Number of current Mt. Juliet City Commissioners who have been censured for official misconduct:

TWO THREE

Headline from the Lebanon Democrat:
Mt. Juliet commission censures vice mayor over ethics allegations August 14, 2007

What else do Ray Justice, Linda Elam and Ed Hagerty all have in common? They are all up for re-election in November, 2008. 

-Publius

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24 Comments

Filed under ethics

24 responses to “Number of current Mt. Juliet City Commissioners who have been censured for official misconduct:

  1. Butch Huber

    I have included four codes for your review.
    I’m betting that we will soon see an ouster proceeding….I wonder who will win?

    Will Ed file to remove Linda before Linda can file to remove him? Will there be a mysterious complaint filed against Ray before the second reading of the ethics policy? I will give you odds that there will be a complaint against Ray “and” a motion to remove Ed from office before the end of the month. I base my projection on the fact that Ray and Ed have so far refused to take action against the mayor. Had they listened to me, Ed would not have been censured Monday night because Linda would not have been on the commission. Complacency is a terrible thing. I have asked both Ray and Ed to join my effort to bring an investigation into the actions of the mayor, I believe she has violated several laws on many levels, but up until Monday they have ignored me. I wonder if they will ignore me now. We will see.

    Here is how the teams look to me. In one corner you have Ray and Ed. In the other corner you have Paula, Linda and mini-me Sellers. I can’t tell which team Sheila is on. Jim is the…ahem…he is…Jim is…Jim is a good man.

    Each day we move forward and more truth comes out. This is much healthier for the city than the status quo…the evil is being exposed and rooted out…just like you spit out phlegm, an organization must eject those who are a virus or cancer to the community.

    Cancer doesn’t get better on its own, you have to cut it out or hammer it out with radiation or chemicals…or prayer.

    All we are seeing in this city is an outward revelation of what has been going on in city hall for a long-time. Some want to see this all go away, but it won’t go away unless it is dealt with. It might disappear from the public eye if fine people like Publius were not willing to dig in and expose the mischief, but then the employees would go back to quiet oppression…and I know that good men and women would not want their employees to live under quiet oppression just so that they don’t have to deal with this issue….would they?

    We have a duty and obligation as citizens to deal with the ugly nature of politics and eradicate our government of self-dealing, personal agenda pursuing, oppressive natured politicians.

    The worst thing that could happen is for the city to go back to “business as usual”. It is time to rid this city of the disharmony once and for all.

    39-16-402. Official misconduct. —

    (a) A public servant commits an offense who, with intent to obtain a benefit or to harm another, intentionally or knowingly:

    (1) Commits an act relating to the servant’s office or employment that constitutes an unauthorized exercise of official power;

    (2) Commits an act under color of office or employment that exceeds the servant’s official power;

    (3) Refrains from performing a duty that is imposed by law or that is clearly inherent in the nature of the public servant’s office or employment;

    (4) Violates a law relating to the public servant’s office or employment; or

    (5) Receives any benefit not otherwise authorized by law.

    (b) For purposes of subdivision (a)(2), a public servant commits an act under color of office or employment who acts or purports to act in an official capacity or takes advantage of the actual or purported capacity.

    (c) It is a defense to prosecution for this offense that the benefit involved was a trivial benefit incidental to personal, professional or business contact, and involved no substantial risk of undermining official impartiality.

    (d) An offense under this section is a Class E felony.

    (e) Charges for official misconduct may be brought only by indictment, presentment or criminal information; provided, that nothing in this section shall deny a person from pursuing other criminal charges by affidavit of complaint.

    [Acts 1989, ch. 591, § 1; 1990, ch. 980, § 10.]

    8-47-101. Officers subject to removal — Grounds. —

    Every person holding any office of trust or profit, under and by virtue of any of the laws of the state, either state, county, or municipal, except such officers as are by the constitution removable only and exclusively by methods other than those provided in this chapter, who shall knowingly or willfully commit misconduct in office, or who shall knowingly or willfully neglect to perform any duty enjoined upon such officer by any of the laws of the state, or who shall in any public place be in a state of intoxication produced by strong drink voluntarily taken, or who shall engage in any form of illegal gambling, or who shall commit any act constituting a violation of any penal statute involving moral turpitude, shall forfeit such office and shall be ousted from such office in the manner hereinafter provided.

    [Acts 1915, ch. 11, § 1; Shan., § 1135a1; Code 1932, § 1877; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 8-2701; Acts 2004, ch. 621, § 1.]

    6-20-220. Removal of officers. —

    (a) The mayor or any commissioner may be removed from office by the board of commissioners for crime or misdemeanor in office, for grave misconduct showing unfitness for public duty, or for permanent disability, by a majority vote of the other members of the board voting for such removal. The proceedings for such removal shall be upon specific charges in writing, which, with a notice stating the time and place of the hearing, shall be served on the accused or published at least three (3) times on three (3) successive days in a daily newspaper circulating in the city.

    6-21-108. Powers and duties of manager. —

    The powers and duties of the city manager are to:

    (1) See that the laws and ordinances are enforced, and upon knowledge or information of any violation thereof, see that prosecutions are instituted in the city court;

    (2) Except as otherwise provided in this charter, appoint, promote, demote, suspend, transfer, remove, and otherwise discipline all department heads and subordinate employees at any time, subject only to any personnel rules and regulations adopted by ordinance or resolution by the commission. Any hearings on, or appeals from, the city manager’s personnel decisions provided for in the personnel rules and regulations shall be exclusively before the city manager or a hearing officer designated by the city manager;

    (3) Supervise and control the work of the recorder, the chief of police, the city attorney, treasurer, and all other officers, and of all departments and divisions created by this charter or that hereafter may be created by the board of commissioners;

    (4) See that all terms and conditions imposed in favor of the city or its inhabitants in any public utility or franchise are faithfully done, kept and performed, and, upon knowledge or information of any violation thereof, call the same to the attention of the city attorney, who is hereby required to take such steps as are necessary to enforce the same;

    (5) Attend all meetings of the board, with the right to take part in the discussion, but not to vote;

    (6) Recommend to the board for adoption such measures as the city manager deems necessary or expedient;

    (7) Act as budget commissioner and keep the board fully advised as to the financial condition and need of the city;

    (8) Act as purchasing agent for the city and purchase all material, supplies and equipment for the proper conduct of the city’s business as provided in § 6-19-104;

    (9) Execute contracts on behalf of the city when this authority is delegated to the city manager by ordinance; and

    (10) Perform such other duties as may be prescribed by this charter or required of the city manager by resolution or ordinance of the board.

