Loud and Clear

350px-boll_weevil_monumentIn case you missed it…

At the end of my last blog post on this subject, You Can’t Please Everyone, I mentioned Take Back Enterprise had made a formal request to the city council and asked to meet with them. The city council and mayor have now responded to that request (I think) and their collective response speaks pretty much for itself. I did add a few thoughts and questions that occurred to me. Maybe they are some you have pondered as well. If you have any answers please feel free to share those in the comments if you can share publicly. If not you can always reach me privately at stansblog@roadrunner.com.

Quotes and Comments

“We are very transparent with what we do, and I do not think that it would be in the public’s best interest to meet with that group. That’s a small amount of people in Enterprise. They do not represent a majority of the public in Enterprise.”

“We are as open and transparent as you can be.” Councilman Al Miller.

Apparently to be able to meet with the city council in Enterprise you have to prove by some method, not sure what that is, your group represents the majority of people in the city.

“With a name like Take Back Enterprise, I don’t see any good that would come from a meeting with a group with the intent, obviously, is to divide this city.” Councilman Tommy Johnson

Obviously? I don’t think so. If you have questions about anything the council and mayor have done, partly because they are not being transparent, and ask those questions, you are making accusations and trying to divide the city?

“Most of this group are my constituents, two of them are here, so I’ll just say if y’all have any questions or need me, y’all are my constituents, so I’ll definitely listen and take it back to the council whatever needs to be done.” Councilman Rhett Marques

“I have met with my people in District 1 and they are satisfied with the way the city is being run.” Councilman Bill Cooper

“I don’t know how much opener the council can be.” Councilman Kirk Donaldson

Somehow, Council President Al Miller twisted this request for more information from the city into an attack on “the men and women who work for this city.” Take Back Enterprise addressed this twisted misconception in an Open Letter to all the City of Enterprise employees.

Missed Opportunity?

I believe the city leaders missed an opportunity here to try to bring the city together and, instead, chose to further divide the city. Yes, I said further divide and that does mean the city is already divided.

Positive news on some requests but…

It is encouraging that some of the suggestions Take Back Enterprise has made publicly, including more meeting minutes, budget information and, most recently, streaming and archiving of regular council meetings, are being considered and implemented by the city. I applaud both groups for initiating and making these changes and hope this collaboration continues. These changes would not have been implemented without the public requests made by Take Back Enterprise. Based on what I have seen so far, you will not see that mentioned in any press release from the mayor – another opportunity missed.

However, since we were told they were already being as transparent as they could be these changes are a little bit confusing. Apparently, they weren’t.

In any case these are encouraging changes headed in the right direction.

Divided? What do you think?

I wrote about freedom of speech being squelched in Enterprise a little more than six months ago in The Silenced Majority so I don’t need to repeat that here. However since the mayor chose to discourage free speech publicly in his letter you might want to go back and read that one too. If you didn’t think that was happening then you can see it for yourself now.

Warning, Warning

The letter below is from Mayor Boswell to the city council. In reading his letter I was not sure if the mayor was actually warning the citizens of Enterprise or if that is something he plans to do in the future. Obviously, I believe his goal in this soliloquy was to direct these comments to Take Back Enterprise and anyone else who doesn’t want to sit down and be quiet or you would not be reading this. As with the council comments I do not accept his premise here that anyone who speaks up and simply asks questions or dares to suggest improvements can be made has a goal of dividing the city.

Mayor Respnse to TBE_10-11-2015 2-06-04 PM

I understand the format of these meetings is the mayor and council discuss issues and sometimes those they invite or agree to meet with do the talking and others are there just as observers. However, there were two members of Take Back Enterprise sitting in the room when these letters were read so it seems like addressing them directly would have been common courtesy – another opportunity missed. Take Back Enterprise did address the mayor and council directly with their request. Mr. Marques was the only one who did address them directly as they are his constituents.

The mayor’s warnings confuse me. The fact he is making warnings at all concerns me. If I were one of those he warned I would probably be even more concerned.


Isn’t one sign of a healthy community the freedom to share ideas without fear of repercussion?

If ideas, actions and decisions are worthwhile should they not stand up to questions and scrutiny without accusing those asking the questions of trying to divide the city?

Do those in power have a monopoly on good ideas?

Regarding prospective businesses after they leave, he says, “One of the biggest things they look at is how the government works, how they get along, and how the community gets along.”

Wouldn’t more transparency in how the government works be beneficial for that evaluation?

Does a mayor warning its citizens to be careful what they say indicate there is no division within the city or does it create more?

Are these potential businesses looking forward to working with a city government that warns its citizens not to ask for public information that should be provided without asking?

Loud and clear

Whether I speak freely about this and state it here on my blog or not does not make the city any more divided, just as the mayor and city council acting as if this division doesn’t exist make it any less so.

In the 9/15/15 Republican Presidential debate Carly Fiorina was asked about Donald Trump’s comment about her appearance. Her response was one of the best of the night and I paraphrase. The people of America heard loud and clear what he said and are perceptive enough to understand what he meant. I believe that same response works for this situation as well. The people of Enterprise heard loud and clear what the mayor and city council said and are perceptive enough to understand what that means.

Until next time…

If you like what you read here or just want to see what comes out of my warped mind enter your email address in the sidebar on the left and subscribe. This is the only way to ensure you will be notified immediately whenever a new post is published.

Kanye, Ben, Me and You

Kanye West

You are about to read two words I never thought would ever appear in anything I ever wrote or signed my name to – Kanye West. I am not a Kanye West fan and don’t expect I ever will be. I don’t like the rap genre or the explicit language that requires the EXPLICIT Warning label. I will not buy anything with that warning. See Adult Language if you want to see my perspective on that.

There is nothing I know about Kanye West as of this writing that would make me a fan or buy anything he produces or creates or vote for him for President in 2020 if he really does run. If Kanye West is named as part of it, I normally change the channel. That has not changed. I have lived long enough to never say never but, so far, nothing resonates with me.

