A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Both Wilson County and Mt. Juliet have some useful maps posted on their websites. Unfortunately, they’re in the form of VERY large .pdf files (5MB+) that provide much more detail than one wants when trying to get the big picture.

RFMJ has taken the liberty of combing two simple pieces of information on one overview map of Wilson County. On the map below are the coverage areas for the seven eight WEMA stations/zones – taken directly from a .pdf map found on the WEMA website. Also superimposed on the map, within the boundaries of Zone Three (mostly) are the current city limits of Mt. Juliet (in red), taken from a map on the City’s web site.

Sometimes all you have to do is look at a map.

WEMA Zone3 & MJ

WEMA Zone3 & MJ

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232 Comments

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

232 responses to “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

  1. Southsider

    Publius,

    It appears that you are highly skilled in the area of GIS and map creation. Can you determine how many Wilson County residents are presently served by Station 3? I wonder what percentage of the total county population that is?

    Can you also predict how long it will take the county good ole boys to say: oops?

  2. Old Blevins

    Although we know Ben Dover as a contributor to this site, ‘Ben Dover’ is likely also the nickname given to the City of Mt. Juliet by those good ol’ boys.

  3. Ben Dover and C. Howett Fields

    hay ol blevins thanx for givin me some credit you damn rite them ol county boys ready to sock it to the montain boys them montain boys runnin around with them dipers round them ankles that ass all xposed this gonna be fun jus bought sum more ky stock
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAetc

  4. Butch Huber

    Tonight the city commission demonstrated, no, I should say “clearly demonstrated” that it is their will to find out the real story behind WEMA funding. I think had an ordinance been sponsored tonight that would have appropriated funds and authorized the city manager to hire a forensic accountant and an attorney to investigate the county it would have passed with flying colors. The commission showed that they are not willing to allow us to have to pay the county for a service that they are not providing and then pay the city to provide it instead. In other words, they aren’t going to let us be abused. Tonight, the city trumped the county. The county has nowhere to hide. They are clearly illegally funding WEMA, and any accountant and attorney can prove that in just a few moments once they know where to look. I think I could find someone who could tell them where to look. What is interesting is that, if the county had not been so overly confident, they wouldn’t have been so brash. Had they not been so brash, they could have had this city spend millions of dollars on a fire station and let the county use that station to provide fire protection services to more of the unincorporated portions of the county then they provide to Mt. Juliet! They went too far. It’s like the story of the scorpion and the frog. The scorpion and the frog are standing by a river. The scorpion comes up the frog and says, “Hey, could you take me across the river?” The frog says, “No, if I let you climb up on my back you will sting me and I will die.” The scorpion says, “No, I won’t sting you. If I sting you you will die, and I will drown.” The frog thought about it and said to himself, “That makes a lot of sense.” So the frog says to the Scorpion, “Okay, Climb on”. About half way across the river the scorpion stings the frog. The frog says to the Scorpion, “now why did you do that, now I am going to die and you are going to drown?” The scorpion looks at the frog and replies, “It’s my nature”. It is the county’s nature to do its best to kick this city around. Only this time the city fought back!

    The city passed a resolution to ask for an interlocal agreement from the county that states that if the city builds a fire station in Providence the county will put an ambulance and staff it two personnel at all times. Here is the problem, and I told three of the commissioners this already, the county is providing an illegal service because they are saying that ambulance is not a part of the Countywide Fire Department, and as such, they have no authorization to even have an ambulance service. The city cannot contract with the county for the county to provide an illegal service. They couldn’t contract with the county to sell the city cocaine, and they can’t contract with them to provide an illegal service either. The city will be entering into an illegal deal. That is something they can’t legally do, and if they do, they will be committing an offense. The county can’t provide an illegal service, and if they do, they are committing an offense.

    This is how insane things have gotten all because the county has the insatiable desire to take advantage of us. Time to end this game.

  5. Butch Huber

    Interesting point. Look at station 4’s coverage area compared to Station 3’s coverage area. See anything interesting?

  6. BINGO!!!
    Station 3 = Zone 3
    Between the financial full disclosure and the logistics of “station 3 serves the city of MJ” the big boy britches brigade has some explining to do.

    BTW, I believe brother Ted paved the way for the formation of the MJFD. Correct me if I am wrong, but I heard him say in essence if the county turns down this latest resolution offer, or states that if we build a Providence station for their ambulance they will pull out and consider that out attempt at starting our own…then the city should start immediately researching the path forward to a MJFD. If the true intent of the Wilson Co. Commission is to make MJ tax its people AND do their own FD, then all they have to do now is give this resolution the thumbs down.

    Also, check out the story of the 4 Houston Co. Volunteer FF (paid per call) that are now facing arson charges for starting fires “out of boredom”. Now, I know they are kids but there are plenty of stories similar to this one involving FF with years of age and experience. Take it from ‘ol RP, if MJ decides to do a FD, make sure you have more paid full time FF than any other (part time or Vol) At this point in our growth, we are bigger than an all volunteer or majority volunteer effort. No disrespect, of course, but MJ needs assets going from the hall to the call…not from home to the hall then to the call. Vol assets are valuable…MJ is just beyond having them as first in assets.
    RP

  7. One last thing (haha) I heard those familiar grumblings about the odd shape of the city boundaries when the maps came out last night. Heys guys, if you do not like the shape (geometrical) of the city, it is within your realm to change it. Square it up or round it off. If you do not want to leave anyone unprotected…then incorporate all of zone 3 and zone 4. That gives you a easy geometric shape to cordon off into equal zones for a MJFD. Now keep in mind, that emergency service relies 99.9% on population (not geograhics, not demographics)when doing needs assessment…food for thought. Plus, with more people truly and officially in the city that .20/$100 increases and goes farther.

    On a different topic, be advised…nowhere that I know of is a fire chief and fire inspector the same person. Way too much responsibility to pack into a 40-50 hr work week, especially during the inception and creation phase of a new FD. What are D. Hicks’s qualifications and history with fire. I know he taught codes at the academy…has he ever done the job? Teaching ain’t doing, no disrespect, but a certificate does not a chief make. Respect is earned doing the job up through the ranks…ALL OF THE RANKS. Even Robertson should know this.
    RP

  8. Sonny Griffin

    Well Ben, maybe you were wrong about those “montain boys”.

    Or maybe they just read what you had to say about them and decided to put those “big boy britches” on.

    They’ve got two aces in the hole and two up. Let’s see how they play ’em.

  9. Stacy Keach as Hammer and Lindsay Bloom as Velda (HUBBA X 3)
    Those were the days and justice was just.
    RP

  10. Pop Korn

    Ted Floyd as Jed Clampett and Linda Elam as Cannon?

  11. Chris Allen

    RP: Please don’t make this a career versus volunteer mud-slinging fest. For every volunteer firefighter issue you can find, I can find one that involves a career firefighter.

    As a former career firefighter / officer and current MJ volunteer, I completely agree that MJ needs 3 fire stations, each staffed with a career crew of 3-4 to staff the first out rig and ensure that adequate initial-attack resources arrive on-scene in a timely manner. Volunteers can and should be used to make up the balance of the staffing and/or staff 2nd out rigs. The volunteers here in MJ, most of whom are or were career FF’s, have served the town well without incident and I think (and hope) we have earned the respect of the majority of the career crews. Whether or not one receives a paycheck should in no way be used to judge their professionalism / dedication / skills, etc.

  12. Chris Allen

    Butch: I wanted to respond to your other post regarding costs per station but I was on vacation and had horrible internet service.
    Looking at fire protection costs per WEMA station isn’t an accurate measure of service delivery costs.

    For example, a structure fire response in Willoughby Station will at minimum bring personnel / apparatus from Station 3 (Mt. Juliet), Station 4 (Lakeview), and a tanker and battalion chief Station 1 (Lebanon). In addition, the crews staffing ambulances at Stations 3 & 4 will be actively involved in fire suppression, even though they may be accounted for as an EMS expense.

    In addition, a serious car accident in Mt. Juliet may bring resources from Station 1 in Lebanon, including a heavy rescue.

    The resources at WEMA Station 1 in Lebanon, because of their central location, are used to back-up other WEMA stations throughout the county. Thus, the costs of the crews / apparatus at Station 1 are not just benefiting the City of Lebanon.

    Crews from WEMA Stations 4, 5, 6 and 1 routinely provide fire / EMS / rescue / Haz-Mat services to Mt. Juliet.

    I know of no fire department, not even FDNY, where a single station can handle every incident. Thus, you must somehow look at the costs of operating multiple WEMA stations (fire and EMS), to figure out what it truly costs for WEMA to provide the bare bones service that they currently provides, service that pays their crews so little that many will leave for other departments as soon as they can.

  13. GLENN SMITH

    Mt. Juliet leaders voted JULY 25, 2011 to support Israel. This can be construded as a conflict of interest and a violation of church and state. Unless Mt. Juliet is in business to donate to all religious organizations that need a donation. Just come on down and ask the BOC, they must oblige now, they have committed themselves now (Equal opportunity). Personel interest comes into play, when the Vice Mayor proposed this support to Israel. Through his involvement in church he is personally involved with these organizations. Without a question to what these organization(s) was/were, the donation/support was was approved with one “NO” vote and a word of caution from one resident, with no dollar amount mentioned. Sounds like a blank check. Vice Mayor James Maness is personally involved with the “(CUFI) Christians United with Israel”, a grassroots movement in the world to support and fund Israel’s current problems. “United with Israel” is also a grassroots movement promoting World Unity with Israel, founded by Jewish families and is an independent global movement. Tax payer money(s) was doled out with no regard to the taxpayer. The BOC looked like the little child in school that had a question but did not know how to ask it and went along with buddies because they said yes. Mr. Maness also brought up a “MT. JULIET” lisence plate avalable for a donation of $10.00 to the “Big Brothers of West Wilson County (TN)” this got advertisement and support on the taxpayers. Maness is also involved with this organization. All of these organizations are backed by christian religious organizations and churches. KEEP this stuff out of the problems and lawsuits that currently plague Mt. Juliet. All personel and religious backed proposals should never come to the BOC because of the potential of a lawsuit(s) they will not overcome. STOP THIS NOW!

    I raise this question now because I was not acknowledged at this meeting, even with my hand raised, no acknowledgement.
    AS A TAXPAYER AND RESIDENT I FOR ONE WOULD LIKE TO KNOW THE
    TOTAL MONITARY AMOUNT THAT HAS BEEN SPENT ON THE FIRE DEPARTMENT ISSUE THUS FAR. AN ITEMIZED STATEMENT WOULD BE GOOD AS LONG AS IT INCLUDES “VOLUNTEERED TIME” AND ALL INCLUSIVE EXPENDITURES BOTH DIRECT AND INDIRECT WITH A LAGITAMATE SUPPORTIVE TOTAL.

  14. Doc Cider

    Even though I tend to agree with Mr. Maness’ views, Mr. Smith is correct in his statements. Supporting Israel is within the purview of the US State Department, not a suburban town in a corrupt county with enough on its plate already. We just got rid of a lawsuit magnet when Elam left the middle chair, we don’t need to swerve back onto that road.

  15. Butch Huber

    RESOLUTION

    A RESOLUTION TO OFFER SUPPORT TO THE NATION OF ISRAEL.

    WHEREAS, there have been established and recognized Jewish communities throughout the State of Tennessee since before the 1850s, and those communities and their citizens have been an integral part of the development of every aspect of this State; and

    WHEREAS, prior to and during World War II, citizens of the State of Tennessee traveled to Europe and rescued many Jewish families and individuals from the terror and tyranny of the Holocaust and resettled those individuals and families in the State of Tennessee, where they and their descendants remain valued citizens today; and

    WHEREAS, in 1996, Governor Don Sundquist signed the Tennessee-Israel Cooperation Agreement with the State of Israel, resulting in business, governmental, art, cultural, educational, and university activities between the State of Tennessee and the Nation of Israel, and further strengthening the historic ties between our State and that country; and

    WHEREAS, the United States of America and Israel have a long history of friendship and are great allies in support of each other’s interests; and

    WHEREAS, on Friday, January 9, 2009, the 111th Congress passed House Resolution 34 in support of Israel with overwhelming support. The Resolution, which recognizes Israel’s right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza, passed 390-5 with 22 voting “present” and 16 not voting; and

    WHEREAS, the Lord of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob promises in Genesis 12:3 to bless those that bless Israel: “I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”; and

    WHEREAS, the State of Israel and the United States each continue to experience terrorist attacks on innocent civilians, as well as our military personnel, as a result of suicide missions and other forms of terrorism; and

    WHEREAS, at this time of continued uncertainty in the world, The City of Mt. Juliet desires to affirm its friendship with the Nation of Israel by expressing its unequivocal support for the State of Israel; now, therefore,

    BE IT RESOLVED BY THE MT. JULIET BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS that we hereby offer Mt. Juliet’s support, compassion, blessings, friendship, and esteem to Israel, and declare that we remain steadfast in our support of the State of Israel.

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that an enrolled copy of this resolution be forwarded to the President of the United States, the United States Congress, and the Israeli Embassy in Washington D.C. for transmission to the proper authorities in the State of Israel.

    PASSED: _________________________________
    Ed Hagerty, Mayor

    ATTEST:

    __________________________________
    Sheila S. Luckett, CMC
    City Recorder

    APPROVED AS TO FORM:

    _________________________________
    Randy Robertson, City Manager
    _____________________________
    Jason Holleman
    City Attorney

    Glenn, I can understand your point of view. I was an atheist until I was 29, and I was not a silent atheist. I had never been to church and was only in Sunday School a few times before they asked my parents not to being be back because I wouldn’t behave (supposedly. I was too young at the time for me to really remember the experience). I was always willing to speak out against religion at every opportunity. Today, as a Christian, I am concerned anytime that religion starts to play out in the political realm. I am concerned because, if the government supports one religion they have to be willing to support all religions on an equal level. The premise of separation of church and state is not quite accurate as I understand it. The premise was for the state to stay out of religion, not the other way around.

