Five reasons why the Mt. Juliet City Commission’s approval of the YMCA deal is voidable, void, ultra vires, illogical, unethical, and probably fattening

The Mt. Juliet City Commission (or, more accurately five individuals purporting to be the Mt. Juliet City Commission) met on Monday night at City Hall and approved a Master Development Agreement and Lease with the YMCA for eight acres of the old Mt. Juliet Elementary School site.

The action on Monday night is ridiculous and wrong-headed to start with. The County probably won’t sell the land to the City on the terms proposed, but aside from that the City Commission has once again revealed itself to be reckless and willing to violate state law, Roberts’ Rules, and common sense.

Why Ed “Davy Crockett” Hagerty (Commissioner-YMCA) has suddenly decided to park all of his small-government principles and lead the charge to approve this ridiculous deal is but one of many mysteries.

Former Commissioner Ray “Some people just shouldn’t be arrested” Justice (Commissioner-Little League) at least can claim to have consistently supported every hare-brained scheme to build a park in Mt. Juliet that has ever been presented to the Commission.

Will “I did NOT say ‘worry'” Sellers’ (Commissioner-Linda Elam) support for the project is another mystery.

But the action purportedly taken on Monday night is invalid for at least the following five reasons:

  1. The failure to seat newly elected D1 Commissioner Ted Floyd renders any vote cast by Ray justice at the meeting void. See City Ordinance 97-03 where the terms of City Commissioners are set by ordinance to be “UNTIL the regular Federal November election.”
  2. Failing to have written certification from either the City Manager or the Finance Director that the funds are available to undertake the expenditures authorized in the ordinance renders it void. See TCA 6-22-128.
  3. Considering, on second reading, a version of the lease which restored language which had been amended out at the first reading renders the ordinance void. Mayor Elam tried to remind the Commission that they had deleted 6.1(i) and 6.1(ii) at the previous meeting by amendment. A review of the video of the October 27th meeting shows they did amend the agreement, by a vote of 5-0. Yet, the language which had been deleted at the previous meeting was still in the version of the lease that they debated and voted on on Nov 10th. Here’s what they voted on:
    111208-2344-fivereasons1.jpg
    Here’s the section of the minutes showing where the highlighted text was amended out at the Oct 27th meeting:
    ymca-lease-amendment-2008-10-27
    In spite of this, the commission considered and voted on a version of the lease where the highlighted sections had NOT been amended out.
  4. Amending an ordinance on second reading resets the consideration of the ordinance to first reading – meaning the action taken on Monday night is incomplete at best.
  5. Approving a lease with a liquidation clause that states “In the event the YMCA willfully refuses to close this Agreement by failing to enter into the Ground Lease, then the YMCA, as its sole and exclusive remedy, may be reimbursed by the YMCA for . . . actual documented costs incurred by the City . . .” may not render the ordinance void, but it certainly ought to embarrass everyone who had anything to do with approving the lease. The City Attorney, the City Manager, and the City Commission are all either grossly negligent, or incompetent, or both.

The full text of the proposed Lease and Master Development Agreement has been posted on the City Website. It’s not pretty.

The City Attorney has (allegedly) carefully reviewed this lease before submitting it to the City Commission.

The City Manager has (allegedly) carefully reviewed this lease before submitting it to the City Commission.

The City Commission has (allegedly) carefully reviewed this lease before voting on it.

Lots of egg on lots of faces.

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16 Comments

Filed under YMCA

16 responses to “Five reasons why the Mt. Juliet City Commission’s approval of the YMCA deal is voidable, void, ultra vires, illogical, unethical, and probably fattening

  1. Butch Huber

    The motion to remove 6.1 (i) and 6.1 (ii) from the master development plan was even in the minutes of the October 27th meeting! It says it right there that the motion was approved with a 5-0 vote! What am I missing here?!

