I am working on the template of this blog today in order to chase down some problems that have developed with my template and widgets.

Macon County Commissioners

Coverage of the meetings of the Macon County Board of County Commissioners.

Franklin Town Board of Aldermen

Coverage of the meetings of the Franklin Town Board of Aldermen.

Macon County School Board

Coverage of the meetings of the Macon County School Board.


Photos from my photoblog.

nullspace for future use

nullspace for future use


Friday, August 30, 2013

White House Releases Statement on Syria's Use of Chemical Weapons

Syria Chemical Weapons Attacks 
Photo Supplied by White House
Click Image to Embiggen

Here is a press release from the White House regarding the Chemical Attack(s) in Syria:

Government Assessment of the Syrian Government’s Use of Chemical Weapons on August 21, 2013

The United States Government assesses with high confidence that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs on August 21, 2013. We further assess that the regime used a nerve agent in the attack. These all-source assessments are based on human, signals, and geospatial intelligence as well as a significant body of open source reporting.Our classified assessments have been shared with the U.S. Congress and key international partners. To protect sources and methods, we cannot publicly release all available intelligence – but what follows is an unclassified summary of the U.S. Intelligence Community’s analysis of what took place.
Syrian Government Use of Chemical Weapons on August 21
A large body of independent sources indicates that a chemical weapons attack took place in the Damascus suburbs on August 21. In addition to U.S. intelligence information, there are accounts from international and Syrian medical personnel; videos; witness accounts; thousands of social media reports from at least 12 different locations in the Damascus area; journalist accounts; and reports from highly credible nongovernmental organizations.
A preliminary U.S. government assessment determined that 1,429 people were killed in the chemical weapons attack, including at least 426 children, though this assessment will certainly evolve as we obtain more information.
We assess with high confidence that the Syrian government carried out the chemical weapons attack against opposition elements in the Damascus suburbs on August 21. We assess that the scenario in which the opposition executed the attack on August 21 is highly unlikely. The body of information used to make this assessment includes intelligence pertaining to the regime’s preparations for this attack and its means of delivery, multiple streams of intelligence about the attack itself and its effect, our post-attack observations, and the differences between the capabilities of the regime and the opposition. Our high confidence assessment is the strongest position that the U.S. Intelligence Community can take short of confirmation. We will continue to seek additional information to close gaps in our understanding of what took place.
The Syrian regime maintains a stockpile of numerous chemical agents, including mustard, sarin, and VX and has thousands of munitions that can be used to deliver chemical warfare agents.
Syrian President Bashar al-Asad is the ultimate decision maker for the chemical weapons program and members of the program are carefully vetted to ensure security and loyalty. The Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC) – which is subordinate to the Syrian Ministry of Defense – manages Syria’s chemical weapons program.
We assess with high confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale against the opposition multiple times in the last year, including in the Damascus suburbs. This assessment is based on multiple streams of information including reporting of Syrian officials planning and executing chemical weapons attacks and laboratory analysis of physiological samples obtained from a number of individuals, which revealed exposure to sarin. We assess that the opposition has not used chemical weapons.
The Syrian regime has the types of munitions that we assess were used to carry out the attack on August 21, and has the ability to strike simultaneously in multiple locations. We have seen no indication that the opposition has carried out a large-scale, coordinated rocket and artillery attack like the one that occurred on August 21.
We assess that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons over the last year primarily to gain the upper hand or break a stalemate in areas where it has struggled to seize and hold strategically valuable territory. In this regard, we continue to judge that the Syrian regime views chemical weapons as one of many tools in its arsenal, including air power and ballistic missiles, which they indiscriminately use against the opposition.
The Syrian regime has initiated an effort to rid the Damascus suburbs of opposition forces using the area as a base to stage attacks against regime targets in the capital. The regime has failed to clear dozens of Damascus neighborhoods of opposition elements, including neighborhoods targeted on August 21, despite employing nearly all of its conventional weapons systems. We assess that the regime’s frustration with its inability to secure large portions of Damascus may have contributed to its decision to use chemical weapons on August 21.
