Mt. Juliet’s City Manager and City Attorney and Police Chief

Were all spotted at a hearing of the Advisory Committee on Open Government last Friday, September 5th, 2008. The topic of the hearing? The new Public Records law passed by the legislature this year – and how much local governments should be allowed to charge citizens who have the temerity to request Open Records.

The City Manager doesn’t look like he’s having a very good time.

– Publius

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7 Comments

Filed under Open Records, Public Records

7 responses to “Mt. Juliet’s City Manager and City Attorney and Police Chief

  1. Chris Sorey

    Another fitting caption would be:
    Robertson – Who let all of these people in here???

  2. builder

    I’m surprised at everyone, knowing that this city manager only worked as city manager for 8 months before hired here and he left during litigation’s against that city, that we should expect
    professionalism from him. He is not qualified for this job. Just cleaning, passing out awards and giving out 158,000 doesn’t make him right for the job. This feels like the twilight zone.

  3. Chris Sorey

    How about:

    Pssst, Andy. Hey Andy. Pssst, play dead and they won’t bother you.

  4. Butch Huber

    Folks,

    This is a very serious issue. Mr. Robertson seems hell bent on making it difficult on citizens and the media when they try to access public records and information on what is going on in this city. This is no way to run a city. I wasn’t focused on Mr. Robertson, I was focused on Linda, Ray, Ed, Will, and Jim. However, Mr. Robertson has been so abrasive and such an obstacle to the free flow of information in this city that he now has my attention.

    Mr. Robertson says that he devoted 34 years to protecting my right to public information, yet he is counting the times that I request public information. Why? What is his point? Is there a magic number of requests that one citizen can put in before they are over the limit? Suppose someone asked about where the money was going in the census issue a little sooner? Would that have been a bad thing or a good thing?

    We now have an oath of office that more closely resembles the proper oath of office because I was willing to force the issue. We have a protocol that allows the city commissioners to place an item on the agenda without them having to break sunshine laws in order to do so…who was responsible for that one? Me. They city didn’t illegally use bond funds to subsidize the purchase of the Mt. Juliet Elementary school site. Who stopped that? Me. The city wasn’t able to fire Rob Shearer the first time Ray tried to fire him. Who played a key role in stopping them then? Me. Ray Justice wasn’t able to get away with the whole “professional courtesy” debacle? Who played a key role in bringing that issue to the forefront? Me. Who stood up for Kenny Martin when Ray and his friends were trying to drag him through the mud? Me. Mayor Elam wasn’t able to get her aquatics center through the commission? Did I contribute greatly to that cause? Yes. Folks, I have been there for the past 5 years+. This isn’t personal to Randy Robertson, he is just getting in my way of finding out the truth in this city. All he had to do is get out of the way. But instead, he wants to fight me.

    I want you to really know what occurred today. Randy Robertson refused to give me access to public records because I refuse to pay a bill he worked up for the provision of information I have not requested. He can try to slant that any way he pleases, but in the end the truth is on my side.

    I asked for “all quotes for employee and dependent health insurance received by the city of Mt. Juliet from any insurance agency, broker or agent during the 2nd quarter of 2008 (from April 1 to June 30). I also asked for “copies of all correspondence and e-mails sent or received by the city manager, the city recorder, the city finance director, and the city human resources director which concerns the city’s employee and dependent health insurance from or to any insurance agency, broker or agent during the 2nd quarter of 2008 (from April 1 to June 30).
    I asked to receive scanned copies of any written correspondence & quotes and electronic copies of emails all sent to me by email.
    Finally, I asked for them to provide me with an estimate of any charges associated with preparing these records before proceeding. I asked them to please send such estimate to my email.

    Randy Robertson compiled information received as far back as December of last year and as late as the end of July (I eventually did tell Jill that I wanted information up to a certain date in July, but I certainly didn’t ask for information from the last quarter of last year and the first quarter of this year) and is trying to make me pay for that information. He never gave me the estimate of charges before he started to fulfill my request. Rather than give me the information by e-mail he had it printed out in order to run up a bill for me.

