Headlines from the Mt. Juliet News and The Chronicle, February 27, 2008

Commission seals deal to purchase former MJES site
Elam opposes idea

[but apparently only because she wanted to do MORE for the YMCA. She’s suddenly more concerned with how the road to the new Mt. Juliet High School will be built – which is actually a very good question. How is that road going to get built?
Favorite line from this story: “Sparks flew at the commission table. . .” ]

Two-plus years before Phase II road project complete
[and by “road project,” the MJN means the widening of Mt. Juliet Road. TDOT has finally scheduled a letting date for December 2008. No word on whether the legislature has actually approved the TDOT road project budget yet.]

Ex-city planner sues city, mayor: officials weigh in
[update to the Lebanon Democrat article from last week – now with quotes from Mayor Linda Elam, Vice Mayor Ed Hagerty, Commissioner Ray Justice, and former planner Bobby Franklin]

“Mt. Juliet Mayor Linda Elam said she is not concerned about the lawsuit in a “legal prospective.” “But old issues are being brought up,” she said. “I think it is unfortunate for the city, [that] people are rehashing old issues. All you need to know is the city has yet to be served. It was filed over a week ago. That’s all you need to know about another attempt at character assassination.”

All we need to know is that the city hasn’t been served? Really?

Vice Mayor Hagerty said he didn’t “fully understand” the legal issues involved and wanted to reserve comment until he read the suit. “I don’t know why someone would work for the city and then turn around and sue them,” he said. “I’ve never sued a former employer before. I don’t get it. If it’s so bad why not quit? I think we have too many attorneys circulating City Hall.”

That’s right. The problem is too many attorneys. And if an employee finds out about ethical violations on the part of an elected official, they should just quit quietly… before they can be fired.

 District 1 Commissioner Ray Justice said he had obtained a copy of the suit. “Anytime there’s potential litigation, yes, I’m concerned,” he said. “But I have faith we’ll work out the details. Obviously Bobby thinks he has a case.”

a) Its not “potential litigation” once the lawsuit has actually been filed. Then its “actual litigation.” b) Commissioner Justice has a copy of the suit? But the Mayor said the City hasn’t been served! Hmmm….. sounds like somebody is not telling the truth again.

teaser for the inside opinion:
How many consultants does it take to run a city?
[heh]

from The Chronicle:

Former MJ planner sues City, mayor

“The mayor illegally prevented me from speaking at a city commission meeting,” Franklin said Monday. “The acting city manager illegally fired me. And then they lied about me. And the rest of the city commission did nothing to stop them.”

“This lawsuit is as much about the public’s right to know as it is about any damages done to me,” Franklin said Monday.

Funds for new MJHS road may be used to buy land
[This is turning into a very complicated deal – see below]

Developer to donate five acres of park land to MJ 

The inside story is headlined:
Curd Road funds could buy old MJES site
[the article talks about two different resolutions. One resolution would authorize a swap of four acres owned by the City on Mt. Juliet Road for 60 acres owned by local developer Harold Feener at the end of York Road. Will Sellers sponsored a resolution that calls for appraisals on both pieces of property. The second resolution was to purchase the old MJES site using, in part, money the County had pledged for the construction of a new road to the new MJES. The unanswered question is still, “Will there ever be a new road built to the new MJES?”]

lots to discuss…

– Publius

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59 Comments

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59 responses to “Headlines from the Mt. Juliet News and The Chronicle, February 27, 2008

  1. liberty

    I read ( on another site) that Butch may be running for Mayor. Is that true? It would really shake things up around here.

  2. Butch huber

    No, Liberty, I am not running for mayor.

  3. Glen Linthicum

    Not a bad idea Butch. Maybe you should give it some thought. I would like to see someone with integrity run for office.

  4. Butch huber

    I appreciate the kind word, Glen, but if I were to run and win there would never be peace in this town. My aim is to do my part to establish some law and order in this town, not to become mayor. We need a fresh set of people sitting in those seats…people who are not connected in any way to all of the controversy. If I were to run for Mayor it would look like I was just in all of this so that I could become mayor. I don’t think I could serve the city well because I have been so vocal about the current administration. I think what we need to do is to find others who could serve well in those seats and elect them. But, again, thanks for the kind word.

  5. Butch huber

    Mr. Hagerty,

    You say that you don’t know why someone would work for the city and then turn around and sue them “and” that you have never sued a former employer. You say that there are too many attorneys circulating city hall.

    Did this reporter catch you off guard? Where you shocked?

    If your response is how you really feel, well, it tells me that you are either detached from, and ignorant of, the things that are going on within city government or you are being intentionally obtuse.

    I will see if I can help you out with your puzzlement. Within each society there are established customs and laws and there are sanctions for those who violate those customs and/or laws. Without acceptable and enforced sanctions for violating customs and/or laws that society will ultimately drift into anarchy.

    Typically, in each society there are a group of people who are endowed through some process to enforce the customs and laws of the society. The rest of society depend on that group of people doing their jobs. If they do their job there is a high likelihood that there will be few violations of the customs and/or laws, however if they don’t do their jobs there is a high likelihood that there will be many violations of the customs and laws.

    In most societies people have to work somewhere, and when the people go to work they typically work under the same set of customs and laws that they live under when they go home. Usually, there are additional customs and laws to cover specific situations that are unique to their work environment, but largely the customs and laws at work are the same as at any other time.

    Employers are responsible not to violate the rights of the workers to operate within the framework of the customs and/or laws of the society within which the worker lives and within which the employer operates.

    In the United States, and here in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, we live under various sets of customs and laws. We live under the Constitution of the United States. What we do cannot violate the Constitution of the United States or we have a price to pay. The U.S. Constitution, along with the Bill of Rights, grants all of us a basic, universal, set of protections and rights and basically says that if anyone without legal right violates what we are granted by the U.S. Constitution we have a right of redress. We live under the Constitution of the State of Tennessee. The Constitution of the State of Tennessee cannot restrict rights and freedoms that are granted under the U.S. Constitution, but it can and does address things that are a matter of state’s rights. Like the United States Constitution, violating the Tennessee Constitution brings with it required sanctions. Those who have had their rights and freedoms granted by the Tennessee Constitution have a right to Redress. Then there are local ordinances and resolutions that further shape and define what is allowable and what is inexcusable on a local level. Violate the local ordinances and resolutions and you have a penalty to pay. Those who have rights and freedoms granted through local ordinance and resolution violated have a right to redress. Then there are matters of public policy, like the city personnel manual. The city personnel manual sets up specific guidelines of how people who are working for the city government should conduct themselves. Violate those guidelines and you have a price to pay. Those who have their rights and freedoms granted through the city personnel manual have a right to redress.

    When you employ people you agree to meet the conditions outlined in the United States Constitution, the Constitution of the State of Tennessee, Local Ordinances and Resolutions, and in city policy, including the city personnel manual. The person being hired has to agree to live under those rules as well.

    I am sure that you would have no problem prosecuting someone who works for the city if they were caught stealing money from the city. Let’s say that someone figured out how to tap into the city’s bank accounts and siphon off a hundred dollars here, fifty dollars there and it would never be noticed. So for five years they slowly take $100,000 from the city. That is only $20,000 per year….right? Would you understand prosecuting that person if you caught them? You would, wouldn’t you?

    So when you pressed charges and then the governor said, “I don’t understand why a city government would hire someone and then charge them with a crime”, “I think they have too many attorneys in Mt. Juliet”, how would you feel about the Governor? Here is a man who is sworn to enforce and uphold the law, a public figure, a person with an official public platform, basically chastising you for doing what you have every right and responsibility to do. Wouldn’t his comment take you aback?

    I believe that you fully understand pressing charges against an employee who violates the law, so why can’t you likewise understand an employee holding his or her employer accountable when the employer breaks the law or violates someone’s rights?

    Is the problem really that there are too many attorneys circulating city hall or is the problem that there are too many public officials and government leaders violating the rights of the employees and/or citizens? Blaming the lawyers in this is kind of like dragging a steak through a pack of hungry wolves and blaming the wolves for grabbing the steak.

