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Drink, Smoke and Pay

Posted Friday, January 7, 2011, at 4:21 PM

Do we need to create at least one new job on the Shelbyville payroll?

I'll pay my garbage fee, but where does our reponsibility of paying for others end?

Should we have a garbage patrolman to inspect the garbage cans of all those who get yet something else free?

I don't care whether these people live in government-supported housing or happen to be one of a dozen living in a home with eight cars parked outside.

If beer cans, liquor bottles or empty cigarette packages

are found in their garbage they should have to pay up on the spot for their past collection fees and immediately be added to those who pay.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Hey, you'll love this, when we were at Sonic earlier I noticed on the little credit card reader on the menu that you can check your Sonic card and EBT card cash balance on there. Should people who need the EBT cards really be using them for fast food?

-- Posted by Thom on Fri, Jan 7, 2011, at 5:56 PM

I never understood that. Also there are some pizza restaurants that take EBT as well.

But Bo, I totally agree with you. I don't live in the city, so I am not affected by the trash fee. But for those who live in the government housing and drive nearly brand new cars, and have big screen TVs and have the money for all of that plus for the beer and cigarettes do not need to be in government housing and should be made to pay the fee. I remember being behind a woman in Wal-Mart and she had a cart full of groceries that she used EBT to pay for, and then paid cash for 3 cases of beer and 2 carton of cigarettes as well as a mp3 player.

Seriously, EBT and other government assistance are suppose to be for NECESSITY items only.

-- Posted by PrpleHze on Sat, Jan 8, 2011, at 7:24 AM

I agree with the intentions of what is being discussed, but I wish there was a way to do the monitoring using a method that can not overstep its authority.

When my parents were alive they had several "fines" from an EPA group who monitored wetlands. They judged their property as wetlands based on the willow trees, that my parents planted.

Other than that, there were no wetland plants nor marshes to protect but when they were having dirt dumped to level out a part of their yard, they were fined $2500 for filling in wetlands.

It was eventually dismissed, but not before much angst from retired folks who were living on retirement income. What happens with the hypothetical garbage inspector who has 20 extra hours a week to justify, or their payroll budget needs to be bolstered? Are their duties expanded to check "other" things?

-- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Jan 8, 2011, at 8:00 AM

Agreed. The fix for EBT is already in place with other programs it just needs to be adapted.

WIC only applies to certain foods and usually for "store brands". Why not make EBT cards do the same thing?

With products having UPC bar codes and nearly all stores using scanners now it would be a simple thing to delineate items that can and cannot be bought with food stamp cards.

Also require picture I.D. when using the cards so they won't be sold on Craigslist for fifty cents on the dollar.

-- Posted by quietmike on Sat, Jan 8, 2011, at 8:05 AM

Maybe if the city didn't buy the public works department the big 4 door trucks for one person to ride around in they could afford to pick up the trash without the fee!

-- Posted by Rodney Simmons on Sat, Jan 8, 2011, at 9:07 AM

What is EBT, is that like Food stamps?

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Sat, Jan 8, 2011, at 1:02 PM

"Electronic Benefit Transfer or EBT is a system for delivering Food Stamp and Families First benefits to eligible Tennesseans." - TN DHS site

Although I have to admit I have no idea what this "Families First" thing is. I'm sure if I researched it just a little bit more, I could find out, just don't have time to do this right now.

-- Posted by Thom on Sat, Jan 8, 2011, at 2:26 PM

Family First benefits include welfare, child support, day care payment help, health care,etc. It is just the way to lump it all together. But someone people can qualify for Food Stamps, but not for Families First.

-- Posted by PrpleHze on Sat, Jan 8, 2011, at 2:40 PM

I didn't know about EBT, I have always been able to do something to make money.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Sat, Jan 8, 2011, at 6:01 PM

So they lump in child support with the government benefits and you can't separate the two? As the child support isn't government assistance, there's no way to stipulate where the government assistance is spent if the two are inseparable. Maybe this is why they were able to use them in casinos and shake-joints in California...until their previous Governor changed all that.

