The Mayor throws down the gauntlet

She’s not happy that the other four Commisssioners called a special meeting of the City Commission on Monday, July 6th and met without her. At that meeting they voted unanimously to name Andy Wright as the new city judge.

The Mayor blasted the other Commissioners AND City Manager Randy Robertson a the regular meeting on Monday July 13th. Acording to stories in The Chronicle and The Mt. Juliet News, she charged that the Commission AND the City Manager had been “meddling” with the City Court and stated that she was “offended as a lawyer.”

City Manager Robertson shot back at the Mayor, “Some of the things you said are wrong.”

Later, he charged that Mayor Elam had “thrown down the gauntlet.”

Since the Mayor’s vote for or against Andy Wright as the new City Judge would not have made a difference, why was she so incensed?

Anyone have any ideas?

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19 Comments

Filed under Mt. Juliet City Commission

19 responses to “The Mayor throws down the gauntlet

  1. Butch Huber

    Come on, Publius, that question is too easy. She is incensed because they used the same kind of tactics she uses and she doesn’t like it when the shoe is on the other foot. Turn around is never fair play to the one who is being turned around on…is it?

    But the big story here is that there seems to exist a great divide in Mt. Juliet…four commissioners and the city manager vs Linda Elam…I wonder who will survive this war.

    Will Randy Robertson realize that we were trying to fix her little red wagon and that he got in the way? Will he now get out of the way?

    Randy, if you read this blog anymore, and I suspect you do, you screwed up badly when you worked so hard to protect the mayor when you first got to Mt. Juliet. It wasn’t about you, it was about her. You made this about you by the little stunts you were pulling to blame everything on the prior administration and by trying to block public records requests. I wrote on this site that you would need us, and you will, in my opinion, soon find out just how true that statement was. Now that you have been in Mt. Juliet long enough to know which end is up, and now that you have infuriated the Mayor, I suggest you take as much cover as possible in those who want to see order and justice in this city. Lift the iron curtain in this city and expose everything for everyone to see while you still have time. The last group of people who defied the mayor are now on the outside looking in, unless that is where you want to be I suggest you start mending fences and lift the iron curtain soon.

  2. Perry Mason

    “Offended as a Lawyer”? I suppose it takes an above average offense to offend a lawyer.

    I wonder if it takes less to offend a publicly censured politician?

  3. Paul Deyo

    This story is almost funny.

    I also notice from this week’s Chronicle that she is still ‘running’ the Planning Commission. The Town Center Overlay would have survived the intended demise had it been voted on last month, but the city attorney stepped in so that a vote would be postponed until Madam Mayor and the developers’ best friend on the PC could get their votes in. With the approval of a bid for the MJE property accepted by the county (surprise!) we can expect the quality of the built environment to start taking baby steps backwards.

    Speaking of which, the road through Paddocks is now open. The store layout is a major change from the original plan and was supposed to come before the Planning Commission but to my knowledge it never did (Ms. Keylon, are you reading this?). It features small store spaces instead of mini-anchors. So instead of Barnes and Noble, Academy Sports, etc, we will likely see a typical WalMart style strip center: nail salon, thrift store, carry-out pizza, and predatory lender. The dollar store is already there. Nice job, city hall. Mayor- $1000.00 campaign contribution, Mt. Juliet citizens- 0.

  4. Butch Huber

    Paul, you are almost there…Mayor-$1,000 contribution, 8 acres of prime land stolen, and who knows what else, Mt. Juliet citizens-0. (I guess Mt. Juliet citizens-0….I think we win on some level here, don’t we?)

  5. Paul Deyo

    We are not on the same page on the so-called “stolen” land. What Mt. Juliet will end up spending on new police officers and other social costs generated by this project will make an 8-acre land donation seem like a drop in the bucket. I guess we could say “come on in and do what you want and take your money out without giving anything back to the community”. Then we will be Antioch. That is the direction we are headed in now, after a roughly 5 year hiatus. Remember the mayor was trying to give the out-of-town developer some of his land back. Hmmmm….