We have intelligence that leads us to assess that Syrian chemical weapons personnel – including personnel assessed to be associated with the SSRC – were preparing chemical munitions prior to the attack. In the three days prior to the attack, we collected streams of human, signals and geospatial intelligence that reveal regime activities that we assess were associated with preparations for a chemical weapons attack.
Syrian chemical weapons personnel were operating in the Damascus suburb of ‘Adra from Sunday, August 18 until early in the morning on Wednesday, August 21 near an area that the regime uses to mix chemical weapons, including sarin. On August 21, a Syrian regime element prepared for a chemical weapons attack in the Damascus area, including through the utilization of gas masks. Our intelligence sources in the Damascus area did not detect any indications in the days prior to the attack that opposition affiliates were planning to use chemical weapons.
The Attack:
Multiple streams of intelligence indicate that the regime executed a rocket and artillery attack against the Damascus suburbs in the early hours of August 21. Satellite detections corroborate that attacks from a regime-controlled area struck neighborhoods where the chemical attacks reportedly occurred – including Kafr Batna, Jawbar, ‘Ayn Tarma, Darayya, and Mu’addamiyah. This includes the detection of rocket launches from regime controlled territory early in the morning, approximately 90 minutes before the first report of a chemical attack appeared in social media. The lack of flight activity or missile launches also leads us to conclude that the regime used rockets in the attack.
Local social media reports of a chemical attack in the Damascus suburbs began at 2:30 a.m. local time on August 21. Within the next four hours there were thousands of social media reports on this attack from at least 12 different locations in the Damascus area. Multiple accounts described chemical-filled rockets impacting opposition-controlled areas.
Three hospitals in the Damascus area received approximately 3,600 patients displaying symptoms consistent with nerve agent exposure in less than three hours on the morning of August 21, according to a highly credible international humanitarian organization. The reported symptoms, and the epidemiological pattern of events – characterized by the massive influx of patients in a short period of time, the origin of the patients, and the contamination of medical and first aid workers – were consistent with mass exposure to a nerve agent. We also received reports from international and Syrian medical personnel on the ground.
We have identified one hundred videos attributed to the attack, many of which show large numbers of bodies exhibiting physical signs consistent with, but not unique to, nerve agent exposure. The reported symptoms of victims included unconsciousness, foaming from the nose and mouth, constricted pupils, rapid heartbeat, and difficulty breathing. Several of the videos show what appear to be numerous fatalities with no visible injuries, which is consistent with death from chemical weapons, and inconsistent with death from small-arms, high-explosive munitions or blister agents. At least 12 locations are portrayed in the publicly available videos, and a sampling of those videos confirmed that some were shot at the general times and locations described in the footage.
We assess the Syrian opposition does not have the capability to fabricate all of the videos, physical symptoms verified by medical personnel and NGOs, and other information associated with this chemical attack.
We have a body of information, including past Syrian practice, that leads us to conclude that regime officials were witting of and directed the attack on August 21. We intercepted communications involving a senior official intimately familiar with the offensive who confirmed that chemical weapons were used by the regime on August 21 and was concerned with the U.N. inspectors obtaining evidence. On the afternoon of August 21, we have intelligence that Syrian chemical weapons personnel were directed to cease operations. At the same time, the regime intensified the artillery barrage targeting many of the neighborhoods where chemical attacks occurred. In the 24 hour period after the attack, we detected indications of artillery and rocket fire at a rate approximately four times higher than the ten preceding days. We continued to see indications of sustained shelling in the neighborhoods up until the morning of August 26.
To conclude, there is a substantial body of information that implicates the Syrian government’s responsibility in the chemical weapons attack that took place on August 21.As indicated, there is additional intelligence that remains classified because of sources and methods concerns that is being provided to Congress and international partners.

Mill Creek Country Club Sale Postponed Until Wednesday
Update: Country Club Goes to Macon Bank for $880,000


Mill Creek Country Club Property Tract 
Map Courtesy Macon County Mapping Department
Click to Embiggen the Image

Macon Bank purchased the Mill Creek Country Club property on the steps of the Macon County Courthouse for $880,000. The last time the property was sold, it went for $2,150,000.

