WEMA top pay is $10.19/hour. Metro starting pay is $16/hour

What’s wrong with this picture?

includes this intriguing quote:

“WEMA director John Jewell told Channel 4 News some stations were designed to staff only two firefighters.”

http://www.wsmv.com/news/27058384/detail.html

And the Mt. Juliet City Commission wants to contract with these people for “enhanced fire protection.”

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41 Comments

Filed under Fire Protection, Mt. Juliet City Commission, Wilson County Commission

41 responses to “WEMA top pay is $10.19/hour. Metro starting pay is $16/hour

  1. Doc Cider

    This is a compelling story and I hope Ed watched it. Not to mention whoever is supposed to be enforcing OSHA and other regulations here. Jewell just seems to be saying ‘Oh well, can’t do anything about it’.

    The lovely Jennifer Johnson said that in Mt. Juliet, fire suppression staff is the same as it was when we had six thousand people here. This was also before we started sending massive amounts of sales tax dollars to the county.

    The more exposure this gets the more it will affect growth in a negative way. Not that that is so terrible- growth COSTS the average citizen who isn’t a realtor or developer. But we don’t want unsold houses and businesses not wanting to come in because the county mismanages fire protection in general and in Mt. Juliet in particular.

  2. Sonny Griffin

    Hey Butch,

    I wondered where you’ve been.

    I understand that you have been in hospice with your Dad who is fighting cancer.

    My prayers are with you and your family.

    Best regards,

    Sonny

  3. What Jewell said is NOT TRUE!!! He is alluding to stations 6 and 8. Both of these stations are staffed 99.9% of the time with ONLY 2 ff’s. Each station has 2 trucks (1 ambulance and 1 engine) each with 2 seats …that equals 4. Each stations has 4 bunks for 4 ff’s. the only time these 2 stations are fully staffed with 4 ff’s is when ISO comes to town and they always come announced. The only other possible station is staion2, a joint venture with the Watertown VFD. Even this is not true in that this station houses 2 WEMA assets. 1 ambulance and 1 tanker each with 2 seats = 4 ff’s. The WEMA side of this complex even has 4 bunks. What he said is not true. Add this to the long list of character defects that include profanity, vulgarity, violence, anger issues, physical assault and a disturbing lack of qualification for this job. He is in over his head and destroying YOUR $7 million budget. Ed and Dell Webb better pay attention. You need an engine, an ambulance, and at least 4 ff’s 24/7. You are going to get an old engine and only 2 ff’s….watch and see. John contributed greatly to Mayor Hutto’s campaign…enough to be found standing over the body and walk away scott free. CALL FOR FULL DISCLOSURE!!! THEY HAVE PLENTY TO HIDE.

    RP

  4. Southsider

    I predict that every Mt. Juliet commissioner who votes for this will never be elected again.

    100% of those elected officials who voted for a property tax in 1998 never returned to office. They voted to squander money on a western-bypass, this group wants to squander money on WEMA.

    I see more air conditioned horse barns and three new Mt. Juliet commissioners in 2012.

  5. Pop Korn

    …and maybe a new county-financed fire hall in Norene.

  6. BTW,
    Jewell could do something about it if he wanted to and were told to. If he were to take the money he is squandering on pet and pork projects he would, at the very least, be able to beef up the assets at the existing station 3. Right now, station 3 NEEDS another ambulance and 4 additional personnel (FF/EMT). That would give you a total of 8. 2 on medic 31….2 on medic 32….and 4 on engine 31 all the time. In the event of a confirmed structure fire in MJ, those 8 would man 3 trucks….4 on engine 31, 2 on engine 32, and 2 on medic 31. That is a good, not great, but good first in response to a confirmed structure fire.. A 100% improvement over what you have right now. Think about it, Ed/Dell Webb. I know this…YOU SHOULD TOO. Ask for help, it will be a heck of a lot cheaper than the plan you have now…write a check and hope to not get screwed is not a good plan.
    RP

  7. Southsider

    R.P. summarized this deal with the fewest words so far:

    “write a check and hope to not get screwed”

    The lack of leadership in Mt. Juliet right now is truly astounding.

  8. Ben Dover & C. Howett Fields

    hahahahahahahahahahahaha OMG another hernia You guys are killin me

  9. Old Blevins

    Randy?? Is that you?? Hey, Bozo was insulted when I referred to you (Randy) as a bozo recently.

