The city once again had its lunch money taken from them

A report from our ace reporter, Citizen Butch:

“The city thought it was going to get 6 people in Station 3 by paying the county $411,000. WRONG!!!

If you read this resolution you will see that the EMA committee wants the county commission to vote to make Mt. Juliet pay for two of the four personnel that are currently manning Station 3! The county asked the city commission to come to the County Courthouse yesterday so that they could slap our commissioners in the face in person!”

Text of the Resolution sponsored by Reich & Hall below:

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60 Comments

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

60 responses to “The city once again had its lunch money taken from them

  1. Butch Huber

    Wema Budget $7,300,000 Approximately
    Percent of calls that are for fire 5.90% The county misrepresented this figure to you. They included rescue. They can’t include rescue. Rescue is paid for using property taxes and it is also being provided to Lebanon, which is enjoying this service without any abuse from the county.

    Total cost of Fire in all of Wilson County $430,700.00

    Total number of People in Wilson County 113,993
    Total number of people in Mt. Juliet 23,671

    Percent of Wilson County population living in Mt. Juliet 0.207653102

    Our share of the costs of “Fire Suppression” $89,436.19

    Approximate value of rent for Station 3 building $40,000 annually

    Gross expense to the county for fire protection in Mt. Juliet $49,436.19

    Value to county for permission to provide ambulance service in Mt. Juliet $500,000 Probably actually higher

    Net cost to the county for providing fire to Mt. Juliet ($450,563.81) This is actually profit, not cost.

    The county is profiting from its operation in Mt. Juliet to the tune of around half a million dollars per year and yet they are going back to the trough for more!

    How can they dispute these numbers? I am just using their calculations, the way that they calculated them, only I am taking the subterfuge out of it by removing rescue from the equation. If they are going to provide lebanon with rescue, and if they are going to pay for rescue out of property taxes, they can’t count it against this city by saying that we aren’t paying for it, because we are!

    If this is the financial shell game they want to play, I can play it also. Fire Protection Services cannot be calculated based on calls for service, it has to be calculated based on actual cost divided by use of space, manpower, and a lot of other factors. The county wants us to believe that ambulance service alone makes up all of the wema budget except for 1.8 million. That means that Ambulance costs about $6,000,000 and fire suppression and rescue costs $1.8 million. How are the other functions of wema, such as hazmat response, water rescue, emergency management, etc paid for by wema?

    If this is how the county wants to figure things, than they are profiting to the tune of $500,000 from Mt. Juliet. They cannot operate an ambulance service in Mt. Juliet without an interlocal agreement with the city. Without that agreement, all fees collected by the county for ambulance service belong to the city. I want our $500,000 or so that the county collects from this city every year in the form of ambulance fee, and has been collecting for many years, back. Fair is fair, now. Pay up, County. That should come to somewhere around, Oh, 15 million or so when you count accumulated interest on what you took. Will that be paid in cash or cashier’s check?

  2. citizen with the right to vote

    Are you sure? That document seems to indicate 2 fire fighters paid for by County + 2 fire fighters paid by City + 2 EMT (ambulance) persons paid for by County = 6 total staff members. I wouldn’t be surprised if I am wrong but that is my interpretation.

    What I don’t understand is the .20 tax voted on my the city commissioners… can someone explain the details behind that?

  3. Nope. The six people refers to the number required to staff 2 people for 24 hours. The resolution clearly states “two of the four” will be paid for by the
    City of Mt. Juliet, and the county will pay for the other two (of the four).

  4. R. Ratchet

    Butch, I think your numbers are off again, but you are on the right track. Instead of using the system they used, maybe use the real numbers that they should have used at the county.

    Anyone willing to let them get away with claiming that the amount spent on “fire” is what they say has lost the fight. The number of ambulances actually staffed should be used and the people on those ambulances should be deducted from the total manpower, which would leave the cost of “fire”. Not sure how to figure LaGuardo and Carthage Hwy with the staffing they have, but maybe look at those like a rental property with a mortgage and no renter. It still has a cost and there are expenses even if it were paid for, such as insurance, so my opinion is those two stations should be half and half. Little problem is figuring fuel and other regular expenses such as Admin cost, but that wouldn’t be too hard since the billing is seperate, and most of the admin are working on EMA issues and not medical. Hall should know this, considering he worked for the County Finance office in the WEMA Billing department before he was let go for watching something on the internet he shouldn’t have been watching at work. Now he works for the city of Lebanon. Conflict?

  5. Southsider

    Conflict? At the County? How could you say such a thing?

    Just because the Mayor of Watertown is the County Attorney and his paralegal keeps the EMA minutes and is also married to the WEMA Diector doesn’t mean there is an conflict there. Shame on anyone for thinking so.

  6. Butch Huber

    R.Ratchet;

    This time I know my numbers are off. I was illustrating a point. The county wants to use calls for service as the basis of determining the cost of “Fire” and “Rescue”. They want to reduce the “Cost” to as low of a number as they are able to insure that it is safely below the $3.3 million that they assert is available to fund the Countywide Fire Department. That way they can say “no property taxes are used to fund fire”.

    R.Ratchet, we’ve got a problem. Actually, we’ve got more problems than we have things going right. Well, you and I don’t have a problem, Mt. Juliet doesn’t have a problem, the county has a bunch of problems.

    That $3.3 million that I mentioned, that includes situs based taxes that are collected in the unincorporated portion of the county AND other sources of revenue that have already been shared with the municipalities AND other sources of revenue that have not been shared with the municipalities. What does 5-17-101 say in terms of what may be used to fund the countywide fire department?

    5-17-101. Formation.

    (a) The county legislative body or other governing body of any county is authorized to form a new agency to be known as the county-wide fire department for the purpose of providing fire protection services to all of the county.

    (b) The powers and duties of the county-wide fire department may be delegated by the county legislative body or other governing body to an existing agency.

    (c) (1) The governing body of any county that now has or may hereafter have a metropolitan form of government as defined by § 7-1-101, is authorized to form a new agency to be known as the county-wide fire department, or to extend fire protection services of an existing agency or department to all or any part thereof of the general services district outside the urban services district in the manner and to the extent prescribed in this section.

    (2) In counties governed by metropolitan government, the powers and duties of the agency or department affording fire protection outside the urban services district shall be vested in that agency in which the charter of the metropolitan government vests the responsibility for protection against fire of life and property within the urban services district.

    (d) A fire department established pursuant to this chapter may be funded through one (1) of the following methods:

    (1) As authorized by §§ 5-17-105 — 5-17-107, the county legislative body may establish one (1) or more fire tax districts and levy an annual fire tax upon the property in each district for the purpose of funding the activities of the fire department within that district;

    (2) As an alternative to fire tax districts, the county legislative body is hereby authorized to allocate revenue from the general fund of the county to fund fire protection services to be provided to the unincorporated portions of the county. Any such revenues allocated for fire protection services shall be generated by situs-based taxes collected in unincorporated areas of the county or shall originate from other revenue sources that have already been shared with municipalities;

    (3) Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting the ability of local governments to provide for fire protection services through an interlocal agreement as authorized by title 12, chapter 9, or any other provision of the Tennessee Code;

    (4) Nothing in this subsection (d) shall prohibit nor be construed to prohibit a local government from accepting donations or charitable contributions to fund the activities of the fire department, regardless of the method of funding selected by a local government under the provisions of this section.

    (e) Any county choosing to create a county-wide fire district as authorized by this section, may, with the approval of the local legislative body, mandate that all interlocal agreements and contracts with providers for services permitted under this section contain performance based criteria designed to ensure timely response and effective services, the exact methodology of which is to be determined by local ordinance.

    Read 5-17-101 (d) (2) again.

    (2) As an alternative to fire tax districts, the county legislative body is hereby authorized to allocate revenue from the general fund of the county to fund fire protection services to be provided to the unincorporated portions of the county. Any such revenues allocated for fire protection services shall be generated by situs-based taxes collected in unincorporated areas of the county or shall originate from other revenue sources that have already been shared with municipalities;

    Do you notice where it says, “Any such revenues allocated for fire protection services shall be generated by situs-based taxes collected in unincorporated areas of the county or shall originate from other revenue sources that have already been shared with municipalities;”? I will be more specific. Please note where it uses the word “or” in the following sentence. “shall be generated by situs-based taxes collected in unincorporated areas of the county “OR” shall originate from other revenue sources that have already been shared with municipalities;”?

    The General Assembly had already determined that all counties that get into the fire protection business will do so by enacting a countywide fire department and they will fund it using fire tax districts. Then, in 1998, Bob Rochelle and three others sponsored an act that would go on to be approved and that would go on to provide an alternative to paying for the countywide fire department using fire taxes. Now, the alternative has two options. Those options are, you can pay for the countywide fire department using situs based taxes that are collected in the unincorporated portion of the county “OR” you can use other sources of revenues that have already been shared with the municipalities, but you cannot use both situs based taxes that have been collected in the unincorporated portion of the county “AND”, at the same time, use other sources of revenue that have already been shared with the municipalities. In other words, they have to choose, they can use situs based taxes that have been collected in the unincorporated areas of the county, or, as an alternative, they can use other sources of revenue that have already been shared with the municipalities. I didn’t write the law, I am just pointing out what the law says.