    But let’s analyze what is happening in the world. The United States was attacked by Muslims. That was a religious attack. Israel is being attacked and threatened with attack by Muslims all the time. Israel and the United States are allies.

    This city did not give money to Israel, it pledged support, but sent no money. I included the resolution for your review so that you can see that no money was allocated or appropriated to this cause. In fact, if money were to be appropriated to this it would have had to have been an ordinance, and it would have had to have been passed twice.

    The only part of this resolution that brought God into the equation is the part about God, the Father of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob. If there is a religious war going on, and you have to pick sides, it seems that you have to make it, well…..about religion, don’t you? I mean, if someone is attacking you because you are not Muslim, then don’t you have to respond back? We were attacked by Muslims, and the United States bent over backwards not to offend the Muslim community, however, the Muslim community never condemned the actions of the terrorists. The most discriminated person in the world today is the White, male, Christian who is good to his children and a good and faithful husband to his one and only wife. Why does government have to be color blind and blind to religion and blind to the obvious when prudence and sound reason would dictate to the reasonable person that color or religion have a part to play? I think that atheists and religions go too far in their attempts not to allow the other’s perspective to be heard. As a Christian today, I know that my God is the one true God and that all others are false and that, by allowing the issue to play out, my God prevails and his glory will shine through and the whole world will know that He is God. So, as much as I do not want to see other religions propagated using government, and as much as I do not want to see God disallowed from being spoken on in government places, I don’t have a problem with Government being involved in such a resolution, even if it means that they have to allow other religions to have the same type of thing. I think a government that will not take a stand on who God is, is a government that will ultimately fall.

    I say, let’s have the battle. Let’s have it out. The government allows the ACLU and other organizations to muzzle government when it wants to speak the truth. Our country was founded on Christian principles by mostly Christians. Our Forefathers determined that it was in the country’s best interests not to allow government to control religion, so they developed the establishment clause. That, does not mean that God was thrown out of the public discourse, however.

    As far as the fire department issue, I welcome you to the party.

  16. Sonny Griffin

    I would like to share the following with everyone and by the way, Glenn, I totally respect your opinion.

    DID YOU KNOW?
    As you walk up the steps to the building which houses the U..S Supreme Court you can see near the top of the building a row of the world’s law givers and each one is facing one in the middle who is facing forward with a full frontal view … It is Moses and he is holding the Ten
    Commandments!

    DID YOU KNOW?
    As you enter the Supreme Court courtroom, the two huge oak doors have the Ten Commandments engraved on each lower portion of each
    door.

    DID YOU KNOW?
    As you sit inside the courtroom, you can see the wall, right above where the Supreme Court Judges sit, a display of the Ten Commandments!

    DID YOU KNOW?
    There are Bible verses etched in stone all over the Federal Buildings
    and Monuments in Washington , D.C.

    DID YOU KNOW?
    James Madison, the fourth president, known as ‘The Father of Our Constitution’ made the following statement:
    ‘We have staked the whole of all our political Institutions upon the capacity of mankind for Self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to The Ten Commandments of God.’

    DID YOU KNOW?
    Every session of Congress begins with a prayer by a paid preacher, whose salary has been paid by the taxpayer since 1777.

    DID YOU KNOW?
    Fifty-two of the 55 founders of the Constitution were members of the established Orthodox churches in the colonies..

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Thomas Jefferson worried that the Courts would overstep their authority
    and instead of Interpreting the law would begin making law an oligarchy the rule of few over many. How then, have we gotten to the point that
    everything we have done for 220 years in this Country is now suddenly wrong and Unconstitutional?

    Lets put it around the world and let the world see and remember what this great country was built on, The Holy Bible.

    Author Unknown

  17. GLENN SMITH

    In history they did not have the laws of today. Laws in history were derived from religious interpritations symply because people were all in search for the same thing (FREEDOM). Churches and religious leaders were perdominate leaders in the small communities of yesteryear. Times have changed, people have changed, government has changed, laws have changed, religion has changed so why dosen’t Mt. Juliet change allong with the BOC? i stood up for change for 32 years in government and bear the pain every day, so please do not prach to me. No hard feelings taken, I hope.

  18. GLENN SMITH

    I am not an atheist first of all. I do have a religious following. You just may not understand it and would not care to enlighten yourself to it and I will never devulge it because you would slander it, it has stood time longer than Christianity has been around. Enough said on that issue. The issue at hand is not personal but lawful and I just brought it up as a word of CAUTION to the BOC. The passage of the federal governments support to Israel has not been finallized by any means.
    Just remember that the world today holds more differing religions today than you would care to acknowledge and all hold up in a court of law as religions, so bevery careful with what you say, Christianity is not the only religion out there. I hope the Jewish faither remembers the Arminiain people.

  19. GLENN SMITH

    Thank you for understanding what I was stateing. I do not and will not tread on religious beleafs, everyone has there own beleafs.

  20. Butch Huber

    I thought of a neat little ditty yesterday that hadn’t occurred to me. The county has passed a resolution that essentially states that the county will not enhance the services provided to the City of Mt. Juliet until such time as the city establishes its own fire department. Upon such time as the city establishes its own fire department, the county will discontinue providing fire suppression to this city. The county says that it will continue to provide all other emergency services to this city, however, it will not continue to provide fire suppression to us once we have our own fire department.

    Here is just one part of their problem. Stations 3 and 4 don’t provide service to Mt. Juliet, they provide service to zones 3 and 4. Zones 3 and 4, as shown above, encompass much more than just Mt. Juliet. In fact, only about 40 to 50 percent of the citizens covered by stations 3 and 4 actually live inside this city of Mt. Juliet. The rest of the citizens covered by those two stations live in the Unincorporated portions of the county.

    Here is another part of their problem. The county has stated that there is a drastic shortfall in emergency services in this part of the county. Are they saying that every person who lives outside of Mt. Juliet, and in the unincorporated portions of the county have adequate emergency services, but that those who live just on the other side of the city limits (inside the city) have woefully inadequate service? If you were to consider the shape of this city you would have to conclude that the citizens who live in the unincorporated portions of this county also have woefully inadequate levels of emergency services as well.

    Here is another problem, and I believe this is a barn burner for them.
    The county elected not to enhance services to the city of Mt. Juliet, and that the services provided to Mt. Juliet will remain as is, until such time as Mt. Juliet establishes its own fire department and provides its own fire suppression. Now follow me on this because this is vital. The county stated that it has a countywide ambulance service, that it provides rescue services and all other services provided by WEMA to all of the county. They are claiming that those services are not a part of the countywide fire department. The only way that they can pay for those services is to use property taxes. If they use property taxes to pay for those services, then my property taxes are used to pay for them. Follow me on that? They use the property taxes of all citizens of this city to pay for those other services. Okay, let me say that again, because this is very important. The county uses your property taxes, my property taxes, and the property taxes of all citizens of this city, to pay for emergency services except, according to the county, fire suppression. The county claims that it is using state shared revenues to pay for fire suppression countywide. This just gets worse for the county. You see, the county also uses the property taxes of those citizens who don’t live inside of Mt. Juliet, but who live on the periphery of Mt. Juliet. Okay, so here we are, (I promise, I am getting to the point) with all of the citizens who live in the coverage area of Stations 3 and 4, and we all pay property taxes which are used to fund WEMA (Except for the countywide fire department which for some strange reason all of a sudden only includes fire suppression even though the resolution that the county approved for the establishment of the countywide fire department directs that all of the emergency services enumerated in TCA 5-17-102 are included in the countywide fire department.). We all pay for those services with our property taxes. The county says that there is a gross need for enhanced services in this area of the county. It openly admits it and acknowledges that we need more services in this area. In fact, if you look at their costs spreadsheet, it becomes readily apparent that the biggest need for service in this area is ambulance service and second to that would be rescue, neither of which have to do with the countywide fire department according to the county, so they are both funded using property taxes.

    Drumroll please……

    Oh, you are going to love this!

    Here it comes…..

    Wait for it……

    Hold…….

    Hold……..

    Steady……

    Okay. The county is intentionally and willfully withholding from us the enhancement of services that it says we desperately need and they are saying that the reason they are withholding those services because Mt. Juliet refuses to establish its own fire department. Man, you are going to love this! Mt. Juliet has no requirement to ever establish a fire department! The county is saying that if another government entity does not do what they demand, those of us who live in the coverage area of zones 3 and 4 will never, ever, never ever ever see even one iota of enhancement of our emergency services including ambulance, rescue, hazardous material response, emergency management, water rescue, and special teams, which are all supposedly part of WEMA, but not a part of the countywide fire department. Folks, it could be construed that withholding the enhancement of services that the county openly acknowledges are needed, and for which we are paying the costs of through property taxes, is a felony. You heard it here first folks.

    39-16-403. Official oppression.

    (a) A public servant acting under color of office or employment commits an offense who:

    (1) Intentionally subjects another to mistreatment or to arrest, detention, stop, frisk, halt, search, seizure, dispossession, assessment or lien when the public servant knows the conduct is unlawful; or

    (2) Intentionally denies or impedes another in the exercise or enjoyment of any right, privilege, power or immunity, when the public servant knows the conduct is unlawful.

    (b) For purposes of this section, a public servant acts under color of office or employment if the public servant acts, or purports to act, in an official capacity or takes advantage of the actual or purported capacity.

    (c) An offense under this section is a Class E felony.

    The County, in my estimation, is mistreating the citizens in the coverage area of WEMA zones 3 and 4 by withholding enhancement of services which we desperately need, and which they acknowledge openly that they agree we need them, when they themselves have acknowledged that it is a county responsibility to provide such services and they intentionally deny and impede our right to enjoyment of a right and/or privilege by withholding services for which we pay. I informed the County Mayor and the County Attorney of this little ditty just last night. See section (b) where it says “When the public servant knows the conduct is unlawful?” They know about this item. See section (c)? What kind of a crime is it? It is a felony! I don’t know how you apply criminal charges against an entire county commission, I don’t know how that works, but can you follow my logic? Can you see how they are withholding from us the enhancement of those services to this city in an attempt to force the City of Mt. Juliet to establish its own fire department? Can you see how we could be stuck forever with the same inadequate level of service if nothing is done about it? Can you see the barrel the county is over?

    I am not sure, but I think the county is going to have to rethink its approach. I have proven that the county provides massively more per capita emergency services coverage to both Watertown and Lebanon in terms of expenditures. I have proven that the county provides and makes available all types of services to Lebanon, including fire suppression, (Only Lebanon doesn’t normally use the county for fire suppression because they elect to take care of that for themselves). Station 1 still has plenty of responders and plenty of equipment that is necessary to provide fire suppression to Lebanon. In fact, if Lebanon were to discontinue their fire suppression service the county wouldn’t have to increase its level of staffing or its level of vehicles one bit and it would instantly be providing Lebanon with more fire suppression than it provides to Mt. Juliet.). What I am telling you is that the county now has to be capable of explaining to a judge on what basis it can withhold the enhancement of services that it says we desperately need just because Mt. Juliet doesn’t provide its own fire suppression. All the judge would have to do is see that the county spends $88.85 per person on emergency services in Lebanon and $85 per person in Watertown, and only $55 per person in Mt. Juliet and that the county spends 74% more on emergency services in Lebanon than it provides in Mt. Juliet and the judge would have to conclude that the county has demonstrated that it is in fact withholding services to which we are entitled because we pay for those services.

    The more they try to avoid fire taxes and fire districts the tighter and tighter becomes the noose with which they will eventually hang themselves.

    Shouldn’t some public official at some point really start to dig in and question why they so desperately want to avoid fire districts and fire taxes? Hmmmm…….. Could there be a story there? Ya think?

  21. Ima B Lever

    One of the problems we have with fixing this scenario is that the judges in the county belong to the same good ol’ boys club as those county commissioners that repeatedly vote against Mt. Juliet.

  22. Butch Huber

    Oh, but that isn’t an issue. We can get a change of venue easily enough. The judges are personally impacted by the outcome of the issue that they would be voting on. Besides, I have already checked, it is pretty much a guarantee that the city would be able to get an appeal to any decision made by the county in an issue such as this. That would put this in the appellate court in Nashville, out of the jurisdiction of the County Judges.

  23. Southsider

    That is why there is an appeals court.

  24. Butch Huber

    Ima, if you are Ed Hagerty, you need to take a different approach. That mentality is tantamount to not calling the police when your house is being robbed because you feel they are a part of the gang that is robbing your home. If that is the case, you do something else, but you don’t let yourself be victimized no matter what.

  25. Ima B Lever

    I’m not Ed Hagerty, and I’m not opposed to going after the county. Good to know it won’t have to end up in a Wilson courtroom.

  26. Butch Huber

    I have made repeated attempts now to get the leaders of the governments and their assigned representatives on this issue to meet with me so that we can resolve this issue. They haven’t even so much as told me to drop dead, not a single peep.

    I believe that I have proven to them that I have a firm grip on this issue and that I have done the research and studied the issue ad nauseam. I say that to say this, “if not me”, then “who”? If not “now”, then “when”? If not them, then “who”? If not now, then “why”?

    They spent $10,000+ to hold a choreographed community discussion, only to have it be a one way discussion with a trumped up question and response using electronic gadgets instead of meaningful dialog with the public. They will do that, but they won’t have a sit down with me when I can with out a doubt show them the better way on this issue.