    Personally, I can’t think of a better place for a police substation than adjacent to a WalMart, close to the interstate and, uh, near my house (lol). Let’s hope the land is actually used for that purpose.

  6. Perry Mason

    I think taking land away from a private landowner for no known or named reason is unconstitutional in Tennessee. Requiring a developer to contribute public infrastructure to offset the added need generated by the development is good planning. Such a contribution requirement should be preceded by a relevant study of the public infrastructure need generated by the proposed development.

    Arbitrarily requiring an 8-acre land donation for a-reason-to-be-named-later? Wouldn’t that be at best – unconstitutional, and at worst – extortion?

    Next thing you know the city will start opting out of the Bill of Rights. Oh wait…

  7. Butch Huber

    From what I understand, the owners of the Paddocks were required to upgrade the roads around that center, even moving one road straight through the middle of the project. The city “is” inviting businesses to Mt. Juliet. We even have an economic development coordinator. The taxes that the Paddocks will generate will off-set its costs many times over. If we had to hire five police officers to patrol just the Paddocks the costs wouldn’t meet the income that will come from that project.

    I have absolutely no problem with growth having to pay for itself: I do have a problem with a public servant acting on her own to develop a behind-the-scenes deal with a local developer, getting him to agree to “donate” (I think the mafia calls it “donating” also, don’t they?) 4 acres of land and then somehow it ending up being 8 acres fee simple. What this city has been doing with this “donation” thing is like inviting people to come over to your house for dinner and then once they come to dinner twisting their arm behind their back and pulling their wallet out of their pants and taking a “donation”. It is simply wrong to do deals like this. If the city does it in front of everyone so we can see what is happening, and if they do what they do on a fair and equitable basis, and if they treat everyone exactly the same, and if they advertise their intention and explain the game rules right up front, and if they follow the constitution and the law, then so be it, but that isn’t what is happening here.

    Paul, I respect you, and I appreciate all of the time you put on the planning commission, however, I feel it isn’t the role of government to interfere with growth any more than I feel it is the role of government to promote growth. I feel the role of government is merely to play the part of referee and ensure that everyone knows the rules and that everyone plays by the same set of rules. If government is doing that it is doing its job. Forcing developers to give up their land without having conducted an appraisal of that land and without having an offsetting charge for the increased costs to the city (bona fide, verified, and certified) is, in my opinion, extortion.

  8. Paul Deyo

    I don’t remember anyone being forced to do anything. The original donation was to be eight acres. The mayor tried to scale it back to four, maybe that is where your “behind the scenes deal” lies. Everything else was out in the open and set prior to that final approval during the approval process.

    Perry, I think the original stated intent of a police substation is good planning. Shopping centers of this type have a documented history of drawing crime and the location is also convenient to Providence and the Interstate. If the land is not used in that way I would be among the first to agree that it is bad planning.

    Guys, remember half of the sales tax revenue goes to the county. Right off the top we are talking about 70,000 times four for the estimated necessary police presence and vehicles this giant strip center will require. Road, sewer, sidewalk, etc maintenance also will fall upon the city. The developer was unwilling to build bike lanes and Pleasant Grove road as we now know it will become a dead end, creating new traffic issues. The sales taxes will maybe cover the social costs and maintenance costs over the long haul.

    Butch, with mutual respect I will agree to disagree. I remember you complaining (with me in full agreement) about the prior city planner wanting to turn Mt. Juliet into Antioch. If communities don’t proactively manage what their future built environment will become, they in effect become another Antioch. Hickory Hollow is a result of planners asleep at the wheel, then doing nothing at best to improve things when it was obvious that not “interfering with growth” was a huge mistake.

    Franklin has raised the bar with sign ordinances and other requirements that have withstood court challenges and made it a better place to live even with the sprawl issue. We have a city commissioner who says “We ain’t Franklin” every time an attempt is made to improve our quality of life and built environment standards, a mayor who talks out of both sides of her mouth when it comes to growth management, and a City Hall which can’t seem to figure out how to evenhandedly enforce the rules. Surely that isn’t the Mt. Juliet you want.

