Terror in Franklin County, North Carolina By: Steve Trubilla
When terror visits a far off place headlines capture our attention. We feel for the innocent and want justice for them. Headlines fade too soon; victims are forgotten. Many of those that survive the brutality too often are forced to live with lifelong injuries. The blinded never more see their children grow. The crippled father is not able to walk his daughter down the aisle on her wedding day. Because of senseless violence grandparents can no longer hold their grandchildren. There are so many stories, every one of them filled with overwhelming heartbreak and pain. Dreams for the future are destroyed. Pages could be filled with examples from all over the country.
Let me bring this closer to home, very close, like the intersection of Tarboro Road and Cedar Creek Road in Youngsville, Franklin County, North Carolina.
At 5 PM on July 2, 2020, James Hunter Murphy, age 19, and a friend were on their way to dinner. On that day, at that time their lives were changed forever by a violent, vicious and unprovoked attack.
Brion Jemod Brodie, age 47, a convicted felon well known to local law enforcement, with an extensive criminal record dating back decades, used the vehicle he was driving to block the intersection stopping the vehicle the couple were in from leaving, and allegedly attacked them.
There is evidence he may have used brass knuckles during the attack. I say allegedly only because that is the way one has to write about these things until the justice system speaks. This said the police report and witness statements are replete with evidence of the attack. Recorded and other statements made by Brodie himself add to the body of evidence.
This brutal attack resulted with James Hunter Murphy being hospitalized with very serious injuries. Those injuries included a fractured orbital (eye socket). Murphy has a lifelong goal and dream of becoming a United States Marine. The realization of this is now very much in question due to his injuries. The cost of this has many scales of measure. In terms of dollars, medical bills are mounting in the thousands of dollars. The unknown of these injuries could easily range to tens of thousands of dollars, most if not all of this to be paid without reimbursement by the Murphy family.
Brodie is currently being held at Franklin County Detention complex under a $200,000 bond. My information is at 2 PM on Monday August 3, 2020 there will be a hearing. Brodie’s tax payer paid for public defender will seek a bond reduction. I understand that is what he/she is obligated to do.
This said, my information, also, is a recording exists where Brodie asserts when he is released from the Detention Center his intent is to do additional harm. In open court he called out the name of the Murphy’s younger son. I know he did so because I was there when he did it. Additionally, my information is recordings exist where Brodie has placed calls to the Murphy family over an extended period threatening grave and serious violence. One such alleged threat included the disappearance of one of the Murphy’s sons.
Brodie’s extensive criminal history reflects his propensity for violence. He does more than make threats, he acts on them. In the past he has served time in prison for the violation of a protective order. His current charges include:
Felony-ASSAULT BY STRANGULATION Felony-ASSAULT SERIOUS BODILY INJURY Felony-SECOND DEGREE KIDNAPPING
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is a well-known phrase in the United States Declaration of Independence. The phrase is more than the sum of the words. It is the canvas American life is laid upon. Fear and terror denies these "Unalienable rights".
Much is said of law enforcement, and not enough about what they do and risk keeping us all safe. In this they have removed the immediate threat. They did what we ask of them. Now it falls to the courts. I am cautiously confident of the outcome with this. The evidence is overwhelming. I say cautiously because our court system is overwhelmed, “deals” are made in the interest of expedience. Justice is often but another victim.
When the assigned Judge, Assistant District Attorney, and jury dispatch this, the weight and cost of the now lifelong consequences for James Hunter Murphy should be laid upon the scale. Consideration of a “deal” must include reflection on so many other deals that have been afforded to Brodie at the expense of other victims; concurrent sentences, early releases, and charges being dismissed.
A focused account for the terror, pain, and fear so many have been forced to endure over decades at the hand of Brion Jemod Brodie is summoned. Let there be resolve without compromise. He has earned a full measure of all the law will allow, let it be paid.
Asking insensitive questions of middle school youngsters By: Steve Trubilla
This is Part 2 to a column I recently wrote concerning a survey titled "Shifting Boundaries" that was given to 11-year-old children at the Terrell Middle School in Louisburg.
"We immediately took action when this issue was first brought to our attention," is a statement issued by the Franklin County North Carolina School System. This statement was prompted by parents challenging the content of the survey. Specifically, the survey asked pointed questions about sexual orientation.