    [Acts 1921, ch. 173, art. 8, § 2; Shan. Supp., § 1997a163; Code 1932, § 3560; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 6-2108; Acts 1989, ch. 175, § 12; 1995, ch. 13, § 11; 1999, ch. 270, § 2.]

  2. Apolitical Observer

    Who’s next? Will Bradshaw be censured for wearing gloves at the commission table? Will Sellers be censured for advocating the hiring of a City Manager who performed gay marriages? We haven’t reached the point where homeless people hired by one commission member stand in the aisles holding signs criticizing another commission member but we’re getting close, folks.

  3. Butch Huber

    As I see it there are a few main, under-lying problems in the city government.

    1) Linda Elam is on a major power kick and thinks she has legitimate power to run the day-to-day operations of the city. (right now she does have a lot of actual power…that may change with the new city manager coming, but for now she is running the government practically single handedly.) Imagine if she ever ascends to office of any real power…wow! Let me say that backwards…Wow!

    2) Linda Elam has a pet project through which she wants to practically give the YMCA $20,000,000. She spins it nicely, but the end result is that she disparately wants to take $1,000 from every man, woman, child, and baby in this city and hand it over to the YMCA. Oh, it sounds like it makes a lot of sense at first. “We want to own the facility, so if the YMCA doesn’t run the project the way we want them to we can take it over, but until then the city has no obligations.” That just rolls off her tongue so smoothly, its as if she has been taking Bill Clinton lessons. Anything government does that is not absolutely necessary for government to do, it does very poorly. As far as I am concerned, whenever a liberal’s lips are moving they are lying; so when they say that they want to do something for me, I have to grab my wallet and hold on tight. How do you reconcile that 9% of the population wants a center and 91% does not, and yet it is somehow “helping me” to build the center anyway. Social engineering is alive and well in the United States, and Mayor Elam is bringing it to Mt. Juliet. If there are readers that want to build a community center, I would be glad to help, but not with tax money. If you want a community center project, reach in your pocket and take the money out of your own budget or start a non-profit and do some fund raising (I could help with the fund raising at anytime. I am all for a community center, I am not for another government or Pseudo-government institution through which big brother can monitor and control my behavior. Liberals are laughing right now…conservatives are raising eyebrows and shaking there heads in agreement.) Don’t fool yourself and start thinking this project is dead on arrival. Don’t think she has lost track of this project just because the YMCA is opening on their own. I am sure that in quiet hours, Linda sits over a cup of coffee and dreams of one day walking into the “Linda Elam Cultural Center of Mt. Juliet”. I bet she goes to Oak Ridge to get the plans for the center she went to when she was growing up so that the city can “save money on the architectural drawings’. That way she would be stepping back in time and fulfill a girlhood dream of one day having her own cultural center…there will the pesky nuisance of having to share her dream with other people too, but that is something she will have to live with, besides, it will provide yet another venue through which she can rule and reign. So, whenever you get the notion that she has given up on this project and is prepared to move on, that is when you should be looking around to she which angle she is coming from. Don’t think that it is that diabolical? Consider this. Linda called a meeting at city hall in an effort to persuade city employees to issue permits to Pulte Homes in spite of Pulte Homes not having met legal standards. She wanted to give them a pass so to speak. That pass would have resulted in pot holes in the roads of the neighborhood Pulte was building; pot holes that the city would have to pay to fix, and that the residents of the neighborhood would have to put up with. Chris Ryan, of Pulte Homes, and Mayor Elam had taken a ride through his project and during that ride Chris Ryan had explained to Linda that if he couldn’t proceed with those permits it would mean that he would have to spend a lot more money…Money that he might be able to otherwise add to what he had already pledged to the city for a ladder truck. Next thing you know Linda is in a meeting, slamming her hand on a table according to one account, demanding that the employees of the city issue permits to Pulte homes, (Don’t think it was a demand? Then why did City Attorney Louis Oliver have to reign her in and tell her that she didn’t have the authority to do what she was trying to do?) Now, what does that have to do with anything? Ask yourself, “Who could use a ladder truck”? Oh, CRS property could use a ladder truck! They are the only company in the area that is building a building tall enough that they would need a ladder truck, aren’t they? And I guess I am to believe that the Mt. Juliet Crossings project is the only project CRS is interested in doing in Mt. Juliet, right? And I guess I am to believe that the hotel currently being built on CRS property is the only tall building they want to build at that site, Right? Anyone who believes that Linda’s intentions were merely for the good of the city and to innocently provide appropriate assistance to Pulte Homes either has his or her head in the sand or they too are a liberal. It is my opinion that Mayor Elam was trying to force city employees to provide permits to Pulte Homes so that she could get more funding for a ladder truck so that she would look like a political hero for providing the city with more fire protection (I am all for more fire protection…especially as much as I run my mouth.), while in the background she would reinforce her status and worth to her employer by greasing the skids for any new project that would require a ladder truck. Smooth. If you don’t think she is thinking about these things you don’t know much about how a strategist thinks. Those who have swallowed the kool aid of liberalism are immersed in the liberal agenda. They believe that government knows best about how to govern society at large and that government should control everything except what goes on with their bodies. Meaning homosexuality and abortion (weird combination of terms in one sentence) are great and should be accepted, but every other facet of society should be controlled by government so that they can always do what they want with their bodies. That is why social engineering projects are so good for them, they can coral the people in groups so they can study group think and group behavior. If they can group people into controlled atmospheres (one’s they control) they can spin their social agenda through tolerance training and familiarization with counter-cultural behavior. The nature of liberalism is so deeply embedded in our society that most people don’t even know how to spot it when they are looking right at it. I will give you a clue of what it looks like…any time you take a group of people and herd them together in neat organized sub groupings, (like by age, gender, intellect, philosophy, etc) you can bet that the liberal machine is at work. There is nothing particularly wrong with this if it is being done by private citizens, like in clubs and organizations, and the participants are aware of the agenda and they are doing it of their own free will and not by some government mandated compulsion. Whenever the government is spending tax dollars in the effort to form organizations and is compelling you to attend, you can bet there is a liberal agenda. So the next time you hear Linda talking about the Community center project you can think “Linda Elam Cultural Center of Mt. Juliet” and you can think “liberal social engineer Linda Elam”. By the way, the next time you hear of this project you can also assume that she has already put the pieces of the puzzle together, she has sown up anyone who is against the project, and the meetings will be a mere formality. Don’t think that what is going on in the city is about what Hatton, Bobby, and Rob have been doing wrong, believe that it all leads to the Linda Elam Cultural Center of Mt. Juliet and Linda’s career, both private and political. (They wouldn’t issue permits for her, and they wouldn’t break the law and remove a requirement on CRS’s Mt. Juliet Crossings project, her employer’s project. How dare them get in her way!)

