The Elam-Feener Water Slide and Aquatics Park

waterslide small rgb

If Will, Ray, Ed, & Jim play their cards right, perhaps the Mayor will  consent to a bronze plaque with their names on it. After all, isn’t that what public service is all about?




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18 responses to “The Elam-Feener Water Slide and Aquatics Park

  1. Apolitical Observer

    Shouldn’t that be the Feener-Justice-Sellers Water Slide? I think that’s the chain of command on this one. Very funny though!

  2. Butch Huber

    Great picture, pansy.

    Publius, do you know if there is a master growth plan or master development plan for the city of Mt. Juliet?

    The city of Mt. Juliet, even when you consider the entire twenty-year growth plan footprint, is so small that it should all be treated as a Major Planned Urban Development area.
    What I am saying is that we should develop a master growth plan that takes into consideration all aspects life in this city, such as schools, fire-protection, police protection, crime, parks, teen centers, senior centers, sports centers, cultural centers, community centers, traffic, taxes, weather, emergency preparedness, medical issues, etc. The plan should encompass “all” of our projected growth area and not just the current footprint of the city boundaries.

    The growth rate of this city appears to be escalating at an alarming rate. As more and more people move into the city there is an corresponding increase in the number of opinions as to what should and shouldn’t be allowed as far as development is concerned.

    In the commission meeting last night I heard people talking at the microphone about how they want Mt. Juliet to stay the same. That simply isn’t going to happen…the Pandora’s box has been flung open, the cat is out of the box, and the genie is out of the bottle. There is no way to stop growth…but you can manage it. There is a way that we can develop the city while at the same time remain considerate to “all” interests….not just developers, and not just people who grew up in Mt. Juliet (To those who grew up here, I am very sensitive to your concerns, I watched my home area get destroyed by development, but you are going to have to resign yourselves to the fact that this city has a destiny to be a suburb of Nashville, and like it or not, it will be developed. The best that we can do is to manage the growth so that we don’t end up a total mess.)

    One way to stop developer influence in the political spectrum (Which is an obvious problem today) is to develop a master development plan or master growth plan for the city. The Master Development Plan should addresses all concerns in a fair and balanced manner. If we had a Master Development Plan developers could see the intentions of the city. Once informed, they could purchase land and speculate all they want based on the knowledge and understanding of the master development plan. Once the plan is in place citizens would be able to see what the city will look like in 5, 10, 15 and 20 years. It will give us a clear picture of where we will need services and when we will need them. We can acquire infrastructure as needed and we can plan for future needs according to the rate of development of the Master Development plan.

    I realize that we have zoning, but that doesn’t really constitute a master development plan. Also, I don’t think we have a zoning plan for the area that is outside our city limits, but that is within our twenty year growth plan.

    Perhaps it is time to consider annexing the rest of our twenty year growth area. Are there factors that would prohibit us from annexing the rest of our growth area? If so, are there ways that we could address those factors that would allow us to annex the entire area so that we can develop a comprehensive, well defined, well thought-out, properly zoned master development plan?

    It seems to me that if we had such a plan it would solve a lot of the issues we are currently dealing with as a community and from a political stand-point. Done properly, a master development plan would ensure that we develop a “smart city” that is comfortable and enjoyable to live in, and that has that feng-shui type feel and appeal.

    Butch Huber

  3. Ray

    Butch is correct. The city should have a growth plan other than “lets put houses here and retail here” attitude to growth. One of the most comprehensive plans that exists is the greenway plan for the city and it is the one we look at the least. In my district I made it a priority to address the parks and greenways in relation to development. Bobby Franklin, former city planner, helped alot in working with the developers. The rest of the city should take into consideration this plan AND should start now working on a detailed plan for 5 to 10 years (and further)down the road for comprehensive overall planning rather than taking the shotgun approach we’ve used in the past. As for the Feener property…I am amazed anyone would worry about how much Harold paid for this property. The question is how much is it worth, not how much did he pay. The value of that property is exactly what someone will pay for it, not a penny more or less, and what that man paid for the property should not enter into the equation. What is it worth to the city to maintain some its green areas? (sorry, I know that sounds like a liberal) What is it worth to the city to turn the land into something that numerous residents can use? what is it worth to the city to keep it from becoming residential and requiring the city to pay for infrastructure upgrades out of your tax dollars?
    We have an opportunity to create something great in this area. I am not going to detail the plans but you will hear more later. I know there are those in the community that disagree with this vision and I welcome respectful input. We can’t be better without people providing ideas. It seems to be a common M.O. nowadays for folks to wait for someone to come up with an idea and then trash it saying they have a better idea. Lets try a new concept. Lets work together and try and do something bigger and better that what we have in the past. Lets try to have a little more respect for each other. I’ll work harder on that myself.

    – Commissioner Ray Justice

  4. Common Sense

    Ray, I am amazed at your statement, and although it is correct in some ways, it is extremely ridiculous in others.

    You said, “The value of that property is exactly what someone will pay for it, not a penny more or less” and to be honest, that someone would be all of us if we were to buy it, which is a bad idea at best.

    You also said, “I am amazed anyone would worry about how much Harold paid for this property.”
    Thanks for looking out for us. Sarcasm at work…

  5. Butch Huber

    Ray, thank you for your post. It is a good thing for public officials to use this site as a means of communicating with the public. I appreciate your willingness to post.

    You will get used to people taking pot shots at you after awhile. Don’t let the pot shots keep you from posting though, I think it is vital for the commission to expand its communication with the public.

    As I am sure you can tell by now, the Feener proposal is going to have an uphill climb with regard to public opinion…at least with conservative public opinion.

    Here are some of the issues that I have heard…perhaps you can address them so that everyone will be up-to-speed on this proposal.

    I spoke to someone who was interested in buying that property. He told me that the land was nothing but rock. I said “yeah, I figured that after you dig a few inches down you would hit rock”, to which he said, “Dig down? You don’t understand, you don’t have to dig, it is surface rock.”

