUAL INFORMATION. Keep up the good work!

  52. Kim

    January 17, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Dave,

    Was there or was there not “a brief but heated exchange between Jenkins and Mayor Watts”? There is a reason for this question?

    • dave

      January 17, 2011 at 2:59 pm

      I was there. I watched the exchange between Mayor Watts and Jenkins. That was my take on it. Further, there is a videotape including audio that is posted for all to see and hear. Anyone can interpret for themselves. If you believe the issue is actually about whether the exchange was “brief” and/or “heated” you would be mistaken. It is actually about an attempt to take the an obscure and subjective description of those few moments of the Council meeting and somehow try to characterize the description as a “half-truth”. I am extremely pleased that this is the best my detractors can come up with. If you want to take my subjective description of of that brief interaction and lay it side by side with the blatant misinformation you will find elsewhere, you will find the comparison laughable.

  53. Kim

    January 17, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    Dave,

    Wow! I was just asking. I did not make the council meeting. With 5 kids, a business to run and a husband who works 80+ hrs, it is hard to make a lot of the meetings. I did however view the video(thanks for posting). I was very surprised to read that there was a heated discussion as I have never seen Woody “heated” and to be honest am not sure that he was then. Now of course, I did not see his face, but his voice seemed very calm. Now if you are just venting about what you have read on the other sites, I understand. However “I” did not attack but only asked a question. If I were to have a conversation without someone about something we disagreed about and “they” became angry, but I kept my cool:),I would want someone to say the following: Kim and “someone” had a disagreement. Someone was very agitated, but Kim kept her cool. If that is truly what happened, which I am not sure because I was not there. Hence, me asking the questions of you. Now I do disagree that CCN has “blatant” misinformation at least as far as I can tell.

  54. Mike mannino

    January 18, 2011 at 8:00 am

    Kim,
    I was 5 ft away and I had a different take. I like you, have never seen Woody lose his cool. Dont think this group is capable of driving him to that point. Woody is as cool a customer as you would ever want to deal with and certainly has dealt with much more turmoil than a small City Council meeting. My observation, the only ones heated were sitting at the head table and in a corner of the room in a group setting a very poor example in my opinion. Most of the meeting, including acceptance of awards by 2 very deserving people,and the Dejohn speech, was a bashing of Woody and those who think the same way as he does. Great way to make peace !!!!

    • dave

      January 18, 2011 at 8:35 am

      Mike, Help me understand here. “Most of the meeting, including acceptance of awards by 2 very deserving people ……… was a bashing of Woody and those who think the same way as he does.” Are you saying that the acceptance of the awards was a bashing? If so, I may need to go back and watch the video. This is a sincere question.

  55. Debbie

    January 18, 2011 at 9:41 am

    I remember peace in Central…..
    Until……..
    Why????

  56. guest

    January 18, 2011 at 10:05 am

    It appears that although the comments of readers that saw the video all agree that there did not appear to be anything “heated” between the two individuals. Only one person appeared to be heated. It also appears that Dave will stand by what he has written whether it is right or wrong as to not appear to be what he is so often critizing about. This was “his opinion” as to what he saw and others seem to view it differently. Without writing the actual transcript in every article it seems that the editor is printing his interpertation of the actual event (as in this case). As we can see by the comments different people take words different ways which is why we should be careful not to condemn others. Im sure if we had a third paper we would have a completely different view to consider.

    • dave

      January 18, 2011 at 10:20 am

      Guest,

      What do I have to do? Videotape the meeting for you and pay to host in on the web so you can decide for yourself? Would that convince you that I’m not trying to misinform? Oh wait, I did.

      I continue to be amazed that this is such a big deal to a few. Gosh, if my choice to give a brief subjective description of the exchange, and having a few disagree with my perception, is the best you can do to call my integrity into question, have at it. Then, what a fool I must be for going to the time, expense and trouble to videotape the very exchange I described and put it online so that you can see and decide for yourselves. Guess I should have withheld the video in order to protect my massive conspiracy to subjectively characterize a 15 second exchange. But again, if this is the worst you can find to criticize me about, please go on.

      If you want to truly get to the meat of the issue of truth in media, go find 5 things I have printed which you can verify are incorrect. Then lets talk.

  57. Central Resident

    January 18, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Dave,

    There is really nothing you can do or say to argue with the “Woody puppets”. If any of Woody’s defenders think your style of journalism is ANYTHING like the yellow journalism he spews in the Central City RAG then they truly have blinders on. It is nothing but a personal vendetta against the Mayor and certain council members, he has an agenda in Central – whatever that may be, it’s very obvious!

  58. Mike Mannino

    January 18, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Debbie,
    I am going to try to answer your question in a way that promotes fixing this so please take it in that light. We cant fix something until we identify the problem and admit it is the problem, This is my take and I welcome your response.

    Until this last election, people sat back and have been in a waiting mode. Waiting to see how things would shake out, what path we were on, what we were going to set as our goals. Many had reservations about this incorporation mainly centered around ruining the country atmosphere we all have enjoyed out here. I didnt because I believe we can do a much better job than EBR has been doing with the money they take from us. We havent heard much in the way of resistance because people were willing to give this a chance. But make no mistake, in reality, a lot of people were becoming disenchanted about some of the things going on. It was there, lurking in the background, waiting to bust loose. An election is the perfect time for that to happen. I cite the recent US elections as an example. And explode it did when candidates surfaced that reflected the feelings of a lot of people in Central. It wasnt caused by any newspaper, it would have happened with or without either paper. Its part of the political process. People get frustrated and they take it out on elected officials. To keep blaming this on Dave or Woody is absurd, they are just reflective of segments of the community and their paper(s) mirror their own feelings and bias.

    I’m going to be brutually honest about the major issues confronting us.

    1- CH2 has driven a wedge in this community. Whether some of the things being said are true or not, perception is reality and its been a thorn in the side of this administration. Sometimes, for the good of the community, you just have to cut a sore out.