    3) Commissioners have interacted with city employees for a very long-time, and the lines of the chain of command have gotten way too blurry. The city manager is in charge in this city…not the commission. They may be “his” boss (Right now, Linda is “the” boss. By the way, do you wonder what happened in those closed door meetings between Linda and the new city manager? I do.) in that they pass ordinances and resolutions regarding the happenings of the city, but that is largely where the line ends for them. The commissioners have no power or authority unless they are in a public meeting, with public notice having been given, and with minutes of the meeting taken…all three have to exist or nothing they do is legal or binding. Commissioners have gotten to a point where they are making demands of city employees and threatening city employees, and they have developed an atmosphere of fear and intimidation within the walls of city hall. For at least one commissioner, the intimidation and fear is intended, as for others, I have no reason not to believe that they are simply trying to get things done that they believe should be done, but they unfortunately, either intentionally or unintentionally, don’t follow the legal pathways to get them done, and as a result, bad things happen. Organizations need protocols and procedures in order to function properly, and the TCA defines those to a degree. I have been advocating for some time now for the commission to adopt a set of protocols and procedures that strictly define how they as a commission should act and behave, and there should be a set of sanctions to punish those that violate those protocols and procedures. What is wrong with a little organization? A major problem with commissioners meddling in the day-to-day operations of the government is the dichotomy of ideals and ideas among the commissioners. Linda is a blazing liberal while Ed and Ray appear to me to be conservatives. If they can all go to city hall and boss people around at all levels within the government, how will employees know what to do? And since the mayor has begun “encouraging” city employees to file sexual harassment complaints against their bosses who have infuriated her, how will they know what to do? So far she has managed to rid the city of everyone we know of who has angered her…anyone have any doubt that any employee of the city that does not do what she wants will find the unemployment line? The mayor has control of city government. She has mini-me Sellers in her back pocket, Ray and Ed are punch drunk and feel defenseless, and Jim doesn’t know what’s going on.

    4. There is no will to do the right thing among the commissioners. They don’t believe they can beat her at her own game. They feel that the deck is stacked against them. They feel that since General Thompson won’t get involved with the politics of the city of Mt. Juliet (which he has told me point blank that he won’t), and they feel Linda Elam and Paula Flowers are the Governor’s girls (they are both connected to the governor) no body will do anything to bring her to justice. Perhaps they are right. The governor forwarded my complaint to the TBI for response and review and there is no indication that they have done a thing regarding my complaint. In fact, when I talked to the TBI they said that they couldn’t do anything without General Thompson’s cooperation, and that General Thompson won’t get involved in this matter. I just thought I would tell you that your government that is sworn to protect you against evils and wrongs, is hard at work ignoring them. But the city of Mt. Juliet is issuing 2,000 traffic violation citations per month in a city of just over 7,000 homes (do you think you have a high probability of getting a ticket this year?) Let’s do the math….7,000 homes, 20,000 citizens…let’s say that amounts to perhaps as much as 15,000 drivers. At the rate of 2,000 tickets per month, there will be 24,000 tickets issued this year! Exceed the speed limit and you will pay, commit official misconduct and official oppression again and again and….nothing. Censure?….what does it mean anymore? Did it ever mean anything?

    The citizens of this city need to rise up and take over this government (legally) and put in its place a civil government. When things get this far out of whack there is only one way to correct it. Stop everything, regroup, develop clearer guidelines and sanctions, and move forward from there.

    If I were a city commissioner right now I would resign in protest of what Linda is doing to the government, and I would attempt to lead a civil uprising that would propel her so far off her seat that it would take her years to land. But alas, would the public follow. The biggest problem with the issues going on in this city is that the citizens, although they believe that things are seriously out of whack, simply don’t want to get involved. The thing I am hearing is that people just want to see all of this stop. This is not new, even those who declared independence only did so after a “long train of abuses”. The people are slow to act, they are reluctant to become involved. Only when it has a direct impact on them personally do most people step up and act. When will we as a citizenry take charge and right the wrongs. The government can’t turn on itself, it would surely fall if it did and those endowed with power would lose it. So, as dismayed as I am, I realize that there is little chance that a liberal governor is going to really push for the TBI to investigate a Liberal mayor, though I still hold out hope that there is an honest politician in the world, who when presented with evidence that one of his own has committed an offense, will do the right thing. No, the problems in our society are born out of complacency. A complacent citizenry is a ripe crop for those with nefarious and sinister intentions.