    You seemed to have lived a charmed life and probably haven’t really had a need to sue a former employer. I haven’t sued a former employer, but I have certainly had cause. In my case it simply was more to my advantage to move on and not sue than it would be to sue. Still, for others, the most logical and appropriate response is to sue.

    You would see the merit in prosecuting someone criminally if they violate the law…I don’t doubt that. So, why can’t you understand a person pursuing the city civilly if the city violates them in a civil manner? Why can’t you understand that if the person violated appeals for redress to the commission and the commission turns its head that they might choose another course of action to receive redress?

    The city has done harm to people and it has to pay. Those people have lost income, position, reputation and enjoyment of life as a result of the actions, or inactions, of government figures. Why shouldn’t they be able to have their redress just as you would seek if the complainants were guilty of embezzlement from the city?

    Here are the questions you should be asking yourself; “Why didn’t I do my job? When people were pushing the panic button and asking for my help, why didn’t I do more to help? Why didn’t I stand up stronger and ensure that things were looked into deeper? All the signs were there, how did I miss it?”

    Go back, way back, and pull the video of the commission meetings. If you look closely enough you will see a man during citizen comments warning you that if you and the other commissioners turned your heads to what is going on in this city and did not fix these problems this city would slip into pandemonium. The man told you that bad things get worse if you don’t deal with them. He implored you to take appropriate action. That man did what he could to avoid all of this…that man was me, Mr. Hagerty. I warned the commission of what would come and it ignored me and now you are surprised at what is going on…well, I’m not surprised.

    I don’t think you are the “Cause” of the problem, but I do think that you are part of the “enabling” of the problem. Based on your comments that led to this post I am not sure you understand the perplexity or depth of the situation.

    You voted for a new ethics code, an instrument that is intended to help public employees and citizens hold public figures accountable, yet the new ethics code makes it almost impossible for people to file an ethics complaint. This adds to the problem and the likelihood of civil lawsuit.

    Are people to just sit back and allow public figures get away with doing whatever they want to do? Why it is so difficult to understand that when public officials, who are sworn to uphold the law, refuse to do their jobs, people will stand up for themselves in any way that they can…which in this case means a lawsuit in federal court?

  6. Ray Justice

    Mr. Hagerty is right. There have been too many attorneys trying to run city hall and ONE too many “wannabe” attorneys hijacking RFMJ.

  7. Butch huber

    Whatever, Ray! Is “hijacking RFMJ” the only thing you know how to say? Just because you don’t like that I am shedding light on what is going on at city hall doesn’t mean that there isn’t something going on.

    Let me remind you, Ray. When Linda Elam made a call to you to find out if you were still interested in firing Rob Shearer you knew that she was violating the state sunshine laws and when you responded to her you too violated the law. You politicians think that dismissing complaints against each other and changing the ethics code so that it is useless relieves you of responsibility for your actions. Well, it doesn’t. So when people continue to push for justice and equity you shouldn’t be surprised. You should be ashamed of yourselves…each and every one of you. But rather than be contrite and humble you blame attorney’s and apparently me. Look in a mirror, Ray.

    Let me remind you of where you are in all of this.

    You and I met through your attempt to fire Rob Shearer the first time. Now what I am about to remind everyone was what you told me. You said “nobody is after Rob, everybody likes Rob, the real target here is Bobby Franklin.” “If Rob would just fire Bobby Franklin all of this would just go away.” Then you said it is like killing a snake…you like to start at the head, but sometimes you can’t start at the head, sometimes you have to start in the middle and work your way up. You said, I told Rob to fire Bobby and he won’t do it, if he would fire Bobby this would all stop.

    So what you were admitting to me was that you were trying to force the city manager to fire a city employee because you had a problem with the city employee. Not because the commission had a problem with the employee, but because “you” had a problem with him. That exceeded your authority. Do you remember those meetings Ray. Turned out that the mayor revealed that there were threats made against employees who might be inclined to show up to speak out against your effort. You could have fired him for cause back then if you wanted to pay his severance package…but you were so nasty that you couldn’t stomach paying him what was due him, so you tried to fire him for cause so that you didn’t have to pay him.

    Then, not much further down the road you were recorded making a phone call to then Chief of police Kenny Martin to talk to him about extending “Professional Courtesy” to an ex-mayor’s daughter when she was arrested for drunk driving. You got censured for that one Ray. You still don’t think what you were doing was wrong and you justify your position by presenting yourself as the expert on DUI and she couldn’t have been that intoxicated because she was able to bend over in high heel shoes or some such junk. and that you are so good at your job that you know better watching a video than the officer making the arrest. You talked to Kenny in that conversation about an incident outside the country pub and an officer chumbly. Then in a conversation with me you admitted to making that all up. Ray, that is called a lie. You admitted to lying to Kenny. That makes you a liar. I was deeply involved against you in that matter and I found out later that you were making threats at city hall that I better never let you catch me drunk driving. Obviously a threat of retaliation through the use of your position as a Wilson County Sheriff’s Deputy.

    Then last year you were involved in a phone conversation during which Linda Elam asked you if you were still interested in firing Rob Shearer to which you said “yes” (You admitted this to me, Ray.) That knowledge was then used to illegally extract a resignation from Rob. Later on I asked you how you would feel about it if Rob was your friend and you saw this happen to him. Your response, after some thought, was “I guess I wouldn’t like it much.” You then said that the way the mayor went about what she did probably wasn’t completely legal, but if it meant Rob was removed from office you were okay with it.

    So, your profile would indicate that you would stop at nothing to get your way and you would use you position to see revenge on people who stand in your way and that you feel that lying and breaking the law are okay as long as it means you get the desired result. And there are too many attorneys circulating around city hall?

  8. Ray Justice

    Mr. Huber

    Obviously you have very selective memory. My issues with Bobby Franklin were due to what I felt were violations of the personel ordinance. Specifically concerning city employees being involved in political activity. Also, due to his very obvious political appointment to a very important position in city government. When I stated my opinion to Rob Shearer he refused to do anything about the issue and I felt that his lack of activity confirmed what I believed that they were both political appointments and neither were qualified to be in the positions they were in. I pointed out that Mr. Shearer had no experience as a city manager and Mr. Franklkin had no experience as a city planner. Mr. Franklin worked as hard as anybody I have ever met to come up to speed but that did not, does not, change my position on how he came to the position. I went about the process of terminating the city manager in a lawful manner and now you condemn me for the lawful attempt to remove Mr. Shearer. Rob Shearer is one of the most brilliant people I have ever met but that does not excuse the manner in which he was appointed to his position. As for threatening you, Butch, I have never threatened you in any shape form or fashion. I do not make threats and I certainly do not use my position to threaten people. You want to turn this page into a personal message to the masses but the truth is you are ruining a very informative website if it is used properly. Unfortunately, as you continue to post words by the thousands, those who might benefit from your brief flashes of wisdom are turned off by the sheer exhaustion of trying to absorb all that you say. Now when folks see your name they skip to the next comment and of course its you commenting on your own comments. You have been given an opportunity to file a complaint, you haven’t seen fit to do so. You have gone to every person in this state that might want to bring closure to this matter but you won’t agree when they tell you they can’t help you. Could it be that you are wrong? You have been to the Governor, TBI, and the District Attorney General and all have told you the same thing. You reference my issue in May 2004. You need to check the minutes of the meetings. I was never formally censured. My actions were condemned but the word censure was never used. That did not excuse my actions and the truth was I voted to publicly condemn my actions because I had inadvertently caused harm to others. I apologized to those people and I went through another election. Obviously, the people of my district forgave me my shortcomings and elected me to another term of office. As for humility, I thank God each and every day for the opportunity to serve the people of this community. Not only as a city commissioner but as a Sheriff’s deputy. The officers on the street will tell you I am very good at what I do and I do not EVER interfere with the jobs they do. I also serve by being a ball coach, an advocate for youth sports, and most importantly I am a father to three great kids. I would ask that you find ways to serve the community rather than daily work to destroy it.
    You’re efforts may be applauded by some but the apparent joy you realize from demeaning anyone who disagrees with you is actually pretty disgusting to watch.
    By the way, you are on record as calling me a liar. I am on record stating I will not put up with slander. That is very personal and I will not continue to tolerate it.
    I am sure this post will spark another round of venom from you but, as you said at the beginning of your last post…”whatever!”