The Mill Creek Country Club has been assessed at a valuation of $2,644,580, of which $1,529,380 is the building's value and $1,115,200 is the value of the 100 acres of land for tax purposes.

The Mill Creek Country Club maintains a website at

Membership details for those interested in joining:

Sale of Mill Creek Postponed
Photo ©2013 by Bobby Coggins
People gathered to observe the auction of Mill Creek Country Club. --Photo © Bobby Coggins

Mill Creek Country was scheduled to be sold to the highest bidder today at noon on the steps of the Macon County Court House.

A small crowd of perhaps two dozen people gathered to observe the proceeding and at ten minutes after noon, an official came out and announced that the sale had been postponed until Wednesday, September 4th, at 3pm at the request of the note holder.

NOTE-- An earlier version of this story indicated that the property would be sold on Tuesday. That was an error. The 4th is on a Wednesday. I apologize for any confusion this may have caused.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Franklin Aldermen Agenda for September 3, 2013

Franklin Aldermen Meeting Agenda 
Photo and Titles by Bobby Coggins

The Franklin Town Board will be meeting on Tuesday instead of Monday next week because Monday is Labor Day.

I have the public agenda and the Press Kit posted here for your convenience.

I will be there to record the meeting.

Town of Franklin Board of Aldermen 
Meeting Agenda
Tuesday September 3, 2013 - 7:00 p.m. 
  1. Call to order -Mayor Collins
  2. Approval of the August 5, 2013 Town Board minutes.
  3. Public session.
  4. New business
    • Proclamation for Constitution Week 2013- Shelah Portoukalian
    • Presentation on Southwestern Community College- Dr. Don Tomas
    • Presentation by Applicants for Fiscal Year 2013-2014 Non-Profit Funding Pool.
    • Resolution Honoring S. Ellis Hankins - Town Manager Warren Cabe.
    • Proclamation for International Institute of Municipal Clerks- Town Manager Warren Cabe.
    • Set public hearing for Pauline Avenue II re-zoning request- Land Use Administrator Derek Roland.
    • Lease on Old Town Land Fill- Town Manager Warren Cabe
    • Tax Release- Town Manager Warren Cabe
    • Update on Street Maintenance Ranking System- Town Manager Warren Cabe.
  5. Legal
    • Town of Franklin Attorney Contract- John Henning Jr.
  6. Set continuation meeting for Monday September 23, 2013 at 5:30p.m.

The Press Kit:

Non-profit funding packet 1 of 2

Non-profit funding packet 2 of 2

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Ronnie Beale and Jim Davis Recognized by State Association of County Commissioners

Ronnie Beale and Charles Thun at the Daybreak Rotary Club Meeting 
Photo by Bobby Coggins
Ronnie Beale (L) and Charles Thun (R)

The North Carolina Association of County Commissioners has named Ronnie Beale as the recipient of the Outstanding County Commissioner Award for 2012-13. Ronnie Beale is currently serving as Vice Chairman of the Macon County Commissioners and has been a tireless advocate for the citizens of Macon County during his tenure in office and the soon to be opened Kidney Dialysis Center in Westgate Plaza is but one of the projects he has been largely responsible for securing for Macon County. 

 Ronnie represents the Board of County Commissioners on the Department on Aging Advisory Board, Inspections/Building Committee, Law Enforcement, Courthouse Security, REACH, Macon Citizens for the Handicapped, Mental Health, Planning Board, Region A including the Advisory Council and Transportation Advisory Council, Senior Services, Schools and the WNC Caucus Board.

He also serves on the board for Macon Bank, Macon County Fair, and Macon County Heritage Foundation.

Read more about the awards  given to both him and NC Senator Jim Davis on the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners website.

NC Senator Jim Davis
Photo ©2011 by Bobby Coggins

NC Senator Jim Davis served for two terms as a Macon County Commissioner, and also served as Vice-Chairman. He was elected to the North Carolina General Assembly in November 2010 and is on his second term.

Senator Davis serves as Chairman of the Joint Legislative Committes on Local Government, as Co-Chairman of the Appropriations on General Government and Information Technology,Co-Chairman of the State and Local Government Committee. He serves a member of the following committees: Commerc, Health Care, Insurance, Judiciary II, and the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services.