    Who will answer the call? Who will take a stand? Who will take action to right the city? Who believes that giving the mayor a pass is the worst thing we could do? Is there even one other person out there that will stand against the evil she is spreading?

    There is home-rule…anyone game?

    Butch Huber

  4. liberty

    P
    Could you refresh our memory as to why R. Justice was censured? Was it the drunk driving/quid pro quo incicent?

    Thanks

  5. raytears

    Why are we giving the mayor all this power?
    she doesn’t have the power to do half the things you say she has done. It sounds like you just don’t
    like her.

  6. Butch Huber

    Ray Justice was censured because he called then Chief of Police Kenny Martin and grilled him on why he didn’t allow a former mayor’s daughter off on a drunk driving/driving charge and extend professional courtesy to her. You might remember, I was very active in pushing that issue forward. I thought he was wrong then and I still think he was wrong, but in the end, he voted to censure himself. I haven’t given Ray a pass…the voters in his district gave him a pass. Ray is looking for a second chance…and let’s face it, Ray is right about most of the things he says in the commission meetings…I don’t believe his thoughts are always complete…but as far as they go, he is usually right.

    I have told Ed Hagerty that I thought he was wrong for mixing it up with city employees. He and I don’t see eye-to-eye on many of the issues, but you have to give him credit, when it came to this complaint, he admitted to having done what he was accused of having done…he doesn’t see that it was wrong, and that bothers me, but he didn’t call it a witch hunt.

    Raytears;
    Don’t kid yourself, the mayor doesn’t have to have “legal” power to have “actual” power. Make no mistake, she is running this city single-handedly. She has virtually changed our city charter.

    As far as “liking” Mayor Elam, you need to know that I don’t like “Mayor Elam” one bit, I like “Linda Elam”, although it is getting harder and harder to like her on a personal basis because she has shown her true colors. But, whether I “like” her or not, it doesn’t change a thing. You have used a liberal tactic to try to defend a position that can’t be defended. “It sounds like you don’t like the mayor”; that tactic is used to throw the attention off of the offender and on to the accuser. Even if I hated the mayor, (which I don’t) it would not matter. The mayor used her anger and disdain for Hatton Wright, caused because he got in her way and because he embarrassed her in a meeting, to push him out of the government and to publicly embarrass him in a public meeting. She violated the city personnel manual in doing so, but her chief counsel Paula Flowers made sure that didn’t stick.

    No, this is not a matter of like or dislike. This is a matter of black and white. The mayor has violated so many laws and ordinances in her pursuit to achieve her goals it is sickening. But what is even more sickening is public officials who are sworn to uphold and enforce the law looking the other way because they don’t have the nerve, honor or character to do the right thing. To pass this off and say, “there is another election in 2008” is to say “It is okay to masquerade as anything you want to pretend to be, get elected, and then do anything you want, break any law, and nothing will happen to you. You get a get an unlimited supply of get out of jail free cards when you take your oath of office”.

    No, I believe that it is time for all good people of this city to say to its politicians, “you can’t behave any way you please, you have to follow the law”. Raytears, are you a friend of the mayor? If you are, and it could be proven to you that she was wrong and had broken the law, would you have the character to stand against her, even if you love her?

    Before Linda went down this road she and I were perceived as being “buds”, the comment was made by a city police officer (I will withhold his name) “I thought you and the mayor were tight?” Meaning, I thought you were friends? The mayor is the person who appointed me to the payroll commission, she and I communicated on other topics as well. I don’t hate Linda, she is just so far off the mark right now and her position has gone to her head so much that I can’t support her actions and/or intentions. She is also acting outside the law, is pushing the limit, and is using underhanded tactics to get her way.

    Remember, Linda and Rob were always “tight”, in fact I can’t recount how many times she let him know that she was the only thing keeping him in his job…that there were two votes available at all times to remove him from office, and her vote was all it would take. She was a little more coy than that most times, but the message was clear never-the-less. This is how Mayor Elam treats her friends, always keep them off balance, make them feel beholden, keep them nervous. Remember, Kevin Mack filed an ethics complaint against the Mayor because Cathy Reitz’s husband called Kevin telling him that they felt betrayed by the mayor. Remember, the mayor said that she “encouraged” Cathy to file her complaint. Encouraged….she said “Encouraged”…she is now trying to pass it off as though her interactions with Cathy were something different, but her instinctive response in a passionate moment was to say that she “encouraged” Cathy to file her complaint. I tend to believe that the mayor did just what she said she had done, “Encouraged” Cathy to file a complaint. I have been told that Cathy and Linda were “Good friends” before the complaint was filed. Then we are hearing that Mr. Reitz is saying that he felt she “used” them. I don’t know if this is all true or not, I do know that it is true that Mr. Reitz did in fact call Kevin Mack. I don’t have any reason to call Kevin a liar. Mr. Reitz never denied having called Kevin, and he never completely and emphatically denied what Kevin had in his complaint, he just said that Kevin must have misunderstood him…wonder if some lawyer we all know…advised him on how to get out of that mess?

    Make no mistake, the mayor has all the power she could ever need. She has the city attorney working on her interests, she has a city manager who will do what she says, she has mini-me sellers in her pocket, she on the inside track with the Governor, she has a district attorney who has written politicians a blank check because he won’t get involved in political issues, and she has Ray and Ed in a place where they are just waiting for November 2008. The only thing left to do in this city is hold the coronation.