    Instead of meeting with me, they are instead giving me cause to look deeper and deeper into this issue. My last discovery, that the county could very well be committing a felonious offense with their resolution not to enhance emergency services in Mt. Juliet, could turn into something the county never, ever, never ever ever wanted to happen. If someone gets injured or dies or suffers harm as a result of their insolent, somewhat insidious, arrogant, obnoxious, and obstinate behavior that they have demonstrated as they foisted this attack, this effrontery towards Mt. Juliet, this barbarism that they have shown the people of this city, and if that person or their family sues the county stating that the county had a duty and an obligation to provide adequate emergency services but that they voted to pass a resolution stating that they would never, ever, never ever ever, not in a million years, no matter what, ever even consider for a moment enhancing services in Mt. Juliet until such time as Mt. Juliet established a fire department of its own, when Mt. Juliet has no legal obligation whatsoever to establish a fire department of its own, the county could get us sued for tens of millions if not hundreds of millions of dollars. The lawsuit could break the bank for the county and throw it into bankruptcy.

    The county took on this obligation of providing emergency services, now they are saying that the only service that is provided to the citizens of this county under the countywide fire department is fire suppression, and that the county provides all of the other services it provides to the county through WEMA under some other authorization. Okay, let’s see the authorization. They can’t show it to me because it doesn’t exist. But their actions themselves give credence to any lawsuit that may be filed against them for inadequate service in this area of the county. The county cannot escape the real numbers that I have compiled. Lebanon gets $88.85 per person worth of county provided emergency services, Lebanon gets $85 per person worth of county provided emergency services, the unincorporated portion of the county and the City of Mt. Juliet get about $55 per person worth of County provided emergency services. The city of Lebanon gets 74% more investment per year in emergency services than is provided inside of Mt. Juliet.

    If a citizen or group of citizens were to sue the county for their lack of provision of emergency services to this area of the county the county would lose immediately based on just the numbers alone. How could they prevail? Where could they run? What could they do? The numbers speak so loudly and clearly the judge couldn’t hear what they were saying with their mouths.

    Instead of working to solve the situation and bring about peaceful relations, or at least better relations, they will ignore the solution. But doesn’t their behavior make you ask yourself “Why”?

  27. Sonny Griffin

    The City of MJ has been given an ultimatum on the fire issue by resolution of the County Commission. The County dictated the terms of an interlocal agreement between the City and the County in this resolution.

    Funny, I always thought that an agreement was a meeting of the minds between two parties; not a mandate by one of the parties.

    It is sad that the County couldn’t even get the title of the resolution right. The title says that it is the intention of the County not to expand fire services in MJ. There is not one word about expanding service in the whole resolution. On the contrary, it is about taking existing service away from MJ.

    It is about MJ paying $411,000 for 1/3 of the staffing cost of Station 3 formerly furnished by the County.

    It is about MJ building yet another fire station free of charge for the County.

    Isn’t it about time that MJ answer this ridiculous resolution through a resolution of its own? A suggested title could be “City of Mount Juliet Response to County Resolution No. ——

    The County further mandates that if its demands are not met it will cease to fund fire protection services to the city of MJ.

    The first thing to ask the County is its definition of “fire protection services”. Is it fire suppression only or does it include other services as well? This resolution was particularly intimidating when it was first drafted because many thought it referred to WEMA’s entire range of services, including emergency medical. This was before the figures given to the Comptroller’s Office by the County became public.

    The City should also demand a complete audit of WEMA funding and expenditures broken down by service rendered.

    I would suggest that the City respond to the County resolution before 1 September, 2011 to show good faith.

  28. BINGO! Gentlemen, my work here is done. It is and always has been a pleasure, you are NOW right where you need to be and headed in the right direction….Godspeed! If you need me, call me…I will not be far.
    RP

  29. Sonny Griffin

    R. P. ,

    I hate to lose your input. The fight has just begun.

    You are very smart. You don’t really think that any arrogant politician is going to listen to me or Butch or anybody else for that matter. We are just voting citizens. You know, you elected them, you live with them. They got you by the short hairs.

    I plan to send my suggested action to the City Commission. My bet is that they will ignore me as Butch has been ignored.

    I posted previously that the City has two aces in the hole and two up. How are they going to play their hand?

    Have faith.

  30. Doc Cider

    We should not rule out a class action lawsuit by the citizens of MJ against the county.

  31. Butch Huber

    After having reviewed the statutes under Title 5 chapter 16, it appears that the county has within its arsenal the ability to unilaterally address the shortfall in services in Mt. Juliet. The way I am reading those statutes, the county can give notice to the city that it has 90 days to address the shortfall, and if the city neglects to take appropriate action the county can step in and provide that service for a fee or other funding arrangement and the city can’t prevent them from doing so. If my interpretation of Title 5 chapter 16 is correct, the county is really in trouble for its resolution because it was within the county’s authority to take whatever action it needs in order to address the need in this city and they failed to act.

  32. GLENN SMITH

    Again Mount Juiet needs its own fire department, truely owned and operated by Mount Juliet. Not to be presented and transfered to the county. Ambulance service is the same. Most Fire Dpartments double duty as Certified EMTs in most all other states and are restricted from alcohol and tobacoo use, even off duty.. The county can be utilized as a backup to Mount Juliet if the need arizes. How simple is that? FIRE, POLICE AND AMBULANCE/MEDICAL SERVICE is also known as FIRST RESPONDERS lets get that straight also.
    I just do not want to be DOUBLE taxed just to receive fire extinguishing not suppression. If Mount Juliet starts a Fire Station then property tax would be more receptive than if a double taxed on the same PROPERTY just to have the county benifit from it. “NO TAXATION WITHOUT PROPER REPRISENTATION” and “NO DOUBLE TAXATION”.

  33. Butch Huber

    Glenn, I am inclined to believe that it is in the long-term best interests of the citizens of this city to take this issue out of the hands of the county. They have proven to be oppressive toward the citizens of this city and therefore have lost the right to serve us and they have lost our trust. That said, “HOW” we end up with our own fire service is the question. That is what I am working on. I want to prove beyond any doubt that the county has to establish fire districts and fund Emergency Services through fire districts so that they can no longer take our money to spend it elsewhere in the county. Then we can start to have adult conversations about how we are going to handle emergency services in this county.

  34. Thank you for the kind words, Sonny. I think highly of you and your input/passion on the issue as well. I’m not leaving…I’m just going to be listening more. My repertoire is becoming repetitious. Your’s, Butch’s, et al research, has given our position a clear direction. I am going to be turning my attention to those who should be listening and watching what they should be doing. Representatives at the city level here know they do not know. I am watching to see who among them shows intelligence over foolish pride and makes the call for this information. I know their schedules, I know they do not have the time or resources to do the type of info gathering that Butch has pulled off. He is sitting on EVERYTHING they need to shore up this issue fairly for their constituents. I am not asking they take a big bite of humble pie or eat a crow sandwich…I am hoping they inquire to receive this informative direction in the spirit of the process that put them in place…true public service without regard to personal appearance or gain. But make no mistake, there needs to be some changes come next election. HARD questions need to be asked and HARD answers demanded. If a hopeful states that he/she has a plan…that need not be the beginning, middle, and end of it. They need to bring an extra copy of it and leave it with us. In summary, the sky is blue, the grass is green, and the following NEEDS TO HAPPEN:

    In no particular order,
    This info needs to lead the county, forcefully if necessary, to fire tax districts. At that time, we revisit the issue and assess the adequacy of the level of protection. If it turns out to be true, and it probably will, that WEMA is best suited for rural emergency services provision and not so much for urban, then MJ research the opportunity for its own FD.
    FORENSIC AUDIT =FULL DISCLOSURE…This is an absolute MUST. We need to strongly encourage our city leaders to persue this option fervently
    and faithfully. After the disrespectful tone of the county reps, this action would be dead on right and prudent.
    Removal of candidates at the city AND county level that make statements like “I don’t know anything about…”, “Could you please start over?”, “…big boy britches”, and/or any statement that attempts to remove the “middlemen”(voters, citizens, tax payers)in a NON-DEMOCRATIC fashion.
    Removal of the current WEMA director and possibly his boss next election.
    Stop the practice of sending someone to the equivalent of a Dale Carnegie course and then giving them a red shirt with a gold badge and calling them a fire “anything”. Know the difference between a fire marshal/inspector and a fire chief. They are not the same thing and CAN NOT EVER be the same person. You are looking at a potential mushroom cloud if you rely on someone with an armful of building codes experience to BUILD your FD from the ground up. If they have never manned a post or done THE JOB, then they are WRONG, WRONG, WRONG for the position and WILL make a mess of it. We do not need this if and when we get to this point.
    These are just a few ramblings that I give you my word are as true as the day is long. My motivation is not and never will be for me…but for you, your well being, and our future. I hope a good week’s blessing on you all
    RP

  35. Sonny Griffin

    Butch,

    The following is from AG Opinion # 09-107:

    “The only statutes authorizing counties to provide fire service directly appear to be Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 5-17-101, et seq., regarding county-wide fire departments, and Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 5-16-101, et seq., regarding urban type public facilities”.

    Wilson County uses §§ 5-17-101, et seq., therefore, §§ 5-16-101, et seq. do not apply.

    If we ignore the County resolution, they might just be crazy enough to remove some of their resources from Station 3. This, of course, would be a terrible political and legal maneuver. However, the important thing here is the safety of the citizens of Wilson County living in Zone 3. MJ citizens are Wilson County citizens too.

    It is very important that we retain our present level of service. Therefore, it is imperative that we answer their resolution. Not even they would be stupid enough to pull resources in the face of a response to their resolution.

    Then we need to lock this service in for a specified length of time using an interlocal agreement. This interlocal agreement needs to be negotiated by both parties, not mandated by one. I believe that we could negotiate an agreement that is very favorable to MJ using the County’s figures.

    Meanwhile, we should be working on establishing our own emergency services for MJ.

    I agree with Glenn and Butch. We need our own facilities. Working with the County is intolerable.

  36. GLENN SMITH

    Why is it (BOC) insistent on informing the county about everything related to the MJFD issue? I suspect the issue to be more than money !!?? An investigation would be nice. I suggested that an audit be conducted when ELAM departed, nothing happened, it would have caught alot of something I am sure. The town can do what it wants, then INFORM the county that it was done, that is all needs to be done. Build the MJFD/AMBULANCE/POLICE STATION lets Rock-an-Roll. Just do it!!

  37. GLENN SMITH

    After the township of MJ was ESTABLISHED in 1973, as a city, that would have shifted the responseability from Wilson County to Mount Juliet to establish a Fire Station & Medical/Ambulance Service based on the population and area to cover. That’s what I understand from all this paper and finger pointing. FOCUS ON THE ISSUE! The town I grow up in was established in 1773, yes before the Revolution, and was responsible to creat a Fire Brigade after succeeding from the county. It also went threw the same issue in the later 80’s to Build a Station House and equip it with OSHA and State certified equipment. Yes I am a Yankee, that is true. Ha HA HA!

  38. Butch Huber

    Glenn, can you show me any statute in the law that indicates that the city has an obligation or duty to provide a fire station or ambulance service? I have studied the law regarding this issue extensively and have yet to see any statute of that nature whatsoever. However, the county elected to establish a countywide fire department and by doing so took on the responsibility and obligation to see to it that all citizens of this county have fire protection services. It is, and will remain, the county’s responsibility to provide emergency service until such time as the county rescinds its resolution to establish a countywide fire department. At that time, it still will not be the city’s responsibility to provide such services. It is, in my estimation, your opinion that the city is responsible to provide fire protection services.

  39. GLENN SMITH

    Study the Bylaws that outlines the requirements for a Town to become Incorporated and upgrade from a township into a city. These laws are established by the state government and town commissioners. A good start would be the Town Constitution, Town and City directives as well as Town Ordenances.. These laws also outline what is required for the transformation from township to become an established city. If these laws and guidelines were never looked at by the body of commissioners, then the validity of establishment of the city is in question. These laws and guidelines are in the Public Records for all to look up. These laws never expire and have never been desturbed, and more than likely never amended and could answer question being asked presently. I am not a lawyer just a concerned resident with some insite just look furher than the FD issue, anazing what one will find.

  40. Butch Huber

    Glenn, are you talking about Mt. Juliet and Tennessee or are you referring to something that perhaps you saw or heard of from a northern city/state?

    Perhaps I have missed something, however, I do not know of any statutes dealing with “Townships” in Tennessee. Again, if they exist, I am not sure where. Perhaps I just didn’t recognize them as such when I saw them.

    There is no requirement, even attorney general’s have opined to attest, that requires a city to provide emergency services, Glenn. There is a provision in the twenty year growth act that requires that a city have a plan of service for fire protection services, other than those services provided by the county, in areas which are annexed into a city subsequent to the passage of the twenty year growth act, however, that is a plan of service, not an actual service, and it appears that nobody gives a damn about that requirement anyway.

    I am not an attorney, I just have studied this issue exhaustively and have a fairly good handle on it (I think). The county took on the responsibility to see to it that every citizen of this county, whether inside a city or out, has adequate fire protection services (Emergency services). They approved the resolution that authorized the establishment of the countywide fire department pursuant to TCA 5-17-101 et seq, for the purpose of taking on all the powers and duties enumerated in TCA 5-17-102 et seq inclusive. They, not the city, are responsible for the provision of fire protection services both inside this city and out. They are responsible, however, that does not preclude the city from stepping in and taking on the responsibility as well, however, even if the city were to step in, that does not in any way absolve the county of its obligations. In other words, the city could go into and out of the fire protection business, the county would always have the same level of obligation. Why? because they took on that obligation. The county could rely on the city service for protection of county citizens inside of the city limits, however, if that service were to be disbanded, the county would have an obligation to protect us. Why? Because they passed a resolution stating that they were responsible.