  2. Bobby Franklin

    I sent an email to the City Manager, City Attorney, and Ray Justice March 11, 2008 alerting them to the proper procedure for passing a grant ordinance. I also forwarded the email to YMCA management in an effort to help resolve this procedural error. The City Commission ultimately voted on this again on second (third) reading.

    I think it is safe to say – they should know better than to repeat this mistake.

    Here is the email I sent in March. TCA section 6-20-215 (d) is very clear:

    From: Bobby Franklin
    Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2008 2:08 PM
    To: jholleman@cityofmtjuliet.org
    Cc: Ray Justice; Randy Robertson

    Mr. Holleman,

    I believe the Mt. Juliet City Commission has used the power of government to transfer public money from 100 percent of the people to a private amenity only 10 percent will use. To buy prime retail land for two million dollars and give two thirds of it to the YMCA is perhaps the worst policy this Commission has ever come up with – but even this mistake should be done correctly.

    I am attaching an excerpt from TCA regarding the proper ordinance procedure. Last night on second reading the City Commission appeared to amend an ordinance granting property to the YMCA. There were several amendments but the last one increased the land grant from 5.5 to 8 acres. That substantially increased the amount of the grant.

    The City Commission cannot properly do this on second reading with an amendment. TCA 6-20-215, (d) says: ” No ordinance shall be amended, except by a new ordinance” when referring to grants. A new ordinance would require two readings; last night’s being the first.

    The reason I bring this up is so the YMCA is not penalized at a later date. A concerned citizen could challenge the validity of this grant even after the next election. A different group of elected officials might not vote the same way on second reading – one could only hope.
    It appears to be the will of this Commission to give 8 acres of land to the YMCA.

    I personally disagree that this should be a Mt. Juliet priority but the YMCA should not suffer over a city procedure error. Anything worth doing is worth doing right – even mistakes like this!

    Sincerely,
    Bobby Franklin

    TCA Attachment:

    6-20-215. Ordinance procedure. —

    (a) Every ordinance shall be read two (2) different days in open session before its adoption, and not less than one (1) week shall elapse between first and second readings, and any ordinance not so read shall be null and void. Any city incorporated under chapters 18-22 of this title may establish by ordinance a procedure to read only the caption of an ordinance, instead of the entire ordinance, on both readings. Copies of such ordinances shall be available during regular business hours at the office of the city recorder and during sessions in which the ordinance has its second reading.

    (b) An ordinance shall not take effect until fifteen (15) days after the first passage thereof, except in case of an emergency ordinance. An emergency ordinance may become effective upon the day of its final passage; provided, that it shall contain the statement that an emergency exists and shall specify the distinct facts and reasons constituting such an emergency.

    (c) The unanimous vote of all members of the board present shall be required to pass an emergency ordinance.

    (d) 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.

  3. Sonny Griffin

    I remain appalled at the arrogantly flippant attitude shown by this commission for Federal, State and City law.

    This latest YMCA debacle is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. I have seen this commission and individual commissioners do some things in the past that were certainly stretching the law. However, this is an entirely different story.

    These commissioners have a sworn duty to their constituents to be stewards of
    their money. Protection of public funds is an essential function of government
    officials and employees.
    Sections 6-22-124 and 6-22-128 of the Tennessee Code and our City Charter provide mechanisms to insure fiscal
    responsibility in the handling of public funds. They are a written certification
    from the city manager that sufficient funds are available to pay for increased
    appropriations and a certification from the chief financial officer of the city that
    funds are available to pay for the new expenditure.
    By intentionally and willfully ignoring § 6-22-124 and § 6-22-128, the
    commissioners intentionally and willfully harmed every citizen in the city of
    Mount Juliet by taking away the fiscal protection provided in these statutes.

    The District Attorney General says that he doesn’t get involved in political matters.

    THIS IS FAR FROM BEING A POLITICAL MATTER.

    This is a matter of arrogant public servants abusing their power.

    The District Attorney should do his duty and investigate the probable criminal actions of this commission and certainly the actions of some individual commissioners that publicly scoff at the law.