    Butch Huber

    Butch

  7. Publius

    Liberty:

    here are links to the text of the censure of Commissioner Ray Justice. Action taken by the City Commission May 24, 2004

    Censure Resolution http://cityofmtjuliet.org/citycommission/Resolutions/2004/200413.pdf

    Minutes of the Meeting
    http://cityofmtjuliet.org/citycommission/Minutes/2004/May2404.pdf

    -Publius

  8. Butch Huber

    Ironic that resolution 13-2004, signed by Linda Elam, affirms the requirement that City Commissioners address their concerns with the city manager or the commission rather than with city employees. Perhaps Linda, and others, should read this resolution over 1,000 times so that it becomes second nature to them…oh, yeah, Linda is addressing her concerns with the city manager…it sounds like this I am sure…”now, Sheila, this is what I want you to do….(you can fill in the blanks)”

    Wonder how it will work when a former military officer with thirty years in the military steps up to the plate. With thirty years in the service and only having reached the rank of Major, I would bet he is a mustang (Meaning he was prior enlisted…perhaps not, but I am betting he was.). If he was a mustang this is going to be very interesting. Mustangs don’t take a lot of *?#&! from anyone.

    Butch Huber

    Butch

  9. Butch Huber

    Even more Ironic…I have heard that Linda was the author of resolution 13-2004, not just a signer. Perhaps the commission should dust this resolution off and re-approve it or something. I have some new language they can add…the mayor shall refrain from single-handedly taking over city government, shall refrain from putting in place a city attorney who will not enforce city ordinances and laws against the mayor as she takes over the city government, shall refrain from defaming the character of city employees who don’t buckle under her tyranny, and shall refrain from firing (Through forced resignations, forced retirement, and trumped up accusations or otherwise) anyone who refuses to violate the constitutions of the Nation or State, or laws and ordinances so that she can provide benefits to her employer, further her political career, enjoy personal enrichment from such actions and/or simply take vengeance.
    I believe that the city commission should also pass a resolution that it will act according to the United States Constitution, the Constitution of the State of Tennessee, and all Federal and State Laws and ordinances and shall also follow its own resolutions. Just a thought. It would be nice if our law makers and legislators followed the laws and ordinances the way they want us to follow it, wouldn’t you agree; or am I asking too much?

    Butch Huber

  10. Butch Huber

    Wanting to be fair to all sides and all parties, I believe the city should reconsider its censure of Ed Hagerty. In going over the issues in my mind I don’t believe that Ed had a fair shake in the meeting and there needs to be decorum in all matters before the city. It was pretty apparent that Ed didn’t believe he had done anything wrong for which he was censured. He openly admitted, without legal counsel, to having done the things he was accused of having done. However, it appears that there may be other issues that may mitigate his actions, I believe that those issues need to be addressed and I believe that Ed needs to have a fair and honest assessment of his actions. If, after having explored “all” the facts, the commission still determines that Ed has acted improperly he should be sanctioned and an ouster hearing scheduled to remove him from office for official misconduct, as is required by law, however, if he has not done anything wrong, the sanction of censure should be removed and full respect and apologies given from all concerned.

    Additionally, I believe that Mayor Elam should not be given a pass either. The mayor was censured for official misconduct. I believe the law mandates that an ouster hearing be held in her case, and considering how much she has meddled in the city business, I believe that suspension from office pending such hearing is reasonable to ensure that she discontinues her manipulations. I believe she should be suspended from office before any actions are taken in regard to Commissioner Hagerty’s censure/withdraw of censure for two reasons: 1) she should have had a suspension from office and a hearing scheduled right after her censure and therefore would not have voted on Hagerty’s censure in the first place and 2) I am not convinced that the mayor is not looking for revenge against those who censured her, and to allow her to vote on “their” censure when she has been censured for official misconduct, but the mandated legal process has not been conducted, well, that just seems wrong to me, how about you?

    I believe that every person deserves a fair and impartial process when it comes to such matters. I don’t think that Ed quite had a fair and impartial process. I ask you to join me in asking the commission to rethink this issue and do the right thing.

    Butch Huber

  11. Butch Huber

    In all things, fairness! Last night I made an appeal to the board of commissioners to give Vice-Mayor Hagerty a reconsideration on his censure. Commissioner Justice spoke at length about how a complaint without a name on it should not be considered and how the proceeding during which commissioner Hagerty was conducted was wrong or something to that effect. Vice Mayor Hagerty also made a very good case against there being cause for his censure. At the end of last night’s meeting commissioner Justice motioned to suspend the rules to discuss this issue. There was no second.

    For the record, I don’t believe that commissioners should be sending e-mails or telephoning or visiting with city employees to “tell” or “demand” anything from them, even when they are speaking to the city manager. The Board of Commissioners can demand something of the city manager, but even the board of commissioners cannot demand anything from any other employee of the city. However, I believe that what happened to Commissioner Hagerty was more politics by ambush.

    Mr. Hagerty and I have discussed our opinions and feelings on the matters he was censured for having done. He doesn’t deny having done what he was accused of having done, he just doesn’t feel he has done anything wrong. I believe that Mr. Hagerty was doing the right thing, the wrong way. Unfortunately, that technically makes you wrong. It is better than doing the wrong thing the wrong way, which I believe that mayor has been doing.

    I think that it is very important that the commissioners get it right. A reconsideration of his censure is not the same as a retraction. If, after a properly conducted meeting, they feel Mr. Haggerty has committed an offense that rises to the level of censure, then by all means, they should censure him.

    Let me explain how this censure process is supposed to work. It is the same as when Bill Clinton was Impeached. He was Impeached, there was a lengthy legal process, because he had broken the law, or appeared to have broken the law. In the end, congress did not throw him out of office. He was still impeached, but was able to complete his term. Censure for misconduct is the same thing. When the commission feels that a member of the board has committed official misconduct and they censure, they are saying to the public and to the law enforcement and judicial system that “we believe that the conduct of this person has risen to the level of official misconduct”. This is a serious issue, because guilt of the offense of official misconduct requires that person be removed from office. Further, Official Conduct is a crime that rises to the level of a felony. Which means that criminal proceedings in the matter of official misconduct can end in jail time for the offender if they are found guilty.