    This is what your government is up to…harassing citizens. I have a right to this information, but he has no right to harass me when I seek it. I had to stand at city hall as he effectively shouted at me about my requests for information. As if somehow lifting his voice makes him right!

    He stated very loudly, “I am going to break state law and give you the information you requested”. I immediately turned to an innocent bystander, a citizen, and asked her if she heard what he just said. She seemed astonished at what she had heard…as was I.

    Mr. Robertson was so angry at me for what I was doing that his cheeks were fluttering…he could hardly speak. He clearly was upset and seemed to be on the verge of completely losing control. Does he think he intimidates me? Is he nuts? I have been going after Linda for more than a year…she makes him look like a school boy.

    It’s obvious that he hates this site and the fact that there are bloggers out there in blogger land. But it is people like myself and Chris Sorey that are holding them accountable for what they do. They have to deal with us.

    Now, ask yourself this question. Since Randy Robertson took office health insurance costs have gone up about 38% or so, at least they had in the budget workbook. If the increase is legitimate and on the up-and-up, wouldn’t he “want” me to investigate it? I have never been afraid to come on Radiofree and admit when I am wrong. I have probably done that more than any other person on this site. I don’t want to be wrong, I want to be right. I am not trying to tell lies, I am trying to drag the truth out in the light of day. I want you to trust me. I don’t care much about what people think of my positions, but I do care that you trust me to tell the truth. If I found that there was nothing to the increase in health insurance costs I would tell you, but you know me enough by now to know that I would tell you the truth either way, so if there is something illicit about the cause of the increase you know I would tell you.

    For instance, I can’t help but say that in spite of our many problems and differences, I was impressed that Linda and Jim worked hard to get the YMCA issue pushed off until the next commission is in place. Ray, Will, and Ed showed their hand tonight, didn’t they? No more saying “I voted for this so that Linda couldn’t get her twenty million dollar aquatics center. No more saying that I voted for this so that Jim didn’t get his city swimming pool. No, they all had the opportunity to do the right thing, and tonight the only ones on that commission that did the right thing were Linda and Jim.

    Now, we aren’t going to be taking any warm showers together or anything, but they did do the right and decent thing, I can’t say the same for the rest.

    By the way, I did talk to open records office today, and while there is still the possibility that I am wrong on a couple points, there is clearly enough law behind me to vindicate me that I do not owe the city for the bill that Mr. Robertson has run up for me. I told Jill Johnson not to print my requested information to paper and I told her not to exceed five hours on my request. Beyond every other thing that is on my side of this, there is no way that they get past those two items. I told them I was not going to pay for this information before they completed compiling it, but they kept on. Shouldn’t Randy Robertson have to pay that bill?

    Folks, let me put things in perspective. There isn’t a law enforcement agency in this state that will touch this commission. The commission voted in the world’s worst ethics ordinance. An ethics ordinance that protects them from prosecution for anything more than thirty days old. The media has a hard time accessing public information. I have a hard time getting my information. Now they are trying run up bills for people who ask for information.

    Why would we dig in for information? Do you have to ask? Are you paying attention? Do you live in Mt. Juliet? Do you own a home here? Have you checked your firewalls? Are you safe? Do you remember the money that was stolen from us recently? I can’t imagine why we would possibly want public records. Remember the four million dollar, I will say it again, four million dollar error in the budget workbook? That was Randy Robertson’s fault! He blamed it on the prior administration, but it turned out to be his fault! Four Million dollars missing in the numbers and I don’t have reason to be concerned?! Are you kidding?

    Now they passed a memorandum of understanding with the YMCA. Randy says that I am wasting taxpayer money and city time with my request. Go read the memorandum of understanding…if you understand how things get done in this city and county and you know how to read agreements and contracts you will see that it is a piece of crap! I wonder how many hours of Jason Holloman’s time was spent on that jewel?