  4. Butch Huber

    I have said it on this site many times now, “problems like this get worse and worse before they get better”. This commission is emboldened by the fact that no public law enforcement agency will hold them accountable for their illegal activities. They have the Chief of Police after Chris Sorey right now because he allegedly abused his access to the database that gives access to background information, but they won’t get the Chief of Police to go after Linda Elam when she abused her office so many times? How does that balance?

  5. Butch Huber

    To everyone reading this post, please contact your county commissioner and ask them to vote on Monday to put the Old MJES site up for sale at market price and end the city’s hope of making this deal happen once and for all. Perhaps the county can rescue us from the insanity that has befallen this city commission.

    I hope they do threaten the city with the prospect of having a landfill convenience center in the center of the city if the city doesn’t relax the overly restrictive requirements of this “main street overlay” deal. The darling of a zoning nightmare has cost this city from being able to market this property to tax generating entities for all too long. The county should sell this land for what it is worth. The county cannot afford to sell this land for half its value in some half-baked, hare-brained scheme to bilk the taxpayers of Mt. Juliet out of their tax money so that the city can essentially give this land to the YMCA.

    Let me ask you something…If someone came to you and said “I have 8 acres of land that I will lease to you for 100 years at $1 per year, would you need to even go look at the land first?” Sure, you would want to make provisions to protect you from additional exposures, costs, expenses and such, but wouldn’t you take that deal without even seeing the land? I think I would. I am saying that because that is what is being offered to the YMCA. I live here and I don’t get a deal like that from the city.

    I don’t agree with the government getting involved in deals like this, but if they are going to get involved shouldn’t we get some sort of break in price? They are going to charge us full price for limited access to the pool, not free, not even discounted. I wouldn’t expect to pay more than $4 or $5 per person to get into a public pool most anywhere if I were paying full price, and that is the number they are throwing around for us to have to pay for access to the pool. Couldn’t I just as easily go to the Jimmy Floyd Center for that price? It has diving boards, weight rooms, basket ball and lots of other things to do for that price doesn’t it? Where is our great benefit?

    This is nothing more than one (or more) of our commissioners trying to get in tight with the YMCA in my opinion.

  6. Lori Ruotolo

    Hi Butch,

    Just one note on your comment:

    “Let me ask you something…If someone came to you and said “I have 8 acres of land that I will lease to you for 100 years at $1 per year, would you need to even go look at the land first?” Sure, you would want to make provisions to protect you from additional exposures, costs, expenses and such, but wouldn’t you take that deal without even seeing the land? I think I would.”

    Niagra Falls – 1953 – http://www.epa.gov/history/topics/lovecanal/01.htm

    Beware the $1 deals…

    Lori

  7. Chris Sorey

    I haven’t been reading this site as much lately, but given the circumstances, I decided I should post. I will apologize in advance for the length. I hope it is worth your time.

    The land will be appraised and put on the public market in my opinion and will pass easily.

    Here are some thoughts that might lend towards why I am against selling the land to MJ as agreed in the previous resolution which has long expired.

    The land is most likely worth more than what the proposed deal is offering, and we should be good stewards of that property as well as any other property or dollars that the county has. I believe the city should do the same.

    The credit towards the land has to be paid somehow, and that will be with bond money used for the road. Bad idea. That’s like rolling your car note into your home when you refinance for a lower rate.

    The Summit Hospital idea sounds great, but it won’t happen for several reasons. They have to get a certificate of need from the state to build a hospital, or even a stand alone ER. They will not get the certificate of need, and if you want an example, look at Spring Hill.

    If they were to somehow get the certificate of need, have you ever seen a hospital on four acres? No hospital means no ER, because I seriously doubt they will be building a stand alone ER. So, what will they end up with? A building that houses a bunch of doctor’s offices and possibly an after hours clinic. The problem with that? If they lease the land from the city for a reasonable rate, they will still be on city owned land, and not charged property taxes. I pay mine, you pay yours, they should as well. If they want to bring high paying jobs to the area, there are plenty of office spaces for them to use as it is now, and it doesn’t use government money. If they want to build a building, maybe they should buy the entire 12 acres of land, and if they decide to donate a portion of it to the Y, it is a private matter.