That recently changed (sort of)

Recently, I saw a news teaser about who Kanye West was “supporting” for President in 2016. I didn’t really care (see above if confused) but decided to let the show run because I did have a hunch of who it might be. As it turns out I don’t believe Kanye has endorsed Dr. Ben Carson for President but he has had some good things to say about him as in the comment below,

“As soon as I heard [Ben] Carson speak, I tried for three weeks to get on the phone with him. I was like this is the most brilliant guy,” Kanye said in his interview with Vanity Fair. You can read more about this here


Photo Credit – Getty Images

Dr. Ben Carson

I have been an admirer of Dr. Ben Carson ever since I saw his Prayer Breakfast Speech from February 7, 2013. He spoke truth to power in a way not often seen in the politically correct world we live in today. That took courage and conviction. If you have not seen that speech it is worth your time to go to the link below and watch it. No EXPLICIT warning is necessary but a Common Sense warning might be appropriate. Watch it with your entire family.

Dr. Benjamin Carson’s Amazing Speech at the National Prayer Breakfast with Obama Present

After seeing this speech I was curious to know more about this man so I did a little research. I have read America The Beautiful, One Vote, Make Your Voice HeardOne Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future, watched Gifted Hands, the 2009 movie about his life starring Cuba Gooding Jr., and am looking forward to his new book A More Perfect Union: What We the People Can Do to Reclaim Our Constitutional Liberties, due to release on October 6th.

Before it was cool

My research has only increased my admiration of Dr. Carson. I knew if he did decide to run for office I would support him. I just wasn’t sure if I would get that opportunity.  I knew it was a long shot but held out hope he would decide to run for office. If you have been paying attention at all you are aware he did make that decision and is doing very well. What he has done and said so far does resonate with me and I don’t expect that to change. However, the never say never reality also applies here because we are all human.


I am a white, southern, conservative, just to the right of Rush Limbaugh, Christian who believes it is my civic duty as a citizen to be an informed participant in government by not neglecting my voting privilege. I am probably one of the few who can say they have voted for both Bill Clinton and Jeb Bush for Governor. I did learn after that Clinton vote and did not make that mistake again. He attended the same church we did in Little Rock and so I was giving him the benefit of the doubt before my eyes were opened to his true character. In my defense, I was much younger then and did not do my research before that vote – lesson learned.

It is not much of a stretch for someone such as myself to embrace the message of Dr. Ben Carson. He reminds me of the first President I was eligible to and did vote for, Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan always believed in the strength and ingenuity of the American people as does Dr. Carson. The success of his presidency was due, in large part, to the American people being involved by calling and writing their representatives to express their opinion and desires. This is how many of his initiatives were moved through Congress, bypassing the filter of the mainstream media. From what I have seen and read from Dr. Carson, he plans to do the same thing when he is elected President.

Mobiles the American People

Dr. Carson recently went to Harlem and spoke truth to those there as few have ever done but the most significant thing he said and I paraphrase here is


Have you heard that from any elected official or candidate lately? Refreshing, isn’t it.

Kanye, Ben & Me

Dr. Ben Carson has said repeatedly he plans to bring the American people together, not divide them as most politicians choose to do. Since he is not a career politician I believe he has a good chance to pull this off. I am writing today to show proof of concept for this goal. He has already done it at least once or you would not be reading this post. If his fans are curious enough to take a closer look, unfiltered by “news” media, at Dr. Ben Carson that could be a game changer in the upcoming election. I believe that closer look will result in many more who will admire Ben Carson and will choose to support him as I do.


All I am advocating here is for YOU to be an informed voter, learn about the candidates and vote for the one who best matches your beliefs and values. Don’t rely on news media to tell you who they want you to vote for. Do keep in mind there is no perfect candidate, even Dr. Ben Carson. Don’t let your quest for the mythical perfect candidate deter you from determining who the best candidate is and supporting that choice.

Specifically, I am advocating YOU take a close look at Dr. Ben Carson. You can get any of the books or the movie mentioned above or just Like his Facebook page as over 4 million already have. He normally answers questions sent in by anyone who has one to ask. YOU could even write and ask him your own questions. I look forward to this post every night myself and continue to learn more with each one. I don’t know of any other candidate doing this.

Here is a link to his web site at BenCarson.com where you can learn more too.

So, as I think I have made clear here I am not a Kanye West fan and expect he would not be a fan of mine if he even knew who I was. We are very different. We do have one thing in common though, a respect and admiration for Dr. Ben Carson. I gladly welcome Kanye to the team called We The People.

The People

The fact Dr. Carson has brought two such diverse individuals as me and Kanye West together on the same team gives me hope for the future of our great country. Just imagine what could happen if this scenario is repeated over and over again between now and November 8, 2016. We will be waking up to a new day in America with a positive, optimistic future ahead.

God Bless America!

Until next time…

If you like what you read here or just want to see what comes out of my warped mind enter your email address in the sidebar on the left and subscribe. This is the only way to ensure you will be notified immediately whenever a new post is published.


I still get mad every year when I am reminded of 9-11-01 and what the coward Muslim terrorists did to America. I pray for all those families directly affected by this act of cowardice. If you were alive at that time and live in America you were affected too, maybe not directly by having a family member or friend or someone you know killed or hurt, but you were affected.

Often Reminded – Will NEVER FORGET

I am reminded of this event every time I go through a security line at the airport, which, at that time in my life I was doing rather often. I was working as a consultant, living in Tallahassee and flying to St. Louis every week. I would normally fly up on Monday morning and home on Friday afternoon. I had flown to St. Louis on Monday, 9-10-01, as normal. On that Tuesday just before I walked out the door of my apartment they were reporting a plane had hit the first tower. I heard about the plane hitting the second tower, the Pentagon and Flight 93 later at work. My purpose here is not to recount these events that occurred on 9-11-01. Never Forget_911That has been done and, hopefully, will be done in the future so we, and those who follow us, will Never Forget. I do hope this will be taught truthfully and not through the revisionist filter most history is taught today but know that is probably an unrealistic hope in today’s world.

