• RUMORS that have been circulating in the community that City Councilman David Horn has been meeting privately with police union members regarding their contract with the City of Decatur, are not true. That’s what Horn informed me in response to my question about the subject of the rumors.
Horn responded: “The rumors that you have received that I have been meeting with police union members regarding their contract are false. I know my role and responsibilities as a council member and am very proud of my service and how I have conducted myself as a member of the Decatur City Council and representative to our city and its citizens.
“As you likely know, for months I have expressed my concerns regarding the reduced number of police officers and how this may influence response times and the ability of the police to be as effective as possible at a time when the number of calls for service has increased. I have expressed my concerns at multiple city council meetings including most recently the November 4 council meeting where the 2020 budget for the Police Department was discussed in study session and on multiple social media platforms.”
• I PULLED UP to the stoplight just before crossing the Korean War Veterans Bridge over Lake Decatur very early one morning last week. The sound coming from, either the car next to me, or from an alien space ship hovering over my car, was so loud that, even with my windows up it was almost deafening! Guessing that the sound was from the car next to me and not the thrusters on a space ship, I looked to my right and the car was rocking back and forth! In the driver’s seat of the car was a hooded man (or woman) who was making all kinds of gyrations to the sounds coming from the car (which was one of the reasons it was rocking back and forth).
The driver was also holding a cellphone in his hand and swinging it back and forth! When the traffic signal light turned green I got out of that intersection and away from that driver as fast as I could! I don’t know what he (or she) had been drinking or smoking, but I’ve never had a V8 juice affect me like that! Maybe he (or she) was just high on life!
• PROGRESS? The following is a joint statement from Decatur Public Schools and the Decatur Federation of Teaching Assistants (DFTA): “Representatives from District #61 and DFTA met tonight (Nov. 21) with a federal mediator to continue contract negotiations. Although no tentative agreement was reached, the union did submit a proposal for the Board to review at its next meeting on December 10. “We remain hopeful that a settlement between Decatur Public Schools and DFTA will happen soon. The next mediation session is scheduled for Monday, December 16.” Well, at least they are meeting. I’m not sure why it had to be so long (Dec. 16) to meet again? That’s over three weeks until they meet again. Maybe there is a good reason (legal or otherwise) for waiting so long. Hopefully, this will be settled before Christmas rolls around.
• SO SORRY to learn of the passing of retired Decatur Fire Chief Don Minton last week. He worked as a firefighter from 1955-1988 and served as chief from 1974 until his retirement. Don was another Decatur hero who also served his community in a variety of volunteer ways. My condolences to his family and friends. (Don Minton’s obituary can be found on page 21 of the print edition.)
• GOOD NEWS: October was another good month for employment in the Decatur area according to the Jobs Report issued by the Economic Development Corporation of Decatur-Macon County (EDC).
Andrew Taylor, Economic Development Officer for the EDC stated: “Concerning the Unemployment Rate, we did see a rather large drop in the total number of people unemployed in our year-to-year count by 310 people, resulting in a 11.2% decline. We are still maintaining our four-year low in unemployment that started last May.”