The parents felt that question and many others on the survey were not appropriate, and that the consent form they had signed allowing their children to participate with it was misleading.
The official statement issued acknowledges the Franklin County Schools leadership did not know the content of that survey before the students were exposed to it. It was further stated and acknowledged that the survey, consent-form, and curriculum were not created or administered by the school system.
Trying to understand the statements of, we did not know what was in the survey, we did not create it, and we did not administer it, I pressed on with questions. It simply did not make sense that this would be introduced to the school without someone first vetting it.
Searching for answers, almost everyone I talked with was evasive, tried to deflect my questions and or requested that I not mention their name or quote them. Experience has taught me that when this happens usually someone has something to hide.
If no one in the school system created the survey, then who did? The answer to that question is: The North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NCCASA) provided the survey to the groups who received a Center for Disease Control (CDC) grant, including SafeSpace. SafeSpace then administered the survey.
The Shifting Boundaries curriculum is a national program reported to be in 13 different school districts across North Carolina.
The NCCASA, who are they and what do they do? If you want to learn more about them simply go to their Facebook page and scroll down. Ask yourself is this the influence you want in our schools? I have gone considerably further looking at who this organization is, reading documents, looking at the board members, and viewing presentations.
My view is The North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault, (NCCASA) is a well-funded politically active agenda driven organization imposing its power and influence in the classroom. Don't just take my word for this, their Facebook page is just a window.
Get into the weeds a little, look at the legislation they have lobbied for. This is a politically powerful coalition. It is not answerable to you in any way. You do not have a voice in what they say or do. I feel it is very dangerous to allow this kind of unchecked influence in our schools.
Franklin County Schools has stated it always gives guardians the option to opt in or out of programs that exceed the scope of normal classroom instruction. In this case, it does not appear they knew what the full scope and purpose of this program was.
Are there other influences outside the scope of normal classroom instruction operating in your schools, like maybe other surveys or studies being conducted no one has thoroughly reviewed? Given what has occurred, this is a fair question.
Someone said to me about this, words to the effect: 'What is the big deal about the survey? Today, children are exposed to much more damning and graphic things on the Internet. I am sure this is true, but it should not be, and cannot become the standard for what is acceptable.
I had a SafeSpace board member tell me it was just one parent that was upset about this; simply not true. Parents have called me and were very upset about the survey. Many more still do not even know what has occurred.
This board member injected himself into a conversation I was having with a parent and grandparent with children at Terrell Middle School. He would not tell me his name, and said he did not want to be quoted. What a surprise, another person that does not want to be quoted. It was not hard to find his name, but I will leave it out of this story. That is for now anyway.
This is more than a story about any one survey with age inappropriate questions. The bigger story is one of social engineering, programming, and indoctrination going on in schools all over our county.
It would be unfair not to recognize the NCCASA is a powerful voice against bullying and sexual assault. I feel they are, but they also have another agenda.
Franklin County Schools says they understand parents' concerns. Do you think they do? Safety in schools is not just about locked doors, cameras, and Resource Officers.
Middle School, the three RRR's and Sexual Orientation - Asking insensitive questions of kids By: Steve Trubilla
If someone in authority in a controlled and public setting told you to document your sexual orientation, how would you react to it?
I mean if they specifically asked you, are you bi-sexual, gay, fluid, heterosexual, lesbian, pansexual, queer, questioning, prefer not to disclose, or do you self-identify.
Now remember this is not just some random person asking this, it is someone with authority over you. That authority has an expectation you would comply with what is asked of you. It would also be reasonable for you to expect consequences if you do not. Often, when those in authority ask you to do something, it is really just a nice way of telling you to do it.
Honestly, it is hard for me to believe someone would be so insensitive as to ask such a personal and intrusive question. Certainly they would not ask for it to be documented in a public setting.
My guess is after the initial surprise/shock wore off of you being asked such a thing there would be some sparks flying.
What if I told you this is exactly what happened, by way of a survey, at the Terrell Lane Middle School in Louisburg.
Before I move on with this, I have to tell you, I did not know there were so many sexual orientation choices, did you?
The survey had other equally sensitive and what I feel were inappropriate questions for 11-year-old children. An example; "Calling someone a slut or hoe, is it a big deal?"
You read that right, 6th graders were asked/told to fill out a form titled a Pre-Survey: Shifting Boundaries 2018-2019 with these kinds of questions. This has been in the media; WTVD and WRAL ran stories on it. Staff writer Carey Johnson also wrote a story on it for The Franklin Times.