    The grade of that land is evidently very steep, which means lots of digging to get it leveled off for playing fields, and lots of dirt would probably have to be brought in to make fields.

    If there is as much rock as there seems to be, and if the land climbs at such a steep angle, it would seem that there would be tremendous costs to prepare that area for transformation into a park, especially a sports park. Bobby Franklin posted that it would go into the tens of millions of dollars to transform that area for a park. Have you and Harold had any analysis conducted, other than Bobby’s cursory (But well informed) projections?

    Ray, I am with you on the idea of doing “something” with the property that the city owns on York Road, but I have serious reservations as to the viability of that property for a park. Perhaps we should consider selling the city property on York Road and using the proceeds of the sale to purchase the property at division and Mt. Juliet.

    I do agree that what Harold paid for the property has nothing to do with what he should be paid for the property. If he got a good deal than God bless him. However, the city should not invest money without doing due diligence. We should ascertain the exact value of the property, as well as the city property in the same area, and make informed, educated decisions based on facts.

    Ray, you may get three votes on this project, but the sentiment that I have been hearing about this is very negative. Perhaps you should reconsider your support for the project…you may win the battle, but lose the war.

    Here is what I suggest the city do…for what it is worth. The city should seek out several properties around the city that would suit being turned into a park. Once the city finds the properties, it should set up a option to buy those properties over the next five years, with extensions for another five years. That would secure the property for up to a total of ten years.

    I have come to learn that there is a master development or growth plan for the city. It was apparently drawn up 8 years ago, and was updated 4 years ago. I don’t believe it is as comprehensive as what I would suggest, but it apparently exists. I haven’t taken the time to seek that plan out and examine it yet. I think it would be good for the city to develop a comprehensive master development plan for the city and then have a mock-up model of the plan built so that everyone can see first hand in vivid detail exactly what the city has in mind.

    As much as I hate to say it, (Because I hate government control or interference) I suggest that the city put a temporary moratorium on new developments until the city government has had a chance to catch its collective breath. (The city should be sensitive and flexible with a moratorium so that nobody is injured by the moratorium.)

    All department heads, concerned citizens, the city commission, the planning commission, and local business owners should be invited to be part of a master development plan workshop through which the city can develop a master plan.

    Once we have a master plan, that is up-to-date, and that takes everyone’s concerns, and every issue, into consideration, then we can begin to develop the city again.

    If we don’t put some type of controls on growth it will ultimately become chaotic and grow out of control. Mistakes, costly mistakes, will be made….some that are irreversible.

    It is like they say in body building or weight lifting, pain is good, extreme pain is not.

    Any public official that cannot hear and understand that there are citizens experiencing pain due to the rapid growth is just deaf, dumb, and blind. If there is not some consideration given to the citizens they will become hostile toward developers in general, and that would be very bad.

    If we get several properties under options to buy, we can ensure that we develop a park in the right area, and we can construct it when we can truely afford it. It might cost us a little in the short run, but I believe it could save us a fortune in the long run.

    Perhaps we need to listen to Bobby Franklin and take out loans to build roads right now, then build parks later…(everyone knows that I don’t want to spend tax dollars on parks, but I also know that it is going to happen anyway.) but that having been said, it makes sense to me to take care of things like roads “before” we take care of things like parks….especially if we secure the property for the parks through options.

    If we don’t develop a park plan with wisdom we are going to make a big mistake…a mistake that is way more than the loss we will take by not exercising a few options.

    I think we need to start moving toward building a “smart city” concept. The people who built Brentwood did a pretty good job, perhaps we can steal a page out of their playbook. Perhaps there are other cities around the country that have been innovative, perhaps we can steal a page out of their playbook as well.

    I also think that we might want to look at homeland security issues as well, and not just rely on the federal government to protect us. I know that I would feel a lot better if Mount Juliet had fallout shelters that could protect the citizens from NBC attacks (Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical). I know that it would be expensive, and perhaps we can’t do it, but we should at the very least explore the idea. We could probably do something that would elevate our preparedness. I remember how I felt when the twin towers fell…I was trying to seal up my house. I had no idea what that white cloud was that was coming from around those buildings. We have a tendency to become complacent in this society…there really are people out there that want to kill us…perhaps we should take them serious and prepare as best as we can. Who says that the federal government is the only government that can take steps to be prepared for terrorism?

    There are a lot of things that need to be considered…things that are not being considered.

    Open communication, sharing information and knowledge, informing and educating, and true listening will move this city forward.

    Butch Huber

  6. Common Sense

    Butch, I usually scan your novels, but I took the time to read your last post. Do you honestly think the city of MJ should build shelters for terrorist attacks? Granted, I know you were probably told to sit in the hallway and cover your head when you were in Elementary school, but do you really think that would have helped if the Russians had of sent something our way? Have you really put any thought into that type of building/s? In other words, you would like for the city of MJ to build a large structure so that when or if a disaster comes along, manmade or natural, the citizens of MJ can go there and feel safe from the outside world.

    Hey Butch, do you have a TV? Have you heard of the Superdome? Are you substituting your fantasy for our reality? Hate to be critical, but you might want to put some more thought into what you write. Maybe it was late.

    And I thought overpaying for a prime piece of rocky creekbank was absurd. Now I have heard it all…

  7. Butch Huber

    Common Sense,

    I realize that you have limited ability to think outside the box, and that you see obstacles where I see possibilities, and that you can’t imagine a world outside the one that exists inside your visual cortex…but that doesn’t mean that I am limited to what “you” can see.

    I think you should go back and read my last novel again, and rather than just scan it this time, perhaps you could actually read it for content.