    Websters defines the word “OR” to mean:

    Definition of OR

    1
    —used as a function word to indicate an alternative , the equivalent or substitutive character of two words or phrases , or approximation or uncertainty
    2
    archaic : either
    3
    archaic : whether
    4
    —used in logic as a sentential connective that forms a complex sentence which is true when at least one of its constituent sentences is true — compare disjunction

    I don’t know about you, but when I read the definition of the word “Or” it believe that the definition in option 1 above is the proper definition to apply to this law. The only way that the word “OR” in this sentence means that they can use both situs based taxes that are collected in the unincorporated portion of the county “AND” use other sources of revenue that have already been shared with the municipalities is if the word “OR” is used as an inclusive disjunction. Laws are supposed to be written so that the ordinary person can interpret them, then, their meaning is determined by what the text clearly says, not based on how you can most liberally construe the words to mean if you use every trick in the book. Let’s reconstruct the sentence that is in 5-17-101 (d) (2) and make it mean that you can use both and I think you will see that the word “Or” does not mean “AND”.

    (2) As an alternative to fire tax districts, the county legislative body is hereby authorized to allocate revenue from the general fund of the county to fund fire protection services to be provided to the unincorporated portions of the county. Any such revenues allocated for fire protection services shall be generated by using situs-based taxes collected in unincorporated areas of the county and any revenue source that has already been shared with municipalities;

    However, if you write it that way the sentence tends to suggest you have to use situs based taxes if you are going to use the alternative and you may add in any other source of revenue that has been shared with the municipalities. So, if the county wanted you to be able to use either source or both, they would have had to have written it as follows:

    (2) As an alternative to fire tax districts, the county legislative body is hereby authorized to allocate revenue from the general fund of the county to fund fire protection services to be provided to the unincorporated portions of the county. Any such revenues allocated for fire protection services shall be generated by using situs-based taxes collected in unincorporated areas of the county, any revenue source that has already been shared with municipalities, or both;

    This last rendition is the format that is used in just about every legal document I have ever seen to indicate the authority to use one or the other or both. Bob Rochelle is an attorney, and from what I understand a very good attorney. He sponsored this act. He would have known to word this the way that I worded it in the last rendition had he intended for the county to be authorized to use one or the other or both of the options in 5-17-101 (d) (2). I think that the evidence that suggests that the county may use one OR the other is pretty strong here, and unless the county is willing to take that bet in court, they should choose one source of the other.

    This isn’t over though, there is another problem. Certain revenues are included in their $3.3 million that are not “other sources of revenue that have already been shared with the municipalities”. They are other sources of revenue, but those sources of revenue have not been shared with the municipalities. The important part of that sentence is that the revenue source being singled out as a revenue source has to have been shared with the municipalities. If a source of income the state shared revenue being included was collected by the state, and it was collected from the entire county, and if a portion of that money was then remitted to the county, and if the county has not shared that money with the municipalities OR if the state has not already shared a portion of that money with the Municipalities before it gives the county its already shared with the municipalities money, then that source cannot be used. I believe you will find that a bunch of the money that is used to come up with the $3.3 million dollars includes situs based taxes AND other sources of revenue that have already been shared with the municipalities AND other sources of revenue that have not already been shared with the municipalities. They may have gotten this figure past the comptroller, however, I am not sure that the comptroller would agree with their figure if someone were to bring to his attention the word “OR” in the sentence in 5-17-101 (d) (2).

    The county says that it is paying for fire using state shared revenue, however, that is not what is authorized by law. What is authorized by law is other sources of revenue that have already been shared, not with the state, but with the municipalities. That may include certain sources of state shared revenues, but I believe some of the sources of state shared revenues are disqualified funds because they have not been shared with the municipalities. Below is a list of revenues that make up the $3.3 million. I am not certain about which revenue sources are qualified or not, but I am going to take a stab at it below. I think there are even other factors such as revenue sources that have already been dedicated to other funds as well.

    Bank Excise Tax $115,193
    Wholesale Beer Tax 538,724
    Income Tax 743,231
    State Beer Tax 17,778
    Alcoholic Beverage Tax 115,066
    Mix Drink Tax 6,930
    Tva Pilot 15,236
    Pilots – Other 34,778
    Tva Revenue Sharing 1,122,716
    Cable TV Franchises 464,683
    Building Permits 126,699

    The bank excise tax, I believe, is collected throughout the entire county and is not shared with the municipalities. I don’t believe this can be used as a funding source. It is not a situs based tax collected in the unincorporated portion of the county.

    Wholesale beer tax? Same thing as bank excise tax. (I believe)

    Income tax? Same thing as Bank excise tax (I believe)

    State Beer Tax? I don’t think this would qualify either, but I am not certain.

    Alcoholic Beverage Tax? Don’t think this tax is shared and it is collected throughout the county.

    Mix Drink Tax? Please. The county doesn’t allow mixed drinks does it? This is a direct tax on the incorporated portions of the county, not a shared tax.

    TVA pilot? No, this is an in-lieu of tax payment that is in-lieu of property tax and is treated as a property tax, and it is not a shared revenue source or a situs based tax. This revenue sharing figure is based on all TVA assets in the entire county!

    Pilots? I don’t know what that is.

    TVA Revenue sharing? Again: No, this is an in-lieu of tax payment that is in-lieu of property tax and is treated as a property tax, and it is not a shared revenue source or a situs based tax. This revenue sharing figure is based on all TVA assets in the entire county!

    Cable TV Franchises? If this source of revenue is only collected in the county it could possibly be used as Situs based taxes, however, it cannot be used as revenue that has already been shared with the municipalities. If this source of revenue is collected throughout the county, and if it is not shared with the municipalities, it can’t be used either.

    Building permits. I believe this tax is collected throughout the entire county and not just in the unincorporated portion of the county and therefore would be disqualified. I do not believe that the county shares this revenue so it would not fall under the other source of revenue that has already been shared with the municipalities category either.

    I don’t think the county has a revenue source available that is sufficient to fund the fire and rescue portion of the costs of WEMA, but I guess I could be wrong.

    Let’s say that I am wrong, though. The county still can’t get past the fact that they are saying that ambulance costs upwards of $6 million per year, and they can’t use property taxes to fund it so the ambulance service, which only brings in about $2 million in revenues to offset its costs, has to eat up all of the $3.3 million that the county is saying is available to pay for fire and rescue. Because ambulance does not have the same option that fire has in terms of being able to have an ambulance tax district, and because the county has to fund the ambulance service according to the dictates of T.C.A. 7-61-101–104, the county has to use up all of that $3.3 on ambulance first. By saying that all of the revenues that are not included in “Fire and rescue” are a part of the costs of ambulance, as the county has asserted, they make the operation of the county ambulance service un-fundable as well, and therefore illegal. It is illegal anyway because they don’t have interlocal agreements with the municipalities. Once they do have interlocal agreements with the municipalities, I am quite certain they will have to reinvest the profits that are generated from urban operations into urban ambulance services and no longer be able to use those revenues to fund WEMA in the rural areas of the county.

    Sorry, County, but no matter which way you go, you are getting boxed into a corner.

    I know you guys at the county are reading this blog and I know you read what I write. The more you push this the more you are going to have egg on your faces when this is over. The best thing you can do is throw in the towel, meet with the cities, and construct a legal and functional fire protection system in this county. You can’t bamboozle me. I will pick apart everything you try to do until you relent and establish fire districts and levy a fire tax. You have gotten away with your financial shell game for a long, long time, but the party is over. Time to come to the table and play nice. Remember, I don’t have to be right about everything I have said here, all I have to do is be right about $1.5 million of the $3.3 million that the county says is the balance of the resources it uses to pay for fire and rescue. If I can prove that the county cannot use just $1.5 million of the $3.3 million, then the county has to establish fire taxes even if I am wrong about everything else. The TVA money above is undoubtably disqualified, which means we don’t have to find much other disqualified money and we have fire districts in Wilson County.

    This is all calculated on the basis of call volume. Once you calculate the real cost of fire and rescue the county is sunk. The costs of the countywide fire department can’t legally be separated anyway. The resolution that authorized the county to establish a countywide fire department states that it is to be established pursuant to TCA 5-17-101 et seq for the purposes pursuant to 5-17-102 et seq inclusive. That means that they established the countywide fire department for all of the powers and duties and responsibilities enumerated in 5-17-102, which is essentially everything that WEMA does. However, even if you broke the costs down to the costs of the individual components of WEMA, which include fire, rescue, water rescue, special teams, ambulance, hazardous material, emergency management, you could not develop those costs based on call volume alone. How many bays are there in all of the fire stations throughout the county? The distributive portion of the costs of every fire station in this county, including operating costs of the structure itself, are attributable based on square footage that is allocated to the apparatus that occupies that space. compare the size of a fire truck to the size of an ambulance. There are many, many more pieces of fire apparatus in this county than there are ambulance vehicles, so the operational and infrastructure costs of ambulance is going to necessarily be less than that of all of the other functions that exist combined. Fire and rescue are going to be the largest portion of the costs. As far as manpower costs, or staffing costs, are concerned, you can only, at best, segregate out two fire fighters from the four in stations three and four, and you can only segregate four of the nine in station 1. In any other station where there are four personnel on duty, the same would hold true as well. In stations where there are two personnel on duty and there is an ambulance and a fire truck, I believe you have to allocate that on a 50-50 basis because they have to be available to respond to either fire or rescue at any time. Just because a person is doing one function more often than the other does not mean there is not an attributable share of cost to the function they never do if they are required to do that function if the need arrises.

    The comptroller obviously did not investigate the figures submitted to him by the county, but rather he trusted the county and made a determination that the county is funding WEMA correctly. The letter the county has can be picked apart in court very easily.