Meanwhile, back at home

Sharin, as normal, was taking care of things on the home front, which included our four kids AND working as a substitute teacher at the time. On Tuesday, 9-11-01 she was substituting in a first grade class at North Florida Christian School. Three of our children were there but Sarah was at Chiles High School which became an issue when a state of emergency was declared in Florida by Governor Jeb Bush after the attacks. Parents were coming to pick up their children but she could not leave to go get Sarah because of her responsibilities at NFCS. She did ultimately get them all home.


As you probably know, all air traffic was grounded that Tuesday and did not resume until Friday. I had decided I was going to go home and flying was how I planned to get there and was able to get a Saturday flight scheduled. My thinking was flying was probably the safest way to travel as the likelihood of another terrorist attack via airlines was very slim. I remember we did have to wait for our flight crew on Saturday because some flight crews were just not showing up, some due to the previous days of canceled flights and some because they did not want to fly again yet. I believe the airlines were giving them that option at the time, understandably. There was plenty of room on the planes as I remember too.

Routine and not so routine


I did get home that Saturday and gave my family great big hugs. Sarah, Amy, Rachel and Thomas were 14, 11, 7 and 5 respectively at the time. We probably went to Sonny’s for supper that night as that was one of our favorite places to eat and, on Saturday night, kids ate free, so that was our normal routine.

It was also our normal routine when getting the kids to bed to have them say their prayers and pray with them and that is where this story gets good for me. While putting Thomas to bed we talked about what had happened that week and if I was scared by it. I told him I was more angry than scared but everyone also had a right to be scared because what just happened four days earlier was unprecedented and scary. I probably used smaller words at the time but he was pretty fluent in the language for a 5 year old. He had started having conversations and coffee, as he called it, with his PawPaw when he was three. He would often surprise and amaze us with some of the “big” words he would use and use them correctly in conversation.

Anyway, he said he had been thinking a lot lately and a lot this week especially about asking Jesus into his heart to be his savior. He knew what sin was and that he had sinned and he needed a savior and he wanted to get this settled. This was not unexpected since he had been in church since he was an infant. We talked a little more and then he prayed and asked Jesus to come into and live in his heart. This was an exciting time for us and I know the angels in heaven were rejoicing too. I told him from that moment on he did not have to worry about where he would spend eternity. He would be spending it with his sisters, parents, grandparents and all others who have made this decision to accept the gift of eternal life that Jesus offers. Our parents and grandparents are all there waiting for us now.

To God Be the Glory

Thomas was the last of our children to make this decision. He IS the youngest so that was really not unexpected either. Our primary goal as parents was to see our children come to know the Lord and then see them walking in the truth. This event fulfilled that first goal for us. That second goal is a daily work in progress for all of us. I am proud all our children are walking the walk usually much better than I do. I learn as much, probably more, from them as they do from me. We knew from that moment on, regardless of when any of us are called home to Heaven, we will all be reunited there one day and that is an amazing truth we all cherish. It was not an accomplishment we achieved but one He achieved and I still thank Him for that every day.

Thomas went forward that Sunday morning to make his profession of faith public. We met with Pastor Ray that afternoon and he was baptized that night. He did not want to wait but wanted to get it done and get it done that day.00400834297020110427134028999 (2)

9-11-01 – 9-15-01

So, when 9-11 comes around every year I do remember what happened on 9-11-01 and I get mad all over again and pray for all the families whose lives were changed forever that day; but then my thoughts turn to 9-15-01 when Thomas made a decision that would change his life forever and that makes me happy.

Until next time…

If you like what you read here or just want to see what comes out of my warped mind enter your email address in the sidebar on the left and subscribe. This is the only way to ensure you will be notified immediately whenever a new post is published.

“You Can’t Please Everyone”

Community Forum

Take Back Enterprise held a community forum on Monday night, 8/24/15, attended by over 100 folks where the vision and purpose of the organization was shared and questions were asked and answered. Since the meeting was pretty well covered by local news media from Dothan and Enterprise I had not planned on writing about it.

Pretty well covered

Some in the media chose to actually report on the meeting while some didn’t. Some chose to report on it before they decided to un-report on it and post an opinion piece instead. Some chose not to attend because the media wasn’t invited. It was a community forum, not a press conference so press invitations were not sent to anyone.

See and hear what was said for yourself

There is no need for me to repeat any more about the content of this meeting. You can see the slides and hear the entire presentation at the Take Back Enterprise YouTube channel at TBE Presentation 2015 08 24. You can also learn more at their web site takebackenterprise.com or their Facebook page where the Likes are growing every day.

News Media Coverage

However the media coverage of this forum was interesting and provides an indication to me this group has already struck a nerve and it is going to be an interesting election year between now and next August. Because of that, I decided I would share a few thoughts on what I have observed.

Valencia Jones from WDHN covered the forum Monday night and then followed up with an interview with the mayor on Tuesday to get his response. Both stories can be seen at their web site at DothanFirst.com. The links to those specific stories are below. It’s refreshing when any story is covered this way. It’s sad this is now an exception in news reporting as editorial decisions are made based on what has the greatest shock value, will generate the most advertising dollars, and the ideological preference of the editor.

Take Back Enterprise hosts community forum, call for more open government

From her interview with Turner Townsend he said, “We’re not saying the City of Enterprise has burned to the ground, we’re not saying our garbage is not getting picked up. We’re saying we need access to information, and they need to present it in a way that it can be easily accessed.”

Mayor Boswell, resident respond to Take Back Enterprise Accusations

From her interview with Mayor Boswell Valencia Jones said, “Boswell said, as the old saying goes, you can’t please everyone. In terms of the next steps in further addressing the group’s concerns, he said there are no next steps on his part, stating it is up to those with concerns to come and be heard before city council to discuss the possibility of a formal meeting.”