    Between our current state of emergency preparedness and the 40,000 bed fortified underground bunker with full amenities that you must have envisioned from my post, there could possibly be some level of emergency preparedness that the city could achieve without being ridiculous…I know that is hard for your extremist mind to comprehend…but if you sit real still, hold your breath, and force as much blood into your head as possible, you might be able to begin to imagine the possibility that something might exist outside your limited scope of understanding or belief. (Hate to be critical)

    When 9/11 happened there was national concern over what to do if there were another attack, perhaps a biological attack. The United States was caught completely off-guard and unprepared. I don’t think it is smart to leave everything to the federal government. The example you used, Katrina, is exactly why I feel the way I do; Thank you for proving my point. Would you rather leave everything to the Feds, who do their work in Washington D.C., or would you rather the control of your security be held closer to home…where you can have some input? Politicians typically make decisions based on voter density…I wonder where we would rank with the boys and girls in D.C.?
    It should be readily apparent to you that the federal government is not prepared, nor will it ever be prepared, to provide you and I with the level of protection we should have and that we deserve; but I guess you still think Big Brother can do everything for us.

    Perhaps we can’t afford to build an underground bunker to provide for “complete” NBC protection, but we can do more at the local level than we are currently doing; And I believe that we should. I will give you an easy example. The city government spent a good amount of money to build a dispatch office for the police department. Go look at it. It has bullet proof glass so that the officers are protected. It’s nice, thick glass. Probably cost a lot of money to install. But then I want you to look down about waist high and tell me what you see. It has about a 8 to 12 inch opening at the bottom! What is the point of bulletproof glass when you leave such a gap at the bottom? Dispatch should be a fully protected area inside a secure area…not an unprotected area right inside the door to the building! Dispatch becomes the city’s command and control center in an emergency…Don’t you think that it should be a fortified area?

    Protection on this scale is part of government responsibility. I am certain that there is grant money available for some of the things that we can do on a local level. A little research could perhaps secure a chunk of money to put toward local protection. Those grants would offset local costs and would help ensure our protection and safety. (Folks, this money is going to be collected and spent anyway, why not at least attempt to have some of it spent here in Mt. Juliet, where “we” live?) But, I know Mr. Common Sense, you can’t imagine alternative possibilities within your limited belief system, so instead of exploring the possibilities, you would rather “just” go for a walk in the park, whereas I would rather look for ways to add a level of protection “AND” look for ways to build a park….without increasing the tax burden.

    We are going to need to build a new police station for the city eventually and we will need a new fire department, perhaps if we were to start now we could find ways to build them in a “Smart” way so as to also provide an emergency preparedness center at the same time. I know what you are thinking right now….that takes a lot of….Common Sense!

    I have been through NBC training and I have been through red cross disaster preparedness training. In fact, among other things, I was the Emergency Preparedness Officer in my last command in the Navy. I wrote my command’s Emergency Preparedness Action Plan, which was adopted and implemented on a regional level for the Washington, D.C. Readiness Command…and perhaps beyond. I wonder which one of us knows the most about this subject, Mr. Common Sense?

    For the rest of you out there who are reading this post with an open mind, little things go a long way when you are talking about disaster preparedness. The difference between survival and death can be very small things, such as a stash of potable water that will be sufficient to meet the needs of the city for several days, lots of blankets and perhaps some medical beds and sleeping pads, perhaps some MRE’s (meal, ready to eat), some medical supplies, etc. Perhaps an expanded emergency aid training program could be implemented in the city. It doesn’t cost a lot to train volunteers, and trained volunteers can mean the difference between life and death in an emergency. In fact, one of the major concerns during the after-math of 9/11 was that there were too few qualified people to administer anti-biological warfare agents…that is easy to address if you do it “before” an emergency.

    Mt. Juliet is not a likely target of a major terrorist attack, but Nashville could be a target. Fall-out from an attack in Nashville could easily reach Mt. Juliet. We should have an emergency plan in place. The biggest single contributor to success is a well laid plan. The time to plan is before you need to take action, not after you are in an emergency.

    Skeptics might say, well you should have your own supply of water, blankets and medical supplies….and I say, Blah, Blah, Blah. That is not how people operate as a group, and when you are standing there watching a little baby die for lack of water I am sure you could justify not giving up some of your water because the baby’s young parents were so “stupid” as to not prepare. Anti-Nerve agents and anti-biological warfare agents could be stored for use, or at least adequate facilities could be set up for the administration of the agents and a plan could be put in place for quick acquisition of needed agents.

    This would not be “TOO” expensive for us to implement as we construct the city, but might become cost prohibitive ‘After’ we build the city. As we build schools in Middle Tennessee we should be building fortified fall-out shelters under them. Remember, we do get some scary tornadoes in this area, so even if we don’t ever experience an attack, we could always use some extra protection, in fact, I don’t know why it isn’t mandatory to install fall-out shelters in all new homes, as they are being built. How much could it cost to dig a eight-by-eight-by-six foot hole and pour a little extra concrete…an extra $10 to $20 per month? If we can require anything at all in buildings codes, we can also require fall-out shelters.

    But, I guess we should all be just like you, Mr. Common Sense; We should just put our blinders on and give up on innovation and exploration of ideas. You certainly have proven to have the propensity to tear-down what other people have to offer, yet I don’t see a lot of ideas coming from you…perhaps you should sit back and let those who possess a sense of vision come up with the ideas… before you hurt yourself.

    Have you ever heard of brainstorming? In brainstorming sessions you just let ideas fly. They all get put on the board no matter how hair-brained they seem. Then, once you are out of ideas, you begin to piece them together and you can begin to assemble answers. Most ideas end up being discarded, but you often end up with the most appropriate answer to the problem. Mr. Common Sense, I wouldn’t want you in a Brainstorming session…you come with too many limitations…and you bore those of us with ideas. But thanks for your input.

    Perhaps I have been too harsh…perhaps it was late at night when you posted, or perhaps you didn’t think before you posted.