    The old MJE land is not overgrown right now, nor does it have pig or cattle trailers parked there as some have stated recently. As a matter of fact, right after I was elected to the County Commission, I borrowed a tractor and cut the property myself, and then cut it again around a month or so ago. My brother paid for the fuel on the first trip, and Brydalski paid for the fuel on the second trip. The only trailer that has been there since I was elected was a mobile construction office. I called the company who owned the trailer. They put me in touch with the company using it, and they had it moved that day. I also asked the County Mayor to ask the Road Department if they could put the “No Parking” sign up that had been knocked down, and it was done within a few days. If there is anyone parking there now, I encourage the city to generate revenue with the use of parking tickets.

    Please don’t forget that the Y was offered property on Beckwith and they turned it down in favor of the MJE site. I strongly believe that the market should drive the Y to MJ, and I support building a Y in MJ. I do not support the federal government bail out any more than I support the local city government buying land to donate when there are serious needs that should be taken care of before wants.

    I also believe that we as a county owe the city of MJ the money for our portion of the road improvement. I am not sure where the number came from, but if $950k is the number for that portion, then we should pay it. We don’t currently have the money, but they aren’t worried about that end of the road near the school at the current time. They are however working hard on the end of the road where the development is going in near the new interchange.

    As far as what was in the papers recently, I think everyone can see for themselves what that is about. If you read that story and don’t see what it is about, please read this entire post again. That story does not change my vote, determination, or give way to any other concession.

  8. Butch Huber

    lori,

    Great story. That is the type of thing I had in mind when I wrote “additional exposures”. My point was really that this is an insane deal for the city. Almost any patch of land in the world would be worth a dollar a year if you didn’t have to worry about things like what you pointed out. Who gives such a great deal like this? Only government! Again, this is like the Federal government giving the YMCA about $300,000,000,000! Proportionately, when compared to budget sizes between the federal government and the city of Mt. Juliet, this deal from Mt. Juliet would be the same as the $300,000,000,000 deal if the feds did it!

    We need to hire the attorney for the YMCA to be our city attorney…he got a contract past all of our government wizards that has the YMCA reimbursing itself for the expenses the city incurs in this deal if the YMCA defaults on it! In other words, if they default there is no recourse for the city! We are on the hook for $200,000 if we default and we have to pay the YMCA, but if they default they pay themselves! That’s rich!

  9. Lori Ruotolo

    I have to agree. I don’t know of any good lawyer that would have accepted those terms. Isn’t Elam a lawyer?

  10. Butch Huber

    There are a few things that I believe can happen from here.
    1. We can ignore the commission and let them do whatever they want to do, violate whomever they want to violate, abuse their office as they so choose, cut deals with whatever entity they choose, break whatever laws they want to break; or,

    2. We can get a bunch of people, 10 or more, to file a complaint under the relator citizens statute to hopefully force the District Attorney General to investigate; or,

    3. Someone, or a group of people, can file lawsuit in Chancery Court; or,

    4. Someone, or a group of people, can go to the Grand Jury and ask that they open a formal Grand Jury Investigation; or,

    5. Someone, or a group of people, can file an ethics complaint against the board of commissioners, the city manager, and the city attorney; or,

    6. Someone, or a group of people, can do one or more of the things outlined in 2-5 above.

    Suing the city in court will probably cost around $5,000 or more, but it is likely that the money would be returned by the court if the plaintiff/s won. However, it is possible to have to pay the city’s cost to litigate if one/we were to lose, which would add another $5,000 to $10,000 in costs.

    This commission needs to learn a lesson. The lesson they need to learn is that they have to follow the law regarding their conduct. They adopted a new ethics ordinance, not because people were filing fraudulent claims, but because they were filing too many factual claims that the commission had to keep either censoring its own or illegally dismiss and they were tired of being put on the spot.