  10. Sonny Griffin

    I really like what you are saying R.P.

    Makes more sense than anything I’ve heard in this whole discussion.

    I know there are a lot of people in Mt. Juliet on fixed incomes that are bitterly against any tax increase.

    Please tell me if the following proposal makes any sense.

    We, as property owners in the City of Mt. Juliet, pay $2.4327 per hundred of the assessed value of our property to the County in property taxes every year.

    $0.7361 of the $2.4327 that we pay goes into the County’s General Fund.

    We know that WEMA is funded by the General Fund.

    The portion of the General Fund that goes to WEMA is the outlay of funds from the General Fund to WEMA divided by the total worth of the General Fund. The outlay of funds to WEMA from the General Fund is approximately 7.7 million dollars per year. The total worth (Net Estimated Collection of Taxes) of the General Fund is approximately 21.2 million dollars. So, the portion of the General Fund that goes to WEMA is about 7.7 divided by 21.2 or 36.2 %.

    So, WEMA takes up about 36.2 % of the $0.7361 tax rate that we pay into the County General Fund.

    If we kick WEMA’s ass out of Mt. Juliet, we are no longer paying for WEMA’s services, so our property tax rate for the County General Fund would decrease by 36.2 % X $0.7361 or $0.266 per hundred. Our total tax bill would go from $2.4327 per hundred to $2.1667 per hundred.

    This would more than make up for the proposed $0.20 per hundred fire tax.

    The Tax Assessor’s Office told me that the proposed $0.20 tax would generate approximately $1,335,000 per year. If we wanted to put the proposed fire tax at 0.266, we would generate approximately $1,775,550 per year. We would have this money in our pocket without an increase in property taxes. I believe this would go a long way in providing first class emergency services for the City.

    By the way, this means that Mt. Juliet citizens have been paying around $1,775,550 per year for WEMA services. There needs to be an audit made of actual costs to run Station 3 in Mt. Juliet going back five years versus what Mt. Juliet citizens have paid WEMA. That difference should be returned to the City. Don’t forget. Mt. Juliet owns Station 3.

  11. Sonny,
    the best advice there is would be for us to do whatever it takes to get a FULL DISCLOSURE from the county. If the county could be trusted to fulfill their obligation and provide ADEQUATE fire and ems, then that would be the way to go. By obligation I mean, they have the trucks and personnel and have taken on the roll of emergency service provider…that is what we pay them for. Now, according to Ed in his last televised statement, there were 4, 000 people in MJ in 1982. Now there are almost 30, 000…26,000 people did not move in overnight. The county was providing the service for 4,000 people for xnumber tax dollars with x number assets. Now they are providing the service for 30,000 with x+26,000 tax dollars but the same x number of assets as in 1982. There are 26,000 more people paying that much more money in 2011 yet we still have the same assets as we did in 1982. Where is the money, what is it going for, and where are the ADEQUATE assets needed for 30,000 people in 2011? If MJ chooses to do it themselves then mj should expect a ton of cash back. Simplified, MJ can build 3 stations and assets with the current sales tax surplus, then fund the department annually with what they are paying to WEMA plus the possible small additional fee (I hate to call it a tax, I know it is…but)of .20 cents or perhaps less. My apologies to brother Ted, but Mj getting into the fire busines may be the better option. Mj can design
    the department to address its specific needs of ADEQUATE fire, ems, haz-mat, rescue, etc. and at the same time be in charge of its existance and direction. Like I have told everybody that will listen…IT DEPENDS ON WHO YOU TRUST.
    RP

  12. If BD&CHF is randy…well, at least now we know how he got his job. Probably the last thing he heard Linda say in the interview. Bah Hahahahahahah hug that little herniated nugget private dipwad.