    Sorry I have to post novels, but posts like yours need to be addressed and their short-sightedness exposed. In the future I may add cartoons and pictures to my posts to help maintain your attention, Mr. Common Sense.

    Butch Huber

  8. Common Sense

    OK Butch, lay out a plan and then you will have my attention. Things that should be included will obviously be cost of the building, cost of supplies, and exactly where we should put this shelter/s. Don’t leave out how it would be paid for either, since you believe grants can be found to cover this. Have you thought about how many people would need to go in your shelter? How many shelters would be needed in which areas? Have you decided what to do if it did happen so as to screen out non MJ residents, or is it first come first serve? Have you thought about how many people live in MJ at all?

    What’s wrong Butch, did I point out how absurd your idea was so you are going to take your ball and go home and not brainstorm with me? This is all about brainstorming, but please understand that some ideas should be cut from the drawing board early. Your shelter makes about as much sense as a city park at the end of a gravel road with most of the land being nowhere near flat and the rest being rock. Maybe you should buy the York Road property and turn it into your shelter? Is that brainstorming???

    I would love to hear you pitch your idea of a shelter to the City Council. That my friend, would be quality entertainment!

  9. Butch Huber

    Mr. Common Sense,

    Most meaningful, worthwhile and valuable thing that is done by the hand of man is typically initiated with an idea, or is a by-product of the implementation of yet another idea. Don’t be so critical of other’s ideas and input…you could just be wrong.

    You sound like someone who has a brain…unfortunately you also sound bitter and closed minded. I haven’t done anything to you, and it is highly unlikely that this city commission will take any action on my suggestion. However, neither you, nor the commission, could easily prove me wrong for wanting the city government to take positive steps toward providing an additional level of security.

    There are many ways to improve our security without taking extreme measures.

    Here is something you might want to cycle through your mind…there is a lot of talk about wolf creek dam and the possibility that it could burst. They should talk about it and address the issue…but if your were part of a sleeper cell in the United States, wouldn’t Wolf Creek Dam be a target of interest to you? How much will a breakage in that dam affect our daily lives? What would be the immediate fall-out? What resources would Mt. Juliet need immediately? What medical supplies, what emergency services, what type of housing, what type of other supplies? What would happen to our drinking water? What would we need to do to ensure that we had adequate water supplies? What would it do to Nashville? What will we have to do to help surrounding communities?

    That is just one possible scenario. This is very close to home and a real possibility. Are we prepared? I bet we aren’t.

    Will we be a target of a nuclear detonation? I really don’t know. I am not aware of all the possible targets in the Nashville area, but we do have the 101st airborne just 60 miles or so from here…that should be of “some” concern.

    The one thing that other countries can count on from Americans…we become complacent. We live such good lives, and we live with such trust in our government for these types of issues, and we are so self-absorbed…we become complacent. Five or Six years is nothing to cultures like those in the Middle-east. To us…it is forever in some ways. When you let your guard down that is when you are in the most danger.

    Since 9/11 there should have been way more advances than what we have seen. It is not enough for us to say, “we are taking the war to them so we don’t have to fight at home.” We need to be able to say, “We are taking the war to them, in their country, so that we don’t have to fight at home and so that we are able to secure our country internally from future attacks.” We need to reduce the enticement factor within our boarders. One way to do that is to reduce the probable casualty factor from attacks. The best way to do that is to be prepared. Citizens need to be aware of what is going on with regard to these matters. There may be a workable plan in place…but if there is I don’t know what the plan is, I wouldn’t know where to go or what to do in the event of an attack…would you?

    I will say it again…between our current state of readiness, and the 40,000 bed facility, or the multiple fortified facilities you must envision, there is “probably” something that we can do that would heighten our security, don’t you think?

    As far as your statement about developing the plan is concerned…although I have experience in these areas, there are more qualified people for such items…but if the city were willing to pay me a salary I might be inclined to develop the plan. A plan like that would take a considerable amount of time to develop…there are a lot of factors to consider. But I bet we could do a better job on a local level, and do it cheaper, than the Feds could do. And I bet it is more near and dear to our hearts to secure Mt. Juliet than it is for the feds.

    Butch Huber

  10. Common Sense

    Not bitter about a thing Butch, but you should take the TV off of the SciFi channel when you are posting.

    I get a laugh out of this when you say you will not Brainstorm with me. The sun will come up tommorow…

    When you say I am critical of your ideas, you are partly right. I think you are a joke when you start talking about building fallout shelters with city money, period. Yes, the city has a LOT of issues, but a fallout shelter? Now you have gone from being someone who writes 45 minute posts on the web about the council to a conspiracy theory nut.

    What you call criticism, I call debate. Seriously, pitch the idea to the city and see where it goes. Maybe I am wrong and they will love the idea. Maybe then the rest of the city will vote them all out of office. Better yet, why don’t you run next time? You seem to have a lot of extra time. Did you bother to answer any of the points I made, no? Why, because the whole idea is absurd!

  11. Butch Huber

    Common Sense,

    I understand now…it takes you 45 minutes to read my posts…that is why you can’t understand what I am saying….I have only said it two or three times and you still don’t get it. Who’s the joke?

    Conspiracy theory…I guess 9/11 didn’t happen. I guess we can all go back to life as usual folks, Common Sense says that nothing is wrong with the world and we shouldn’t work on security…there isn’t anyone who hates us in the world today. I am glad that is over with.

    Now we can spend $20,000,000 on an aquatics center. Man, great day.

    Mr. Common Sense…you are simply wrong. Fall out shelters don’t have to be Expensive…in fact, whether you like it or not, there are fall out shelters in the area…they may not be designated as such right now, but they do exist. They may not be the underground fortified bunkers you have stuck in your head, but they do exist. Of course you know nothing of which you speak, and you have no interest in learning, so I guess any effort to educate you is pointless. But I will give it a try…I have nothing better to do this very moment.