    Ray

  9. Butch huber

    The truth is not slander, Ray. The truth is that you did make up the story about officer Chumbly. You told me personally that you made the story up. Making up a story is a lie. If it doesn’t make you a liar to make up a story like that then what does it make you?

    You and others keep saying that Rob was appointed under suspicious and strange conditions, and you say that his appointment was a political appointment. Even if it was, it took three votes to put him in office. As I understand it there was a very big search for a city manager and after it was all said and done he was asked by Ed Hagerty to serve as city manager. Then, only after considerable effort, he was persuaded to serve. Then, at least three, if not four, commissioners voted him into office. As I understand it Kevin wasn’t the person who asked him to serve, it was Ed. How was that a political appointment?

    I suppose you are very good at what you do Ray, I didn’t say you weren’t. I just doubt that you can look at a video of the arrest of the Ex-mayor’s daughter and be in a better position to determine if she was intoxicated than the arresting officer as you seem to think you are. During a recent conversation with me you suggested to me that she couldn’t have been that drunk because she was wearing high heel shoes and she bent over to pick something up and didn’t fall over. You used that as your reasoning to suggest that she couldn’t have been that drunk. You used that as your justification to call Kenny to talk to him about extending professional courtesy. During that same conversation with me was when you told me that you made the whole story up about the officer chumbly incident. BTW…saying that you never interfere with other officers when you are on record having called Kenny Martin regarding this matter…what is that other than interference? Perhaps RFMJ should include that recorded phone conversation on here, Ray. That way everyone can hear for themselves how you were not interfering with what Kenny and his men were doing.

    As for threatening me, Ray. I was told by a very reliable source that you made the statement at city hall that I better never let you catch me drunk driving. I never let that really get to me because you never will catch me drunk driving because I don’t drive drunk…but I never forgot it either.
    You see, Ray, I asked you three times if you would arrest me for a crime that I did not commit to punish me for a crime that I did commit…each time you answered me that it was a black and white question that you can’t answer. Only recently did you state that the answer to that question is “no”. However, that incident coupled with a report back to me that you said that I better never let you catch me drunk driving certainly has caused me concern about you. I can swear with my hand on the book that all that I have said is honest and true to the best of my knowledge, Ray.

    Ray, you say that this is personal and you will not tolerate it. Go back through all the posts. I did not start attacking you, Ray, it was you who started attacking me. In response to your attacks and harsh words I am writing the truth and you simply don’t like it. I suggested a while back that I have no beef with you, but you seem to want to continue. It is personal to me to watch people use positions of power to harm innocent people to further their own political and personal agenda. It is personal to me Ray because I happen to love this country and what we stand for and I see it going to hell-in-a-hand-basket because of political and personal agendas of people who hold positions of power. I see fewer and fewer good people running for political office in this country because they don’t want to wallow in the mud. It’s personal to me because I know that there are men and women out there everyday putting it on the line for me and for you and their service should count for something, Ray.

    Ray, if you remember I was on here trying to give you an avenue to take the high road in all that was going on. I was willing to get over the past and give you a chance to redeem yourself…Oh, and by the way, carrying 37% as the incumbent of your district when you have two very inexperienced and untried people running against you in a three way race is hardly a mandate, nor is it a sign of forgiveness. You won by less than four points, Ray. That means that 63% of the people probably didn’t forgive you, Ray. I was being asked to move to your district to run against you, Ray!

    Ray, I am not trying to destroy the community…I am trying to see to it that you and the other commissioners self regulate and self discipline…which it seems you are unwilling to do. Rather than follow the law and fulfill your offices with honor, dignity and civility this commission elects to do all manner of things that hurt the city, the employees, and the community. You are dysfunctional as a body and you need to be replaced. Firing the city manager, firing Bobby Franklin, and pushing Hatton out of his job have not solved a thing. There still seems to be problems in Public Works, there certainly are problems in the government as a whole, and as I understand it you can’t get a planner to come to work for the city. Wow, that solved a lot, didn’t it.

    As far as my posts Ray, for someone who doesn’t believe people read my posts you sure seem eager to get me to stop posting.

    I have a right to my opinion, Ray. I tried to do this the right way. I filed a complaint, I sought help from people who have the power and the duty to look into the matter. They never once said that I was wrong or that they couldn’t help…they wouldn’t help, Ray…and there is a difference. For now, I am resolved to continue to reflect on what I see by posting on this wonderful site where lots of people come to read what is going on. Some read my posts and yet others drift on. Either way it is their right and it is my right to write.

    However, I will say that I appreciate you comment about my brief flashes of wisdom…that must mean that you see some wisdom in what I say…albeit brief…I’ll take that from you…thank you.

    Ray, I don’t demean people who disagree with me…I may push back when people say nasty things about me, but even then, I typically do so with civility and with truth. Bobby Franklin and I disagree on some issues, and we have disagreed on this site, yet I was not demeaning to him because he was not demeaning to me. Others have disagreed with me on here and I have not demeaned them…but they didn’t demean me, either. I just don’t take a bunch of lip off of anyone without giving it right back…why does that bother you?

    Ray, let me break this down to the most basic level for you…be nice. I didn’t start this with you…you started it with me. If you think that you can come on here and say something nasty about me and not get a good verbal smack right back you are crazy. Go back through all of the posts, Ray, find one person that I have been nasty to that was not first nasty to me. I have not attacked one person who has not brought it on themselves.

    Fact is, Ray, your posts are probably causing more and more people to tune in. I encourage you to post you thoughts and opinions Ray. Take as long as you would like and make them as complete and accurate as possible. You and I can disagree without being disagreeable. You just don’t seem to be willing.

    Finally, the people who run RadioFree (which I am not a part of, nor am I in any controlling capacity) have the right and the ability to restrict my posts, limit my posts, or disallow my posts anytime they want. Perhaps you could appeal to them to censor me, Ray…after all, you wouldn’t want to let the truth out, would you?

  10. Ray Justice

    Butch

    You are absolutely right. All of us on the commission are really horrible people and probably should be shot at sunrise or at the very least spend 21 days in the electric chair for all of our many transgressions. I don’t know what the heck I was thinking and must have lost my mind. Butch, I hope you forgive me. I’ll try and not interupt your posts anymore. Bobby Franklin told me once, don’t go wallowin’ in the mud with a pig, you get dirty and the pig just loves it. I knew better!

  11. Butch huber

    Bobby,

    Have you been trying to teach Ray again?

  12. common sense

    Ray,

    You should try to befriend Butch. Apparantly, if you are one of his buddies, you are never wrong. As for the rest of us, well…

  13. Butch huber

    common sense, will you ever have anything useful to say or are you always going to be nothing more than a gnat?

  14. Common Sense

    Butch,

    If you weren’t such a ridiculous person, I would try to talk some sense into you. At this point, you are even standing up for someone who used the city email policy to solicit donations for her daughter to enter a contest. This is not only wrong, it is extremely wrong when the people she solicited are the developers who are building in this city and she was the Zoning Administrator. But, she is a buddy to ole Butch, and in case you can’t see it, they seem to be off limits. But if it is someone that Butch does not like, such as Elam or Justice, that’s OK in your mind.

    Point is, with you, everything is “illegal”, and you have gotten to be such a joke that nothing is taken seriously anymore. Do you realize that it is OK for one elected official to call another, so long as what they discuss that concerns official business is brought up in public when they are in a commission meeting? Can they not speak about anything to get a feeling for what is going on in the city? But you here of something like this, and scream bloody murder to the Governor, the TBI and Tommy Thompson.