    Oh, wouldn’t this just be easier if the county would just develop fire districts? I mean, really, isn’t it time to end this game?

  7. THE CITY OF MT. JULIET DOES NOT OWE THE COUNTY ONE THIN DIME!!! It is the idiot/hostage scenario. The guy stands there with the gun to his own head and yells at the cops, “Stop, or I’ll shoot”! In this case it’s the county with the gun to their head wanting MJ to PAY or they will shoot. I say…LET THEM SHOOT. My cousin, my brothers on the job, and me have all stated with clarity…WEMA DOES NOT SERVE THE CITY OF MT. JULIET…one more time…WEMA DOES NOT SERVE THE CITY OF MT. JULIET!!! WEMA station #3 serves ZONE #3. There are 8 zones that cover the entire county. WEMA has a station in each zone. All are paid full time 24/7/365 stations with the exception of station #7 in ZONE 7 Statesville that is volunteer. (In my humble opinion, there should be a plan in place to make this a full time paid station…those citizens deserve better.) Look on the deployment map of WEMA. It breaks the county down into ZONE boundaries NOT CITY. I know people that live in the city limits of MJ and are serviced by staion 4 to the NW and station 5 in the SE. MJ is services by three zone assets stations 3,4,and 5. The citizens are not being serviced as citizens of MJ, Lakeview, and Gladeville. They are being serviced as citizens of the county in zones 3, 4, and 5. The citizens of MJ owe the county NO MORE than the citizens of Lakeview, Laguardo, Gladeville, Vine, Norene, Statesville, etc. Ed, Jim, Ted, James, and Art…please educate yourselves to this measure. DO NOT PAY THEM SQUAT!!! They will not move…they can’t. If they move from station 3 (which they get for one dollar/year rent) then they will be showing piss poor financial stewardship of OUR money. It will show the citizens of this county that this is ALL about EGO, ARROGANCE, and ATTITUDE. Let’s say they do move…they can’t help their weak selves and feel they have to move to save face…they cannot leave zone #3. They may move 2 blocks south or 3 blocks east to get out of the MJ city limits, but that is as far as they can go. Anything more and they will be facing a HUGE negligence lawsuit brought on not by the citizens of the city of MJ but by the citizens of Wilson Co. Zone #3. Trust me, the county mayor, Randall-on-a-rope, will soil himself at that prospect. Stop dealing with the county commissioners altogether…ignore them and enjoy the humble pie eating show. To go forward, I would suggest the city leaders in MJ start researching what it would take to adequately and with fiscal diligence, start a city department. See, for me and the men and women doing the job, it has never been about budgets, monies, ot line items…it is and always will be about taking care of people. When somebody’s house is on fire or they have an elephant on their chest..we see the true truth in their eyes. They say “help me, save my baby, and please do not let me die”. Until you have been face to face with these people in their time of dire need, you will never fully understand or appreciate what it is to help someone on this level. It is way beyond “Can I borrow some sugar”? or “Need to borrow my mower”? We do not say this out of arrogance, ego, or elevation above any. Our’s is not a job or occupation…it is a calling…we are humble and consider it a true priviledge to serve, preserve, and help in any way YOU need. Our city leaders need our help to help you. For whatever reason they will not ask nor accept out input. They need to be either enlightened or replaced, period. Know this next time they ask for your vote. It is a part time job but it has full time consequences. Maybe we should also explore that…MJ is a full time city…seems it could use some full time leaders giving a full time effort.
    RP

  8. Southsider

    RP – One of the best posts ever to this site. Really.
    One can only hope Mt. Juliet’s elected officials are listening. So far they have tried to increase funding to an organization prior to finding out how much they are already paying to it.

    A whole new spin to “if you don’t know where you are going any road will take you there”.

    Mt. Juliet’s version: “if you don’t know where you are, any direction is better”.

    Sheesh..

  9. Chief O'Hallorhan

    Can’t agree with you more RP.

    Butch, why not sent another request to the State Comptroller for an investigation and while you’re at it send it to the I-team at Channel 4, News Channel 5 Investigates, and another at Channel 2. Not to late to send a story idea to them before Monday’s County Commission Meeting.

    Like RP, the brothers and sisters at WEMA can’t put requests in ourselves out of fear of retaliation, but citizens like yourselves can for us.

  10. #1 Rule when you find yourself lost in the woods…STAY PUT!!! Someone ( in this case contributors to this post AND fire service personnel currently doing THE JOB) will notice you are lost and will come get you. At that point, you will have to decide to go with them or STAY LOST.
    P.S. Do not ask a bear (county) for directions.

    #2 In this case…something is NOT better than nothing.

    Lack of education is a FAULT…not an excuse.

    RP

    Thank you Southsider. I appreciate your kind words and intentions on this issue.

  11. Butch Huber

    What would you call a person who strikes a deal with you, takes money from you that he is entitled to take in return for doing something for you, but then he doesn’t do the thing for which you paid him?

    Now, apply that to the county, who taxes you, but then doesn’t provide the service for which it taxes you.

  12. Butch,
    Let’s not stop there. Grand Mystic Royale Order of all thing Publius, can you tell us how each of our trusted city leaders voted on the tax? Just a minute, be right with you, Butch.
    RP

  13. Southsider

    The County GIS system can be used to expose the Wilson County fire protection funding scam. You can identify every household per square mile. Property tax records from every Fire Station Zone can be calculated to show how much (per household) every household is really paying for 83% of WEMA. That is the the percentage Wilson County told the State Comptroller that WEMA is presently being funded by property taxes.

    When the property tax per household paid from the Mt. Juliet portion of the Station 3 Zone is compared with the average amount paid by every other Wilson County household – this scam will be totally exposed. WEMA owes Mt. Juliet money back (and Lebanon too).

    Go look. You will be shocked.

  14. Butch,
    The answer to your question can be found on the front page of today’s Lebanon Democrat. The reverend has gone over to the dark side. The political cicada has shed his “humble beginnings, uphill both ways from Watertown” cutesy outer shell and is now engaging in media double speak and mind games. How can you look at this issue and see 2 polar opposite outcomes. That meeting was defining as to just how far apart two parties can be on an issue. Folks, that’s not my opinion…the sky is blue, the grass is green, and that is a FACT. This man promised to fix the fire issue in MJ, told me that to my face, I guess I should have asked him how. Now our bunch is saying we have to start over and Mr. CheesyGrin is saying we heading in the right direction. Let the media mind games begin. BTW, to those city leaders that think they are back to square one…wrong answer pooch lips. You are going past square one in the wrong direction. There is no path forward to a solution to adequately care for your constituents and now you have enacted a tax for NOTHING YOU KNOW OF. You pass a tax based on what some “granny shuffle service” told you and now you have taken our money FOR NOTHING. Are you guys jonesing for a lynch mob? You base the amount of this tax on what you were told by Rural Metro and it is not even a consideration comparable to working with WEMA or the start of MJFD. Rural Metro told you to shove it up your goat smellin’ a$$…and this is what you got from that meeting? The county tells you $411,000 but the WEMA finance director can’t tell you if that is what the manpower cost cause he don’t know. My gosh, you really do not have to be good at your job to succeed in this county. Ed Hagerty, James Maness, Ted Floyd, Jim Bradshaw, Art Giles…I am respectfully asking you to consider making a call and getting some help. You know who to call, everyone on both sides check your egos at the door and let’s do what is right and fiscally responsible. Oh, and hurry! Hutto and the Henchmen are looking for an opening act.

    RP

  15. …and just to prove the point in print.
    The Lebanon Democrat Headline for Wednesday July 13, 2011…
    “County, Mt. Juliet far apart on fire issue” by Sandy Campbell
    The Lebanon Democrat Headline for Friday July 15, 2011…
    “Hutto sees progress in fire talks”
    ???????????????????????????????????????????????????
    July 13, 2011 story highlights…
    *White elephant in room
    *Ed says session nothing more than an attempt to extract $$$from his cityto pay for existing service…raises his voice…rug pulled out from under us. (yeah, Randall sounds real close)
    *Bradshaw says Mj paying fair share in taxes. Hutto says no you are not.
    *Bradshaw says Watertown getting county money. Jennings says no we are not. (not sure at present if what team Bradshaw is on)
    *Reich says cost is $411,000 according to Jewell. Hutto says not really. Price to be determined what is fair between Hagerty and Hutto…basically somewhere between free and arm/leg.
    *Hutto says ambulance never an issue. Hagerty says uh-huh it was.
    *According to Sandy Campbell in last sentence of report…”Judging from MJ commissioners reaction,…third option is return to square one.
    ??????????????????????????????????????????????????
    Yeah, Randall that’s so close you can hardly see the differences. Poor Sandy, he must be sea sick.

    RP

  16. Butch Huber

    They are all forgetting that they cannot reach an agreement outside of establishing fire districts. They can’t legally fund WEMA without fire districts and without levying a fire tax, it is impossible. Any deal that they put together absent the establishment of fire districts and the levying of fire taxes will be unwound. In fact, putting together a deal without first establishing fire districts and levying fire taxes can only be described as being the absolute dumbest thing that they could do. Why spend all of that time working that hard to end up with something that is still going to be a problem? I think that should be the second definition of insanity.

    Insanity:

    1) Doing the exact same thing over and over and expecting different results.
    2) Working hard to solve a problem using a solution that you know won’t solve the problem and that will leave you worse off for your efforts.
    3) Expecting politicians to do the right thing on purpose.