The news cycle has moved on but there is a lot more to this story.
Most people would not even know this happened if not for a concerned mother of a student at Terrell Middle School, Louisburg resident Connie Jo Hutchinson challenging it when she learned the sexual orientation was asked.
After hearing murmurs of the content of the survey, Hutchinson said she called the school to see if the question was included in the survey. She said Ms. Perry, the school counselor, said that it was not part of the program, but Hutchinson's son said the question was included.
Other parents have contacted me equally upset and asked that I consider this as a story in this column.
Categorically and unequivocally, the question was included in the survey. I have a partial copy of the survey that proves it.
In pursuit of this and in the interest of being fair, I contacted the Franklin County Schools and requested an interview meeting with Michelle Fiscus, director of communications. My intent was to ask more probing questions and obtain a complete copy of the original survey. With it I could compare it to one I have been told that has replaced it.
She declined my request for the meeting and told me the Franklin County Schools did not have a copy of the original survey, that it had been administered by Safe Space. She suggested I contact Monica McInnis, executive director of Safe Space, for a copy.
So I did, she would not provide a copy either. I found her to be very evasive. McInnis asked that I not quote anything she had to say. The obvious question is why?
Do you honestly believe no one has a complete copy of the original survey?
Fiscus did provide me with page one of the original survey, which I already had; she also provided a copy of the amended survey they are now using.
Additionally, she provided the Franklin County Schools' official response to the matter. The following are excerpts from that response.
The survey, consent form, and curriculum were not created by the school system or Safe Space (the organization that administered the survey). Franklin County Schools understands the concern of parents surrounding the question and consent form. We immediately took action when this issue was first brought to our attention.
"Took action when this issue was first brought to our attention."
Franklin County are you kidding me! They did this and did not even bother to look at the survey before your children were subjected to it. How do you feel about that?
Where is the investigation, what else is going on no one knows about that your tax dollars/you are paying for? County commissioners, are you paying attention. You do hold the purse strings for the schools.
Will this result in another lawsuit, this one a Class Action that you, the citizens of Franklin County, have to pay for? FYI (for your information) people are talking about doing exactly that. Connie Jo Hutchinson reminds me of Erin Brockovich, a timeless shining example of possibilities and what one can accomplish with determination. Thank you, Connie Jo. Like I said, there is more to this story, much more. This is part one.
What else do you need to know? Vote Jerry Jones Sheriff 2018
I was asked about Jerry Jones, what he believes, and what he stands for. If you want to know why Kent Winstead will not debate him. Here it is. Please share this with you many friends.
It is more than a Republican or Democrat thing, it is the right thing. Vote Jerry Jones for Sheriff of Franklin County, NC
Lies can be told and letters can be paid for to put in mailboxes but the TRUTH & FACTS really do matter.
BUDGET AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
In these current times, budgets and responsibility are more important than ever before. The current Administration, Winstead, has increased the overall budget and expenditures of the Sheriff's Office (does not include the budget for the Jail/Kitchen/Animal Control) by $3,670,251.00, in three and a half years. The current Administration ran a platform four years ago about waste, transparency and efficiency. Yet, during the past three and a half years, the current administration has spent a total of $6,503,626.00 above standard cost in past administrations. This is more than ANY previous Administration for a four year term. Many will look at the numbers and ask "How does that impact me?" The answer is very simple, it's your tax dollars. To put it in perspective for the citizens of Franklin County, every $555,000 of budgeted money in the County equals one cent on your tax rate. The current County wide rate is $0.80, this could be slightly higher depending on which municipality you live in and which Fire District. Based on the expenditures and the lack of spending control in the past three and a half years, your taxes are costing you eleven cents on the hundred, just on the Sheriff's office alone, and that is not to cover services, that is just the additional money spent above ANY prior administration. It's easy to spend money when it's not yours, it's easy to spend it when it's not being managed, but in the end it's YOUR tax dollars being wasted! Vote Jerry W. Jones for Sheriff, return to leadership, accountability, transparency and TRUE conservatism.
Sources/References: Public Records Request Franklin County Tax Office Franklin County Finance Dept.
