Brainstorms 6/29/2017

Ferrin Cox

Thursday, Jun 29,2017

Unemployment rate continues to drop throughout Alabama. Coffee County does not have the absolute lowest rate in the state, but it is close – “close enough for government work”. Statewide the percentage of folks applying for unemployment benefits has dropped low enough that former governor Robert Bentley could have made good on his vow not to take a paycheck until the unemployment rate for Alabamians dropped below 5% and still get a paycheck monthly. Sorry about that Gov . . .you left office a bit too soon to have the satisfaction of keeping a promise AND getting a personal pay check from the taxpayers who elected you.

We were a bit concerned last week after reading the letter to present and former city employees about the “free” credit monitoring services available. A quick check of the referenced website noted that was a 3-month “free” service. From there on it was a paid subscription service. Well Monday evening the Elba City Council agreed to pay a firm to furnish this security blanket. In spite of the horrible stumble of weeks before, we salute them for stepping up to the plate and protecting their employees - folks who just want money to pay the utility and grocery bills.

Another portion of the U S 84 four-lane project is scheduled to be opened to the public sometime in the week after July 4th. This will be the section from the Smith Avenue area, across the new Pea River bridges and on to where it joins the existing portion of U. S. 84. We don’t know what benefit this additional span of 4-lane will be to area motorists, but it is a step closer to total completion. NOW, when you start using the new roadway be especially alert to the arrows and signs. There is often a rash of accidents on newly opened roads as motorists learn their way around the newly created obstacles. You need to watch your driving and that of others just learning the road.

It is amazing just how quiet the campaign is for the Alabama special election to fill the vacated Jeff Sessions U. S. Senate seat. There are 18 candidates, eight Democrats and ten Republicans and only a very, very few of them yet have any notable statewide name recognition (and some of that is not real good). We have little over a month before the first primary where the respective parties start the process of selecting their favorite candidate to go to Washington, therefore someone had better crank up the tempo or pack their bags and head for Buck’s Pocket with the other losing senator ‘wantabes’.