April 12, 2012 Issue


Scarboro explains his position on radio system

Dear Editor:

To the people of Bartow, Jefferson County, the commissioners and Mr. Mestres, my intent was not to offend or libel anyone or any group as we all need to work together to better the emergency services in our county.

After reading the article in the paper and talking to people who read it, it sounds like I came into the council meeting ranting like I was mad about something and I can see why Mr. Mestres responded. This was not the case, as I was asked to come to the council meeting to discuss the radio system we were being required to buy because of my knowledge of radio systems and the research I had done on federal grant eligibility. I did not just show up to complain or rant. I brought documents that supported the concerns about being able to get a grant to cover the cost of these radios, which is very important to the town officials and taxpayers, and was the only reason for my being at the council meeting.



My comments were not published in their proper content and the fact that I was asked to be there omitted, as it seems can happen in today’s media. Regarding the statement about “a fat wad of cash,” I was asked by the mayor why would someone buy a non-compliant radio system? To which I said, “I don’t know, maybe a fat wad of cash in someone’s pocket?” This was not stated as fact or meant to be, but as sarcasm because I don’t know the answer. However, looking back, this was not the place for sarcasm and I should not have said it. I still stand by the statements I made about this radio system being misrepresented to the people involved, which is why I said I feel like people were lied to. It was stated by a Motorola representative at county fire meetings that this radio system was fully compliant for federal grants, but on Motorola’s own website, and grant information websites, they state it is not compliant, and I feel grant eligibility was a large influence on the decision to go with this system. It was also stated that Motorola has been working for over three years to install a radio system, which I questioned since this was before the advisory board was formed. I am not against this radio system and have been working with Mr. Mestres to get Bartow’s radios ready and hope to continue doing so.

I am concerned, however, because Bartow taxpayers do not have the resources to buy new radios that are expensive and may not be covered by a grant, and still may have to be replaced in the future because they do not meet the current required government standards.

As to Mr. Mestres, since you are not from this area, and you are not familiar with me, you could have taken the time to talk to me or any of the city officials at the meeting. If you would have asked to see the minutes from the meeting before you responded based on a newspaper article, I believe you would have had a different understanding. I have served the people of this area my entire adult life as a volunteer firefighter/EMT, and my community in any way I could. I always have the interest of the people and the taxpayers in mind, and if I thought for a minute there was anything illegal happening I would have already addressed it properly. I would have gladly sat down with you and explained myself and sent a letter to the paper doing the same to ensure we continue a good working relationship. I will once again say I only want what is best for my community.

Any statements I have made are mine as a taxpayer, and not as a representative of Bartow or the fire department. Since everything I stated can be confirmed by people who attended these meetings, documentation, and even by Mr. Chalker’s statements, I have libeled no one and will gladly sit down with Mr. Mestres to work this out and put it behind us. I apologize again that my concern as a taxpayer got bent so far out of shape, but I also feel I deserve an apology as well. I would like to thank the paper for giving me a chance to explain myself.

Keith Scarboro

Patton shares thanks

Dear Editor:

There are so many reasons to live in a small community. I have been disabled since 1989. Over the years my condition has worsened but I have adapted to it. I have not done this by myself. God has led the way. I am so thankful. Mike and I are so much closer than we have ever been. I have enjoyed the quiet times with my daughter. Gene is always there if I need him, and other family members too! My church family, my friends, Abbott, nurses and people I don’t even know, have helped me time and time again.

“Amazing Grace,” sometimes I don’t know how or what to do and then in the morning, it doesn’t seem to be as important as I thought it was. Do you know the song “Till the Storm Passes By?” Listen to it!

My four-year-old grandson William put it in perspective when he wanted me to play with him. I am confined to a wheelchair so that makes it hard to play. I say, “I can’t,” he says, “You can.” He did that this past weekend, he wanted me to kick the soccer ball. Well, he put the ball at my foot, and then he picked my foot up and helped me kick the ball. He said, “See.” Then we played ball. He pretends to help me in his police car so he can take me to jail. Memories, precious memories! To all of you who have helped me in many ways, Thank You!

Lena Patton


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