-- Posted by Thom on Sat, Jan 8, 2011, at 9:09 PM

I just read the article regarding the "trash fee" and the raising of property taxes. Basically it looks as if the City of Shelbyville is looking for any possible way to fleece it's residents because they couldn't live within their budget last year. That sound about right? As I'm not a resident of Shelbyville, thank God, I don't really have a dog in this hunt but it just sounds wrong to me. They looked at shaking you down with the sales tax but, surprise...surprise, they're already charging as much as legally possible there. Oh yeah, everyone except for those that are sucking on the public teat...they're part of the reason everyone else has to pay. The producers and the looters. Just like Ayn Rand predicted.

-- Posted by Thom on Sat, Jan 8, 2011, at 10:20 PM

The actual EBT card for Food stamps is for food that has not been prepared which even excludes foods from a deli. So if you saw someone using an EBT card at a pizza place or any other food place they had to have actual cash on that card. This cash comes from Families First aka. Aid for dependent children. The parent who receives this has a deadbeat ex who will not pay support.

If they receive child support then they do not receive Families First aid for dependent children.

This aid amounts to 142 per month for 1 child and goes up 35 per month per child after one with a limit of 3 (I don't know of anybody who can raise a child on that!!!) If you can please write a book because we all need to read it.

Honestly I have no problem seeing a parent buy their child the same type snacks every other child gets... I have no problem seeing a parent take their child to sonic every once in a while even if they are using their EBT card.

I think there are bigger fish to fry than whether or not a child maybe eating some candy or eating a Pizza on the taxpayer dollar...maybe like all the drug addicts and drunks who are collecting Social Security disability. Or maybe all the people on Social Security disability who are allowed to work part time without losing benefits: Excuse me but don't the word disable mean you cannot work??? If you can work part time then you can work full time and stop draining the Social Security system!!!

-- Posted by Dianatn on Sun, Jan 9, 2011, at 2:14 AM

I don't think the truly deserving folks are the problem. Instead it is the loose checks and balances that the government can not seem to get a handle on.

If we think about it, we probably all have an acquaintance who would love to work and even tries, but can not muster a full time job. We have one in Florida who is trying to work as a cook but can not last more than 4 hours a day and if he works five days, needs the next two to recuperate. Even then, he is not sure if he can keep it up.

Those type of people need help but we probably also know some who could do more but won't.

-- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Jan 9, 2011, at 9:18 AM

A fine is a tax upon those who do wrong. A tax is a fine upon those who do right.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Sun, Jan 9, 2011, at 1:16 PM

"This cash comes from Families First aka. Aid for dependent children. The parent who receives this has a deadbeat ex who will not pay support."

Posted by Dianatn on Sun, Jan 9, 2011, at 2:14 AM

That's only true if the parent not getting child support isn't working or under a certain income.

Believe me, I tried. They told me that I made too much money to qualify although my ex pays nothing for my kids. He hasnt for 7 months now. The child support office claims they can't find him. So we go round and round.

I think I'll just keep working three jobs. One for each child and not count on a dead beat dad or the government.

-- Posted by brown eyed girl on Mon, Jan 10, 2011, at 8:26 AM

They should allow the paper to publish a list of dead-beat dads monthly so everyone knows who they are.

-- Posted by Thom on Mon, Jan 10, 2011, at 8:44 AM

"They should allow the paper to publish a list of dead-beat dads monthly so everyone knows who they are.

-- Posted by Thom on Mon, Jan 10, 2011, at 8:44 AM"

Absolutely agree. That way they can't sweet talk any unsuspecting women.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Mon, Jan 10, 2011, at 2:30 PM

It goes both ways guys, there are plenty of deadbeat moms out there too and our courts wont do one thing to them. My husbands ex owes him several thousand in unpaid support. I even called the Times Gazette when an article was ran about deadbeat dads. They didnt want to hear one word I had to say!

