A previous article, Leechwatching Tools, introduced many laws and other resources that a citizen can use to keep their local government in line. While I am not an attorney, and none of what you read on this site is legal advice, the applicable laws, both state and federal, are clear enough for anyone to read them and know what they mean. For Georgia cities and counties, the Open Meetings Act is the first of these leechwatching tools we’ll discuss. Formally known as O.C.G.A. §50-14-1, et. seq. a text description of that Georgia law can be found at this link from the Georgia Attorney General’s site. Audrey, a former councilwoman who attended the state-mandated elected officials training, also provides additional content from that training.
Previously, we announced a class on mushrooms at the library in Reidsville. Once again, Stephanie and the team found a winner! Ancil Jacques, of Swampy Appleseed, gave an interesting interactive lecture to a packed house (about 30 people) on local mushrooms and their uses. Among many topics, he dispelled some myths about which mushrooms are edible and which ones are not. He also provided many tips for cultivating mushrooms, and brought along several demonstrations of simple cultures in bags, buckets and logs.
We’ve been asked several times why Audrey resigned her seat on the Manassas city council. This is a legitimate question which deserves a complete answer. The best answer is given by her resignation letter, which is on file with the election officials in Reidsville, and reads as following, in full:
On Friday, 25 November 2016, the day after Thanksgiving, the notorious Tattnall County Herpes Gang struck again, this time stealing the priceless Hope Log from the premises of the old school in a daring daylight heist. As the photos below show, first master-mind Bubba (Jim Bob) Herpes and his wife Sylvia Herpes (the safecracker of the gang) dislodged the log from its secure footings, and attempted to fit it into the back of their minivan. Failing this attempt, about two hours later, following a Pop-Rocks-fueled Super Two scratch-off binge down at the Hagan Pic-a-Mart, Bubba and his cousin Scooter Syphilis, the gang’s drift driver and part-time Pet Shop Boys female impersonator, returned and successfully made off with the goods, as shown below. Their VD caseworker was unavailable for comment.
All funnin’ aside, the Tattnall County Sheriff’s Office has, on multiple occasions, insisted that the crime around here was being committed by either black gangs, rowdy teenagers, or both. Do these people look like blacks or teenagers to you? They don’t to me, and neither have about 80% of the people we’ve had problems with trespassing on this property. Make that around 85% now. Given those two nice vehicles, they don’t look desperate or poor, either.
Herpes and Syphilis will make people do bizarre things, especially when they are in a gang together.
Many tools are available which we can use to find and expose public leeches. Some of these are listed below, we’ll get into more details about many of these in future articles. While I am not an attorney, and none of what you read on this site is legal advice, the applicable laws, both state and federal, are clear enough for anyone to read them and know what they mean. When researching federal laws, we prefer Cornell’s US code reference website. While we specifically reference Georgia law at the state level, leechwatchers outside of Georgia should find similar provisions in their own state laws. When researching Georgia law, we like to use Justia, which provides free access to the public. Title 36, Local Government and Title 45, Public Officers and Employees, are of particular interest to our leechwatching, although other civil and criminal statutes will be highlighted from time to time as needed. The Georgia Attorney General’s website is also helpful with two of these exceptions; the open meetings and open records acts, which both come from Title 50, State Government.
A previous article discussed the relationship between criminals, gangs and public officials. But, many times an official can be corrupt without having any relationship whatsoever with criminals or gangs, and there are many types of corruption other than aiding criminals.
Corruption has many forms, but the common thread behind all forms of corruption is simple: an official is corrupt when they attempt to use the power and authority of their public office (elected, appointed or employed) to obtain or do something to which their office does not entitle them.
To see all the ways that officials can be corrupt, we can look at the reasons why they become corrupt.
Public corruption, even at the smallest local level, inevitably leads to a society laced with crime and decay. In a previous post, I described an unsolved burglary at our old school in Manasass. Shortly after that crime, I received information that this break-in was part of a rash of similar crimes, almost two dozen, occurring in Tattnall and Evans counties in a period of less than a week. I also received information that a wealth of evidence, both electronic and physical, was ignored or set aside in the conduct of the subsequent investigations.
Now, a single crime here and there is a part of life. Sometimes, people just go bad. But a rash of similar crimes over a very short period of time indicates organized crime. A wave of crime such as this, especially a wave that goes unsolved for years, needs several supporting elements, each of which leaves numerous trails of evidence if anyone were to care to look. These supporting elements include:
This site is not just about chasing corrupt officials, it is ultimately about building a better community. So, we’ll post public interest news from time to time.
Stephanie at the Reidsville Library sent us a note about a program they are hosting for growing and foraging mushrooms. This class will be held in the library conference room at 5:30 on November, 29th.
Stephanie and her team have done a great job with helping create a better Tattnall County. Check out the seed bank they have there, it is a neat idea.
If you have any public interest news that you would like us to post, let us know. We are fully in support of anything that makes people more self-reliant and the community stronger.
We live in the old school in Manassas, which many of you know is on the west side of Henry Street, the north-south connector between 280 and 292 on the east side of Tattnall County. I’ve been asked before why this place looks the way it does.
We moved in the day before Halloween, 2014, just as our son was finishing his electrical engineering degree at Georgia Southern. He graduated that December. In mid-January, 2015, we were in Statesboro celebrating and helping him pack, when our place was burglarized, and sexual threats left by the burglars for my wife and then 12-year old daughter. For a short time thereafter, some items left outside were vandalized. Cars would drive through our place day and night, and some would even park, often in pairs. Previously, one individual, who impersonated a police officer, said he was there to make a drug deal. Other intruders would bang on walls and doors, usually at night, and then run away on foot like zombies on meth.
Emerging from the swamps like a primordial leech, The City of Manassas, Georgia, population 90 or so, occupies a hallowed position as the first to be granted the title of Leech City! Sucking the lifeblood out of county, state and federal taxpayers, and offering little in return in the way of culture, history or even simple recognition of law and order, the government of Manassas relentlessly squirms forward with little regard for fiscal responsibility or good governance.
Trapped inside its ravenous and insatiable maw (do leeches actually have maws, we wonder), we are in the perfect position to investigate and document its excesses and abuses of power; this blog is dedicated to that effort. But, our attention isn’t limited to this lurching, tiny monstrosity. Our attention is inexorably drawn outward to other local governments who also aspire to the title of Leech City. We intend to use facts and humor to ridicule the ridiculous, shame the shameful, and, where deserved, praise the praiseworthy.
Comments are welcome, including tips and other nominations for the title of Leech City. Competition for this coveted title is fierce, and we will heavily moderate comments to ensure that only factual information emerges. In this regard, we hold ourselves to a higher standard than most of our public officials hold themselves. We will, however, follow-up on interesting tips, using all the legal means at our disposal, which are formidable. Along the way, we’ll teach you those techniques, so that you, too, can become a leech watcher.
We’ll also feature a Leech of the Week from time to time, highlighting the lifetime achievements of those officials whose deeds and words indicate that their role in public service is for self-aggrandizement and comfort, rather than as our servants. Join us as we help them understand the value of civic responsibility, as they compete for Leech of the Year!