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Monday, January 11, 2010

Milton Council off to a good start in 2010

Courtesy Jonathan Copsey / Appen Newspapers

January 11, 2010 MILTON - Last week's council meeting was filled with formality. As the first council meeting of the year, not only were the newly elected officials – Mayor Joe Lockwood and Council members Bill Lusk, Karen Thurman and Joe Longoria – administered their oaths of office, but volunteer committee members had to be reinstated as well.

For Longoria, who was elected in November, defeating incumbent Tina D'Aversa, it was his first council meeting where he was seated on the dais, instead of in the audience.

Council member Burt Hewitt was named the new Mayor Pro Tem.

Lockwood opened the meeting with a New Year's greeting: "Tonight's a special night and this year is a special year," said Lockwood. "I'm proud to be reelected as the city mayor and serving you for the next four years... We're excited to have new Council member Joe Longoria and welcome him here, as well as incumbent Council members Lusk and Thurman who were reelected. I'm excited to move forward with our city."

The new year will likely be one of challenges for the city, with the biggest being the transition from a public-private partnership with company CH2M Hill to a government that is mainly public.

One of the first items heard by the new council was a new program requested by City Solicitor Fran Shoenthal – don't charge first offenders for crimes.

This may sound like a problem, but in fact Shoenthal believes this will be a "win-win" scenario for both the offender and the city.

Instead of charging a first offender who has committed a minor offense, such as small-time theft, minor possession of marijuana and underage drinking, will be given the option of being charged and having their transgression go on their permanent record, or they can take part in the "Pre-Trial Intervention and Diversion Program." This program puts the charges against the offender on hold for a year and, instead of jail time, makes the offender perform community service and attend classes, as well as pay a fine. Should they successfully complete the year-long program, the charges will be dropped.

"They don't have to carry around a conviction for a minor offense for the rest of their lives," said Shoenthal. Typically, this program would be used for teens or other young people who do as young people do – make bad decisions.

"It a win-win for the city and especially for the offender," Shoenthal said. "Those that are genuinely interested, eligible and motivated to go through a program like this will be very successful."

And if they fail and commit another crime?

Not only will they be charged with the new crime, the old crime will automatically be added to the record as a guilty plea. It's a double-whammy that any teenager should not be looking forward to. According to Shoenthal, there is a 10 percent failure rate.

"It's worked well in the past because we've had some form of this treatment anyway," added Judge Barry Zimmerman. "This just formalizes it." According to Zimmerman, nearly every municipality and state has such a program.

Council member Julie Zahner-Bailey suggested that the community service be directed toward activities that benefit the community.

The council unanimously approved the ordinance creating the program.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

is jezebelle on drugs? she suggest that community service be something that goes towards the community? hello, my name is duh

Anonymous said...

She meant river clean-up, and also specified Bailey Farm and Gardens.

Anonymous said...

Whatever happen to the Tina ethics scandal? Was she censured? Found innocent? Has it been decided by Milton? By the state? Someone let us know.

Anonymous said...

Also, please let us know how Karen's predatory lending company is making restitution to the 800 military families it targeted in Tennessee. And, we'd also like to know how many more trips she's making to California to resolve the bankruptcy.

Anonymous said...

She was found innocent and all charges were dropped on the 28th of December. The open records are now available at the city.

Anonymous said...

Karen has legally changed her name and is now a practicing Muslin in Tenn. She was interviewed recently and said she had no comment on this issue and is looking forward as she moves on with her life.

Anonymous said...

That's amazing. Tina's foes destroyed her chances for serving Milton's citizens and she was found innocent. How sad the bullies won.

Anonymous said...

All is well that ends well, don't you think? Let's look forward.

Anonymous said...

and just where do you see that the diva versa was found incocent? i see nothing on the city website regarding minutes to the ethics meeting in last month

Anonymous said...

Actually Otis dropped the charges against her based on legal advice from Mr. Scott and Susan.

Anonymous said...

11:31 am poster - If someone falsely accused you and you lost your job while having a family to support, would you still feel the same way? I hope you get the chance to find out.

Anonymous said...

Tina still has at least two other teaching jobs, so she should be fine. Didn't know that being an elected official was a great paying job anyway. Thought it was all about serving the community for her.

Anonymous said...

