Bradshaw sworn in, Ambulance pulls out

The City Commission met last night and further muddied the waters. After postponing the swearing in of Jim Bradshaw to a new term at the last meeting in November (on the advice of City Attorney Jason Holleman), the City Commission reversed itself and swore him in at the first meeting in December to a new term. One does wonder what legal revelation the City Attorney had over the past three weeks. Perhaps he’s been reading RFMJ.

Bradshaw’s belated induction into a new term as Commissioner prompted citizen Butch Huber to question whether his election as Vice Mayor was valid. If he was not properly sworn in for a new term, how could he be elected Vice Mayor for a term of two years? If he was elected Vice Mayor as the holdover 2006 D4 Commissioner, did his term as Vice Mayor expire when the 2010 D4 Commissioner was sworn in? The City Attorney stated at the meeting that he will research the issue.

In other news, the much touted new additional ambulance service for the Providence area lasted a grand total of five days. The ambulance service was being provided by ProMed. After five days and only three calls, they canceled the coverage and there is no longer an ambulance stationed in Providence. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. We wonder what other great strides in providing emergency services Mayor Elam will be able to achieve.

Finally, informed sources at City Hall have reported that the City Commission held a closed-door, executive session meeting with the two attorneys (Frank Lannom & Kathryn Sasser) hired to petition chancery court for a declaratory judgment on the newly enacted charter amendment.

Meanwhile, the citizens of Mt. Juliet, who passed the charter amendment with an 87%-13% margin, are still waiting to find out if the Mayor and Vice Mayor intend to abide by the clear text of the charter and the clear voice of the people.

The Charter Amendment takes effect January 1. Elam and Bradshaw could save the taxpayers money and spare the citizens weeks of uncertainty if they’d just make a statement that they intend to honor the will of the people.

Is that so hard?

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10 Comments

Filed under City Charter, Mt. Juliet City Commission

10 responses to “Bradshaw sworn in, Ambulance pulls out

  1. Sonny Griffin

    Following is a copy of the letter I sent to the Commissioners and the city attorney:

    Date:
    1 December, 2010

    To:
    Linda Elam, Mayor
    Ted Floyd, District 1 Commissioner
    James Maness, District 2 Commissioner
    Ed Hagerty, District 3 Commissioner
    Jim Bradshaw, Vice-Mayor, District 4 Commissioner
    Jason Holleman, City Attorney

    Via Electronic Mail

    From:
    H. W. (Sonny) Griffin
    1409 Fairview Drive
    Mount Juliet, TN 37122

    Subject:
    RESOLUTION #36-2010
    [Approval] OF ENGAGEMENT LETTERS WITH ATTORNEY FRANK LANNOM AND ATTORNEY KATHRYN SASSER AND AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO SIGN THE LETTERS OF ENGAGEMENT

    Dear Commissioners and Attorney,

    As you know, the purpose of the subject resolution is to determine the effective date of the Charter Amendment which was overwhelmingly approved by the voters of Mount Juliet on 2 November, 2010.

    Article XI, Section 9 of the Constitution of the State of Tennessee states that:

    “A charter or amendment may be proposed by ordinance of any home rule municipality,by a charter commission provided for by act of the General Assembly and elected by the qualified voters of a home rule municipality voting thereon or, in the absence of such act of the General Assembly, by a charter commission of seven (7) members, chosen at large not more often than once in two (2) years, in a municipal election pursuant to petition for such election signed by qualified voters of a home rule municipality not less in number than ten (10%) percent of those voting in the then most recent general municipal election.

    It shall be the duty of the legislative body of such municipality to publish any proposal so made and to submit the same to its qualified voters at the first general state election which shall be held at least sixty (60) days after such publication and such proposal shall become effective sixty (60) days after approval by a majority of the qualified voters voting thereon.”

    Therefore, it seems clear to me that the effective date of the Mount Juliet Charter Amendment is sixty (60) days after it was approved by the voters of Mount Juliet.

    Therefore, the subject resolution to obtain a legal opinion as to the effective date of the Amendment is redundant to the clear instructions of the Tennessee State Constitution and should be rescinded.

    I don’t think I need to remind you, but I will anyway. You have all sworn an oath to support the Constitution of the State of Tennessee according to the Charter of the City of Mount Juliet § 6-21-103.

    Thank you for your time to this matter.

    H. W. (Sonny) Griffin

    Resolution #36-2010 asks that attorneys Lannom and Sasser be retained to act as legal counsel in assisting in the determination of the effective date of the charter amendment. Nothing else.

    That date is determined in the Tennessee State Constitution as stated in my letter above.