    2- Appearance of arrogance caused at least one council member to lose his seat. Some of that still remains and needs to be tempered. Passion is one thing but down right arrogance is unacceptable to many people out here. Humble pie needs to be on the menu.

    3- Some of the administration has been very vocal about running a newspaper out of the City falsly blaming it as the problem in this city. That needs to stop as an offering of peace. It wasnt teh newspaper that caused this, its been there all the time.

    There are many “little” issues but addressing just those 3 would go a long way towards creating civil debate out here instead of the out and out hostility.

    The majority of the community is willing to back our current officials if they are willing to listen to all citizens input and not just a selected few and they deserve our support. Many have noticed that the Mayor has systimatically been addressing many concerns and that is a positive. I know I have and I commend him for that. However, it is being overshadowed by political retoric that is not healthy. This has turned into a tit for tat war and will only escalate until someone decides to do the right thing and put an end to it. That is what leaders do.

    Lastly, despite all that has happened in the last 8-10 months, it is a net positive. Most realize now there is a wide diversity of opinions out here and some things need to change in the direction we were headed to appease people. To continue to fight the tide will only result in more friction. Just my opinion……..

    • dave

      January 18, 2011 at 7:54 pm

      Mike, A couple of observations on your comments. You identify three “issues” you believe need to be “addressed”. You also state what you think everyone else needs to do about these “issues”.

      You say CH2 has driven a wedge and your solution is that THEY leave.

      You say people have the wrong attitude and your solution us that THEY change.

      You say your friend’s newspaper is not a part of the problem and your solution is that THEY quit blaming that newspaper.

      So all of the problems get solved if everyone else changes, with no effort, no compromise, and no change required on your part or on the part of those who share your opinions. Doesn’t seem quite fair that you get to decide what is wrong and sit back and tell everyone else to change. I sometimes joke in my transportation company and tell my people that the definition of Teamwork is everyone working together to do what I want done. But in that case, I am joking. It doesn’t look to me as if you are.

      Another thing that jumped out at me was that you say “…true or not. Perception…” is that CH2 is a problem. Then you say the “appearance” of arrogance is the second problem. If companies and people have to go around not only dealing with the real challenges of life, but positioning themselves to avoid people choosing to attribute things to them whether they are real or not, battling “perception” and things that are “real or not”, no one will get anything done and everyone will be running scared all the time. Does not sound like a fair basis to be challenged to change, as you have done.

      My last comment is a point and a question. You have come out many times, and again in this last post, as having already decided that CH2M Hill must be run out of town. It seems, especially in Central at this time when there is such an awareness of conflicts of interest, that your status as one of the committee members charged with drafting the RFP/RFQ for the contract CH2 now holds, and which it is assumed they will again bid for, you would avoid bringing such an obvious bias into the process. I truly do not care who gets the July 1 contract, as long as they are competent. So, how do you justify holding your publicized opinion that CH2 must be run out of town, yet sit on the committee that specs out and writes the contract you must know they will bid on? Doesn’t it predispose you to seek specifications and a contract arrangement that would be unfavorable to a company such as CH2M Hill?

  59. Jimmie Keith Kepper

    January 18, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    Mike, how hypocritical can you possibly be??? You call into question the very things you say are causing the division. You are no better than the ones you criticize!! Are you blind to your own divisiveness?? You make statements such as the one in an above comment about everyone knows it’s less expensive when you remove a middle man!! That is total crap!!! On the face it sounds good, but it has been tremendously disproven where governments are concerned!!  Per your statement it would save money if we buy garbage rucks and the city should use their own personell to operate them and pick up the recyclables!!  I guess our federal goverent should own factories and build their own tanks?  Somehow you would choose to think that goverent is an efficient system?? Were you at the council meeting where the decision had to be made concerning a credit card for out chief of police?? Efficient would not be my take. Even the business you work for has many middle men in their vendors and maintenance and construction personnel because it has proven less profitable to do it otherwise!! 

    You make a broad statement about the many people in central that are unhappy about this or that?  How many is your “many”? 20, 30, 100 .., have you polled all of central? Where did you get this, from the 30-40 people that agree with you?? I am fairly sure that does not constitute a “many”!! 

    It’s very easy to say whatever and dress it up to sound like there is some kind of basis to it, but that doesn’t make it accurate or true!!  

    All this being said to make the point that whatever you may think and however you feel about CH2MHILL, or certain councilmen, or how handing out rewards somehow bashes Woody!! (OMG!!! Are you freaking kidding!!!) The problem in central actually started when Russell Starns ran his first campaign for school board and the Russell Bashing began!!  It grew leaps and bounds during and after these latest elections and it was primarily fuled by the misrepresentations, slantings and twisting of truth in Central City News by Woody Jenkins!!! 

    You need to step down off your high horse, your hands are as dirty with the grime of divisiveness as anyones!!  Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with being divisive, just don’t try to hide behind being all for unity and then post the kind of crap that can only cause division!!!   Be whatever you want and for whoever you want cause I surely will.  But don’t pretend to want peace and unity while you toss hand grenades!!!

  60. Mike Mannino

    January 18, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Both of you stick your heads back in the sand where it was. If you and I cant deal with reality, nothing will be solved. I never claimed to be lilly white or above all of this. I’m a humble man and admit I’m just as guilty as anyone. Can you ? I doubt it. Becuase you 2 are on a high horse as much as anyone in this community. And Keith, I made my point before about how many people feel this way, you can believe it or not but only a fool would deny there is a large number of people that feel the same way or else we would not be having this discussion. We already had this discussion and its at least 48.9% of the people that voted that we for all practical purposes, is all we have to use as a benchmark. I would venture to guess its even more now but thats just me.

    I wont argue about the middle man concept anymore because you are blinded by your bias, my comments are based on years of experience, take it for what its worth which you seem to think is nothing. Your analogy is absurd and you know it because you take it to an extreme and an absolute which is not what I have said and you are very aware of that.