    At best the city will end up with $210,000 going down a rat hole. Luckily, it will go to the county, which in a round-about way, will still help us to a degree. If the property were owned by a developer it would be lost forever.

    Please ask yourself this question. Why would the county government accept the Old MJES site in lieu of payment on a $2,000,000 debt owed to the county by the county school board, spend about $950,000 to raze the school, then sell the land to the city for $1,050,000 when the land is clearly worth more than $2,000,000? Why would they do that? Do you think there is something going on that you and I don’t know about? Is there a wonder why I went to city hall to request a copy of the letter of intent they were to vote on tonight? Shouldn’t I have a right to know what is going on? Apparently in the land of Randy Robertson I don’t have a right to know unless I pay for information I haven’t requested that is being compiled in a format I didn’t request. You should have seen his cheeks today.

  5. Brent Dyer

    Friends,

    Sorry this is so long, I believe that it will keep your attention long enough to suffer through it.

    I found it amazing that for so long MJ’s city manager would walk right by me and my colleagues when traveling on foot past the WEMA station on Hill St. Even with us standing in the parking lot washing trucks, he kept his nose in the air and wouldn’t even speak. Suddenly all of this changed one day, shortly after my name had been tossed around to run for city commissioner for Dist. 1. I was at the station, leaving a trailer for one of my colleagues to use the next day to have his lawnmower repaired when again, here came our city manager walking along. Suddenly, he was a social butterfly and went out of his way to shake a hand and ask “how are you doing Mr. Dyer?”. After exchanging culturally acceptabe greetings, he went on his way. Two of the guys at the station on duty laughed at me and said “how did you get the time of day from him?” I replied, “It’s simple, people like that will kiss your @$$ when you go as far as tossing your name in for political office, but the fact that we are professionals who make a difference in the community, doesn’t appeal that much to him.” Oh well, we didn’t expect any different from your typical mutt.

    This is a crazy world friends when we have folks like this who sit in their office chairs, wiping their “smiles” (you know between 2 cheeks) with tax payers dollars, and have the audacity to request a raise on top of a high paying job. At the same time, they are telling us that we cannot affortd to properly protect the citizens of the community. While we are up all hours of the night treating medical emergencies and protecting property in the rain, heat, and everyday dangers of the job we do, barely making ends meet, these characters or “mutts” are planning their next move to get richer off of the people they are supposed to be working for.

    Although it is sickening on the city level, it is even worse on the county level. Last year we didn’t get anything at all for county employees while the county finance director was awarded $32,500 on top of his $80,000 in appreciation of his services. Again this year, the latest we have heard is there will most likely be no raises, etc. for county employees (with the exception of the 14% the sheriff’s got which they badly needed just to catch them up with other areas). I thought, well you know times are tough right now, if the only way we can get raises is for the county to increase taxes, then I don’t guess we really want to press the issue as we understand how it is to already struggle to keep a family fed and bills paid.

    That humbleness was lost earlier this evening. I was working my third job as a paramedic in a local ER when I got four phone calls back to back from other firefighters who had apparently just found out that the county’s finance director had again pulled his outrageous stunts and demanded a $12,500 raise or else he would quit. Ohh, too bad… c-ya later! But oh no, we need him says some of the stagnant members of the co. commission who voted for such salary increases for him last year when we were overlooked.