    Whether anybody likes it or not, the Charter Amendment will go into effect 60 days from the second of November, 2010 and will become part of our Charter. It will be the Commission’s sworn duty to support it.

    Does the Charter Amendment disenfranchise any voters?

    Is the Charter Amendment unconstitutional?

    Does the Charter Amendment violate the general laws of the State of Tennessee? I don’t know.

    These are not the questions at hand.

    These questions should have been asked and answered before this board authorized the ordinance to place the amendment on the November ballot.

    The Charter Amendment was overwhelmingly approved by the voters of Mount Juliet and is now law.

    These questions challenge the validity of the Charter Amendment itself not the effective date.

    Therefore, since the effective date has been determined, the services of Mr. Lannom and Ms. Sasser are no longer needed. Resolution #36-2010 can not be expanded to include other questions such as legality, constitutionality, etc.

    Mr. Bradshaw and Ms. Elam have the right to challenge the Charter Amendment on any grounds that they see fit. But they don’t have the right to do it on the taxpayers dime.

  2. Butch Huber

    Sonny, you da man!

  3. That ambulance was NOT her idea. That was Hutto’ s response to her cry for help. I have it on good authority that she offered nothing in the way of ideas. He over extended himself by offering an asset that was not his to offer. Next time it might be prudent to check the area call volume and the liabilities of making a deal of this nature.
    So let me get this straight, she has fingered and fumbled this issue for years and now in the bottom of the ninth with 2 on and 2 out, she is going to fix it even though we do not want her to, in the next 90 days. She can NOT. She has no plan for the issue, she has no education on the issue, she has no idea where to start. I have heard her talk. Linda, a ladder truck does not = a plan or an education. What do we have to do to get you the message…grab up pitch forks and torches to run you out of town? You bring no value to the discussion table on the issue of fire or emergency services for this city. Your motivation is NOT to finalize the issue, but drag it out as you have been doing to. This feeds your EGO. Anyone who knows you, knows this . You are NOT qualified to be involved in this discussion.

  4. Butch Huber

    Fire Marshall Bill,

    This is among the best things you have posted thus far!

  5. Southsider

    The only fire protection deal Elam ever worked to implement was when she tried to lower Del Webb road construction standards in exchange for a 100,000 dollars ladder truck donation. Most people thought she only did that because her boss was building a 5 story building and needed to decrease his insurance costs.

    Elam needs to leave before the tar and feathers are delivered.

  6. Butch Huber

    By the way, did anyone in the Cabal place the order for rail for the “run Linda out of town on a rail” gala? I heard that they are on sale at “purepolitician.con”

  7. Butch Huber

    Ahem, that should have said,

    “By the way, did anyone in the Cabal place the order for the rail for the “run linda out of town on a rail” gala? I heard that they are on sale at “purepolitician.con”.

  8. Butch Huber

    After having done quite a bit of research, I have not found any provision that would allow either Bradshaw or Elam to hold two seats at the same time. In other words, after the 60 day waiting period is over, the Charter Amendment takes effect and, from what I can tell, there is no provision that they can hide behind that would allow them to serve in dual offices.

    The General Assembly of the State of Tennessee has provided cities with the ability to determine their own form of government within specific guidelines. There is nothing that I have found in any of those specific guidelines that would allow Linda to take an oath of office as a State Representative without stepping down from our city commission or that would allow James Bradshaw to continue to serve on our city commission while at the same time serving as a county commissioner.

    Nobody’s term of office is abridged or terminated by this Charter Amendment, but rather, the Charter Amendment is saying, “you can serve on our commission, or you can serve on another body, but you can’t do both”. Linda, by taking her oath of office as a state representative is going to be choosing to step down from our Commission. James Bradshaw, by taking his oath of office for our commission chose, at the appropriate time, to step down from the county commission. He could avoid having his term as a county commissioner shortened and/or terminated by choosing not to take his oath of office on our commission. Likewise, Linda could avoid stepping down from our commission by simply choosing not to take her oath of office as a state representative.
    It is absurd to take the position that under no circumstances can a person’s term of office be terminated or abridged due to an action they themselves take. To take that position would require nullification and repeal of the ouster laws of the State of Tennessee.
    When the home rule statutes were written, they gave broad powers to municipalities in the determination of their governance. With the exception of general acts of the General Assembly, the Constitution of the State of Tennessee, and the Constitution of the United States of America and the treaties that exist between the United States and other countries, there is practically nothing that we can or can’t do in this city. We are free to chart our own course so to speak.