    RP

  13. Ben Dover & C. Howett Fields

    rp me and howett are usully pretty good natured boys
    call us randy again and we gonna brown bag your front door with a blivet
    dam hernias are killin me so im not in a very good mood

  14. Really?…that’s what you’re going with? Please….you’re gum on the sidewalk….used, abused, and certainly to be avoided. I re-read your posts….just once for me and all to see…show me some substance of your understanding of this issue. Just one little caveat of firm info….if you don’t want to be linked to randy then leave the randy-like responses in the outhouse where they belong.
    RP

  15. Ben Dover & C. Howett Fields

    ok rp how bout this little ditty? Jewel was asked how much it cost to run station 3. his answer was 1mil84 thou to staff it and 186 thou for lights and stuff looks to us like you fire boys been makin whole lot more than 10 bucks a hour
    hahahahahahahahahaha dam ther goes that hernia again

  16. Laugh all you want fancy pants…you’re the one gettin’ the screwin’. I can show you pay stubs. Your money ain’t going in the ff’s pocket. Write a check and hope to not get screwed…Hope is a little piss ant town in Arkansas. FULL DISCLOSURE. Just ask for it and see what kind of run around you get. Even this idiot bd&chf is nibbling in the right direction.

    RP

    P.S. Did anyone read Ed/James’s guest editorial in the MJNews. Ed must be out of his frickin’ mind OR in cahoots with the county. He sounding the alarmist by stated that the county has a resolution to pull out of St.3. THEY WILL NOT DO THIS. Where else are they going to find rent for $1??? Even if they do, they will only move a couple of blocks to the old bus building and guess what….wait for it….they will STILL be covering zone 3 which is MJ. MJ is dead nuts in WILSON COUNTY…you pay county taxes for fire/ems…you can bet your ass, your cowboy hat, and your house cat the county WILL provide. Our city leaders are acting like whipped pups.
    RP

  17. Ben Dover & C. Howett Fields

    maybe i r a idiot rp but you so smart you tell us how much you think it cost to run station3 you use jewels figs you get about 30 bucks a hour whats your figs how bout you take your turn and estimate the cost by the friggin way dont talk about hope arkansaw me and bill gonna come whip your ***

  18. Butch Huber

    Before we can really solve the fire protection issue there is housekeeping to do. No matter what course of action the city commission chooses, it cannot have a legal deal with the county unless the county corrects its illegal funding model for WEMA.

    Over the past many weeks I have worked to find out how to deal with this issue. What I have found is that the definition of a fire department, according to state law, is an organization that provides emergency response services except for law enforcement, rescue services that don’t provide fire suppression, and ambulance service. That definition is codified into law. The county has tried, with good results up until now, to say that the County-wide Fire Department is equivalent to “Fire Suppression”. This simply isn’t true.

    The reason the county want’s to use the definition that a “County-wide fire department” means “Fire suppression” is because they may be able to provide “Fire suppression” using only already shared revenue. However, when you add in all of the other costs that are associated with a fire department as defined in the law, there is no way the county can pay for that with only already shared revenues. That means they have to establish fire tax districts and enact a fire tax. This is a major game changer in the scope of WEMA. In fact, this is such a big game changer it may mean the demise of a county-wide fire department in Wilson County unless a bunch of stiff-necked politicians are willing to mend their ways and finally agree to do things honestly and equitably.

    The fire protection issue actually gets a bit more harrowing for the county when you consider the ambulance aspect. You see, from all that I have seen so far, there is no mention of a funding source for an ambulance service in the law (Except under the provisions of the county-wide fire department laws). There is a law that authorizes an ambulance service and defines an ambulance service, but no funding mechanism. As I understand it, if there is no fund source provided, the funding source automatically becomes the general fund. If the county uses money from the general fund without any direct authorization to do so using already shared revenue that has been shared with the municipalities (as it states in the fire protection laws) or through situs based taxes, then the county must (I believe) provide those services equitably. Now, as I mentioned, if the county wants to fund the ambulance service under some set of laws other than the fire protection laws, let’s hear what that provision or those provisions are, however, if they can’t cite the law, then I believe they either have to provide ambulance services to all of the county equally (Per capita, not geographically) or they have to do it under the fire protection laws. If they fund it under the fire protection laws, that raises the bar so high the county could never come close to funding it using only already shared revenues.

    They can’t use the EMA laws as a funding source and authorization, because at least one State Attorney General has already opined that WEMA is essentially what is described in the county-wide fire protection laws, which means that WEMA, for all intents and purposes, has to comport with the funding authorization of the county-wide fire department laws.

    In short, the county has no legal recourse but to either shut down the county-wide fire department or fund it through fire taxes.