  9. Butch Huber

    For the folks that are tuning in to the debate going on between Paul and I, I want you to know that I consider Paul a friend and I admire his willingness to stand up to Mayor Elam when he was on the planning commission and she was running for re-election. He surely knew then that if she were to win he would be ejected from the planning commission for his audacity to challenge her unbridled lust for power and influence. He was right.

    Paul,

    I don’t agree to disagree, either you are right and I am wrong, or vice versa, or we are both wrong, but we are not both right (at least I don’t believe we are). Solutions to problems and wisdom and knowledge are only gained by not agreeing to disagree and then working together to find truth.

    Paul, if everything was done out in the open then please tell me when the phasing of the donation of the land was scheduled to occur in the preliminary master development plan? In fact, is the donation phased in to any plan anywhere? If so, could you give me the date or time or conditions that trigger the donation?

    If my memory serves me correctly, if you were to go back and watch the video of the commission meetings regarding the Paddocks I believe you would see a segment during which the mayor says something to the effect of, “I negotiated, on my own, as mayor, on behalf of the city” in reference to the donation of land from the Paddocks to the city. As my memory also serves me, Ed Haggerty pushed to expand the donation from four acres to 8 acres in a commission meeting. Linda stated that the offer of donation of land was for four acres with conditions that required the city to use that land for a police department and that the city had three years to construct the building or the land ownership would revert back to the owners of the Paddocks. Can you show me any documentation of any directive from the City Commission to the Mayor that authorizes her to act under her authority as mayor on behalf of the city to negotiate anything with the developer? If not, then nothing she did in her negotiations is legal and any effect her actions had in this matter are potentially something the developer could sue for. If she acted under color of office, and the developer had reason to believe she was acting in her official capacity, or in reality, if the developer didn’t have reason to believe she wasn’t acting in her official capacity as mayor, and he committed to a condition on the basis of that negotiation, and the end result was that he agreed under duress that the donation was going to be necessary in order to move forward with a project that he had a material investment in, then I believe the whole deal could be unwound (as it should be) and the city end up with nothing (as it shouldn’t get a thing). If there really was an additional burden on the city that was not provided for in the preliminary master development plan that the planning commission recommended approval for, and if the city ends up with nothing (or less than the cost of the additional burden) as a result of the actions of the mayor, the mayor should be personally financially liable for the difference between what the city should have gotten from the developer and what the city actually gets. Perhaps this is why we now have a situation where the city pays for such assessments and judgements.

    Either way, if I am not mistaken, the preliminary master development plan came to the commission for approval without mention of any donation of land from the owners of the Paddocks. It was at the commission level that the donation of land was added to the preliminary master development plan and the preliminary master development plan was sent back to the planning commission approved with conditions…right?

    Why is that important? Because when the planning commission approved the preliminary master development plan it had, or should have had, already attached all of the requirements that were necessary to offset the costs to the city for the project or the planning commission had decided that the developer had done enough to satisfy what needed to be satisfied in order to be approved for the project. If that is not the case then the planning commission failed in its duties and someone then influenced one or more members of the board of commissioners to use the commission as a means of increasing the obligations of the developer.

    Either way, what studies have been conducted to ascertain the value of the land to be donated? What studies have been conducted to quantify the costs, other than those already provided for in the preliminary master development plan that the planning commission approved and recommended approval from the board of commissioners, that this development would burden the city with? If the burden to the city that exceeds those already taken care of in the preliminary master development plan has not be quantified then the requirement of the donation of 8 acres of land for approval was arbitrary and capricious. It is a form of taxation without representation. It is a taking of property through government extortion. One only need review the video to get a clear mental image that approval of the project was conditional on the donation of 8 acres of land. Requiring someone to donate land is not a donation, it is a condition.

    You stated in your own post:

    “Guys, remember half of the sales tax revenue goes to the county.”