Cassie Gibbs from The Southeast Sun covered the meeting in the article, Take Back Enterprise aims to educate citizens.

I did not see any coverage of the meeting in The Enterprise Ledger or on WTVY.

Opinions – Everyone has one

There were a couple of opinion pieces published on Sunday, 8/30/15. Curious they both came out on the same day. Hmm… Neither of the opinion writers attended the community forum. Neither of their articles were very well researched. Both took shots at a group just asking legitimate questions of public officials and trying to create more open government in Enterprise.

One was in The Enterprise Ledger by Kyle Mooty and the other was on a web site called RickeyStokesNews.com and written by Rickey Stokes. I have read and agreed with many of Kyle Mooty’s articles and thought some were well done but this was not one of his better efforts. He has done better. I am not a regular reader of Rickey Stokes News. A friend told me he had mentioned me in one of his articles the week before the meeting and then another friend told me he had mentioned me again in the most recent one below so I thought I would take a look and see if he had anything meaningful to say. I did not find much.

Here are links to the above-referenced articles, if they are both still up.

Who’s Trying to Take Back E’prise?

Enterprise is on a better path than it should expect

Things that make me go hmm…

Over the past two years I have been to as many, probably more, Enterprise City Council and School Board meetings as anyone other than the board, council members, mayor and those they require to attend. I have a pretty good idea of what goes on in these meetings and what doesn’t. I have rarely seen either Mr. Mooty or Mr. Stokes at either. The Ledger does normally have a reporter there, just not Mr. Mooty. I did notice Mr. Stokes at a city council meeting recently though. I didn’t see any article posted on his site about that meeting and didn’t think much about it until he started writing about Take Back Enterprise shortly after that meeting. Hmm…

Reported, then unreported

Mr. Stokes did have one of his people, Matt Boster, attend the community forum. He recorded it and wrote and published a pretty straightforward article about the meeting, including a couple of videos. However, that was all pulled down from his web site for some reason within a couple of hours after it was posted on the night of the meeting. Then, this opinion piece, written by Mr. Stokes, was published six days later on Sunday. Hmm…

Who are these so-called “bitter people”?

I know Mr. Mooty has been in the news business long enough to know there are at least two sides to every story. It seems to me as a journalist he would welcome more open government or ask more questions himself instead of simply viewing everything through rose colored glasses. Sometimes an apple is beautiful and glossy on the outside but when you cut it open you find a worm.

I do understand opinion columns are normally one-sided and are just opinions. This one fit that pattern. This blog is where I share my opinion.

I wonder if he has made any attempt to talk to these so-called “bitter people” he keeps referring to and listen to their side of the story or if he is just repeating references he is hearing from “someone else”. Who are these bitter people? Hmm…

Old Sayings

The mayor referenced an old saying in his interview, “You can’t please everyone.”   I do agree with and understand that saying and believe it is true; just don’t think it was appropriate in this context.

There is another old saying attributed to Abraham Lincoln I do believe is appropriate here, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.” I guess everyone has to determine which group of people you belong to.

Lincoln_Fool some people

Next Step

It was reported in both the Enterprise Ledger and Southeast Sun and the Take Back Enterprise website that they did take the next step the mayor mentioned and did appear before the council in the council meeting on 9/1/15 and made several formal requests. Here is a link to the letter they read and presented to the council members and mayor. The next step now is up to the mayor and city council. I am interested to see how they choose to respond.

Until next time…

If you like what you read here or just want to see what comes out of my warped mind enter your email address in the sidebar on the left and subscribe. This is the only way to ensure you will be notified immediately whenever a new post is published.

My Community Perspective – August 2015

I wrote about the first Take Back Enterprise community forum a couple of months ago in Wake Up Enterprise. I just received notification a couple of days ago about the follow-up to that meeting which is now scheduled for Monday, August 24, 2015 at 6:00 PM at the Econo Lodge on Glover Avenue in Enterprise.

366 days from this date, 8/23/16, is Election Day in Enterprise.

TBE_Community Forum_8-14-2015 8-18-06 PM

Add this to your calendar and get out and learn what Take Back Enterprise is all about. If you were at the first meeting come back and see the progress made in the last couple of months and bring a friend or two or three so they can learn too.

Meeting Format

If you were not at the first meeting there will be a presentation by Turner and Michael explaining exactly what Take Back Enterprise is and what it isn’t with updates since the first meeting. They will want to hear from you as well. YOUR questions and input are welcome. It will probably last about an hour, maybe an hour and a half.

Letter to the Editor

I posted the letter to the editor below a couple of weeks ago in the Southeast Sun but could not share the actual links there. Links don’t work in the hard copy of a newspaper, so I wanted to share them here so you can click on the link and go take a look at some of the new information now available at the City of Enterprise web site.

More City Information Now Available Online

This letter is to commend and thank the Enterprise City Council, City Clerk, website administrator and technicians and any others who had a hand in the improvements and additional information now available at the city website. If you have not visited the website lately go to http://www.enterpriseal.gov and take a look. You can now see both the formal city council meeting as well as work session minutes as far back as 2008. The 2014 City Audit is also available.

In reading the work session minutes for 5/13/15 Councilman Rhett Marques had indicated his constituents had requested the city provide more information including these minutes on their web site and it appears that request has been granted. Anyone who has read any of my blog posts know this is one of the things I have long thought would be beneficial for all. This is one positive step in that direction. I believe the information has always been available at City Hall but being able to access this online makes it much more freely accessible to anyone who wants to see it. With the negligible cost of hardware needed to make this available online there is no reason not to make all public city information available here.

I encourage all to browse, download, read and learn and become a more informed citizen.

Providing information and making it easily available is a huge part of transparency in government so any improvement in this area is welcome.

Some City Web Site Navigation Tips

Once you click on http://www.enterpriseal.gov you will see the home page as shown below (Keep in mind web sites are always changing so this is how it looks as of this date.)

