Headlines from the Mt. Juliet News, August 20, 2008

Officials scramble to ease MJHS traffic, safety issues
“. . . there’s not enough road and too many cars,” officials lament.

Bobby Hamilton Racing Facility could be new police headquarters
City Manager to research possibility
Mayor Elam is quoted as saying, “We’re going to have to be creative. We would have to pay for it over time. Representatives for the facility have indicated they could self finance it for us.”

Editorial teaser
It’s time for candidates to debate property tax
It seems that MTAS (the Municipal Technical Advisory Service, which is part of the University of Tennessee) did a “Comprehensive Management Review” of the City of Mt. Juliet – and in their report they recommended that the city educate the public and implement a property tax. The Mt. Juliet News apparently thinks this would be a good idea as well. More on this later. . .

City explores using inmate ‘trustee’ to oversee animal control facility
City Manager Randy Robertson said he’s been talking with Sheriff Terry Ashe about partnering to find an appropriate inmate to use community service requirements and live full time at the facility. Will the trustee be locked up at night, or have his own exercise run?

[Wilson County Planning] Commission looks for more information before granting zoning request
This is the 523 acre site on the southeast quadrant of the new Beckwith Road/I-40 Interchange

County Finance Committee recommends 20-cent property tax increase to full commission
The increase would be earmarked for county schools. According to the story, the “status quo” school budget included roughly $7.5 million more than last year’s. A $7.5 million increase was “status quo?”

– Publius

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13 Comments

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13 responses to “Headlines from the Mt. Juliet News, August 20, 2008

  1. Looking Toward The Future

    Oh no, not the T word…TAX. Not something the politicians want brought up right before election time.

  2. Chris Sorey

    County elections were two weeks ago and two years from now…

  3. Butch Huber

    I am sorry, but as long as this commission feels that they have enough money in the budget to give away a $1.3 million dollar gift to the YMCA, there has to be enough money in the budget, that just comes down to simple logic.

    The problem we are facing isn’t an income problem, it is a spending problem and a lack of negotiation skills problem. The problem that we are facing is that Mayor Elam worked her magic and gutted the leadership of this city and replaced it with one that will do her bidding.

    What happens when the new commission gets in place? Will they like Mr. Robertson and his leadership style? Will they leave things as they sit now or will there be changes?

    The problem we are facing is that we have a novice running this government during a very crucial time. It was projected that there would be difficult times financially, however, when you add to that the inexperience of Randy Robertson at this job, and the uncontrolled spending of this commission, you develop a crisis.

    The problem we are facing is a loss of confidence in this city commission by the movers and shakers in this market.

    The problem we are facing is lack of vision and direction.

    Folks, there are many, many problems that we are facing, but a lack of income shouldn’t be one of them. In just a very short time this city has doubled its income without doubling its obligations. That should not lend itself to a financial crisis…but somehow it has. There are two other possibilities: one possibility is that someone has stolen a lot of money from the government…the numbers don’t show that, but I could be wrong; The second possibility is that they are spending money too quickly…the likely scenario.

    A property tax for Mt. Juliet would collect in one year about the same amount as the $1.3 million the commission is trying to give to the YMCA…tell them to stop the effort to give away $1.3 million of tax payer money before we even begin the debate over a property tax…please!

    If I were a candidate I would study the budget. It is clear that the others don’t do that because they passed a budget that contained errors to the tune of $4,000,000! Ray Justice said, “I’m glad we aren’t passing the 05/06 budget”! He was there when that budget passed, shouldn’t he have realized the numbers in Mr. Robertson’s budget were wrong?

    My advice to the candidates….study the budget! Hang that budget around their necks like an anchor! Sound bite “Linda Elam refused to listen to a citizen when he was telling her that the budget contained egregious errors. Turned out the citizen was right. Is this the kind of leader you want for Mt. Juliet?” Sound bite; “Ray Justice ignored a citizen when he was trying to get the city manager to correct the budget workbook so that the numbers were correct…turned out the citizen was right, the budget workbook was wrong! Is this the kind of leadership you want for Mt. Juliet”? Final tag line, “when the chips were down and the budget was tight, and just after a city employee stole money from the city, this commission chose to ignore evidence of obvious errors or abnormalities in the budget workbook rather than face the embarrassment that they missed the errors themselves…that kind of leadership is not what you need when you are in a budget crunch.”

  4. standandfight

    You mean a $2 million plus gift. Don’t forget the debt forgiveness part. You miss the point. We are now under a dictatorship. That’s what leadership by intimidation really is. Sure, we elected this crew out of apathy, contentment, and lack of information. And look what we got– leadership with a superiority complex that renders them laughable. Then same leadership still buys votes of the people through visions of Mayberry and “morning in Mt. Juliet.” We should all just accept our “Dear Leader” like the North Koreans and smile and go on. After all, she’s friendly at gatherings and parades and sounds nice.