    Paul, we live in the county. We live in the city, but we also live in the county. The sales taxes that are generated by the shopping center will go a long way toward paying for schools (which I personally disagree with) and fire protection (even though the county seems to be playing a shell game in that area) and other costs that would otherwise have to be covered by property taxes. This creates an indirect offset of costs to those of us who live in the city portion of wilson county. In other words, even the half of the sales tax we don’t get, or really, the half of the local option sales tax that we don’t get, benefits us.

    “Right off the top we are talking about 70,000 times four for the estimated necessary police presence and vehicles this giant strip center will require.”

    Paul, in order for this shopping center to really cost us a full $280,000 as you suggest here it would require that there be a police officer be stationed at the shopping center full-time 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and that the assigned officers not be of any use to the rest of the city at all. In other words, the officers that patrol Paddocks would just patrol paddocks and would never be used for anything except paddocks. I just don’t believe that to be the case.

    “Road, sewer, sidewalk, etc maintenance also will fall upon the city. ”

    The basis for this argument suggests that this is a sort of reverse city property tax. It sounds as though the sentiment is, “we don’t have a city property tax to cover costs like road, sewer, sidewalk, and other associated costs, so we are going to take a lump sum value added charge up front to cover those costs by forcing you to donate land for conditional approval of your project.” Remember, this development will add huge amounts of property tax to the county coffers, and since we live in the county, it benefits those of us who live in the city as well. Whatever amount of money the county collects from the Paddocks it doesn’t have to charge us in residential property taxes. The owners of the businesses add their costs of doing business to the prices of their goods and services, meaning they add the costs of taxes to their products and services, and since people from all over the area will shop at the Paddocks, we are the direct and indirect beneficiary of the added shopping available in Mt. Juliet. In other words, the city and the county will benefit from people who live in Hermitage shopping at our shopping centers. Good deal for the city. Additionally, with the opening of Providence don’t you find yourself shopping for most of what you need at Providence rather than going to Opry Mills, Hickory Hollow, Cool Springs, Green Hills, and Rivergate? I do. Those are additional sales tax dollars that used to go out of the city that are now coming into the city. Good deal for the city. This project causes that effect.

    “The developer was unwilling to build bike lanes and Pleasant Grove road as we now know it will become a dead end, creating new traffic issues.”

    Bike lane? This is socialistic interjection into capitalist projects. Paul, how much money would it cost to add bike lanes and how many people would really use them? Regardless, these are items that the city should bear rather than forcing private commercial enterprises to pay for them in return for “permission” to use their land in an otherwise legal manner. Let the people who want bike lanes pay for them through a bike wheel tax. Issue them city license plate and ticket anyone who is using a bike that isn’t properly tagged.

    “The sales taxes will maybe cover the social costs and maintenance costs over the long haul. ”

    Paul, the first cost says it all, “social costs”. I don’t know how you mean that term to be taken, but when I hear the term “social”, especially in a climate where the de facto socialist president of the United States (Barrack Hussein “born in Kenya” Obama) and our socialist dominated congress are on a furious pace toward full socialism in this country, my ears perk up. The role of government is to pass laws that are in keeping with the constitution and to enforce those laws, playing referee. The role of government is not to redistribute wealth. I believe we do need wealth redistribution in this country and in the world, but I do not believe government will ever be a good vehicle for such redistribution. Societal norms, coalitions, societies, organizations, religious institutions, non-religious institutions, all acting under the constraints of the constitution should be the mechanism through which redistribution of wealth should occur in this country, and to whatever extent a persons heart and convictions dictate, their guiding principles and belief systems should determine how they distribute their own wealth on an individual and collective basis at the global level. Our government has no basis for the entry into that fray.