    Wait…stop….hold the presses……okay, who threw in line 3? I resemble that remark! Ahhhhhh!!!!!!! I must be insane!!!!!!

  17. Welcome to the club, Butch…we have jackets. Nurse Ratched will be by soon with your morning meds (I suggest the oral route if you know what I mean) and soon after they kick in you’ll see there is a #4.

    #4.Spitting on the trust of your constituents and with unmitigated gall ignoring the will of the people, refusing educated, experienced, and reasonable information and assistance offered, trudging head first knowingly unknowing into the issue making it far worse now than before you FINALLY decide to act because you had to.

    …that would probably get me fired from American-Heritage.

    And to Comrade Clintski Thomaski who wishes to “field dress” democracy when it suits his purpose…How’s that cutting out the middle men taste now?

    BTW, you got a glimpse of the disfunctionablity of the leadership fo WEMA. The director pulling numbers out of his butt because his finance director can’t do his job. The bad news is the director is a big contributor to RH’s campaign and IN like a tatoo on his butt. If you could get the mayor to replace him with one of the only two men truly qualified and knowledgable in the ways of WEMA, THIS ISSUE WOULD IMPROVE 150%…THAT’S A GARANTEE FROM RP.

    …ha, wanting me to pay MORE for the INADEQUATE service I am so richly enjoying now??? Butch, I don’t think you and I are the insane ones.

    RP

  18. Let’s try to have a laugh…

    Coming soon to a meeting you will NOT know of…In the spirit of the old Japanese monster movies of the past…The Wilson County EMA Committee Players in a MJ City Council production of…

    DECEIVATRON vs. IGNORAMUS

    Coming soon to an undisclosed location at an unannounced time near you.

    HAHA…I gotta lotta time on my hands, huh?
    RP

  19. BTW,
    Info packets, emails, and phone calls went out in Friday’s mail to one high ranking lawyer downtown and one in Franklin…both with very closed ties to MJ/Wilson Co. and to the investigative teams of Ch. 4 & 5. Hard copies of recent headlines that are polar opposites plus directions on how to access the pertinent post on this site by Ace and others. All but (ch.4) has returned calls and expressed hightened interest in this subject matter and look forward to receiving the packets. One of the lawyers stated an intent to research which area of expertise would be best suited for this in the event it made case. They were a bit puzzled by the players as it is unusual for a county to declare jihad on a city that maintains such a high in the red real number representing ignorance and threatening to reduce or all out withold essential emergency services. (Ha, RP’s legal rambling) Anyway, their words not mine…it would be of benefit to hear from as many affected individuals and groups as possible. Make the calls, hit the send button, and lick the stamps.

    Ed, Ted, Art, James, and Jim…its not too late to shoot up a flare. Help is close by. Godspeed.

    RP

  20. Butch Huber

    Ed, Ted, Art, James, Jim, you have at your disposal a tool that could bring this all out in the open for all to see. You, as a commission, have the power to hold hearings and subpoena witnesses, who will have no immunity when you call them, and force them to give you the information that is necessary for you to determine if this city is being abused. You have the ability to have a judge preside over the hearing, so you don’t have to worry about whether or not you are conducting it properly. You can call the Mayor of the County, the Commissioners for the county, the director of WEMA and his personnel, and anyone else you want or need to call as witnesses. If I were you, I would take advantage of that tool. We have so much evidence that the county is ripping off the city of Mt. Juliet it would sink them if you held this type of hearing. Guys, you have a right, granted to you by the general assembly and written in your charter that allows you to do this, nobody has a right to stop you. Call your witnesses to city hall and let’s end this once and for all.

    I will provide you with a whole list of questions to ask them if you would like. Once you have gotten the answers to your questions they will not have anyplace to go, you will have completely exposed the county for what it is and what it has been doing.

  21. Southsider

    I have one question for the county:

    Since you told the Comptroller that 83% of the cost of WEMA is financed through property tax, why are you asking Mt. Juliet for more that 17% to enhance service?

  22. Butch Huber

    I was asked a great question today. The question was, “What are we trying to accomplish”. The question was meant to provoke thought about what we, those of us who are active in the fire issue, are trying to accomplish with all of this effort being put into it.

    I am very clear in what I want to accomplish. I want my government to operate properly, according to law, well within the confines of the law, in the center of the law as much as possible, and I want it to be wise and thoughtful in how it does its job.

    I believe that it is our job to help government. I do not believe that citizens have completed their job by voting once every two to four years, I think we have jobs to do each and every day, and those jobs do not start and stop with what we do for a career. We have responsibilities to hold our government accountable and make them responsible. If we are not a part of the solution then we have no right to complain about the outcomes.

    Several years back I started on this journey to help my government stay on the straight and narrow. Since the beginning I have always maintained that the government has certain things that it has a right to do, and if it has a right to do it then my opinion doesn’t matter much. However, there are a lot of things that the government is allowed to do that wouldn’t be a smart thing to do. My opinion then only matters so much as politicians allow it to matter. If they are doing what it is legal, and I don’t like it, and they don’t listen to me, then that is too bad, so sad, for me, at least until election time. However, if the government is about to break the law, and if the law is pointed out to them and they continue or endeavor to break it, then they have no business being in office.

    We have rule book in this country, that rule book contains the Constitution of the United States of America, the Constitutions of the several states, and the laws, ordinances, resolutions, and regulations of the Nation, States, counties or parishes, and cities and towns. Our governments have no choice but to follow those laws if they are going to operate legally.

    The way that we end up in such torment and chaos is that Governments of all sizes determine not to follow the Constitutions, Laws, Ordinances, resolutions, and regulations that are included in our rule book. They decide using opinion, conjecture, attitude, and emotion rather than using the law as a guide.

    If government were to only follow its own laws, we would not have the kind of debt that we have and the kind of chaos that we have.

    In our present situation, we have a county that has for years been violating the law, which has become abundantly clear at this point. We have a city government that has allowed this to continue. Now, we have a county government that wants to force Mt. Juliet to fix the problem the county caused. Mt. Juliet’s city commission actually went about 90% in the county’s direction in what would have been an illegal deal. It isn’t the right of government to violate the law, even if they politicians in place at the time thought it was a good idea. The duty of our public servants is to follow the law, not do whatever the hell they please once they get in office.

    I have pointed out the law again and again over the past 6 or 7 years, only government does not listen to citizens. That needs to change. Government needs to listen to citizens, we are here to help our government do our will. Government isn’t our “slave”, it is our helper. It is there not to lord over us, but to support us as we build a nation and a world. It is our framework, not our all and all. We have to shape it and mold it into what we want it to be, while following the law, and then put people in place to keep it in that shape. That is what I am in it for, to help my government follow the law.

    I am okay with my government making mistakes, we all make mistakes and anyone who has ever stepped out and tried anything new or difficult will tell you that mistakes are inevitable. However, when we make mistakes after someone has told us that what we are about to do is illegal or unlawful, then we need to own up to our mistake and take our discipline and learn from the experience. The problem with government is that it won’t self-regulate and self-correct. In fact, until you get absolutely mean and nasty with government, most times it simply will not even pay any attention.

    If we do not get ahold of our local government there is no hope of reeling in our Federal government. If we can’t learn to develop power and leverage and influence at the local level, and if we won’t hold our government accountable at the local level, how will we be able to hold our federal government accountable? That is the focus, we need to learn to band together and hold government accountable. If we are able to generate a groundswell that takes off across the nation, a groundswell of citizens holding government accountable at the local level, the local level government will have no choice but to help us hold the next level of government accountable, and so on and so on until we have a responsible governmental structure in this county from the President down to the City Manager and beyond.

    At the same time that I want government to stick within the confines of the law and endeavor to land in the middle of the law, I think Citizens should push the limits of the law, and even break it from time to time, to win as much liberty as possible. We own government, not the other way around, and we need to push our liberties as far as we can while still being responsible.

    Government has it backwards, they push the limit of the law and break it while expecting us to follow the letter of the law. That is upside down thinking in this country.

    So, the fire issue, albeit a very important issue, is just one in a long string of things that I am involved with and will become involved with over the coming years. I don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon. I believe it helps government to have citizens who point out the law to them so that they can stay on the straight and narrow. It is what I would want if I were in office. I think it is important to keep everything in perspective.

    I can forgive politicians quite easily if they were to just humble themselves and admit that they were wrong when they make mistakes. I am not so lenient on those who are stiff-necked and obstinate. I defy anyone to find a post that I have made anywhere where I attack a politician who hasn’t attacked me or someone else or who has not been made aware of the law unless they are making a blatantly stupid mistake when they really should have known better. I think you would find that I inform, attempt to persuade, inform, then, when they ignore me, I then start bashing them. They deserve it at that point.

    What is the goal? A government that follows the law, acts wisely, and is thoughtful. We owe it to ourselves to build that government. This government does not waste, does not fraud, does not abuse. This government is one you can depend on at all times. This government doesn’t steal from us.

  23. Butch Huber

    Our city commission and our county commission should keep in mind that we, as citizens of this city, have the ability through homerule to unwind and reverse anything this commission commits to, so they should be careful to follow the law. If the city commits to a legal deal, it would be virtually impossible for us to unwind it, however, if the deal they put together is illegal we can unwind it and the parties to the deal who are disadvantaged as a result just have to take it on the chin because they entered into an illegal deal.

    I suggest you county and city officials take the time to ensure that whatever deal you put together is lawful. Here is a hint: Fire tax districts and fire taxes are the only legal way that you can provide a countywide fire department in this county.