    I don’t think that his intentions were wrong, he was trying to help citizens. Ed was not trying to win special dispensation for a land developer by calling a special meeting to try to bully city employees into providing building permits they legally can’t issue. He wasn’t calling the city planner trying to get him to take some requirement off his employers development project. He was merely trying to fix city problems for his constituent, just as all commissioners seem to do, as they should. The problems come into play because the board of commissioners has not been playing by the rule book for way too long. The problem comes into play in the “way” that he went about his effort, but even then the case against him is extremely thin. I believe he did wrong, but I don’t believe his actions rise to the level of being censured for Official Misconduct. Perhaps a censure for a lesser offense is a solution. To be censured for Official Misconduct mandates a trial under TCA, at least I believe it does.

    Our city charter is designed to keep the commission very weak with regard to daily operations of the city government. I spoke to N.C. Hibbet, the city’s first mayor. He told me that when they founded the city they selected this form of government because it was the form that would best keep politics out of the daily operations of the city. Mr. Hibbet was correct in that, out of the forms of government that were available at the time, this is the least likely to usher politics into the daily operation of the city. But just like a snake can slither through the narrowest crack, politicians can find a way into just about every nook and cranny.

    The city of Mt. Juliet started as a small community that banded together, (nearly didn’t happen at all, according to Mr. Hibbet just less than half the citizens didn’t want to incorporate and become a city.) to protect themselves from either the county or the city of Lebanon from what I am told, I can’t remember which.

    I moved to the Nashville area 12 years ago, and at that time Mt. Juliet hardly seemed to even exist. This was very much similar to a town I grew up in where everyone was my kin or kin to my kin. When you are in a town where everyone knows your name and everything about you, things get done over lunch and dinner and Sunday picnics. However, over the past 12 years this city has transformed into the fastest growing city in the state. There are more than twice as many, perhaps three to four times as many, people in Mt. Juliet as there were 12 years ago. Over the next 12 years this city is likely to grow to 40 to 50 thousand people or more. It is time for re-aligning our thinking and our actions in preparation for what is to come.

    People sell farms and acreage to make a profit, builders build houses upon the land to make a profit, the county taxes the growth, business open along the roads and pathways to attract customers, yet many don’t want to give up the way of life they once knew. I have not been an advocate or an opponent to the growth that has occurred in Mt. Juliet, however I have observed the growing pains that have been brought on by such growth.

    If the commission is not brought under control, and with it the daily operation of the city government, the future of this city will be very chaotic to say the least. This city can no longer be run over lunch or dinner or Sunday picnic. There are people here that have bought those homes that were built on the farms that made everyone money, and they spend money in the local businesses, and they are citizens of the Nation, State, county and city. I am one of those people who have invaded Mt. Juliet from elsewhere. Today, I envy those of you who grew up here in that you live among lifelong friends and family. My life turned out a little differently. However, the town I grew up in is long gone, too. You can’t hold back the constant march of life.

    What Ed Hagerty has done is no different than other commissioners have been doing for as long as this city has been here. That doesn’t make it right, it just identifies the cause and effect of it all.

    It is time for the city to have rules, procedures, protocols, and sanctions for violating those protocols. Censure should be held out for people who do the things the mayor has done. Public admonishment and sanctions are more appropriate for people who commit offenses that Vice-mayor Hagerty has committed.

    These are just “my” opinions; I am for a “civil” government. I believe that in all things there should be fairness and justice.

    Butch Huber

  12. raytears

    I think Ed should know better than to trash Steve
    over following what his supervisors told him to do.
    Ed has gotten out of control.
    I’ve visited Bonds on mt juliet road and they say they were lied to by Ed in his support for business
    change. I’ve heard this from others that his word doesn’t mount to a hill of beans. He doesn’t listen,
    He uses scripture to shun others while he trashes
    people. Don’t we realize others watch Mt Juliet, and see channel 3 all the hatred and lack of a joined effort to move ahead. We are causing businesses to think twice about moving here.
    You treat this as a game a battle of witts This is
    nothing more who gets to be on top.
    Ed should know that the greatest is to be a servant
    for Christ. The outside of the cup is clean but the inside is full rage, unforgiveness, slander I see it almost ever Monday night. It’s time to grow up.
    Unless of coarse you are running for Mayor.

  13. Apolitical Observer

    It is clear that Ed Hagerty should not have been censured. What he did was in response to the concerns of constituents. Just as you or I have a right to call, e-mail or talk to city employees, Mr. Hagerty does. The case of abuse of power is overstated, more like cutting through red tape.

    The reference to Bonds must be over the Crematorium issue. This is another case where Hagerty responded to constituent concerns.

    Ironically, the ordinance Mr. Huber refers to was likely authored by Mayor Elam in the wake of the first attempt to dismiss Rob Shearer. Ray Justice, who is ably using all this turmoil to try to look like the voice of reason, was regularly attempting to intimidate city employees in his quest to fire Mr. Shearer.

    Mr. Huber, who has turned this site into his personal blogosphere, has a short memory. He should be careful what he wishes for as sometimes those wishes come true. Anyone who has been here 12 years should remember what it was like before Kevin Mack became Mayor, and should be wary of opening the door for a return to those days.

  14. Ed Hagerty

    Another anonomyous complaint lodged against me. Well, what else is new.

    Before I address the Bond Memorial Chapel issue and set the facts straight, it’s good to keep in mind the Proverb that says, …a man’s argument seems right until his neighbor comes and examines him…”

    So here’s the parts that raytears has left out: the Bond family came to me requesting a zone change at their current location to accomodate a crematorium. Just as I do with all zone change requests in my district, I ask the applicant (the Bond’s) to discuss it with their neighbors. I tell them plainly that if their neighbors are OK with it, then I am OK with it. The Bond’s set up a neighborhood meeting, which I attended, and had a dreadful response. Ms. Naomi, who lives directly behind the Bond’s, and Mr. Clark, who lives next door to Ms. Naomi, were appalled at the idea of having a crematorium in their backyard. Mr. Clark took the initiative to petition his neighbors on Weston Drive. Most of the neighbors were upset as well. The Bond’s scheduled a second neighborhood meeting, this time inviting those on Weston Drive. I was not able to attend but was told that it didn’t go well once again.