    If we could get about 200 people to put their name on the line as relator citizens we would spread the risk across 200 people. The downside risk for bringing a complaint of Relator Citizens would then be about $50 to $100 each (in my estimation). I would gladly put up my $50 to $100 to send this commission a loud and clear message. I don’t think it would cost us that much, because I think we would win and I think the judge would award the prevailing party court costs and attorney’s fee. However, even if we win we lose financially because the city would likely have to pay our expenses, and we are the city. But isn’t it worth it? Isn’t it worth it to send them a strong and clear signal that they simply can’t do whatever they want to do?

    Look, if we don’t send them a message they are going to find a way, somehow or another, to squander much more money on things like this YMCA deal. We have to pay for their little excursions into the abyss of political radicalism. At some point the public at large is going to have to wake up to the fact that this commission is out of control.

    If we don’t act as citizens we are sending the message to them that they have carte blanche to do whatever they choose…is that what you want? If it is, let’s keep doing the same thing we have been doing. If you don’t want a government that has carte blanche, then it requires action on your part to stand with those of us who stand against their tyranny and arrogance and lawlessness. The Law is fully on our side. Government is to answer to the people for its actions…let’s make them give answer!

  11. Sonny Griffin

    If you could help me out here, I would appreciate it.

    I thought the original plan for financing the MJES property purchase was to use the Hotel/Motel tax as the funding source.

    In the “Master Development Agreement” that was passed by the commission on Monday night, it is stated on page 4, paragraph 3 that:

    The city shall “authorize the issuance of a capital outlay note in the amount of not more than Six Hundred Thirty Thousand Dollars ($630,000.00) to finance the acquisition of the Property from the County”.

    A capital outlay note is an IOU from the city to whoever buys it. Of course, if I buy the note I expect to be paid back more than I paid the city for it.

    In other words, I have loaned the city $630,000.00 and the city will pay me back $630,000.00 plus an amount determined by the terms of the note at its maturity.

    There are several things that are fiscally irresponsible about this agreement concerning the capital outlay note. Among these are:
    1. There are no terms set forth in this agreement for the note.
    2. There is no maturity date set for the note.

    Therefore, the city has absolutely no idea what the cost of the capital outlay note will be.

    I thought it was bad enough to take the Hotel/Motel tax to pay for the property but the idea of borrowing $630,000.00 on an open ended note to finance the deal is——–(you know, I just don’t have any words here to express my disgust).

    Please let me know if I have this all wrong. I pray that I do.

  12. Butch Huber

    Sonny,

    I haven’t taken the time to read the memorandum of understanding. The only reason I picked up on the amazing error in 6.2 was because I was going over 6.1 (i) and 6.1 (ii) with someone and my eyes picked up on 6.2. However, I had the same or similar question as you have asked here. What happens if the new commission “can” close this deal with the county but they don’t because they don’t agree with the terms of the sale? What happens if they agree to the terms of the sale yet they don’t agree to the terms of financing? What happens if they agree to the sale, but then can’t get financing?

    This YMCA deal is all over the map.

  13. Butch Huber

    Chris Sorey,

    Your post here is telling. You seem to recognize that the only way that the city can pay down that $950,000 credit is by using bond money. That presents another issue. The county cannot legally enter into an agreement with the city if they know that for the city to meet the terms and conditions of that contract they would have to violate the law. To do so might get the county in hot water right along with the board of commissioners in Mt. Juliet.

    It probably wouldn’t happen, but if the city illegally uses bond funds, it is possible that the purchaser of the bond would withdraw their funds and reverse the bond purchase. I believe the bonds were purchased by Regions Bank. With the tight times and what banks are going through, they might decide to back out of the bond deal with the city to free up that capital for other things. If, and I say if because I don’t know what they will do, the purchaser of the bond (whoever that is…I do think it is Regions Bank) were to take their funds back because the city was illegally using, or intent on illegally using bond funds, how would we ever get the eastern connector road built? What would it do to the city’s rating if they were found to be using bond funds illegally? What would happen to the state money that was granted to the city for that project? What would happen to the Rights of way to build that road? How would that have an impact, and how great would be the impact, on the city and the county if that road project fell through?

