Journal Record

Not a good look for commission

The Marion County Commission approved county engineer Mike Shaw’s recommendation to reclassify and “adjust” the pay of his employees.
Who are the employees involved? What exactly are the pay adjustments? We certainly didn’t know without having to do some digging.
On the agenda handed to the Journal Record before the meeting began, the topic we are discussing now was simply labeled, “Mike Shaw - Various.”
The topic may have been labeled “various”, but the only thing that was approved was Shaw’s recommendation.

Ink is in our blood

I called my good friend Les Walters recently. He’s the associate publisher of the Journal Record newspaper in Hamil­­­ton, the small town where I grew up.
We always share family updates.
And, of course, we always talk newspapers.
“How’s the newspaper going?” I asked.
“OK,” he replied.
Then he stunned me a bit.
“I’m going part-time on Nov. 1,” Les said.
It’s a first step toward retirement, I guess, for my good friend, who is a few years older than myself. His wife recently retired from her long-time job.

We welcome limited ammo sales at Walmart

Walmart announced that it would no longer sell handgun ammunition and short-barrel rifle ammunition that can be used for military style weapons.
The announcements were made in the wake of two recent mass shootings at Walmart stores--one in Southaven, Miss., on July 31 that left two dead and one injured and the other in El Paso, Texas on Aug. 3 that left 22 dead and 24 injured.

What should we expect?

The Marion County Commission held a regular meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 28, in Hamilton.
During the meeting, David Thornell, the president and chief executive officer of Northwest Alabama Economic Development Alliance, provided the commission with an update on how things were shaping up in our county as it pertains to new industry coming in and setting up shop.
It’s no secret that we as a county would love to have any sort of industry come and do business in our area.
It would provide jobs for us and, in turn, strengthen our communities and help us continue to grow.

Marion County has a school attendance problem

Students in the Marion County School System have an attendance problem. The problem was revealed last week at the Marion County Board of education meeting as Patrick Sutton, a supervisor in the school system, gave a presentation on chronic absenteeism to kick-off September’s “School Attendance Month” (see story on page --).
During the presentation, Sutton revealed some disturbing numbers regarding school attendance in Marion County. An average of 24%--almost a quarter--of students in the Marion County School System missed 15 or more days of school during the 2018/19 school year.

Jones in the deep-red

Democrat Sen. Doug Jones, who was elected in a controversial special election in December 2017, spoke in Hamilton recently.
While it is doubtful that we—and the large majority of our readership, for that matter—agree with all the policies supported by Jones, we respect and appreciate Jones’ efforts to hear the people of Marion County. It is an honor to have a sitting U.S. senator come to Hamilton.
Marion County is a deep-red county with practically no Democrat representation in local or state offices. A constable is the only Democrat currently in office.

Lawmakers need our feedback, prayers

In the upcoming days, our elected officials will be tackling various issues—many of them significant, such as a lottery, abortion, ethics laws, prison reform and our state budgets.
Our elected officials need insight to how their constituents stand on the issues that are before them. We believe we should be involved in telling them what we believe, what we value and what is in the best interest for our state and the counties and municipalities we live in.

Recent misstep good reminder of open government

The public’s business should be done in public. We have sounded this charge time and time again over the years. In the wake of a curious situation that the Hamilton City Council was faced with, we believe it’s a great opportunity to sound this charge again.
The Hamilton council, at its meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 19, was tasked with repealing a resolution for water department raises which it had swept through for approval at its previous meeting on Feb. 4. It then turned around and passed a clarifying resolution, correcting an error included in the previous ordinance.