    At one of the meetings, the Bond’s let it be known that if their neighbors were not OK with the crematorium, they would not pursue it, as they owned other land that was properly zoned for a crematorium.

    Since the Bond’s have filed suit against the city (and have won), then, obviously, the Bond’s do intend to pursue the crematorium despite the feelings of their neighbors.

    It should be noted that all 4 commissioners and the mayor felt strongly that the ruling for the Bond’s should be appealed.

    My philosophy of representative government is straightforward: the majority of my constituents do not want the crematorium, I am their representative; therefore, I will work hard on their behalf.

    BTW, I love the radiofree site.

    Ed Hagerty

  15. raytears

    Well there you go again not telling the truth.
    You promised the bonds to vote their way and when no one was voting with you changed your tune. I guess that what you call keeping your word. Ed like I said the outside of the cup.
    And what about your trashing steve thomas for doing his job? Is that the christian approach?
    Ed when we all watch you on 3 the hatred for the mayor is painted all over your face, is that what christ has taught you?

  16. Weird Harold

    During the last commission meeting the city attorney stated that she advised the Acting City Manager not to sign the letter that eventually got Ed Hagerty censured. I immediately thought; “If she advised the city manager, I wonder if she or the city manager informed the Vice-Mayor that the attorney felt it was a bad idea to sign the letter and did they tell him “why” it was a bad idea?” So, rather than just run off at the mouth and prove myself a fool (like some people I know), I e-mailed Ed and asked him if the city manager or the city attorney had apprised him of the attorney’s opinion. (For the technical types out there, I used different words, but the question was the same.) He informed me that the city manager had called and told him that with all the garbage that has been going on in the city she wasn’t going to sign it, but that neither she nor the city attorney informed him of the city attorney’s advice to the city manager.

    Not to dismiss Ed for his actions, but don’t you think that it was incumbent upon the city manager to inform the Vice-mayor of the potential problem with his signature on that letter. Further, don’t you believe that, if he refused to retract his signature, the city manager should have taken immediate appropriate action, rather than let it become a formal complaint? Don’t you believe that the city attorney should have advised the Vice-mayor as well.

    Don’t you smell a rat?

    Weird Harold

  17. Glen Linthicum

    Contempt maybe the word you are looking for Raytears not hate. I believe that Ed is an honorable man. We all fall short sometimes but I do not believe that it is hate on Ed’s face but rather contempt for a vindictive and petty person in our Mayor. Hopefully all this “Payton Place” garbage is over and they can get on with the Cities business.

    Glen

  18. Butch Huber

    Just as I guessed, the city attorney has found my complaint to be “erroneous”.

    Her letter to me is as follows:

    Dear Mr. Huber:

  19. raytears

    An honorable man does not slander city employees.
    That is not just the mayor Ed has trashed.

  20. raytears

    You boys crack me up, you home school together, some church together, some kids are married, I’m glad little by little the gang is being dismantled.

  21. Butch Huber

    I somehow let the post from 2:03 get through. I was going to post the letter, then decided to take a few minutes to consider it first. I guess I inadvertently pressed the submit button.

    I will post her letter in a little while. But before I do, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the city attorney has determined that I am in error in my complaint against “her”.

    What suspect going before a judge wouldn’t like to know that “he” is going to also be the judge?

    I thought that a complaint of this nature was supposed to go before the commission for a vote of whether it has merit, does not have merit, or warrants further investigation.

    More to come…count on it.

    Butch Huber

  22. Publius

    Raytears:

    a) What “gang” are you talking about?

    b) Which of those things (home schooling, going to church, married kids) disqualifies the “gang” from participating in politics?

    -Publius

  23. Butch Huber

    It appears as though my complaint will be a topic of discussion in Monday night’s meeting. It is the last thing on the agenda, so don ‘t be surprised if it is deferred to the next meeting.

    I encourage you to tune in on channel 3 to watch the meeting or show up at city hall Monday at 7pm.

    Butch

  24. Butch Huber

    Well, my day with the commission came and went. The world is not yet a better place.

    I have heard things said during this process that have been really disturbing to me, and I thought I would share them with you. I was talking with someone who was obviously glad that Rob Shearer was no longer a part of the city. The person I was talking to said. “I don’t agree with the way that it happened, but if end result is that he is no longer with the city, I am OK with that.” In another instance I was talking to someone regarding Ed Hagerty’s censure. This person said something like, “I don’t care if his censure was right or not, I am just glad it happened.” I have heard others, but I want to draw your attention to what is wrong about those statements.

    There is a level of civility that must not be crossed. Doing the wrong thing for the right reason is still wrong. Doing the right thing for the wrong reason is still wrong. What is right is doing the right thing for the right reason.

    Whether or not Rob should have kept his job or not, or whether Ed needs to be censured or not, is not the issue I am driving at, we all have our own opinions. My point is that “how” you do a thing is as important, and in most cases it is more important, than “what” you do. I would rather my children do the wrong thing, but do it with a good and honest heart, than to do the right thing with a wrong heart. Wouldn’t you? Do things like this matter to you? I invite some of the readers of this message to log on and answer me.

    I will ask it again, but in a different way..would you rather your children do the wrong thing, but do it with a good and honest heart “or” would you rather them do the right thing with a mean and bitter heart?

    I really would like to get some feedback from the readers, please answer my questions.

    Does honor mean anything to you anymore?

    Would you rather your child grow up and have a menial job that is ranked very low in desirability, not have much money, but be very happy and at peace with himself “or” would you rather him grow up to have a prestigious job and make lots of money, but not be so happy and suffer from anxiety and stress?

    Does character count anymore?

    Does integrity mean anything to you?

    How about honesty, on a scale of one to ten, ten being the most important, how does honesty rank in your importance scale when you size up another person? How about when you make a self-assessment

    How about your word, on the same scale, how important is your word to you today? How important is another person keeping their word?