#Facts- Town Hall Style Meeting. Our campaign reached out to our opponent's campaign directly to try and set up some type of Town Hall Style Meeting between Jerry Jones and Kent Winstead. The offer was extended to Kent directly by phone, the phone conversation was followed up by email. The offer was then followed up each day for a total of four documented communications. After four attempts,we have yet to be given an answer. The proposed offer was for each campaign to supply a representative to work out details. We asked for a simple Town Hall Style meeting. We proposed that each candidate would get an opening statement, have pre-agreed upon questions, take questions from the audience and end with a closing statement. Again, we have had no response of any to our request. We wanted to put both candidates before the citizens of Franklin County to give them a chance to have their questions and concerns addressed. We wanted the citizens to have more then misguided sound bites, un-sourced numbers and untrue facts thrown at them. Sheriff Jerry W. Jones has shown proven leadership, proven fiscal responsibility, conservative management of funds and resources. Sheriff Jones has been and always will be an active and working Sheriff, open to all citizens of Franklin County. Be Honest, Be Upfront, Be Transparent! ~Team Jones
#Facts- Procedures, Poor decisions, Mismanagement ??? In order to be a sworn officer in a Sheriff Office in NC, you have 12 months from date of hire to obtain your certification through a BLET program. The current administration of the Franklin County Sheriff office doesn't feel this applies to them. The current administration hired and has worked an officer for 24 months that had no certification and was not in a program to obtain his certification. Beyond that the officer had LOST his certification prior to being hired in Franklin County, for TWO domestic violence charges. The officer lost TWO prior positions with TWO other law enforcement agencies prior to being hire by the current leadership of the Franklin County Sheriff office. This officer was hired, knowing he had lost his certification, his appeal for his certification and TWO previous law enforcement positions. But the current administration felt this was a “GOOD HIRE” and placed this officer without certification and with a record of domestic violence in a Franklin County School to serve as a Resource Officer to protect children. Does this seem like the current Sheriff makes school safety a priority? Does this seem that the Sheriff and Top Heavy staff is on top of training and certification? But they are quick to tell you how many training hours they got, how many training's they attended. THIS officer has no certification to be an officer, he has no business protecting a school!! Be Honest, Be Upfront, Be Transparent! ~Team Jones
From the Chief of Police John Green Franklinton NC ·
After seeing a political post showing my fellow Chief’s of Franklin County supporting current Sheriff Kent Winstead, I have decided to make a statement. Currently I am the longest serving Chief of Police within Franklin County and I have endured four sheriff’s administrations, which gives me a great insight to what is going on within Franklin County law enforcement community. I need to state that I am a Law Enforcement professional and not a politician, so what I am about to state is facts from my years of being chief of police within Franklin County. I keep seeing team work being posted but I can say that it only goes so far within the current administration. When it comes to fighting the illegal use of narcotics within Franklin County, the current Sheriff Office Drug unit has yet to attempt to work with my department in fighting the distribution of narcotics in and or around the Franklinton Community. We are all fighting the same problem but his current drug unit and recently hired drug unit supervisor has yet to reach out to work together. Now, this has been in place even before I came out showing my support for Jerry Jones for Sheriff. Secondly, I see post showing drug arrest made in Franklinton on U.S. 1 highway. The way the post reads most times, it shows that Franklinton has a drug problem which is not true. Yes, Franklinton has individuals attempting to sale illegal drugs like every community within Franklin County. But the post, I am referring to is when his CAT team makes arrest on U.S.1 highway. Now, I give his CAT team credit for attacking the problem of Heroin that is being transported from Vance County to other areas along the U.S. 1 corridor. But when posts are made of the arrest, it doesn’t have to read like Franklinton has a drug problem. State the facts; it comes from efforts of working the U.S. 1 drug traffic corridor. Now since I have been Chief of Police my department goes above and beyond to support the patrol division of the Sheriff Department. There are times that deputies find themselves on high incident type call with backup miles away. My officers and myself most times are there backing them up without them even asking. My focus is officer safety regardless of the political playing field. But I don’t receive that in return from the Sheriff’s Office Drug Unit. However, I will not allow their unwilling partnership to effective my professional law enforcement attitude in working with others. One last thing, Sheriff Kent Winstead as an individual I have nothing but the highest regard. However his administration unwilling to work with all departments within Franklin County is not providing the highest level of professionalism needed to fight this battle of illegal narcotic distribution within Franklin County. We as Franklin County tax payers deserve the best from all within Franklin County Law Enforcement Community. Thank you for reading and may all Franklin County Law Enforcement officers/deputies continue to make it home safely after their tour of duties. God Bless you all for your continued dedication to the profession that I love and give my all to each and every day. Chief John Green
If you want to know, you can always ask me! By: Steve Trubilla
When the votes are cast, in less than 30 days, politicians will again feel the love, or lack thereof, from the American people. Yes, it is election time again. Are you all excited anticipating the prospects of a better day coming?