    @Dave, where did I say attitude, I said arrogance. Quite a difference. IF you didnt think Louis’s little speech and the way Woody was treated afterwards was arrogance, I dont know what your definition is but its a classic example to me.

    As far as my being a member of this committee, I am just that, 1 of 21 with the right to my opinion as a memeber just like anyone else. The decision wont be mine alone, it will be a concensus of the committee so your argument is bogus. To imply that everyone on that committee doesnt have their own opinion and some might be in total agreement with me is to deny reality.

    Lastly, you both ignore the positive comments but I expect no less. I need to go. I have to go to the bathroom to relieve myself………

    • dave

      January 18, 2011 at 9:09 pm

      Mike,

      I gave you a level-headed, calm, analytical response to your proposed issues that you say need to be solved. Why the attack? I really don’t mind if you disagree with my opinion or even believe my logic is flawed. Isn’t that what a discussion is for? I am not real sure, but I think I got called a fool, got told to stick my head back in the sand, and I’m still trying to figure out what the last comment was supposed to imply.

      If you are upset because Kepper took a swing at you, please go at it with him, not me. I have participated in an intelligent exchange of ideas. If my lack of agreement with your statements makes you not want to talk, just tell me you don’t care to discuss it. A part of the solution to the issues in Central is the willingness to hear the opinions of others and not summarily dismiss them because they do not align with yours,

      I am still open to a reasonable exchange of opposing ideas, but not real interested in getting mad about it.

  61. Kandi

    January 18, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Wow!!! I blacked out a few times reading all of this. Have we gone mad? Really…”heated exhange” got this much drama? Really I am kinda shocked and feel moved to comment. I am a huge fan of words and happy to use them in my own crazy way…clearly it is a matter of time before I get in trouble…..

    Here are some other options you may feel better about. Please take a pen and scratch out the other and add one of these for a more pleasant read….
    Intense moment …….freakish event
    Awkward moment ……….odd encounter
    Death stare……craziness

    • dave

      January 18, 2011 at 10:00 pm

      Kandi,

      Ok, it is time to end this whole crazy misunderstanding. It all started when a friend invited me to go hunting a few weeks ago. It was bitterly cold and I hate to be cold. So, I took myself to Cabela’s and was shopping for those electric hunting socks, the ones that you attach to a battery and they heat up and keep your feet warm. While I was shopping, on that same aisle they had undergarments with batteries to keep you warm too.

      Well, I figured it was too good to be true, but bought them anyway. Sure enough, they didn’t work so good. Only one side would get warm.

      So, the morning of the last Council Meeting I went to Cabela’s and asked them to give me my money back. You see, I had to return them because only one side got warm. This is where I think the confusion came in. I was there for an Exchange of One Sided Heated Briefs… And some of you thought I meant a One Sided Brief Heated Exchange. Sorry for the confusion.

  62. Mike Mannino

    January 18, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Fair enough Dave. I guess I did lump Keiths comments with yours as one response.

    I made an honest, humble attempt at getting to the root of some of this. Some choose to take it as self rightous, but I included myself as a culprit so I dont get where that came from. I apologize to you. But its time we all talk about the elephant in the room and quit ignoring it or we are stuck in the mud. Sometimes, the truth stings initially but in the end, everyone knows whats on the table.

    • dave

      January 18, 2011 at 9:37 pm

      Thanks Mike. I appreciate your willingness to talk. You and I have
      disagreed amicably in private many times. I am open to talking.
      Interested?

  63. Jimmie Keith Kepper

    January 18, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Mike, there is a grand difference between the numbers of people voting for a candidate that ran an election Campaign and assuming that those votes were all cast because each of them were unhappy with or disliked the other. Also mike, again you have failed to indicate that the 48.9% only represented 22% of the available voters in central. This means that 78% of the voters in central were either for Mac or indifferent. If we are going to be accurate then let’s be. 

    Simply because you want to call my analogies absurd and extreme doesn’t make them so!! They are characteristic of other privatized functions of our city governments services and a representation of privatization on the federal level. There are thousands of other examples. As usual you would call foul where none exist!

    You are welcome to your opinions, but let’s be sure they are only your opinions and mostly unfounded! Your years of experience in no way out way those of mine or anyone else’s!  Did you forget you work for exxon? Does that somehow automatically prepare a man for issues of city government better than someone else’s job or education prepares them?  I would argue that it does not. 

    I don’t and never have questioned your experience or intellect. I do question the presumptive manner in which you sometimes share opinion as fact. You indicated my bias, bias toward what?  What’s right and accurate?  Not slanted and presumptive!! Then I would agree, I am bias! 

    You know well my feelings about our problems here!! I know well that yours differ greatly from mine! I’m sure we will continually but heads on these points!  Good night and I hope everything came out ok!

  64. Mike Mannino

    January 18, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Nice Dave ! But what did the other side do ?

    Keith, I dont think we want to use the Federal Government efforts at contracting as a shining example of anything do you ? In fact, probably an example of what not to do. The only thing they have been successful at running is defense and only because they can throw money at it. And to think they want to run health care. What a scary thought.

  65. Mike Mannino

    January 18, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    Keith,
    I want to make sure you are not misunderstanding what I have consistently said about contracting. I’m 100% behind it. What I am not in favor of is contracting with someone to only have them turn around and sub the work out. That is what I mean by unnecessary middlemen. I have never come out in support of City run services. That is what is sinking many big cities due to pensions and other things associated with having their own employees. BTW, what do you think of Fred Raifords credentials ?