    Every school and public building doubles as a fall out shelter in an emergency…in fact all buildings really become a fall-out shelter. Unfortunately, we don’t take that into consideration when we build buildings. Every public building should be designed with emergency preparedness in mind. It doesn’t cost a lot more to build a wall out of 12 inch solid block than it does to build it out of regular block. I have worked on such buildings Mr. Common Sense. In fact, AAI in Cockeysville, MD has such buildings. They were made of fluted block,filled with reinforcement rods and concrete, and in another building we built 24 inch walls out 12 inch solid block. Granted, this is not enough to protect you from a direct hit from a large nuclear device…but it could go a long way to protect from other emergencies. This is a no-brainer when compared to spending $20,000,000 on an aquatics center we are just going to hand over to the YMCA. And just to ease your extremist mind, Mr. Common Sense…the whole building doesn’t have to be built this solidly.
    Should there be actual fall-out shelters? I believe there should be. I see a lot more sense in that than spending $20,000,000 on an aquatics center only 9% of the people want.

    Let me ask you a question…how many people would a properly designed emergency action plan, including fall-out shelters, etc have to save before you would say, “That was worth it?” 1…10…50….100…..1000…10,000? Suppose we took some of the $20,000,000 the mayor has earmarked for an aquatics center and we shifted it to emergency preparedness. Let’s say, 5 million. How many lives is that worth to you? How many people would that have to save before you see the value in it? 1…10…100…1000…10,000? How about if it was someone you love? Would that one person be worth it if it were your mom or dad, or your wife or child? It would be to me?
    Emergency preparedness is one of the best things we could possibly spend money on, if we are going to spend money at all.

    Parks are wonderful, but they can be done privately. Look at the Boy Scouts…they have tremendous resources…some of the best land available…all privately funded..go look at boxwell! Emergency response is something that is much more difficult to do on a private level. It could be done privately, but you are talking about private coordination with police and fire and rescue…it gets much more difficult on that level.

    Sure, you can call me a conspiracy nut…that doesn’t change the fact that people really do what to kill us…or was the twin tower thing just a renovation project gone wrong? Perhaps you would like to tell that to the people in the Pentagon…you know, the people who are there to protect us from foreign attack! I am sure the survivors there would would tell you, “if you have the resources to add a layer of protection, do it.” I am just saying that before we spend $20,000,000 on an Aquatics center, or spend millions of dollars on sports parks, or walking trails or any other thing, perhaps we should look around at all aspects of city growth and determine the rest of the needs first.
    You seem to either be too dense or too obtuse get it, but for the third time…there has to be something between the level of security the city currently has and the 40,000 bed fortified underground bunker you must have envisioned in your irrational, extremist mind when you read my post.

    Here let me help you. Would it be alright with you Mr. Common Sense if we spent $1 on emergency preparedness? How about $2. How about $3. How about $4. How about $5. How about $10? How about $15. Now how about $20. How about $25. Get it? Would you personally be willing to spend $25 over the next year to ensure that “if there was an emergency”, you would have a band-aid, some peroxide, if you got a scratch or a couple bottles of water if there were some emergency? Would you be willing to come off with a few crusty dollars to help ensure that, in the event we have an emergency, children don’t suffer needlessly? $25 times 7,000 homes is $175,000. That is not a huge amount of money, but it is a start. How about $100 over the next 4 years, Mr. Common Sense…if you could be sure that it would provide you with a blanket, some food, some water, and some medical supplies if, on some off chance, there was an emergency and you needed help? How about $500 over the next twenty years, if that $500 would provide you with a shelter, a blanket, a bed, some warm food, some medical supplies, etc.? $500 floated in a bond, based on let’s say 10000 homes in Mt. Juliet by the end of the next couple years would bring in $5,000,000. That is enough money to provide a level of protection that is way beyond what currently exists. The mayor suggests that we float a bond to build her aquatics center…if we can float a bond for her pet project, why not mine? And yes, Mr. Common Sense, there is money available in grants…that is not to say that we could get that money…but it doesn’t mean we can’t either. Let me do the math for you, Mr. Common Sense….not counting interest, $500 dollars floated in a bond for 20 years would come to, wow, $25 dollars per year. Amazing. That works out to less than 50 cents per week….less than a Coke. Won’t you buy me a coke, Mr. Common Sense? Please…Remember the song, Mr. Common Sense…I’d like to buy, the world a Coke…Come on Mr. Common Sense…share a Coke and smile with me…you can do it.

    You probably don’t have kids, Mr. Common Sense, or you would see more value in what I am saying. I would be willing to pay my share to ensure that my children are safe in fact, I might be willing to pitch in another coke for you, Mr. Common Sense. I am sure that there are a lot of other parents that would feel that same. I would much prefer the city spend money on protection than on parks. Little Johnny will be just fine without another park, but when an emergency comes he might not live without resources.

    We have become so spoiled in this country. There are many parks within a short distance of any home in Mt. Juliet that largely go unused or underused. Yet, if we don’t have a park within walking distance of our front door…and I mean within a tenth of a mile or so…we feel there aren’t enough parks.

    I don’t have to run for office to be entitled to an opinion, Mr Common Sense. And whether the commission likes this idea or not doesn’t make much difference.
    We are not limited to what this commission will do, and frankly we are not limited to what any commission will do. We are the government, not the five elected officials on the city commission…they work for us, not the other way around. When Americans wake up are take back their government we will remember who is the boss in this country.

    But, alas Mr. Common Sense, you have helped me prove my point. Thank you very much for playing. Turns out we won’t spend the funds necessary to protect the citizenry, but we will squander millions and millions on pet projects that “feel”good to the voters. We won’t develop adequate fire protection or take care of roads (inadequate roads are a problem from an emergency preparedness standpoint as well) or address other issues that require government oversight, but we can spend millions upon millions to put in another park.

    Remember the little pig that built his house out of bricks.