Soon there will be a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage was a campaign slogan from 1928. Across the country people were riveted to their radios, fixed on the presidential election between Alfred Smith and Herbert Hoover. Months later the stock market crashed and the radio carried the song, "Brother Can You Spare a Dime?" Most people that had a car they could not buy gas for it. A chicken sandwich was something dreams were made of.
It is hard to believe the power brokers of the time did not know and see what was coming. Of course they did. They relied on the knowledge, the average voter did not have a clue of who Hoover or Smith were, and would not be willing to make an effort to find out more about them.
It was easy to define both Hoover and Smith with catchy advertising; mostly negative, by dividing people on issues of the time. Examples include prohibition; Smith stood for repeal. Hoover was in the cross-hairs of post reconstruction and Civil Rights. These were target rich issues to divide people.
It was, and is, the ever enduring and effective art of identity politics playing out today. This powerful force denies the individual voter knowledge of what a candidate for office really believes and what his or her capabilities are.
What I will call the propaganda wars feeds apathy. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard, "My vote does not matter." Well, it does. Many elections, particularly when it comes to local ones, are decided with very few votes. In 2016 a Franklin County Commissioners race was decided by 37 votes. Democracy North Carolina analyzed November 2015 elections and determined that the mayor or a town council member in 69 cities won their election by five or fewer votes.
Elections really do have consequences. You have to wonder how many jobs were impacted because five or fewer people decided their vote did not matter. Did 37 votes decide your property taxes are going up?
Political Parties are agenda driven. My experience is they really do not care about the candidates or the voters. They just want to hold on to power and will say and do whatever it takes to do it.
So then, what is the answer, how do voters really find out where a candidate stands so they can make an informed voting decision without what is really nothing more than noise?
A very wise woman once told a group of people that were gossiping about her, "If you want to know my business, just ask me. If I want you to know it I will tell you, and if I don't I won't". Recently I was talking to another very wise woman, Louisburg resident Miss Judy Fergerson. The conversation turned to the Franklin County sheriff's election. She shared that many people of Franklin County are asking for a town hall style meeting between Kent Winstead and Jerry Jones to allow the two candidates to answer direct questions from citizens. Not pre-approved packaged questions but real questions.
In Franklin County the Sheriff's election is always a big deal. On a scale of 1-10 it is a 10. I have my choice, but I am not going to endorse either candidate in this column. It would operate to be a free political ad for one at the expense of the other candidate.
The citizens of Franklin County want this town hall meeting and they deserve it. Signs and mailboxes do not answer questions. If our local Republican and Democratic parties really care about what the citizens of Franklin County want, they can make this happen. If they do not, it tells you something about them that should have long ago been realized and accepted.
If either or both of the candidates do not want to do this, then let's hear them say so. This can be very powerful and help with making an informed voting choice.
More often than not, real hard problems are not that hard to solve. If you want to know something about someone do not rely on gossip, just asking them. If they have nothing to hide, chances are they will tell you.
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Learning life's most important lessons from an abandoned four-legged critter - Nobody By: Steve Trubilla
In the course of things, I often find myself asking, are people good? I remember my mother telling me, "Son, look for the good in people and you will find it."
Even when she was treated less than fairly she would, routinely, find a way of excusing those that did so. Forgiving and kind, she taught her children the Golden Rule, and lived it. An intelligent woman, she was not naïve to the reality of life. That reality being there is good and evil in the world. She knew it, but was eternally optimistic that good would overtake evil.
As I grew older we would have long conversations about everything from pumpkins to platitudes. There was nothing we could not talk about. We talked about people being good. I remember saying to her, "Mom, I do not think everyone has a measure of good in them." She replied, "Look a little harder." I, of course, replied, "Okay Mom."
Maybe I am jaded, cynical, disgruntled, mean, grumpy or all of this. Pick the adjective or descriptor you feel squares the circle for you. I do not believe, no matter how hard you look, that there is a measure of good to be found in some people.