-- Posted by Disgusted on Tue, Jan 11, 2011, at 10:02 AM

I totally agree with tinytoes! I know a young lady that is 26 years old and working on her 6th child. All of her children have different dads and you guessed it...the dads don't pay chld support because they are lazy bums too. It's okay though. The taxpayers are there to raise yet another child for her. Good grief. I would love to have another child (I only have 1) but I truly couldn't afford it and I have a good job. Things are so expensive. The problem is this: these types of people think that they are owed something. They think they are owed all of their "neccessities" and then they pay for their wants. Hold on...shouldn't they be responsbiliy for the things they need? I know I am and if I don't provide it for my and my family then no one else will. We should do what the Word says. "If a man doesn't work then he shouldn't eat." Plain and simple!

-- Posted by honda14 on Tue, Jan 11, 2011, at 12:24 PM

Thanks Steve for your words on people who would like to work but can't. I am one of those people.

After years of multiple back surgerys, I finally could no longer work a full time job. In April 2004, after my doctors telling me I would never be able to do a full time job again, I filed for disability. I continued to apply for jobs to be told I would have to be able to lift 75+ lbs, be on my feet for 8 to 12 hrs, etc. I had no prospects for employment. I sold my home, unable to do the upkeep and pay the mortage and moved in with my daughter for what I thought would be temporary until I could get through the SS System to find out about my benefits. It took 3 years and 5 months. Since then I have had both knees replaced and another back surgery. I do not consider myself "old" (I'm 58 and my health problems started when I was 40) and rather work. After all living expenses, ie, rent, lights, groc, meds, ect, I have nothing left. I have found a parttime/oncall type work that I may get 0 to 3 to 4 days a month to work. When I get home from one days work, my pain is in a level thats tolerable but still I'm in pain. Yes I'm sure there are those that abuse the system, I've met some of them, but don't lump all people who receive SS together. There are many who deserve their benefits and the help they receive. I worked for over 40 years and I'm NOT a drug addict or a drunk! My failing health is not something I planned so I could get out of work and drain the SS System. I would rather have my health and fulltime employment but life is not always what you choose.

-- Posted by ZNanny on Tue, Jan 11, 2011, at 12:30 PM

99.5 percent of the people on SS disability that I speak with ... their first question about working while on benefits are :"How much can I work without losing benefits?" What does this tell me? It says they are only going to work "this" amount regardless if they can do more. I Know of people drawing disability and working in the yard care industry, doing car repair work, roofing now com'on these are all very hard jobs to say the least. These are not your typical jobs for people who are disable but yet they receive these benefits just like someone who is completely disabled.. there's a problem.

The drug addicts and drunks qualify for disability even in their 20's and 30's even though they have paid little into the system and can continue to collect into their retirement years. There are thousands of these people on SS disability payroll now..who's money are they collecting? It is no wonder SS is bankrupt.

I understand fully that SS and disability is not nearly enough to live on I understand someone wanting to work a few hours a month at a simple job in order to supplement income those are not the people who are the problem. It seems to be the rule of thumb get out of jail get SS disability.

There are many days I do not feel like working many days I have worked so sick I couldn't hardly sit up.. and I am no spring chicken myself.

and to tinytoes

Where do you work? Because if you are selling food that has been prepared even if it has been cooled off and using the EBT Food Stamps "SNAP" for that food there will be a problem.


*SNAP benefits can be used to purchase food items. DHS expects beneficiaries to use SNAP benefits at a grocery store and then make meals at home from the items purchased with a SNAP debit card. Examples of such food items include bread, vegetables (fresh or canned), meat, cereal, milk and eggs, beans, peanut butter, canned soup, pasta and rice. You cannot buy hot, prepared food with SNAP benefits.

Prepared Meals

*DHS and FNS allow some exceptions to the hot, prepared food rule. Some households may be certified to use SNAP benefits for prepared meals. Households with elderly individuals, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients, homeless individuals and addicts in treatment programs can be certified to use SNAP benefits for qualifying prepared meals. However, these prepared meals must come from a communal living facility (such as a retirement community), an NGO (such as a soup kitchen or Meals on Wheels) or a government program, not commercial restaurants

The Act precludes the following items from being purchased with SNAP benefits: alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, hot food and any food sold for on-premises consumption.

