D. Gary Davis
At the risk of placing a song in your head for the next two days, many of those who were born in the 1950’s and 1960’s remember the Jackson Five’s song "ABC”. Now, that was as easy as 1, 2, 3 and helps lead into this week’s article concerning the progress being made within Bradley County government, namely in Accessibility, Budgets and Computing upgrades.
A. D. A. compliance is not only an idea whose time has come, it is the law. Bradley County government strives to do our best for all of our citizens, residents and each visitor to our multiple buildings. In an attempt to meet the requirements of the section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 we are constantly looking at ways of improving our facilities within budget constraints. I have named Dr. Lindsay L. Hathcock as our ADA Coordinator and as such, he is the initial and primary local contact for information, and notification of possible concerns. During this month, the parking area for adaptive mobility access has been upgraded, and with the wonderful help of the Cleveland City Public Works Department, improvements were also made to allow much improved, safer and more gradual accessibility from 2nd Street to the ramp system of the West side entrance to the Bradley County Courthouse.
Budgets are always on my mind, but unlike Elvis Presley, I work with others to develop, implement and then follow a budgetary process. This past week the Bradley County Commission voted in a work session to adopt a budget calendar for our local Government to follow. This allows for the orderly progression of requests, analysis and then possible amendments to be made in such a way to not only keep them on time, but to also help each of the more than 70 different departments to each have their time in the overall process. I look forward to working with each person involved in the process to not only provide the best possible services to our community, but to do so in a responsible, efficient and effective way.
Computers have become an integral part of each of our lives. This can be seen as a blessing and also a curse. The blessing is that many processes that used to consume multiple hours of each workday are now transformed into brief segments of our day, and along with the increased productivity the invariable mistake that may occur has also been reduced in its frequency. The curse may be that while those who seek the good part of the process of improving work are now more susceptible to those who seek to cause harm and disrupt common business practices. It is now possible to rob and steal identities (and more) from the comfort of a thief’s home, library or their favorite place of choice as long as they have Internet access. Bradley County, and many other local and regional governments, have seen an uptick in both the frequency and the sophistication of those who seek to do harm, electronically. There are many more ways to help prevent attacks and protect your personal, home and business computer systems than I could possibly mention here but please at least incorporate these 5 items to your personal routine. Update your operating systems regularly. Backup your information and files and preferable keep in a separate location. Create difficult passwords, change them regularly and please do not use the same password for every account. Control access to your machine. It defies logic to develop passwords and security profiles and then leave a computer unattended, logged on and in an unsecure location. Ignore unsolicited emails and be very wary of free downloads from freeware and shareware sites. Each of these 5 items, and many more are used each and every day across Bradley County Government systems to minimize the possibility of nefarious access to our citizens data needed for local government to function.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your Bradley County Mayor, not only in the past, but also during this exciting time of change and what seems like an information avalanche, at times. The ability to navigate successfully during this time is definitely a team effort and I am honored to serve each of you with an amazing team of elected, appointed, employed and volunteer members. This method of service has not only served us ALL well in the past, but is another reason that the future is full of Great Promise for us all. Bradley County, truly is Tennessee at its best!