I hope there will be legal action taken against the person who filed the ethics complaint especially since it came during an election with obvious and malicious intention. The person should pay damages not only to Ms. D'Aversa but to the city for the effort expended to research and resolve this frivolous complaint.

Anonymous said...

A perfect example of the need for a 1 term limit for public officials!

Anonymous said...

to the 4:35 poster...are you oblivious or just ignorant and stupid...she blatantly committed an offense when she offered him a position on a board in return for him not opposing her in the election and she was stupid enough to do it from her taxpayer funded laptop

Anonymous said...

I could ask you the same question. Are you oblivious or just ignorant and stupid to the fact that the mayor and city manager were copied on the e-mail? It was their duty to report any wrongdoing, but they did not. Read the city charter! Why weren't charges filed against them? If one is guilty, they all three are. Four are. Joe Longoria should have been the one to file the complaint. It happened directly to him. Now O'brien is left as the scape goat with a frivolous, politically-motivated ethics complaint.

Anonymous said...

For the uninformed, every complaint gets filtered, including Tina's. If it was frivolous, her paramour would have gleefully rejected it and gone after the filer, I am sure.
If there was any way to sue or get even, despite her probable guilt, Tina would certainly have done so by now & very publicly.
Speaking of pay, why did she get paid for the two month vacation after losing the election? Seems she owes the taxpayers a couple thousand for her sulk-athon pity party.

Anonymous said...

Charges are being filed against O'brien right now. Stay tuned!!!

Anonymous said...

you cant find lagerbloom and lockwood guilty by association just because they were copied on an email, youd have to prove that they read it and were 100% cognizant of the contents

Anonymous said...

How come when someone gets in trouble, they deny, deny, deny; it's never their fault; or if they go down, they are dragging others down with them? Own up to what you do and accept the consequences.

Anonymous said...

There is no inference of "guilt by association". According to the written responsibilities of the mayor, it's quite clear what he should have done and didn't.

Anonymous said...

Maybe he should leave office and you can take over?

Anonymous said...

Women get vilified and men get congratulated. If she was cleared on any wrongdoing, then the events as reported by The Beacon rag were lies. One poster feels that if someone lies about you and you loose an election, so what, she has two other teaching jobs. No the position doesn't pay much but in this economy, every little bit helps. The main thing is she served Milton because she wanted to do good things for the citizens and she has been cheated out of the opportunity to continue doing so by those who chose to lie.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes it matters which woman you are. What else could explain why the Beacon was all over Tina but nary a word about Karen Thurman being one of the top 20 investors in an unlicensed lending company which bought and illegally sold securities.

Anonymous said...

If Karen's activities in black and white are the truth, why are Tina's written words in black and white a lie?

Anonymous said...

if i used to own stock in enron does that make me a bad person? no...didn't think so...but apparently it makes karen a bad person? nice logic there retard

Anonymous said...

The exploits of this lending company go back many years. All one had to do before investing was a simple search and a bit of homework to know it was bad news.

Anonymous said...

If this had any legs, it would have been big news last fall,'cuz incumbents are always looked at by media.
The person(s)writing these comments about Thurman, besides sounding like an imbecile, must be:
*less credentialed than her
*less employed than Thurman
*a Jezebelle worshipper w/ hurt feelings because she realized 15 yrs ago Julie is a fraud
*just angry at the world
*All of the above????

So, if you own stock in GE, are you responsible for Iran nukes and the MSNBC junk?
Please.

Anonymous said...

I paid little attention to this story until I read several of these over-the-top, irrational, name-calling posts like 11:02. Somebody must not want us to know about this. Now I'm curious to do some research.

Knit Witch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

It was a lucrative investment. Perhaps it didn't matter what the company was doing.

Anonymous said...

Bet it is not lucrative now? Besides she has changed her name and is moving on, please let her be. She dosent need all this from the little peolpe!

Anonymous said...

Maybe she should abdicate.

Anonymous said...

Wow. This is as pointless an argument as is the "did Bush really win in 2000" or
'was Obama really born in the US arguments". Give it up, get over it, move on. If there was anything to any of it, it would have been used by someone, somewhere. It wasn't. It went nowhere. Move on.

Anonymous said...

Please tell the 800 military families who were ripped off by her lending company that they don't matter and to move on. You'll find many of them protecting your a#* in Afghanistan and Iraq.