Letters to the Editor: April 22 Edition

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By The Staff

Thankful for a lot of helping hands

Last Thursday afternoon my community was shaken by a tornado. In the middle of the afternoon we were visited by an unwelcome stranger. It marched through our close knit serene neighborhoods leaving downed trees and power lines in its wake. Fortunately, there was only damage to property. No lives were lost; no one so much as got a splinter in his or her hand.

No  sooner than the storm passed our Emergency Managerment Office, Gadsden County Sheriff's Office and county administration came to assess the damage and we want to thank them. But our hearts were full when the Southern Baptist volunteers showed. We had never met any of them but they worked side by side with us pulling limbs, cutting away debris and simply showing Christian love. From the bottom of our hearts we thank them because they demonstrated what being a good neighbor is all about.

Arrie Battle


Check your facts before you accuse

My son, Gretna city Commissioner Willie C. Fagg, told me there are many people who are saying he doesn't live in Gretna. Let me clarify this issue. My son has lived in Gretna at the same address since 1997. The person that researched and found on the computer to live in Tallahassee was me. I have lived in Tallahassee since the 1970s.

My family has three generations of Willies: my father, my brother, me and my son. This letter isn't to bash anyone, but rather is an attempt to clarify a very false issue. For those who support my son, thank you.

Willie Frank Fagg Jr.


County commissioner defends fiancee

It is time to correct a few issues concerning the horse, Sam Hawkins and (county) Commissioner Brenda Holt.  There was a case in Gadsden County in 2009 in which nine horses were removed from an owner for animal abuse, two veterinarians verified the need to remove those horses, no charges were filed against the owner, and the court gave the horses back to the owner. The county and state attorney’s office knew about that case.

There was a case of a dead horse on Highway 267 in 2010 the county manager went to the site and the county buried the horse at the taxpayer’s expense.  No charges were filed in that case.

This week there were two cows dead in a pasture on Flat Creek Road.  There were several reports to the prosecutor's office concerning the area but no arrests were made. 

I believe County Manager Johnny Williams and Commissioner Doug Croley wanted desperately to make Mr. Mathis' horse belong to me or Sam Hawkins when it did not.  Now Mr. Williams and Croley, the two of you seem to want to be sheriff, but you are not. But since you seem to think you are, do your so-called duty. 

Ladies and gentlemen, the law should be administered fairly; what is good for the goose is good for the gander.  Go and arrest your friends and everyone you think is guilty or arrest no one.  I was told if I drop out of the race for county commissioner, the charges against Sam Hawkins would be dropped. Well, I will not drop out of the race, therefore we must go to trial.  I will stand with anyone that stands with me.  If you hold a sign for me or speak highly of Gadsden County because I asked you, to I will stand with you.

Brenda Holt

Commissioner, District 4

Reader lauds Gretna incumbents

A change came to Gretna 4 years ago, thanks to you. Those of you who came to the recent debate had a change to hear the candidates tell you why you should cast your vote for them.

In my opinion, some (opposition to incumbents) candidates came not to answer questions but instead to support their own agendas. They had nothing to bring to the table except for negative information given to them by people who do not come to meetings. They are being encouraged, in my opinion, by bitter and angry past city managers and commissioners. They are bound and determined to derail the progress the city has made.

Don't be fooled...keep our incumbents in office to keep our city moving forward with proven leadership and teamwork.

Dorothy Hughes


County commissioner sets record straight

The article at the top of page 5 in the April 15 issue of the Gadsden County Times states that one of my intentions for supporting the budgeted $10,000 for our volunteer fire departments was to provide a stipend. This is not correct. The local municipalities may wish to fund or continuing a stipend, but I do not support the use of county tax dollars for stipends. As I clearly restated at the April 6 county commission meeting, my reason for pushing this funding was threefold:

 1. To provide reimbursement or upfront funds for state mandated training such as Firefighter 1 training, etc.

2. To provide reimbursement for any personal expenses incurred (receipts required) while responding to a call (i.e. personal fuel costs, etc.)

3. To provide for an annual recognition dinner for the volunteers and their immediate families to show our appreciation for their efforts. This act of appreciation may encourage our younger generation to become volunteers. We now have areas of the county where there is a real need for younger volunteers to assist and learn from our experienced responders.

Thanks again for covering our meetings and for correcting this error.


Gene Morgan

Commissioner, District 3

Some things – and people – will just never change

I have lived in Gretna for a long time, and at one time I served on the city commission. I have seen our city at its worst and I now see some positive changes taking place.

Our current group of commissioners have done a remarkable job with what they had to work with. Commissioner Willie C. Fagg has never done anything to put the city in harm's way. From supporting the decision to hire a very smart and capable city manager to being one of the voices in making the decisions to help our city prosper, he has earned the right, in my opinion, to be re-elected.

When he came to me in 2006 and told me he was running for office, I advised him of the pros and cons. I told him to never make promises he couldn't keep. I am proud of the job he has done, as well as the other commissioners. In the barbershop where I work, I hear arguments from both sides. I see the progress our city has made and I support it. I will continue to support the commissioners who I see are trying to make a difference for our city and for the quality of life for its citizens.

Joshua Williams Sr.


Editorial Note: Williams is the father-in-law of Willie C. Fagg.

City commissioner demands apology

In response to the letter to the editor in the April 15 edition, penned by Lakitha Sweet (alleged Fagg called Gretna residents "stupid, ignorant black people"), I say you are sadly mistaken.

I have a copy of the article you referred to. How dare you twist it? The night the alleged comment was made, there were many Gretna residents at that meeting. Do you think the citizens would have just sat there and said nothing if I had made that statement? Have you asked any of them what I said. Have you asked the city manager to let you listen to a tape of that meeting?

This is propaganda timed to come out just before Gretna's election.

Ms. Sweet, you are just as guilty as the person who started this lie and you ought to be ashamed of yourself. You even quoted a Bible verse. Here's a verse for you: "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil."

I think you owe me an apology.

Willie C. Fagg


Editorial Note: Fagg is a city commissioner in Gretna up for re-election.