    When you fight a fire, you want to get water on the base of the fire. You want a broad spray of water on the flames that are up high to protect the fire fighters, however, if you want to put the fire out, you spray the source of the flame with a solid stream of water. That is the way this blazing issue must be put out. We need to direct a solid argument about the funding of WEMA, but we have to spray the flames at the same time. What that means is we have to have a plan. We have to have a plan for what fire protection will look like when the fire is out. Not having a plan will just encourage people to accept what Ed and others are saying about us being left with no protection at all.

    If we direct a solid argument, unrelentingly, at the issue and fact that WEMA is being improperly funded, and if we develop a strong plan of action for the post fire period, we can and will win the battle.

    I have presented a plan. My plan is solid and sound. It would work well if they would just give it a chance. However, since the time that I presented my plan I, along with some help from my friends, have discovered that we can actually have a great fire department in this city without having a property tax! I will be working on developing the addition to my plan and incorporating some additional ideas that will give our city commission and the county commission such a great opportunity to have a wonderful protection system that the only way that they end up back at status quo or less is because they want to end up that way.

    Guys, we are going to win this deal. We have always paid for our protection, we are paying for our protection now, and we will pay for it in the future. The only thing that will change is that we will end up with adequate and appropriate protection without having to pay for it twice.

    Fairness, equity, safety, security, and cooperation are buzz-words that need to be used. Nobody should be looking to pull the rug out from under anyone, we should be working together to find proper solutions and empathic solutions.

  19. Old Blevins

    Speaking of Bill, the Weiner Man just resigned. Thirty dollars an hour at WEMA means three people.

  20. Butch,

    Are you saying that currently WEMA is funded entirely with already shared revenues and no funds for WEMA come from property taxes?

  21. butch huber

    No, absolutely not. I am saying that the county wants us to believe that “Fire suppression” = “County-wide Fire Department”, and that all other services provided by WEMA fall under funding authorizations included or naturally included in the Emergency Management Agency laws. They want to segregate “Fire Suppression” as the only item paid for under T.C.A. §§5-17-101–5-17-108. It is their belief (the county’s) that by segregating fire suppression as the sole item paid for under those statutes the county can prove that it can fund the county-wide fire department using only already shared revenues that have been shared with the cities. They have gotten away with using that ploy until now.

    The general assembly defined and codified the definition into law describing what a “Fire Department” is, and it states that a fire department includes all emergency response services except for police, ambulance, and rescue squads that do not provide fire suppression. This is the first major game changer. While I do not believe that the county could actually justify and defend its position that “Fire suppression” = “County-wide Fire Department” in a court of law and while I do not believe that they could fund even just fire suppression using only already shared revenues that have been shared with the cities, they absolutely cannot justify and defend their position that fire suppression = County-wide Fire Department when the definition of fire department as described by law states that any and all emergency response services minus police, ambulance, and rescue squads that do not provide fire suppression and they certainly cannot pay that entire bill using just already shared revenues that have been shared with the cities.

    The second game changer came when I discovered that the only authorization for an ambulance service, other than as authorized under the WEMA laws and under the County-wide Fire department, does not have a funding source designated to it, so it must therefore by funded out of the general fund and must be equitably provided to the people on a situs basis. A State Attorney General has opined that the county-wide fire department function of Fire suppression cannot be funded under the EMA laws because those laws are intended for massive, out of the ordinary, major disasters and not ordinary functions of providing emergency services. If the EMA laws are not appropriate for funding Fire Suppression services, as per the Attorney General’s opinion, it would naturally and logically follow that an ambulance service, which is used much more extensively than fire suppression, could not be funded under those laws either. It appears that the county has two options; 1) they can fund the ambulance service out of the general fund and provide ambulance services on a per capita basis, or 2) they can fund the ambulance service through the County-wide Fire Department. If they choose option 1) the county will have a huge burden because they have to provide services equitably, which is absolutely not being done now. If the county chooses option 2) considering that everything the county does except for ambulance services is a part of the county-wide fire department (regardless of what the county wants it to be), if you add the cost of Ambulance Service to the entire cost of WEMA, then the actual cost of WEMA is about $5.6 million dollars ($7.6 million minus the $2 million that the county takes in from ambulance fees). There is absolutely no way that the county can justify their position or defend it in a court of law. The county has to be using property taxes to fund WEMA. If the county uses property taxes to fund WEMA they have to do so through fire tax districts. They simply cannot take our property taxes and pay for fire protection in Norene, or Cottage Home, or anywhere else, even through they have been doing so for a long time and continue to do so.