    I think the city needs to establish its own fire department, including all emergency services except for police, but I also think that the city should help ensure we don’t end up paying twice for the same level of service. We could always build our own service and let WEMA run it if that is what the city commission wants, however, we should own the service so that it can never be used against us again.

    That said, I do not, however, subscribe to the notion that a city has to be the entity that provides its protection services. The county is the more efficient way to provide the service, however, our county has acted immaturely and unprofessionally to the point we have a need to take it out of their hands. That is the only reason that I think we need our own service.

  41. GLENN SMITH

    Sounds to me that there is NO legal issues due to NO ESTABLISHED LAWS being written, proposed, established, concieved or adopted Localy, County, Stately or Federally. The Township of Mount Juliet had to have started from sowhere with certain laws used as guidance. If there is no laws written and on the books I would assume it to be a free for all, there is no laws to guide the town and no laws that can be enforced within this cityship I do not believe this at all. Nothing in writting no enpowerment no enforcement no proof of law. Their had to be laws utilized to establish MJ as a city. Once again I am not a lawyer and refuse to relinquish any source of law. No law just GO AHEAD AND DO IT ESTABLISH a fire station for MOUNT JULIET. All information needed is within Town Records, City Records, Public Records and Local, State and Federal Laws if not there then their is a lot of work to be done prior to a Fire Station, How can a city stretch its neck out like this, hand shakeing dosen’t do it anymore to many lawsuits.

  42. The City was established by referendum in the early 1970’s. By referendum, the city adopted a “general law charter” as defined by the state legislature. The City Commission is granted authority under the charter. Any acts by the Commission which conflict with the Charter, or exceed the authority granted them by the Charter are null and void. Of course you’ll have to file suit and get a judge to rule, but in theory, the Commission is limited by and governed under the charter.

    In 2006, the citizens of Mt. Juliet voted by referendum to become a “home rule city.” The Charter can no longer be altered by the legislature. The City Commission may propose charter amendments, but they do not take effect unless/until they are approved by the voters. The voters have approved ONE charter amendment so far. In 2010, they approved a charter amendment which prohibited members of the City Commission from holding any other elected office simultaneously.

    You can read the charter here:
    http://www.egovlink.com/public_documents300/mtjuliet/published_documents/City%20Charter/CityCharter.pdf

  43. Doc Cider

    We saw the respect with which certain City Commissioners (all except Hagerty and Maness) and city officials (esp Jason Holleman) treated that charter amendment. As well as the good ol’ boy judge.

  44. GLENN SMITH

    Well in 2006 MJ became its own city, “HOME RULE CITY” just get the votes to build a MJFD and DO IT! What is stopping MJ? Remember just put into print for record of CYA.
    Good Bye! Can not live in a place without documentaion to risky for my blood and/or pocketbook. Final comment I am moveing out.

  45. Butch Huber

    Goodbye Glenn.

  46. Butch Huber

    I read in the Wilson A.M. about how Statesville has a water problem. In that article it says that to the people of Statesville the booming suburbs of Mt. Juliet might as well be a world away. Wilson County Commissioner Sara Patton is quoted as having said, “They pay the same county taxes that anyone in Wilson County pays”. The article then goes on to say that water service to Statesville has nothing to do with county taxes, but rather has to do with public utilities such as the Water and Wastwater authority of Wilson County and that they are self-sufficient. Any expansions of that service are to be supported by new customers. The article goes on to say that, in order to be self-sufficient, they would need 12 taps per mile.

    This article kind of strikes at the essence of the issues we are dealing with in the fire protection arena. The water and wastewater programs have to be self-sufficient. You can’t have water unless you have enough people to support it, however, according to many, you have to have geographically equal fire protection services no matter how many or how few people are being covered by each station. That is the mantra coming out of the county. “The people in Cottage Home pay their property taxes just like everyone else pays theirs, don’t they deserve the same protection?” “The people of Statesville pay their property taxes just like everyone else in the county, don’t they deserve fire protection just like everyone else in the county?” “The people of Norene pay their property taxes just like eveyrone else in the county, don’t they deserve fire protection just like everyone else in the county?” Folks, if you don’t “Deserve” water and wastewater, do you “Deserve” fire protection? You deserve to get what you are willing to pay for, that is what it call really comes down to. If the county really adopted the philosophy that everyone deserves the exact same thing, then the county would have nice big wide beautiful roads all over the county, they would have a hospital every five miles, they would have fire departments everywhere, they would have water and wastewater everywhere. Schools would be everywhere. The county would have so many facilities and so much service we would be a mecca for socialists. We would become the shinning example of what a socialist state could look like, well, except we would all be broke.

    I want the people of Watertown, and statesville, and Cottage Home and Norene to all have adequate fire protection and other emergency services as well, however, I don’t for the life of me understand why government thinks it is its right and duty to take money from me to pay for the services that those people want. This is especially true now that the county government has voted to never, ever, never ever ever, not in a million years ever increase the level of service it provides in this area of the county until the city of Mt. Juliet establishes its own fire department (Even though this city has no legal, moral, ethical, or other obligation, whatsoever, to establish a fire department of its own considering the county elected to take on the responsibility to provide fire protection services to all of the county, including Mt. Juliet). If they want my help, I will help them. If they want me to donate to a private or volunteer service, I will probably donate to them. I just don’t want the county to take my money from me without my agreement and use my money to provide service to someone else who elects to live out in the country instead of living in the booming suburbs of Mt. Juliet. Is that hard to understand. Sam Kinison used to have a stand up comedy bit during which he is talking about the starving Africans. In that skit he talks about how whenever he see those starving Africans they are always in the desert. In typical Kinison style he starts screaming, “YOU LIVE IN A DESERT! YOU ARE STARVING BECAUSE YOU LIVE IN A DESERT! MOVE TO THE WATER! YOU ARE LIVING IN A DESERT!!!!” I think that skit is a little bit apropos to this discussion. If you don’t have the level of service you desire, move to a place that has the service you desire. Don’t expect the world to build a superhighway to your front door because you want a faster commute to work. Move closer to work. If you don’t like the level of fire protection services you have, and if you aren’t paying for a higher level than what you are currently getting, then logically you have a choice, either move to a place that has what you are looking for or live with what you have until there are enough of you to collectively pay for more. In Mt. Juliet our gripe isn’t that we don’t have fire protection services, it is that we are paying for more than what we are receiving and that there are those who are receiving much more than that for which they pay. There is an imbalance here in Wilson County and that imbalance is unfair and inappropriate. If the county would correct the imbalance then we would likely increase our service above and beyond even that for which we are currently paying. In essence, it is the socialist cries of those who want that for which they do not pay that are costing us that for which we do pay. The cry goes, “We pay taxes just like everyone else, therefore, regardless of whether that which we pay collectively will pay for that which we desire, we deserve it anyway and you are obligated to provide it.”

  47. “Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people’s money.” —- Margaret Thatcher

  48. Butch Huber

    The fire protection issue is starting to fizzle out, isn’t it? All the talk, all the rants, all the commotion, and now it seems to be all settling out. Very little being heard now. Why? Because, as I said from the very beginning, this isn’t about fire protection, it is about property taxes. I wasn’t the first to say it, people who have educated me about this issue told me that this is just about property taxes. The county could care less about the fire protection issue. They know that if they end up in court they lose. They don’t want to push this issue into court, they wanted to just cause the city to raise the property tax rate. They don’t care about the fact that we have inadequate service in this area of the county, they only cared that this city had a property tax rate set at zero. That is all this was about. Envy, Jealousy, Pride, and Ego, that is what it was about. This city showed that a city can operate without a property tax, so they set about to prove that it can’t. The way to do that was to force the city of Mt. Juliet into developing its own fire department, which straddles it with such a high level of costs that, at least in the counties estimation, would force this city into a property tax. The city commission fell for what they were doing hook, line, and sinker, even though they had been warned again and again.

    Now there is a property tax, and the issue seems to be over. “Fire’s out, set the re-flash watch.” Now the issue isn’t over whether we have a property tax, now the issue is to ensure that the city commission doesn’t change its mind and reset the rate back to zero. If the city resets the rate to zero, this will become a blazing issue again, however, if they leave it as is, then this issue will just smolder for a few years and then it will reignite into an inferno as the county attempts in some form or fashion to siphon more and more money out of this city once again. That is, in reality, the only reason they don’t want fire districts and fire taxes. The lack of fire districts and fire taxes is because they know that they can siphon millions out of this city, out of the pockets of those who live in this city, by keeping things as they are.

    Our city commission owes it to us to fight this issue and win it. We should never be taxed twice and served once. That is what is happening now. We are being taxed twice and served once (Although we are currently being served to the level for which we pay). So this issue has come full circle. It is back where it started, albeit this time with a city property tax. Think I am incorrect? What changed? Did the level of protection change? NO, in fact, the level of service we have in this end of the county has effectively be set in stone, never to be changed up or down, until such time as this city establishes its own fire department. So, no, the level of service hasn’t changed. Is the county going to do anything about this issue from this point forward? No. They have said, “as long as you don’t do anything else regarding this issue, we won’t do anything else.” When did they say that? After we increased the property tax rate. They had gotten what they wanted and then said, “Great, now that you have raised your property tax rate, which is what we wanted all along, we will agree not to change anything in your city until such time as you get bold enough to take on the fire protection issue yourselves. If you do, we will stop providing you with fire suppression and you can have the exact same raw deal that we have with Lebanon. You will still be paying twice and getting served only once, but then you will have a huge additional expense.” What changed?

  49. Excellent points.
    But it’s actually worse than your portrayal.
    The county isn’t threatening us with the same bad deal they have with Lebanon (you pay us for Fire AND you have to pay for your own Fire Department). In Lebanon, they still provide Rescue, Hazmat, etc AND they have two ambulances to serve a population of 25k.

    No, the county boys REALLY resent Mt. Juliet and intend to do us harm. They have adopted a negative plan of services for Mt. Juliet. “You will pay us for Fire AND you have to pay for your own Fire Department and we will no longer provide you with any Rescue, Hazmat or Ambulance service.”

    Actually that last statement wasn’t entirely accurate. The county hasn’t adopted a negative plan of services for Mt. Juliet – they have adopted a negative plan of services for all of Zone 3 (h/t RP).

    3 part solution:

    • 1. Establish a Mt. Juliet Fire Department
    • 2. Annex ALL of Zone 3 into the city limits
    • 3. Sue the county on behalf of all Zone 3 residents. Not to force the provision of services, but to force the establishment of a separate county fund for WEMA, funded by county fire tax districts, with the fire tax in Zone 3 set to -zero-. Oh, and seek to recover damages from the county based on denial of federal civil rights and violation of the 14th amendment guarantee of equal treatment. All damages to be applied exclusively to the funding of fire & ambulance service to Zone 3 residents (by the Fire & Ambulance Department of the City of Mt. Juliet!).
  50. Butch Huber

    Publius,

    One of us is mistaken. My interpretation of the county resolution is that the county will continue to provide all services currently offered by WEMA, including hazmat, rescue, ambulance, etc (except fire suppression) to the city of Mt. Juliet, and that they will remain in station 3 and provide all WEMA services (Including fire suppression) out of station 3 to all citizens of the unincorporated portions of the county. They were brash enough to assume that, if the city were to establish its own fire department, we would allow them to continue to use station 3 and that we would build another station in that vicinity for our own fire station. The unmitigated guile of the county boys who wanted this deal is unparalleled.

    I do like the plan, though I am in favor of a much, much more aggressive plan.

  51. On 1 September, 2011, the County resolution says that the County will cease funding for “fire protection service” inside the corporate city limits of MJ unless the City of MJ coughs up $411,000.

    The City of MJ has the opportunity to answer the County resolution with a resolution of its own.

    The County resolution is so poorly written that it leaves many questions unanswered.

    I sent the City Commission a letter asking them to consider sending the County a response to their resolution before 1 September, 2011. The letter follows.

    “Gentlemen,

    The City of MJ has been given an ultimatum on the fire issue by resolution of the County Commission. The County dictated the terms of an interlocal agreement between the City and the County in this resolution.

    Funny, I always thought that an agreement was a meeting of the minds between two parties; not a mandate by one of the parties.

    It is sad that the County couldn’t even get the title of the resolution right. The title says that it is the intention of the County not to expand fire services in MJ. There is not one word about expanding service in the whole resolution. On the contrary, it is about taking existing service away from MJ.

    It is about MJ paying $411,000 for 1/3 of the staffing cost of Station 3 formerly furnished by the County.

    It is about MJ building yet another fire station free of charge for the County.

    Isn’t it about time that MJ answers this ridiculous resolution through a resolution of its own? A suggested title could be “City of Mount Juliet Response to Wilson County Resolution No. ——”

    The County further mandates that if its demands are not met it will cease to fund fire protection services to the city of MJ.

    The first thing to ask the County is its definition of “fire protection services”. Is it fire suppression only or does it include other services as well? This resolution was particularly intimidating when it was first drafted because many thought it referred to WEMA’s entire range of services, including emergency medical. This was before the figures given to the Comptroller’s Office by the County became public.

    The City should also demand a complete audit of WEMA funding and expenditures broken down by service rendered.

    I would suggest that the City respond to the County resolution before 1 September, 2011 to show good faith.

    If we ignore the County resolution, they might just be crazy enough to remove some of their resources from Station 3. This, of course, would be a terrible political and legal maneuver. However, the important thing here is the safety of the citizens of Wilson County living in Zone 3. MJ citizens are Wilson County citizens too.

    It is very important that we retain our present level of service. Therefore, it is imperative that we answer their resolution. Not even they would be stupid enough to pull resources in the face of a response to their resolution.

