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Charles must be getting nervous. He is circling the wagons and trying to spread the culpability far and wide over the Promise center boondoggle. He is purposefully trying to misrepresent the criticism voiced by such critics as Dave Oedel and many others to obfuscate and misrepresent the critics. In case you haven’t read his pitifully embarrassing “editorial” I will give you the link here reluctantly, but please hold your nose before you click the link. Otherwise you might get overpowered by the smell of horse manure.

An Accounting by Charles Richardson

Basically, the gist of the article is he launches a complete straw man broadside or as my British friends would say an “Aunt Sally”. He completely invents and then attempts to tear apart the criticism over Promise.  That is the great thing about straw man arguments, you will always win because you invent and define the opposition even if that is not close to what they are actually arguing. Charles is forced to use straw man arguments to make his case because if he actually addresses the true legitimate complaints about Promise he knows he will most certainly lose and the public would be outraged. He counts on an apathetic and preoccupied public and he has been largely correct given that Wanda West somehow managed to get re-elected.  He also knows his close friends like Cliffard Whitby, Tommy (never say no to Dallemand) Barnes, Sam (let’s make a deal) Hart who was Dallemand’s next door neighbor, Tom Hudson, and many others might not like what could be revealed with any further investigation.

It is Time The Truth Came Out and and We get a Full Forensic Audit of that missing $51 Million

We strongly urge U.S. Attorney Michael Moore to issue subpoenas and once and for all get to the bottom of all the shenanigans involving the missing $51 million and who was involved as well as any laws that have been broken in regards to the Promise initiative. Now that Charles’ old pal Romain is on the lam in Haiti, I doubt he will ever risk coming back to these shores. Certainly not for the foreseeable future at least. It was clear to pretty much everyone that Dallemand was nothing but a coward, a charlatan, and certainly incompetent.  But plenty of his accomplices are still around that can be subpoenaed. Most of his Minnesota minions who followed him here left abandoned ship but I bet they know quite a bit. The Promise lease “mastermind” Cliffard Whitby certainly needs to be questioned. I used the quotes purposefully because whenever I have heard him speak in interviews all I hear is a lot of stuttering and mumbling so I am guessing that the actual brains behind this sweetheart deal was Jimmie Samuels who is now deceased. In a softball question in an interview over the purpose of One Macon (yet another project Whitby is involved in that will likely result in more of our tax dollars going into his pockets) where they simply asked “what was the goal of One Macon”… you would have confused him with Rick Perry trying to name the third agency to close. How can a man who cannot answer such a simple and straightforward question be expected to have any degree of competence? If all I had to go on was that interview, I wouldn’t trust him to run a lemonade stand let alone handle millions of dollars. Given all the information I now know, I daresay I wouldn’t trust him with a lemonade stand either. It would likely cost a cool $1 million to build, I would probably be charged extra for the cup and ice, the lemonade would likely cost $50 and my taxpayer money would have likely built the stand.

Other people that certainly need to be subpoenaed include Tom Tourand who supervised the tech purchases. You know, all those useless dumb terminals collecting dust in the warehouse and the other crap that costs us millions. (Or have they finally been sold for pennies on the dollar at a massive loss yet.)

Dave Oedel  in an article not long ago also suggested: “Also on the list should be the principals from all firms identified in the Mauldin & Jenkins audit that did irregular no-bid and/or unauthorized tech deals with Dallemand’s administration, including Progressive Consulting Technologies, Pinnacle, United Data Technologies, ADCAP Network Systems, Comp-tech Computer Technologies, Layer 3 Communications, and Diversified Computer Solutions.”  Interesting that the one voice of sanity and reason at the telegraph no longer writes for them and now Charles has the megaphone all to himself. You wouldn’t have anything to do with Dave’s sudden departure would you Charles? Mr. Oedel if you happen to read this article, you certainly have a voice on this site. Given your intimate knowledge of all the facts and parties involved, you could certainly shed a great deal more light on this and many other issues.

Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

The last line of his editorial Charles wrote was  “Just the beginning. More next week.” At least he got one thing correct. It is just the beginning. I also hold the entire former board not just the BOE5 accountable for what they allowed to happen under Dallemand’s reign of financial and pedagogical terror. The current board is also accountable for that sweetheart severance package they awarded Dallemand instead of firing him with cause. Dallemand asked to be let out of his contract or to basically resign as in quit, so even if you did not want to fire him why would he be rewarded for quitting with such a generous deal? Why would anyone ever continue working on any job if they knew they could make more money by just quitting. Sheer insanity that a BOE that is supposed to look out for the best interest of the school system ever approved a contract such as that. Of course let’s not forget Tommy Barnes was the main person pushing for that contract renewal while he has still board president and also kept the newly elected board members from attending those meetings.

That Argosy diploma mill grad was scared to death to be called to testify and likely would have settled for a far cheaper package had you simply stuck to your guns a week or two more and called for an investigation or simply called his bluff. In fact, I would not have been surprised if he had fled to Haiti back then if he even thought there was a remote chance he would have to give any sworn testimony.  He had already done all the damage he could do, so if he stayed another month or two and that allowed us to get to the truth that was a small price to pay. Kudos to the only board member Lester Miller who understood this fact and voted against the golden parachute. The other board members simply did was was easiest for them not what was best for Bibb county. It wasn’t simply about the money from the severance. Had Dallemand been forced to stay, he would have likely spilled the beans on a lot of yet uncovered details which is exactly why so many were so anxious to get him out of town ASAP and our current board fell for it hook, line, and sinker instead of showing some backbone.

