Did Mayor Elam violate the City’s Ethics Ordinance . . . again?

The laughably neutered Mt. Juliet City Ethics Ordinance, passed in September, 2007, contains this language:

13-1-108. Use of position or authority

An official or employee may not use his position to secure any
privilege or exemption for himself or others that is not
authorized by the charter, general law, or ordinance or
policy of the municipality.

There is a plausible case to be made that in attempting to secure a health insurance privilege benefit for herself, the Mayor violated the city’s ethics ordinance.

It might have been ethical to propose a health insurance benefit for a future commission, but it was certainly un-ethical for an elected official to sponsor, advocate, and vote for an ordinance that would have extended that benefit to herself.

And it may have violated the city’s ethics ordinance. Rounding up witnesses with first-hand knowledge of the facts shouldn’t be a problem. You can always show them the video recording of the meeting. Are there any Mt. Juliet citizens who care enough about responsible government to file a complaint?

It was a further breach of ethics for the mayor to have snuck this on to the agenda on first reading by suspending the rules and getting it passed without any prior notice to the public. Thankfully, the rest of the commission came to its senses and voted this un-ethical proposal down 1 – 4.

The public would be well-advised to pay close attention at the next city commission meeting to how the minutes report the debate on this proposal. The Mayor has a documented history of intervening in the writing of the minutes to alter them and make sure they rewrite history they way she wants it to be remembered.

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9 Comments

Filed under health insurance, Mt. Juliet City Commission

9 responses to “Did Mayor Elam violate the City’s Ethics Ordinance . . . again?

  1. Wow! Hot stuff. I may be in talks this week. I had no idea it was this bad. I was really surprised by the push poll she ran against Kevin Mack. I saw her tonight. She has officially announced for state rep.

  2. Jack

    On Friday night, Elam announced that she will be running for the congressional seat currently held by Susan Lynn (the fightin’ 57th). She made this announcement at the Wilson County Republican Party’s “Return To Statesmanship” dinner. Ironic? Yes. She must be hoping that she will be able to find some free health insurance in Nashville.

  3. Butch Huber

    It is going to be an interesting campaign. I think she needs to explain how a fiscally conservative republican can also champion a cause to build a $20,000,000 aquatics center. She will have to further explain why should was intent of handing the keys of that aquatics center over to the YMCA for them to make profits from it.

    This is a mayor how has been caught doing double dealing.

    This is a mayor how illegally forced the City Manager of Mt. Juliet to resign.

    This is a mayor who has involved herself in an unfounded complaint of sexual harassment against a city employee; a city employee who went against her when she was attempting to get a developer an illegal special favor in return for their “Donation” to a ladder truck fund.

    This is a mayor who illegally “negotiated, as mayor, on behalf of the city, with a local developer for approval of his PUD”.

    This is a mayor who caused the city to have to settle a retaliation for past action lawsuit against.

    In ordinary political times, she would be a shoe-in for this position. She fits right in with the ordinary snakes we see in the political realm. However, these are not ordinary political times. We have entered a new era of politics. We have entered an era when people are fed up with political tricks, such as running as a republican when everyone knows full-damn-well she is a flaming liberal democrat, so this is going to be interesting.

  4. Butch Huber

    On top of the issue of the ethics violation, they still haven’t figured out that they have to pass ordinances such as this properly. I believe they need certifications from the city manager and the city finance director before they can pass such an ordinance, and I believe they need to make a budget amendment to fund such an ordinance. I don’t believe they had prepared either. Additionally, such an ordinance needs to be properly noticed prior to a vote.

    In addition, don’t they have to make a statement when they are voting on something in which they have a person interest?

    Also, how can they say that this doesn’t amount to “compensation?”

    And then there is the issue that the state hasn’t authorized them to pass such a measure. The reality is the exact opposite of what Elam said, rather than being free to do as they choose, they are bound by what the law authorizes.

    The entire commission is out of order for not calling a point of order and forcing them to follow the law.

  5. Aunt Bea

    This is like Patty Hearst holding the Symbionese Liberation Army hostage.

  6. Butch Huber

    Among the many issues that the underhanded tactics of politicians like Elam cause is the virtual irreversibility of actions that are taken. Once things are voted on and action is take it is almost impossible to reverse what they have done. But even worse, what they have done becomes a precedent for future behavior of the same sort. It is like a downward spiral into the abyss.

    This is exactly why I believe that we need to mount a serious campaign in America to eradicate our governments at all levels of self-serving politicians and insert in their place good men and women who have it in their heart to return this country to its Constitutional Roots.

  7. Paul Deyo

    Well, I’m not ready to join some ‘minuteman’ group but I certainly think we’ve reached a saturation point with this mayor.

    My only comment on the State Assembly race is that the primary will certainly be amusing. Perhaps madam mayor is seeking health care benefits on our dime to afford pills that make her delusional.

    The city has reverted to the bad old days of arrogant, non-representative government, a developer’s rubber-stamp Planning Commission, and questionable ethics at the top. All of those problems can be traced to the person in the middle chair every other Monday.

