David, I really wish you would spend some time looking at the state of DCS. From the Dependent/Neglect foster care side to the DYD side. Over 300 children have died and many staff and clients in JJ will if something isn't done!!! It is the worst department in Haslam's administration. Look at the numbers!! The public needs to know how the unfortunate children of Tn. are being cared for.
Austin sponsored many softball teams in Chattanooga and always had the best talent in the area. (Austin Eagles) He spent TENS of THOUSANDS of dollars on these teams, and this gave him access to hundreds of girls that ages ranged from 10 years old to 18. If you were good enough you played for free. Everything was free!! This was a very attractive offer to many families who couldn't afford 1000 dollars a year for their girl to play on his elite team. Most parents got the message when he divorced his wife over one of his players who was 18 at the time. Greg Austin should be under a prison but his money has kept him out. I'm sure if all the girls he's has violated over the years would come forward this would be another Penn State scandal. Great job Mr. Cook for bringing this predator to everyone's attention!!
I hope the thousands of people who have commented and posted on the Taft issue remember it come election day!!! It's a joke for the Department of Childrens Services to say they care about the kids they serve. The taxpayers will soon find this out.
GC and Huckleberry, You may have hit the nail on the head ! How much could Dictator Haslam and company save by screwing 150+ employees out of full retirement benefits? Most employees with 25+ years won't go to the prison due to physical restrictions. It's a shame that any elected official or voting Tennessee citizen would let this atrocity go without fighting till the end. Thank you Times Free Press, David Cook, elected officials both Democrat and Republican, citizens who have said "this isn't right" Think about it folks. What if these were your parents, grandparents, sons or daughters that had been loyal civil servants? Then at the end of their long awaited career some woman who knew absolutely nothing about the business, a Dept. Comm. who was just a yes man, and a fellow who looks like the "Church Lady" on SNL did this to your loved one. Wonder how many people would like Tennessee politics on Face book then? Seems to me these people should have grounds for some type of lawsuit. Age discrimination, forced retirement? All I know is back when a Tennessean was a Tennessean they would have said "SHAME ON YOU LETS MEET IN THE MIDDLE AND SETTLE THIS"
Being from Bledsoe Co. all my life I would say Taft is about half Democrats half Republican. I really don't get your point though? Other than Republican bashing? History tells us that both parties have attempted to close Taft. I applauded both the Democrats and Republicans who are fighting together to keep Taft in the budget. That being said this isn't about D or R its about the safety of the kids, safety of the public and the rehabilitation of the states most troubled youth. At Taft every student can be locked in their room!!(All 220 of them) At the others they can't because of fire codes. At Taft the nearest major highway is 30 miles, at the others a major highway is within rock throwing distance. Taft over the years has been designed for aggressive ,destructive kids. Woodland Hills and Mt. View were built for less aggressive,medium security kids. New Vision was built for GIRLS!! How much will the upgrades take to bring the other facilities up to institutional grade? Of all closures this state has done this has to be the worst thought out one of all. The department is no more ready to accept Taft's population than they were the day they announced their intent. Really it's a joke from what I here. I hope someone (employee or kid) doesn't have to get seriously hurt or killed before everyone says" Boy that was a dumb a-- idea" Trust me if Taft closes it will happen!!
My thoughts exactaly Real Deal. It looks like the public and politicians would put a stop to the rich getting richer at the expense of Tennessee's troubled youth!!!!
Taft has been in operation for over 90 years. Unlike dealing with assembly lines, dealing with the most troubled youth in the state is personality driven!! The employees at Taft have been trained in this personality character for GENERATIONS. It won't work at the other places. If it did Taft would have been closed long ago.
How many prisons have you ever seen the inmates take their side? These folks are doing something right!! I'll bet if they could find a way to slip Haslam and O'Day a couple million a year from their budget Taft wouldn't close.
I wish the Times Free Press could take all the comments made on each story about Taft, and the votes on all the diffrent polls and put them all together, I think we would all find this is the most commented and voted story in the last 6 months!!!
I agree with you Edwards, its a shame that every citizen in this state is not calling for someone's head. If every media outlet was as transparent as the Times Free Press this country would still stand for the principles it was founded on. Money is the root of all EVIL, and Haslam has got it. To bad he can't tell his wife " Sorry dear,but your friend has to go!! She's wrong" People with unlimited amounts of money get greedy and loose site of the common man. To bad we've elected another one!!