Monday, August 26, 2013

State Director of AFP North Carolina Dallas Woodhouse Steps Aside

Dallas Woodhouse visited franklin, NC in October of 2010 and I was there to cover it.

Now comes word that he is stepping aside. I wish him success on the next stage of his life.


CONTACT: Levi Russell (703) 224-3200 or

Seven year reign saw enormous gains in economic freedom & school choice
RALEIGH, NC –   After one of the most  successful legislative sessions in AFP history,  complete with major tax relief &  reform and major advances in school choice legislation, Americans for Prosperity-North Carolina, State Director Dallas Woodhouse is stepping down to pursue business opportunities in the political arena .
Woodhouse came to AFP in 2006 after a decade in broadcasting and experience with both the U.S.  and N.C. Departments of Agriculture.  He became state director in 2007.
“It has been the honor of a lifetime to work with America’s premier grassroots organization and especially our supporters.  Together we have accomplished much to expand economic freedom in North Carolina including ending forced annexation, lowering taxes, expanding school choice and decreasing government regulation,” said Woodhouse. 
“North Carolina is a better place to live, work and do business because of the work of our activists; and I am proud to have played a part in it. From major tax cuts in 2011 and 2013, removing the cap on charter schools, creation of two broad based school voucher programs and major deregulatory efforts, we have proven the ability to advance a free market agenda with a strong grassroots presence.”
“Dallas and his North Carolina team, along with our activists have been key in helping advance economic freedom in the state," said AFP President Tim Phillips.
 “We wish Dallas well, and our work in North Carolina continues with a strong team in place and a strong chapter. We look forward to working with Dallas closely in his new capacity."
Deputy State Director Chris Farr will lead the chapter as a search for a new state director begins.
For further information or an interview, please contact Levi Russell at
Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen-leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and intrusiveness of government is the best way to promote individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans.  For more information, visit

Friday, August 23, 2013

Structure Fire off Carson Cove Road 08-22-2013
Public Safety Communications

940 Carson Cove Road 
Image from Google Earth
Titles by Bobby Coggins

There was a structure fire last night in the Burningtown-Iotla Fire District. Burningtown, Cowee and Franklin Fire Departments responded to the fire.

Here is the audio of the initial dispatch and unedited audio of the first 45 minutes of the call as captured by my scanner feed on Broadcastify.


Right click to download MP3


Right click to download MP3

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Macon County Weather Forecast for August 22, 2013

Since Facebook now offers the option to embed posts from their platform, here goes one for testing purposes from my local weather and public safety page:

This could be a very powerful tool and a way to overcome some problems I've been wrestling with concerning how to build my news site.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Congressman Mark Meadows holds Town Hall in Macon County

Mark Meadows Town Hall 
Photo ©2013 by Bobby Coggins

Congressman Mark Meadows held a town hall style meeting last night on the campus of Franklin High School. He was introduced by Sheriff Robbie Holland. The Congressman spoke for a few minutes, then took questions that had been submitted in writing by people when they arrived. One of the questions he answered had been posed by Corey Duvall, the chairman of the Macon County Democratic Party (Duvall had already left the town hall when Meadows answered the question). He also took a few questions asked in person by audience members. The entire event is in the video below.

Monday, August 19, 2013

School Bus Safety Tips

The first day of school in Macon County is next Monday, August 26th. So, be on the lookout for slow moving school buses and for children on the side of the road.