    Sonny, the county is sunk. I can systematically pull out every prop they have stuck under their scheme. The county resolution to establish a county-wide fire department was for the purpose of taking on all authority, powers, and “Duties” as described in 5-17-102 inclusive. That means that the legislative intent of the county commission originally, and it hasn’t changed, is that the county would take upon itself the burden of providing all the services described in the countywide fire department laws, including rescue, ambulance, fire suppression and more.

    When you read the historical record of all of this it becomes readily apparent that there was collusion going on to enable the county to bilk the residents of Mt. Juliet, and perhaps Lebanon, of millions and millions of dollars that the county could then use to provide fire protection services in the unincorporated portions of the county. You see, once you get outside the city the population density drops off dramatically and the property value per square mile also drops off dramatically. In order to provide adequate fire protection in the unincorporated areas of the county, especially in the far reaches of the county, the county has to either charge an extreme price to those who live in that area or they have to charge us and pay for the service using our money. The county elected to use our money. This has to stop. I am empathetic to those who live in the outer reaches of the county, but they live there by choice and I am not responsible for paying for their fire protection services. I want them to have it, but I want them to pay for their own service. If they don’t want to pay for it, then they have to establish a volunteer service. Nothing is stopping them from doing just that. They don’t need the latest and greatest equipment, they just need what is necessary to put the fire out. There isn’t much concern for spreading of fire out in the wide-open spaces of the outer reaches of the county because the houses are greatly spaced apart.

    With a new and fresh approach, this county can end up with a model the entire state can follow. They just have to get past the idea of using our money to provide others with service and Lebanon need to reconcile that they either need to turn over their equipment and buildings to the county and let the county handle the service for them or they need to quit bellyaching about it and keep their service. They, not Mt. Juliet, are part of the problem. Mt. Juliet has been pliable and cooperative with the county all along.

  22. butch huber

    Ransom money, that is what we are paying, ransom money. We all clearly know by now that the county is paying for fire protection services using property taxes. We all know by now that the only legal way that they can use property taxes to pay for fire protection services is through fire taxes that are imposed on fire districts. We all know that. We also know that the city commission knows it as well.

    Ed Hagerty keeps beating the drum that the EMA committee has drafted a resolution to withdraw all services from Mt. Juliet. We know that the county isn’t going to do that. Ed knows that the county isn’t going to do that. Hell, even the county knows that it isn’t going to do that. But Ed just keeps beating that drum.

    What is happening is that county is projecting the image, to some degree or another, that there is the potential that they might commit an act of political suicide by withdrawing services and they now, for whatever reason, have our own city mayor shouting that message for them from every roof top.

    The message being sent is, “Pay us protection money or your house will burn to the ground and your children will burn up in the fire and nobody will lift a finger to help you.” Hell, that isn’t ransom money, it’s a shake-down. The Mafia must be miffed at this sort of thing. If they get caught doing such a thing they go to jail, however, our government can do it to us all day long and nothing happens.

  23. Southsider

    There is no question about this. This is Del Webb’s Fire Station. Del Webb says they are selling one home every other day – the fastest growing development in Tennessee. It is written all over their flyers.

    180 building premits a year equals 540,000 thousand per year going to the county from the “Adequate Facilities Tax” alone. Del Webb (alone) is paying over half the county’s budgeted adequate facility tax. The county spends 100% of that money on the school debt fund to pay for schools built years before Del Webb even built the first home here.

    But it gets worse. No one under 19 years of age can live at Del Webb so there is no burden on the Wilson County School building program from that development. No education facilities are needed for children from Del Webb so 100% of the adequate facility taxes being collected from that development are being spent in violation of state law.

    What “adequate facility” does Del Webb need because of growth? A Fire Station.

    Wake up Mayor Hagerty. Your level of leadership on this issue has been Obama-like so far – your just throwing other people’s money at a very simple problem. Is this job too big for you already?