    Then we need to lock this service in for a specified length of time using an interlocal agreement. This interlocal agreement needs to be negotiated by both parties, not mandated by one. I believe that we could negotiate an agreement that is very favorable to MJ using the County’s official figures.

    Meanwhile, we should be working on establishing our own emergency services for MJ.

    We need our own facilities. Working with the County is intolerable.”
    End of letter.

    I don’t believe that the City Commission will answer the County resolution. I think that the results will be that MJ will just default to the County’s extortionate demands.

    As I have said before, the City has two aces in the hole and two up.
    However, I think they are going to fold.

  52. P, B, and S…
    my “POSSE”…

    Publius,
    Consider adding to #2 the annexation of Zone 4 as well for the following reasons: Logistics–if you look at the area you get when you combine zone 3 and 4 it is well more geographic and symetric…much easier to border out equal zones for a MJFD. Adequate AND equal within the new city limits of MJ…sound good? More is Less is More–many hands make light work…more people to tax, less tax to all, more money to MJ.
    Also, as David Farragut said, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead”!
    All the citizens should sue the county back to Jurassic Park for dereliction of duty… KNOWINGLY putting the people of this zone’s safety at risk for selfish and childish gain.
    Butch and Sonny, it is just my opinion but I do believe now with the gusto of a hound dog that status quo for fire protection for the citizens of this city and zone represents the very best that Ed, James, Ted, Art, and Goober can do. Their fire, their desire, and their intestinal fortitude (i.e. courage and endurance) is grossly inadequate and severely limited. Their lack of education and ignorance/arrogance preventing them from asking for help, are causing them to epic fail the citizens of this city. The fact that they have now coward to county pressure and put in place a tax that they HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA IN HELL WHAT TO DO WITH is such a monumental embarrassment. They should truly be ashamed. They are not the team, they are not the guys, they are definitely not leaders. They have failed and they need to go. This will not be fixed until we get some decent public not self serving representatives with education and experience in this area as well as the whole picture. If these men run again, I can assure you…THEY WILL BE GRILLED BY THIS POSTER…you can bet your ass, your cowboy hat, and your house cat on that.

    As an aside, gentlemen, look into this caveat if you see fit. There is a player in this game that has a laundry list of code certifications on a resume but 2 very interesting ommissions…2 investigations…one TBI and one internal. Probably NOT somebody you want to put aas the leader of the “tribe”. Ah Oh…an opportunity to date myself…As Bonnie Tyler sang in her 1984 song Holding out for a Hero…”Where have all the good men gone,”? Dudes, she was so HOT…and that voice…HUBBA HUBBA HUBBA!
    Later guys…have a GREAT weekend.
    RP

  53. As a purely logical solution, your suggestion has a great deal of merit, RP. It’s probably step #4 – not because it wouldn’t make sense initially, but because the political/legal obstacles to annexing Zone 4 are so much higher than Zone 3. Zone 3 is inside MJ’s growth area. Zone 4 is not. There’s a long and complicated historical/political story behind why. Probably best left for another day. Zone 4 is within MJ’s reach – but several more steps necessary to accomplish. It will take longer (several years longer) to accomplish. Zone 3 could be done as fast as you can have two readings.

    My own political judgement is that someone who runs for Mayor and/or Commissioner in 2012 can win if they propose a sound solution to the fire/ambulance problem. Steps #1-#3 are one suggestion of a platform. There are probably other viable solutions. Taking the time to research, think about, decide, describe, and communicate such a solution would be the mark of a leader. Mt. Juliet needs to elect a leader as Mayor.

  54. True ‘dat!!! whatever that means. Ditto and total agreement with both paragraphs “P”. As far as a sound solution…simply stating you have a plan ain’t gonna get it this time…I will make sure of that…and I am sure I will have Butch and Sonny doing the same. Let this be a warning to anyone that wants the job. Get a plan, and like they told me in grade school, SHOW YOUR WORK! Be ready to share the details or be ready to get a ZERO.

  55. Butch Huber

    Guys, remember, station 4 covers a significant number of homes in Mt. Juliet already. If Mt. Juliet starts its own fire department, we don’t just have to cover the city areas that are now covered by station 3, we also have to cover the areas of the city now covered by Station 4.

    If the city were to cover its own emergency services in Mt. Juliet, it would leave station 4 with much, much less to do. You would end up with Station 4 covering maybe 15,000 people or less.

    If we were to greatly increase services perhaps those people would petition to become a part of the city on their own.

    However, there is a much, much better way to handle this issue. The good old boys don’t want to hear it though.

  56. Very true Mr. Recon…and if you look at the map at the top of this post you will notice that if Zone 3 became MJ proper or vice versa, that would leave zone 4 under county responsibility and hanging off the edge of both like a dangling participle. BTW, remind me sometime to tell you that joke. Seriously though, if there were an emergency in zone 4 then mutual aid, in this case MJFD, would be closer than than the owner of the cause, WEMA. In the spirit of public service, this would not be optimal. County fire assets would be driving past as many as three closer city stations/assets to render much needed emergency aid. Publius has a very important point that should be addressed if we are to continue this discussion path. There is significant history to this area and adding it to zone 3 and calling THAT MJ would take some doing. It would need to be persued VERY SOON AFTER the advent of a MJFD or it could bog down the greater good. But you are correct…there is another way, but for me, I cannot in good faith support that with the current player(s) in place, not to mention the time it would take to legally maneuver the county to act in the spirit of your suggestion. Again, in the interest of public safety, the most expedient and effective service would be one we do ourselves. That way, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, again will the county be able to hold the safety and security of its citizens HOSTAGE because of a childish vendetta.

    RP

  57. Butch Huber

    The need for a fire station is not generated by geography, it is generated based on population more than any one determinant. Therefore, the size and shape of our city is not as much of a factor as where the population exists would be. Future population growth is a factor, don’t get me wrong. My goal is to get this settled and get the need addressed without having to have a property tax. Only if we are going to have a property tax does it make sense to annex in other areas of the county. If we are going to cover the cost from sales taxes and fees for service, then let the county provide service to the unincorporated portions of the county unless they are willing to pay the city to cover those areas.

    So the first rule of order is to decide the route we are going to take. Sales Taxes, Property taxes, fire taxes? Then we can decide what makes sense to do next.

  58. Ben Dover & C. Howett Fields

    guess who gonna run for mayor u gess bradshaw u right he probly the smartest one who run he probly best leader we got ky ease the pain greez us up nerse cratchid hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahah

  59. Butch,
    it is a combination of factors using a combination of assets. A fire station in the center of Mj would have more personnel and engines/trucks/ambulances. A station just south of I-40 would have a rescue truck/engine/ambulance. A station in zone 4 would have a truck and an ambulance. It is not based solely on pop. but that is the #1 factor. Pop., demographics, # of dwellings, size of dwellings, space between dwellings, roads , etc. Not to mention, we already have a property tax thanks to the 4 blind mice…the more the merrier!!!

    BTW, Wilson Co. Fair 2011
    Chocolate covered bacon on a stick…..I can die now, goodnight.
    RP

  60. Chocolate covered bacon on a stick, chocolate gravy and buscuits, megatron size turkey leg, fried twinkie, fried oreo, and a 32 oz. peach tea with $1.00 refills….OMGosh, I have either assured myself an early grave or the above recipe will preserve my innards forever. I gonna put on my helmet with the viking horns and take a little ride thru the northwest territory (I should walk but Mr. Davidson didn’t do all that work for a stroll.)
    ….after coffee and a constitution, of course. I’ll give you a full report this afternoon. Later taters,
    RP

  61. Butch Huber

    Having a property tax, and keeping a property tax, are not the same, R.P.

    The goal is to get rid of the property tax. There is no need for a property tax in this city, therefore, they should get rid of the property tax. Ed and Jim both ran on promises that they would not raise property taxes. Now that we know that the county is intent on providing rescue, water rescue, hazardous material response, emergency management, and ambulance to Mt. Juliet, and that their only beef is that we don’t provide our own fire suppression, and now that we know that the county spends $88.85 per person in Lebanon and $85 per person in Watertown on emergency services, and now that we know that they won’t pull out their fire apparatus or discontinue providing fire suppression to Mt. Juliet, we don’t need to do anything and therefore don’t need a property tax. The city offered to build a building for them in the south part of the city, they wouldn’t even motion to put the offer to a vote.

    Even if we elect to establish a fire department, we don’t need a property tax. The city could enter into a lease/purchase agreement for a developer to build a building for them, we could have lease/purchases on equipment as well. Personnel costs could be mitigated through fees for service. If we did enter into that arena, we should take over rescue, ambulance, and fire suppression and leave the rest to the county. We can charge for all three of those services, so we could potentially offset all of our costs for operating a fire station. The county would suffer because of this because they would lose their holy grail of wilson county politics, which was to get this city to increase its property tax rate above zero, and they would lose the huge amount of money they collect from here in terms of fees for service.

    The best thing we could do is reset the property rate to zero. The county would go bananas. They backed themselves right into a corner. They have acknowledged responsibility for all aspects of WEMA except for fire suppression service inside of Municipalities. They have set in stone that they will continue to provide fire suppression in Mt. Juliet. We probably have enough fire engines in Mt. Juliet, we have two. The county has to foot the bill for enhanced services, not the city. The onus is on them, not the city.

    I am not backing up from my position that this city needs its own fire department, I am only suggesting that this is the strategy that gets us there fastest and without us paying twice for service we only get once, if that.

  62. Duh, I’m just livin’ in the now, Butch, and RIGHT NOW WE HAVE A PROPERTY TAX. Now, if you want to persue removal of said tax, I say ‘git ur dun’!!! I’m all fer ya. If you want and make the county do right…well, I all fer ya there too. My position is, and you will have to accept it, I’m putting my thoughts and efforts toward getting the citizens of this city/zone/area/whatever better emergency services ASAP. I have no faith and no confidence in the county leaders from the mayor to the madman, full court to jaded committee, even down to the 4 stooges we call our own. My view is full with the faster we can get away from county, the better.

    As far as 2 trucks, combined there are 7 seats and WEMA only provides 2 personnel dedicated to those seats. Thirty years, same level. In a word…unacceptable.

    For my recon report of the northwest area. I found 90%+ residential with very little area left for minimal increment of increased population. That said, I will add that Five Oaks ain’t the only place building big honkin’ houses. One subdivision down by the lake and another near Cedar Creek have ’em big too.

    RP

  63. Butch Huber

    R.P.

    I am in this to win this for not just Mt. Juliet, not just zone 3, not just zone 3 and 4, but for the entire county. I don’t do things small. I figure, if I am going to be involved in something, I might as well think big while I am at it. Part of my goal is to have a comprehensive plan that fixes all of the problem. We don’t have a fire protection issue in Mt. Juliet, we don’t even really have a fire protection issue in Wilson County; what we have is a complex problem in Tennessee. Part of my plan is to come up with a model county solution that addresses the problem in such a way that is flexible, capable, and appropriate. That model solution could then be adapted and adjusted and applied in nearly every county in the state on one scale or another.

    So, while I am with you in your belief that Mt. Juliet needs its own fire department, Mt. Juliet having its own fire department doesn’t address the whole problem. I want to fix the whole problem. Mt Juliet starting its own department without taking on the county and making the county recognize and acknowledge that it is illegally providing fire protection services and without forcing the county to fix this issue could potentially lead to many more people having inadequate service than they have now.

    We need to force the legal and proper solution to be taken in this issue. Since I first took up this issue years ago I have never let up, I am not about to let up now. We need to work together to educate the public. When people begin to realize that Mt. Juliet isn’t the actual problem, and that the county is actually the problem, you can see their paradigm begin to shift.

    We are closer to the solution than you may think. Fixing Mt. Juliet does not fix the area outside of this city. Remember, we are dealing with zone 3 and zone 4, not Mt. Juliet.

    I could not in good conscience accept a solution that only addresses the problem in Mt. Juliet. I have friends who live outside this city, beyond that, I have compassion for those who live outside this city. In fact, I have compassion for those who live in Statesville and Cottage Home (wherever that is, I still haven’t located it on a map). A real solution has to include everyone. Until we reach a solution and an agreement that addresses the needs of the entire county we are not done, or at least I am not done.

    All one need do is envision a small child dying in a fire because we all settled for an expedient solution rather than holding out and sticking to it until we found the appropriate solution to know that the right thing is to do what you can where you can to increase and enhance service, but to also stay with the program until we hit upon the full solution.

    Everyone deserves the level of fire protection they pay for, however, we can all lend a helping hand to give a level of protection that is beyond their ability to pay, right? R.P. I have the solution, they just don’t want to hear it (James Maness does, but the rest are hiding their heads in the sand). My solution addresses the entire issue, not just one part. My plan is legal. My plan is logical. My plan is ethical. My plan is moral. My plan is efficient. My plan is effective. My plan is economical. My plan is appropriate. My plan is flexible. The biggest problem with my plan is that it is “My plan”. I need to give this plan to someone who hasn’t been in the debate and have them present it so that it doesn’t sound like it is coming from me. Then perhaps they will embrace it and put it into action. Do you know anybody who is willing to take my plan to them?

  64. Like you, Butch, I care about the citizens in the other areas mentioned; however, I am not near concerned that they will ever have the difficulties or face the inadequacies in emergency services as MJ has. The county does not harbor near the childish anger, hatred, or strife…now they may in the future when LaGuardo or Gladeville hit it big…toward any other area as they do MJ. Add to that, without respect to the political positioning BS, MJ sets the standard on the scale of how/when to take of its own. I applaud your choice and support your effort.

