George Swales, recently chairman of the Columbus Conventions & Visitors Bureau Board, will resign his seat on the board. Swales was a county appointee and served six years. I spoke with Swales by telephone Wednesday afternoon. “I’ve served my six years and it’s time to move on,” said Swales.
He didn’t elaborate!
Swales served as chairman of the CVB until its last board meeting (the July meeting) when the board voted to appoint Dewitt Hicks as its new chairman. Swales has submitted his intent letter to resign his position, but it won’t be taken up until the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors meet to accept it. Board President Harry Sanders is hoping that Swales will attend the August CVB meeting before stepping down. [Which appears to be Swales’ intent. Swales told Sanders that his letter had an August 15 resignation date, or he would stay until the board of supervisors could come up with a replacement. – RW] While speaking with Swales Wednesday, it was clear he didn’t want to talk about the matter. Besides, that’s not George Swales’ style. Being a military man, Swales is always full of positive thoughts and optimism. But I could detect frustration in his voice. “I’m just finished with it,” he told me Wednesday.
Sanders said, “George Swales is a quality person. He’s a person who has always tried to do the right thing. A retired military man, he’s is above-board all the way!” Sanders reminded me that it was former Supervisor Jim Terry who recommended Swales for the CVB board. Sanders said, in fact, all of Terry’s board recommendations have been solid, quality people who were all well qualified for the boards on which they served.
As one who has attended many CVB board meetings, I’ll hate to see Swales leave…and this board in particular! I’m hoping that Swales will speak, as he always does, from his heart at the next CVB board meeting.
And while he’s at it, I hope he lays it all out on the table! It should be interesting!
Columbus Residents Part of American Border Support
Tam Gray contacted me months ago. Tam is part of an effort to help the US Border Patrol fight illegal immigration along the United States most vulnerable spot – the border with Mexico.
Recently, Tam, along with Danny Browning, headed southwest to assist a group called The American Border Support. They’ll be entrenched with the organization for several weeks to come, mostly along the area that borders Arizona and Texas with Mexico. Tam has been reporting his activities back to me and The Packet by email. The non-profit American Border Support members are working hand-in-hand with border patrol agents.
Tam says that their mission for the next six weeks is to report back to grassroots America the raw intel and firsthand accounts of this overlooked and neglected battle for America’s future. This week, Tam writes, “We just spoke with one lady in a small town along the border who says ‘there’s a curfew tonight.’ In this little community of about 12 full-time residents the cartels have gotten the word out that everyone needs to stay indoors tonight. “This can only mean one thing, there’s a shipment (of drugs) coming through.’ ” (she asked to not give her name)
He continues, “People down here in south Arizona are anxious. No one wants to talk, on or off the record. You find this as far north as Phoenix, which is nearly two hundred miles away.
“ABS (American Border Support) is embedding with Freedom Fighters in various areas to document this reality first hand. And again, this activity is happening as far north as Phoenix, well inland.
“U.S. Border Patrol says in one sector of south Texas they processed 1,711 illegal aliens for the month of June alone. 1023 of those apprehended were Other Than Mexican (OTM). That’s 60 percent.
“Also in that sector is Brooks County, Texas, and they’ve reported 43 deaths so far this year, mostly to heat exhaustion and dehydration.
“ABS feels any hope of change in this broken system and national tragedy has to come from the citizens of our communities and a grassroots awareness campaign. It’s the communities that have to hold their officials and employers accountable. Stop providing the jobs that are driving this attraction and start enforcing the laws that are already on the books.”
Tam finishes up his first compilation of his and Danny Browning’s activities by saying, “Our mission is to educate the masses of our population on the corrosive nature of illegal immigration. American Border Support is a non-profit, non-partisan, public awareness organization that favors an environmentally sustainable and economically just America. It opposes efforts to use federal immigration policies to force mass U.S. population growth and to depress wages of vulnerable workers.”
As Tam and Danny continue their mission to help fight illegal immigration, The Packet will provide you with additional updates on their progress during the weeks moving forward.
Department of Agriculture Agents Visit Local Farmers Markets
Agents with the Department of Agriculture having been visiting local farmers markets, including the Farmers Market at the Columbus Hitch Lot. It has confused many of the farmers and vendors selling there, because the agents are telling many of those selling produce that they can’t do so unless they have ‘certified scales’. For years and years, sellers have not used certified scales and most sellers and buyers of produce know the difference and work out deals among themselves.
My dad, God rest his soul, would have likely not been very cooperative with such an agent. He sold watermelons, tomatoes, corn, live fish and other such items for the last 35 years of his life in and around Columbus.
Specifically, the agents are telling sellers that they must have certified scales for anything they sell “by the pound.” Apparently a way around that is for sellers to sell their products by the item and not the pound.
For those old-timers that have long made a living selling items off of the land, certified scales is not in their vocabulary!
CVB Barring Media From Boardroom
I hate that I didn’t attend the last CVB board meeting where the media were barred from the actual boardroom itself. It is totally up to the CVB and its members to provide the media with a fair means in which to attend their meetings.
A message to the CVB: You don’t want to go to war with the media! If you continue to appear as if you have something to hide, it’ll make a hack dig that much harder to find out why you are being so secretive or uncooperative.
Please…let’s not go down that path!
Ron Williams can be reached by email at Ronsings2you@aol.com0