  24. Butch Huber

    Well, the county jumped off a cliff tonight. They almost have now guaranteed that they end up in court over this fire protection issue.

  25. “Hold!….Hold!…Hold!…”
    General Maximus Decimus Meridius
    Gladiator (2000)

    Butch wants a government to conduct itself proper. A governement that men and women have fought, bled, and died for.
    Sonny wants to have protection…not just for his family, but for his neighbors. He does not want them to worry about what he knows of a deficient level of protection at present.
    Chris, Shawn, et al doing the job just want some help doing the job. They know the benefits of adequate protection.
    Someone wants to know why we do this or what we hope to accomplish? There you go, pick one…pick all three if you want.
    Ed, James, Art, Ted, Jim what are you guys in it for? Yes, I’m asking because it does not seem as clear as the three above. You have the opportunity and the time is NOW to do something great for this city and be known for it. It is obvious you guys need some additional help and info. ASK. Help me help you help me help them.
    RP

  26. Butch Huber

    I just found this article in the Lebanon democrat. Notice the date? Read the article and notice how Bradshaw blasts Shearer about not communicating on the fire issue. Justice is saying in this article that Elam and Shearer were putting this city in a no-win situation. I have posted that article here for your review. I will comment below:

    April 29, 2006 – The Mt. Juliet City Commission – a group until now has been all but absent from the fire service debate – expressed their frustration, disappointment and unhappiness with the Ad Hoc Fire Study Committee agreement reached earlier this week, describing it as “short-sighted” and even “sub-par.”
    Under the terms of a deal reached Tuesday, the five-member study committee agreed to extend the fire protection contract between Mt. Juliet and Wilson County by five years and lengthened the contract termination time from 90 days to one year.
    If approved by the County Commission, the new deal would, in essence, guarantee Mt. Juliet would receive county fire service for at least a full year. It would also put off future debate until after the election cycle.
    In exchange, Mt. Juliet agreed to provide the county with $25,000 in funds for Mt. Juliet’s fire station equipment as well as a reserve volunteer firefighting force to aid county firefighters.
    Mt. Juliet District 3 City Commissioner Ed Hagerty said he only heard about the deal and had yet to see the language the study committee ironed out Tuesday.
    Still, the vice mayor reacted coolly to the agreement, saying it sounded like Mt. Juliet agreed to a tax simply for playing the county’s game.
    District 1 Commissioner Ray Justice said he was not happy with the “sub-par” agreement. Justice said it felt like the $25,000 Mt. Juliet agreed to pay the county was a “buy out” to have the issue shelved temporarily.
    Glen Linthicum, who represents Mt. Juliet’s second district, said he thought paying $25,000 was “short-sighted,” and failed to address any of the issues the committee set out to solve.
    “I do not agree with this $25,000,” Linthicum said. “This is somewhat of an additional tax for the City of Mt. Juliet for something that’s already agreed upon.
    “And we haven’t done anything, really. We haven’t solved the problem, which is what I thought this ad hoc committee was here to do, once they actually went public with their meetings,” Linthicum continued.
    The District 2 city commissioner then questioned the future of the “short-sighted” agreement.
    “Don’t just say ‘$25,000 and we’ll continue for another six months.’ And then what?” he said. “In another six months are you going to say you want another $25,000? Or this time $50,000?”
    District 4 Commissioner Jim Bradshaw said he, like Hagerty, had yet to see the agreement, but questioned if the $25,000 was actually going to help Mt. Juliet.
    “That’s why I want to see a line-item in there, to see exactly what that $25,000 is going to,” Bradshaw said. “In other words, I want to see if it’s stuff that’s going to get us in compliance.”
    Aside from their views on the pact itself, all city commissioners said they should have had more input in negotiations.
    “I would like to have more say-so in it,” Bradshaw said. “I’m not going to say I’m overjoyed by the make up of the Ad Hoc Committee. It’s been a delicate situation, but I’ve not been pleased with it, period.”
    Asked how the study committee could have produced an agreement that none of the Mt. Juliet city commissioners were happy with, Justice said; “Because we (city commissioners) haven’t had any available input.”
    Justice laid some blame on the entire study committee but also said the political motives of many directly involved in the process have created a terrible situation.
    “Elam is up there representing herself as the will of the Commission without there being any will of the Commission,” he said.
    Justice placed blame on Wilson County Mayor Robert Dedman for not willing to give Elam any credibility on the issue.
    “Because to do that would only help her in running against him,” Justice said. “Elam and (City Manager Rob) Shearer are putting us in a position of no-win by their actions.”
    Bradshaw said a lack of communication definitely contributed to the situation.
    “Rob (Shearer) needs to communicate better. I just sent my evaluation in on him, and one of my lower points was communication,” he said. “I don’t think the Commission needs to call up and call up and say, ‘Give me an update, give me and update.’ He’s (Shearer) good on updating us on figures. But on other things, like the fire issue sometimes, we just don’t get updated.”
    In the end, though, Bradshaw said no one individual is to blame.
    “There can be better communication all the way around; the county, the city, the mayor, the Commission, and the manager,” he said.
    Staff Writer Jared Allen can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 15 or by e-mail at jared.allen@lebanondemocrat.com.

    Where is Randy Robertson in this fire issue? He is being left completely off the hook. He isn’t involved at all it appears. He isn’t part of the fire protection negotiations. He is the administrative head of this government, yet he is absent on this. Why? Why isn’t Randy Robertson getting the same kind of heat that Shearer was getting? Rob was trying to fix the problem and they forced him to resign under duress. Robertson isn’t anywhere to be found, yet he gets a pass? Really?

    Folks, this entire mess is Randy Robertson’s fault. The agreement between the city and the county was that Mt. Juliet would continue to work on this and find a solution. The board of commissioners signed that interlocal agreement. Randy Robertson did nothing to resolve this issue before it blew up into a big deal. He hadn’t put together any cohesive plan or strategy, he allowed our commission to have their pants pulled down and their rear ends spanked in public. He is responsible for allowing this city to get into this predicament, yet he gets a pass. Where the hell is Jason Holleman, btw? It is as if this city has no legal counsel at all! Well, if I were an attorney they would have legal counsel because my research has been tantamount to what a good attorney would have done for them, but, alas, I am not an attorney, so I cannot render legal advice, just opinions. Randy Robertson is Jason’s Supervisor, so why is Randy getting a pass? He should have been working with Jason Holleman through all of this to ensure that the commission is fully aware of its rights and duties and options. Our commission seems to be lost on this, at least until now. Perhaps that slap they got last tuesday woke them up.

    BTW, in April of 2006, the appropriate thing to do was to kick the can down the road while they looked for a viable solution to the problem. April 2006 was five years ago, before the massive growth took place in this city. Since that time property values in this city have gone up nearly 70%. That is a lot of growth that has taken place, and most of that growth has occurred south of I-40, which did not really exist before 2006. The proper course of action at that time was to secure a deal with the county, work out the details for a proper strategy for the future, and implement that deal. Unfortunately, Linda Elam and others forced Rob out of office before he could work on the solution. Then they hired Randy Robertson, who was supposed to find the solutions. He handed this commission nothing! Yet, true to form, this commission does nothing to even bring reprimand to him. Why? Why does this man get a pass? What is so special about Randy Robertson that he can so badly drop the ball and nothing is said? He should have been prepared for this, he should have had a plan, it was part of his charter as a city manager to take care of this situation before it became a problem, so why the pass?

  27. Sonny Griffin

    Thank you, R. P.

    I do, indeed, want adequate fire protection for all Wilson County Citizens.

    I know, however, that the same level of protection cannot be provided to a Citizen living in a remote rural area that is provided to someone living in a large city with a concentrated population.

    R. P., I also want the same things that Butch wants and for the same reasons.

    If government had done its job, we would not have this problem today.

    Therefore, how can we expect this same government to solve this problem now? At this time, I believe it is up to us, the Citizens of Mt. Juliet and Wilson County, to solve this problem. Our government has failed us.

  28. Sonny Griffin

    Butch,

    I appreciate your critique of Robertson and Holleman but after all is said and done isn’t their performance or lack of it the responsibility of the City Commission?

    How come we can see the problem with them and they can’t?

    The reason Robertson does not do anything about Holleman is because that is the way it works in the armed services. After all, Robertson is thirty years Army. Holleman works for him. Holleman is a troop in Robertson’s command. In the Army you can’t fire anyone you just absorb their poor performance. It’s your responsibility as a command officer. The buck stops with you. Even though you can’t fire the individual causing you grief, you have several remedies at hand including dishonarable discharge as a last resort.

    This is not the Army. Holleman should be fired. His incompetency is appalling. Robertson is responsible for Holleman. He is just an employee working for Robertson who is working for the City at the Commission’s will.

    One of the best things the Commission could do is order Robertson to fire Holleman. In my opinion, he is worthless as teats on a boar hog.

    You know, I am a defender of the freedom of speech, but only when it does not violate basic human decency. Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka Kansas has determined that they have the right to protest at dead combat veterans funerals. You know, the guys who have been fighting AlQueda combatants in our behalf. They carry signs like “Thank God for IED’s” and “Thank God for Dead Soldiers”.

    I was watching the local news a couple of weeks ago and I saw an interview with Jason Holleman who was defending these assholes. After seeing that, I was so mad that I honestly could not eat my supper. Liberals like Holleman are what is killing this country. He needs to go for many reasons.

    And by the way, if you think Robertson ain’t a liberal you got your head way up your ass.