This is the chart for payouts for families First (cash on EBT)

Here is the most you can get. If you have other income you may not get this much.

Number of Persons on Families First

Regular Payment-Differential Payment


$ 95








If you have a child just to get this amount you need to seek counseling

-- Posted by Dianatn on Tue, Jan 11, 2011, at 1:52 PM

If I had to guess, most workers at Wal-Mart, Kroger, or Food Lion are themselves on public assistance of one form or another, particularly if they have a family to support. I agree with Dianatn's researched assessment. Moreover, "welfare" as we know it today has stipulations and time limits.

Over half of this county's children live right at, or below, the poverty level. If you are assuming that half of the parents in this county won't get off their lazy butts, we have experienced an entirely different local population. Most food stamp recipients do work. They just work at jobs that provide exceedingly low wages and no benefits.

Maybe if your goal is for people to stand on their own two feet, and not be dependent upon the government, you should direct your anger toward the corporate and political interests who transferred our manufacturing jobs out of the country, in order to secure greater profits for a few.

-- Posted by memyselfi on Tue, Jan 11, 2011, at 10:11 PM

Define welfare? Do you mean the family first benefits? which by the chart I just posted you can see what a small amount you receive ...are you speaking of Food stamps> benefits for a family of 4 is about 500 per month>> or maybe you are talking about rental assisted housing or utility cost??? this is not cash this goes to the apartment management and utility companies. Or just maybe your speaking about child care help; this is not cash either it goes directly to the child care provider. This is all there is, period. So where would all this cash you speak of be coming from?? The only program that I could think of that would be giving this amount of money is the Government School grants or Federal school loans but these are not placed on EBT cards. As far as people getting already prepared food with food stamps I can only say they are not supposed to be able to purchase any cooked food that can be consumed immediately. Hot or cold. Lunch meats from the deli are permitted because they have to take it home and prepared the sandwich themself..

And actually I was not speaking of people who are unable to work or even the lazy bums. I was talking about children eating from the Families First EBT cash payment that goes for the child's needs. Which to my knowledge this is the only cash that is placed on the EBT card and I deal with it every day.

But now if you'd like to talk about lazy bums there are a lot of them out there and yes I am more than sure they are using the EBT payments for their own needs instead of their children's needs. They are the same ones living on subsidized housing benefits, getting max food stamps, that we have to step over while they lay in the floor playing their WII on their big screen TV. Does it make me angry??? Of course it does but we are aware that there is more income there besides government funding money and you can be sure it isn't a legal job either. But they are protected by the law, they are just like you and I are you cannot accuse them of doing something illegal without proof and proof is not only being arrested but being convicted of a felony. Until that happens it continues... and continues. That is the very reason I have no problem seeing a parent buying their children the things they want at the grocery store or even buying them a burger at sonic with the Families first cash at least those children are getting something from the funds that was meant for them in the first place.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Tue, Jan 11, 2011, at 11:09 PM

Moreover, "welfare" as we know it today has stipulations and time limits.

If you are assuming that half of the parents in this county won't get off their lazy butts, we have experienced an entirely different local population.

-- Posted by memyselfi

Those "time limits" only apply to 80% of federal benefits and are rife with exceptions, and they are abused as much as the system itself.


Actually the statistics show the percentage of lazy parents who just won't work enough is far more than half.

"In good economic times or bad, the typical poor family with children is supported by only 800 hours of work during a year: That amounts to 16 hours of work per week. If work in each family were raised to 2,000 hours per year-the equivalent of one adult working 40 hours per week throughout the year- nearly 75 percent of poor children would be lifted out of official poverty."


