Headlines from The Chronicle, July 30, 2008

We think the cover is inflammatory

We think the cover is inflammatory

How many homes are safe from fire in MJ?
[the city held a pre-emptive press conference at city hall to get their side of the story out before Channel 5 could air their investigation.]

City finance director resigns, claims “Life is short”
[according to her resignation letter, finance director Kim Vollet, who has been on the job for less than a year, based her decision on members of the community who make it difficult for city staffers to do their jobs. Hmm… Whatever could she be talking about?]

Who’s the latest person to join the mayoral race?
[hint: he’s run, unsuccessfully, before]

Other news from the commission meeting: Ordinance requiring future police chiefs and city managers to live within the city limits passed by a vote of 3-2
[If this was an important issue to this commission, why didn’t they make new Police Chief Garrett agree to live within the city limits?]

– Publius

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24 Comments

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24 responses to “Headlines from The Chronicle, July 30, 2008

  1. Butch Huber

    Mr. Robertson read the portion of Ms. Vollett’s resignation in the last commission meeting where it said ‘Vollett based her decision on members of the community who make it difficult on City staffers to do their jobs”. First off, let me say that I believe that I am certainly at least “one” of the people who Ms. Vollett is speaking of in her letter. However, the problem I was having with her and Mr. Robertson was that they “weren’t doing their Jobs”.
    Turned out I was right about practically, if not everything, that I was taking them to task over regarding the budget and the finance department and they were wrong.
    I am now digging into why city employees all of a sudden are shouldering the burden of insurance fees that have skyrocketed this year.
    I hope more and more people begin to take this government to task for the things that they are doing that they shouldn’t, and the things that they aren’t doing that they should.
    This government has the wrong attitude regarding citizen involvement. Commissioner Justice once stated that “most people, if their toilet flushes, think government is working right”. That statement greatly offended me, but after some quiet reflection I realized that the reason that statement bothered me was that it was all too true. I have made it a point ever sense to ensure that I play the role of “citizen” in the political process, a role that I feel is at least equally as important as any elected official.

    Mr. Justice may still be able to say that “Most” people think government is working, however, this person is of a different opinion.

    I have watched over the past year as employee after employee of this city have ben harmed by the nefarious and sinister actions of elected officials, as well as those of people of power. The threats in the tape recording of Mr. Keel are proof that the wrongs are still being committed against them.

    I wonder if the city leaders have realized that that tape is damning evidence against the city and that any person who was threatened could easily file a hostile work environment suit against the city. A public figure cannot threaten retaliation against a public employee if that employee exercises their federal and state right to contact the media if they feel that some wrong has been committed. That is clearly against the city personnel manual and against every public policy from Mt. Juliet to the United States government.
    This government doesn’t know it is out of control, it thinks it is right and the public is out of control. The evidence of things that are coming out proves what I have been saying all along, “government feels that the people are there for it, not the other way around”.

    The things that are coming out are embarrassing for the public, they are certainly not comfortable, they are detestable, they are deplorable, and they are certainly unpleasant…however, they are going to be good for us in the end.

  2. Common Sense

    Audio from the meeting without being cut down to air on a newscast. listen and make a decision for yourself.

  3. Joe Fleenor

    Can Jim Bradshaw ever win the Mayoral election? I mean, really, can he?

  4. Lex Luther

    Here are the results from the 2004 election from the Wilson County Election Commission website.

    CITY OF MT JULIET: MAYOR

    JIM BRADSHAW 1,679 / 23%
    * LINDA ELAM 3,469 / 47%
    FRANK HENDERSON 1,805 / 24%
    MITCHELL QUEENER 444 / 6%
    WRITE-IN 17 / 0%

  5. Lori Ruotolo

    The city probably has me on record as being a trouble maker as well. I know Beazer does!

  6. Butch Huber

    I believe Jim Bradshaw being in the race ensures Kevin will win. This is especially true if Linda decides to run.
    I believe the numbers will look like this:

    Bradshaw/Elam/Marlowe=42%
    Mack=58%

    Marlowe should go race against Hagerty. It is the only way he ends up on the commission with Mack in the race. (not saying anything bad about Marlowe…its just that Kevin has a proven track record in Mt. Juliet.)

    If Marlowe were to run for Hagerty’s seat, the mayoral race would be as follows (in my opinion):

    Mack = 78%
    Elam/Bradshaw = 22%

    Those are my predictions.