The innocence of a child is pure and good. So my Mom was right, at some point in a person's life there is good. The teaching of, look for the good in people and you will find it, is a good and timeless lesson. Lesson plans should be updated from time to time. Today, I would tell a young person look for the good in people, but also tell them to beware of the bad.
My mother grew up in a much different time. There was respect for the elderly, it was not necessary to tell a veteran thank you for your service; it was known and felt without being said. Children were told to behave in school, and knew they had better. Police officers were the good guys. These are just some of what people may see as little differences. To me they are some of the really big ones.
You may be asking why I am sharing this lesson and story with you. For many readers it is your story, you could tell it. So why should I tell it at all?
Somebody should do it. This is not about somebody, it is about Nobody. Nobody is what has caused me to share the story of looking for the good in people.
About ten days or more ago I noticed a puppy, my guess in age less than a year, wandering around our home. He would dart in and out, run along the fence with Oskar, our Yellow Labrador. Try as I did to get him to come to me he wouldn't, he was scared. It appears someone had hurt him.
His trust of Oskar led him to safety inside the fence. Surly someone was missing this puppy, but who? He did not have a collar on, so I named him Nobody.
When it was time for Oskar to eat, it was time for Nobody to eat. During the days Nobody and Oskar would play. Nobody would sleep on the mat by the back door of the screened in porch. I made sure to leave the door open for him. In the morning there he was, tail now wagging ready for breakfast.
Still no one had come looking for him. To the world he was Nobody.
I thought there was a chance he may have a micro-chip and I could find his owner that way. We took him to our Vet at the Wake Forest Animal Hospital to check for the chip. Good news, Nobody was placed by Saving Grace Rescue in Wake Forest / (919) 518-1180. They put a chip in him. The Vet and Saving Grace contacted the person that adopted him.
He flatly said he did not want him. He did not care that Nobody was hungry, lost and scared. To say the least, this angered me; Scum Bag!
I decided there was no way he was going to get Nobody back.
Talking with Saving Grace they agreed to welcome Nobody back. Bless them one and all. They would find him a forever home. Nobody is going to be someone's some body.
On a certain level, I would like to give you the Scum Bag's name, address and telephone number, and let him feel some heat for what he has done. It is what he deserves.
It would not change him. I am not going to let these kind of people change me. Please, don't let them change you.
You can be a Nobody's somebody. Be kind.
This Story appeared in the Franklin Times Newspaper published in Franklin County, NC on 4 Oct 2018
The Public is invited. Please call 919-497-6698 if you want to purchase tickets.
Things could be better, but the sky is not falling! Steve Trubilla
Is it hard to believe people at the highest levels of our government conspired to undermine a presidential candidate or to remove a sitting president from office? It is not unprecedented and has been attempted many times during our history. I do not understand how so many can deny it continues to play out.
The nefarious and clearly illegal attempts to deny Donald J. Trump the presidency and to now remove him from office is not a theory or supposition of ideas. It is now hard proven, and an undeniable fact.
There are those that will tell you President Trump is different than past presidents, and at any cost simply cannot be allowed to remain in office. Of course, all presidents are different. The same was said of President Andrew Jackson.
The parallels between Jackson and Trump are striking. For Jackson there was Adam's and Clay's "Corrupt Bargain" to deny him the 1824 nomination. For Trump there was the Republican Party's attempt at using Delegates to deny him his party's nomination.
Jackson/Old Hickory was attacked because of his temperament and for lack of political experience. He was an outsider. Does this sound familiar?
A "Swamp Drainer" of his time, he took office in 1829 with great expectations to cleanse government of corruption and restore the nation's finances. History records Andrew Jackson as a very consequential president. During his tenure he set the Office of President on equal footing with Congress in terms of power and ability to shape law and government.
Like Trump, Jackson was under constant attack. Something else they have in common is Hillary Clinton attacking them. In a large way, Clinton is behind the effort to remove President Jackson from our $20 bill. Maybe she sees Trump and Jackson as kindred spirits.
With so many wrapped around the axle about the Trump campaign and collusion you would think it was the dirtiest campaign of all time. Well, it does not even hold a candle to the Jackson, Adams campaign of 1824, or many others.
What has stood the test of time is Jackson's many accomplishments. It is true he lacked political polish, often saying and doing things similar to President Trump. Like Trump, he was a populist and the peoples' President. Also like Trump he changed the political Party landscape.