  29. Butch Huber

    Contact your city commissioner and put pressure on him to launch a full scale investigation of the county regarding how it operates and funds WEMA operations and to get him to sponsor a resolution to evict WEMA from Station 3 so that the city can begin renovation operations to turn that into a city fire department. The county still has to provide all of its services to Mt. Juliet, and if it elects to try to remove those services the City should seek an injunction barring them from removing those services. The County would have to discontinue its services to Lebanon in order to discontinue providing us with services. The county gets nothing from Lebanon and provides them with everything except for primary fire suppression, while we provide them with space, gave them vehicles, and we provide volunteers. Time to play hardball. I don’t think the county knows what it has gotten itself into yet, but it will.

  30. “FULL DISCLOSURE”
    RP (circa 2011)

    “…unleash hell”!
    General Maximus Decimus Meridius
    Gladiator (2000)

    Butch,
    if I may suggest a slight change in the verbage and further suggest to all that they speak in these terms, respectfully I submit…

    “The county still has to provide all fo its services to ZONE 3, and if it elects to try to remove those services the CITIZENS OF ZONE 3 should seek an injunction barring them from removing those services from ZONE 3”.

    Publius, could you please post here the Zone coverage map from the WEMA website? http://www.wilsonema.com/pubdocuments/isozones.pdf
    Everyone this is what they protect….zones not cities….their boundaries of responsibilities are zones not city limits. To get MJ, they have to NEGLECT THEIR RESPONSIBILITY OF ZONE 3!!! Slam Dunk is the term I think you are looking for. Butch, if you can get named first on the suit, how does Huber County, TN sound?

    It is time. Paying hush money and kicking this down the road a bit with a catch net clause won’t work. Ed, Art, James, Ted, and Jim stand and deliver. You told you people you would do what is right for them…well defending them and demanding full disclosure of how they money is spent and how their families are protected is your NEXT ORDER OF BUSINESS.

    RP

  31. Butch Huber

    Sonny,

    Can you get ahold of that video? Good analysis of Robertson and why he won’t fire Holleman. The city should vote to defund Holleman’s position. I can’t stand Holleman either. But if they won’t force him out, they should at least put his butt to work doing something useful rather than having him just sitting around looking at his blackberry. I am not sure that an order by the commission to fire Holleman would be a lawful order. I am quite certain they can’t tell him who to hire and who to fire in other positions except for the city judge (I believe), but since the city attorney deals directly with the city commission, perhaps they have some leverage. They should signal to Randy Robertson that is the commission’s strong desire that he should fire Jason Holleman, but not make any threats to Robertson that they would fire him if he does not fire Holleman. Then, if he does not fire Holleman (or even if he does for that matter) they should fire Robertson. They both need to go. No, I know that Robertson is a liberal. I knew that when he first got to town and wasn’t going to let the public works department put up the Nativity scene outside City hall and then, when he finally relented, wouldn’t let them put it where they normally put it, but rather they put it off to the side of City Hall. He confirmed my opinion that he is a liberal when he was so viciously fighting to be able to purchase the old elementary school site to give it to the YMCA.

  32. Butch Huber

    According to the Lebanon Democrat, the following people did not vote for the resolution on Monday: Clariday, Bush, Bradshaw, Brockman, Thomas, Weston, and McDonald. Hats off to these sensible people. Now, let’s wear out the rest of them over this vote.

  33. “I gonna bbq your a$$ in molasses”!!!
    Sheriff Buford T, Justice
    Smokie and the Bandit (1977)

    They recently submitted and had accepted their status quo budget which will allow them to run this year just like last year, AND it is early so they can’t start whining about having to reduce services because of $$$ probs. City leaders…SEE THE SMOKE…AVOID THE MIRRORS. The budget additions should be voted on soon if not already.

  34. Ed, James, Ted, Art, and Jim….I told you they would not pull out. I told you they would not increase their efforts. I told you they protect Zone 3 not MJ proper. Nothing will change if nothing is done between now and the time MJ starts its own fire department if that is the route you decide to take. To take care of YOUR people, you need a plan and you need help. I have not lied to you and will not start now…Call the people here and elsewhere that have called you. Listen, learn, look into it, then DO! Call, email, text, meet shoot up a flare and get together. WE (city leaders and civic members) can make this right and give this a happy ending. The next move is yours…the county has played their last card. The game with them is over. The county mayor, the director, the county commission, and their henchmen attitudes have turned their backs to you and are DONE! Let’s get busy and turn this city into MJ the Crown Jewell of Wilson Co.

    RP

  35. You didn’t really mean to spell Jewell with 2 L’s, did you?

  36. Sonny Griffin

    Butch,

    Here is a link to the text of Holleman’s rhetoric.

    http://vivian-29.blogspot.com/2011/06/controversial-church-protests-at.html

    You know, I guess what he said infuriates me so much because I have zero tolerance for anyone that would do something like this.

    Who gives a damn about distance laws. These sobs shouldn’t be allowed on the same planet. I don’t know what ordinances he is talking about but I bet they don’t apply to funerals.

    What about the kid whose Dad is laying there? What are you going to say to him when he asks why those people are glad his Dad, his hero, the soldier is dead.

    These people are perverting our freedom of speech by demonstrating with signs that could potentially cause a riot. It is the same thing as yelling fire in a crowded theater.

    I try to be a Christian and not hate anyone, but these idiots really test me.

    What ought to happen is every one of them should be arrested and put in jail for disturbing the peace. If they think their civil rights have been violated, then they can bring suit.

  37. Butch Huber

    Those people have less right to do what they are doing then we have to show up at their weddings and throw red paint on the bride, or show up at their anniversaries and disrupt their parties or to protest them at work. The funeral of a person is not, in my opinion, something that a person should be allowed to interrupt. They can easily pass a law that disallows the disruption of a funeral just like they can stop you from desecrating a grave. They just don’t want to. All these people are doing is showing how evil a church can be and still be called “Baptist”. The Baptists should remove themselves from this church. This man defended a nation, a nation that provides the church the freedom to exercise its faith, and without men and women like him they would not be free, yet they want to protest his funeral. Those people should be targeted with similar action, they should never be left alone. They should be taunted and protested every where they go in just the same manner as they taunt and protest others. Perhaps, if ten or twenty of them were pursued in like manner as they pursue those who fought and died for their rights and their freedoms they would get the message. Turn around is fair play, right?

  38. Major Honkin’ OOOOPS!!! on my part. Thanks Publius…spell check goes on the blink when I am deep in passionate plea mode. Time for meds, beds, and ZZZZZZZZZZ.
    RP

  39. +Sonny,
    You tell that kid his Dad had a heart so big that he would even lay down his life for people who not only would never appreciate it but ridicule him for it. That makes him a HERO here and a Guardian Angel on the outher side.
    Don’t tell him this but those scumbags will get theirs in the END.
    RP

  40. Butch Huber

    I am not going to go into it in detail tonight, but I thought I would let you know that I believe that someone somewhere in government, someone with some horsepower, gave me a push (meaning provided me with their support). Something broke for me today that I believe will help us settle this issue. Today, government worked. To some, that may not seem like a big thing. However, to someone like myself, who has had to push government, threaten them, and using every tactic in the book in order to get them to do what is right, only to be spurned again and again and again, and to have put up with it and dealt with it for so many years, what happened today was a breakthrough. There is a part of my heart that has hope where there wasn’t hope before. Perhaps, just perhaps, there is hope that we can have a responsible government after all. Hey, I will hang on to whatever sliver of hope I can find. If you are a public official, and if you did anything to give me this push and you are reading this post, thank you, thank you, thank you! I don’t know who you are, but if you gave me a push, like I suspect occurred, thank you.

  41. Butch Huber

    Radiofree viewers, I am about to send off a request for public records to the county. Below I have included the request that I have compiled so far for your review. I have not even proofread this request yet, I am just posting it here for your review so that you can provide input as to what other information you think I should ask for in my attempt to get to through the smoke and mirrors and get to the bottom-line. Your assistance would be greatly appreciated. I am sure some of you viewers know exactly what to look for and where to look, so please, help me out.

    I suspect that the county will not be capable of providing me with much of the information of which I seek because I believe the documentation does not actually exist. The county has for years been including ambulance service in the countywide fire department. Now that they have become embroiled in a political battle, it seems that they have decided that they have a countywide ambulance service and that over 80% of their annual civil defense budget is attributed to ambulance service and only about 17% of their budget is attributable to fire suppression or fire protection services.

    I would like to have access to view all county resolutions pertaining to Fire suppression, ambulance service, hazardous material response, emergency management, rescue, water rescue, and/or special teams. If the county does not have these resolutions compiled in one file, or substantially compiled in one file or grouped together in a group of files that would be easy for me to review, then I wish to have access to all county resolutions dating back to 1967 so that I may pore over them and review them personally to identify the resolutions on my own.

    Wilson County, in 1995, approved a resolution to authorize the establishment of a countywide fire department in Wilson County Pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated § 5-17-101 et seq. Tennessee Code Annotated § 5-17-104 requires that the county-wide fire department prepare an annual budget of anticipated receipts and expenditures, and it shall submit that budget to the county legislative body or other governing body of the county. I wish to be able to view every such budget beginning with 1995 and ending with 2011. The resolution approved in 1995 assigned the duties of operation of the Countywide fire department to the Wilson County Emergency Management Agency, however, the county commission cannot circumvent the general assembly’s directive in T.C.A. § 5-17-104 to prepare and annual budget of the Countywide Fire Department as a distinct budget for that specific department by developing a budget for Civil Defense, which, according to the county, includes many operations and services that are not included in what it calls the “countywide fire department”. I would greatly like to see the actual budget for the actual countywide fire department.