    Is it really worth it for the city to work so hard to put this deal together for the YMCA?

    Let me point out another set of issues. The county has been trying to work with the city to complete the curd road reverse L project. The city keeps saying that the county is saying no to the funds from the county, the $950,000. The county, from what I can tell, has never said “no”…they have only said “not now, when you get everything together to complete that project and you are ready to start on it, and you are ready to enter into an agreement with the county over the deal, we will give you the money”. That is a long way from “no”. The county offered this land to the city in a resolution last December. The County Resolution has a sunset clause, or termination clause, that automatically terminated the offer within 60 days if the city didn’t act on it. The city didn’t pass the ordinance directing the city manager to purchase this property until March 24th of 2008, a date that was well beyond the 60 day deadline. The county kept the land off of the open market until now so the city would have the time to put the deal together and make an offer. From what I can tell, an offer has never been submitted to the County Commission. The county was offering the city this property for about half of its real value, meaning $2,000,000 instead of $4,000,000. The county is not interested in helping the YMCA come to Mt. Juliet, the county is interested in getting the road to the school built out. The city, in return for the county’s generosity, has elected to try to take that gift of land and the county’s willingness to take the payback over 5 years, and give the YMCA 2/3rds of the land for 100 years for $100. Hagerty says “we are not giving the land to the YMCA”. Well, I say that for all intents and purposes, for the people who are alive today, we are “giving” them the land. And he says that I play semantics.

    Instead of the city working very hard to help the county fix the curd road debacle, they are spending all of their energy on trying to do this deal for the YMCA!

    But to add insult to injury, after all of these months and all of the expense to the city to manipulate the law to try to make this deal work, they haven’t even taken the time to carefully read the memorandum of understanding. Had they read it carefully they would have recognized that the YMCA would reimburse itself if the YMCA defaulted on the deal. But it gets worse. The YMCA would reimburse itself for the expenses the city incurs in the deal! Under Internal Revenue Laws, you cannot reimburse yourself for someone else’s expenses. Therefore, the contract cannot be legal….can it?

  14. Butch Huber

    Having glanced over these two agreements, the ground lease agreement and the master development plan, all I can say is “wow”!

    I don’t believe the county is going to agree to sell this property to the city unless the city agrees to pay the appraised value (which hasn’t been $2,000,000 or $1,050,000 for many, many years. That property was appraised at $2.8 million years ago), however, if they even entertain the idea with any level of seriousness, I am certain that the deal can be stopped based on many factors, including the language of the ground lease agreement and the master development plan. Those two agreements give us (me) everything that is needed to kill the deal and they don’t even realize it!

    I suggest that they listen to Mr. Sonny Griffin and I and others who may have spoken up and go back and fix all of the issue we have brought forward to them. They act like we are stupid because we don’t have law degrees or accounting degrees, but where have we been wrong? They were told about the oaths of office, they disagreed, then they found out that they were in fact not administering the proper oath. They were told about errors in the budget, they disagreed or ignored me, turned out I was right. They disagree with about everything a citizen brings to their attention but then it turns out, I believe in every case so far, that the citizen has been correct. They didn’t pay attention to Chris Sorey and it turned out he was right. They didn’t pay attention to Kevin Mack, and in time it will hopefully be brought out that he was right. They didn’t listen to Bobby Franklin and in the end it may cost us seven figures because they didn’t listen. This commission has a terrible hearing problem, hopefully Ted Floyd will be able to help them learn to listen to people who take the time to become involved. We may not always be right, but it appears we have been right up until now, we have a very good batting average so far.

  15. Lex Luther

    I thought the county appraised the property before they removed the old school.

    I read somewhere that the city paid 5 dollars per square foot for right-of-way to widen Mt. Juliet Road. That was several years ago.