    The maintenance fees that you speak of are ongoing fees that need to be taken care of by some entity. Roads, for better or worse, are a burden the city pays through its total tax collections. The roads leading into and out of the shopping center are a benefit to all citizens of this city and this county, either directly or indirectly. If we are going to charge businesses on the basis of road maintenance and similar items than every residence in this city should pay an equivalent charge according to some equitable basis. In addition, commercial developments pay impact fees when they are built. Impact fees can only be used for roads and parks. This is to satisfy the costs of road development, which benefits everyone over a long period of time, and parks, which is a social charge that is placed on businesses that pay impact fees.

    Paul, please consider the follow effect that I have noticed in business dealings over a long career of doing business.

    I deal largely with sales people. God love them, without them nothing would happen in this world.
    Sales people are geared toward getting what they want. They are trained to get all they can and then come back for more. That is instilled in them and it is a part of their DNA so to speak. The down side of that is when they are working for you they do the same thing to you. You sit down with them and draw out a pay plan that they are very happy with. They leave your office skipping and hopping up and down because they are now making more money then they had dreamed of making. Oh happy day! Three months later they are back in your office hammering on you to pay them higher commissions! They are trying to paint you as being greedy and stingy now! They use every angle conceivable to get you to pay them more per sale and they are unrelenting. You give in and pay them more and the whole process starts again and continues until you are paying as much as you possibly can without going out of business. They aren’t to blame though, it is their nature and they are only doing what they have been taught to do. That is what makes great sales people great sales people. Their job is to sell, my job is to run business. Government acts the same way. Government takes from society through existing taxes and new taxes. There is always the unction in government to tax more so they enact yet more and more taxes. Once government has a new tax, it is momentarily happy, but months later it is back at us again, looking for us to pay yet more taxes. It doesn’t end, it just gets worse and worse.

    Impact fees are an example. Our government determined that it needed to assess an impact fee for commercial development to offset the costs of roads and parks (the only thing that the state allows the city to assess impact fees for). Now that it has the impact fees assessed it is back at developers for yet more money through extortion for approval. It is just wrong, Paul.

    Then you get to the problem of equal protection under the law. This is a biggie Paul. You said it yourself.

    You said:
    “Perry, I think the original stated intent of a police substation is good planning. Shopping centers of this type have a documented history of drawing crime and the location is also convenient to Providence and the Interstate. If the land is not used in that way I would be among the first to agree that it is bad planning.”

    Paul, if I were the attorney for the owners of Paddocks I would use your statement here as evidence of adverse application of law. You were the chair of the planning commission when all of this came to be so your words carry weight where mine are just talk. When you state “the location is also convenient to Providence and the Interstate” it suggests that the owners of Paddocks are providing a benefit to the city that also conveys a privilege or benefit to Providence, a competitor of the Paddocks. This is a taking of property from Paddocks to erect a police station (Wink, wink) that will be used to provide enhanced protection to Providence and the interstate. I don’t recall providence marketplace having to donate land to the city. How can you, or anyone else for that matter, justify taking 8 acres of land from Paddocks and not taking 8 acres, or some amount of land, from Providence Marketplace? How about the Publics shopping center or any other commercial development project in this city? Are they all being forced to give up an equivalent amount of their holdings?

    I don’t want Mt. Juliet to end up looking like Hickory Hollow, Paul, but I do want my government to really think about how it taxes and for what reason it taxes and hold it all up to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Tennessee. If a tax or a requirement doesn’t fully fit within the confines of those Constitutions it is illegal, immoral, unethical, and improper. To charge an impact fee, property taxes, sales taxes, and also require the development to upgrade roads and intersections and build containment ponds, and put up a fence, and put in trees, and all of the other things that are put on developers is enough. Forcing them do donate land for fear of being disapproved for their development is just simply wrong unless is can be quantified and proven that the development will cause burdens not already offset in some way by other provisions and requirements and then only if the donation is equivalent to the un-offset burden. In other words, even if the project would place burdens on the city that were not already provided for in the preliminary master development plan, and even if it is fitting that the developer provide for those additional burdens, there is no study or proof that the burdens equal the value of the land donated…it is completely arbitrary. In fact, the additional burden could potentially be more than the value of the land to be donated, and if that is the case the developer should pay more. But it should never happen that the developer be told they have to give up an arbitrary portion of their holdings just because- because, which is what this whole thing appears to be.