  66. Kandi

    January 19, 2011 at 6:54 am

    Dave
    Thank you for clearing up all the “heated exchange” fun. Maybe now we can move on to bigger and better things. 🙂

    I am still concerned! Why does this spirit of wrong wording get so much attention!? Why do we spend days discussing …..inquiring….poking …..to break
    Down something so foolish. I wonder why we are not discussing the more important issues here. I have been known to miss some things but here is what I think we could have….should have been discussing. It seems that for a WHILE now some council members have wanted more control of people speaking at meeting. (item 1 that could have been discussed). Seems that is a hot topic and really makes it hard for lazy people like me. I often don’t have time to check agenda before meeting and usu respond when a issue is being discussed and I feel like I have something to share. Not anymore. You have to fill out a card. I don’t really like this but I intend to follow the rules. Here is the freaky part. That night was (to the best of my knowledge) the FIRST night to put this in effect. The meeting was put-on hold for the first 5 min to give everyone a min to sign card if they wanted to speak…..and the meeting began. The first night…just said we are doing this…something that has been discussed for months…..applied to everyone!!!!! Why can’t we just discuss this issue!!!! Why does this have to be a woody thing. He knew the rule..I knew the rule(and again am not crazy about it). So crazy!!!!!!! No on to the other. Once again we are quick to judge the motives and intentions of Mr. Louis. Am I going crazy or did he never mention Woody or CCN? Could that count for something??? I know people are falling out of the chairs and dropping their phones…..I have seen others throw out names and attack on a regular basis. We have no problem reading and posting and defiling. Whether you and I would have done it like he did can we try to understanding where he was coming from…without our self righteous attitude that we know best!!! I was there and can ask Mike I truly desire to be fair and open minded. Woody my not have been freaked out or heated or out of control…but he was somewhat upset and did stand and break in..should he be allowed to speak? Well on the first night…of the new rule…let’s be honest if it were Dave and it would have been the same circumstances………

  67. Mike Mannino

    January 19, 2011 at 7:57 am

    Kandi,
    You know I respect you as a calm voice in a heated Central right now. Couple of comments.

    I totally agree with you about the rucus around wording. Its kinda childish in a way. I prefer to look at te intent and I have already discussed many times on here that Louis’s intent was not malicious, just his opinion.

    Correction on Woody. He was following the exact protocol that had just been clarified by the Mayor. He had turned in a card to speak as required and just clarified by the Mayor. He went to the mike to speak on a subject on the agenda. Clearly his right and handled according to the ordinance. Now, heated ? If youu want to see heated, you will have to look somewhere besides Woody. WOnt happen. Now you can easily apply that description to me quite regulary, but Woody ? That would be something I dont think could ever be applied to Woody.

  68. Kandi

    January 19, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Mike
    *caution you are entering Kandiland (aka know as my brain and thoughts) you havd been warned* 😉

    Ok so I have been under the impression that only items that were up for discussion from council got public comment. Which is why I thought that that item was not even “card fill out” worthy. Seems kind interesting that we would all line up after awards or even kids achievements. Not that we would but this mindset would open the door for that..right? I am asking because I don’t know all the rules. I think I have a general idea and then something like this comes up and I realize I don’t know all the details but need to learn. Let me just say friend that if you were on the council and just gave a presentation and someone(anyone) wanted to get up dispute you junk….I would defend you and your right to share it. The should you have… Why did you do it like that… All that I would prefer to ask you in a more private setting. Just me..just being honest….just hoping just once we would truly see hurt people who feel pushed often get tired of playing games and will go to
    Great measures to see it stopped. Can’t dispute what these people feel…if I am working hard and I feel like someone keeps kicking me in the butt…snap I can promise what I would do. Just sayin :/ I have said all along if we would try to understand where each others coming from maybe we could at least have compassion… Mercy and some grace!!! I need it. So I choose to give it.

  69. bebe

    January 19, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Kandi,

    I pointed out the contradiction in the article because it was so stark in contrast to Daves previous words preceding the statement and very misleading….But Dave chooses not to correct his own errorneous public perception and rather than admit that there is truth to it being a half truth, which it is, his pride allows it not, and so he minimializes it and makes it a big joke. That it seems, is Daves style here.

    He does the same thing he always accuses his competition of, along with his ‘friends’. He just does it more deceptively, in my opinion, and that doesn’t make him better as he sees it. I see it as making him worse actually. Or we could just say that it was just Daves unique perception and bias, and by accepting that as the truth, we can see how errorneous Daves perception can be. That too should put one on alert with his articles, that require any perception on his part.

    Dave also states in a previous post here, “A part of the solution to the issues in Central is the willingness to hear the opinions of others and not summarily dismiss them because they do not align with yours.”

    I had to laugh on that statement because I guess maybe he believes that as long as your name is not Woody Jenkins, or you have an opposing viewpoint counter to his own or this administration.

    If he truly believed that, he would have something to say when another with an opposing view stood up to speak, but was silenced and denied his right to speak or defend himself. But Dave says nothing about that, not then or now, or maybe Dave isn’t allowed his own opinion, unless it meets approval with those who support his paper? If it is honestly his belief though, it is extremely weak, if we consider instead his actions.

    Let us consider the definition of hypocrite,
    a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, esp. a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.

    That is what being hypocritical actually means. And if we source the Bible for direction, it states….”You hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of your own eye; and then shall you see clearly to cast out the mote out of your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:5

    I have on several occasions challenged Dave regarding his articles, and from experience know he rarely, actually never, corrects his own error or can even admit that there is maybe a possiblity there. He will even belittle you for disagreeing with him or challenging his view, in his famous condesending manner, or he will make it into a joke, or he will argue with errorneous logic and rhetoric.

    If he concedes at all, it is very begrudingly and minimal. His logic, and his own defense during these occurences, is to say something like he always says….here again in this thread, that familiar logic is revealed in his statement….

    “I can give you 50 from another paper. Why don’t you give me 10?”

    His logic is, yes I do it too, it happens to me too and then gives a very exaggerated, sensationalistic number of 50, and gives himself a 10. So in Daves logic, it is okay if he does things that sometimes are not perfect or errorneous, whether done consicously or not, because in his mind, he feels other people do it….so that makes it okay for him to do it too. And because in his mind, he does it less even, he feels that makes him somehow superior.

    I don’t totally dislike Dave, as he believes. I dislike his ways and thinking many times, as I find him very contradictory on many occassions. If you are going to claim to be one way, then don’t be another way by use of erroreous logic to justify it.