To get a measure of the impact Andrew Jackson had on our country during his time as President, he appointed five Supreme Court Justices. Of course, as there always is, there was objection to many of them. Nothing like the circus nominations suffer now.
President Trump is on track to appoint three, and possibly more Supreme Court Justices. I do not want anyone's head to explode, but you know it is possible Donald J. Trump will be remembered by history as one of our greatest presidents. His accomplishments are many and we are not yet halfway through his first term.
Most of the people attacking him will not be remembered at all. This is something to consider when you hear what they are saying.
I have written this to give a little perspective to the "Sky is falling" hysteria. Things could be better, but they could be a whole lot worse.
Our current president is for sure not the most polished stone. Neither was Jackson, please tell me what president was. Like him or not, we needed someone to shake things up. If there is nothing else we can agree on, I think you will agree, he certainly "bigly" has done that.
October 6th, 2018- Drawing will be held at Louisburg Moose Lodge- Five total prizes will be given away. Hotdogs start at 6pm and and Drawing to be held at 7pm. Tickets are $10 each
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE PRESENT TO WIN
Call (919) 497-6698 for tickets. You will also be able to get them at the event. The Public is invited
Do officials have to answer questions from taxpayers? Steve Trubilla
In my recent column titled, "Official 'not at liberty' to tell the public, questions remain," the purchase of Bull Creek Golf Course by Franklin County was explored. Many questions do still remain about that purchase.
For those of you that may not have read that column, I invite you to the online edition of the Franklin Times at, https://www.thefranklintimes.com/news.php?viewStory=40816 and to my website, www.paperbullets.us, to read it. This column is a continuation of this storyline.
Not at liberty to tell the public was Attorney Pete Tomlinson's reply to Louisburg resident Pat Walker's question as to why an appraisal was not done before Franklin County commissioners approved the purchase of the property.
Tomlinson is the county attorney. This reference carries with it the connotation that he is "your" employee. As such it would be reasonable to expect him to answer questions you ask him.
At the May 21, 2018 county commissioners meeting, Franklin County resident Bruce Allen addressed the commissioners concerning comments made by Tomlinson about possible major wrong doing at the Franklin County Triangle North Executive Airport. This wrong doing purports to be potentially explosive. Of such a nature it may have resulted in the Airport Commission losing oversight and management authority over the airport. The Airport Commission is no more. It was replaced with an Advisory Board, greatly reduced in scope of authority. The Airport Commission had been in place for over 10 years. Just like that, it is gone with no public explanation?
The questions Allen addressed to commissioners were not answered. He presented a formal letter requesting the release of all information relating to any wrong doing at the airport. To my knowledge, that information has not been released.
On May 21, I, too, attended the subject meeting. Just prior to the board going into closed session, I approached Tomlinson to ask if it would be okay with him if I used his picture in an article I was writing. Not that I needed his permission to use the picture, it was just a courtesy I was extending to him.
My question to him was framed, "Can I ask you a question," his reply was a very rude, "No, I do not answer questions." He said, "ask them," as he ranted with his arms pointing to where the commissioners were standing. Trying to take the edge off, I said to him, the question was more of a personal nature. He then mumbled something, turned and walked away. There any many things I could say in response to this. Nothing says it clearer than this man's deportment. Tomlinson does not attend these meetings as the people's attorney. He is contracted as a shield for the county commissioners, and serves at their pleasure.
The March 13, 2018 Airport Advisory Council minutes contain these statements:
"Commissioner Bregger said we were advised by the attorney that we could have personal liability if we remained as a commission. Commissioner Bunn said the attorney advised the county commissioners that it was the proper thing to do, because some possible wrongdoings had been brought to light during a closed session at a county commissioners' meeting. Airport Commissioner Dickens said he got the same information, that there would be personal liability issues "if we remained as a commission, and we could possibly be sued individually."
Not at liberty is a very powerful and counter intuitive reply by a government official. Your liberty is the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions being imposed by authority. A government official invoking "at liberty" as a reason for not replying to citizens' thoughtful and legitimate questions operates to deny that citizen their liberty.
The context of Tomlinson's use of the phrase "at liberty" could be semantic. I do not believe his intent was to deny anyone their liberty. Intended or not when "We the people" are denied our voice we are being restricted in life, behavior and political views.