    There are 43,560 square feet in an acre. If you multiply that times 12 acres, and multiply that by 5 dollars, you get 2,613,600 dollars. Again, 5 dollars per square foot was paid years ago.

    The value of that land should now be well over 3 million dollars.

  16. Butch Huber

    Hey Folks,

    Thought I would spend a little time catching up. Did you watch the last commission meeting? Did you catch Ray Justice’s little rant about people who blog? It was comical in one way, but actually quite disturbing in another. It was comical in that he knows that it was largely this site that is responsible for him being put out of office. He knows that we were successful in stirring things up enough to sway enough votes to cause him to lose and Floyd to win. It was comical like the scene during the Wizard of Oz where the wicked witch disintegrates when Dorothy throws the bucket of water on her, except in this case the water was a blog and the witch was a commissioner. However, it was also disturbing because his rant about cowards who hide behind keyboards and who lurk in the shadows reveals the true heart and mindset of the liberal crowd to which he belongs.

    Did I try to enlist the law enforcement arm of our government?

    Yes!

    What was the result?

    I was told that the voters have an opportunity to fix these problems every four years. In other words, Law enforcement won’t get involved to enforce laws against public officials because they feel that we are responsible for what we get when we elect people to office…”your getting what you asked for” in other words. Never mind the fact that elected officials lie to get into office and represent themselves as something that they are not, and then, once in office, they turn around and break law after law to advance their own personal agenda.

    Did I appeal to the commission to self Regulate?

    Yes.

    What was the result?

    They ignored me.

    Did I leave it at that?

    No?

    What did I do next?

    I filed an official complaint against them all.

    What was the result?

    They illegally dismissed my complaint.

    So then did I stop?

    No.

    So what did I do then?

    I appealed to the papers to get them to look into what was happening and to report the truth.

    Did that work?

    Not really. You see, papers are hurting right now because less and less people are reading papers, and businesses know it. This makes it harder and harder for papers to survive. If you owned a newspaper and you knew you were in a declining industry, would you risk alienating the public by reporting the truth about what is going on in politics? I don’t subscribe to the notion that the public isn’t deeply interested in the truth, however, it appears the newspapers do subscribe to such foolish notions. Of course, there are other motives not to raise the ire of the local politicians when you own a newspaper as well, but I will leave that one alone for now.

    So, if the law enforcement agencies don’t work for you, and the commission won’t self-regulate, and they can get away with illegally dismissing an official complaint (oh, by the way, they were getting so many official complaints back then, complaints that were resulting in censure of one of their members, that they changed the ethics ordinance in order to make it nearly impossible for us to hold them accountable through a law enforcement angle.), and if the papers won’t print the whole truth, what else is left?

    Blogs.

    You know, all this time that RadiofreeMJ has been around, those liberals had the same opportunity we have had. They could have started their own blog. They could have started a blog and said practically anything they wanted to say. They have also had an open invitation to post on RadioFree anytime they wanted to as long as they didn’t make personal attacks against non-politicians.

    Ray Justice was posting on this site in the beginning, in fact, I encouraged him, and the others, to post on here. Ray couldn’t ever help himself. Whenever he posted on here eventually his liberalism would shine through, the baselessness of his positions would be revealed, and he, like every other liberal (to one degree or another) would resort to personal attacks. I find it interesting that he would post on here, figure out that he can’t out debate me, attack me personally, get mad and take his ball and go home, then rant about cowards on keyboards and lurking in shadows.

    You see, their attitude is much like the fairness doctrine. “If we let you talk you will make too much sense to the listening public. In order to foist our way of life on you we will need to shut you up so you can’t share ideas and ideals. We need to stop you from relating values and insights to one another. You can’t be allowed to develop your own thoughts based on facts and figures, you have to base you opinions on feelings and emotions. We want you to be forced to listen to both sides of the issues on the radio, while you only get the other side of the issues on Television, in the papers, and every other media outlet on the planet.” One of the primary means of winning a war is to control communications. Keep the enemy from being able to communicate to their troops, while at the same time control every aspect of your own communications and you will likely win the war.