  24. To add to what Butch has posted…Big Picture.

    The city is wanting to install a city tax to be collected by the county for county provided essential services that the county is already grossly deficient in providing. ??? Sounds to me like some “special” people in the city of MJ are going to be paying more COUNTY tax than others in the county. Here’s the penalty for being city that rivals Lebanon…how dare you MJ!!! Here’s justice…county justice for you MJ not having a city property tax. AND it won’t be a problem because Ed “CHICKEN LITTLE” Hagerty will sound the alarm for those who only know to trust those in leadership…and it will pass. BTW, did you hear the county mayor this morning on the radio. Here’s how this WILL play out…
    The city leaders will get this tax…as an aside…did you see the web advertisement for the meeting…fire protection, cops, parks and greenways…Robertson is such a retard…to heck with your parks and greenways…we can make them cemetaries when enough people die from lack of essential emergency services… the tax question will go before the ema comittee where Bernie will either go/no go. Probably a go. Then it goes to the whole county commission where my buddy and yours Mr. Kenny Reich will bring out the “bid boy britches” onslaught and it will die HERE leaving MJ to start over and do the fire protection themselves. My guess is there probably will not even be 600 people there anyway. Get your clicker and get it dun!!!
    RP

  25. butch huber

    I’m beginning to run out of words. We have put this issue through the proverbial sieve and have strained out all of the particulars so thoroughly and have made the case so well that the county is illegally funding the county-wide fire department that any politician that now continues to try to postulate that the people of this city are somehow not paying their fair share is nothing but a fraud and should be run out of town on a rail.

  26. Ben Dover & C. Howett Fields

    rp still waitin for you to tellus how much it costs to run stashun 3 figs gettin the best of you? we talkin overtime, benefits everthing ol jewel says you makin 30 a hour prove him wrong if you can HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  27. kingdomsuccess

    Tonight I watched a ten thousand dollar dog and pony show. Del Web represented fifty percent of those who showed up for the meeting. This was a poll of what Del Webb wants. There are two commissioners and a mayor who already had their minds made up what they were going to do before they came to the meeting. In fact, I am quite certain that they all had their minds made up and nothing that happened there tonight changed that fact. We watched as people pitched, either through structure of question or through verbal address to the crowd, their positions and desires and we voted on answers to questions for which there were only options that gave false dichotomies.

  28. Ditto. For that kind of coin, you would have expected some grand revelation instead of some in person regurgitation. Not to mention the fact the city has already passed the tax. Ed’s education and approach are about to make a big mistake for MJ and caused big time problems in Lebanon. If Mayor Hutto would relieve Jewell and replace him with someone who possesses knowledge and vision, MJ would not be near the issue. The county could do better right now with no other change than that. Otherwise, fire tax districts or MJFD…that’s it…the only two viable options that have any chance to suceed for all of MJ…not just Dell Webb.
    RP

  29. Doc Cider

    If Butch is running out of words, we’re all in trouble!! But in all seriousness, Butch and Sonny deserve our thanks for all their research. It’s too bad City Hall is ignoring them.

  30. Sonny Griffin

    Thanks Doc,

    Sometimes knowing the real facts about an issue is worse than not knowing anything at all. Butch and I both know how bad a deal this is and you and others who have done their own research or read the facts we presented know what a bad deal this is.

    Therefore, we are more frustrated than the guys that don’t know jack and probably could care less.

    Is it worth my time and effort? You bet it is. It’s the only way I have left to fight for my country. You and I both know it’s going to take a lot of sacrifice from everyone if our country is to survive. We need to start here, in our own backyard.

    I honestly believe that the dog and pony show put on for Dell Webb was all about the straw vote. Now they can say they are only doing the people’s will. Sixty eight percent of the people at the meeting approved of the fire tax. Wonder how many were registered voters? Wonder how many of the yes votes were from Dell Webb residents?

    And by the way, why should they, all of a sudden, give a big rat’s #!! what the people think. These are basically the same idiots that overturned the will of the voters who voted a majority of 87% against holding dual offices.

    If they are so interested in the will of the people of Mt. Juliet, they should put the fire tax question in a referendum and let all the VOTERS of Mt. Juliet decide.

  31. butch huber

    Sonny, I called the election commission yesterday and asked what it would cost to put this to a referendum. The person I spoke to said that they had computed this just a couple weeks ago and it looked like they could get it done for about $35,000. From what I understand the city spent $10,000 on this dog and pony show.