    I find Daves paper more of a series and collection of ‘announcements’ than with any substantial ‘news’ in it. But I do love the addition of the videos though, so we can see the truth for ourselves without dependence on the bias presentation of any particular editor. But I’m not sure I would always call Daves paper ‘news.’

    News to me is sometimes thought provoking and sometimes controversial due to the multiple viewpoints, perceptions and opinions of the editor and the ways in which one can look at things depending on the angle. And Woody does seem to accomphlish this in abundance…lol. And I also know that if there is something perceived as being a ‘negative’ but still factual and truthful, there is a huge probability it won’t be reported in Daves paper if it is anyone in this administration.

    A good newspaper and editorials should prompt one to engage in thought and promote thinking. Woody doesn’t demand or require one to agree with him however, he just presents his thoughts on the matter without anyones approval, and he at least does point out it IS his opinion and view. Daves just puts his opinion and bias in his articles without claim. And also, Woody doesn’t claim to be gospel, as Dave contents, because that too would be errorneous thinking.

    I hear so called news reported daily on the tv that is not truth. News does not always equal truth, that is a misconception. It is the perception of the one writing and choosing and deciding what is ‘news’, unless of course, it is really just an announcement. Those are two totally different things.

    Announcements, such as is the bulk of Daves paper, really present no challenge or controversy, they are merely a parroting of whats going on where, but the real ‘news’ can promote and should prompt an array or responses and generate others thoughts and opinions on the matter for consideration.

    But Dave, his paper nor his ‘friends’ respect that aspect of ‘news’. No, the only thing they respect is their own viewpoint, perception, opinion and their ‘presentation’, and they would appreciate if no one would challenge that or think for themselves.

    Anyone who counters that in this small, tightly controlled town, will be treated unfairly, with total disregard of rights, ethics, opinions and views, and even collectively attacked and conspired against. Thats life in this small town of Central. Which I still content at times, at least these days, since the last election, would be more rightly called a Kettle Pot.

    Their is a danger of this administration being remembered as just that, unless they turn away from the ways they are running things around here to serve their own best interest and work under a higher standard without being governed by fear and correct their own errorneous ways and thinking.

    In other words, put your focus on getting the stick out of your own eye first. That choice of course would be ones own to do and would require ones own initiative, and the sacrificing of ‘self.’ But its an initiative, I hope all will rise to the challenge of attaining.

    I am just offerring my own view and opinion. To which, we are all aware, one is not always allowed here in Central.

    • dave

      January 19, 2011 at 10:13 am

      Bebe,
      Wow, that was interesting. I can’t even begin to get my head in a place that would enable me to engage you on this novel, not sure I could find my way back. I believe your statements speak for themselves. Carry on. “Second star to the right, and straight on ’til morning.”

  70. Just a bystander

    January 19, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Bebe,

    Very well stated and eloquently written. If one does not agree with your definition of news, then they must never watch Fox, CNN, etc. I personally do not watch these shows. They make me sick. I pause to listen as I flip through channels. Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, and the likes all have their opinions and viewpoints. Love em or hate em, this is America. I feel that certain people in Central do not care about everyone’s views and opinions, just theirs. They want “control” at any cost. I have already seen innocent hard working people hurt by their actions. They will not stop until they “win” even it hurts bystanders along the way. Their ego fuels their obsession. Do they see it like that? Of course not.

  71. Keith Kepper

    January 19, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Bebe, if your real name is not Belinda it should be!! I wouldn’t even begin to comment on that entire literary work you just published, but I will address a statement of yours that i have also heard Mike allude to…to quote you:

    “A good newspaper and editorials should prompt one to engage in thought and promote thinking. Woody doesn’t demand or require one to agree with him however, he just presents his thoughts on the matter without anyones approval, and he at least does point out it IS his opinion and view.”

    I strongly disagree that a newspaper is used to promote people to engage in thought concerning news articles that are recognized clearly by the general public as statement of fact!! If it is to be portrayed as news then it is received as news not the editors opinion of the news! That would be why there is such a thing as an EDITORIAL, so it is clear that the EDITOR is voicing his opinion and not making a statement of fact. The problem is that the Central City News papers articles are primarily all Woody’s editorials concerning the news! If that is what it’s going to be then it should be called “Central City News According to the Opinions of Woody Jenkins”. Then we will all know that its his version of the news, which it has so obviously become!!

    Mike, as a business owner involved in a business that requires many different types of equipment to perform the wide array of work that we perform I regularly subcontract work to people that own and specialize in the operation and performance of that equipment. I do not own a high definition CNC laser cutting machine, CNC hydraulic or pneumatic brake press, commercial cabinetry and wood working equipment, metal mills and lathes, yet the majority of my work incorporates the use of one or more of these tools for its completion. It is far more economical for me to contract with other businesses and use there expertise when needed, instead of having money involved in equipment that is not always in use and hiring the personnel required to operate and maintain all of the needed equipment. So I don’t think its accurate to assume that using subcontractors to perform specialized tasks is uneconomical. Many general contractors that I am familiar with and have done worked for operate on a very limited amount of personnel and equipment. They are primarily paid for their project management capabilities. I have seen entire Malls constructed and the GC not have one piece of equipment onsite and only 3-4 employees.

    In conclusion, my initial point was to indicate that governments are not known to be very economically conscious. But, I do know that you are looking for the same thing and that is a well ran, economically priced municipal service company! No problem there!

  72. bebe

    January 19, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Thank you just a bystander! No,they do not see it as it is, but how they would like it to be created, presented and seen only. But as the title of Daves article here states, “Dejohn sets the record straight”, whereas if the truth were told, it should rightly state that “Dejohn adds more hypocrisy to the record”….lol.

    But as Dave points out, they don’t understand the heavens and their stars!…lol. Nor can they navigate it, he is right, they
    are lost there! But we shall not give up hope though, hopefully, they find their way home before their dying day.

    And Dave, you may find it interesting and ironic in lieu of your response, that my middle name means ‘Star’…..LOL. And yes, I do know the way home, and how to navigate getting there! Do you?

