This County Commission Meeting could be best described as something akin to a Domestic Dispute that Law Enforcement Officers go to all the time. This time it was the County Commissioners who got to experience what happens at these type of calls. The Court Room # 3 which is 4 times larger than the normal commission meeting was packed to standing room only. I am sure some of the County Commissioners were thinking, wouldn’t it be nice if we had to have a room like this to accommodate our concerned citizens every county commission meeting.
This night, the room was packed because of a building previously known as the “Four Way Motel” was in the process of being developed into a facility that is now managed and under the supervision of a “Faith Based Organization.”
Why were the citizens so upset about this ? This location is going to be used to bring Alabama State Department of Corrections inmates who have a low level security risk while in prison to give them the assistance they need to make the transition back into society.
One of the major barriers that ex-inmates have when attempting to get back in society and become productive citizens is society turning their backs on them. You had a good representation of that at the meeting.
Employers refuse to give them jobs, even temporary work, thus they have no legitimate way of supporting themselves or their family. Home Owners and Apartment Mangers refuse to rent to them because they are afraid what will happen once they move in. These acts alone drive the inmates back into a corner. Citizens because of fear of the unknown get up in arms when an ex-inmate moves into their neighborhood and refuse to accept them into the community no matter what the inmate does to show they are attempting to become a productive citizen and contribute to the community.
Because of society’s demeanor toward ex-inmates, way more than should are forced by society’s attitude toward them, go back to their old habits in order to feed themselves and their family. The end result they end back up in the system. It makes you wonder what would have happen if society was not a barrier but had a way to give them support and encouragement to become productive and contribute to society. Would the statistics be better?
At a Domestic dispute there are two types of emotions being displayed. One is “Emotional”, the person or persons are highly upset because of what they see as reality or perceive to be reality, something that has made them fearful for their loved ones or themselves. This is can brought on by several things such as a perceived wrong, fear of the unknown, and more.
The other is “Logic Reasoning”, where the a person or persons attempt to calm the situation by explaining in a logical manner the details of a situation. Then what options are available to remedy the situation. I bet ya can’t guess which one of those was running high Tuesday night!
The Sheriff did a good job attempting to explain what the laws were and would he and the county commission had the authority to do. Now! he was demonstrating logic. The County Attorney was demonstrating Logic, but logic will never win in an emotional atmosphere no matter the subject or how much factual information is provided.
Allow me to back up here and give you some background on why the commission had to move the meeting to a larger room last night.
On highway 43 just north of intersection of highway 72 West and highway 43 South is located a building on the West side of the road. This location for years has been known as “The Four Way Motel.” If you want a real fast detailed description of how this motel was run for years, just think of the most seedy motel you have ever read about in a crime novel and you would be getting close.
At one time when new, the motel was well run respectable motel. But as the years passed, the building began to run down and the room prices begin to fall. After a while, the majority of the occupants staying there were doing things that you might say were not exactly legal. The Occupants were prostitutes doing a brisk business, individuals coming in taping up the windows and doors so the smell of meth cooking wouldn’t escape, drug addicts doing all kinds of narcotics and leaving needles in the rooms and outside. People who were wanted by law enforcement hung out there because they were protected by their own. This has been going on for years.
I don’t recall anyone from the adjoining neighborhood going to the County Commission or Sheriff about how scared they were about what was happening at the “THE FOUR WAY MOTEL.” No one got on the Internet and started spouting things that were false and half truths. Blaming every tom, dick and harry. I’m surprised that Donald Trump’s name did not come up in the “Blame Game.”
Then a Man, named Chester McKinney. and others such as Willie Simpson decided that they were tired of seeing inmates being forced back into a revolving door situation and sent back to prison. They recognized that presently society’s attitude only created more legal issues, more court costs and contributed to the increase of our prison population. They could have just shook their heads and did like the others, and pointed fingers at the men and women returning back into society. But they had a different attitude. They thought, what would Jesus do with this situation?
Would he continually condemn these people or would he do something to help them in their endeavor to overcome their mistake and get back into society as a productive citizen? They knew what the answer would be if everything that was being taught in our churches every week was true.
So! a phone was picked up, a conversation was had with State of Alabama Department of Corrections. The Department like the idea and welcomed them to help the state to overcome some of the barriers they knew the ex-inmate would have to overcome once released.
Chester had a business which adjoined the property of the Motel. So! the very next best thing to do was purchase the property, move out what some refer to as “Low Lifes” and clean up the place. He did just that. No More Prostitutes, make shift brothels, drug dealing, people wanted on warrants for various crimes some petty other serious. ALL OF THAT GONE….PROPERTY SECURED….BUILDING STARTING TO BE REMODELED AND CREATING A BETTER VISUAL APPEARANCE FOR COMMUNITY.
They formed a “CHRISTIAN BASED ORGANIZATION WITH CHRISTIAN VALUES, GUIDELINES, RUN AND MANAGED BY GOD LOVING MEN” They set up a system where any inmate about to be released could apply for a temporary place to stay. That inmate would be vetted as to whether he or she would fit the criteria they designed the program for.
It was a natural fit, his company needed the labor. So, why not give these souls a job that would allow them to support themselves and have extra to give to their family. This was a WIN WIN for both parties. The inmate no longer had to get turned down over and over as he or she tried to get back into society. During their period there at the community house, they could participate in getting their GED, go to the Trade School and seek counseling if needed. There was a real good chance this would work and the end result would be less crime, less court cost,s less money to support them in the local jail or prison system.
You would wonder why anyone would be against this? He and his Christian faith group had removed the dangers of an existing motel, created a stable secure location for inmates until they could get on their feet and back into society.
You would think that the Baptist Church located just down the road west of the location would see this as a wonderful way to bring Jesus and the Christian faith into the homes of the ones who needed it the most. You would think that since this has become known, church leaders, and business leaders in the area would be ringing Chester’s phone off the wall asking how could they help in such a noble attempt. Offering employment, funds, time and equipment to make sure this “Noble Christian” effort succeeds, instead of just doing the talk, and not the walk.
This is where the rubber meets the road, you have what I call “Play Like Christians” that will pray, slap each other on the back, get on Facebook and other internet media and quote scripture, give condemnation of those who don’t think like the do, say praise the Lord all day long, and be the loudest to say it, because they want everyone to know just how godly they are.
But when it comes to doing the “Christian Thing” that causes them to actually be one, this is when the wheat is separated from the chaff. I assure you there is more chaff than wheat after the threshing.
There were plenty of these “Self Described Christians There At The Meeting” pointing fingers, making accusations without facts…Yep! I believe the cup runneth over with those at the meeting.
I would like to make a suggestion to the people who were there at the meeting who sounded just like another group I know of…”THE NEVER TRUMPERS”… No! Matter what President Trump does, no matter how beneficial it is and how fantastic it would be for America to become great again , they are going to be against it.
There were a few that were there waving this issue as their “Flag of Don’t Tread On Me” but that was what I call a “FALSE FLAG” They were really there to attack Sheriff Frank Williamson. Why! This is the year for another election and they wanted to discredit the Sheriff any way they could and made a real good attempt to do so. Listening to many of the citizens afterward, most saw through this person’s bullshit and did their best to wipe it off of their clothes before getting in their car.
I say to that person, you know who you are…you created a lot of unnecessary fear with your half baked, half truth, made up crap of a video on facebook. I attempted to confront you on this video as it came on to my page…your response was to delete it so I could no longer see what dung you were spreading like grass seed on newly grated yard. If you want to make this an issue for the election, I believe the sheriff is up to that challenge, but at least be respectable and use facts and not accusations.