    So, the county finance director went from 80K/year, to 115K+/year, and now he wants $127,500/yr to manage the county’s money. The city of MJ’s city manager got $10,000 more to stay and “help” the city during his recent decision to stay or leave. As a paramedic I make a little more than some of my colleagues (trust me, we earn it), and I only make $38K/yr to run non-stop ambulance calls for 24 hours at a time, doing in the first 20-30 minutes of a medical emergency with just one or two people what it takes a room full of people to do in the ER. In healthcare, when it comes to emergency resuscitation for cardiac arrest, etc. , we all follow the guidelines established by the American Heart Association. Doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, paramedics, etc. all have to take courses such as Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, and other high speed, mentally demanding training. Not only do I take pride in the fact we do what doctors and nurses do in these situations (with fewer people and equipment), I am even more proud of the fact that myself and one or two more of WEMA’s paramedics have our intructor credentials which allow us dumb ol’ “ambulance drivers” to mentor the doctors and nurses we work along side everyday how to save lives in this capacity.

    Regardless of our training, we continue to be overlooked when it comes to being appreciated on payday. We are told, “the money just isn’t there this year” over and over, while county finance director Ron Gilbert gets his raise or else he will quit? What the heck happens if we decide to quit? I guarantee it would be eaiser for the county to replace mutts like him than it would be to replace highly qualified liscensed paramedics and professional firefighters/EMT’s such as the ones we have in this county. Unfortunately, given our sickening situation, we lost one of our best paramedics a month ago to Rutherford Co., where he was given a job making $8,000 more a year to do half the job he did in Wilson County as a paramedic and a firefighter. What really stinks is that this guy was one of the most qualified and credentialled paramedics Wilson County ever had.

    There are a few of us left that hold ourselves to a high level of professional standards for the people of this community, but every passing month, we are seeing better offers in neighboring counties while the county we had/have dedicated our services to has some officials in office who are willing to let us slip away and keep entertaining corrupted mutts with outrageous salaries.

    I say that for the money MJ is paying the city manager and for the money the county will end up paying the county finance director, we just put them on the ambulances to attempt man made miracles at two o’ clock in the morning with no sleep and with shoes on the wrong feet because your body has gone from 0-60 in 2 seconds to try and help a neighbor in need.

    This is the kind of people we have running or governments, while the people protecting us are repeatedly forgotten about. I’m sorry to vent here, it gets harder to keep the faith when these things are slammed in our faces despite our dedication. Please continue to support your local public safety people. We do what we do because we care about you, and in the end, we won’t give the taxpayers the ultimatems given by the mutts in question.

  6. Larry Whitney

    County Finance Director, City Manager, County Director of Schools.

    Sounds like we have a bunch of arrogant prima-donnas that need to be collecting an unemployment check real soon.

    Who hired them? Yes, our elected officials. They need to be tossed out first.

  7. General Public 2

    Ooowaah This is Major Colonel Randy Pinoche

    I would like to congratulate myself with this stupendous award for the building of this great ship, the Titanic. Thanks to the housekeeper Linda Lamb for such hard work, and again, great choice in sheep’s clothing, as it suits you so well.
    You all believed in me when no one else did, and for that, I will just have to give myself “yes” another award and a bonus. How about $20,000? You know, why don’t we all take a raise. Just look at how wonderful we are.

    Now to get down to business, we have got to stop all these public peons from digging in our files.”Slow em down, raise the price”. Gary Brando has almost finished his shredding and Jelly Johnson will be rewriting and backdating them just as soon as she finishes her GED. Now don’t you think she’s due for a raise, and maybe another award. I just LOVE awards. I know you all have heard that Ace Hollow-man is daring more and more people to sue the city. And I agree because we all realize that it is not our money we’re spending so we can waste as much as we please. And of course, the more we spend the bigger the budget will be next year. Or we’ll just have to find a new finance director.

    And don’t you worry about the next commissioners that might replace you, because we will continue with the awards and all the money gifts so things will stay just the same as they are right now. It’s so easy to buy people. “I got your back”.

    And lastly good news, Marty Kill and Aimless Rookie are receiving the biggest award for their fine fine acting job, you would almost think they really did care about the city, “congratulations!”

    I wish I could go on and on about myself but I hear Butch coming, and he’s looking for the TRUTH. And that folks is something we know nothing about.
    Got to run.

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