Over the years I have been witness many times at county commissioner meetings to citizens being denied answers to questions. I myself have been told we do not have to answer your questions. A common reply is, we will not engage in a back-and-forth.
If you have not attended one of these meetings, I encourage you to do so. You will witness many commissioners having conversations, texting, and/or expressing disinterest in the questions being posed. Not only do they have no intention of answering, they are not even listening to the questions. I believe citizen and Franklin County resident Walker deserves an answer to her question. I believe citizen and Franklin County resident Allen also deserves answers to his questions. I believe you deserve an answer to these questions. Please light up their phones, demand the answers.
Official 'not at liberty' to tell the public, questions remain By: Steve Trubilla
On Aug. 4, 2014, the Franklin County commissioners voted 6-1 to purchase Bull Creek Golf and Country Club. Commissioner Harry Foy was the dissenting vote. This action resulted in an unnecessary, major unfunded liability that will burden the Franklin County taxpayer for generations into the future. Why was this done? On the surface, you are told it was to create a recreational park to honor Edgar H. Owens's parents, V.E. and Lydia H. Owens.
In January 2010, the late Edgar H. Owens willed 80 percent of his estate, an amount reported to have been nearly one million dollars, to be used for the creation of such a park. Owens' wishes included, if possible, the park includes a fishing pond with any remaining funds to be used to help maintain the park.
What a benevolent and generous gift it was; a timeless tribute to his parents.
The abundance of land available in Franklin County and the funding he provided allowed for his wishes to easily have been done. Franklin County Manager Angela Harris stated in a news release the county was using funds donated by Owens for the creation of the park.
Anyone reading the news release or following the matter would have been left with the understanding this was not going to cost taxpayers anything. With the exception that reasonable people would expect well into the future, there would be maintenance considerations.
As business transactions go, this was not hard, or so one would think. Simply a matter of finding the land and establishing the park within the provided resources with an eye on honoring Owens' wishes. A win-win for everyone.
Many years have since passed, the park is not completed and there is no completion date in sight. Owens's gift has been used or committed. It may now cost millions to complete this park, if ever completed at all.
Going back to the question of why did the elected officials purchase this land? Was there an overwhelming request by the public to build this or any other park? Some interest yes, but overwhelming, no.
A good deal is a good deal until it is no longer a good deal. If someone offers you a recent blue ribbon winning Black Angus bull as a breeder for $1,000 that is a good deal. When you go to pick him you and find he is a steer, you do not go through with the deal. Well, you might If you did not know what you were doing.
The purchase of this land by Franklin County for a park was a good deal, but not for you. You got a "bum steer," and that is "no-bull."
Bull Creek Golf Course and Country Club was in financial collapse. It was reported foreclosure was underway by First Citizens Bank for an outstanding note of about $794,000. A review indicates the property was actually scheduled twice for foreclosure sale on the courthouse steps. Both times those sales were canceled. At least one other person from Virginia was interested in purchasing the property but at a considerably lesser amount. Others were interested in the property as well.
When a lien holder forecloses on property it can be purchased at a bargain by the highest bidder. This would have resulted in a loss by First Citizens Bank, and clearly not in their best interest for it to happen. However, it would have been in the best interest of the people of Franklin County as the property would be generating tax revenue if it remained in private hands. That property now has an estimated tax value of $1.4 million. Had the property been foreclosed upon, it is reasonable to assume the county could have purchased it at a much lower price than it paid.
So why didn't that happen? Could it be that others in the decision-making process had an interest in seeing that it did not? At that time no less than three sitting county commissioners did. If you follow the money it is boldly clear.
To allow for the purchase of the property by Franklin County the property was taken out of foreclosure. Much of the negotiations for the purchase were done behind closed doors. As details found their way to the public, citizens began to speak out.
The offer to purchase was outrageously made without even the benefit of an appraisal. Why was that done? The lack of an appraisal touched a nerve with Louisburg resident Pat Walker. "I have some concerns about this," Walker told commissioners and the public at a commissioners' meeting.
Before the board went into closed session at that meeting to discuss the purchase and then vote on it in open session, County Attorney Pete Tomlinson said the board was not at liberty to talk about why an appraisal was not done.
Not at liberty to tell the public? To be continued ...
2018 Elect Jerry Jones Sheriff of Franklin County, North Carolina