Here is the law in North Carolina regarding when drivers are required to stop for school buses:
When a school bus is displaying its mechanical stop signal or flashing red lights and the bus is stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging passengers, the driver of any other vehicle that approaches the school bus from any direction on the same street, highway, or public vehicular area shall bring that other vehicle to a full stop and shall remain stopped. The driver of the other vehicle shall not proceed to move, pass, or attempt to pass the school bus until after the mechanical stop signal has been withdrawn, the flashing red stoplights have been turned off, and the bus has started to move. 
If you see someone violating the North Carolina School Bus Law (NCGS 20-217), please download and use these documents after you have called *HP on your cell phone.  Report of violation of School Bus Law (G. S. 20-217) 
(MS Doc file) or (PDF file)

School Bus Safety Tips from the North Carolina Highway Patrol


RALEIGH- As the school year begins, more than 700,000 students will be transported on school buses each day across North Carolina. Nationally, more than 450,000 public school buses travel about 4.3 billion miles a year to transport over 23.5 million children to and from school and school-related activities. Sadly, on the average five to six children are killed and about 5,500 are injured in school bus related accidents each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The most dangerous part of the school bus ride is when children get on and off the bus. Loading and unloading is where children are in the most danger of not being seen by the bus driver. Specifically, the area 10-feet in front of the bus where the driver may be too high to see a child; 10-feet on either side of the bus, where a child may be in the driver’s blind spot; and the area behind the bus. Many pedestrian fatalities in school-bus related crashes are children between 5 and 7 years old.

To prevent these needless deaths and injuries, drivers, children and parents are advised to follow a few simple safety tips:


•When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for children walking or bicycling to school.

•When driving in neighborhoods with school zones, watch out for young people who may be thinking about getting to school, but may not be thinking of getting there safely.

•Slow down. Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in neighborhood.

•Slow down. Watch for children playing and congregating near bus stops.

•Be alert. Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street without looking for traffic.

Learn and obey the school bus laws in your state. Learn the "flashing signal light system" that school bus drivers use to alert motorists of pending actions:

•Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.

•Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate that the bus has stopped, and that children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop sign is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.


•Get to the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.

When the bus approaches, stand at least three giant steps (6 feet) away from the curb, and line up away from the street.

Wait until the bus stops, the door opens, and the driver says that it's okay before stepping onto the bus.

If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at least five giant steps (10 feet) ahead of the bus before you cross. Be sure that the bus driver can see you, and you can see the bus driver.

Use the handrails to avoid falls. When exiting the bus, be careful that clothing with draw strings, and book bags with straps don't get caught in the handrails or doors.

Never walk behind the bus.
Walk at least three giant steps away from the side of the bus.

If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver. Never try to pick it up because the driver may not be able to see you.


Teach children to follow these common sense practices to make school bus transportation safer.

Keeping our children safe takes teamwork and together we can make a difference!

For more information on North Carolina’s Stop Arm Law, please go to the following link:

For more information on Highway Safety, please contact First Sergeant Jeff Gordon at (919)733-5027 or


Friday, August 16, 2013

Teachers and Supporters Hold Protest in Franklin

Eduation Budget Cut Protest 
Photo ©2013 by Bob Scott All Rights reserved

There was a protest in downtown Franklin today by teachers and their supporters. I do not know how many or how few attended or what, if anything, was said because I was not informed by the organizers of the event. Bob Scott was there and has graciously shared some photos he took.

Eduation Budget Cut Protest 
Photo ©2013 by Bob Scott All Rights reserved

Eduation Budget Cut Protest 
Photo ©2013 by Bob Scott All Rights reserved

Eduation Budget Cut Protest 
Photo ©2013 by Bob Scott All Rights reserved

Eduation Budget Cut Protest 
Photo ©2013 by Bob Scott All Rights reserved

Macon County Planning Board 08-15-2013

Macon County Planning Board 
Photo ©2013 by Bobby Coggins

 photo AgendaScreenshot_zps6dcb5f0c.jpg

The Macon County planning Board met yesterday afternoon and discussed how the Regulator Reform Act of 2013 passed by the North Carolina General Assembly and signed by the Governor will affect the planning board. The county planner read a letter from the county attorney, who is of the opinion that it is effectively places a moratorium that prevents local counties from enacting environmental regulations that are more stringent than the state standards.

The board did not take any action, nor did they discuss the agenda item regarding the investigation of which county properties are eligible to be surplussed due to the absence of county commissioner Jimmy Tate.

The next meeting of the board will be on September 19th in the same location and time as this meeting.