    We need to now look at implementing a recall provision in our City Charter to ensure that we have the ability as citizens to fully hold our elected officials accountable. In fact, I believe it is imperative that we pass a Charter Amendment that authorizes recall of elected officials BECAUSE we are a home rule municipality. Further, I believe it is imperative that we pass City Charter Amendments that enable us to nullify any ordinance or resolution passed by our city commission. Additionally, I believe it is important that we pass Charter Amendments that disallow our city commission from raising or lowering property taxes for any non-emergency cause or purpose and even then we should have the right to repeal or rescind their actions in a vote of the citizens (electorate).

    Folks, this city isn’t going to get better until we take positive action as citizens. Something happens to elected officials in this city that makes them lose their minds. They get in there and then set about doing some of the dumbest things anyone has ever heard of in their lifetimes, like trying to build a 20 million dollar aquatics center for the YMCA using taxpayer money as has been proposed, like trying to illegally use bond funds to purchase land to give to the YMCA, like spending a million dollars plus on a dog pound and hundreds of thousands of dollars per year to run it when the county would have taken the dogs for fifty to a hundred dollars per dog, like using one’s office to cause personal harm to city employees, like trying to take bribes for the city if one can get illegal building permits for a local developer, like trying to get something taken off of the technical review committee agenda that would harm one’s secret employer/developer, and the list goes on and on and on.

    Now, two people are flying in the face of 87% of the voters of this city. It is time to put the mechanisms in place that would allow us to take care of errant politicians expeditiously and without cost to the citizens.

    Power hungry people have a hard time letting power slip from their clutches. We need to have something that we can use to pry open their grip and free ourselves from their misconduct.

  9. Old Blevins

    Linda and Jim, the countdown clock is running.

  10. Sonny Griffin

    Following is a copy of the second letter I sent to the Commissioners and the city attorney:

    Date:
    17 December, 2010

    To:
    Linda Elam, Mayor
    Ted Floyd, District 1 Commissioner
    James Maness, District 2 Commissioner
    Ed Hagerty, District 3 Commissioner
    Jim Bradshaw, Vice-Mayor, District 4 Commissioner
    Jason Holleman, City Attorney

    Via Electronic Mail

    From:
    H. W. (Sonny) Griffin
    1409 Fairview Drive
    Mount Juliet, TN 37122

    Subject:
    RESOLUTION #36-2010
    [Approval] OF ENGAGEMENT LETTERS WITH ATTORNEY FRANK LANNOM AND ATTORNEY KATHRYN SASSER AND AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO SIGN THE LETTERS OF ENGAGEMENT

    Dear Commissioners and Attorney,

    As I stated in my 1 December, 2010 letter that I sent you, the purpose of Resolution #36-2010 is to determine the effective date of the Charter Amendment which was overwhelmingly approved by the voters of Mount Juliet on 2 November, 2010.

    Resolution #36-2010 asks that attorneys Lannom and Sasser be retained to act as legal counsel in assisting in the determination of the effective date of the charter amendment. Nothing else.

    That date is determined in the Tennessee State Constitution as stated in my
    1 December, 2010 letter.

    The Charter Amendment will go into effect 60 days from the second of November, 2010 and will become part of our Charter. It will be the Commission’s sworn duty to support it.

    Does the Charter Amendment disenfranchise any voters?

    Is the Charter Amendment unconstitutional?

    Does the Charter Amendment violate any of the general laws of the State of Tennessee? I don’t know.

    These are not the questions at hand.

    These questions were hopefully asked and answered before this board authorized the ordinance (#2010-40) to place the amendment on the November ballot. Evidently, the Commission and the City Attorney thought the ordinance was legal and viable when it was passed on the first reading (7/12/10) and the second reading (8/9/10). What has changed between then and now?

    The Charter Amendment that was approved by the voters of Mount Juliet is now law. These questions challenge the validity of the Charter Amendment itself, not the effective date.

    Therefore, since the effective date has been determined, the services of Mr. Lannom and Ms. Sasser are not needed and really never were. Resolution #36-2010 can not be expanded to include other questions such as legality, constitutionality, etc.

    Mr. Bradshaw and Ms. Elam have the right to challenge the Charter Amendment on any grounds that they see fit. But they don’t have the right to do it on the taxpayers’ dime.

    The instructions set forth in the Charter Amendment are very clear.
    “No person may serve simultaneously as a commissioner or mayor and in an elected office within the county, state or federal government.”

    The whole procedure is very simple. It’s just a matter of following the rules.

    Sincerely,

    H. W. (Sonny) Griffin

    The interesting thing about the two letters that I sent to the commission and city attorney is that I have received no acknowledgement whatsoever.

    I hope everyone had a merry Christmas.

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