    Or will you remain lost and blinded forever? Free will, it will always be your choice, no one shall force your hand Dave, but no one will reap what you sow more than yourself. Take a look at your harvest to come, and decide if you really like what you see.

    But let me guess, I’m speaking over your head again in a language you don’t completely understand, aren’t I?… 🙂

  73. bebe

    January 19, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    WOW! Okay….

    Dear another opinion,

    Unbeknown to you evidently, I have had mulitple and quite lengthy conversations with Dave…in private, where they remained.

    If a conversation is started in private, I try to remember where it took place and keep it private. If Dave makes something public, that has questionable assertions in it, then it is fair for me to continue that discussion in the public forum in which it was started.

    I am not, as you say, judging others hearts, only God can do that, but rather their actions, and if you know your doctrine, you know that you as well as I, have a responsiblity to discern things as to whether they be of God or not.

    I have to search my ownself and my own motives on occassions too, and I even have had to speak up when it wasn’t in my own personal best interest, desire, or want…so I do.. Do unto others as I would have done unto me, and speaking the truth, regardless of who feels offended or shocked, I would want spoken to me as well.

    I won’t withhold what I believe to be the truth, and if you disagree with what I present as truth, I am always open to discuss it. I only want to get to the truth, and sometimes it takes deliberation, weighing, opposing views, etc to argue. But you know you have reached truth when it cannot be argued anymore, and it lines up with Gods word.

    And Keith……my nickname is Bebe, and yes this is Belinda. When I started joining in on conversations out here, the CS was where I started talking and I put my nickname in there, and it just repopulates itself now when I come back here.

    and Keith, I’m not saying Woody doesn’t make mistakes now and then, but whether they are intentional, cannot be truly known as so many assert. I am just pointing out that Dave makes mistakes as well, and therefore is as imperfect as the rest of us. He doesn’t seem to realize that, or see what he does, as he continually takes stabs, discredits and degrades his competition by whatever means available.

    It may be understandable to some to try and wipe out your competition by any means possible, but that doesn’t means its ethical or right. I think it lowers his own standing, and I could refrain from pointing that out to him, and let him continue to dig his own grave. Would that be more’loving’? I don’t see it as such, nor does it do anything to elevate respect and peace and unity around here.

    And I do think that good newspapers engage their readers and invite them to think. I think so many don’t think much these days about things, which is why this country is in the shape is it in, and I don’t see how engaging and inviting people to think as a bad thing. I don’t need anyone to do the thinking for me, I can think for myself.

    Not all newspapers do this possibly, but how many newspapers are there in the world, along with news channels, talk shows, some just commentaries, some just announcement papers etc. They all present their own unique take on it all, and work their media to pursue their own agendas, but they should not be considered the gospel. That was my point.

    Because so many around here want to say that newspapers or news is always truth, I was just making the distinction, that it is not so.

    It is the presentation of one’s own unique perception and bias, and their opinion is nestled in that perception and bias, and it should be recognized as such. And everyone has a right to their own perception and opinion but should not be conspired against because one doesn’t agree with their view. Nor will they always be perfect in their delivery. But that is not a reason to abuse others and do unto them what you would not want done to you. But if you are gonna dish it out, be ready to eat it.

    That was what I was trying to get across.

  74. kandi

    January 19, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    BeBe…What the heck?? Are you kidding me? WOW!!! I have to tell you I didn’t even finish reading your first note to me…I blacked out.(I may try again but can’t make any promises) What is wrong with you? Have you gone mad? First I think you should know that Dave IS my friend. Why are you babbling all your junk to me? I don’t know what you were talking about half of the time but we can blame that on the black out. Your rant was to say the least silly. If you have a problem talk to Dave…make peace with Dave…agree to disagreee. Note to you!!! I desire to be a peacemaker and to go into places where there is NO peace and bring it. Your ….(whatever that was) only brings discord and strife. There is no fruit in what you are doing. Wanting to discuss issues? I am in. Wanting to make thing different and better? I am in. Defiling a man reputation(or attempting) to his friends???? I am sooooo out!! I have no stomach for your silly crap and really I think A LOT of people feel the same way. I don’t know you so I don’t know how to take your tone. I do know that Kandi…BeBe..we could have made a very sassy Vegas act. Ummmm I am thinking you might be a bummer to act with. Sorry just being honest. I would hope you would rethink your approach on what is productive in our community. FYI this isn’t. Hope that one day we can meet and start over. As for you bashing… bring it somewhere else.

    Note to you I would ask the same respect for any of my friends….really most of the people that have commented on this. We are all trying to work to get better. What are you working for??? Please do not feel you need to answer. Not sure how much time I can set aside to read the response.

  75. Another Central resident

    January 19, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Now this is some serious Central debate. I feel like I live in the same city as the movie Roadhouse. Pretty soon the powers to be will start burning down business if you don’t agree with them.

    My personal opinion on why their was a big push to make Central a city has nothing to do with creating better schools for our kids or controlling our own community’s destiny. It goes back to the root of all evil: The love of MONEY along with the love of POWER. There were some that stood to reap the benefits of huge financial gains with Central as a city vs. the Central area just being part of East Baton Rouge Parish. Property values increase; therefore, making their land more viable for development. Having our own school system was a piece of the puzzle for Central to become a city and the fact that having a better school system than East Baton Rouge Parish would drive up property values.

    I am grateful to have a better choice in regards to sending my kids to either public or private, but why did it take so long for some of the “founding fathers” of Central to fight for better schools once all their kids where out of the system. Why didn’t they fight for Central to be a city when their kids where stuck in EBR Parish schools or when they were spending money on tuition for private schools.