The video of the complete meeting is below:

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Macon County Commissioners 08-13-2013
Updated With Video

**update** Here is the full video of the meeting:


Macon Media (me)
Macon County News
The Franklin Press

If you see coverage of this meeting in any other new outlet, please know that they are reporting second hand information because they were not at the meeting. Smoky mountain News and WLOS-TV, I'm looking at you.

Principal Chief Michell Hicks 
Photo ©2013 by Bobby Coggins All Rights Reserved

The Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, Michell Hicks, spoke to the Macon County Commissioners last night in an effort to enlist their aid and suppoert in taking the Nikwasi Indian Mound from the Fown of Franklin. the entirety of his comments are below, as well as the discussion amongst the county commissioners afterward.

And my play by play is on Google Plus.

Macon County Courthouse 
Photo and Titles ©2013 by Bobby Coggins

The Macon County Commissioners will be meeting tonight in the court house at 6pm and I'll be there to record the meeting for you if you cannot attend. 

I will also be posting a nearly live play by play of the proceedings on Google Plus and will be embedding the video of the meeting here sometime tomorrow.

I see that Principal Chief Michel Hicks is on the agenda. Here is what he had to say about Macon County and the Town of Franklin recently and the upcoming attempt by the tribe to take the mound away from the people of Macon County: 

I have included a copy of the public agenda and the press kit below for your convenience.

AUGUST 13, 2013

1.    Call to order and welcome by Chairman Corbin

2.    Announcements

3.    Moment of Silence

4.    Pledge of Allegiance

5.    Public Hearing(s) 6:15 p.m.
A.   Hearing on refund request LaCosta Development Corp. and Robert W. Rome
B.   Consideration of refund request

6.    Public Comment Period

7.    Adjustments to and approval of the agenda

8.    Reports/Presentations
A.   Presentation regarding Nikwasi Mound Principal Chief Michell Hicks, Eastern Band of Cherokee
B.   Scaly Mountain Historical Society John Bankston, President

9.    Old Business
A.   Transfer surplus 1983 Ford four-wheel drive ambulance to Southwestern Community College Public Safety Training Center

10.New Business
A.   Consideration of Memorandum of Agreement with the North Carolina Sedimentation Control Commission Matt Mason, County Planner
B.   Macon County Transit Kim Angel, Director
1.   Consideration of fares and cost share rates and contract rates
2.   Consideration of "Resolution Adopting an Updated Locally Coordinated Public Transportation and Human Services Transportation Plan for Macon County, North Carolina"
3.   Consideration of resolution and contract regarding the Southwestern NC One Call One Click Center for Veterans Transportation
C.   Consideration of extension of lease agreements with ForEx and Harmony House Foods Tommy Jenkins, EDC Director
D.  Consideration of change orders on Highlands School renovation Terry Bell
E.   Consideration of agreement with National Utilities Refund regarding audit of utility and telephone expenses
F.   Consideration of resolution and contract with HGACBuy
G.  Consideration of ambulance bids

11.Consent Agenda Attachment #11
All items below are considered routine and will be enacted by one motion. No separate discussion will be held except on request of a member of the Board of Commissioners.
A.   Minutes of the July 9 and July 30, 2013 meetings
B.   Budget Amendments
C.   Tax Releases
D.  Settlement for current taxes for Fiscal Year 2012-2013
E.   Report on sale of surplus property utilizing GovDeals
F.   Monthly ad valorem tax collection report

A.   Technical Review Committee

13.Closed session (if necessary)


This press kit was provided to Macon Media and all the other members of the local press by the Macon County Board of Commissioners. In the interest of transparency and to promote accountability, this public document is now being shared with the general public.


Rainbow Springs Cell Tower Viewshed

Rainbow Springs Cell Tower Considerations

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Agenda and Press Kit for the August 2013 Franklin TDA Meeting
Updated with Video

**update-August 13th** Here is gavel to gavel coverage of the meeting.

You may read my play by play on Google Plus or below the video:

Here is the play play:

Macon Media
Yesterday 4:38 PM
Ground Rules for Participation

I'll be posting the nearly live play by play of what happens at this meeting from 5:30pm onward tonight. If you are at the meeting or just wanna chime in, feel free to do so.

