The Mt. Juliet City Commission continues to ignore its own ordinances and resolutions. In doing so, every elected official violates his or her oath of office. Their oath requires them to uphold the city charter, state law, and the ordinances and resolutions in place in Mt. Juliet. The City Commission has the authority to amend, repeal, and / or pass new ordinances and resolutions – but they do not have authority to ignore the ordinances and resolutions in place.
The current parkland search violates several Mt. Juliet policies, ordinances, and resolutions. Mt. Juliet established a Parks Board, by ordinance in 1984. That ordinance can be found on the city website here: Parks Board Ordinance 1984-05.
Section II, number 5 of the ordinance states the role of the Parks Board: “It shall recommend to the Board of Commissioners the sale or purchase of any land desired to be acquired or disposed of, now owned or used by the Mt. Juliet Board of Parks and Recreation”.
The Parks Board is the committee empowered by the City Commission to find and recommend new parkland. If the City Commission doesn’t like the recommendations of the Parks Board they are free to ignore them. But unless and until they amend or repeal the ordinance which established the Parks Board they are violating their own ordinances and showing contempt for the existing Parks Board. The ironic thing is that the members of Parks Board are appointed by the Mayor.
The Commission has recently appointed a special committee to recommend the purchase of parkland to the City Commission. That is in clear violation of ordinance 1984 – 05.
That appointed committee is considering property inconsistent with the Neighborhood Parks Plan resolution passed by the City Commission in 2002: Resolution 2002– 20 (the file name is incorrect – this really is Resolution 20).
That resolution set specific goals for the Parks Board to adhere to when adding parks in Mt. Juliet. The first goal stated: “Attempt to add at least 1 neighborhood park to each commission district”. Goal three said: “Attempt to place a park within 1 mile of every residence in the City of Mt. Juliet.”
The property being considered at the end of York Road is inconsistent with both those stated goals. In fact there is no Mt. Juliet resident within 1 mile of that property. So we have an illegitimate committee considering unusable property.
In 2004 the City Commission committed to fund a Greenway from the new Mt. Juliet Elementary School to Mt. Juliet Road, Resolution 2004-06. That resolution referenced resolution 2002 – 20.
It should be noted that the West Division Greenway is consistent with all ordinances and resolutions and was recommended by the Parks Board. The City Commission is capable of adding parkland correctly – at least it demonstrated that it could back in 2004.
The Parks Board was searching for parkland back in May and June of this year and finding it. Why is the City Commission violating its own law to circumvent the duties of the Parks Board?
Could it be that the Parks Board wasn’t finding the land that the City Commission wanted it to find?