February 22, 2013
Here is a serious observation that was previously made regarding the absolute crisis facing the BOC because of the loss of Jim Westbrook back in November.
Here is some background, it should be noted that Mr. Westbrook was basically the Big Boys 'go to guy' for many years. In an article from The Pilot dated May 25, 2008 titled 'Utility Increase Outlined' Mr. Westbrook proposed a 34% increase in county system water rates, speaking as the chairman of the BOC's Special Government Efficiency Committee. He certainly bought into the 'Big Spender' philosophy of T. Cary and the TPo3 right from the beginning.
Guess who else the BOC appointed to that committee back then - Nick Picerno. The then Chairman of BOC, Colin McKenzie, created the committee at the BOC meeting on Feb 18, 2008, stating that Caddell gave him the idea for this committee which had both Westbrook and Picerno appointed along with Dick Westcott, Bob Tweed and Densel Williams. Nick Picerno filed as a candidate for Chairman McKenzie's seat on the board two days later on Feb 20, 2008. Then, two weeks later (Mar 3, 2008) Chairman McKenzie made a motion to create another committee, the Major Capital Projects Task Force, with the following mission as stated in the previous BOC meeting; "....McKenzie said the county especially needs expert advice in planning the expansion and renovation of the jail." (The Pilot Feb 20, 2008). From that time on, the Southern Software Master Plan was pretty much set to attain its ultimate goal.
Jim Westbrook was a real insider 'utility soldier' for the BOC, serving at different times as one of the following; Chairman, Special Government Efficiency Committee, interim Public Works Director, interim Assistant County Manager, Interim Finance Director, Chairman, 10 Year Capital Improvement Plan, and finally as interim County Manager. He knew the secrets.
Caddell stated in The Pilot that ".....his fellow county board members and others are in turmoil following Westbrook's death...." Those are probably the truest words out of Caddell's mouth in a long, long time. The truth is that when your newly appointed 'keeper of the secrets' is removed from his position 48 hours after taking the position by what can only be called a "Devine intervention", it should be a sign to those who continue their long established wrongdoing that the 'Judge of all the Earth' does act in the affairs of men and He is always watching.