    I hope you don’t take the “agree to disagree” position with me on this. I am more than willing to debate this point for point. At least one of us is simply wrong on this. I am curious if you are anyone else could prove me wrong on the basis of facts.

  10. Bobby Franklin

    Butch,

    Just so you know – the Mt. Juliet impact fee can only be spent on roads – not parks. It even has to be spent on roads “reasonably related to new development”.

    There was a misunderstanding about this prior to Rob Shearer being City Manager. It seems the Mt. Juliet Commission requested an impact fee pay for both roads and parks in 1998 (Ordinance 1998-16). That request was acted on in Public Chapter 965 by the State:
    http://www.tennessee.gov/sos/acts/100/pub/PUBC0965.htm

    Section 8 specifies that the impact fee can only be used for roads – not parks. It seems the State did not pass the bill exactly as requested by Mt. Juliet.

    I pointed this out to Rob in 2001 shortly after being hired as City Planner. There is a possibility the city did spend impact fee money on parks in 1998, 1999, and 2000, but from 2001 to 2007 it was spent on roads only. Rob made sure of that through the budget process.

    It always helps to read the legislation.

    I do not know if the current administration is abiding by Public Chapter 965. I did email Ed Hagerty and Randy Robertson this information June 10, 2008.

  11. Butch Huber

    Thanks, Bobby, I actually did know that from earlier dealings with the city, but had forgotten about it till you brought it up in the last post.

    The fact that impact fees can only be spent on roads reasonably related to new development only tends to strengthen my position because the impact fees are to be spent toward growth and not toward fixing old roads and certainly not toward parks, which have nothing to do with commercial enterprises.

  12. Butch Huber

    Paul, are you there?

  13. Butch Huber

    Anybody? Anybody?

    Am I right? Has a crime been committed? Has harm been caused by a civil servant acting under color of office? Has the city stolen land from a private citizen through extortion? Are we now causing business people to pay for “want” items and community enhancement projects in return for approval on building projects?

    Anyone?

  14. Butch Huber

    Publius, we need to expand. We need to develop this into a national blog. There is so much to talk about and no headlines to blog under. perhaps we need to develop a sister blog to this blog.

    BTW, anyone reading this post should go to google and search for all articles relating to Lt. Quarles Harris, Jr and dig in and read the articles. It is very scary stuff.

    Those who still believe that Obama is a natural born citizen are hiding their heads in the sand. The majority of the evidence points toward his not being a natural born citizen. This country needs to wake up and recognize we are in a war of ideals, a culture war, and it is just getting started. While we sleep at the wheel our liberties are being taken away from us in one direction and then the next.

  15. Paul Deyo

    I have my daughter this week so have been “off the boards”. Butch, the national blog issue is an interesting idea but I don’t think it should be here. This is a good place to talk about the issues facing the city and I think railing against Obama, or vice-versa, certainly has its place but I don’t think it’s here. Most of us here are in general agreement on fundamental issues of government. So we would just be singing to the choir, venting, or nitpicking. To wit you may think bike lanes are ‘socialistic’ and I may think building a city complex on the old MJE property is, but we’re standing on the same hill and disagreeing on the details solves and changes nothing.

    As a planning commissioner for seven years I felt that my duty was to the existing citizens of the community and to the community as a whole, not to out of town developers and local politicians. I think my seven year record bears that out.

    Paddocks started out with multiple problems that would have created a mini-Hickory Hollow in the backyards of Clearview and Pleasant Grove Estates. A large number of my neighbors still don’t like it. I suggested bike lanes early in the process because they are a safety and quality of life improvement in the spirit of our long-range greenway plans. We are talking about a four foot strip of asphalt and some paint, with most of it paid for by grants, and the result giving us a leg up on future grants and helping to avoid clean air issues with the feds. I didn’t get much traction on that one and concede that it wasn’t a priority for many people.

