Headlines – Mt. Juliet News and The Chronicle, December 12, 2007

from the Mt. Juliet News:

City to levy hotel privilege tax; money directed to parks
[Despite the protest of the CEO of the Tennessee Lodging Association and the Wilson County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau director]

New site for animal control pinpointed
[property owners on Industrial drive approached the city. Wonder if the Animal Control Facility will comply with the Village Center overlay architectural requirements?]

Keel accepts position as Public Works Director
[Keel has been working as the City Engineer since January of 2001]

City Commissioner proposes city buy old MJES site from county
[according to the article, Commissioner Ray Justice approached the county Road Commission and the county Finance Committee, with a proposal to buy the old elementary school property with five payments of $210,000 over the next five years and a credit of $950,000 to be offset by the city taking over complete responsibility for constructing the new road to the new Mt. Juliet High School. The article states that both groups have “nodded” a proposal by Commissioner Justice. Did they vote? Mayor Elam said she was sure there would be “lively debate” when the issue comes up again. heh.]

from the Chronicle:

Squires make the most of final 2007 meeting
[ahem – for the record, the old name for the county commission was the county “court,” and members of the county court were sometimes called “squires.” City commissioners have never been “squires.” – back on topic: Updated information on the “L” connector; City staff changes; new money for parks; a new animal control facility; and appointments to the city’s ethics commission.

Chronicle update on Curd Road connector to new high school:
According to City Manager Randy Robertson, officials are “still at a point of friendly condemnation” with property owners. “We’re ready to move forward, Robertson noted. “Now the money needs to be behind it.
According to Commissioner Ray Justice, city officials presented the road plans to the Road Commission which were unanimously approved. Permits from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation have been obtained, and now “money is the only issue.”

Staff changes:
Marlin Keel to be new Public Works Director
City Attorney Paula Flowers will leave her post in February

Squire’s comments raise biz owners’ ire
[“I mean, Lebanon Road is getting to be just like Dickerson Road,” said Justice. “All we need to do now is bring in the whores.” HDP Motorcycle owner David Howell and Shanti’s Restaurant owner Donna Reid were upset with Commissioner Justice’s comments. Justice apologized for his comments at the meeting this past Monday and said he hoped to work with the Mt.Juliet Chamber of Commerce to set up a Lebanon Road Business Association. Chamber Director Mark Hinesley said he thought splitting up the Chamber along regional lines would be a bad idea.]

– Publius

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4 Comments

Filed under ethics

4 responses to “Headlines – Mt. Juliet News and The Chronicle, December 12, 2007

  1. Butch Huber

    I couldn’t agree with Ray more on the issue of the city owning the property at the intersection of Division and Mt. Juliet Road. I am not sure that doing all these deals is within his authority, but the end goal of the city controling that intersection is something that I think would be good for the city. We need to put the city Government offices there…that really should be obvious, unless of course we wait until the class “A” office space business parks go in along the Beckwith Road interchange area and place them in that area. No matter where the city offices are placed, they need to represent the city well. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a better place for city government to locate than Division and Mt. Juliet Road.

    The issue about the “Dickerson Road Comment”; that is vintage Ray Justice engaging his lips before he engages his mind. It doesn’t excuse the remark, it just puts it in context. I don’t believe he meant to offend the business owners that are located along that portion of Lebanon Road.

    Capitalism will fix any problems we have with Lebanon Road within the next five to ten years. That strip of road is going to see property values soar over the next five to ten years.

    (To those who are looking at this post and contrasting it to my most recent post about Ray: I am not schizophrenic, I am just fair, or at least I try to be.)

  2. Pingback: Commissioner Explains Remarks Made About Lebanon Road « Radio Free Mt. Juliet

  3. Ray

    Butch,

    FYI, the county finance committee, road commission, and county commission all voted on a proposal. The proposal also stated this would be subject to the city commission’s approval. I haven’t “made a deal”. Again, get your facts straight. As far as being fair…I would not consider your comments about my lack of patriotism anything but unfair. I did not serve in the military. My father did, my brother did. I respect and appreciate with everything in me the sacrifices made by those who serve but do not dare to think that your service to this country gives you a right to question my patriotism and my love for my country. But in all fairness that is vintage Butch Huber.