Warning: The video is set to automatically start playing and does so every time you go to the home page. You may want to watch it the first time you visit the site but, if you are like me, and find this annoying, you will just have to pause it manually for subsequent visits.

EnterpriseAL.gov_Front page_top_8-14-2015 7-09-16 PM



If you click on the Departments tab you will see the page below.

EnterpriseAL.gov_Departments_top_8-14-2015 7-09-16 PM

You can click on the City Clerk/Treasurer Department from the page above or from the City Leadership tab as shown below. Here is where you will find the 2014 City Audit you can download and review at your convenience.

EnterpriseAL.gov_City Clerk Treasurer_top_8-14-2015 7-28-17 PM

Clicking on the City Leadership tab and then City Council from the home page will take you to the page shown below where you can see the buttons for Council Minutes, Work Session Minutes and Ordinances.

EnterpriseAL.gov_City Leadership_Minutes_top_8-14-2015 7-09-16 PM



Check it out for yourself if you want to see what is now available. It is much improved, although that Auto Play Video being turned off would be another improvement in my opinion.

My Hope, Your Choice

I hope you will choose to get involved and learn more about what is going on in our community. It is a choice and it is up to you, no one else. Checking out this information online and getting out to the Community Forum and learning more are two steps you can take now to accept your individual responsibility to become a more informed and involved citizen. Attending City Council Meetings is another way to learn. A large number of informed and involved citizens can collectively hold leaders accountable, and, if needed, make changes. You really will not know if any changes need to be made unless you are informed. My hope is you will make a choice you will not regret.

After my original publishing of this post I saw this quote in my news feed and it fits here so here it is.

Citizens Quote

Until next time…

If you like what you read here or just want to see what comes out of my warped mind enter your email address in the sidebar on the left and subscribe. This is the only way to ensure you will be notified immediately whenever a new post is published.

What If?

When is the last time you looked for a job? I have been blessed with a job and career I love and haven’t wanted or needed to look myself recently. However, I have talked to several friends lately who are looking. Based on their experiences, times have changed which prompted these thoughts and questions from my own experience and peculiar perspective.

External Communication Matters

Has business etiquette changed so much that what was once common practice, courtesy, and professionalism in business communications been discarded? If you interviewed for a job at an organization and were told they would let you know their decision in a couple of weeks and that turned into two months, then three would that experience change your perception of that organization?

Would you even want to work there if they did call again?

What if they did call again after three plus months and said there was another opening (when they had not even notified you what happened with the original position you interviewed for)?

What if you did STILL want to work there and called them back and left a message that same day and they went dark again and did not return your phone call?

Would you tell anyone else you talk to about this lack of common courtesy and professionalism at this organization?

The question I would be asking myself is, if the organization does not care enough to treat me with respect during the hiring process (when they are usually trying to exhibit the positive reasons for someone wanting to work there) is there any reason to expect they will treat me with respect if I was working there?  How organizations handle their interactions with potential employees speaks volumes to those potential employees. They will talk to others about their experience.

Word of mouth is a powerful force and negative experiences travel much faster and farther than positive ones.

Internal Actions Matter

What if you worked for an organization for many years, had really grown and excelled at your job, loved your job and the impact you were having on your clients and those working with you, and you always received good reviews from your supervisors and your clients loved you?

What if an opportunity arose for you to move up to the next level in that organization and were hoping this would be a great career move for you so you followed the proper procedures to apply for that position?

What if you expected, or at least hoped, your organization would consider your loyalty, record of service and qualifications would make you a viable candidate for this new role?

What if you learned you were one of many qualified applicants of which NONE were even called in for an interview?

What if you discovered the “leader” of the organization had decided who they were going to hire before the job was even posted and never planned to interview anyone, making the job posting a farce?

What if this happened over and over again?

Would it raise any red flags or questions in your mind as to the motive behind these actions?

Would you have any reason to expect to be treated fairly in that organization in the future?

Would you apply again when another career opportunity was “posted”?

Morale Matters

Treating employees with this level of disdain and disrespect does have a negative affect on employee morale wherever it is practiced. It works every time it is tried.

I don’t know how that display of arrogance, disdain and disrespect would make you feel but can give you a few thoughts about how it would make me feel. It would make me rethink the regard and respect I previously held for that organization. It would be a demotivating experience, to put it mildly, and force me to seek and consider other opportunities where my efforts would be appreciated.

I would expect my co-workers and colleagues to hold similar feelings.

I would expect this low morale to affect the quality of service ALL employees would be able to provide to the clients of the organization.

It is just human nature. If you are not happy in your job you cannot perform up to your potential.

I would also expect the number of clients to decrease over time as those with more experience leave the organization and less experienced replacements are hired.

I would expect word of mouth to spread the word about what it is really like to work in this organization (see word of mouth above).

I would expect all of these factors to have a negative and damaging effect on the integrity of the organization.

Once integrity is lost it is very difficult to re-establish.

What if these practices were allowed to continue? The organization would not be hiring and promoting the best candidates for available positions. The reputation of the organization would suffer. Future best candidates would no longer bother to apply. Employee morale would be low. All these factors would be detrimental to the long-term success of the organization.

What if all these “what ifs” were real and existed in your organization? What would you do? Sadly, I suspect this scenario is not hypothetical but reality for more people than you know.

You Don’t Build Organizations

An expectation for any organization to treat its employees and potential employees with respect should not be an exceptional expectation. It should be the norm. Organizations are made up of people. Those people make choices. Once those choices are made the consequences or benefits of those choices are realized.

You don’t build organizations. You build people and the people build the organization. The opposite also holds true. You destroy your organization when you degrade, disrespect and tear down the people who helped build it.

There Is Hope

Working in an oppressive work environment with an obvious lack of organizational leadership as described above reminds me of the story of Joseph. One of my favorite scripture verses from his story that might provide some hope for you if you do find yourself in such an environment is Genesis 50:20. Joseph was speaking to his brothers, who had sold him into slavery many years before, as they were reunited.