    With that in mind, I will say this. In my heart of hearts, Butch, I believe that YOU should take them your plan and THEY should listen. If they are ever to come close to being TRUE PUBLIC SERVANTS, then it would behoove them listen to you and certainly one day save a life. YOUR plan delivered in the true spirit of benevolence devoid of condescending tone would represent a pinnacle moment for ALL. I believe you can do it and I believe you should…for them and for you.

    RP

    PS…Like it has been preached to the city council, if you need help, call, click, or write.

  65. Butch Huber

    R.P. thank you. BTW…the condescending tone from me only comes when they so pompously and arrogantly ignore me. Then I start hammering because they deserve it. If they were to actually sit and listen with an open mind I would have no need for condescension.

    I just read in the paper that Mayor Craighead is trying to raise property taxes in Lebanon. I could help him avoid that. I offered to help them avoid that. He never responded. He would rather charge the citizens of Lebanon an extra $42 per residence averaged than listen to someone who can help him.

    Lebanon only provides its own fire suppression, which translates to very little opportunity to recover costs through fees for service. If Lebanon were to turn over its fire protection services to WEMA they could save themselves $3,000,000 per year in taxes. If they don’t want to do that, then they could follow my plan and in doing so mitigate their costs essentially to zero, and thereby free up about $2,000,000 to perhaps as much as $4,000,000 per year without a property tax. That is the lunacy I am up against, so, yes, at times I do get a bit testy. Why would someone not take advantage of economies of scale if they could? It just doesn’t make sense. The city of Lebanon is the tail waging the dog in Wilson County, and it is high time that that situation is ended. They would rather have status quo in the make up of their fire department and fire protection services, provided that it forces Mt. Juliet into establishing its own fire department, which in turn necessitates that we have a property tax increase, than to be willing to make changes that save us all money.

    They should listen, they should all listen, because I can help usher in a great deal of enhancements and cost savings in Wilson County. Not because I am something special, but because I have studied this issue so much and have been helped in my understanding of this issue by people who know how to reduce costs and increase efficiencies.

    The solution is simple, not complex. It is something that can change with needs and with time and growth. It is adaptable. It is flexible. It saves a ton of money through the reduction of needless and senseless duplication of services, now and in the future. It meets the requirements of Title 58 (EMA laws). But they would rather us have a 20 cent property tax and the city of Lebanon have a 10 cent increase to their property taxes, and eventually the county have an increase in county property taxes, to avoid doing what is so logical, so moral, so ethical, so meaningful, and so appropriate. Why? Why would they ignore this other than because it comes from me? The only reason I can think of is because there are people who hide behind the scenes who are benefitting from this whole issue don’t want to see it changed. They pull the strings, they profit, and they don’t want change.

    R.P. when you clear away the chaff, all you have left is grain, right? When you weed through this issue and remove all the other possibilities, the only thing left to consider is that this situation as it exists is either politically or financially benefitting someone, or both. It is either that someone is benefitting from this issue or it is that they don’t think I know what I am talking about or it is that they don’t want to get the solution from me personally.

    If it has to come from someone else for them to listen than we need to have someone else deliver it. I don’t need credit, I need government to do what is right no matter who gets the credit.

  66. Sonny Griffin

    Butch,

    Can you outline your plan for us?

  67. Butch Huber

    Yes, I can outline the plan, however, the outline depends on some variables that I need to know before the plan is laid out. That is why I want them all in the room at one time. I think I can give them all what they want, or at least most of what they want, they just have to be willing to let everyone else have what they want, too. That last part is the tricky part. There seems to be some who would do anything to keep the other guy from having what he wants even if they themselves get what they want. Shameful.

    I don’t have time to go through it right now. I had a cousin, who is essentially a brother, die this weekend and I am scrambling to deal with that right now. I may not be able to do much on here in the next several days, however, I will try to get the outline to you as soon as I am able.

  68. Sonny Griffin

    I’m sorry about your cousin. It is very hard to lose somebody you are close to.

    Don’t worry about the outline, anytime is fine.

  69. Butch,
    My deepest condolences to you and your family. Safe travels and Godspeed for your return.

    You are at the top of the food chain for a reason. You have been given a gift that no other entity/species on earth is given. CHOICE. No one can make you anything because you were already made–the changes from choices come from ourselves. No one can make you mad, no one can make you any flavor other than your choice. YOU CHOOSE WHO, WHY, AND WHAT YOU ARE AT ALL TIMES. You want to finish on top, then rise above all others. Meek ain’t weak.

    Again, may you have peace in the coming days and throughout.

    RP

  70. Sonny, Publius, et al…
    While we wait on Butch’s return, I would respectfully request your answer to the following question: Do you believe that Ed, James, Art, Ted, and Jim have what it takes to intelligently and with financial responsibilty create a MJFD? Or are they the “Status Quo Quartet featuring Mr. Wait-for-Me”? Presently, I do not see how they could have screwed this up any worse. They have accomplished nothing in the direction of providing adequate emergency services to their constituents. The level we have now is the same as before this most recent dust up and is still reluctantly being provided by an entity that hold this city and its people in such distain. We now have a property tax based upon an ambiguous figure laid out in a most sloppy fashion by a convalescent carrier (Rural Metro) that was asked not once, but twice to give a proposal AND which not once but twice refused basically saying no thank you we do not want to be your fire department. This tax is now for what??? We need to send Ed, James, Art, Ted, and Jim a clear message…If you are going to tax us, you better have a damn good reason to. These 5 bozos should be sick to their stomachs with shame for pulling such a bonehead stunt. To tax people in this economy with no better reason or result than this is wreckless and their political careers ended. Ed, you stated that you had 10 options and the staus quo was NOT one…ok fancypants, what else you got?

    RP

  71. Butch Huber

    R.P.

    Ed, James, Art, Ted, and Jim wouldn’t be the ones to create a MJFD. They would, I hope, ask MTAS to help them with that task. They would, I hope, start by hiring the person who would serve as the Fire Chief and let that person be directly involved in the development of the department. Randy Robertson would be the person who heads up the project.(For better or worse). Ed, James, Art, Ted, and Jim would mostly be involved in ensuring that it is funded and they would have a strong say so in where it was built, what it would look like, etc. Operationally, though, they wouldn’t really have much to do with it.

    R.P. remember, Art and James Voted against the fire department. I can’t remember who voted for or against the budget that included the property tax, though. R.P., I think you will find that James is a good guy. I think we are going to find that Art is a good guy as well. I had serious reservations about him because I heard he was great friends with Linda Elam and I felt he would possibly just end up being Linda by proxy, however, it appears so far that he is a credible guy.

    I am asking that they reset the rate back to zero, though. The commission as a body needs to learn how to negotiate. You don’t drop your drawers walking through the door, which is what they did. The county got everything that they wanted and more before the negotiations started then had to recover their composure because the city caught them off guard. That’s why they overshot. Because the county isn’t as good at negotiations as they think they are, they overreached and now they have a real mess.

  72. Butch,
    I am well aware that they are not the ones that will be doing squat from an operational standpoint. My question was cenetered around the question of weather or not they would even think to ask…ANYTHING. I believe they are good moral men, but they are LOUSY representatives. Their job is to listen, learn, and do. They have yet to do any of that.
    RP

  73. Southsider

    I agree with your comment about Art Giles. He appears to research the issues prior to forming any conclusions. A step some of the other commissioners seem to leave out.

    It still shocks me that so many elected officials failed to find out how much the county spent protecting Mt. Juiet before offering 400,000 dollars more.

    Car dealers out there take notice – there are some easy marks sitting on the Mt. Juliet Commission. At least three should be willing to sign a lease before knowing the make, model, or price.

  74. Sonny Griffin

    Butch and R.P.

    Butch, I agree with your evaluations of James and Art.

    Both of these individuals seem to respect the effect that their decisions have on the citizens of MJ.

    Both seem very willing to listen to your opinions.

    I think both are good guys. I am not sure they are used to playing with snakes, but they seem to be learning. Sorry snakes.

  75. Thanks for the feedback. Do you guys think that staus quo is the best they can do? Given what we have and have not seen so far…is this their dead level best?
    RP

  76. Butch Huber

    R.P

    You are obviously frustrated, and you have every right to be, but it is important that we not alienate those who sincerely want to do the right thing and who want to fix the problem. I honestly think the members of our city commission want to fix the problem. James called me and asked to meet with me. He and I discussed some things. R.P., james deserves our respect and patience. He is trying to figure out how to fix things snd he is listening. Art is relatively new on the scene. I can’t say if this is their level best, but I am convinced they both want a proper outcome. Things are in the works, don’t let it get to ya. We can all empathize with your frustration, but we do have allies.

  77. Sonny Griffin

    R. P.,

    In the last letter that I sent to the City Commission, I asked that they acknowledge that they had received it because I have had trouble in the past with their e mail filters.

    Three responded; Ed, James and Art.

    Art thanked me and James called me to talk about what I had to say. James is a very sincere person and he is trying to do the best he can for MJ.

    I’m convinced that James and Art are 100% for the best outcome for MJ. The other three; who knows?

    I have been a negotiator for most of my business life. One thing that is perfectly clear to me is that if the other side is not willing to negotiate a problem you are wasting your time. In my opinion the County has no intention of negotiating the fire issue. They don’t even understand it.

    To prove my point, read the article in the 17 August, 2011 Lebanon Democrat “A Conversation with the Mayor”.

    Hutto says: “the first priority is to provide adequate manpower to the existing stations. Next our attention will turn toward the southeastern part of the county.”

    In other words, no enhanced services for densely populated areas of Wilson County that need them desperately.

    Another question is; Why haven’t the stations been adequately manned all along?

  78. Chief O'Hallorhan

    Sonny.. the answer to the manning question and really all the issues that surround WEMA all comes down to lack of planning, vision, and having someone in the directors chair who had the qualifications to make the necessary changes to build a Fire and EMS department with the growth that was on the radar for years. If you look at the last two directors, one was a TEMA/Hazmat/EMA expert with no background in FD and EMS operations and the current Director qualifications are that he was a highly successful businessman who was Chief of a volunteer fire department for a small town. Look at how WEMA is operated currently… they run 2 man engine companies and utilize ambulance personnel to fight fires since they don’t have adequate staffing. People who don’t know the business look at that model as being unique and cost effective, but to those who know the business look at the way WEMA is operated as being unique in a sense that NOBODY operates a FD and EMS department that way for a reason. Its unsafe first of all and second of all the citizens expect that ambulance and its crew to be there to run medical calls because that is what its tasked to do, not run fire calls. So the short answer.. the reason WEMA is operated this way is because you never had a leader in place who knew the Fire and EMS business in the Director seat since the boom started who could handle the needs of a growing county and had a County Commission that put the blinders on when it came to the population boom and the need for further increases in Emergency Services but loves when the tax revenue started rolling in and then spent it on pet projects.

    WEMA has some great boots on the ground as RP has told us… its the one’s on Oak Street wearing the business clothes (Admin) that needs to be changed and replaced with people who have the education, training, and experience to move this department to the current times…. not continue to run the department as a EMS agency that does fire and hires people just becuase they have EMT or Paramedic licenses.

  79. Sonny Griffin

    Chief,

    Thank you for your response.

    Yours is probably the most enlightening post I have read on this blog.

    I know you are coming from the gut on this.

    So am I.

    I plan to take Hutto’s offer to talk about the fire issue. I look forward to it.

  80. Butch Huber

    Anyone talking about the fire protrction issue with Hutto should start by asking the question “what is included in the countywide fire department?”. Then, one by one asking whether or not each line item in TCA 5-17-102 is included. Each time he says a line item is not included the quest “why is that not included when the county resolution that established the countywide fire department says that it is included?”. He will not be able to give a good answer. Then say “under whose authority is that item excluded?”. Again, he won’t have a good answer. No individual has the authority to exlude a line item delineated in TCa 5-17-102 of their own accord and I do not believe there exists a resolution that segregate those items out of the coutywide fire department. That translates to each line item being a part of the coutywide fire department, which in turn means they can’t cover the cost with the alternative funding options offered in TCA 5-17-101. That means they have to establish fire districts. The fire district issue is the thing that needs to be driven home again and again.

  81. Like I have stated before, I believe they are ALL good, decent men. As far as alienating them, I’ll re-visit that at election time. They are the players in place and they are who we have to go with. My point is to get them to be as good of representative as they are decent. I believe that if they were to apply themselves to gathering the abundance of resources and info available as they are decent…we would have to crab about something else and we would be hard pressed to find something in this city to crab about. Sonny, I am with you, we need to forget about working with the county and fo forget about trying to hold them accountable, they have made their position abundantly clear. I support Butch in his efforts; however, I believe in my heart our time would be better served moving forward and seeking opportunities to protect ourselves and our neighbors. My hope is that our city leaders will realize this and begin a dialog with those that have that have made the unselfish offer to assist them in gaining knowledge. Just because you can call the county mayor and get an audience does not make you any more knowledgable about the subject matter. Even, I can do that. I firmly believe we SHOULD put on our “big boy britches” and show the county just how expensive it will be…for them. I do believe that Ed, James, Art, Ted, and Jim have the BEST of intentions…I want them to also have take those intentions and make them the BEST actions.

    RP

  82. Chief O'Hallorhan

    Thanks Sonny I appreciate it.

    Like you and RP I also agree that any hope for a solution that involves the county and WEMA isn’t practical anymore. I agree with you Butch that Fire Districts would be a good thing as long as the money generated went towards operating a Mt. Juliet Fire Department.

    This has nothing to do with the boots at WEMA who come to work and serve us currently.. this has to do with the top of the food chain and the County Commission who will not in good faith work for a solution without having the terms told to us not negotiated. I personally as a resident don’t feel that we will ever get the proper manpower, accountability, stations, or equipment that we will need if we stay with the County. With the current state of fire protection and emergency services in the county as a whole, the City not the County needs to be in control of the operations on this side of the County and not have to make sure the WEMA is fulfilling their end of the contract.