If, and I emphasize if, any crimes were committed under Dallemand, that would certainly put the supervisory role of the entire board into a very bad light indeed.  Of course Wanda West proclaimed she didn’t drop the ball because she didn’t know there was a ball in the air to drop. Hey Wanda, it is your fracking job to know! And if you didn’t know, you should have known and that goes for the rest of the board as well. All of Macon was telling the board what was going on so that excuse rings hollow. You have exactly one employee, the superintendent! That’s it, one single employee to supervise. He works for you. If you let him obfuscate, hide things from you, or bully you then you shouldn’t be on the board. I can promise you this much, had I been on the board during Dallemand’s tenure, his tactics would have met with much less success.

The only thing that Charles got right in his feeble attempt to sway public opinion in favor of Promi$e was by saying there are a lot of idiots responsible for letting this happen. Some were complacent, some complicit, and many more simply clueless. Notice how he quickly skirted over the fact that Whitby and his group acquired Ballard for peanuts at only $220,000 then managed to lease only around half of the very same building back to the former owners (i.e. the Bibb county taxpayers) for $5.75 million dollars over 10 years. Hey Charles, who did your friend Cliffard Whitby hire to do the repairs on Ballard by the way? Wasn’t it his own company? And didn’t he also try and rip off the taxpayers with some ridiculously exorbitant maintenance fee as well before Smith put a stop at least to that part. I believe Whitby was asking for $375,000 a year for cutting grass and minor repairs, is that about right Charles?

And last but not least let’s not forget the additional $1M bond. Who in hell has ever rented a property then was also forced to pay for maintenance and repairs from the landlord’s company? or indeed pay for any repairs or maintenance at all?  That is absolutely insane! Where are you Michael Moore?  But Tom Hudson didn’t think so since he voted to continue paying his friend Whitby that $375,000 per year in a 5-2 vote. Ella carter was absent that vote. Mr. Hudson I would love to hear how you can justify spending $375,000 a year to cut some grass when our teachers are desperate for books, supplies, and a computer from this century that works. They want iMacs not dumb terminals that are incompatible with the network sitting in a warehouse.

There is a sucker Born Every Day and in Macon it is the Taxpayers

Charles, if you think selling a building for $220,000, then turning around and paying millions in rent and repairs to the person you just sold it to for a bargain basement price, then also buying the building back makes any financial sense, then I have a great business proposition for you. You sound just like the guy that can appreciate this once in a lifetime opportunity. Let me buy your car from you, let’s look up the blue book value and I will pay you a great price in cash of 15% of the current Kelly blue book value. But you will then need a car to drive if you sell yours to me. Don’t use any of your other cars that work perfectly fine and for the love of God don’t shop around for other cars from any other buyers since they would just confuse you. You will need to trust me since I am doing this for the children. I am harmless I promise.  Since I am trying to help you out, I want to give you a fantastic deal. I will rent your former car back to you, but only 3 or 4 days days a week because I want to hire it out the other days for some extra cash, but I won’t charge them as much rent simply because I don’t want to. Since you are my main man, I will only charge you $2,000 a month to rent your car. Oh and one more thing, you are not allowed to do any repairs, change the oil, or even buy gas from anyone but me. I will do all that for only $150 per week as a maintenance fee to make sure it runs in tip-top condition and purrs like a kitten. Again, please don’t do any due diligence on maintenance or repairs since that would just confuse things.  After you rent it for around 5 years I will then sell it back to you for five times the Kelly  blue book value of a brand new car of the same make and model.

Act Now Charles this deal won’t Last!

Yes Charles, this is just the beginning but the Macon Telegraph is no longer the only voice in town. There is a new watchdog in town and we don’t buy what you are selling.  The truth always has a way of getting out eventually and the citizens of Macon will see that all this nepotism and incestuous business dealings between our elected officials and certain entities that always seem to have their hand in our taxpayer cookie jar has to come to an end. The very people that keep shouting “It’s for the children” always seem to be the ones pocketing millions with their hands out and wearing designer suits while kids at schools lack toilet paper, math books, and the teachers lack basic supplies and teach in overcrowded classrooms. It might be for the children of the people that got a big chunk of that missing $52 million but it is certainly not for the good of the schoolchildren of Bibb county.

How unfortunate that Macon no longer has a newspaper with an editorialist capable of addressing such blatant misuse of our taxpayers funds and so callously tries to dismiss such an obviously bad deal as perfectly acceptable and we should all just accept it and move on.  The citizens of middle Georgia need to stop being apathetic and start demanding more from our public officials and indeed our media.  Enough is enough!  So Bibb county are you ready to get answers? Will you stand with me to demand answers and accountability? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

(Be sure to read Part 2 that was just published and share)

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By Alan Wood

Musings of an unabashed and unapologetic liberal deep in the heart of a Red State. Crusader against obscurantism. Optimistic curmudgeon, snark jockey, lovably opinionated purveyor of wisdom and truth. Multi-lingual world traveler and part-time irreverent philosopher who dabbles in writing, political analysis, and social commentary. Attempting to provide some sanity and clarity to complex issues with a dash of sardonic wit and humor. Thanks for visiting!

2 thoughts on “My Response to Charles Richardson on “An Accounting” Editorial”
  1. Believe me, when I began this article last night at around midnight I had every intention of just writing a paragraph or two and actually keeping it “brief” like the title suggests, but about 75 minutes later what you read above came out instead. In my defense this is rather brief for me if not other people. 😉

  2. Believe me, when I began this article last night at around midnight I had every intention of just writing a paragraph or two and actually keeping it “brief” like the title suggests, but about 75 minutes later what you read above came out instead. In my defense this is rather brief for me if not other people. 😉

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