Saturday, November 7, 2009

We Offer a Question and an Answer

The rub of today's topic is that the question and answer aren't mated...

A reader from Killen has asked the current status of Allen Wilson, the Lauderdale County teacher who was recently convicted of misdemeanor assault and terminated from his position at Brooks High School. Wilson was sentenced to 90 days in the Lauderdale County Detention Center, but is currently free on appeal bond. Appeals are not heard in Alabama on a first come, first serve basis, so Mr. Wilson's freedom may be long-lived no matter the final outcome.

Wilson is also appealing his loss of position at the Killen high school, using his criminal attorney Tim Case in lieu of an AEA lawyer. Results from this appeal should be forthcoming within the next two months. After his hearing before the Lauderdale Board of Education, Wilson stated that he frequently had to be confrontational in order to solve school problems. We think the teacher-pilot has seen Glenn Ford in Blackboard Jungle one too many times.

As for Wilson's position as Lauderdale representative on the Muscle Shoals Airport Authority Board, the county commission recently replaced him with Greg Ezell, a local labor activist. We don't know Mr Ezell, but suspect the board meetings will henceforth be much more amiable.

Now, for our personal question for which we have no answer--yet. Those who use plastic at the Lauderdale County Courthouse to pay any form of taxes are aware that the county charges $3.00 for every swipe. Citizens may us their debit or credit cards to pay for car tags, property taxes, or any number of licenses that the county government sells; we imagine that many do use plastic simply for the convenience, and these $3.00 charges add up over time. Yes, it's called convenience--that's with a "c" that stands for cold cash for not just the company processing these electronic payments, but apparently Lauderdale County as well.

The September 14th minutes of the county commission extended the contract with the RDS company to process transactions at $2.48 each. That leaves the county with an extra fifty-two cents per transaction. Assuming Lauderdale County citizens use plastic 10K times a year, the county takes in an extra $5,200.00. That amount might be the proverbial drop in the bucket to a government with a budget the size of Lauderdale County, but we do ask:

Just how much extra does Lauderdale County garner from these electronic processing fees, and where does the money go? Jenoice? Danny? Mickey? Anyone?

Tomorrow: A question about Lauderdale County deputy Ronnie Valentine's involvement in the October 4, 2009, automobile crash in the Central community.