    When it comes to items such as policing and fire protection they need to be in local control (city) not county control unless is in unincorporated land. Look at the City currently, we have all types of commercial, big box retail, high density, low density, hotels of varying size, open land… We have such a mix inside the city limits that a rural focused fire department cannot protect a city adequately, and that’s what WEMA is (a rural focused FD, not a suburban by any stretch of the imagination. ).

  83. Chief O'Hallorhan

    and if your available on Monday night I would try and watch or attend the City Commission meeting. They have 3 or 4 items about fire protection/emergency services on the agenda.

  84. Good Morning Gents,
    I got a call wanting some clarity on a comment I made and wanted to share that with you. I was asked if my “just because you can call the mayor” comment was directed at Sonny or anyone else in particular. NO and yes. Sonny Griffin has my utmost respect because of the passion he brings to this sissue and the fire he uses to acquire knowledge on the same, so NO that was not directed at him. Truth be told Sonny, certainly Butch, and a choice few others SHOULD meet with the mayor…they do this for purpose, not popularity. My comment was directed at our city leaders that go to the courthouse with no plan and simply take what the county drops on them. Sonny, Butch, et al have worked tirelessly to educate themselves not just to the point of purpose but to the point of plan. Our city leaders should take notes and notice. As far as alienating these men let me respond with this…until you have stood over and worked feverishly on a hero that has given his life for this very LIBERTY that they are playing with so RECKLESSLY…me alienating them should be the least of their worries. They need to apply themselves with the same desire our soldiers have for years in defending the liberty of true representation…not just do the job as a hobby or to fulfill some romantic hope. MJ City Leaders…protect me and my family as I have protected YOU and YOURS.

    RP

  85. Sonny Griffin

    R. P.,

    Absolutely no offense taken. I didn’t take your comment personally and in fact I knew nothing was directed at me. Thank you for your concern and things you said. I truly appreciate that.

    The point you made about our soldiers is very well taken. If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t have liberty. God bless them all, past present and future.

    R. P.,I see you have “walked the walk”. Puts a little different perspective on things, doesn’t it?

  86. Butch Huber

    It is on the agenda to discuss hiring a firm to audit WEMA’s budget. That needs to be expanded to include all of Wilson County’s Budget from soup to nuts. The county has been playing a financial shell game with the budget for years, if all they do is study WEMA’s budget they will miss the big issues.

  87. Sonny Griffin

    Absolutely, Butch.

    Revenues go into the big black hole known as the General Fund. After that, it is anybody’s guess.

    For instance, the Comptroller says that state shared revenues exceed the cost of fire suppression. He never says that the cost of fire protection was paid for using state shared revenues. There is a big difference. How do we know it wasn’t paid for with property taxes? It was paid for using revenues out of the General Fund.

    The General Fund reminds me of a mixing bowl you are using to make scrambled eggs. You crack an egg (revenue from property taxes) and put it in the bowl. You crack another egg (revenue from state shared revenue) and put it in the bowl. And on and on for the other revenue sources. Then you scramble them all up and you can’t recognize one egg from the other. In the case of the General Fund you wind up with a big bowl of money at the mercy of the County.

    The bottom line is that I don’t believe the County can prove that the cost of fire suppression is paid for using state shared revenues. How can they unscramble the eggs?

    I just want the County to prove that they paid for fire suppression using state shared revenues. In business, it is easy to prove that an expense was paid for out of a certain account. For instance, if I write payroll checks, I can trace them back to my payroll account. Seems pretty simple to me.

  88. Hooah!!! Sonny. I think you are right and Butch is too. The general fund is made up of 52 entities and for them to pick one, in this case WEMA, I believe either with purpose or by accident they will discover “issues” with all members of the general fund. However, for the sake of making this worthwhile and legit, Butch is dead on with starting at the top and working down and thru the general fund to WEMA specific. At the risk of being repeatative and boring do note…THIS IS PARAMOUNT FOR FULL DISCLOSURE!!! With that in mind, let’s not leave anything to chance…encourage and hold the city council accountable for this resolution to PASS. BTW, My analogy of the general fund is that of a financial sprinkler head (given to me by a close friend) water comes in and if you are in charge you can set the sprinkler head with guides to wet one area more or less than others. All the same water with ground all around needing the same amount of water…but with poor interference some grass gets more, some gets less. Also, BTW…the first entity in the general fund is the mayor…second is the county commission. Don’t have to be Ellery Queen to figure this out. WOW, really gave away my age that time, huh?

    RP

  89. Almost forgot…

    “Medics never stand taller than when they kneel to treat the wounded”
    502 MSG
    Fort Sam Houston, Texas

  90. Butch Huber

    I was recently asked to outline my plan for resolving the fire protection issue in this county. The solution I am about to share with you, though it is so simple, so basic, so elementary, has taken me years to come up with. This solution resolves perhaps every issue that I am aware of regarding the fire protection issue, except for one. I believe there are people who act behind the scenes who are padding their pockets through the financial shell game that the county has been playing and I believe my solution presents a problem for them. Other than those people, I believe this is the best solution. I am going to present to you my favorite solution, though there are many variations of my ideal solution that can be developed and implemented. I am going to present the framework, then I will expound on why this is such a great plan. I believe that by the time I get done explaining this plan you will agree that it is a great plan.

    The first thing that needs to be done is the county needs to establish a fire district that includes every portion of unincorporated Wilson County. That is for sure a legal thing for them to do. The county must charge enough money in the form of a fire tax to ensure that it has enough revenue to cover the cost of providing emergency services to all of the unincorporated portions of the county.

    Each city then decides whether they want to be a part of the countywide fire district or choose one of the other options that are available to them (which I will explain in a minute). If a city decides to become a part of the countywide fire district then the county has to reassess its fire tax to ensure that it has enough revenue to cover the costs of providing emergency services to the unincorporated areas of the county and the incorporated areas of the county that joined the countywide fire district. I personally believe that the city should not opt to join the countywide fire district. In fact, I think it would be a good thing for Watertown to join the countywide fire district, but not Lebanon or Mt. Juliet. Watertown is so small and there are so few people who live inside their corporate limits it would, in my estimation, be advantageous for them to join the county fire district and yet keep their volunteer service as well.

    Each city, under this plan, could have several options.

    The city could opt not to join the countywide fire district, yet they could pay the county a fee to provide them with the services that they need.

    They could provide their own service and just let the county worry about the unincorporated areas of the county.

    They could provide their own services and enter into an agreement with the county for the city to provide services to the urban areas outside of the cities for a fee that would be paid by the county out of fire taxes it charges in the unincorporated portion of the county.

    Each city can enter into a joint venture with the county where they jointly provide the services that are needed in an area and they pay the costs on a distributive basis.

    My preference for Mt. Juliet would be to work out a deal where the city establishes its own emergency services department, including Hazardous Material Response, Rescue, Water Rescue, Emergency Medical Services (Including Ambulance), Emergency Management (including becoming an EMA), and all other aspects of emergency services now covered by WEMA and then provides those services to all citizens of the incorporated city of Mt. Juliet and to all citizens that reside within 5 driving miles of any city owned emergency services station (Including emergency services stations that are located inside the unincorporated areas of the county, but are within 5 driving miles from the corporate boundaries of the city.

    Under my plan, the city of Mt. Juliet would have its own fire department, which is a major issue that seems to be stuck in the crawl of a lot of people, yet it would help the county and the city because of economy of scale for the city and it would allow the county to focus its efforts in the rural areas of the county.

    Under this plan, the city would determine the amount of money that it needs in order to operate its services and then, using some agreed upon formula for calculating the county’s share, the county would pay the city to provide services to the people of the unincorporated portion of the county. The city would have to meet certain standards of performance for its compensation (something that the county currently doesn’t have to meet).

    If there exists an area of the city that is not within five driving miles of our city owned emergency services stations, but that is within five driving miles distance from a county owned and operated station, the city could pay the county, using the same formula for calculation, to provide services to the citizens who live in that area.

    It should become the goal of each city, in my opinion, to grow to a point where the city emergency services department is covering as much of the urban/suburban dwellings and buildings as possible. The county wants to be a rural service, so let’s help them out with that.

    The county can legally enter into such contracts with the cities, the cities can legally enter into such agreements with the county.

    Again, the county can at any time opt to take care of all citizens of the unincorporated portion of the county, however, to provide urban type services to all of the areas of the county the county would have to spend an awful lot of money, whereas the cities can cover those areas much more economically.

    Urbanized areas need special equipment and specially trained responders, whereas, rural areas typically would not have need of equipment such as quints and ladder trucks. Urban areas typically have plenty of water sources so there is less of a need for tankers.

    This plan does not set up a situation where cities provide for their coverage areas and the county provides for their coverage area and never the twain shall meet. No, not at all. In fact, they should work joint exercises and training to ensure that they can functionally work together. The focus should not be to alienate or separate, but rather to establish primary coverage areas and then work with one another through mutual aid agreements.

    Benefits:

    The county and the city of Mt Juliet can stop the hostilities.

    The county gets to be a rural service which is what they want to be.

    The city never has to worry about being held over a barrel by the county again.

    The city can establish its own emergency services while mitigating the cost by spreading it over a larger base of people and property.

    Watertown can do what it wants.

    Lebanon can do what it wants.

    Each government entity can have what it wants (Unless all cities join the county wide fire districts, then the county doesn’t get to be rural fire department).

    The guys who post on here perhaps get to join the Mt. Juliet Emergency Services Department and get themselves away from John Jewel, who seems to bother them greatly.

    Everyone pays for the level of services he or she receives.

    An addition to my plan, which I like an awful lot, is that each government entity should agree to donate an agreed upon amount of money toward the establishment of a private emergency service organization that has as its mission to eventually take over all emergency services in Wilson County and then spread to adjoining counties if those counties support it. We can remove our protection from the hands of the government if we work together. I think this county and the cities of this county have proven that government is not the answer to everything and that government can become our worst enemy. Capitalism seems to be the answer again and again and again.

    State laws provide provisions that make such organizations adhere to the orders of the County Fire Chief in emergency situations so we don’t have to worry about eventualities that may occur regarding organization in a major emergency.

    Under this plan, the city should charge fees for services for everything that they are legally allowed to charge so as to mitigate and offset the costs of the services. It is possible, using this plan, that Lebanon and Mt. Juliet could actually reduce the operating costs that are covered by taxes to zero. If the county were to do the same thing it is possible that the county could reduce its costs to zero as well. In like kind, the private organization could reduce its costs to zero (eventually). As the private organization is growing it would serve along side the public service and do all things they do. They would be housed in the same buildings, use the same equipment, etc, however, as fundraising helped those entities raise the capital that they need to establish their own services they could begin to fill in the gaps that exist and play their own vital part in the solution to our emergency services quandary. In time, the private services organization could take over services in a particular area of the county (zone) and would be assured of a base level of revenue from the entity or entities that govern that zone. Of course, the private organization would have to meet standards of performance criteria just like public services should.

    Under a plan such as this, Lebanon and the county could work out whatever deal they like and it has no impact on Mt. Juliet and vice versa. The same holds true for Watertown. As each entity grows and takes on a new shape and make-up the deal between the city and the county would also have to be updated and reconfigured. The agreements need to be drawn up in such a way that they automatically address issues that we can foresee becoming a problem and in such a way that they give the government entities maximum room to make adjustments without having to rewrite and enter into a new agreement.

    Now, who wouldn’t want this deal? Each pocket of the county gets the level of service that they need. Nobody is taking anything away from anyone else. Each government entity agrees to support a private organization that has as part of its chief aim to take over all aspects of emergency services in this county (Lebanon and Watertown could build into the deal whatever they want in order to preserve their fire departments if that is what they want to do provided that they pay for the costs of such arrangements out of their taxes and they don’t place a burden on others in the county that is unwarranted or illegal.)

    This plan allows for economy of scale to continue to play a vital role in the provision of service while at the same time providing the level of services that are need where they are needed when they are needed to be there. The county then turns its focus toward providing those people who live in the rural areas with the services that they need.

    The county would still have to be watched to ensure that they are not using our property taxes to buy trucks, build buildings, provide water, train, etc those who are part of the county fire department, as I suspect they would attempt. This plan is more like a lock. It puts up a road block and helps to keep honest people honest, however, it won’t stop a thief from figuring out a way to steal if they are determined to steal. Constant oversight will be necessary.

    From an operational level, if any portion of my plan has to be changed, say for instance Hazardous material response, then it can be changed, however the rest of the plan may remain intact. The size of coverage areas can be expanded or contracted as is necessary to make the deal work.

    Ideally, the county would operate responsibly and equitably and all of the cities would just join the county fire district and everyone would just get along, however, it appears that they never will go for it so the BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement) is this plan.

    Those who are on the job, I invite you to rip it apart and tell me where the holes are. Those who look at this from a business perspective, have at it, tell me where the holes are. Those who look at this from a political aspect, go for it, show me where I have gone wrong. Anyone trying to hold on to what we have so that you can continue to line your pockets with our money…well, you know what you can do. If there are parts you don’t understand, please, by all means, ask. I guarantee you that this plan, when in its final stages, is the best workable plan that we will find because it takes care of so many things and it is so easy to implement. Obviously, there would have to be a build out and implementation phase to this plan, however, once in place and put into motion I think it solves so many issue on so many levels. I could explain much more about this plan in person standing over a map and armed with all of the supporting documentation, however, that is hard to accomplish on this blog.