  76. Mike Mannino

    January 19, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Kandi,
    Dave, as a service of his paper and this site, publishes dates and information for all local events, meetings etc, including Council meetings. Its where I go for up to date information on local events. In the edition covering the last meeting, he also listed the ordinance that applied to anyone wishing to speak on a subject. The ordinance states that anyone that wants to speak on an item on the agenda, must fill out a card in advance. It did not qualify the statement with any restrictions for speaking after Presentations or awards ceremonies, or Councilman Statements. It just says “items on agenda”. The subject of controversy was listed as a ‘ Report” with no other details so as a citizen, to make sure you could speak on the topic if it was something you had an opinion on, you had no choice but to put in a card to speak. This is exactly what Woody did. There may be another part of the ordinance, I really dont know but it certainly wasnt clarified that night nor has it been since. To avoid all the discussion that has happened since, we need to be clear on these type things so that if it is a rule, its clearly known so as not to appear as it did that night, vindictive. I firmly believe in following procedures and if thats what the rule is, so be it but lets make sure everyone is aware because the results of this are not good for anyone.

    @Keith, We are in 100% agreement on your last post so what are we debating ? There are no absolutes, and contracting at this time in this country, is more economical for many reasons, some of which you stated. Its just that we may be carrying it too far in our current City Services structure. I cant say for sure, but I think we both agree its worth looking at. BTW, get a few CNC’s. I’m retiring in July and I need something to come play on.You can get free labor and I wont talk politics !

    @Bystander,
    I have been trying to make this point forever. National news is the best example available. You can watch the 3 stations you mentioned cover a story and its covered 3 different ways. In fact I do watch and I am quite amused sometimes how different they present things but typically, they all have the same basic meaning in the end. Their take on polls is the most comical. A poll will be virtually even but one station will report as a headline that 50% of the people are against where the other will report 50% are for as a headline. Whats the difference in the end ?

    • dave

      January 19, 2011 at 4:08 pm

      Mike,

      Louisiana RS 42:14 states: “shall allow a public comment period at any point in the meeting prior to action on an agenda item upon which a vote is to be taken.” This is the very issue that came up when the School Board refused to allow public comment on a motion to table an item, and that motion required a vote.

      I was asked this morning for my honest take on whether “public comment” should have been allowed after Council Member DeJohn spoke. I belive the statute says no, but that is not the sole determining factor for me. What has been our practice, as a City, up to this point? We have not, in my memory, allowed or received public comment after the Mayor’s report, after award presentations, and after agenda items to introduce future actions. I want us to run the City correctly and according to the law, but I also say you can’t change horses mid-stream. I have always taken the attitude of, tell me the rules and I will play by them. However, don’t call foul when I demand the rules be enforced, don’t complain when I do somethng the rules allow that you don’t like, and don’t break the same rules you ask me to live by. In short, not allowing public comment at that point was in keeping with both the law and our practices as a Council.

      Having said that, I wish it were not that way. I don’t remember anything of this sort happening before early 2010. It is just a fact that the political pressures brought to bear on the system have made EVERYONE rely more on rules and less on relationship. It is a shame, but it is a fact. You can’t, on one hand, exercise rights and demand compliance to the letter of the law, then on the other hand expect that people will make exceptions just to get along. The events of 2010 have effectively ushered out the gentleman’s agreement and ushered in rules, forced the end of the handshake and demanded a signed contract. I look forward to that trend being interrupted, but it is going to take a while to get over the shell-shock of what seems like a demand that we play politics rather than act like neighbors. We, as a community, have allowed this to happen and effectively brought this on ourselves. Everyone needs to look around, and look at themselves, and figure out what happened, then put an end to it. I hope you will agree.

  77. bebe

    January 19, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Kandi,

    I originally was addressing one of your remarks regarding what the big deal was with the wording, and so the post began. I’m sorry, I didn’t realize it would offend you, being a peacemaker and all, but okay.

    I do however, see fruit being produced and things being looked at with more conscious efforts, such as Mike just stated regarding the mayor looking over these rules of speaking at council. Do you think that would have ever happened, if no one said a thing about it?

    I also see other fruit, such as the city looking at and considering other options with City services rather than putting all their eggs in one basket with Ch2. I also see ethics being reviewed although that seemed to go to the back burner as soon as it got there. But hopefully working on the issue is still in the mind and hopefully still in the works of being resolved. I see Dave posting the videos so people can view and judge for themselves what happened at a council meeting.

    I see people getting more involved and caring more, and interjecting their views into the discussions more. I bet you the next vote will have a better showing, what do you think? I percieve these to be positive things, or the fruit you say you don’t see.

    That fruit did not come about because we just decide to go with the flow and not speak up however. And yes, sometimes it requires discussing the situation and those directly involved. Thats par for the course in politics and I guess papers too though, it seems. Changes come about because multiple people do speak up and voice their views by arguing their point of view and making and communicating valid arguments.

    You feel me telling Dave just how I see him, is not productive. That remains to be seen, it is his choice to change himself, you are right. I’m having trouble making the connection though with any peace that Dave is bringing to the table, however. And I have never seen Dave restrain himself from attacking, degrading and denouncing others who do not agree with him or those he supports, but I guess you feel this behavior is okay because he is your friend? I consider that attitude a double standard, and a double standard can not bring peace..(note to peacemaker).

    Kandi, I’m not interested in a popularity contest. I am more interested in peoples rights, freedom, fair play and the truth. And no, I do not live in Kandiland, but somehow I am very much at peace with that.

    I’ll end it here, because I know you have a very short attention span, and you don’t appreciate it when those limits are stretched. And don’t worry, Dave is a big boy, and he can defend himself and has never shyed away from a pop shot at me or anyone else, but I am sure he appreciates your efforts.

  78. kandi

    January 19, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Belinda aka BeBe

    First I would like to tell you that I am shocked that was from you. Although I would not have changed the content for what I wrote…I would have delivered it in a different manner. I think 😉 That being said I wish you would understand this one thing about me. I do not have a double standard. Your comment seemed to come out of nowhere and half of what you typed to me (or more) had nothing to do with me nor needed to even be typed for the 47th time. If you have discussed this with Dave, why the massive Dave Bash and to me? Yes he is my friend and so are many people on here. So here goes. I am sorry for the way I addressed you. It seemed beyond odd that a person I have never spoken to would even type all that to me. Had I know it was you (a very involved person in all of this) I would have at least understood where you were coming from. Even if I disagreed It might have been a different response. I am a big girl and AM a peacemaker. I don’t need you or any other person to confirm me as one. As for short attention…I have a spirit of Racoon..I am attracted to shiny objects. That is a fact! please go back and read your note. As for the latest one… that is the best thing you have said in a long time.(the first half) You discussed topics, things that are worth talking about. WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO GO WOODY AND DAVE???