-- Posted by quietmike on Wed, Jan 12, 2011, at 6:33 AM

Ok fist off everyone is different I got maaried at 16 yrs old to man man that was 29 and we had three children and he abused me for yrs I can't work full time I have a every bad back and I need surgury! I can't because I can't pay my bills I get 75.00$ a week for three children 1 father so I get foodstamps on my ebt card to buy them food! 1 or 2 times a month I do get them pizza at papa murffy I don't think that's bad! And by the way I have my kids 24/7 he never gets them and never pays me any more for it ! You tell me how to raise three children on 75$ a week and no someone said if you can work part time you can work full time no I can't I about die working part time! And it's hard to get a job if you stayed home with your kids and you were 28 when you had your first job ! Your a lieablilty to ur employers if your messed up back goes out by working full time! My kids have it ruff they do not get to ride in a new car and live in free houseing or get free money to spend! We only get help with food! So don't act like you can down everone because the get foodstamps every case is diff! If you have any thing to say that you think you could help my problem then let me know please I'll try anything! You can e mail me at Michelle4u77@yahoo.com

-- Posted by Michelle77 on Wed, Jan 12, 2011, at 10:41 AM

OK, I fully agree with helping a lot of folks during these times, because there are some that certainly do need it. What I have a problem with are those that "work" the system, just because they can. I have always worked, and for 40 years seen people in grocery stores, buying a lot better food than I, and obviously wasn't working, not probably ever had. My BIG BEEF HANDICAP PARKING DECALS when NOTHING is wrong with them. I honestly think I could get a handicap decal for my little dog, because he has short legs. Those folks that are indeed handicapped, I have no problem with, but just watch the big cars pulling up into a handicap space, and watch them walk better than most going in. Hello, I just don't understand.

-- Posted by Rileyjewell07 on Wed, Jan 12, 2011, at 11:09 AM

Get back to my original comment tinytoes. Anyone who can find money to buy cigarettes and beer shouldn't have the audacity to think others should pay their garbage fee. That's it. No ifs, buts or maybes. I have no intention of running a survey while shopping...and paying for it myself.

-- Posted by bomelson on Wed, Jan 12, 2011, at 3:07 PM

quietmike, Thank you for the links. I checked them out and am not sure that we read the same information. The first one I particularly enjoyed, but I could not find any information about the 20% being "rife with exceptions and abused". Instead the article explained that the 20% were in fact primarily "child only" households, such as orphans, foster children, or alternatively, those families on state welfare rolls. I never imagined that you would consider children like that abusers of the system, or hope to deprive the states of their own welfare options, as opposed to their strict adherence to mandated federal guidelines.

The second link was not as enjoyable, but still enlightening. However, there are several problems with the part you quoted. I was somewhat disappointed that it was not cited. I have to wonder where this "typical family" came from, and what methodology was used to isolate it. It seems to me that these "hours worked" were averaged in with those who do not work at all, for instance those who are retired or disabled. Assuming you had a mother who was retired, and a brother who was disabled, could I infer that that a "typical" member of your immediate family worked 1/3 of the time you work every week? Besides that, the assertion is absurd on the face of it. A single wage earner earning $9.00 per hour will not raise a family above the poverty level with 40 hours.

You really should be more wary of those reports from any mouthpiece of business. This one did have some redeeming qualities though. In its effort to undermine the system of aid we provide in this country, it only demonstrated the system's overall effectiveness. In between the accounting of color TV's, air conditioning, and dishwashers (as if the poor have much control over building in the first instance) there was the good news that abject hunger has largely been eliminated in this great nation, in large part as a result of the programs you dislike. Thank you for bringing that to my attention.

bomelson, I understand your position, but why stop with tobacco, beer, or liquor? I think that anyone who puts a few dollars into a collection plate Sunday morning should have to pay the tax as well. That retired lady who goes out and gets her hair done every month should also be targeted. For that matter, anyone who buys gas when they could be walking should have to pay the tax. Of course, that is not really what I think, but I hope you see my point.

What I do think is that poor people should not buy any alcohol or tobacco. Those who are interested in such items should produce their own, perhaps in community collectives. If they become accomplished at growing tobacco, brewing beer, or distilling grain, they could even sell what they do not consume and maybe transform themselves from poor people, to just people. Of course, that is not really what I think either. Someone could get into a lot of trouble for that, but again, I hope you see my point.