    Other than turning from a mini-anchor setup to a budget strip store setup, which was supposed to come before the Planning Commission but never did, Paddocks is a much better product than it could have been.

    I wish Bobby or Ed would jump in here on the four versus eight acres to explain the history more fully, but Ed’s input was to go back to an original agreement. Your argument starts on the last page of the history on this issue.

    Butch, as far as crime in strip malls, I have used Google and come up with results. You might name specific stores and also get results. Some of these results back up my comments on police protection. You might also ride through Providence Marketplace sometime and count the patrol cars. Even though to my knowledge Providence has very few problems there is almost always a police presence.

  16. Butch Huber

    Paul, there seems to always be a police officer in my neighborhood, too. Providence is a great location for a Police officer to hang out when he or she isn’t writing speeding tickets or chasing down a criminal. I am not saying they are goofing off, rather they are making their presence known in that area. However, it isn’t like they just stay in Providence Marketplace and never venture out to other areas or respond to calls.

    Paul, you were the one who said everything was done in the open, not Bobby or Ed. I have asked you some very straight-forward questions, questions that you have avoided.

    I am not saying that the Paddocks isn’t a good product, my post had really little to do with the quality of the project. I will ask some of my questions again, in short form, and hopefully you will answer them.

    1) Paul, when was the phasing of the donation of the 4 or 8 acres scheduled to occur in the preliminary master development plan?

    2) Is the donation phased in to any plan anywhere? If so, could you give me the date or time or conditions that trigger the donation?

    3) Can you show me any documentation of any directive from the City Commission to the Mayor that authorized her to act under her authority as mayor on behalf of the city to negotiate anything with the developer of the Paddocks?

    4) Were there any studies done to determine the costs to the city caused by The Paddocks that were not already taken care of in the Preliminary Master Development Plan? Costs that the donation of the 8 acres was intended to cover? Or am I right and was the 8 acre requirement purely arbitrary and capricious?

    Paul, I think you know that this wasn’t all out in the open for everyone to see. The facts support, hell even Linda’s own statements prove, that this wasn’t done all out in the open for everyone to see. This developer has had 8 acres of land extorted from him. The sentiment that we are going to take care of the citizens of this city before we take care of an out of town developer is simply wrong in my opinion. We are all citizens of this Nation, we are all on the same boat. The guy who lives in Georgia has a right to pursue his happiness and enrichment just as much as the guy down the street has a right to enjoy his happiness and enrichment. As long as developers come in a play be the established rules (rules that are legal under our Constitutions) he has a right to build his property up without having someone come to him in the eleventh hour and basically rob him of his wealth, such as what has happened here in this city. I am ashamed of what this city has done here. This city government represents me, the ordinary citizen, and when it steals from people it reflects on my character at some level. Now, I did what I know to do to stand against what they have done here, and I can’t fight everyone’s battles for them, and the owner of the Paddocks certainly doesn’t need me to fight his battles for him, but, Paul, it makes me sick when I see government abuse people. The city of Mt. Juliet should have to present the owner of the Paddocks with a list of costs that the Paddocks has caused, actual costs, not just an arbitrary list, and an assessment of the value of the 8 acres of land he has had extorted from him. If the final number on each do not match something needs to be done to rectify the situation. Even if they do match, projections of value to the community should be conducted to determine if the cost/benefit ratio of the Paddocks will be offset in future years.

