Dear Editor: I was driving on the dirt road going to my brother’s house the other day. It had been raining and I could hardly keep my old pickup between what used to be the ditches. The ditches were filled up last spring when the rain came down in buckets and washed away, rutted out and closed down a lot of roads all over the county. It looked hopeless that we would ever get our roads back up and going again. Then we heard the “Calvary” was coming with saddlebags loaded with Federal money to get us back on the road.
I read in the paper where the county voted to hire a consultant company to make sure FEMA did not give us the shaft. Here while back I read where this group had gotten us over $20,000,000 to fix our roads. My question is, “Why is the road still as bad as it ever was and there ain’t been a dime of that humongous amount of money been used to do road work?” But I have a question, or two, bigger than that.
I hear tell that that company has billed the county over a MILLION DOLLARS and we ain’t got enough of that $20,000,000 even to pay their bill, much less to fix our roads. Where is the loot? Who has it? If we have been given that kind of money, why have we not been spending it to fix the roads and I can get to town when I need to? Why ain’t we got anything to show for it?
I looked up this consulting company on the internet. They are from Rhode Island! They also got a hang out in Miami. Now just what was the county commissioners thinking when they agreed to hire some bunch from Rhode Island and Miami? Lord have mercy, these people don’t know nothing about dirt roads, much less Jackson County! They think Chipola is something on a Mexican menu.
One thing they do know is how to stick the county with a big old bill and can’t get the money they say we have. Again, do we have the money or not?
I was eating at the café two weeks ago and this man and some pretty young women was eating at the table behind where me and my neighbor was eating. This short rotund man with a jacket on with the consultant’s name on it, who would double for one of the “Smurfs”, was bragging about how he was going to make hisself famous for pulling one over FEMA and the county. I heard him say, “This is the first time we have ever done this job and when we get through, it will be the last time FEMA will let anybody get away with this.” He said they were going to be paid up front and by the time the Feds caught on, the county was not going to get another dime. How in the Sam Hill does the county hire people like this that grab our loot and don’t give a hoot? I am told that these people do not know what they are doing and that the government is just letting them string the county along until they call a halt to giving us the money. I am also told that this company came in and boosted the cost of what it cost to fix dirt roads so they could get more money for themselves and will leave us “high and dry”. Ask the county where the money is. Ask the county how much of it has been spent on fixing the damaged roads.
Ask the county why they are letting this Rhode Island/Miami bunch keep stringing us along with the promise of “the money is coming”. Ask the county why the man in the “Smurf” costume wants to pull the wool over us folks in Jackson County. Does he think that because he works for a big city outfit and we are from down South we are too stupid to figure him out? On the other hand, since we have not gotten any of the money he says we have gotten, he may be right!
Lewis Hall Marianna, Fl