  5. Lex Luther

    I heard Michael Vick was transferring into the Wilson County Jail in hopes of landing the Mt. Juliet Animal Control gig.

  6. Glen Linthicum

    On a Dog day afternoon maybe?

  7. Butch Huber

    Folks,

    It may be time to re-charter this city.

    I recently had a conversation with the city manager, Randy Robertson, during which he was saying that I should draw a line in the sand and move on. We were dealing with my concern over the past injustices and inequities that have occurred in this city and his suggestion was that I draw a line in the sand and move on.

    I have a hard time with that logic, and the biggest reasons are as follows:

    1) When a person commits an act that becomes public knowledge, and that act is inappropriate and/or unlawful, and they are allowed to get away with it, the end effect is that they have a new learned behavior and there is a precedent for future bad behavior on that person’s part, and any future people in the same position, to be overlooked. In other words, why not do it if there are no ramifications for having done it?

    2) The wrong doesn’t get righted. People have been harmed by politicians in this city, in fact, we all have suffered because of their inequity. We are all paying the price through lost opportunity and slowed growth, and we will soon be paying for the lawsuits that have been filed, of which I believe there are currently three.

    However, there is an element of truth in what Mr. Robertson has said. Perhaps it is time to draw a line in the sand. However, how that line is drawn and where is up for grabs. You see, I don’t believe this city has a chance as long as this current administration has a remnant on the board of commissioners.

    Take for instance the recent debacle with Will Sellers. That little tirade he threw is going to haunt him from now on unless he clears it up. What he did is no small thing, it is a huge thing, and I think you will be hearing a lot more about this in the very near future. He will not get out from under this very easily because, from my vantage point, there is no way that he didn’t lie to the public in that little tirade. I could be wrong, but I just don’t see how this could have happened without his at least being guilty of lying to us. I can deal with a lot of things, but I have a hard time dealing with a government figure that lies to me.

    Jim Bradshaw is probably the most ethical of the bunch, but it is time for Jim to do something else.

    We need morning in Mt. Juliet, but I don’t want to wake up to any of these folks anymore. It is time for change in Mt. Juliet, and if that change means drawing a line in the sand, perhaps it means really drawing a line in the sand and re-chartering the city so that we can really start fresh, with a fresh set of rules and terms for the conduct of this government and with a fresh set of faces. (this is not to suggest that Kevin Mack is an old face. Kevin was very good for this city and I do hope he wins.)

    Drawing a line in the sand can mean that we go back and set things straight with those who were harmed, reconcile the things of the past so that they don’t haunt us, rid ourselves of those who would do harm, set up a new set of rules and guiding principles, and really allowing dawn to rise over this city.

    Just a thought.

  8. Chris Sorey

    Robertson would probably like you to draw the line in the sand just after the census was completed. To my knowledge, there are no charges regarding the theft of city money.

    Can anyone tell me how a person who has spent an entire career moving from one job to another frequently, as is the way the military works, can continue to use the excuse I have only been here for a short time?

  9. Lex Luther

    Chris,

    You as a County Commissioner have constituents who live both inside and outside the city limits of Mt. Juliet. In some places they live right across the street or next door.

    Why do you think the Mt. Juliet resident should pay more money for fire protection than (in many cases) their next-door neighbor? Both live in Wilson County and both pay the same taxes to fund the countywide WEMA system. Why should one owe more than the other if it costs the county exactly the same to provide fire service for each?

  10. Chris Sorey

    Lex, I will try and state this as clearly as I can. At some point, maybe you will realize that I put the numbers up there for folks such as yourself, so that you can make an informed decision. I have made it very clear the I believe the county should provide the fire protection. How hard is that for you to understand? Seriously, take me up on the lunch offer. I have the phone right here. 579-6068

  11. Glen Linthicum

    Chris,

    I think most here on this blog would prefer the county to handle fire protection. I believe that a lot of politics has gone on with this issue along with this “East vs. West” debate. There are a few on here that have seen Mt Juliet “hosed” in the past by this divide. I believe that is why so many are wary on this issue. I know that there is a solution out there to this fire debate.

  12. Wilson County School Watch

    http://wilsoncountyschoolwatch.wordpress.com/

    A blog watching and commenting on the excesses of our county school system.

  13. Builder

    Glen you never voice your opinion about the commission, who do we need to replace ? I would like to see where you stand on future government of Mt Juliet.
    You were a part of this at one time.

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