The City Manager Tricked Me!


Several weeks ago, this blog pointed out that having the City Commission meddling in personnel matters was an inherently bad idea [also a stupid one!]. The recent circus that was conducted as the City Commission mangled the appeal process of former Parks Director Dennis Buchanan vividly illustrated the problems.

Of course, even we were surprised at how badly the City Commission managed to treat Mr. Buchanan. They continued his hearing to Saturday, May 8th. Then, on Friday, April 30th they changed their minds and decided they would meet on Sunday, May 2nd. Mr. Buchanan’s lawyer objected to the short notice and said she could not attend. Mr. Buchanan said he could not attend. The Administrative Law Judge who had met with the city during the first part of the hearing advised against the hastily rescheduled hearing. And then they held the conclusion of the hearing anyway – in the midst of the natural disaster that was the great Nashville flood of 2010. The Mt. Juliet News described it as a 1,000-year flood.

Commissioner Bradshaw didn’t attend the hearing. Mayor Elam called him a coward for not being there. The Administrative Law Judge didn’t attend the continuation of the hearing either. Was he a coward also? Which brings up an interesting point. What exactly was his role? Was he a consultant? an adviser? Was he supposed to chair the meeting? Was he going to make a recommendation to the commission? Or were they going to make a recommendation to him? Was he going to have a vote? And how much did his services cost the city?

The biggest question of course, is how much will the bumbling of the City Commission increase the settlement that the City will now inevitably be forced to pay to Mr. Buchanan? We suspect it will be a substantial amount.

Mayor Linda Elam doesn’t want to see a repeat of the circus. [Of course it would have been less of a circus if she hadn’t been so hell-bent on having one.] Last Monday night, the City Commission voted on an amendment she sponsored to the Personnel Manual that would remove the City Commission from the process. A good idea actually. But she couldn’t resist getting her digs in. In the preamble to her ordinance (which changed a single sentence in the Personnel Manual), she blamed the city manager for placing the nefarious idea of the City Commission hearing an appeal by a department head into the Personnel Manual. Further, she actually wrote into her ordinance:

“this addition to the personnel manual was not brought to the attention of the board of commissioners;”

Oh, that tricky city manager! He actually snuck one right by the commission by drafting an ordinance, sending them a copy the week before the meeting, and then played jedi mind tricks on them to secure their votes – TWICE, on two separate readings! What Mayor Elam has admitted of course, is that, like the despicable Democrats in Congress, she doesn’t bother to read ordinances before voting on them.

A circus indeed!



Filed under City Charter, Mt. Juliet City Commission

13 responses to “The City Manager Tricked Me!

  1. Butch Huber

    Sounds like the honeymoon is really over between Robertson and Elam. I wonder if he is ready to give me the public documents I seek now? Hmmm.

  2. Southsider

    Randy Robertson is laughing at Linda Elam. He dumped every bit of this in her lap with her permission (and vote).

    He may be catching on.

  3. Aunt Bea

    A leader accepts responsibility and is given credit. A politician takes credit and shifts blame.

    It is pretty clear now what our Mayor is (and isn’t).

    See ya at the next ribbon cutting!

  4. Will i am

    “You can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it.”

    Albert Einstein

  5. Pop Korn

    This is yet another example of the mayor’s lack of fitness for the job. Not only is she unethical and mean-spirited, she is also incompetent.

    I like the way Tomi at the Chronicle directly quotes the mayor’s malapropisms and then points out that they aren’t real words. Adds even more entertainment value to the bi-weekly clown show. Sadly, in the final analysis, the joke is on us.

  6. Will i am

    Why Ms. Elam is always in trouble:

    “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

    Mark Twain

  7. Butch Huber

    Pop Korn,

    Thanks for the new word for my vocabulary…”malapropisms”!

  8. Paul Deyo

    With the August election in the near distance, what can Radio Free do to inform the voters? We have State Senate and Assembly primaries, a County Mayor race, and many contested county and city commission races.

    I think many of us have an idea of who we don’t want to see getting re-elected or, worse, expanding their power base. But what are the positives and who are the alternatives? Short info on various candidates, either provided by them directly or by Publius, would be helpful. Not necessarily endorsements, just information. Several candidates check in here and post here, a forum or a list of questions to answer might be helpful as a start.

  9. Pop Korn

    From the character Miss Malaprop from a colonial era comedy. Perhaps we have our own ‘Miss Malaprop’ at City Hall.

    Merriam-Webster: ‘The usually unintentionally humorous misuse or distortion of a word or phrase esp the use of a word sounding somewhat like the one intended, but ludicrously wrong in the context’.

  10. Paul:

    That’s why RFMJ is here. We will be glad to set up a 2010 election page to cover all of the local Wilson County races and solicit short bios from candidates (and comments from those who are interested in candidates). We can also put up links to candidate’s web sites.

    County Commission (and County Mayor) races will be decided on August 5th.

    – Publius


    These are their websites with contact and issue information. Each candidate has a Facebook site as well, “friends of … for mayor”. These sites are friendly and usable. Each offers the opportunity to initiate a dialog on an issue of the voter’s choice. Best wishes to all…educate your vote.

    Col 4:6

  12. Paul Deyo

    Thanks, Jamie, those were helpful although I’ve decided already on that one. I saw one of those big bread vans with somebody’s name I’d never heard of running in D4 (presumably city?). I know about Mr. Kasnick because he posts here, this was somebody else.

    One of my neighbors is running against Fred in the county race, but I think Fred has done a good job. Plus this guy’s wife was on the Planning Commission during the reign of ‘he who shall not be named’ and that’s close enough of a connection to lose my vote.

    Speaking of, Elam and Randy mustn’t hate each other completely as I have heard that a major Elam crony left my old ‘job’ to take Dennis’ place at Parks. I’m sure I’ll be getting a call from the mayor to fill the vacancy.

  13. Pingback: The Red Light Camera Mess in Mt. Juliet « Radio Free Mt. Juliet

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