    So let’s sum this up. AT first I didn’t think I owed you an apology but for the sake of understanding you more and NOT to offend you I extend one. I had no Idea this was a contest. If it is I am bring Tap shoes and I think I should warn you I can break down a mean BOOM BOOM POW at karaoke. Please know belittling me like I am a silly girl is not necessary. Well I am silly and a girl and just because I like heels and sequins doesn’t make me foolish or not worthy to be in the grown up talks. I would love to discuss issues with you. Can we please leave out the papers?

    *this letter and the other is proof that I have no desire to go with the flow and not speak up. You are right Dave an Woody can defend themselves. I didn’t defend him I just asked you to direct your issues with him. You directed me to go speak with Woody. I am ready to do that as soon as that door opens. So if I would go see him and talk to him and disagree with him would you respect me coming back and bashing the crap out of him? I think you would be very disappointed in me and possibly be offended. Gonna say it again. Why are we not discussing issues and ideas? Enough of all the junk. Aren’t you tired of it yet?

    I have no desire to futher this particular discussion of this on here. If you want to talk I would love to. Again sorry for jumping without knowing exactly to who I was jumping to. 🙂

  79. Debbie

    January 19, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    After reading all this And categorizing responses, I again ask why??
    Come on people you’re all pretty!!!
    Taking this to another level:
    WHO is willing to Donate a pint of blood if ANYONE in Central needs it to sustain life?

  80. Debbie

    January 19, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Well I guess I will be first in line…..

  81. Mike Mannino

    January 19, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Totally agree Dave. Accurrate assessment but past practice should only be discontinued when the new rules are clearly laid out and understood. Otherwise, we have this type fiasco that was totally avoidable and takes away from real issues. This item was listed as an agenda item, as a report, and seemed on the surface to be elgible for public comment. We need to make take away the grey area and divide the agenda into clear sections, those that are for public comment and those that are not. That way, no one can I didnt know.

    Another learning, one of many we face. Not a big deal in the overall picture if we address when they become issues. Its the only way to keep minor things from becoming so political. Nobody truly wants all this controversy.

    • dave

      January 19, 2011 at 10:09 pm

      Mike,

      Going to have to disagree on two points: my point, which you seemed to agree with, was that until you change the rules, live with what you have always done in practice. In this case, public comment has never, in my memory, been allowed on agenda items not scheduled for a vote, and the law is written that way as well.

      You say “Nobody truly wants all this controversy.” Gotta disagree with you on that one.

      Just my opinion.
      Dave

  82. Mike Mannino

    January 19, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Debbie,
    You know anyone out here would help their neighbor in need. Its like two siblings that fight all the time. They can fight and talk about each other but dont let an outsider get in the middle. Then they have a fight on their hands. We are still a community of good people in the end. I firmly believe that and its why I love Central living.

  83. Kim Fralick

    January 19, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    I am just wondering if there is really anything left to be said:) I know my head is swimming from reading the vast array of opinions. I have to say this though. I am not so interested in the opinion of people who are not willing to put their name out here ( such as central guest, bystander etc), in particular if it comes across with any sarcasm, judging or bashing! Step up and be a man or woman who is willing to stand behind what you say! Just my opinion!

    • dave

      January 19, 2011 at 10:30 pm

      Kim,

      You may be on to something here. Let’s get some feedback on this idea: if you want to post a theoretical opinion on a political or social issue, you can use an alias. Tell us all why we need districts or term limits. That us fine. However, if you want to call anyone’s motives, integrity, or honesty into question, use your real name or keep it to yourself. Let’s hear some pros and cons on this.

      Dave

  84. Debbie

    January 19, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    Mike I respect my brothers and sister far too much to “fight” with them and as old as my children are I will not allow that either. I certainly would not make an unsubstantiated accusation or throw out a hypothetical situation with the intent of planting a seed of doubt in the hearts of unsuspecting constituents. No Mike I do not understand your analogy. I’m sorry I can’t wrap my head around your statement. Especially with just the post several have on this thread alone.

  85. Mike Mannino

    January 19, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    Deb,
    Just trying to find some positives.

    @Dave. You have to start another topic for that. We are running out of room here and I have just about forgot the original topic.

  86. Another opinion!

    January 20, 2011 at 2:14 am

    Dave and Kim, you are probably right that I shouldn’t be using an alias with my comments so I’m asking that you remove it from this thread. I could be a teacher, student, business owner, politician, etc. and didn’t want my remarks in anyway to affect those around me.
    Debbie, I’d be right behind you, giving blood to anyone in need, including Woody Jenkins. That’s what neighbors should do…help and lift up one another, especially in our city!! We should all focus on that.

  87. Donna Dufour

    January 20, 2011 at 8:48 am

    Another opinion,I don’t blame you for the alias. When I first started posting I used an alias. Then I thought about it and this is America and we have free speech. Of course I’m not a teacher, student, business owner or a politician. Then one day I retrieved my mail from my mail box and there was a very nasty anonymous letter. It appeared to be written by a child in black marker. I have a very good idea who it was, but will never be able to prove it. Free speech?? Well I opened the door.

  88. mike mannino

    January 20, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Its OK Donna. I get letters and calls all the time, but 20-1, they are encouraging. Only the few that are negative have been anyomous so it gives me the energy to stay involved.

  89. Kyle

    January 20, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Pshew! I am with Kim. I think this has gone on too long. I’m with you Mike, I forgot what the original topic was! Time to move on. I think everyone has beat this horse to death!

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