If you are mad about the tax, assign the blame where it belongs. Just because your leaders wanted to add protections for the poor in order to ensure political expedience, is not an indication that the poor are the cause of your frustration. Do you honestly believe that those limitations will remain in future years anyway?

-- Posted by memyselfi on Thu, Jan 13, 2011, at 1:02 AM


The info from the second link comes directly from census information. Links are given at the bottom of the report so you could verify the information.

-- Posted by quietmike on Thu, Jan 13, 2011, at 3:45 AM

quietmike, I do not have the time to split hairs over the proper use of sources. You are most welcome to believe that all of the report's assertions came from the Census Bureau, but that is simply not the case.

The specific divisive bombshell that you used had no source whatsoever, and many of the other sources were questionable. While there were some legitimate citations, many of them were other Heritage reports. The author even cited himself on numerous occasions. I have no doubt that the un-sourced quote that you used will be used many times in the future, likely by the same author, and the lobbying organization he represents, who all knew very well that he couldn't source it in the first instance.

-- Posted by memyselfi on Thu, Jan 13, 2011, at 12:20 PM

So it looks as if nobody will have to worry about what anybody has in their trash because we "all" will be hauling our own trash off .. but the question is hauling to where?? Outside the city limits to the convenience centers? Isn't that going to put the burden on the county now?

-- Posted by Dianatn on Fri, Jan 14, 2011, at 11:22 AM

"Discontinuing garbage services would result in saving an estimated $500,000 per year"

Why did the city spend over 1 million on a new computer system for the schools that let parents see grades?

Why did they spend so much on an artsy sidewalk by the river that no one uses?

Why not sell some of the vacant buildings and property that the city owns?

-- Posted by quietmike on Fri, Jan 14, 2011, at 6:36 PM


1) the county funds the schools, not the city.

2) the "artsy sidewalk" was paid for by the state, not the city.

3) what vacant buildings and property?

-- Posted by lazarus on Fri, Jan 14, 2011, at 7:54 PM

I'd be willing to bet that we begin hearing about some form of the "Wheel Tax" being proposed in order to keep garbage service. The powers that be have been proponents of this tax in some form or other for years now.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Thu, Jan 20, 2011, at 2:18 AM

All the city dept heads need to take a big pay cut seeing they dont know how to stop spending that way they spend there own money on Shelbyville.

Then hold a new election for city council seeing one said he dont care or maybe he schould just quit that be better and kay rose schould quit to as she is for spending more on park's while try to do away with trash service.

Mr. Dill needs to quit over the $10,000 blunder he made plus lieing to the people of Shelbyville.

-- Posted by airforce one on Tue, Feb 8, 2011, at 9:34 PM

I may be wrong, so excuse me if I am ignorant to this. I understand the initials EBT simply refer to Electronic Bank Transfer and are universal for technology purposes of processing a payment and having it record to your bank account. I have a debit card for a local bank and as I read my bank statement it refers to these transactions as "EBT"s so I am confused. I have used my debit card at Sonic and other places and would hate to think because it registers as an EBT transaction someone would assume I am on assistance. For the record, I am one of the "workers" who pay taxes to support the welfare dept.

-- Posted by decorate1956 on Wed, Mar 2, 2011, at 11:30 AM


Just how much money did you spend to support the welfare dept?

Now ask yourself how much you spent to pay the taxes on the Big Corporations who didn't pay a dime into the system?

I have to take my hat off to you for supporting the welfare dept.. You just might have bought someone a FREE MEAL or a heater for the winter, maybe a fan if they were lucky for the summer.

They no doubt had to beg for money to buy gas for their car, or cigarettes or a bottle of wine (that most people take for granted).

-- Posted by Unique-Lies on Sat, Apr 30, 2011, at 2:34 PM

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Bo Melson is a retired sports and police beat editor of the Times-Gazette. He passed away November 15, 2014, at age 81.
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