    Is getting your way more important than the right thing getting done?

    Is winning more important than playing by the rules?

    Do you believe that there is a God in Heaven, Who examines your heart?

    If you believe that there is a God in Heaven Who examines hearts, would you want him to examine yours?

    What is more important to you in life, “who you become” or “what you obtain”?

    Who is more impressive to you, a person who has a good family life and lots of friends, but lives by meager means “or” a person who has few, if any friends and is divorced from his family, rarely sees his kids, but is a billionaire?

    My point is, I think that there are right ways to do things and there are wrong ways to do things. I believe there are people who believe that the ends justify the means, but I believe the means are as important, or more important, than the ends.

    We are a nation of laws. In fact, the very tenets of our society, of our nation, are set upon a foundation of laws. When citizens violate the law, they are a blemish upon the foundation of our society, but when public officials violate the law, I believe they crack the very foundation of society. Who among us have never said, “If he can do it, why can’t I”? That is why public officials should never knowingly violate our laws; because they provide justification for illicit behavior among the masses.

    Society at large takes its cue from public figures. That is why it is such a big story whenever celebrities get caught up in controversy. When public officials violate the law they provide an excuse for others in society. But the problem is much deeper. When public officials violate the law they weaken our nation. Society has to be able to trust its government or it will not long stand as a civilized nation. Just as small fissures in a foundation to a building can add together to destroy the integrity of the entire building, small, but repeated infractions of the law by public officials can easily fell even a powerful nation.

    John R.’s statement about builders and businesses not being sure they want to move here says it all. He is using that as leverage to try to get me to discontinue my effort to get an investigation into the goings on in city government. Folks, we all know that all is not well in Denmark. We all know that there are rotten things going on. Some of us feel the rotten things are being done by the Mayor and others who are allied with her. Some people think that the rotten things are being done by Ed Hagerty and people allied with him. Some people think that I am dead wrong for what I am doing and that I am rotten. The list goes on. But there is one thing that is for certain, there are few, if any, citizens who feel that all is well with the city and we should therefore just move on. Those who feel we should move on simply want to overlook the violations and just press on. I can’t agree with them. This will not get better until it is dealt with. Ultimately, it comes down to money, doesn’t it? We as a society are so wrapped up in money, and how will this affect the value of my home or the profits of my business, that we miss what is really important in life…”who we become”.

    When will there be enough homes in Mt. Juliet? When will there be enough businesses? When will there be enough parks and roads? When will we have enough amenities? Is that “all” we are?

    There are people who get up everyday and go to work for you and I that we never, ever thank. They are our employees and we don’t even know their names. In fact, thinking about it now, I think that there should be a city employee day that is sponsored by the citizens and the businesses. It should be a day where we honor those who work for us everyday. It should not come from tax money, that would be cheap and petty. It should come from donations and should be organized by volunteers. Perhaps I could get some help to make that happen. Any takers?
    For only $10,000 to $20,000 we could have one wing-ding of a party in their honor…could we raise $10,000 to $20,000 for them? It amounts to less than three dollars per residence or less than one dollar per person. I have my three dollars or six dollars…how about you? The citizens could pay for their own food if they attend the celebration.

    Those people need you and I to stand in the gap for them. They depend on us to hold government accountable. They are your neighbors and my neighbor. They make Mt. Juliet a part of their life. Those people have names and faces, we simply don’t know them and can’t picture them. We deserve what we get when we don’t hold the government accountable, but they don’t. They don’t have the power as employees to force a change…only we can do that.

    There are people who complain everyday about road congestion or other issues, but those same people want to sweep nasty little issues like public corruption under the rug and move on. They want to turn their back on the very people who make those roads and develop this city.

    I am not like most people I am hearing spout off at the mouth. I accept that my position may be wrong…I don’t think I am wrong, I think I am right,…but I accept the “possibility” that I am wrong. That is why I want an investigation and not a lynching. Nobody can tell me that the city attorney has the right investigate herself? Nobody can tell me that it is right for the mayor to vote down a complaint against herself. Nobody can tell me that the proceedings have been done equitably…I simply know better…and so do you.
    The only way that we will ever get a fair and equitable resolution to the problems that plague this city is by getting an outside investigator, with no ties or allegiances to our city leaders, to investigate what is going on and then take appropriate action if action is called for. This city needs what is going on just like a child needs a parent to discipline it when he has gotten out of control. This city needs order to be restored. That order will not come by those of us who feel wrongs have been committed sticking our heads in the sand and pretending nothing has happened. Order will only be established through a thorough investigation of the facts, through discipline for violations of the law, through development of strict guidelines for behavior, and through enforcement of sanctions for violation of those guidelines.
    When a child is disciplined with love (I am not talking specifically about spanking, I am talking about all appropriate discipline, you decide the type), and the child has explained to him “what” part of his behavior was wrong and “why” it was wrong, the child is better for the process. It may be painful in one form or fashion for a time, but in the end, his character is built by the discipline. That is what is needed in this city. An unruly child cannot discipline himself. An unruly child needs someone of authority to discipline it. I can’t remember a time when I wanted to be disciplined, can you? But I am glad that I was taught right from wrong. I am glad that I was able to be brought under order and control. Those who want to see this all blow over are making a major mistake. They are like the parent that doesn’t discipline their child. Neither the unruly child nor its parents are welcome house guests. People don’t want to be around them. They won’t mold into the social norms of society and they are a constant source of irritation to everyone around them. Our focus in this city has gotten so wrapped around parks and roads and buildings and developers and businesses that we are rotting from the inside out. I am happy we are getting businesses here and I welcome the development. I will take my children to the parks and they will play on the ball fields. But what is more important to me is “who they become” than anything else. As far as for me, “who I become” is much more important that “what I become” or “what I own or what owns me”.

    What has a man profited to gain the whole world but lose his soul?

    Butch Huber

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