    I think we knew this was all about getting Del Webb to show up and vote this in. Further, how do we know that the people who showed up were not from Lebanon or the county? They didn’t check any ID’s before they gave out the clickers. Besides, the answers were 1) pay 20 cents to have WEMA provide enhanced service, 2) pay 40 cents to start and run a city fire department, or 3) status quo. What about answer number 4? Answer 4) should have been: 4) figure out what is legal and that also gets the job done and do that!

    We need some citizens who are prepared to invest a little money and time and effort to sue the county. The county needs to know that if they accept this deal from the city they will be sued in court, then sued in appellate court if they win in the county, and forced to establish fire tax districts. There is no doubt anymore that the county is using property taxes to fund WEMA and the County-wide fire department. They have no option but to establish fire districts and fire taxes if they want to be legal. They might as well do it now, rather than later. Unfortunately, Ed Hagerty is playing right into the county’s hands by saying, “We can’t win in county court.”

    We need to raise the money necessary to file the suit, subpoena witnesses, produce files and documents, serve notices, etc. We probably need to hire an attorney as well. It is time for a class action lawsuit. The county will respond to being sued. They may ignore us now, but if we take them to court they will not be able to ignore us any longer.

    The evidence that the county is illegally funding the countywide fire department is overwhelming. Any judge will look at the evidence against the county and have to find that the people of Mt. Juliet are being ripped off by the county. We need to find about 350 people who are willing to put up about a hundred to two hundred dollars to fight this thing. Surely that can be accomplished. We need to design and deliver flyers that lead inform citizens of what is happening in regard to this issue and that leads them to a website where all the facts and evidence can be reviewed and where they can get a real understanding of the facts.

    Anyone who has lived in Wilson County for more than ten years should sit up and take notice. The debate was won, at least in Ed Hagerty’s eyes, by people who have lived in Mt. Juliet for less than five years. Del Webb is an organized society that can put voters in the seat or in the polls. It is largely made up of people who haven’t lived in this area for long. They don’t understand the issues. They think that they are getting off easy by paying the $100. They don’t have a clue that they are really being ripped off of much more than that. In fact, they were ripped off to the tune of $3,000 before they even came to Mt. Juliet! The county increased the cost of their home by $3,000 in adequate facilities taxes for the purported reason of providing them with needed facilities and then the county used that money to pay for schools those people will never need and have never needed.

    Ed Hagerty should be ashamed of himself. He is pushing something that he knows is wrong. He stood up there and said, “there may be some who hate taxes as much as me, but there isn’t anyone here tonight that hates them more than me”, yet he is pushing for us to pay more in taxes rather than spending the money to fight the county.

  32. Southsider

    Had Ed Hagerty been Mayor when Metro Nashville sued Mt. Juliet for 20,000,000 dollars, he would have wanted to write them a check.

    Mt. Juliet has been taken over by liberals.

  33. Butch,
    Ed is going to get his. The WEMA EMS Chief was there last night and stated out loud that the cost shown in the slide represented by the .20 did not cover an ambulance. He stated that Ed and the rest thinks it does, but it does not. Remember who told you this first Ed…your vision of fire protection does not equal WEMA’s. They are going to get you a busted up truck and 2 ff’s, but no ambulance betcha,betcha, betcha. WRITE A CHECK AND HOPE TO NOT GET SCREWED….your hope is fading Mayor Chicken Little…your hope is fading. You are going to take one in the tailpipe over the details. Good time to ask for help.
    RP

  34. Butch Huber

    RP,
    The county doesn’t really have a choice when it comes to providing ambulance service. They kind of have to provide that service here as well as everywhere if they are going to provide it at all. You are undoubtably right, they county will try to do whatever they can to stick it to us, however, all that they do will backfire on them.

    In all the years that I have watched Ed, I cannot remember one visionary thing that he has ever done in regard to his office. He has followed, best I can tell, others as they tried to do things, but I cannot remember one visionary thing that Ed took the lead on. That could be why he is bungling this thing to badly….he lacks the experience and wisdom that comes from having stuck your neck out and had your head chopped off a time or two.

    The entire issue is very, very difficult to understand. The laws surrounding all of this are convoluted to say the least.