    I suspect that the county is going to point me to the Wilson County Emergency Management or Civil Defense budget, however, what I wish to see is the county-wide fire department budget. If such a budget does not exist, please indicate that that record does not exist.

    I would like to have access to view all interlocal agreements between municipalities and the county regarding the provision of fire suppression, emergency management, rescue, water rescue, ambulance service, first aid, special teams, and hazardous material response.

    I would like to see all county resolutions that pertain to state shared revenue, situs based taxes, situs based taxes that are collected in the unincorporated portion of the county, situs based taxes that are collected by the county from the incorporated portions of the county, and other sources of revenue that are shared with the municipalities.

    The Wilson County Commission asserts that it has a county-wide ambulance service that serves all of Wilson County. I would like to see all historical records, including budgets, resolutions, revenue sources, and other documents related to such ambulance service dating from the inception of the county-wide ambulance service to today.

    The County has purchased numerous pieces of fire apparatus, fire fighting gear, emergency services vehicles, ambulance vehicles, and other items for the county-wide fire department, Hazardous Material Response, rescue service, water rescue service, emergency management, and fire suppression, and the County-wide ambulance service, I would like to see the documents related to the purchase and sale of all such vehicles since the inception of the County-wide Fire Department and the County-wide ambulance service. The County does not seem to include the costs of such equipment in its civil defense budget, therefore, I would like to view documentation which shows from which fund the equipment was purchased as well as the authorization for such expenditures.

    The county has appropriated significant sums of money to purchase land and construct fire stations in Wilson County, perhaps they also spend money on rent of buildings to house the countywide fire department and the county-wide ambulance service, I would like to see receipts for such expenditures as well as resolutions that authorized such expenditures.

    It seems that the county has just recently started talking about the provision “civil assistance”. This is the first time that I have heard of such a service. I would like to see documentation that spells out exactly what that service is, what it provides, which statute authorizes its provision, which funding source is being used to fund that service, and any other related documentation as well.

    I would like to be allowed to view the records regarding the collection of adequate facilities taxes in Wilson County, based on where they were collected, the amounts collected, and I would like a record of the items for which those revenues were used to pay.

    As I understand it, Wilson County appropriates over $300,000 per year to the County Fair. I would like to be shown in the budget where the proceeds of the Wilson County Fair are entered into the County Budget each year. If such proceeds are not placed back into the general fund or other fund of the Wilson County Government, I would like to see all documentation as to where those proceeds go each year. In fact, in addition to viewing where the proceeds from the Wilson County fair are entered into the County Budget, I would like to view the entire Wilson County Fair Budget and Accounting Records for the past 5 years.

    In a recent Wilson County EMA committee meeting, Mayor Hutto referenced a box of information that he had at that meeting that pertained to the county-wide fire department. The information in that box is all public information, I would like to review the contents of that box.

    I would like to review any information that county has pertaining to court cases involving the countywide fire department and/or other emergency services in Wilson County.

    I would like to review the records of all fees for service that the county has billed for and all records of receipts for ambulance service and other emergency services that have been provided through WEMA, Civil Defense, the Countywide Fire department, the ambulance service, and/or through any other department or office of the County government for Wilson County.

    I will make all copies of any material I wish to possess using my own photocopying equipment and materials as per the public records act, or I will take photos of such documentation. I do not wish to have the county government do anything in response to this request that will cost me any money, I will do whatever work is necessary to access the files and review the files if such work will otherwise cost me money if the county were to provide it. I refuse, in advance, to pay the county even one penny for the provision of the information for which I seek and hereby direct the county not to compile any information, record, file, or other item which it intends to charge me a fee for compiling. I will do whatever work is necessary on my part to avoid any situation under which the county could legally charge me a fee. I am stating this in advance so that the county cannot run up a bill for me in order to punish me for having requested public information, such as Mt. Juliet City Manager Randy Robertson did to me in regard to another public information request.

  42. Sonny Griffin

    “You tell that kid his Dad had a heart so big that he would even lay down his life for people who not only would never appreciate it but ridicule him for it. That makes him a HERO here and a Guardian Angel on the outher side.”

    Beautiful, R. P., simply beautiful.

  43. Thanks, Sonny, every now and then a blind squirrel….hey speaking of blind squirrel (not to be offensive to the tree hopping rodent, but)

    “Status quo is NOT an option”.
    Ed Hagerty
    Mayor of the City of Mt. Juliet
    2011

    “Really”?
    Citizens of Zone 3 and the City of MJ
    2011

    Twenty years without a property tax and they finally enact one for what? NOTHING, SQUAT, BUPKIS (Yiddish for goat droppings), ZILCH, ZERO, NADA, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING…How proud you must be. You might want to drop to your knees and thank whatever god you worship for the fact this is not an election year–then pray I get hit by a bus between now and THEN!!!

    “Money for nothing…”
    Dire Straits
    Brothers in Arms (1985)

    P.S. …and Jimbo, enacting a tax using an ambiguous figure from a convalescent service to purchase something you do not know the value of then getting the offer squashed before it can be offered is NOT making progress. BTW, it’s probably best you not speak. Next time, think twice…at least.

  44. Butch Huber

    Next time, think twice, speak not.

  45. Sonny Griffin

    Butch,

    What happened to the information request you made to Hutto?

  46. Butch Huber

    Meeting Hutto tomorrow at 12:45.

  47. Shawn Donovan

    Sorry Butch but have been away from internet access for a week.

    Just was getting caught up in my backlog of comments and came across the one you mentioned about Randy Robertson and him doing nothing with regards to the fire protection since he came into his position as City Manger. Actually he is the only one who has done anything “concrete” with regards to the fire protection issue since 2006. He is the one who worked along side me to get all the funds approved, equipment purchased, recruit the initial firefighters, etc for the volunteer firefighters that are MJ funded but fall under WEMA. This as you noted was in the inter-local agreement between the City and the County to recruit, train, and equip a minimum of 10 Volunteer Firefighters. The $25,000.00 number that was mentioned in that article dealt with the approximate cost for the equipment for these firefighters. In all actuality the amount spent was closer to $120,000.00 after I presented to the City Commission the reality of what it would cost to equip actual Firefighters, and Randy Robertson was the one who pushed to get the money approved so we (the Volunteer Firefighters from MJ) would have all the equipment necessary to provide the manpower needed to actively work in operational setting.

    Just wanted to set the record straight on that one since you hear little (actually nothing) in any of the discussions from either side about the group that was formed in 2008 to suppliment the manpower at WEMA in the Mt. Juliet area. Believe me we are still responding to fires and emergency when called upon to help by WEMA, and I can say that because I am one of them.

  48. Butch,
    I am sure you have it in your notes, but just in case…ask him about removing JJ and illiminating his reign of terror, in competence, and abuse of power.
    Specifics…
    ask him about the broken county proprty(fans and chairs)
    the anger mis-management tirads
    the verbage of colorful metaphors he breathes especially in the presence of the female employees
    the PHYSICAL confrontations with his employees
    the LOW approval rating from his employees/ NO CONFIDENCE VOTE
    the results of the latest lawsuit involving the employee on admin leave for 2 years and the $$$ paid to him (Ch. 4 will report that this is a lawsuit brought on 99.9% by JJ)
    …and finally the piece de resistance…FULL DISCLOSURE…not of the budget that can and has been manipulated…but of the actual use of OUR money.

    Butch, in all sincerity, removing JJ and replacing him with one of the 2 names Hutto has been given is PARAMOUNT if our intent is to continue working with WEMA. These 2 men have a marvelous, practical, and doable vision of improving protection for ALL Wilson Co. Zones including Zone 3. He needs to go. JJ must have contributed a ton of $$$ for this type of job security…I believe Hutto could find him standing over the body and still leave him in place. Ask… if you feel lead. Good Luck.
    RP

  49. Butch

    Thank you for that input, Shawn. As you know, I want to be accurate in what I post and I believe that if you are not being honest you lose credibility. Yes, Randy Robertson was involved in that process, so that means that he has done “Something”. However, having spent nine years in the military, and knowing that he knows that command requires that he fulfill ALL duties of that command, and knowing that he knows that “Fire” is a big rock, not a small rock or pebble, he should have had plans of action developed for the resolution of this issue. Just as the military develops battle plans, he should have had this planned out. He knew that it was coming, it was incumbent upon him to be ready to present to his supervisors, directors, leaders, for their review and approval. If nothing else, he should have been presenting to the board the fact that this issue needs to be addressed and ask for their direction on how they want him to proceed. If they said, “don’t give it another thought”, then he would be off the hook. However, if he did not at least, at the very least, ask them to determine for him what his action should be, then he is remiss, and in my opinion, derelict in his duties. When should this have occurred? At the right after each election because each election presents a new board and that new board has to determine for him again what his level of action should be. Again, I appreciate that you set the record straight, however, I do not let him off the hook on this, he should have known better than to allow this city to get to this point without a plan and contingencies.

