Thursday, October 27, 2005

October 27, 2005 County Inventory--What about the Vehicles?

Vehicle Mileage and Condition Reports Come In for All Departments Except One

After just over a month, I can report that all departments (assessor, Cherokee Park, community service, EMA, garbage dept., highway dept., juvenile court, maintenance, planning) responded quickly to the request for mileage/condition information for vehicles for the fiscal year that ended 6/30/05---all departments, that is, except the Sheriff's Department. See my post of September 13th.

An inventory report with mileage and condition information was something that the entire commission unanimously requested from all departments beginning with the 6/30/04 inventory and continuing with the 6/30/05 inventory and beyond. The purpose was to keep up with the mileage and condition of vehicles so there would be a record and awareness of when a vehicle or vehicles would need replacing.

The Sheriff, like everyone else, was asked to provide this information for all county-owned vehicles-- except undercover vehicles and others that are already marked out on the sheriff's inventory.

After everybody had responded except the Sheriff, I waited a while and then called Sheriff Otto Purkey to see if he had gotten the request and to ask if there was a problem in providing this information.

The Sheriff asked if there was a law that says he had to do this. I mentioned that the commission had passed a resolution requesting this information from all departments, and the Sheriff replied that he didn't think he cared to do that.

Well, OK. But exactly why doesn't the Sheriff care to co-operate? What is the problem with providing mileage and condition information? No one else had the slightest problem in this regard.

Surely it is not because of the confusion where Sheriff Otto Purkey's Department shows his brother County Mayor David Purkey's car in the Sheriff's inventory even though County Mayor David Purkey's vehicle was actually purchased with Juvenile Court money.

Just for the sake of keeping things straight, however, I hope that eventually someone will put the vehicle that the Mayor drives in the Mayor's inventory list where it belongs and put the gasoline, repair and maintenance costs for the Mayor's vehicle in the Mayor's budget, too. How can you keep up with a department's true costs when you have a department putting its vehicles and costs in another department's budget?

Maybe even sometime soon the Mayor will put a county decal on the taxpayer-provided vehicle he drives. Putting decals on county vehicles is something else that county commission unanimously voted for over a year ago, but there is something about putting a Hamblen County decal on the County Mayor's car that greatly upsets the Mayor.

The other really odd thing about both the 2005 and the earlier 2004 inventory as well is that the Sheriff doesn't show any computers, desks, furniture, or other equipment in his inventory for either year. The Sheriff lists nothing except vehicles even though it's obvious that the Sheriff's Department and the jail have computers, desks, chairs, printers, filing cabinets, and other furniture and equipment. Hopefully, someone will go back now and track down, tag, and list all the Sheriff's equipment.

Having a current and accurate list of equipment and a tag on all items helps ensure that these is a record of items like computers, printers, and scanners and that these items remain in the department.

With county vehicles, you are talking about an investment involving hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars. You obviously need to keep a close track of those vehicles and accurate mileage and condition records. The Sheriff shows about $790,000 in original acquisition value for his 45 or so vehicles. The Garbage Dept. shows about $731,000 for vehicles, and the Highway Dept. shows about $550,000 for vehicles.

There are some questions to ask about computers and other items that are shown in one department, but that are kept and used by other departments, but we'll save that for another day. There are also a lot of items that were left off the 6/30/04 inventory that are now showing up on the 6/30/05 inventory.

Inventories are important as a record of what the county has, what condition each item is in, and to help gauge what will need to be replaced and when. We seem to have improved our inventory record-keeping from last year, and we just need to complete the 6/30/05 inventory, putting all equipment, vehicles, and other items in the right place.

Next...audits. Why I pushed for state auditors in my campaign. What they have done for the county. How much we have saved-- not only on the audit itself but also by implementation of many of the new auditor's suggestions. And lots more.


Anonymous said...

Having known Mrs. Noe for several years I offer this challenge to her opponents:

If you think you can do a better job for Hamblen County then DO it!

Mrs. Noe has fought for the welfare of Hamblen County by sacrificing time with her family. Her actions are not beyond reproach but she certainly deserves more respect than she is receiving from some of the commenters.

eyeball said...