    Butch Huber

  12. raytears

    You are the entertainment butch.
    It’s fun watching people light your
    fuse. But it always burns out, imagine that.
    The wisdom of man is but foolishness to God.

  13. Common Sense


    What you need to realize is that you may have the time to write that much since you have nothing better to do, but I refuse to waste the time involved in reading your posts. Rambling nonsense at best, but I usually scan through them. Do you really think the TBI read your complaint? Uh, NO, not if it was written this way, and even then, you have a grudge and have hijacked this site to further that grudge. For the record, not a big Elam fan either… Less of a Sellars fan.
    The NBC shelters comment stood out, so I responded.

    You have done a lot of backtracking since this started. At first you wanted to build shelters, and stock them. Now you are pointing out that the High School has had a fallout shelter sign on it since, well, when I went there which was a long time ago.

    Come on Butch, pick a battle and stick with it. The Elam grudge you carry is way better for the columns you want to write on this site.

    Either way, you appear to be a tax and spend type of individual, and I would love to see you run for city office in the next election. What district are you in? If you are elected maybe you could spend the money to buy gas masks and charcoal suits for everyone and force them to wear them around in case something else ever happens. Be sure to scare the kids to a point where they lose their childhood as well. It happened, we need to remember it and honor those that died, but we don’t need to man machine gun nests at Pearl Harbor anymore than we need to tote around 2 Pam Chloride. What’s that Butch. Yes, I have the background as well.

    You said that you tried to seal your house after 9/11, because you had no idea what was in that cloud. Butch, it is time to take the seal off and get some fresh air.

    OK, I have had my say, and pointed out your idiological fallacies, so I will let you have the last word now.

  14. Butch Huber

    I was just re-reading my original post to try to figure out how Common Sense could get the impression that I am a tax and spend guy. I have to admit that one had me stumped. While reading my original post, I realized that I made a couple of mistakes. I left a word out. The word I left out was the word, TOO. I also left a word in that it might have been better to leave out…the word “perhaps”.

    Let me try again.

    I also think that we might want to look at homeland security issues as well, and not just rely on the federal government to protect us. I know that I would feel a lot better if Mount Juliet had fallout shelters that could protect the citizens from NBC attacks (Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical). I know that it would

    this is where my omission was… it should have said….

    I know that it would be too expensive, and we can’t do it, but we should at the very least explore the idea. We could probably do something that would elevate our preparedness.

    I probably should have left the word “perhaps” out of this statement as well. I don’t like to close the door to possibility, so sometimes I use the word “perhaps” when I should leave it out.

    I guess I should have expounded on the word “idea” for the mentally challenged…. I guess what I should have said is.. “we should at least explore issues like emergency preparedness and security before we give the YMCA a $20,000,000 gift from the Taxpayers.”

    (When you read my posts, you have to always keep in mind how much the $20,000,000 gift to the YMCA boils my blood .)

    My bad. In the future, to avoid such errors, I will try to be more exhaustive and more accurate in my postings so as make it easier for the mentally impaired to follow along.

    As far as hijacking this site…post all you want and I will post all I want. Common Sense, perhaps you would like to form an “anti-blog site hijacking task unit”.

    Back-tracking…No. Gave you the wrong impression to begin with…maybe. (Although I really believe you just wanted to act dumb.)

    You posted:
    What you need to realize is that you may have the time to write that much since you have nothing better to do, but I refuse to waste the time involved in reading your posts.

    I say:
    “wonderful..please don’t read my posts Mr. Common Sense…they aren’t intended for your consumption. And what I do with my time is my business isn’t it, Mr. Common Sense?”

    You wrote:
    “If you are elected maybe you could spend the money to buy gas masks and charcoal suits for everyone and force them to wear them around in case something else ever happens. Be sure to scare the kids to a point where they lose their childhood as well. It happened, we need to remember it and honor those that died, but we don’t need to man machine gun nests at Pearl Harbor anymore than we need to tote around 2 Pam Chloride. What’s that Butch. Yes, I have the background as well.”

    Who’s the extremist?

    Butch Huber

  15. Man of The People!

    Feenerland cost and development analysis, and winners and losers:

    1. City buys land worth 500k at best for 2 mil:

    Winner: Harold Feener

    Losers: Every taxpaying resident of Mt. Juliet

    2. City spends 6 million on new road, 500 thousand on sewer connections:

    Winners: York Road Landowners, developers who buy in since they won’t have to pay for infrastructure.

    Losers: Every taxpaying resident of Mt. Juliet

    3. City spends ten million plus hauling in dirt, hauling out rock, building stormwater detention, retaining walls, amenities etc to create Feenerland Sportspark.

    Winners: Mt. Juliet City Property Tax advocates (most of whom live in Lebanon, but not all). People living in Parrish Place, Saddlewood and Park Glen who have kids involved in stick and ball sports (hmmmm??).

    Losers: Every other taxpaying resident of Mt. Juliet, and (assuming the populace has any common sense at all) any City Commissioner who voted for this boondoggle and is up for election.

    4. Developers (who haven’t had to pay for major infrastructure costs since the taxpayers shouldered the burden) build multiple tiny-lot homes on a three mile long dead end road.

    Winners: Those developers

    Losers: Taxpayers and anyone in the area trying to get to work in the morning.

  16. Common Sense

    I know I said I would let you have the last word, and I really intend to, but Butch, when you quoted me a saying you should run, buy gas masks, etc. that is called sarcasm. Think about it. Sarcasm can explain most of what I have typed here about your ideas. Remember, what you call criticism, I call debate. Oh no, we can’t have that…
    (Sarcasm again, in case you didn’t catch it)

    OK Butch, would it be fair to say that you beleive the sky is falling? Should we also build a giant wall around the city now that we have the possibility of two dams breaking? (Again with the sarcasm)

  17. Butch Huber

    Great post Man of the People.

    Everything, or nearly everything, has value….including Ray Justice’s idea of developing a park on that land. However, the end result might not land a park there.

