Headlines from the Mt. Juliet News and the Chronicle – 2/13/2008

Full steam ahead for Paddocks
Wal-Mart, Lowe’s set target open date of Dec. 1

TDOT credits city $250,000 toward MJ road project

Editorial teaser: Fire protection needs to be moved to top of list before other proposals

Inside Stories, page 11:

Elam’s proposal for new police precinct not discussed
[Mayor says she thinks it was a “slap in the face to the Police Department.” She thinks the City should sell the four acres it owns on Mt. Juliet Road at Industrial Drive because that land has “huge sales tax potential.” Hmm. And the sales tax potential of eight acres of the Paddocks development adjacent to the Interstate would be . . . ?]

Elam wants ordinance ‘shredded’
[Mayor Elam directed city employees to “shred up and correct an earlier ordinance.” The article describes her as “irate and persistent.” Sounds about right.]

Justice buys old MJES site
[We didn’t know he was such an independently wealthy developer. Actually, he want the City to buy the site from the county. And donate five acres to the YMCA. And swap the four acres at Industrial and MJR to Harold Feenor for his 78 acres at the end of York Road. Its a complicated deal.]

from The Chronicle:

New police station plans die at table

inside story:

Citizen squabbles surround Prologics approval; plans for new police station die
[Monday night’s meeting included a “shouting match” between the land owner and his neighbors.]

More details on the Mayor’s attempt to have an ordinance shredded in the next post.

– Publius

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Headlines from the Mt. Juliet News and the Chronicle – 2/13/2008

  1. Butch Huber

    Please read the articles in the Mt. Juliet News under MJ leaders discuss different uses of land and the article in The Chronicle titled “Citizen squabbles surround Prologics approval; Plans for new police station die.”

    In the Chronicle the mayor is quoted as having said regarding the commission not giving her a second for her proposal regarding a new police station; “I found that fairly pathetic.” “There wasn’t even a discussion about the new police station. The commission did not even have the respect for the police department to give it a second, for a chance at discussion.”
    Then later in the article it quotes her as having said; “I am extremely disappointed that (Commissioners) didn’t even want to discuss building a new police station there.” “I consider it a slap in the face to our officers, and I think (the police officers) should take a long, hard look at that decision, or lack thereof, and analyze it. And it’s not the last they’ll hear of this.”

    Let’s analyze Mayor Elam’s statement. What do you suppose she is implying when she says “I think (the police officers) should take a long, hard look at that decision, or lack thereof, and analyze it”? The mayor should be careful in what she says. If she causes the police officers to take inappropriate action with her statements there could be serious consequences for her. There is a neat little provision in the TCA regarding such matters. Beyond that, I conclude that the mayor is instigating a squabble between the police department and the city commission. A squabble between police officers and the commission is not what is in the best interests of the city. The very least her comments will cause is demoralization of the police department!

    We need a new police station, in fact we need a new police station very badly, but there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it. The first thing we need is an agreement between the commissioners that the city needs to build a new police station…however, there are other issues looming on the horizon. The county and the city of Lebanon are beginning to stir the pot over fire protection issues once again. In a very short while we will once again be mired in a battle over fire protection. If we end up needing to build our own fire stations we would do well to incorporate that element in our land use plans. A little insight and wisdom can go a long way toward ensuring that the city provides its citizens with proper fire safety and police protection. We also need to incorporate the police department and potentially the fire department in the process…who better to advise the city on the needs for fire and police protection than those who do the job everyday?

    Now, let’s look at another little matter that will probably make you laugh…I know it made me laugh. The mayor is advocating building a police station on the newly stolen….ahem…I mean “donated” land on Pleasant Grove Road adjoining the Paddocks. Others, are advocating building a new city hall on four acres of land that the city owns along Mt. Juliet Road.

    Now, look in the Mt. Juliet News on page 13. The mayor is referring to the four acres along Mt. Juliet Road, the proposed site for a new city hall, when she is quoted as follows; “It’s a prime location and has huge sales tax potential” “Putting a new city hall on it is absurd”.

    Do you see the irony? Using 8 prime acres adjoining the Paddocks to build a police station is a wonderful, insanely brilliant, masterful use of land…but using four acres of land along Mt. Juliet Road is “absurd”. Please!

    If you were going to build a sales tax generating commercial building project, would you choose the 8 acres adjoining the largest commercial development project in the city, one that has quick access to Route 40 without having to travel deep into Mt. Juliet, an area that is in the heart of the commercial development district that is the most happening place this side of Nashville “or” would you choose the four acres just over the railroad tracks along Mt. Juliet Road, four acres that butts up to an industrial development with little other commercial development around it? Let’s see…8 acres along the largest, most happening, most talked about, commercial development project or 4 acres in the city town center district where there is currently little draw? Which would I choose? Hmmm. Folks, the more she talks the more I believe there is something else going on here that we don’t know about!

    Now here is another thing that will make you laugh and shudder at the same time…Elam wants an ordinance “shredded”!
    The mayor is quoted in the Mt. Juliet news as admitting that she sent an e-mail to city staff to tell them to “Shred up and correct” an earlier signed city ordinance regarding the amount of land to be donated to the city by the Paddocks developer! Now, let’s remember, Vice Mayor Haggerty was recently censured for a letter he signed directing the public works department to ease up on enforcing the city sign ordinance or some such thing…but here is the mayor directing, in an e-mail, city staff to “Shred” a signed ordinance! Wow! I will say that backwards…woW! Folks, we now have “Shredgate” here in little ol’ Mt. Juliet! She admitted to directing city staff to “Shred” an official document…notice that it was a signed ordinance…not an unsigned document. A signed ordinance is not the same as an unsigned ordinance, a signed ordinance becomes official when it is signed. But here is her justification…(remember what I wrote earlier about justification?) She is quoted in the Mt. Juliet news as having said: : “I can’t determine where the disconnect came from.” “But the ordinance is not worth the paper it’s written on. It needs to be trashed and revised.” Later in the piece she says…”That ordinance has no force and effect” “If city staff can go and tweak and change anything voted on in a meeting and put it in an ordinance. Everything adopted by the commission is in the minutes, not in mistakes in an ordinance.”

    Here is the really scary part of the article…the article in the Mt. Juliet News reads… “When asked if she read the ordinance before she signed it, Elam said generally commissioners look at the heading and already know what the vote was, so she doesn’t “look to see if there are language changes.” “An ordinance adopts a vote, but it is memorialized at the meeting”.

    Please! Folks, the mayor is a lawyer! Good lawyers don’t make these kinds of mistakes! Let’s look at it both ways…either she is lying and she actually does read the whole ordinance before she signs it…which is part of what we pay her for…and she signed it knowing what was in it and is now trying to wiggle out of what she signed and “justify” her e-mail to city staff…”OR” she didn’t read the ordinance when she signed it and then took it upon herself to try to persuade city staff to “shred” the ordinance so there would be no record of it and so they would have to have a new ordinance signed to replace the ordinance she didn’t like! Are you comfortable with either of those options…I am certainly not comfortable with them! This is either a case of misconduct or malfeasance…or both! Additionally, it lends credibility to the accusations made in the Hatton Wright complaint where city staff accused her of trying to get them to violate the law and issue illegal permits to Pulte Homes…here she is again going around the commission and attempting to get city staff to break the law!

    Commissioner Haggerty…your serve! She ensured that you were censured for your letter…ball’s in your court, Sir!

    Have you had enough, yet?

  2. Pingback: Lowes & Walmart on track despite rumors? « Radio Free Mt. Juliet

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