Chattahoochee Chatter: An absurd amount of votes

December 4, 2013 

Good morning, and welcome to another episode of Columbus Council's Theater of the Absurd.

What better way to start Chatter?

This week's episode is "The Return of the Crime Prevention Grants."

We open with a flashback to last week, when Councilor Gary Allen moved to delay the vote until Crime Prevention Director Seth Brown could get information about campaign contributions from the boards that oversee the nonprofit organizations.

That done -- to absolutely no fanfare, by the way -- council readdressed the grants Tuesday night.

But wait …

First, Councilor Glenn Davis moved that two of the grants be removed from the list and that council vote on the other eight.

That motion failed on a 4-4 vote. Davis, Judy Thomas, Mike Baker and Red McDaniel on one side. Pops Barnes, Mimi Woodson, Evelyn Turner-Pugh and Bruce Huff on the other. Councilor Skip Henderson arrived after the vote and Allen was a no-show.

Then Thomas moved that one of Davis' chosen two, former NBA star Sam Mitchell's SaMarc Foundation, be separated for a separate vote. That passed unanimously, setting up two more votes.

And then things got weird.

The nine-grant package passed 6-3, with Barnes, Woodson and Davis voting no.

Then, lo and behold, council voted to approve the SaMarc grant. Again, it was 6-3, but with Thomas, Baker and Davis opposing the grant.

It makes you wonder what the vote would have been if they'd just voted on the whole package.


The next time you see Muscogee County School District Superintendent David Lewis, we suggest you congratulate him.

He has lived in an apartment by himself since the school board hired him in July from Polk County, Fla., while his wife, Karen, finished her commitment as the choral director at Fort Meade (Fla.) Middle/Senior High School.

But during the Thanksgiving break, Lewis closed on a house in Columbus, and Karen will join him after her final concert this month -- so the superintendent will join us as property taxpayers in the county.


With help from Fort Benning's Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation and FedEx Trees For Troops program, some active-duty soldiers and family members will get a free live Christmas tree.

More than 800 trees will be available between 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Dec. 12 at Wetherby Field. Soldiers must present a military ID to pick up one tree for each family. A team of elves dressed as soldiers will help haul the tree to your vehicle. If it rains, an update will be posted on Facebook at BenningFMWRfans.


What would this post-Iron Bowl Chatter be without a little football talk? The result of last week's Auburn-Alabama has sent a conservative radio host scrambling for support of his beloved Crimson Tide.

Doug Kellett -- you may remember our old friend Doug from his days at WRCG-AM -- cited a New York Times article on his Facebook page. A Times article pointed out Auburn should have drawn a penalty on the game-tying touchdown pass in the final minute.

Kellett's Facebook post: "NY Times: Auburn should have been flagged on tying TD call."

It didn't take long for Kellett's former colleague Erik Stone, former Columbus radio newsman now in exile in Kansas, to call him on it. "Wait a minute. ... Doug are you agreeing with the New York Times on something?" Stone wrote.

Kellett responded: "LOL. You know the blind squirrel theory."

Football, like politics, makes for strange bedfellows.

Until next week, please keep Chattering.

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