  7. Madi

    I heard the city has an ordinance that states vinyl covered homes that are less than 20′ from the lot line are required to have a 1 hour rated firewall. Not only the garages are a problem but the side walls because of spreading to another house. I’m concerned if a home is on fire beside me in the night, it could set my house on fire, smoke detectors could be to late. The city authoritys really need to take a look at why this happened instead of threatening employees.

  8. Unknown soldier

    The more we pray for the city the more poison
    keeps coming out.

  9. Common Sense

    Madi,
    The ordinance is just what you heard, and there are homes that do not compy with that ordinance as well. The difference is that without taking the vinyl off of the side, the city would have disputed the issue. There are some homes that have 1/2 inch non fire rated drywall on the inside of the homes, but a 1 hour rated board on the outside. There are others that have 1/2 hour on the outside and 5/8 on the inside for a 1 hour total. If you have all brick, it doesn’t require the extra protection. We knew the issue existed, and the only way to prove to them (since they obviously didn’t go and look for themselves after I gave them the addresses) was to show the 1/2 inch in the garage ceilings if the home has habitable space above the garage. There was nothing to dispute on those.

    One other note, the building code that the city operated under prior to the existing code, had the same requirement. They haven’t done any research on this, and are only looking at homes that were built after the current code was adopted. The old code was the Southern Building Codes section 704.1.1

  10. Madi

    So why is the city not looking into this? What about the previous homes? What are they trying to cover up? It seems to me that they are not concerned with the familys in all of these homes. From my view, they just want it to go away. If you gave them this information, why did they purposely ignore you? It seems like they have alot of explaining to do…

  11. Common Sense

    They say they are looking into this, but I have doubts.

    If they are looking into this, for weeks as they claim, why did they only talk to the building inspectors and tell them to make sure to check for this problem in homes they are inspecting the day after Ch5 took them to see what they had found? Remember, they claim to have been looking into this for weeks prior to that.

    Why are they saying that this only effects homes built after the current code was adopted, when the previous code had the same requirements? They haven’t even looked to see.

    Why did they say the concerned citizen who brought this to their attention gave them documents that had inaccuracies in them, when in fact, they were only given addresses, and they wrote them down on a note pad. No documents were given to them.

    Why? Because they while they may be looking into this, it definitely is not something they have put much effort into, and certainly not a proactive response as Sellars said. The only proactive response I have seen was when they called the media themselves.

    Why did they ignore what I gave them? I guess they thought I would take them at their word, but after one week, I sent an email asking if they had made any progress. When they replied with not really, I sent another email saying I was on the way over to fill out a public records request on the addresses I had given them. A week after that, they responded again and said they had done site visits, measured, and found no violations. Again, I guess they thought I accept that and move on. What they did not count on was that I had gone to the homes and actually spoke to homeowners, and took measurements. At that point, what other option was there but to work with the media? For what it is worth, I did not contact the media, but a builder did. The door to the room was open when the audio was made, and no, I was not in the building. It was in my mailbox on a USB drive when I got home from work.

    I realize a lot of people believe this was motivated for other reasons, but what would I have to gain from this? My home is not effected by this, I didn’t know anyone who was, and it is a HUGE matter of public safety! What other motivation is needed other than public safety?

  12. Living South of 40

    All very good points but the fact of the matter is that this town is completely out of touch with reality regarding fire protection in general.

    The issue with fire walls for instance.. making a builder install higher level of drywall to protect homes with vinyl siding to prevent extension. Great thought, but requiring this type of drywall and NOT higher rated windows deams it useless. For those of you in the fire business, how many have seen a fire burn through a wall and the window be intact. Path of least resistance.. windows fail a lot faster than a solid wall.

    The issue in town with regards to fire protection is that people want to put band aids on the fact that the level of fire protection here is minimal and unsafe. They want to talk about fire walls and drywall in garages, but don’t want to address that you have sub-par fire protection in town and why is that? If the people are worried about 10 minutes or so time to “escape” their homes thats great, but what are you going to do at 2:00 in the morning and you awake to your house on fire and very little firefighters show up to save a family member.

    Common sense.. you are bringing up valid points and I applaud you for your actions to bring to light this issue. As a Firefighter from what I read, you need to paint the whole picture. If the residents want the true story on fire protection, stop by an introduce yourself to the 4 firefighters at Station 3 in Mt. Juliet who protect the whole town on a daily basis. The city has stepped up and is working to build a volunteer force to help the men and woman of WEMA, but this is a baby step as to what is needed in MJ, but something is better then nothing. If we are talking about funding public safety, you need to remember public safety is not just the Police Dept.