    TN is a right to work state, and anyone can be fired for any reason without cause. Shearer, Moss, and even Franklin. The difference is that if they had of just fired Franklin, it would be OK. Being stupid gets you into court, and they were plenty stupid. Now they are in court.

    Seriously, PLEASE run for mayor. If the devastating blow to your ego that will result from your spanking in an election ever allows you to walk out of your house and show your face again, I would be amazed. But, knowing what I have seen from you in the past, you would most likely cry that the results were wrong, and of course, illegal.

  15. Butch huber

    Common Sense,

    Debbie Moss is not my buddie…in fact, I don’t even know if I could pick her out of a crowd. I didn’t say that it wasn’t wrong to use the city e-mail to send ask for support for her child’s deal.

    You are the joke, common sense. You have nothing to contribute and you do nothing but try to tear down people who do. Why don’t you go back to playing jacks and leave the problems of this city to people with a brain.

    It is not okay for them to discuss matters that are to come before the commission outside a commission meeting. You would know that if you could actually read.

    They can talk to one another all they want, Common Sense, as long as they do it in a commission meeting.

    Not interested in running for local office…sorry.

  16. Common Sense

    Butch, You are on record here as saying that Moss was in the same situation as Franklin. You can’t have it both ways. What you have done, is continue to turn this site into your platform of anti-commission rhetoric. Most of the time you make about as much sense as a big screen TV at the blind school.

    Either way, I hate to quote Ray, but I think I’ll leave you to play in the mud alone.

  17. Butch huber

    Common Sense,

    Debbie Moss is in the same situation as Bobby Franklin in that there appears to have been an effort to retaliate against her for standing up to the mayor. Additionally, I think if you go back and have someone read my posts to you you will figure out that I actually put Debbie in a category on her own…her situation is similar, but not exactly the same.

    You run off at the mouth and always get things out of context.

    You two seem to really be concerned about me turning this site into something and hi-jacking it. It’s as if you think there is only so much room and I am hogging it all up. You can write as much as you want…Publius will make more room…so you two school-boys need not worry.

  18. Butch huber

    It appears that the city of Mt. Juliet is about to purchase the property at the intersection of Division and Mt. Juliet Road. I think that is a great idea.
    It also appears that they are determined to donate 5.5 acres of that land to the YMCA…I think that is a terrible idea. There is a businessman who is willing to donate 12 acres of land to the YMCA and yet they are seeming to be thumbing their noses to that offer. Apparently, the YMCA prefers the property along Mt. Juliet Road. I wonder if the YMCA would prefer the 5.5 acres over the 12 acres if the YMCA were paying for the 5.5 acres instead of us taxpayers. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the YMCA. And a YMCA at the corner of Division and Mt. Juliet would be extremely convenient to me and my family. I just think that the city needs to really consider working with the Businessman that wants to donate the 12 acres to locate the Y on his property. The city could then either use the property at Division and Mt. Juliet Road for another project…say a joint municipal center/retail center… or they could simply hold it for awhile until the right buyer came along and then sell it for a profit to pay for another project…like perhaps a road.

    I just don’t understand why the city feels the need to give something to the Y when there is a businessman willing to give the Y twice the amount of property they would get from the city. Unless it is just so that the commissioners can put a notch in their collective belt to say “look what we have done for you.”

    All that having been said…if the commission passing a resolution or ordinance to give the Y these 5.5 acres is what it will take to stop the mayor from giving the Y twenty million dollars of our money, then by all means…let’s do it: one million dollars worth of land verses twenty million? Not a hard choice if they are your only options. I have a feeling this will pass 3 to 2. I predict Sellers, Justice, Hagerty for and Elam, Bradshaw against. Bradshaw against because he is honest and isn’t out to make a name for himself and Elam against because she wants to build a bigger, better Y/aqua center/senior center/teen center/community center with our money.

    Remember a long time ago I stated right here on RadioFree that this is all about giving the Y a $20,000,000 gift…that is the ball to keep your eye on…no matter what you see with you eyes and hear with your ears…that is what this is about. It is what everything that has been going on is about. Legacy building! All this talk about parks is about leaving a Legacy and building up the liberal agenda . Parks can be built without the government…government is just too eager to be involved in the day-to-day lives of the citizenry. Government wants to control us and dictate to us what we can and cannot do and they want to tell us where we can and cannot do it! Smaller, less powerful government is what we need…we need to stop feeding the beast. Ninety-one percent of the people responded that they would not be interested in the Y and 9% said they would be interested and somehow that became a mandate…can someone explain that math to me?

    Remember…I spoke to the director of the Y and he told me that they were coming with or without the help of the city…why are we still dealing with this then if it isn’t about legacy building? They will…and have…come to Mt. Juliet without the city…Jim Bradshaw is right…we have a Y, why do we need to do anymore? Again…this is about legacy building and you and I get to pay the tab.

    And before he has a chance I will tell you that Ray will probably come on here and say that the money to pay for all of this is coming from the Hotel tax they enacted so it isn’t costing us anything…blah, blah, blah. Don’t believe it…money spent in one direction costs us lost opportunity in another direction…it always does. Here is the real equation. You have a Y that has stated that they would come to Mt. Juliet without the help of the city. They are coming one way or another. You also have a businessman willing to donate the land that the Y needs to build on (Twice the amount of land the city is offering). The Businessman’s location is more centrally located to the twenty year growth area than the intersection of Mt. Juliet and Division is. Y coming anyway (without a cost to the taxpayer) + free 12 acres for the Y -vs- we pay the tab + 6.5 less acres for the Y (12 acres vs 5.5 acres). Outcome will be we pay the tab + the Y gets 6.5 less acres….and this is supposed to make sense?

    The more we ask of our government the more the government takes from us!

  19. Ray Justice

    Thanks for posting my opinion Butch I appreciate you being able to look into the dark recesses of my mind and tell the world what I’m going to say. By the way, the offer for the Y to go to Beckwith Road was not made to the city. That is between the Y and the owner of the property, not the city.

    Yours, ever so respectfully,
    Ray

  20. Butch huber

    Did I say that the offer was made to the city?

    You still have the opportunity to withdraw the offer to the Y…at least until this other offer can be explored. But you won’t. You will instead vote to purchase the MJES site (which I agree with) and then donate half of it to the Y (Which I disagree with.). My God, you have a man sitting there wanting to “GIVE” the Y 12 acres of land, and instead of telling the Y that you will not give them the 5.5 acres and that they should seriously consider the 12 acres you will give them the 5.5 acres. Instead of saving the taxpayer about a million dollars you will cost us one million dollars and you will also cost us in other ways as well.

    By the way, Ray, I didn’t post your opinion…I posted my opinion…I anticipated your rebuttal and I projected your vote….where in here did I post your “opinion”?

    Again, if this is the only way you can stop the mayor from giving away $20,000,000 of our money then do it. But don’t act like you are doing something noble or good when there is another man out there who is really trying to be noble and good and who is willing to GIVE his property up for everyone to be able to enjoy and who will save us about a million dollars. I don’t understand…in one meeting we are having a problem because the city is taking 8 acres of land from a developer who obviously didn’t want to give it…now we have a developer who wants to save us a lot of money by giving his property away without condition and the city is competing with him by also trying to give away land to the same organization. Someone please tell me how to get into that line! I want people competing to give me land, where do I sign up?

    Yours….just as respectfully
    Butch (Oink, oink) Huber

  21. SADD

    Ray,

    I’m glad you have plenty of time on your hands to be attempting rebuttals to those who you do not like on this site. Instead of wasting your time on here, aren’t there some drunk fiances of metro cops you can give courtesy rides home to?

    The fact that you used your official position to try to get Martin to give drunk driving relatives/friends of cops a break should disqualify you from public office or the privilege to be a deputy. Thank goodness Martin had taped that conversation!!!! How far up your behind was Ashe’s boot after you embarrassed him for backing you before that tape was released?

    You have no credibility with any citizen outside your district.

    Does your patrol car have a camera in it yet? It should.

  22. Glen Linthicum

    There was no need for such a vitriolic attack like that SADD. If you are going to take the time to write such a post; have the courage to post under your real name. What ever happened back then I do not know but it did not add anything to this discussion. This is a thread discussing the old MJE site and the Y. Let keep it on issue.

  23. Glen Linthicum

    I agree Butch; it is a lousy way to keep Elam from spending 20 million on building a center and giving it to the Y. It seems to me the Y is already here in Mt Juliet with out the city spending a dime.

  24. Common Sense

    Give the Y the whole 12 acres or let the rest of it be park land or open green space. Plant some trees in the back beside John Deal and let the kids have an open field to fly kites or whatever. The whole deal here is that the other 6.5 acres will be swapped for the hill on York Road. If they are going to pass it, and it appears that they are, at least give them enough land so that it is useful. Cramming it on 5.5 acres just doesn’t seem like a great idea. I would prefer some green space in the middle of town rather than a rocky hill outside of town with a firing range next to it.

    If we get the rock, Justice will get a walking bridge at minimum over the creek for his people, and the new neighborhoods going in on Nonaville.

  25. Uncommon Sense

    I am shocked that the Mt. Juliet elected officials would take road building money and give it to the YMCA. You will be too when the High School opens!

    Ed Hagerty once read a Davy Crockett speech to the City Commission that dealt with this type issue. It was regarded as the best speech Colonel Crockett ever gave to Congress. It is titled “Not Yours To Give” and can be found at this link:

    http://www.radiocom.net/MTA/crockett.htm

    Mr. Hagerty should be compelled to write the speech on a blackboard 100 times as punishment for doing the wrong thing while knowing better.

  26. Common Sense

    8 is better than 5. I started to go down and voice my opinion against the Y, but after hearing the discussion, I was glad to see it get 8 acres and pass.

  27. Uncommon Sense

    Why not just give them all 12? Better yet, lets buy 50 more acres and give that to them too.

    If more is better, lets buy the York Road mud slide and give that to the Y too!

    100 percent of Mt. Juliet citizens will now be paying to build a YMCA that less than 10 percent will use. If your not a citizen of Mt. Juliet its even better – you will not be paying at all!

    No wonder 90 percent of those supporting this do not even live in Mt. Juliet.

  28. Common Sense

    I realize your argument about MJ residents paying for it, but have you been to a Titans or Preds game? Do you ride the Nashville Star? Even worse, have you had to pay major medical expenses recently? Everyone pays for more than just theirself these days due to others that don’t, and at least with this we are giving the kids a place to go. I really hope it turns into a gift, and not a curse. I was opposed to it until I heard the discussion, and then changed my mind. I really thought they would get an earful, but man, was I wrong. Even though it is a private entity, the city gives grants every year to the little league, Big Brothers, Boy Scouts, etc. This is a huge grant, but at the least they are providing a service to all of us that the city can not at this time. Even if you don’t use the Y, you will benefit from it if some of the hoodlums that were usually up to no good are at the Y doing something constructive!

  29. Butch huber

    Unfortunately I wasn’t able to watch the commission meeting tonight. I gather that the commission went from offering the Y 5.5 acres to offering them 8 acres. So what is going to happen with the remaining 4 acres?

    Uncommon Sense, thank you for the link to Davy Crockett’s speech.

    As I stated in an earlier post, when government votes in favor of one party it necessarily votes against another party. Government is not supposed to be in the business of doing favors for special interests…government is supposed to be involved as little as possible in the affairs of the people.

    By voting to give property to the Y the commission is saying that they feel that it is a good investment of all the people’s money to promote exercise and we should do it with this particular organization. Exercise is a good thing, something I should do a lot more of, but that does not make it government’s business to promote it to me.

    I got a link to federal tax tables today…do you know what the maximum federal tax rate was in 1913? Seven percent! However, it wasn’t long before it went to 67%, then 70% and then ultimately 94% (Although I think it actually went to 96% at its peak…I just couldn’t find it in the tables.) Can you imagine…94% taxation! What’s more, the amount you had to earn in order to qualify for maximum taxation began to drop also. That is what happens when you create a system that enables one man to collect money from other men to use to further the first man’s agenda. They can’t get enough!

    The value of the land that was given away was about $1,333,333. I believe that there are about 7500 homes in Mt. Juliet. If my numbers are right the city took $1,199,999.70 from 6750 households that won’t use the new Y and gave it to the 750 households that will use the Y…that seems fair, doesn’t it?

    The alarming thing is that this is probably the best case scenario. Had the mayor been able to give the Y the $20,000,000 project she was trying to give them the numbers would have been more than ten times that amount. Instead of taking $1,199,999.70 from 6750 households to give to 750 households they would have taken $18,000,000 from the 6750 and given it to the 750! So, in that respect tonight is a big win for 90% of the households in Mt. Juliet! Funny how being robbed can seem so good when you put the right spin on it, isn’t it?

  30. Uncommon Sense

    I too have “wants” but “needs” take priority. We will be compelling our children to go to a new High School on a one and a half lane road.

    The county contribution to fix that road (along with another Mt. Juliet million) has now been diverted to the YMCA.

    If Mt. Juliet had a huge surplus it would different. But the elected officials have stated that they are 1.5 million in the red already this year.

    They gave nearly that much away tonight. I’m sure the hoodlums are happy.

  31. Butch huber

    I respectfully disagree Uncommon Sense, if the city were sitting there with a huge surplus it would be the same….they are taking money that belongs to the many and they are giving it to the few…the zero’s don’t matter…it is about the principle.

    We will end up paying property tax because this commission can’t control its urges.

  32. Ray Justice

    Thank you Glen. I know that posts making personal attacks have been stopped prior to going on this site in the past. I won’t hazard a guess as to how this one made it. But that’s OK I’ll take my shots and go on. By the way, for those of you who agree, or disagree, with the decision made on Monday night, thanks for being civil. That kind of discussion is productive.

    Ray…my real name.

  33. Larry Whitney

    In prior years, SADD stood for “Students Against Drunk Driving”. The so called “attack” posting would fit with the name.

    I support SADD’s, Common Sense’s, and Uncommon Sense’s ability to post anonymously and on whatever topic they so choose, just like Glen and Ray have the right to criticize them for staying anonymous. It’s called freedom of speech and is guaranteed by our Federal Constitution, regardless of how local officials feel about it.

    “I, [name], do solemnly swear, (or affirm,) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. (So help me God.)”

  34. Ray Justice

    Hi Larry

    I absolutely agree with anyones right to free speech. That’s the reason I said, “I’ll take my shots and go on.” However, this site is regulated by the person who originated it and falls under that persons discretion to allow, or not allow, certain items. That person is a moderator, of sorts. Also, SADD is the acronym for Students Against Destructive Decisions.

    http://www.sadd.org

    Thank you for posting under your real name. That is courage and I can respect your opinion whether I agree with it or not.

    Ray

  35. Common Sense

    I began posting under Common Sense, because the topic was the York Road property. I figured it was suitable given that the property was purchased for 45oK less than a year earlier and it was being offered for about four times that. I have used Common Sense ever since.

    I guess one reason I chose to continue posting under Common Sense versus my real name, was that my name had been mentioned in an article in the Chronicle, and Butch began yet another rant. I found it very comical that in one post, Butch told “Common Sense” to stop reading and skip to the end, when his entire post was about what happened when I went to obtain records.

    For the record, I found what I was looking for and a lot more. The City wasn’t really interested in it at the time. They might be a little more interested these days, maybe because they are in litigation for other issues, maybe not.

    I had to stand up for Elam at one point when she said the ordinance was wrong. Before anyone freaks out, she obviously still has no right to shred an ordinance, and it has her signature, so she should have read it before signing it. Why can I stand up for her on the issue that the ordinance possibly was wrong? I guess since I have been given copies of the same document with different dates on them leads me to believe anything is possible.

    Chris Sorey

  36. Uncommon Sense

    I will continue to post anonymously and attack all positions I disagree with. You are all welcome to attack any of my opinions you disagree with; in fact, you are all welcome to attack the opinions you agree with too!

    What burns me up about this YMCA deal is the way it was passed. It was advertised as a 5-acre donation and amended to 8 acres at the last minute after public comment was over. This slight of hand is becoming the trademark of this Commission.

    Some of the elected officials are now trying to sell this ridiculous notion that the Mayor was going to squander 20 million on the YMCA. So they are really saving the taxpayers 18.7 by giving away 1.3 million?

    Dee da dee dit – Earth to the Commission – Elam voted against this garbage. And she is going to rub it in when you run the city out of money.

    Hide and watch.

  37. Butch huber

    Uncommon Sense,

    Notice that you say “Attack all positions….Attack opinions….I see nothing wrong with attacking positions and opinions, or even ideals and ideas, under a pseudonym, but this site has been used to attack “people”. I feel that if someone is going to attack a “person” they should at the very least have to post under their real name. It is childish and chicken to attack a person while remaining anonymous. I am not saying that you have attacked a “person”, I am just saying that others have been attacked on a personal level. The person who attacks another person under a pseudonym can get away with saying anything they want, even lies, and they risk nothing. I don’t see how that is fair…it is like beating up on a blind person…cowardly!

    As far as elected officials selling the ridiculous notion that the Mayor was going to squander 20 million on the Y so they are really saving the taxpayers 18.7 million…I believe that I was the first person to say anything about that, so if my post is being used by elected officials as cover for their decision, then they are proving their weakness. If four elected officials cannot block the mayor from giving away $20,000,000 they are too weak to sit in the seats they were elected for fill. However, I stand by what I said…but I will say it another way…”IF THE BALANCE OF THE COMMISSION IS TOO WEAK TO PREVENT THE MAYOR FROM GIVING THE “Y” $20,000,000 OF OUR MONEY THEN THE BEST ALTERNATIVE IS TO LAUNCH AN COUNTER INITIATIVE IN AN EFFORT TO LIMIT HER ACTIONS; GIVING THE “Y” THIS LAND MIGHT POSSIBLY BE THE BEST COUNTER INITIATIVE.” My statement does not excuse their weakness, and it doesn’t excuse their act of giving the land to the Y, it is just accepting that, in absence of a strong body of commissioners who have the integrity, courage, honor, and wisdom not to squander our money on a social engineering project, a counter initiative may be the best and only option.

    Chris Sorey, welcome to the party. Now you are responsible for what you post and people can judge you personally, good or bad, for what you post. I think you will find it a little different posting under your real name. I just hope that people have the dignity and the integrity not to attack “you” on a personal level because you don’t share their same beliefs.

    What burns me up about this Y deal is that the government is showing favor toward one organization. The model that is the “Y” is one that has competition in the for-profit world, when the city gives money or assets to the “Y” it is giving a competitive edge to the “Y”. Further, what right does the government have to take money from one person another?

    The government has been taking money from the masses and spending it on “Public Education” since the 1850’s. That means that the 70 year old who has no children in school is paying for the education of someone else’s kid. How has that worked out? The public education system in this country is a failure…a complete trillion-dollar-annually failure. I believe I recently read that the state of Tennessee has a 50% drop-out rate…isn’t 50% failing? They can’t “fix” public education, but they keep throwing more and more money at it hoping to “fix” the problem.

    The government started taking money from the masses and giving it away in welfare…how did that work out? We ended up with generational failure and an oppressed people who have learned dependency.

    The government started taking money from the masses in their social security program…how has that worked out? Massive entitlements that are sinking this nation, dependency, and abuse.

    The government has been taking money from one group and giving it to another for years and years…what is the result? Massive taxation that is so large it is like tying a stone around the necks of the people and throwing them in a river!

    Can anyone tell me exactly to the penny what they pay in total taxes each year? I bet there isn’t a person in this country who could answer that question!

    Can anyone tell me the true cost of giving away 8 acres of land to the “Y”… I’ll give you a hint…you can’t find that number by taking the sale price of the 12 acres, dividing it by 12, then multiplying that number by 8…it would seem that you could, but I assure you the number is actually much larger. You have to factor a lot of things to get to the real answer. For one thing you have to consider the interest on the bond the city is going to have to pay to build the eastern connector. If the city spends one million three hundred thousand dollars on the land they are giving to the “Y” they won’t have that one million three hundred thousand to spend building the eastern connector road. That means that they will have to “Borrow” the one million three hundred thousand dollars in some form or fashion to complete the road. That borrowed money comes at a cost, doesn’t it? What is the cost? Even 5% interest spread over just one year will cost us another $65 grand. Let’s take the argument that the hotel tax will pay for it. Does it say in the ordinance that was used to enact this hotel tax that the money could be used to provide grant money? I don’t know if it does or it doesn’t…I am just asking. I mean, if they are going to tax us shouldn’t the money go where they “say” it is going to go? So if the ordinance doesn’t “say” that the money can be used for “grant” money, shouldn’t that money be spent where they “said” it would be spent?
    Are we to believe that they won’t spend beyond the gift to the Y on other parks? What about the representation of the 90% of the people who won’t use the “Y”? Are we to believe that they won’t want their equal representation? So when the 90% say “hey, what about us?”, what do you think politicians are going to do….you guessed it, they will build something to appease the 90%. WHere will that money come from? You guessed it, another tax…probably a property tax increase. If ten percent get 1.3 million dollars toward their interests then, in order to be fair and equitable the city will have to spend another $11.7 million dollars to appease the rest of the community…where are they going to get the $11.7 million? How much will it cost us to operate and administrate this total package? So, please, someone who has more wisdom, knowledge and insight than I have, please tell me exactly what the end cost of this deal will be.

    BTW Uncommon Sense…the mayor voted against this garbage….but was it because she knew the city didn’t have the money or was it because she doesn’t get her $20,000,000 aquatics center? Her vote was the right vote…but was it for the right reasons?

  38. Uncommon Sense

    Blind hogs and acorns hook up for various reasons. Judging elected officials (especially these elected officials) by what they say or think is a waste of time. I tend to look at what they actually do and how they vote. Is an elected official that votes correctly for the wrong reason better than the one who votes incorrectly for the wrong reason? Of course.

    I think this whole vote was mapped out anyway. They could have discussed it at the retreat that took place two hours away from town – while they were discussing the property tax. They could have discussed it elsewhere but if Mayor Elam wanted this grant to fail she wouldn’t have let Will Sellers vote for it. Splitting on this gave them both political cover while passing land to the YMCA. Sellers can now say he doesn’t always vote with the Mayor and Elam can say she can’t vote to give away money the city doesn’t have. Sellers can pretend to be independent and the Elam can pretend to be conservative.

    Did the Mayor “who-do” Will Sellers? Of course, but what is different about that? It is the other two Commissioners that have some explaining to do. They are not political rookies.

    How does Ray (Mr. Youth League Sports supporter) Justice explain his support of this? Those Youth Leagues have struggled to survive here for three decades before Mt. Juliet was the cool place to be. The City has granted them only a grand here and a grand there every year. Now that Mt. Juliet is the hot new residential market the YMCA comes in and mops up 1.3 million? Wow, that’s how you treat the home team Ray?

    Ed Hagerty has another problem. He has been trying cut all those ‘grand here, grand there’ local sports league grants. He tried to cut 100,000 dollars out of the City Parks Budget once. He read the Davy Crockett ‘Not Yours To Give’ speech to the City Commission insisting that it was not a proper function of government to grant money at all ! Ed has now turned out to be the ‘Eliot Spitzer’ of grant funding! He could quote Val Kilmer in Tombstone, “my hypocrisy knows no bounds”.

    Can the public really believe Ed and Ray were just saving the city from the Mayor’s 20 million dollar spending spree? Will they also believe Sellers is independent and Elam is conservative? I doubt it.

  39. Butch huber

    Good points Uncommon Sense.

    How will we ever know what kind of back-room deals were made to arrive at this place?

  40. Common Sense

    My whole issue with this thread going the way it is, is that where were you on Monday night? I have seen it here and other sites, but only one person spoke at the meeting on Monday night. Maybe you called or emailed one of the commissioners. Do you realize that most of the people who were at the meeting, did not live in the city limits?

    Again, I was against it until the discussion changed my mind. I sent a text message to Justice during the meeting (Don’t know if he got it or not) saying if the city is going to give them the land, give them enough that they can work with.

  41. Butch Huber

    I don’t think there is any doubt that this vote was decided long before Monday night’s meeting.

    I read the Chronicle article. Did you see how the Y is now saying that they may need two sites, one on the old MJES site and another at the beckwith road interchange? Amazing! The beckwith road interchange area wasn’t good enough until it looked like they were going to get the property at Mt. Juliet Road and Division, then all of a sudden the Beckwith Road area is a good site. Remember, although the Y does some good things, they are still a business, albeit a non-profit business. Those who work for the Y get paid and have personal motivations for what they do just like the rest of us. Just because they are a non-profit doesn’t mean that they have no personal interest. I see the statement made by the Y official that the Y may need two locations as an initial attempt to grab all twenty acres that are up for grabs…8 at the old MJES site and 12 at the beckwith road interchange. I can’t blame them, I would probably want the same thing…only the 8 acres come at a significant cost to the taxpayer.

    Seems we may need to use the homerule provisions to stop this type of thing in the future.

  42. Uncommon Sense

    Common Sense,

    I didn’t go to the meeting because it was a done deal. It was all agreed to long before the meeting.

    You are right that all the YMCA supporters came from outside the city. They always do.

  43. Common Sense

    You guys crack me up with stuff like the decision was made long before the meeting. No kidding? Do you think that any elected official in any capacity waits until the vote to decide an issue?

    The Y did not say that they may need two sites from day one. They did say that some areas have multiple locations, such as Williamson County. You should Tivo the meetings so that you don’t take things out of context. The question was something along the lines of do they see themselves growing so quickly that the 5.5 acres is not a large enough footprint to build a Y large enough to handle the needs. The response was that they may build a second building at a later date if it is needed, and the Beckwith location might be the second building. Don’t forget, they are less then 10 miles from the Y in Donelson.

    The property near the interchange might be developed into ball fields by the owner, even though the Y is not at that site. If they do, then the Y could possibly even manage those fields, or one of the local leagues. There are several options, but it is the same as it ever was here. Complaints and bad info. Not all of the supporters came from outside the city, and it wasn’t a done deal. Even the headlines on this post from two weeks ago are wrong. Commission seals deal, but the vote was Monday night.

  44. Uncommon Sense

    Common Sense,

    You may be naïve or just not able to comprehend the real problems with this Commission. I don’t mean this as a personal attack but there are real good reasons that the Sunshine Laws are in place.

    How would you know if your elected officials are swapping votes behind the scene? One will vote this way if the other will vote for another issue. It is extremely important that the citizens get to watch public business deliberated in public and not behind the scene.

    When backroom deals are cut you, the taxpayer, cannot know what is really motivating your representatives. Each individual issue needs to stand on its own and be done for the right reason – the good of the community

    I think this is just one in a series of issues being ‘vote swapped’. Why? Because Commissioners are voting against their grain and the proceedings look scripted.

    What is next? How could anyone know?

  45. Common Sense

    You’re right. We should hire monitors to police every moment of all elected officials to ensure the sunshine law is not broken. But then who would police the monitors? Or better yet, who is going to pay for it since we just spent 2 million dollars?

  46. Uncommon Sense

    This 2 million might be just one in a long series of bad financial decisions.

    Believe it on not, elected officials in other cities do not have to be monitored day and night for sunshine violations. But most cities do not repeal their ethics ordinance and pass one that basically prohibits complaints. Most cities do not run off their honest employees. There are actually cities that don’t trade zoning for acreage. Or starve their parks program in favor of gifting the YMCA.

    But this is Mt. Juliet.

  47. Butch huber

    Let’s really put this in perspective…the surveys that were sent out I believe were inquiries to find out how many people would use a Y. I wonder what the number of positive responses would be if they were to send out a survey that asked the taxpayers of this community if they support the city donating 1.3 million dollars to the Y. I would put my money on it that the number of positive responses would be less than three percent. Before the city gives away that much value shouldn’t it at least ask the taxpayers how they feel? But they won’t.

    It appears that the commission has improperly handled this vote (surprise, surprise) and will have to vote on this matter in a second reading. What would be wrong with deferring this matter until a survey could be done to see just how many people are in favor of “giving” away $1,300,000 to the YMCA?

    Can someone tell me what gives the government the right to do something like this? You see, if it is okay for them to get together and decide to give the Y $1,300,000 what is to stop them or another commission from deciding to give away $50,000,000 to another organization, perhaps an organization that Common Sense is against. Would that be okay, common sense? We can’t afford 1.3 million and they are giving it away, so what is the difference between 1.3 million that we can’t afford and $50 million that we can’t afford? It is wrong at 1.3 dollars, 1.3 hundred dollars, 1.3 thousand dollars and 1.3 million dollars, just as much as it is wrong at $50 million. Just because it is a decent organization doesn’t change the fact that it is wrong to give away taxpayer money.

    I will ask it again…can anyone honestly and intelligently justify to me how it is moral and ethical for elected officials to give away our money? This is not a rhetorical question…I am being sincere…I just don’t get it.

    I know that I said that if they can’t stop the mayor from giving away 20 million that this is the better alternative, and I stand by that, but I still don’t understand how it is right to do this.

    I am sure that if 5 other people were on this commission and they were going to give away a bunch of money to an organization that Ray, Ed and Will were not in favor of supporting they would be up in arms…(For the record, I am not against the Y, I have no bone to pick with the “Y”, and “If” they are going to give away public money it is not such a bad thing that the “Y” receives some of it….I just think that the government should not be in the business of giving money away.

  48. common sense

    Butch, not only are you a backseat lawyer, now you look like a backseat civics teacher. It passed the second reading. It is a done deal.

    I have an idea. You believe less than three percent of the city would use the Y, and you are willing to put money on it. Instead of putting money on it, why not get involved before something happens instead of whining about it later? I was against it until I saw all of the people that were at the meeting for it. That and the discussion changed my mind, and not all of those people were from outside the city.

    If you still want to put money on it, why not donate the money you spend on internet access to a local charity and stop posting altogether? Of course, we will probably still have two years before the Y opens and the numbers come in to listen to this…

  49. Bobby Franklin

    Common Sense,

    Butch is right about this. The City Commission still needs to pass it on second reading. TCA is pretty clear:

    TCA 6-20-215, (d) says: No ordinance making a grant, renewal, or extension of a franchise or other special privilege, or regulating the rate to be charged for its service by any public utility shall ever be passed as an emergency ordinance. No ordinance shall be amended, except by a new ordinance.

    Their amendments forced this to become a new ordinance. A new ordinance would require two readings; Monday night’s being the first.

    I told Mt. Juliet City Attorney Holleman Tuesday about this procedural error. The Commission simply needs to vote on it again (without amending).

    It is surprising that so many staff members and elected officials did not catch this. This very basic ordinance procedure has been followed many times by this Commission in the past.

  50. butch huber

    Common Sense,

    Who is the backseat lawyer?

    Can anyone tell me why liberals feel they should have their say but want to stop conservatives from being able to have theirs? I mean, anyone who has been following the posts on RadioFree should see by now that I encourage Common Sense and Ray Justice to post all they want to, yet they want to try to stiffle me. It’s as if they don’t want public discourse, but rather just want to be able to post their opinions.

    Common Sense: You posted “Butch, not only are you a backseat lawyer, now you look like a backseat civics teacher. It passed the second reading. It is a done deal.” Unless the commission disregards TCA 6-20-215 (Which wouldn’t surprise me at all, they haven’t seemed to care about following the law on other matters, what would make me think they would start now?) it isn’t a done deal and it hasn’t had a second reading…who is the backseat civics teacher? Common Sense, do you have the honor and integrity to come back and admit that you are wrong? I doubt you do.

  51. Common Sense

    Butch, they didn’t follow procedure and you continue to whine. So what else is new in MJ? Even if they bring it up again, what will be the difference? Do you plan to start a petition to voice what you believe to be the true opinion? Do you plan to go to the meeting and use your 3 minutes? Have you called Will since he is your commissioner? Have you called Elam since she represents all of us? I don’t know what you have done on this issue, but I do know what I have seen in the past, which is nothing more than throwing out accusations of everything being illegal and a lot of internet whining.

    You say you are a conservative. After reading some of your posts, I say you buy into conspiracy more than anything. When you throw out the accusation that the census is an inquiry to see how many people will use the Y, which is posted above and no need to dispute what was written, then you make yourself look foolish. Even though the commission didn’t follow procedure, which they have done numerous times now, including Franklin’s right to speak, Bradshaw’s right to pull one piece of legislation out of a bill, and yes even this, have they gone back and fixed those issues? They might in this case, but if history tells us that Butch will continue to complain, it also tells us that the commission won’t fix mistakes.

  52. Butch huber

    Common Sense,

    No, I don’t plan to start a petition…I don’t intend to use my 3 minutes…I don’t plan to go to the meeting…I haven’t called Will Sellers or the Mayor…no it won’t make a difference if they bring it up again…yes, I will continue to complain…the accusations that what they do being illegal are correct…and if you will notice this site is becoming more and more popular…I am a conservative…and even if I were a conspiracy theorist it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a conspiracy…what “bill” are you talking about? I didn’t know that the commission for Mt. Juliet passed “bills”…I thought they passed resolutions and ordinances…I guess I just learned something new. Who is the fool? Yes, I will continue to complain when I see something going on that shouldn’t be going on…and just like history tells us…you will be right there to suck up to the commission…just like usual.

  53. Common Sense

    Butch,
    Sorry for using the word bill instead of resolution. I’m sure if it were illegal to make a mistake, you would have sent TBI a letter concerning this by now… Reread the posts, I think they speak for themselves and there are plenty of issues where I have disagreed with the commission. Thanks for being honest though. I appreciate when someone who does nothing other than whine, spells it out. As far as this site becoming more popular, it seems to be just a couple of us posting…

    Uncommon Sense,
    Thanks for pointing out that when a grant resolution is amended, it needs to have a second reading after the ammendment is made. Obviously I didn’t know that . . .

  54. Butch huber

    I guess “whine” is the new buzz word…I suppose your philosophy is that if you say that I “whine” enough people will begin to adopt that perception…good luck with that one.

    Common Sense, you are the most critical person on this site…so when someone points out your blunders you shouldn’t be surprised…its called sarcasm…right? Isn’t that how you talk…sarcasm?

    Common Sense…could you help me understand this statement that you made.
    “I appreciate when someone who does nothing other than whine, spells it out.” What is that supposed to mean? You complain about how poorly written the finding in the first complaint against Hatton Wright was and yet you write sentences like that? You use the words “Legislation” and “Bill” to describe what the commission is doing…and you want to find fault with the investigator? Hmmm. You use the word “census” to describe the survey that the Y sent out to determine the level of interest the community has for a Y in Mt. Juliet and you want to find fault with someone else? You constantly take things out of context, whether on purpose or not, and you want to criticize others? You are constantly wrong about what you post and you want to put others down for standing up for what they believe? You sir are a gnat and that is about all you are. You offer nothing except an annoyance to others.

    Common Sense, I have done a heck of a lot more than you to try to fix things in this city…all you do is post inane statement after inane statement on this site and then you act as if your are brilliant; so much smarter than everyone else…when in reality you are nothing but a little man with very little substance. I play you again and again to keep the posts going and you aren’t even smart enough to figure out that you are being played. Haven’t you notice how few posts happen when I am not posting on this site? Then I post something that I know will draw you in and then you and I start at it and the posts start flying and the hits on the site soar. I figured that out early on so I have been playing you ever since. You are a joke!

    BTW…there are many, many people who tune in to this site…they just don’t post. As I said once before…I was beginning to believe that, in order to keep things interesting, I was going to have to post as an alter ego under a pseudonym…then you came along…thanks for being who you are Common Sense…you make it easy to keep things alive and interesting. You give me opportunity after opportunity to drudge through the happenings in this city to keep them in the forefront of everyone’s mind.

    Common Sense, you wrote:

    “Uncommon Sense, Thanks for pointing out that when a grant resolution is amended, it needs to have a second reading after the ammendment is made. Obviously I didn’t know that . . .”

    Wow…was that common sense admitting that he was “wrong”? Miracle upon miracle! Could the great common sense be mortal after all? Amazing!

    Common Sense…don’t you realize that the position you take against what I am trying to accomplish puts you at odds with law? I guess you would rather let the commission do whatever they want…even if innocent people get hurt.

    For the record you ninny, I sent an e-mail to the Governor who forwarded it to the TBI. The TBI stated that unless the district attorney was willing to prosecute there was no sense in conducting an investigation. Nobody of authority (Outside the city attorney who was obviously protecting the mayor) has said I am wrong…in fact, there have been people of authority that have said that I am right, they just lack the will or desire to do anything about it. And no, Common Sense (Using that pseudonym for you is quite an oxymoron or contradiction.) I am not worried about contacting the TBI about little ol’ you. You are obviously too petty and shallow to understand the depth of this situation and the gravity of what is going on….but then again trying to explain it to you is quite the waste of time, you just can’t grasp it. The only reason that I even communicate with you is for amusement purposes and to keep the posts going…you see, your little quips and barbs provide me opportunity after opportunity to post about what is going on and the more I point out what these yahoos are doing the more people will remember it come election time…which is how the district attorney said that it should be handled….through votes. So, you see, I am doing my best to use the system as instructed…I would ask you if you see anything wrong with that, but then I don’t really care what you think…I care what rational people who actually have common sense think.

    But keep posting Common Sense. You are making quite a name for yourself…a name that I wouldn’t be proud of I assure you. The more you post the more you prove just how abnormal you really are…so post away.

    Oh, and you can save the rhetoric about how your friends talk ill of me…even if all three of your friends don’t like me I don’t care.

  55. Common Sense

    Butch Huber for Mayor! Please run Butch, we need you. We need you to get beat so badly, and there is no doubt that would would lose. And by the way, I doubt Elam can win again, but you sir, need to run!

    If you run, I will put up $500.00 towards campaign signs for you, if you announce in the next 90 days and run until election day. No pulling out. If you pull out of the race for any reason, you pay it back. Why would I do that? I would consider it entertainment dollars. Deal?

    Run Butch run!

  56. Butch huber

    Why don’t you run, Common Sense? You seem to think you have all the answers and you think you are so smart.

    We could count all four votes you would get, you and all three of your friends, very quickly and then we could really have a good laugh.

  57. John Reitz

    I think what we all agree on is the city has lost it’s
    integrity (if it ever had any). I’ve heard from past employees and present employees that the city needs
    a deeper cleaning. The commissioners are tired of
    hearing this mainly because they are part of the problem. You seem to always take the view of the accused. I know what the truth is and I stand by that truth. Why do people lie? is it just part of politics?
    Do you protect the city at all cost even if it is to lie?
    I know I’m speaking generally but I hear these people
    claim christainity and then ignore the just when they call out. You pick your friends over the truth.
    I know all will be revealed soon, but why do people take things to the limit thinking they will get away
    with something? They try to find ways to cover up
    instead of speaking the truth. I’ve been told by a
    commissioner that these women who work and have
    worked for the city are idiots, liars and that the police
    dept. will straighten one up when she works
    there. What arrogance, and how shameful.
    And then call themselves Christians.

  58. common sense

    Good points John. I ‘ll let Butch’s comments stand on their own merit and unless he starts talking about building a fallout shelter again with tax dollars, I will let him have his site back. Either way, my offer to his campaign stands.

  59. Butch huber

    The only way to fix this city is to elect a new commission. Then and only then can an effort to straighten up the rest of government be effective.

    Farewell, Common Sense….thanks for the laughs.

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