  50. Butch,
    Ask about removing JJ from his position for abuse of power. Ask him about the tirads, the broken county property (fans/dchairs, the verbal and PHYSICAL abiuse of his employees, the use of colorful metaphors especially in the presence of females, FUL DISCLOSURE not of the budget but of actual expenditures, the 10 year plan where even the assistants have assistants, etc, etc.
    Seriously, Butch, removing JJ and replacing him with one of the two men Hutto has the names of is PARAMOUNT if the intent is to keep working with WEMA. These 2 men have a Very doable plan to improve protection in ALL the Zones, Zone 3 included. Jewell must go. Encourage Hutto if you feel lead.
    Best Wishes.
    RP

  51. +P.S.
    …also ask about the recent lawsuit with the employee on admin leave for the past 2 years that the county lost and will pay bookoo $$$. Ch. 4 will report that this lawsuit was a result of JJ’s actions and vengence toward this employee and his father…abuse of power…costing the county and it citizens $$$
    Go git r dun!

  52. Butch Huber

    Remember how I was talking about what the county provides to Lebanon and what it provides to Mt. Juliet? Remember how I was saying that the only thing that the Countywide Fire Department provides everything to Lebanon that it provides to Mt. Juliet except for primary fire suppression? Remember how I said that, if we were just to pay for the county fire suppression service costs in Mt. Juliet how it would be fair all the way around? Well, I received a spreadsheet from Mayor Hutto today that had the costs of WEMA broken down into four categories. Ambulance, Fire, Rescue, and public assistance. The category for fire says that fire accounts for $330,919.06. That’s not just for Mt. Juliet, that is for the entire county! Our distributable percentage of those costs is 25.03%. The spreadsheet itself says that the cost of fire suppression in Mt. Juliet is $82,823.58. The county, the county, then county is saying that all it costs them to provide us with fire, which it doesn’t provide to Lebanon, is $82,823.58. Now, because this is how the county wants to go with this deal, and using their own figures as a basis for making decisions, and because they are the ones that are saying that there is no longer a contract between the city and the county, the cost of our fire station should be set at $40,000 per year, which is reasonable, and that figure should come off of the $82,823.58. That means that our bill should be $42,823.58, right? Take this money from Jason Holleman’s fund and write the county a check! I mean, when you are using their own numbers, numbers they report to the comptroller, a comptroller whose letter they were waving around supposedly, how can they back up? Write them a check!

  53. If you would care to share the spreadsheet (or a scan or a photograph), we will make sure it is made available on RFMJ.

  54. Sounds like that .20 property tax could be reduced to .02/$100 and still get the job done. Great job city leaders. Why is it Butch has to go to the courthouse and save your bacon? Want some more help? The dumbest people in the world are the ones without questions. Thanks for you time, Butch. Learn anything else?
    RP

  55. Butch Huber

    The county is working hard to arrange and rearrange numbers, figures, facts, and other things to ensure that they can avoid fire tax districts.

    They are including fire, rescue, and public assistance under the Countywide Fire Department, however, they are saying that all we have to pay for or cover is fire suppression, same as Lebanon. Here are the problems with that though. If the county is covering all of that through state shared revenue, then they have to prove all of that through state shared revenue. That means that they can’t provide that to the cities without taking money that should be used in the unincorporated portions of the county to provide for needs that they need. That would mean that the county is using money from the unincorporated portions of the county to provide fire protection services to the cities, and that is not fair to those who live in the unincorporated portion of the county. That means that Lebanon, Mt. Juliet, and Watertown have to take care of their own fire services. That kicks WEMA out of Mt. Juliet and Lebanon. That also makes the new fire station in Watertown an issue. Then we come to the nasty issue of the ambulance service and whether or not the county can provide a countywide ambulance service without establishing it under TCA 7-61-101 — 104, and if they can, what about interlocal agreements between the cities? Then, we come to the actual funding of the countywide ambulance service. If the ambulance service is operated under T.C.A. 7-61-101 –104, then I believe it has to be funded using state shared revenue to make up for what the fees don’t cover. That means that the state shared revenues are not available to pay for fire, which means fire tax districts. Also, because the ambulance service can’t cover the $6,000.000 the county says it costs to operate without dipping into property taxes, that presents a real problem for the county. What the heck do you do with that mess?

    The county needs to be made to account for all of this in one continuous spreadsheet. They need to be made to produce resolutions authorizing the establishment of the services that they provide. The county mayor’s office or the department heads of the county cannot just go out willy-nilly and start services on their own, they have to be authorized to establish those services and it has to be authorized under some provision of the law. The county has to be able to point to something and say, “This is our authority and this is our funding authorization.” They can’t. At least not with ambulance if it isn’t under the countywide fire department. You see, this always, always, always leads back to fire districts and fire taxes.

    The argument then goes to, “fire districts and fire taxes mean a tax increase, not a decrease.” Well, am I not getting a tax increase now? What is that 20 cents if it isn’t a tax increase? I think what they mean is, if you force us to go to fire districts, “we have to pay more to make up for what you are no longer paying for in our place.” I think that is what is meant by that statement. The county obviously needs to allocate more money to the fire department anyway. When Lebanon spends $3 million on just fire suppression, and this entire county spends just $7 million on everything under WEMA, either one is way overpriced, one is woefully inadequate, or both.

    I also saw a resolution that requires that the county deposit adequate facilities taxes into the capital projects fund. I don’t know if there is any other later version resolution that changes that, however, if there isn’t, the county is illegally appropriating adequate facilities taxes to the wrong fund. I think that is a barn burner for the county. Millions and millions of dollars of money going to the wrong places? Really?

    The county wants this to be fair, but when you say: “Okay, let’s say that everyone in the county pays $100 for fire protection services. In Mt. Juliet we have 1,000 people per square mile. In parts of the county they have perhaps as few as 20. Everyone pays the same, but there are 50 times as many people per square mile in the city, therefore, the city should have $100,000 per square mile to spend and the other area should have $2,000 to spend. They say, that isn’t how taxes work. You don’t get what you pay for, you get what you get. Just like schools.”

    Okay, I hate that they take my money for schools I don’t use. How does it make it easier for me to stomach when they duplicate that same nonsense to fire? I don’t get it, is that supposed to make me feel better? Oh, okay, that’s it, I get ripped by the school system, therefore I should get ripped by fire, too. Oh, now I feel so much better.

    The general assembly established both sets of rules. One set of rules is for schools, the other for fire, and they are different from one another.

  56. Therein lies the problem. We talk about what it takes to do the job and they are all about what it COSTS to do the job…and by they I mean both city and county leaders. The way they look at us when they are wanting our votes and the way they see us after they win is night and day. During the campaign it’s all about protect , serve, preserve, I can make your life better, I have a plan, I am the man…money is no object…I won’t waste it, I’ll work it. In retrospect, remember how fire was such a huge issue during the campaign both at the city and county level. Remember where we were in terms of manpower, needs, and promises. Now, fastforward nearly a year to present. Resolutions to NOT improve what was promised improvements, an embarrassing tax vote for a tax that is for what???, and a no option (status quo) that is now their only option. Eleven months and NOT one step forward, but three giant leaps backwards. I take great pride in my lack of pride and extremely small ego, haha, am I missing something? Ed, Jim, James, Art, Ted get a pseudonym and get on board. Check your pride, your ego, and false sense of knowing anything at the log on screen. You CANNOT Google your way out of this. The answer you are looking for is not in a computer program…it is in the people who are invested in learning about the problem, researching the various options, doing the job and by this learning what would work and what would not, and creative ways to finance the options that are real and doable. Tick, tock…time is wasting. It will be campaign time before you know it. You can either spend your time working with us to solution or trying to put a positive spin on you “accomplishments” so far. Best wishes on the former…make your peace with God on the latter.

    RP

  57. Butch, Sonny, et al…
    By the sound of the council members and some of the verbage they were using, it would appear that they are at least reading some of what we are working on. Now if we could just get them to ask those in the know for some further information and clarity…and now seems like the best of all times with them actually considering (and the county about to garantee with one vote)starting the MJFD. Ed, James, Art, Ted, and even Jim “could ya’ll please start over” Bradshaw…We at RFMJ stand ready to serve…Service above power or position.

    RP

  58. Butch Huber

    Yeah, R.P., I, too, noticed that the city commission seems to be taking some cues from those of us who have been in this battle for several years. I think they have gotten some revelation. When you use the county’s own numbers and shoot through their basket, then it becomes a stark reality that the county is attacking and trying to take from us.

    I think this commission finally has enough information to know that we need to push back. Hopefully your wish will come true and they will actually start to ask for help. Time will tell.

  59. Carl

    i do hate to interrupt this discussion but does anybody know how the payday lender next to Crye-Leike Realtors got permission to put up all those plastic lookin yellow signs on a buiding that used to be a nice looking building? With our sign ordinance controlling how far we can put signs from the street, you’d think that same ordinance would have a regulation that would stop this kind of blight. Thats just nasty looking.

  60. Southsider

    I didn’t know where else to post this comment. Lebanon seems to be coming after every Tennessean’s lunch money. They are trying to get their (our) state legislators to concede all state sales taxes in an effort to develop the Lebanon Square.

    It gets better. Seems the two main ‘pushers’ for this are Major Craighead and Representative Pody, and wait for it, both have started buying property on the square!

    I think this is hilarious – trying to turn Lebanon into Gatlinburg with your tax dollars. But the funniest part is the total surrender of Lebanon to Mt. Juliet with respect to economic development. Any handyman capable of rigging the General Patton statue to hold a white flag – please apply!

    Mayor Fox, love him or hate him, would never stoop to this type of surrender. Please contact your state elected officials and let them know that local crony capitalism is not acceptable. If businesses cannot afford to pay sales taxes to locate in Lebanon, maybe they should locate somewhere else.

    A moment of silence is in order—–may the Lebanon Economic Development Team RIP.

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