    Ray

  4. Butch Huber

    Ray,

    Go back and read my posts…you can get yourself in a dander if you want, but I suggest that you get “your” facts straight. I did not say that you were unpatriotic, I said that you could not understand how I feel as a former serviceman. It is not unfair to say that because you didn’t ever serve. I challenge you to point out anywhere in any of my posts where it says that you are unpatriotic because you didn’t serve in the military, or that you are unpatriotic at all. I never said it.

    As far as my post about your road/land deal, I was commending you for thinking outside the box. I still question whether or not you should be arranging deals outside the authority of the full commission, but at least you are doing something.

    You were trying to intimate that the only reason that I was concerned about what is going on in local politics was because Rob is my friend. That is what is unfair, Ray. I just responded to what you posted, Ray. Let’s logically analyze my post, Ray. When did you ever serve in the military? Never. Therefore you cannot logically understand what it means to a former military serviceman to see his government run improperly. Can you say that this government is being run properly….I mean with a straight face? So if you reduce it to the ridiculous, I was right. You don’t know how I feel, you can’t know how I feel, and you shouldn’t insinuate that I am only involved because of my friendship with Rob. You were wrong for having done so and I strongly responded. If that offends you perhaps you should search within yourself to figure out why.

    If my post made you feel unpatriotic perhaps you should try to figure that out as well. I never said you were unpatriotic. You may have felt that I implied that you were unpatriotic, but even if I did imply (which I don’t believe that I did) that you were unpatriotic, my post would be nothing more that a cheap tactic to cause someone to believe something about you that was untrue, kinda like implying that the only reason that I am involved in what is going on is because Rob is my friend. You know better than that, Ray, yet you attempted to cause people to feel that way about me. As far as getting my facts straight, Ray. Since when did you go to work under the direction of the County Commission, county finance department, and county roads department? I thought you were a commissioner in Mt. Juliet. How does that give you the authority to craft deals with the County without having been directed, appointed or authorized to do so by the commission? The county commission saying that everything is subject to the approval of the city commission does not erase the fact that you are out arranging deals behind the scenes, without proper authority to do so, does it? I didn’t think so. If one of the other commissioners were out doing something of the same nature, and you were against what they were trying to do, you would be highly upset about it and you know it.

    This is just more of the same really, you and the rest of the commission seem not to really grasp our form of government. The city manager is the person in charge. Find a place in the city charter that authorizes you to unilaterally, of your own accord, fashion deals such as this one and I will stand corrected. I don’t think you will find such authorization unless you very liberally and very loosely read the duties and powers of the commission and infer something that it does not say.

    Again, I think there is a lot of good common horse sense to what you put together, and I commend you for your efforts, I just question whether it is a good idea for commissioners to be this involved in issues such as this. I could be wrong, but I think this would fall under the duty and responsibility of the city manager or would fall under the duties and responsibilities of a duly appointed person (Commissioner), not a commissioner acting under his or her own authority and on his own accord.

    Ray, if you can’t prove me wrong on all points the gentlemanly thing to do would be to come back and post that you are wrong and apologize. I hadn’t done a thing to you when you posted your post admonishing me and saying that I didn’t have my facts straight. Prove anything I have said wrong, I dare you. You started this little riff between us, I would be glad to continue it if you wish, but you have taken some things out of context, and in the end it will be an embarrassment to you if you continue without actually reading my posts.

    It really is time for a new commission, isn’t it, Ray. Can you honestly say that there is even a glimmer of hope that the city will have a fully functional commission if even one of you remain? I don’t believe there is a chance. That statement doesn’t say that you are a screw-up, it is simply meaning that I don’t believe you and the other commissioners will ever be functional because of history. It is time to set this city government right. If that means that you have to step aside in order to achieve that goal than you should willingly do so. What is more important to you, that we have a functional government or that you remain in office? You can’t seriously say that we have a fully functional government, can you?

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