    .

  13. The Truth

    What I have read is an inspector failed a house
    for fire codes and then their suppervisor passed
    it anyway. Isn’t that criminal?
    Wake up people.

  14. Common Sense

    South of 40,
    You thought this might be political in your last post, so hopefully by now you realize it is not.

    The code is not perfect, but it is better than nothing, just the same as a group of volunteers is a start.

    I think you have the city version of this. Maybe even some inside info…
    Care to share?

  15. Common Sense

    The truth,
    I can prove that as well. I have that address! I have been to a home that was passed even though it was failed. So why hasn’t the city found that? Again, they aren’t looking into this anymore than they care what the audio had on it.

  16. Living South of 40

    Common Sense,

    That is true the code is not perfect. Codes are created and amended by people who work in all areas relating to that particular area. So for instance the IFC (International Fire Code) wasn’t written by just Firefighters, its was made up of builders, developers, etc.. NFPA same thing. Most of the codes out their are directly a result of disasters.

    What I write comes from personnel experience in the business and asking questions, i.e. the fire wall issue. No insider information there, just know the right questions to ask.

  17. The Truth

    Doesn’t TN have someone outside the city to
    investigate what the city refuses to.
    Should we bring in the Governer on issues of public safety? No one is above the law.
    Remember we the people.

  18. Butch Huber

    The Truth, good luck getting any regulatory or prosecutorial authority to weigh in on what goes on in this city. I have been at it for a long time, nobody of authority says that I am “wrong”, they simply won’t get involved.

  19. 1 Voice of the Brotherhood

    Butch, with all your past “challenges” you know better then anyone that one.

    Truth, that is a good thought, but I have to agree with Butch. The state doesn’t seem to want to get involved unless they have money invested.

  20. Common Sense

    There is no investigation into this, and the only one that has been done was what you saw on TV. Want one done? Call and tell the five people who vote to get one done. The only other option is to file an ethicvs complaint, and that’s more of a nightmare than the code is.

    For the TBI to get involved, it has to get to a point where they can. The city would have to investigate it to that point, and they never will.

    Don’t worry, there is more to come.

  21. The Truth

    I think this is different when public safety is the issue. Also when the public is being informed
    outside of Mt Juliet. I think this is the time for all of us to inform all our neighbors. There is more than just one this time, there are many, even us builders have had enough.

  22. Madi

    I called the building codes and the lady said the old codes were the 1999 Standard Building Codes; Common Sense, are you saying that homes that were built 1999 and after should have complied to the same code? Whats going on that the city cannot protect our homes by code and they constantly fight the county for a fire department? It looks like they are more concerned with parks, etc. than they are the lives of the people in their home town.

  23. Butch Huber

    To all,

    Folks, as I have been saying all along, there are innocent people involved in what has been going on who have already been hurt. Having a house go up in flames is a terrible thing, something that shouldn’t ever happen to anyone, but there are people who have had careers and reputations go up in flames because of the nefarious and sinister actions of one or more public officials.
    The cost of a good home? $200,000 to $750,000. The cost of an income? (Spread over 20 years) $1,000,000 to $2,000,000. The cost of having your reputation ruined? Priceless! The loss of a loved one due to a fire that could have been prevented? More than priceless…how can you put a value on it?

    Your feeling the need to be involved is good, but please don’t limit your involvement to be nothing more than the public safety issue, make it be about the bigger picture…which is we need a government that is for the people “all of the time and in every way”!

    Wrongs need to be righted…talk to your friends, talk to your neighbors, send letters and e-mails to the Governor. Vote for Mack! Vote the others out! It is time for us to have a new government.

  24. 1 voice of the brotherhood

    Madi,

    That is partially right. If particular code is adopted, i.e. the 1999 code, by the city it in enforced until a new version is adopted by the City. The building code that was adopted in 2006 was the 2003 Building Code.

    One thing that most people don’t know is that building code for residential structure, “houses” basically are enforced until the home is completed. Once the home is turned over to the homeowner the city really cannot do anything code wise to you unless you make some modifications to your structure. The main place where codes enforcement is done is on commercial buildings since they should be inspected on a yearly basis. Currently I believe that the building inspections are being done, but no fire inspections since there is no fire marshal or fire inspectors (by title) in Mount Juliet or the County

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