One Bradley County commissioner accused the chairman of the Commission’s road committee of possibly not caring about constituents.
Jeff Yarber, 5th District commissioner, said during his district report at Monday’s committee meeting he was working on drainage issues in his area.
“It seems like there is a lot of flooding in my area,” he said.
Yarber then asked 6th District Commissioner Mel Griffith, chairman of the road committee, when that body would meet in session again.
“July 8, 9 a.m. at the road department,” Griffith responded.
“We can’t get it any sooner than that?” Yarber asked.
“That’s what it’s set for,” Griffith said.
Yarber had been at the previous committee meeting on April 22 with residents who had a complaint about drainage issues.
He was informed at that meeting the matter would be looked into and he would be informed.
The delay in a response and the long pause between meetings drew Yarber’s ire at Monday’s Commission meeting.
“What do I tell the constituents who came two months ago? Tell them we don’t care? Is that what you’re saying?” Yarber asked.
“Well, we care,” Griffith said.
Yarber said as a commissioner this was a “pretty big issue for my district.”
“I’ve asked the road committee to look at it. We showed up at the meeting to talk about it. They didn’t know we were coming,” Yarber said. “The chairman of the road committee didn’t tell them we were coming. It was news to them. I don’t think the chairman of our road committee is taking this as an important issue. If you’re not going to do anything about it, just say that.”
Griffith said the purpose of the meeting Yarber and the constituents had attended “was to find out what the issues were, not to have them solved before you got there.”
Yarber said he would have constituents start “coming to the meeting since it’s not going to be taken seriously, and they can start filling the pews up.”
“If this were happening on your side of town ...,” Yarber started before Commission Chairman Louie Alford interrupted with, “Let’s not get carried away now.”
“I’m just getting frustrated,” Yarber said.
Alford suggested Yarber and Griffith could discuss the matter after the meeting.
“I’m not going to talk to him privately about this issue. It’s a public issue. I’ve asked it to be looked at and I expect it to happen,” Yarber said.
“My understanding is the road committee will meet on [July] the 8th,” Alford said.
“That won’t work,” Yarber said. “I’ll do it myself.”
He also mentioned a property where he described the grass as “almost head high.”
“It’s a foreclosed house and nothing’s being done about that,” Yarber said. “They say they’re working on it, but I may have to take my lawn mower over there and mow it.”
He said there were some issues that were within the city.
“But, it’s the same frustration happening here with the county. And I get frustrated when the people in my district wonder if I’m doing anything and I’m beating my head against the wall and no one else seems to care,” Yarber said.
Alford asked Yarber if he had taken his concerns within the city to city officials.
“I’ve taken them to the city and get the same response as I get from Mr. Griffith,” Yarber said.
Griffith did not respond to the further comments and left the meeting prior to its adjournment.