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” Genesis 50:20

God has a unique plan for us all even when we are walking through trying times. His plan for you may be leaving your current organization for a better opportunity elsewhere or it could be staying right where you are and continuing to provide exceptional service to your clients in spite of the circumstances. Both are valid choices.

My hope and prayer for you, if this is your current situation, is for God to grant you both perseverance and wisdom.

Until next time…

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Reality, Biblical Correctness and GQ

I ended my post called Don’t believe Phil…or me either published on January 9, 2014 with the recommendation,

“If you really want to understand what Phil Robertson believes get his book unPhiltered, which was published after this article and controversy.”

IMG_20150711_113402.242 (3)I recently finished reading unPhiltered by Phil Robertson myself and am glad I followed my own advice. I enjoyed it so much I decided to share a few details about the book as well as provide a postscript to the GQ article controversy that encouraged me and I hope will do the same for you. I made the picture of his book black and white because Phil still believes, as I do, right & wrong as well as good & evil still exists. The fact that popular culture does not subscribe to this belief has no bearing on that truth.

Love God, Love Other People

If you want an executive summary of unPhiltered here it is:

Love God. Love one another.

Everything Phil Robertson believes and says flows through this filter. It is an amazingly simple, yet profound, summary of what Jesus Christ tells us, as Christians, to do. Phil is not the source for this thought or philosophy. It is a very concise paraphrase of what Jesus said in Matthew 22:34-40.

34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

The Way Phil Sees It

The subtitle of the book is “The Way I See It” and that is what you get; Phil’s opinion, wisdom and common sense formed in 28 years BJC and 40+ years AJC. This is not his life story. If you want that Happy, Happy, Happy is the book you need.

unPhiltered is presented in three sections, Personal Lifestyles, Hot Topics, and Faith. It is written in a conversational style as if you were sitting with Phil at his kitchen table listening to him describe the way he sees life and making a pretty good case for you to come around to his way of thinking if you are not already there. I found myself agreeing with his views and common sense and think many of you will too.

It is, as the title alludes to, unfiltered. Don’t be fooled by his appearance and slow talking Southern demeanor. Phil Robertson is a very wise man.

Personal Lifestyles

The topics of Spiritual Dieting, Money, Social Media, Family, and my favorite in this section Biblical Correctness are covered in this section.

He starts with a quote from the preface of the first edition of the American Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1828 by a man named Noah Webster.

“The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evils which men suffer from, vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.”

Phil believes this statement is true and does his best to live according to the precepts in the Bible. He captured my sentiments exactly when he said,

“The way things are going, it’s okay to have an opinion in America, as long as you don’t offend anyone and don’t quote the Bible.”

Biblical Correctness

Phil has decided to be biblically correct instead of politically correct and I think that is a wise decision. Here are a couple more highlights from this topic that give you a flavor for his perspective. These are even more true today than when this book was published.

“Biblical correctness has never changed. Conversely, political correctness is constantly changing and evolving. There has been a constant erosion of biblical correctness in our country. Political correctness is constantly morphing into a dark maze of nonsense. It keeps getting more and more nonsensical.”

“Today’s truth is based on what is socially acceptable, and biblical correctness has somehow become hate speech.”

Hot Topics

In section two Phil discusses Politics, Race, Entitlements, Government and Gun Control.

Gun Control

On the topic of gun control Phil points out murder is sin and has been so “2,700 years before guns were introduced. You can’t blame sin on the device one uses; you blame the person committing the sin.”

“Trust me, the murder rate in this country would drop dramatically if we started to love God and love one another. It is the solution to all of our country’s ailments, as well as the ailments of the entire world.”

There he goes again – love God and love one another. I told you that is THE central theme in how Phil sees the world.

Sin Control

“It was a love problem when the law was written – do not murder – not a weapons problem. It is a love problem now. We need sin control and self control.”


In this last section the topics are Intelligent Design Or Blind Chance, Good VS. Evil, Sin, Death and Good News.

In this last section the first chapter, Intelligent Design Or Blind Chance, Phil makes a solid case for why evolution does not make any sense and is not supported by the “evidence” evolutionists claim exists. He knows this subject very well and makes arguments you could use in discussing this subject with others too.


In the chapter on Sin he covers the GQ article interview and his description is not too far from the one I provided in my blog post Don’t believe Phil…or me either published a little over a year and a half ago. That was encouraging to me and proved the old adage even a blind hog can find an acorn every now and then.

He encourages you to read the source, the Bible, for yourself as I did.

“The gospel is the same, Jesus is the same, and the response is the same. I’m not saying anything that you can’t document, read, and verify on your own by simply picking up a Bible and reading it. I strongly suggest you do.”

GQ Article Controversy Postscript

In the aftermath of the GQ Article controversy and Phil’s suspension from Duck Dynasty you will learn how Phil felt about the whole situation and might be surprised. You will also be reminded God is always in control of every situation. He can and often does use the most unlikely situation for His glory. He did that again with this situation.

Phil gives two examples of people who learned about the GQ article controversy and, as a result, now have their eternal reservations confirmed in Heaven. Their lives were changed forever by what many only see as a controversy or even hate speech. You will have to get the book to learn the details. These are just two examples at the time he wrote the book of people who actually visited White’s Ferry Road Church in West Monroe, Louisiana, where Phil worships and teaches a Sunday School class. I am confident there are many more both before and since who have made similar decisions Phil is not aware of. God knows and the people whose lives have been changed forever know and that is all that really matters.

In light of this controversy and A&E’s response to it Phil’s perspective is probably not one Hollywood would share or promote but it is true.

“Who would have ever thought that Hollywood, through a reality TV show, would be financing the gospel being preached all over the United States and world?”

Good News

In closing here are a couple more thoughts from the book that most who condemn Phil for his beliefs ignore or refuse to understand. They are not unique to Phil Robertson but are shared by all who believe and live as Christians.