    The property up there contains a shooting range. Something that was probably needed at the time it was built, but something that the need may have passed. There is a range on Hobson pike now, I am sure that an arrangement could be made to use that range for police practice. I think we could probably shut the city range down now…I could be wrong, but I don’t think so. (One of my sons did his Eagle Scout project there…I would hate to see it go, but I don’t see any need for it now.)

    With the range shut down, there is no real need for that property anymore.

    One benefit of this idea of Ray’s is that Mr. Feener has shown us the value of the land up there…perhaps we can sell our property for a couple million now.


    Perhaps it makes sense for us to look at the prospect of building a road up through there and charging developers along that road some sort of special impact fee on every lot sold up there. The city will eventually build a road up there anyway…why not build a road up there, charge impact fees, increase the value of the city owned land, sell it and use the increase to offset some tax liability? Doesn’t put the government in “land speculation”, because we already own the land and we are going to build that road at some point anyway.

    I believe there is 70 acres of land up there that belongs to the city. Imagine the value of that land once there is a proper road going to it. What are we talking about, maybe 120 to 300 lots? What would a lot on property like that be worth? $40,000$80,000, $100,000, $150,000? I know I saw one lot in Fairvue Plantation listed for over $1,000,000 per acre. The rest were lower priced, but that gives us a range at least. I bet that there could be a net gain to the city of as much as $5 to $8 mill.

    Building a road up there would would impact a lot of people in that area, but let’s face it…in twenty years you will not be able to distinguish were Nashville stops and Mt. Juliet begins, or where Mt. Juliet ends and Lebanon begins. We are not going to be able to stop the growth…the best we can do is manage it. That area is going to be developed, the pressure will be too great for most land owners not to sell out, and as they sell out, others will sell out as well. That whole area will be built out in time.

    If the city were to realize a windfall of cash from a project such as that, and it wanted to use that windfall to build a park…I don’t think I would complain too much about it. I don’t see a lot of harm in that…I would still like to spend it on security and protection first…but in that case I would probably say, “live and let live”.


    Maybe…we just take a collective breath and we slow down, and we build a master planned community development plan for the entire city, taking into consideration all things that are important, not just sexy things that get some votes (I am not sure that the votes gained would offset the angry voters, but I could be wrong.), things like traffic (Which seems to be a major issue. One that I don’t deal with much on a personal level, but that I am certainly sensitive to due to the public outcry.), things like safety, security, protection, emergency preparedness; things like sewer, water, utilities; Things like “Citizen’s concerns”.

    Citizen’s concerns…hmmm. That is a tough one. Many people who lived here all their lives wish the rest of us would never have come here. They didn’t want the development in the first place…how do we put that genie back in the bottle? I don’t believe we can, but I don’t think you just ignore those people either. They have a right to their opinion just like everyone else. On the other end of the spectrum, there are those who want every amenity and every luxury, and massive development and Macy’s, Nordstroms, Nieman Marcus, etc. They also have their opinion and the right to have it. In between there are about 22,000 other opinions. How could you possibly satisfy everyone’s concerns? You do it by law. You do it by developing a master planned community development overlay or plan. Everyone gets a say, everyone gets a vote, everyone lives with the result, newcomers get the picture before they buy, developers end up with an easier process. Everyone wins…except those who are unwilling to submit to the rule of law.

    There is room for parks…but only if the majority of the people want a park…but couldn’t we do it with one or two well designed park/parks? I mean, Mt. Juliet isn’t that big….why do we need more and more parks? Or perhaps we could have one Major park, and then satellite parks that are nice, but cheap, and easy to access to pocket of population. Places where moms and dads can take their children in the evening, but that are not major sports parks? Perhaps we should force developers to build more appropriate parks inside developments.

    I know that this one gets out there a bit, but in a master planed community overlay, there could be land set aside in certain development areas for amenities such as parks. Developers could pay a direct impact fee to purchase the land and chip in for the amenities, and because they have purchased land and built amenities, they wouldn’t be required to build parks inside their development. (This also helps take care of people who live in small developments with only 30,40,50 houses in them…they don’t have swimming pools and tennis courts, and swing-sets, and basketball courts, etc.)
    Take for instance, willoughby station where I live. If the were a facility that was shared between Hickory Hills, Willoughby Station, Mt. Vernon Woods, Mt. Vernon Estates, Brookstone and all other developments in this general area, then there wouldn’t be a need for those amenities inside each development. One common facility could be built that would be able to accommodate all those neighborhoods. If it were centrally placed it would not be too much of a burden to get to it. I live about as far from the park in willoughby as you can get and still be in willoughby, and I don’t mind getting in my vehicle to go to the pool; what is an extra mile? Bad idea? To some? Good Idea? Makes some sense to me. We could have better amenities, more of them, without increasing taxes…homeowners association dues pay the freight, and homeowners make the rules.

    The more I contemplate it, the more I am convinced that a master planned community planning project is the right answer. There is so much need to establish order in the way this city is developed, and so much need to diminish the influence of people who don’t even live here. One way to do that is to involve the citizens in the process. Rather than have people going to city hall all the time, outraged because the city is considering something they oppose, we should have a comprehensive plan that gives everyone a right to input their opinions. With a master planned community development project, the city could establish strict guidelines as to what will be allowed and what won’t be allowed, and citizens could really have a voice in the shaping of this city. We would know what is coming and how to prepare for it, and when the issues are settled, they are settled. It would also diminish the power struggles between commissioners and would lessen the probability that we would have a developer trying to control our commission by giving commissioners high paying jobs and such…not that that has gone on in the past or anything…I am just thinking about what could happen in the future.

    It just hit me as I wrote this…I wonder what would have happened if CRS would have given “all” of the commissioners high paying jobs? What would everyone think then? Would it have been a conflict of interest then?