    There are two legal means known to me by which the county may operation an ambulance service: one is through the County-wide fire department laws and the other is through a set of laws that authorize an ambulance service specifically.

    The county cannot provide fire protection services to any municipality as the primary fire protection service without an inter-local agreement between the county and the city. To do otherwise is a violation of state law. I know, neither the county nor the cities have any compunction for following the law, but that is another story. This is true whether the county provides funding for the countywide fire fire department using already shared revenues, situs based revenues, or through fire taxes. The exception to that rule is if the county enacts fire districts and the city opts into a fire tax district, then there is no need for an inter-local agreement, there is an agreement whereby the city opts into the fire tax district. Regardless, the county cannot of its own accord just barge into a city and provide primary fire protection services. It must be invited.

    The county does not have an inter-local agreement to provide fire protection services with Lebanon. That necessarily means that the county is in violation of state law. The county must obtain an inter-local agreement from Lebanon. Now, the county will purport that it is providing services under the civil defense laws or EMA laws, however, that will not pass judicial scrutiny because an attorney general has already opined that the services offered by WEMA are essentially a countywide fire department and the county cannot circumvent the laws regarding the countywide fire department by saying that they are funding fire protection services under the EMA laws.

    The county doesn’t have any authorization, at least to my knowledge, other than the countywide fire department authorization, to have an ambulance service, so it must be a part of the countywide fire department. That means, in order to provide fire protection services, including ambulance services, the county must have an inter-local agreement with the municipalities. The great irony in all of this is that the currently relationship between Mt. Juliet and the county is most likely the most legal relationship in the county. Even then, it is illegal because the county is using property taxes to fund the countywide fire department without having a fire tax.

    It is almost as if it is all planned out, isn’t it? I am not sure, but I think they must tell the elected officials in elected official school not to consider the law when they are making laws and doing their jobs.

  35. Southsider

    I wonder if our commission’s finest have thought about what they are succumbing to? The control of this city by one neighborhood (and the county) has just begun. Feeding a tiger never makes one go away.

    The only good news is that every commissioner that votes to do this will never be re-elected. Del Webb residents cannot vote for candidates in districts 1, 2, and 3.

    Mt. Juliet has disposed of “tax and spenders” before. Just ask David, Dave, and Michael.

  36. Butch,
    Those 2 ff’s will be EMT’s and WEMA will call the truck a “first responder”. It will have a med bag on it and 99.9% of the time will be a BLS truck (basic). What they do not know is that it could be called on to respond to a fire or medical call as far away as Gladeville, Lakeview, and LaGuardo. The point is that for the price they stated (according to the ems chief) they are not getting another station 3.
    RP

  37. Butch, would you please contact me as soon as you can. I need to pass along a word to you. Thank you.
    Jamie
    luffmanjjj@tds.net
    615-566-7571 c
    615-754-5807 h

  38. Butch Huber

    Guys,

    It is time for us to act. It is time for us to get a very large group of angry citizens together and take this issue to the courts. Our commission has shown that it lacks the will to take the county to court and force them to do the right thing. It is time to form a volunteer fire association in Mt. Juliet and in Wilson County. Through that association we can raise capital to construct and build our our own fire department countywide. We need to take the safety and security of our citizens out of the hands of immature and selfish politicians who can’t figure out how to work together and behave themselves. They are like a bunch of little babies (not all of them, just those who are acting like jerks). I don’t know about the rest of you but I have seen about enough of this. These people are playing with lives, it is time to take their toys away and give them time out. I am getting more and more angry over this every day. This city and this county need citizen intervention. They are completely lost. They violate law after law and they act like it doesn’t matter. If someone ends up dying over this those who are guilty of causing the loss of life because of their pettiness should be sent to jail.

  39. Dick Kasnick

    Maybe you all will get the info you desire. The MJ commission just OKd a firm from Memphis to start an audit of the county tax books to see how they comply with state law on funding, and what the money in WEMA is going for.

  40. Butch Huber

    Dick, I get the feeling that it won’t stop there. I think they are going to be hiring attorney’s and holding hearings and using various other options in an effort to drag the truth out into the light of day. We may finally be on the proper course to resolve this issue equitably and lawfully. Hats off to James Maness for having the guts to do the right thing. James wants the truth.

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