“I condemn no one, and you don’t have to judge anybody. Just go forth and tell people about Jesus. The power to save people is in the story. Just tell the story.”

“Just remember this–even if you hate me, I love you anyway. So does God.” 

Check it out for yourself

There is no way I could really do justice to this book here. I only scratched the surface. I hope I have shared enough to generate some interest and you will get your own copy and read it for yourself. Click here and order unPhiltered online or pick it up at your local book store. If you do I am confident you will be glad you did.

It might even make you Happy, Happy, Happy!

Until next time…

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With a Firm Reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence

The words below are what set our course for the Independence we now celebrate annually on the 4th of July every year in America. In the midst of barbecues, beaches, family, friends, parades and fireworks as you celebrate the anniversary of this declaration take a few minutes to read these words. They remain profound in wisdom, boldness, courage and are still today quite revolutionary.

This is The Declaration of Independence declaring independence from the King of Britain but it is also a Declaration of Dependence as these men pledge to each other their Lives, our Fortunes and sacred Honor “with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence.” This document is

God Bless the United States of America!


IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

  • He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
  • He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
  • He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
  • He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
  • He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
  • He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
  • He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
  • He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
  • He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
  • He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
  • He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
  • He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
  • He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
    •  For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
    •  For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which    they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
    •  For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
    •  For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
    •  For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
    •  For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
    •  For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province,  establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries    so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the  same absolute rule into these Colonies:
    •  For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and  altering  fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
    •  For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with  power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
  • He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
  • He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
  • He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
  • He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
  • He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton

Column 2
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton

Column 3
John Hancock
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Column 4
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean

Column 5
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark

Column 6
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton



There are numerous places online where you can get a copy of this document if you want one. Here are a couple for your convenience.

The Charters of Freedom

The Heritage Foundation

Until next time…

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350px-boll_weevil_monumentHistorical, unique, encouraging, refreshing, epic – not words I would normally use to describe a school board meeting in Enterprise. Historical could always be used because the minutes are recorded for history. However, the other adjectives are not normally applicable.

Most board meetings you can look at the agenda, note all items to be voted on, assume they all passed unanimously and you would be accurate almost all of the time. I don’t remember seeing a dissenting vote in the meetings I have attended since the board was reconfigured about two years ago. A City Divided describes that reconfiguration if you need to catch up.

Epic – Really!

The meeting held on June 11, 2015 at 12:00 noon, however, was definitely unique based on my experience of observing meetings over the past 2 years. It was also encouraging, refreshing and might even approach epic status. I did look that up before I decided to use it and I think it fits. Epic is defined as extending beyond the usual or ordinary. This meeting met that standard.

The meeting had proceeded as usual up until after the personnel list was read and approved. That is when Dr. Wright submitted her candidate for Director of Elementary Education, Katrina Bowling, to the board for approval. Prior to today approval would immediately follow, which is what I expected.

New Board Member Reporting for Duty

Oh, there was one more new item in this meeting. It was the first meeting for new board member Dr. Daniel Whitaker and his presence and participation was welcomed, noticed and appreciated by this observer.

Doctor to Doctor

After a motion and a second, discussion was asked for, before the vote in this instance. That is when Dr. Whitaker asked several questions regarding how this candidate was chosen. Here are those questions and Dr. Wright’s answers from my notes.

How many people applied for this position? 70

How many of those who applied met the qualifications for the position? 50

Did you interview anyone else? No. We are not required to interview, just to post the position. Her experience with Pre-K was important. Consistency with what we are doing here in Enterprise was the most important criteria.

Do any of the other candidates work in this role now or have experience in this role? If so, were their results or test scores better than ours? I don’t know. Since we have had so many changes over the past year, the superseding need was consistency. 

If you are interested in changes over the past year you can take a look at An Eventful Year in Enterprise. Change has been a constant over the past year.

Process Not Personalities

These are common sense and practical questions for any open position, especially that of a Director of Elementary Education. None of this has anything to do with the qualifications of Ms. Bowling. She could very well be the most qualified and experienced candidate. I do think she is starting this new position at a disadvantage now because this has been brought to light.

How can we know we are getting the best candidate for any position if none of the other applicants are vetted and interviewed? I can answer that one. We can’t.

Is it unreasonable to expect when positions are open the best candidate for that position is the goal of the selection process? Isn’t that what makes any organization better and on the path to being the best it can be?

Should consistency be the overriding criteria?

A Rare No Vote

After these questions were asked and answered the vote was called for.

Dr. Whitaker voted No.

It was really the only logical vote he could make as the questions he asked illustrated the fact the selection process was short-circuited at best. Everyone else voted for the recommendation so it did pass 3-1.

So what does this mean?

What it means to me is we have a board member now who thinks for himself and when he has questions is not afraid to ask them AND when those questions are not answered to his satisfaction not afraid to cast a dissenting vote. That sets him apart from most of the other board members immediately.

Why did no one else ask these questions?

Do I expect to see this at every meeting?

No. Of course not. I do hope we see it when it is appropriate based on common sense and the oversight role I believe the board is charged with fulfilling.

This is only one meeting but it is a positive and encouraging sign for me and I suspect many others.

I do hope Dr. Whitaker continues to speak out, ask questions, and vote his convictions. I know he will be discouraged from doing so by the Alabama State Board of Education and others. The ceremonial-no discussion-unanimous vote meetings are what the State Board wants. I don’t agree with that philosophy and don’t believe it serves the public well. That promotes What Works 100% of the Time and not transparency.

I will pray for Dr. Whitaker as I do for all board members that he will make all decisions in his official capacity as board member based on what is best for those he serves and nothing else. Based on today’s meeting I am encouraged he will do just that.

Welcome Dr. Whitaker and thanks for making today’s meeting unique, encouraging, refreshing and, yes, EPIC!

Until next time…

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Wake Up Enterprise!