Both Republicans and Democrats have been working behind the scenes for more than a year to field candidates to defeat Mrs. Noe next year.

If she chooses to seek re-election to the Hamblen County Commission, I doubt she'll make it out of the GOP primary.

If she does, there's a well-known and well-respected Democrat ready to cool her jets.

Four years of bitterness and spite Mrs. Noe has displayed is quite enough.

SJM--AZ said...

Eyeball joins Mayor David Purkey and several others who deal with bad news by attacking the person who identifies their errors.

School Superintendent Lynch doesn't like "outsiders" like me, but he and Purkey can't use that excuse because Linda Noe isn't an "outsider."

She knew where the mistakes were because she was a victim.

Spite and bitterness? I don't think so. Purkey and Lynch resent being questioned or held accountable on their behavior and handling of public money. Naturally, they won't admit it so they re-word their complaints--"she's demanding" or "she's irritating" or "she's impossible to deal with."

I hope the citizens of Hamblen County don't buy it. Very few elected officials will take the effort and the heat to serve the public.

If citizens don't support the relatively few elected officials who do make the effort to serve the common interests, they'll soon be complaining that their elected officials don't do their jobs.

Jenn Simoneaux said...

Mayor Purkey has at least made an effort to bring business and industry to Hamblen County. I asked Ms. Noe once if she had ever - once ever during her tenure - met with a prospective business so as to encourage them to locate here, but, of course, she did not - and could not - reply.

Unlike Arizona residents, I live here in Hamblen County and I work in an business. I know these people are the ones that pay the taxes that make Hamblen County run - not pesky Commissioners who want to run people off rather than bring business in.

Anonymous said...

Since Mrs. Noe's naysayers are so certain that she is unreasonable they should support their argument by obtaining the financial documents that have proved so elusive all along.

Mrs. Noe has fought to break the corrupt "old-boy" network in Hamblen County, with quite a bit of success. If the GOP breaks ranks and backs anyone other than Mrs. Noe then they will demonstrate that they are happy to be part of the “old-boy” corruption and NOT interested in the welfare of the citizens of Hamblen County.

It is no surprise that Purkey and his cronies refuse to produce the documents that Mrs. Noe has long sought. The documents would show where the money was spent and/or where the property has gone.

If there is nothing to hide then why are the documents almost impossible to locate? Why won’t Purkey and Co. divulge the requested documents?

If you think Mrs. Noe is bitter then I challenge you to prove her wrong. Go get the documents that she has worked so ardently to obtain. Don’t just stop with the initial request! Keep requesting the documents until you receive them.

Nothing would make her happier!

Anonymous said...

From reading this blog, it becomes obvious that Ms. Simoneaux has never worked on a production line in a factory where illegal Mexicans have become the majority employee. She has never had to worry about being laid off and replaced by lower wage slave labor, or worry about her job moving to Mexico. It is one thing if a person is here legally to get a job, but it is an entirely different situation when an illegal takes your job.

In this area it is clearly the fault of the local temporary employment agencies, such at At Work, Garcia etc who are actively seeking out and profiting highly from placing illegal Mexicans in the local work force. The business practices of those companies deserve looking into.

I don’t know how many times that the Morristown police have been to our factory to “check” on social security numbers. Our tax dollars are being wasted tying up an officer to track down someone using a fake social security number.

I applaud Commissioners Lowe and Noe for their work in bringing this to the public’s attention. Ms. Simoneaux should wake up, see the problem as it truly is and quit attacking these Commissioners for trying to look out for the good of the county.

Tim Nunan said...

I note that those opposed to Mrs. Noe didn't address the subject of the post. Typical "shoot the messenger" and ignore the message.

I wish my commissioner would stop being one of the gang and ask the tough questions.

Anonymous said...

This is in respnose to whomever said their is a democrat ready to cool jets. As a member of The "young democrats" I plan to work hard to help Mrs.Noe stay in office. If there was ever a woman in this town to have a "strong backbone" it is her. So get ready for 4 more years of the truth.