    Early on, when RadioFree was first getting started, I was one of the few who were posting. I was on here constantly, going on and on about what was happening in this city. It was kind of a boring site actually. In fact, at certain times, it was so boring that I was contemplating posting under a pseudonym in the form of an alter-ego to attack my own positions so that it would appear that someone was out there attacking me. I figured that if I it appeared that I was being attacked other antagonists would show up like sharks and we could have a real fight. Then, Common Sense, Raytears, and Ray Justice showed up and started circling. Then the fun got started. They would gang up on me and attack from one angle, then two, and the three. Occasionally a liberal friend or two would join in the fight with them. We would start out debating an issue, but in every case, as we got closer and closer to brass tacks, you know, that place in a debate where one side or other will soon have to concede that they are wrong, they would start personally attacking me. I could have stopped them from having the personal attacks posted if I wanted, publius would send me their posts before they were posted so that I could request they not be posted, but I am not a coward as Justice characterizes those who blog, and I told Publius let them post, I want to reveal the heart and character of these people right there for everyone to see. Now, it isn’t fun to have nasty things said about you on a personal basis, but the result was exactly what I hoped for. You see, I knew that the next thing would be the attempt to get me to shut up, and when that didn’t work, the next step would be to try to marginalize me and ignore me, and when that didn’t work, they would have to accept the fact that I am here to stay and they will eventually realize they have to deal with me. It happened exactly as I predicted (the next step is to deal with me.) They started attacking me personally, that didn’t work, then they went on and on about how I should shut up, and that didn’t work, then they tried to ignore me, that didn’t work because you really are interested in what is happening in this city and Radiofree really is the only place you can get the rest of the news in Mt. Juliet, now, we have them talking amongst themselves in public meetings about our little blog and revealing their disdain for the public hearing the whole truth, they seem to realize that there is no way to shut us up, and because I am the loudest mouth in Mt. Juliet, they are going to have to one day accept that they will have to deal with me. Folks, we had an impact on this last election. Had Marlowe run for Hagerty’s seat, Linda, Ray, and Ed would have been off this commission. It is unfortunate that we had a four person race for Mayor, but it is what it is. She will run again in two years for County Mayor, she may even make it this time. They now know that we can impact them by using this site, it pisses them off, but they are going to have to live with that fact. They are good at breaking the law and getting away with it, but they aren’t good enough to take away our constitutional rights…Obama might be…but they aren’t.

    Go back and find one thing that I have ever said on this site that isn’t true. Print the truth and you will anger the left every time. If you can find a piece of information that I have posted that isn’t true, I will retract it and apologize for what I have said. I have never had a problem on this site with saying that I was wrong or that I am sorry when I make a mistake, and I don’t see myself changing in that regard anytime soon. So, if I am open to admitting when I am wrong, and if they have an open invitation to post anytime they want, and they have an open invitation to point out where I am wrong, and if I am always open and ready to debate them on any of the issues, and if I have never asked publius not to allow even their most nasty personal attacks against me, even as untrue and unfounded as they were, ask yourself….why do they hate radiofree so much? Is it because they know we tell the truth?

    Pssst….want to piss off a liberal? Tell the truth, you’ll make them hotter than hell!

    ps. Ray, as far as your coward remark, if it was meant for me, and because you were starring and glaring at me when you were ranting I suspect you were aiming it at me, when have you ever had to look for me? I have been right there in front of you all along. I don’t post on here under my own name because I am a coward, if I were a coward you wouldn’t know my name, I post on here because you ignored the law and because there was never any other effective thing I could do to counter what you were doing other than posting on here (it worked though, didn’t it? I mean, you are now on the outside looking in, exactly where you should be). However, if you ever want to “discuss” the issues further you have my number, you have my e-mail address, and you know where I live. Don’t mistake my humble, friendly, gentle, easy going, congenial and amiable personality for cowardice.

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