Take Back Enterprise – Informational Meeting

A couple of weeks ago I attended an informational meeting for a new group in town. I have written about Take Back Enterprise before but at this meeting I learned more details about their vision, purpose and goals and the progress they have made so far working toward their official media launch later this summer. This post is an attempt to share some of the highlights of that meeting and how YOU can participate and help. There was far too much information shared for me to try to cover it all here.

However, Turner, Michael, Reid or Mark will be happy to come speak to your group and share their purpose, vision and goals if you have one that is interested. Just get in touch with them and ask them and work out the details. 

Not an Official Spokesman – Am an Official Supporter

In case there is any confusion regarding my affiliation with Take Back Enterprise let me clear that up here. I am not an official spokesman for Take Back Enterprise. I am an official supporter of Take Back Enterprise and the goal of Open Government in Enterprise. I wrote about open government in my last post What Works 100% of the Time.

I do have a blog where I often write about local issues. As this is a local issue I will likely write about it from time to time in the future. I will share what I know when I do so. However, the board members are the final arbiters and source of information regarding Take Back Enterprise.

I was able to get a copy of what their logo and bumper stickers will look like and am proud to display them here. Here is the bumper sticker.

TBE_Logo_bumper sticker

I hope you see a lot of these around town later this summer and on into 2016. If you share the goal of creating an open government in Enterprise you will have the opportunity to display your own. You can expect to see and hear more about and from them very soon via their web site, social media, window decals, bumper stickers, billboards and print media.

TBE_Main Street_6-4-2015 11-56-55 AM

I love this picture they chose, and I borrowed, that shows the Boll Weevil Monument and Main Street Enterprise. Anyone who knows me or has read many of my blog posts knows I love most all things Disney and Main Street USA at Walt Disney World is one of my favorite places to just hang out and watch people.

This picture reminds me of that in a lot of ways. I grew up in Enterprise and Main Street Enterprise will always hold a special place in my heart and memories. I remember riding my bicycle downtown, jumping the curbs, going to the Toy Store, Dime Store, Western Auto and many others. Main Street Enterprise is nostalgic for me in the same way Main Street in Marceline, Missouri was for Walt Disney.

Consequently the intent of anything I write here, say or do regarding Enterprise is only to make Enterprise better. I believe that goal is also at the heart of Take Back Enterprise and most of the citizens of Enterprise as well.

Pardon my nostalgic digression…now, on to the highlights!

Council Meetings

At the State of the City presentation earlier this year, when recognizing the city council members, the mayor said they don’t always agree on every issue. I remember that statement because it seemed odd to me. That is not the perception I have after attending many city council meetings over the past couple of years. I have never seen a No vote on any issue. When the voting records of the city council were shared at this meeting I was very interested in those numbers.

During the period of 2006-2014, there have been 237 council meetings with 12,189 Yes votes and 3 No votes.

One can reasonably perceive from these numbers they do almost always agree on almost every issue. We can be told they don’t agree on every issue but the voting records do not support that statement.  Obviously there is a disconnect here that more transparency could minimize or eliminate. I suspect if you asked your councilman he would tell you they do disagree in private as well. That could be true but it is not the perception I get.

Gathering Public Information

Turner shared the hurdles he had to jump and cost Take Back Enterprise incurred in obtaining the information obtained so far, which is supposed to be public information. In contrast to this experience, he shared examples of other cities of similar size and how they freely share information online to illustrate how easy this could be. They have done their research. It should not be this difficult or expensive to gather public information which does belong to the public.

Charts, Graphs, Tables (Not included here)

Some of the other data shared were in charts, graphs and tables and would be hard to describe adequately here. I do not want to misrepresent any of this information but did want to make you aware it is already available. I encourage you to contact any of the board members for details if you are interested. The data for these tables and charts came from the city audits for the past several years acquired as mentioned above.

Historical population and sales tax revenue growth, and how those trends seem to follow each other were included.  Based on these historical numbers future growth projections were shown. They also showed the cumulative needs of the city along with cumulative actuals and the resulting cumulative difference for the past 5-6 years and projected out to 2020.

What do YOU want to see?

YOU have seen highlights here of some of the information they already have and can share now. Take Back Enterprise wants to hear from YOU regarding the type of information YOU want to see on their web site when it is launched later this summer. They cannot be advocates for government to be more collaborative and open without practicing the same themselves. If they are not in tune with what people want to see both the web site and group will be of little value. The only way they will know what YOU want to see is for YOU to tell them. I hope YOU can sense a theme here.

YOU can do that in several ways. Talk to them when YOU see them around town. Send them YOUR comments, suggestions and contributions to them at

Take Back Enterprise

P.O. Box 310372

Enterprise, AL 36331

Or via email at takebackeprise@gmail.com.

Here are a couple more examples of logos you will begin seeing soon. I think they are very well done.

TBE_Logo_Enterprise_5-28-2015 9-11-50 AM

TBE_Logo_No words_5-28-2015 9-15-02 AM

Here is the Take Back Enterprise Mission and Vision.

TBE Mission_5-30-2015 9-46-50 PM

TBE Vision_5-30-2015 9-47-39 PM

I end this update with a few quotes from Clint Eastwood I think relate well to this discussion. He was talking about his decision to speak out politically.

He spoke of how Jon Voight asked why no one in Hollywood ever spoke up. 

“And I thought, you know, he’s right. We are kinda chicken,” said Eastwood.

“We’re sitting here going, ‘we’ll let somebody else do it.’”

And he came to this conclusion…

“If it makes the right people angry, then good. Maybe it will wake them up!” ~ Clint Eastwood

Don’t sit back and expect “somebody else to do it” regarding pushing for open government in your city of Enterprise. Don’t be “kinda chicken.” Do YOUR part. Get involved. Remember, YOU can support this group anonymously if YOU don’t feel comfortable doing so publicly. 

Enterprise is doing well but can do better. Whether that happens or not depends, in large part, on YOU and what YOU choose to do over the next 12-14 months.

Wake Up Enterprise!

Until next time…

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