Just leave the personal attacks on the Board Members or Town Staff at the door. This is not Facebook or Twitter and I expect a higher standard of behavior on Google Plus. 
Macon Media
Yesterday 5:12 PM
I'm in the town hall now, getting ready for the meeting to start.
Macon Media
Yesterday 5:20 PM
I left the cord for my laptop in the office, so this play by play won't last long...perhaps another 20-30 minutes.
Macon Media
Yesterday 5:31 PM
The board is currently one member short of a quorum.

Currently, Chair Candy Presley, Summer Woodard, Mike Gruberman and Josh Drake are present. The board attorney, John Henning, Jr is also here.
Macon Media
Yesterday 5:33 PM

Macon Media (me)
Macon County News

Barbara McRae (candidate for Town Alderman)
Danny Bates (Franklin Police for security)
Macon Media
Yesterday 5:33 PM
Board Member Vickie Springer just arrived.
Macon Media
Yesterday 5:34 PM
The meeting has been called to order.
Macon Media
Yesterday 5:35 PM
Summer Woodard is giving the FInancial Report. I don't have a copy, so I can't report the numbers.
Macon Media
Yesterday 5:42 PM
SUmmer Woodard has delivered a request from Linda Schlote (who is out of town) for $1,500 for the Pumpkinfest. They asked for $2,000 last year and hope to generate revenue by not allowing vendors to sell sodas, which the Main Street Program will be the sole provider of.
Macon Media
Yesterday 5:42 PM
The board will decide on this request at the September meeting.
Macon Media
Yesterday 5:47 PM
Summer Woodard is discussing the bids for hosting the Franklin TDA website. Only one vendor agreed to bid. She says two other website providers declined to bid.

The only bidder was SiteDart Hosting, a local company owned by Drake Enterprises. URL:
Macon Media
Yesterday 5:48 PM
Josh Drake still says he doesn't understand why they should have more than one website for the TDA. 
Macon Media
Yesterday 5:48 PM
SiteDart has been chosen as the host for the TDA website by unanimous vote.
Macon Media
Yesterday 5:51 PM
Summer Woodard is discussing the recommendations of the marketing firm (Premiere Marketing...another Drake Enterprises company) hired by the TDA. regarding the website, including adding the ability to blog, Facebook Advertising and Google Adwors.
Macon Media
Yesterday 7:00 PM
My laptop battery died right after the last comment. The meeting did not last much longer than that.

The only significant item (in my opinion) that occurred after that was a successful push by Josh Drake to get the board to get rid of the $100,000 Reserve Fund and cap it at 25% of the annual budget.

If I recall correctly, Matt Bateman tried to get the board to come off the $100,000 reserve before, but was rebuffed.

Anyhow, I am now home and will process the video and upload it sometime tomorrow morning.


Franklin TDA Generic Meeting Notice
Photo and Titles ©Bobby Coggins

The Franklin Tourism Development Authority will be meeting Monday evening at 5:30PM in the Town Hall. I have posted the agenda and press kit below so that the general public may know what is on the agenda for the meeting before it happens, not after. You may watch video of the previous meeting of this board by following this link.

(The following agenda has been copied verbatim from the PDF provided in the press kit)




1...Call to order - Chair Candy Presley

2...Approval of the July 8, 2013 minutes

3...Financial Report - Summer Woodard

4...Sub-Comnittee Reports
A...Finace/Budget Chair Report - Miker Gruberman
C...Policy and Rules of Procedure Chair report - Vickie Springer
D...Application Review Chair report - Summer Woodard

5...New business
A...Funding request for Pumkin Fest for $1,500.00
B...Update on website hosting for TDA websites - Summer Woodard
C...Update on Facebook and Google Adwords - Summer Woodard
D...Update on Electronic Billboard Campaign - Summer Woodard
E...Update on Tourism Development Commission meeting - Summer Woodard

7...Items from the board

8...Announcements - The next regularly scheduled TDA meeting is Monday September 16, 2013 at 5:30PM in the Town Hall Board room.


This press kit was provided to Macon Media by the Franklin TDA as a member of the local press. In the interest of transparency and to promote accountability, this document is shared with the general public below before the meeting takes place: