The YMCA story in last week’s Chronicle (March 5, 2008)

I know… that was last week! Deal with it!

from The Chronicle of Mt. Juliet:

YMCA land donation challenged by officials

Challenged? The quotes do sound like they’re challenging the donation. Which raises the interesting question of why elected officials would be opposed to a landowner donating land to the YMCA? Is there more going on here than meets the eye?

Dr. Kaelin’s comments were interesting. He’s concerned a) why “the city seems to be in such a hurry,” b) why is the City using $950k slated to correct Curd Road to buy land for the YMCA, and c) why is the city “cramming” the YMCA into 5.5 acres.

Commissioner Ray Justice (who represents the Little League on the Mt. Juliet City Commission) transparently hopes the YMCA turns down Dr. Kaelin’s offer and that Dr. Kaelin will then “offer the land to the youth sports organizations in our community.”

Commissioner Will Sellers (who represents Willoughby Station) said, “The Y looked at that area last year and had many concerns.”

Commissioner Ed Hagerty (who used to represent Davy Crockett and MJ penny-pinchers) said, “the old MJES site was identified as the number one site.”

Commissioner Jim Bradshaw (who represents Belinda City) said, “Mt. Juliet already has a Y – I went to the ribbon cutting already.”

City Manager Randy Robertson could not be reached for comment.

And Mayor Linda Elam is not mentioned in the article (what’s up with that?).

hmmmm…….

The question remains, “Why would elected officials challenge the land donation?”

– Publius

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2 Comments

Filed under YMCA

2 responses to “The YMCA story in last week’s Chronicle (March 5, 2008)

  1. Butch huber

    Publius,

    You asked “why would elected officials challenge the land donation?”

    Maybe it is because nobody on the commission had a chance to “Negotiate” the donation. By stepping up and offering the land the way he did he took all the fun out of it for them. What was he thinking? Now that they know that he is willing to donate 12 acres they can “Negotiate” a “donation” of much more!

  2. Butch huber

    This land donation on the part of the city represents a significant portion of the city’s annual income. I mean, this isn’t like a state government with several billion dollars in income giving away 1.3 million dollars to a non-profit (which I still would question whether it is right or moral for any government to do.), this is a city with a staff that is grossly underpaid, a city that is in dire need of new government buildings, a city in need of new roads, and a city in need of an increase in staffing numbers that is giving away 1.3 million dollars. To rub salt in that wound, someone in the private community stepped up to the plate and freely offered to donate 12 acres to the Y…and without giving that offer a chance to take form, the city approved on second reading, or so they thought, the donation of city land to the Y!

    If I had children who were attending public school I would be highly offended that the city was not taking care of the road to the school but was giving 1.3 million to the Y. If I were a member of city staff I would be outraged that the city has elected not to close my income gap but has elected to give away 1.3 million dollars to the Y. As a citizen I am outraged that the city commission feels it is within their right to give away such a significant sum, or any sum for that matter, of taxpayer money. To put it in perspective, this donation to the Y, if it were done on a national scale, would be similar to the federal government giving one private entity approximately $400,000,000,000 dollars. Imagine what would happen if we all found out that the federal government was going to give away four hundred billion dollars of our tax money to one individual private entity!

    It is unfortunate that we don’t have four commissioners who possess the courage, strength or insight to prevent the mayor from being able to craft her $20,000,000 deal without instead giving away $1.3 million.

    There should be some mechanism in the law that establishes exactly what a government body can expend taxpayer funds on and what they cannot spend taxpayer funds on. There seems to be something fundamentally wrong with taking even one cent of my money and giving it to another without my consent. If I did that to them they would call me a thief and they would have me arrested! They do it to me and call it government.
    All the while there are some 90 to 100 people who have agreed to work for you and I who have been grossly underpaid and overworked for several years, there are roads that go unbuilt, and the issue of building a new city government building goes unanswered. So what I pay taxes for isn’t being done, and what I don’t pay taxes for is being done, isn’t that misfeasance?

    The government of Mt. Juliet will be coming to the citizens asking for more money soon, and when they do, remind them of how foolish and unwise they have been with what they have been given.

    I stand by my position that it is better to give the 5.5 acres of land to the Y then to allow the mayor to give them $20,000,000, but understand I say that only because I know the other four put together are not strong enough to stop her. She would take them down like Chuck Norris against a schoolboy if the gave her a chance.

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