    What if CRS gave Mayor Elam a job, and another big developer gave Ray or Ed or Will a job, and both developers wanted to develop a particular piece of property in opposition to one another…wouldn’t that have been rich? Perhaps over the next several years we can get five commissioners who “all” work for local developers…that way we will be able to pop some popcorn on mondays, sit back, and watch the action on channel 3…who needs smackdown, or WWF, or Ultimate Fighting?

  18. Butch Huber

    No, we shouldn’t build a wall…We should assess the threat. Do you know what chemicals are located at Dupont? In what quantities? Do you know that we sit on top of a major fault line? Do you realize if some of the chemicals at dupont were to leach out into Old Hickory Lake you could be in danger? There are a myriad of possible scenarios, I think we should have a realistic threat assessment and an action plan to deal with those threats.

    No, I don’t think the sky is falling…I just want to make sure that we assess the real threats and prepare for potential threats; that way if the sky does fall, which sometimes it does, I can at least put up an umbrella.

    The feds seem to be concerned about pandemics. Sure, this could all be made up to keep people scared…but it could be a real threat. Are we ready? I bet we aren’t.

    I might give you the impression from my posts that I am too doomsday…I believe in a bright future, and I believe we are probably going to be ok, I am an incurable optimist. But where you believe I am too doomsday, I think you are a little pollyanna. I think we should hope and expect the best…and prepare for the worst. Anything wrong with that, Mr. Common Sense?

    Common Sense, there is a more constructive way to get your point across than to post sarcastically critical retorts. What you do is spin what others say with your sarcasm. I have to admit, you are good at it, and you are probably, in all actuality, a pretty smart person. I have been jabbing at you because you want to bash people because their ideas without giving them a chance. If you bash people for having ideas and expressing themselves you could cause people to suppress their opinions and thoughts. That is the opposite of what we need right now. I knew what you were doing, so I allowed you to misdirect the main point on purpose. I wanted you and I to have an aggressive dialog. (I was unaware that my original post didn’t express my true feelings, and I am afraid that it still doesn’t really express my position) What you didn’t know was that my first post after Ray Justice posted (the one I address to him) was intended to draw you into a battle with me; which it did. Prior to Ray’s post I had asked Ray to post his ideas on this website. He was seemingly concerned, as evidenced by one of his posts, about how people might respond. I basically told him that if he were to post and someone started bashing him, I would draw their fire. I kept my word. While you thought you were at the advantage in this debate, you were actually doing exactly what I wanted you to do. You redirected your sarcasm and criticism toward me…it really doesn’t bother me…I am not running for local office and I really don’t care much what you think of me.

    The point behind the point is…when someone presents an idea, that is contrary to yours, perhaps you should give that idea some consideration…there may just be opportunity in it that you haven’t discovered yet. I have observed Ray Justice over the past few years, and while we have at times ended up on opposite sides of the fence, I have tried to see his side of things. He presents ideas, which I often think are unfinished, and I tell him so, but his ideas usually have at least some merit, or lead to something that does have merit. There are people in the world that are instigators of change…in fact, Mr. Common Sense, you are one of those people. Watching Ray struggle with the commission, and watching the turmoil and issues caused by Linda Elam working for a developer, and watching citizens go to the microphone in anger over proposed developments are what are causing me to feel that we need a master plan for developing this city.

    One idea, allowed to flourish, can lead to tremendous opportunity, even if the original idea had little merit. But being nasty to one another, trying to circumvent the law, or trying to take advantage of one another is not the answer. Spinning what someone says to try to make it something else isn’t the answer either.

    I don’t have a grudge toward Linda…I just feel she has abused her office and therefore shouldn’t have it anymore. If Linda needed my help on something I would freely give it to her. I can’t get behind what she has done and I can’t condone spending $20,000,000 of tax payer money on an aquatics center that only 9% of the people want. She still seems to be at work trying to make that happen. I would be glad to donate time to build parks and recreation through private donations, I am all for parks, just not so many public parks…they contribute to big government.

    These are some of my positions:

    Government should stay out of everything that it absolutely doesn’t have to be involved with and should let the free market reign.

    Where government has to be involved…it should be very strong in that area and properly funded, but it should be weak in any area it does not have to be involved.

    We should have as few people working for the government, (or in Jail, on social security, welfare, etc) as possible.

    People should learn to provide for their own needs and desires and should be responsible for their own lives.

    I believe in a very weak government domestically (except homeland security, police protection, etc) and an extremely strong government internationally. I even believe the Department of Commerce should be funded much better than it is…which I believe is in the $10,000,000,000 range…just a little more than we spend to collect taxes each year.

    I believe the government should not be involved in Education at all.

    I believe the government should not be involved in Religion at all. (But not being involved does not mean it should restrict religion, but rather it should support freedom of religion and the responsible exercise thereof.)

    I believe that every office, and every operation, of every government entity should have to justify its existence each and every year. If it is no longer of true value it should be shutdown.

    I don’t believe that government should be involved in social engineering projects…(like a $20,000,000 aquatics center).

    I believe whatever government does put its hand to should be done with excellence and should be done responsibly and cost effectively.

    I believe we need to start pursuing programs that will draw some of America’s best and brightest into government work. It doesn’t cost money to pay well, if you also recruit well.

    I think government should work “smart”.

    No, Mr. Common Sense, I don’t think we need a wall or even an underground bunker…I think we need to be educated on the threats and how to respond…and I think we need to have the resources to respond. I don’t think we need to be doomsday “or” pollyanna…I think we need to rational and realistic.

    I think local governments could work in conjunction with the Federal government in that area of homeland security. The Federal Government has the office of emergency management that is tasked to provide for emergencies, perhaps it would be better if they staged their supplies across the nation, in many different areas, so that they are available at the local level when needed, but could be transported at a moment’s notice if needed elsewhere. There are many possibilities…we just have to explore the ideas. (There I go again.)

    Butch Huber

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