    I recently wrote a letter to the Chronicle concerning the euthanizing of the Town Center Overlay and the attempted benefit package, as well as the way it was introduced by suspending the rules. They declined to print it. Apparently the Chronicle is not the newspaper it was ten years ago when they weren’t afraid to print letters criticizing our local political leaders.

  8. Butch Huber

    Paul,

    It sounds like you are fully on my side of this finally. I remember early on in the life of this site you were admonishing me and advising me to go lightly on our dear Mayor lest we return to the days prior to Mack. I don’t remember Mt. Juliet in those days, however I have heard some horror stories. I don’t know if we have arrived at the place were things are worse then they were then because I have nothing from which to compare, however, I do take it from some of the posts that you have made that you are finally at a point where you believe, as I believe, that this mayor has got to go.

    As Mayor:

    She repeatedly uses a part of the charter which was only intended to allow them to pass truly emergency resolutions and ordinances to slip things in at the last minute so people don’t have a chance to look into what she is up to until it is too late.

    She consistently overreaches her authority.

    She has repeatedly abused her office.

    Nothing is beneath her.

    She will stoop to whatever level she needs in order
    to get her way.

    She is belligerent

    She is arrogant

    She is obstinate

    She is rude

    She is unruly

    She is combative

    She is self-serving

    She is egomaniacal

    She is insufferable

    She is diabolical

    She is dubious

    She is despicable

    She is disrespectful

    She is only out for herself

    She is a schemer

    She is a scammer

    She conducts back-room deals with developers

    She has done irreparable harm to the city and to employees and former employees of the city

    She tried to give the YMCA a 20,000,000 gift

    She is trying to get herself the 24k version of the most golden of golden benefit packages

    If we are not at the place where things are as bad as they were in the pre-Mack days I am glad I wasn’t aware of what was going on then.

    I think we are finally on the same team regarding this darling of a gem, our mayor. I think you were one of the last hold-outs, Paul. She lost me when she pulled the little political stunt that stopped home-rule from going on the ballot while Mack was still Mayor of Mt. Juliet. She asked me if I would like to serve on the committee that was formed, you remember, the one that she recommended instead of letting the voters decide in that election. I told her that I would only serve on that committee if she were going to let it get on the ballot in November if the committee recommended it. She said, “Well, then you aren’t going to be on the committee”. I could tell that the only reason she recommended that committee was as a means of delaying it from being put on the referendum. When she later asked me to serve on the payroll committee I obliged because I wanted to make sure that there was someone on the committee that would honestly look at that situation and make a determination of what the truth in the payroll situation was and that would work hard to make the situation right. When it turned out that the employees were grossly underpaid, and she saw that I was advocating a substantial raise be instituted incrementally over a three year period she said, “I thought you were a fiscal conservative?” In other words, she didn’t want me to be on the committee to set things right, she wanted me to be on the committee to keep them from getting a raise. The employees of this city are now about 14% underpaid overall and she is in there trying to get herself a wrap-around golden benefit like no other for her extremely part-time position.
    I saw from what cloth she was made long ago. She is the type of politician that gives politicians a bad name. She and her type are the reason this country is going to hell in a hand-basket. I despise her brand of politician and I want to see our government rid of anyone like her. She truly represents the worst of us in America.

    Who knows, perhaps on a personal level she isn’t all that bad, I wouldn’t really know. However, on a political level she is reprehensible and disgusting.

    In case you haven’t figured it out, come election time, if she is running as a republican, I would vote for a democrat before I would vote for Elam….I can’t believe I just said that! That actually hurt. I think I am going to have to lie down…I am feeling a bit faint. I can already tell that Election time is going to be very hard on me if we don’t have a true conservative in the race for Lynn’s seat.

  9. Paul Deyo

    I think the last straw for me was when she asked me to plant information on Radio Free about an opponent. This AFTER I had honestly and critically commented on that opponent on my own. She wanted me to go farther and into areas I would not go. And all this with my daughter sitting three feet away! Not long after that, I had the ‘truth about the mayor’ talk with with my daughter, who had previously looked up to her.

    Obviously I was not happy about many of the things that had already happened, starting shortly after the failed county mayor election in 2006, where I actively supported her for two major reasons. Those being that Bob Dedman would no longer be county mayor and that she would no longer be mayor of Mt. Juliet, replaced by Ed Hagerty at least until the next election.

    In working with her on several things I supported including the Town Center Overlay, which has been scrapped because a ‘developer worked on her’, I found her to be mean-spirited and critical of virtually anyone who was not in the room. I had no illusions about what was said about me when I was not around, but my job was to run the Planning Commission as a citizen’s board acting in the best interests of the community. Political fights could, and did, wait until the 2008 election. I think there were enough people who ‘worked on’ the mayor’s campaign warchest who wanted me gone that my support of Mack was icing on the cake for her ham-handed dismissal of Bob Reed and I from the Planning Commission.

    I don’t think you have much to worry about in the state assembly election. If she does run, she will not make it past the primary. A mutual friend pointed out that dems will be more interested in the governor’s race than in crossing over to help her win a primary. Despite their lackluster slate of candidates I think he is probably right.

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