    You stated, “I don’t remember anyone being forced to do anything. The original donation was to be eight acres. The mayor tried to scale it back to four, maybe that is where your “behind the scenes deal” lies. Everything else was out in the open and set prior to that final approval during the approval process.” Paul, the developer and/or his attorney were at the commission meeting trying to keep the city from forcing them to “donate” 8 acres of land! The attorney said something like, “you folks have done a great job, you have your 8 acres. we can’t let 8 acres stop us from building the development”! You could tell he was quite upset and disappointed with the commission. Paul, when you are doing business, and you have investment of time, energy and money into a project, and once it reaches a certain point, you can’t back away. At that point, you can be forced into doing things you don’t agree with and don’t want to do because it is the less cost to do it and just get one with it. I believe such is the issue with the Paddocks. Hell, the son of the previous owner of that land almost was shot over it all. There were forces in this county that were so determined to get this project done I was fearful of that man’s life. Granted, he may have been dealing with some mental issues, but I fully did, and honestly did, expect him to turn up dead. (Everything could have been just as it was written in the papers, but Paul, I don’t believe everything I read in the papers.) There was a lot more going on here than was out in the open, a whole lot more. This was a high stakes project that needed to be dealt with properly. Rather than deal with it properly, the Mayor acted on her own and went and illegally negotiated on behalf of the city as mayor and bungled this whole “donation” of land thing. Paul, just look at the words being used and the posture of the people. You have a setting where the owner of the land is upset that the commission is taking his land from him and a commission that is obviously ready to disapprove his project if he doesn’t give it! How in God’s name can you call it a “Donation” under those conditions? When I “donate” something I want to feel good about it, I want to feel like I have “given” something. This fellow didn’t “donate” 8 acres, he paid homage at the feet of the almighty Mount Juliet Commission!

  17. Paul Deyo

    Butch, there are enough ‘smoking guns’ around the mayor (she is a pistol packin’ mama after all) that you don’t need to try to create another one. Your comments about the sheriff’s raid are interesting, although I think that had more to do with the road right of way-I could be wrong so don’t unleash another novelette. Let me know if you are ever in Providence Marketplace and DON’T see at least one patrol car. Of course they’ll always be there- it’s a shoplifter’s target by day, kid’s hangout in the evening and a large empty public space at night. I have already witnessed one incident at Paddocks, late at night, involving two officers and WalMart isn’t even open yet.

    I see no reason to research all this to provide you with the bulletproof answers with footnotes that you want. Why? Because it WON’T CHANGE YOUR OPINION so I would be wasting my time. I was not a player in this one and I leave it to those who were to give you that information. I will note that an offsite donation was in the works due to Federal wetlands laws and that MAY have been an origination point but I don’t know that for certain.

    As to ‘right or wrong’ you are ‘right’ within the context of your opinions and strict ideology and I am ‘right’ if you are looking pragmatically at what benefits the community. I’m going on hiatus again, have at it.

  18. Butch Huber

    Bye Paul, becuase you refuse to answer my questions, when my questions are so straight-forward, I am going to take the position that Paddocks’ “donation” was not phased and it wasn’t done out in the open as you said, but rather was done behind closed doors in an arm-twisting session. Paul, I in no way believe you had anything to do with the extortion of 8 acres of land from the owners of Paddocks, but I have no doubt that they were in extorted. Have a nice Hiatus.

  19. Bobby Franklin

    Butch,

    Paul served on the Planning Commission the whole time I was Planner. I can honestly say that no member worked harder or contributed more time than Paul Deyo. That says a lot because there were many hard working people on that board.

    I can also say that Paul never did anything improper or behind the scene. He always did his homework and came to the meetings with his sleeves rolled up.

    Paul,

    I’m sorry but I will not be weighing in on the Paddocks land donation issue. That ground was thoroughly covered in my lawsuit deposition. Those interested in my opinion on the matter are welcome to read my deposition. It is public record.

    One of my reasons for settling the case was to move on. I have. But I am still interested in the future of Mt. Juliet because I live here.

    Soon-to-be-frustrated fellow motorists,

    The most troubling thing I see on the horizon is the imminent failure of the Mt. Juliet Road Interchange.

    The city has not pursued the construction of the Central Pike Interchange as the priority it should be. The Paddocks development will generate traffic volumes similar to Providence Marketplace when completed. The current Interchange was not designed to handle that additional volume of traffic without the Central Pike Interchange in place.

    This future traffic jam will be hard to blame on prior administrations. Perhaps the 8 acres could be used for a tow-in lot for wrecked cars.

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