  91. Butch Huber

    Though I think any necessary solution has to include addressing how the county is charging adequate facilities taxes and then using them for the good of all citizens of this county instead of using them to address needs that are caused by the growth itself, I didn’t include that in my earlier post so as not to muddy the issue. I want everyone to understand the basic framework of my solution to this issue and then we can address the other concerns.

    Another concern is that the county is using property taxes to pay for buildings and equipment, therefore those buildings and equipment necessarily belong to the citizens of the county who live in the incorporated areas of the county and those who live in the unincorporated areas of the county equally. The county should be made to have the equipment and buildings assessed and it should have to buy-out the cities or provide some fair remuneration for the city’s portion.

    All I and just about anyone else involved want is a fair and equitable solution. That’s not too much to ask for when you own the government, is it?

  92. Mount Juliet…new home of “check point Charlie”

    City: If we build a fire station, will you come?
    County: We’ll let you know after you build it.

    …….and the dirt lay flat and still for many moons.

    Friends and neighbors, please explain to me how this pissin’ contest over YOUR safety has any inkiling to do with YOUR representation. This ain’t even about money any more. This is about jockeying for position to come out on top and feed the ego monster with a four course meal of foolish pride…all of this at YOUR expense. The dialog @ the county level is sickening…those clowns get 4 amendments to three resolutions deep before they stop themselves and have to go back to have the original intent re-read to them. JB has definitely found himself a home. Butch, you have a “world class” plan…too bad it will be wasted on minions and morons.

    RP

  93. Butch Huber

    Last night the city commission took two very positive steps toward a real solution to the emergency services issues in this city.

    The first step is to hire a firm that specializes in auditing governments. I am trying to ensure that the scope of such an audit is broadened to take a look at county finances globally and not just in terms of WEMA. The county shifts money around inside the budget so unless you look at the entire budget you won’t see the whole picture regarding how things are funded within the scope of emergency services. For instance, nowhere in the civil defense budget can you find the costs of buildings and land and equipment purchases. Those expenses technically fall under the Countywide Fire Department expenses, however, they are not included. What that necessarily means is that there is a lot of costs for emergency services that are not being accounted for under the civil defense fund. If you add those costs back in the county has to establish fire districts. (They have to establish fire districts and levy a fire tax anyway, this is just one more log on the fire.)

    The second step was to talk about what is necessary for the city to hold a hearing and subpoena witnesses and documents. It is high time for this city to start asking some very poignant questions of the county and demanding firm and straight answers. We need to have answers we can depend on so that we can determine what is legal and what isn’t. If the city does its due diligence on this issue and asks the provoking and piercing questions of the county, and if it asks them the question from several different angles to ensure that there is no ambiguity in the intent of the questions, the county has to take a stand. Make no mistake, no matter how they stand, they are illegal. There is no way for the county to avoid judicial direction to establish fire districts if the city presses the issue. They can’t avoid it….period.

    The city has the ability to use its powers and authority provided to it by the General Assembly to call these people in and question them under oath. They can have the police investigate any acts that appear to be illegal. They can file a writ of mandamus to force the county to provide adequate levels of protection to the citizens of this city. There are so many things that the city can do, it just needs to be willing. They can file a complaint within the administrative procedures organization of the state and have a hearing on this issue. They can get TACIR involved. They can file complaints to the General Assembly. They can file complaints with the district attorney’s office. They can do many, many things to bring this issue out into the light of day.

    In the end, this isn’t a Mt. Juliet issue, it isn’t a county issue, it is a state issue. This kind of issue is either smoldering or roaring all across this state and has been for many, many years. It is time for us to work on a comprehensive solution that can be a model for the entire state. I have that solution already, they just haven’t been willing to listen.

    The federal government, the state of tennessee (all states for that matter), the county (all counties for that matter) and the city of Mt. Juliet (all cities for that matter) have a compelling interest in the development of a workable model that ensure that every citizen has adequate protection. The number one function of Government is to protect us from things that we cannot protect ourselves from. We can’t own our own individual emergency services organization, but we can develop one that we can all use.

    I go back to the need for a County Congress Meeting where all players and interested parties are allowed to be involved and be heard. I said that in the beginning of all of this and I say it today. Without everyone buying into the solution you don’t have a solution. Even the rule of law won’t bring an end to the problems, but if we endeavor to understand each other and then find an amicable solution that comports with the law then we can begin to start working together toward a better Wilson County.

    The antipathy that clearly exists in this county is intolerable. There are people who lurk in the background in this issue that like to keep the enmity stirred up in this county because it suits their needs, makes them richer, and simply because they are evil and nasty people who have nothing better to do than to stir the pot even though by stirring that pot they endanger our lives. It is time to end the feud and begin to heal this county and work arm-in-arm to build a brighter future in Wilson County.

    I have friends who live in the county, I would never want to endanger them, I am hopeful that they all feel the same about me. It is only those people who seek to benefit from the current arrangement that endeavor to keep it.

  94. Butch Huber

    I read in the papers today how the county tabled the resolution that was before it asking the county to commit to putting an ambulance in a new station in Mt. Juliet if Mt. Juliet were to build the new station. In a vote of 18-7, the county voted to table the issue. Their unwillingness to vote to affirm that they will in fact put the ambulance in the providence station indicates that their letter stating that they would be favorable toward that action is useless. The city has taken a step toward resolution of this issue by hiring a firm to conduct a forensic audit of WEMA to determine where the money used to fund it comes from, where it goes to, and if it is legal. The city also talked about what is involved in Conducting a public hearing to investigate this issue if the need arrises. The need has arisen.

    The county clearly includes rescue in the Countywide Fire Department. Yet the Mayor of the county is quoted in the paper as having said that rescue is paid for using property taxes. It is illegal to pay for any component of the Countywide Fire Department using property taxes. Property taxes are not an available funding source for funding the Countywide Fire Department. Fire taxes can be levied and they are treated as property taxes, however, “property taxes” cannot be used to pay for the operation of a countywide fire department.

    There was even talk in the city commission meeting of the very real possibility that the city will have to take the county to court over this issue. Finally, they are seeing the writing on the wall.

    Folks, when you don’t have credible trade partners, you don’t have credible trade partners. How long would you continue to look into buying a house or a car or a business if the person selling it continually kept changing what it was he was offering and what you were buying? Soon you would walk away, right? You wouldn’t trust them, would you?

    The county keeps providing a different set of figures, they continue to change what they say is part of the countywide fire department, they can’t produce documentation that shows authority for most of what they say that they are doing, and yet this city has continued to try to do business with them.

    The county has been negotiating like they hold all the cards. I don’t know if it is ignorance, arrogance, or insanity that they are dealing with, but they don’t have any cards, Mt. Juliet has all the cards. The county clearly is using property taxes as the funding source of the countywide fire department and all aspects of WEMA are a part of the Countywide Fire Department, which means that the citizens of this city own their distributive share of all of WEMA’s assets. This is a major problem for the county. The city can submit a writ of mandamus in a mandamus proceeding and force the county to provide services here on the level for which it is charging us. The county can be forced to discontinue providing such disproportionate levels of service as they have been (lebanon gets almost $89 per person worth of emergency services, Watertown gets $85 and Mt. Juliet gets less than $55.)

    I believe that the city could file a petition for a hearing under the Tennessee Uniform Administrative Procedures Act to have the judge in that hearing compel the county to provide proper and equitable levels of service to Mt. Juliet.

    What kind of trading partner says, You build the building and we will consider doing something once it is built? The county has said that it provides ambulance service to all of Wilson County, that it is the county’s responsibility to provide ambulance service to this area, and they have indicated that there is woefully inadequate levels of service to Providence. What more do they need? The county is trying to trick this city. They like taking our money and giving us little to nothing in return. They aren’t going to change on their own. We need to assemble the information, acquire the proof that we need, and we need to take legal action to force positive change. The posture of our city commission needs to be that the time for talking is over. Until the county comes back to Mt. Juliet in a credible manner and demonstrates through deed and action that they intend to be equitable and fair, it is time to hand this matter over to investigators and lawyers.

  95. Butch Huber

    The city said to the county, “you can’t just keep pushing us around”. Finally!

  96. Sonny Griffin

    About time!

    Thank you City Commissioners for taking a stand. Enough is enough.

    The City has power of subpoena. It should take advantage of this and call the County Mayor, the County Attorney, the County Finance Director and the WEMA Director to testify under oath. BS is one thing. Perjury is another.

    This would stop the shell game with the county. It is obvious that we have had our “big boy britches” on all the time. From here on out we need to put on our combat fatigues.

    This can be done with little cost to the taxpayer and would be valuable as discovery in a potential lawsuit.

  97. FULL DISCLOSURE…FULL SPEED AHEAD!

    This will not end amicably…Ed & Co. better make preparations whether or not something of consequence is found or not. This will represent our big boy britches as well as a response to the childish “if you build it, we might come”. Forget what the EMA commitee and Mayor verbal agree to…it is the FULL COURT that decides and 18-7 said wish in one hand and sneeze in the other. Best outcome: MJ does it itself and the County does it legally.
    It is my hope that they do not “booger the books” or pull a slight of hand with a Johnny Cochran/OJ defense move of mass confusion info overload.
    We need to be vigilant now more than ever. Godspeed Ed and many thanks James.
    RP

  98. Butch Huber

    R.P.,

    The county can’t squirm out of this. There are too many people involved, and there is too much evidence. The county was given the opportunity on many occasions to do the right thing here and avoid this scrutiny. They would be committing themselves to crimes of mammoth proportions and they would indict themselves to crimes with unimaginable consequences if they endeavored at this point to change the figures. The budgets have been printed and sent to the comptroller. They are committed to the figures that have been submitted. Now, they may have already cooked the books in the past, however, even the books that they have produced for the state government are enough to cook them.

    Here is what the county has to do. They have to determine and commit to which way they fund the Countywide Fire Department. They will probably interchangeably say, “We fund WEMA this way” and then when asked another question they will say, “We fund the countywide fire department this way”. The distinction will be “which organization are we talking about?” They want to play this little slight of hand (mind) game. WEMA is the Countywide Fire department and The countywide Fire department is WEMA. They are one in the same. WEMA legally is not the same as the Countywide Fire Department and the Countywide Fire Department is not the same as WEMA, however, because the resolution that authorized the establishment of the Countywide Fire Department put the Countywide Fire Department up under WEMA for WEMA to manage, the Countywide Fire Department and WEMA became inextricable. Tennessee Attorney General Opinion u92-134 says that the organization we call WEMA is essentially the countywide fire department and the county cannot escape the funding requirements of TCA 5-17-101 by saying that all those expenses of WEMA are a funded through TCA 58-2-101 through 124.

    Once the county has definitively stated, for the record, and set in concrete because that testimony was taken under oath in an official proceeding, then we can start to dismantle everything that they have been doing. R.P., no matter what the county says, they have built their legal house on sand. It will crumble under judicial scrutiny. They will be forced to establish fire districts and they will be forced to reconcile what they have been doing. They are taxing us on our properties, then using that money to pay for land, buildings and equipment under the auspices that those items were either not a part of the countywide fire department or under the auspices that they were paid for using state shared revenues. Once it is proven, and it will be proven, that the county could not have segregated those items from the costs of the countywide fire department, and that whether they could be segregated or not, the county could not have paid for them using state shared revenues because there were insufficient levels of revenues available from state shared revenues to fund those items and pay for operations at the same time, the county will have to acknowledge that all citizens of this county, whether from incorporated or unincorporated portions of the county, have distributive ownership of those items and therefore cannot be denied their equitable use and enjoyment of those items. Considering that we pay about 20% of the property taxes in this county, it is only reasonable to take the position that at least 20% of the assets of WEMA and the Countywide Fire Department, and all assets used by those organizations and owned by the county, belong to those who live inside this city.

    The county, in their obstinate posturing, has put themselves in such a pickle. They could have constructed a deal that was amicable and fair, however, they were too greedy. Their antipathy toward Mt. Juliet was just too strong and deeply rooted. Now they are finding themselves going down a path that they never envisioned they would find themselves going down. We already know that they don’t like what they are hearing. If I know the county, they will now start talking about removing all emergency services from Mt. Juliet, which is a move that I dare them, no, I double dog dare them, no, I triple dog dare them to do. You see, they have publicly stated that they have a countywide ambulance service and rescue and other services that are paid for using property taxes. They have no right to remove those services now that we know that they are provided using property taxes as the funding source. The county and the city have an active interlocal agreement for the provision of fire protection services. The city could kick the county out of station 3 in terms of providing any service except for fire suppression if it wanted to and the county would have to find another location for those services. The city could easily get an injunction against the county barring them from removing any service from this city until this issue is all sorted out. However, their retaliation against this city for its demonstration of a desire to get to the bottom of this will not bode well for them in a court of law when this eventually gets to that place. This will go to court. The county will make sure that it does.

    The county will likely seek an injunction barring the city from subpoenaing any member of the county commission, the mayor, or employee of the county. I don’t think that will work for them, however, for that to work it would seem that the county would have to have justification for that injunction and the only justification would be that the city or the county have filed a lawsuit against the other. Even then I am not sure that they could ward off a hearing and the accompanying subpoenas.

    No, this isn’t going to go well for the county, and they brought this on themselves. If they would have played nice, we would have been marginalized and we would have had to fight the fight without the support of the city. However, because the county slapped them around so many times when the city was extending their hand and the olive branch, the county has lost whatever ability it had to control the outcome. Now, the city, not the county, will control the outcome. The big thing to watch for now is some behind the scenes deal making between the county and certain members of our city commission whereby they construct a deal that those guys can somehow justify in their minds, but that isn’t equitable, fair, or legal. Ed Hagerty seems to be going for the cheapest, easiest, least frustrating deal that raises the least amount of ire, however, it doesn’t seem as though “legal” is a determining factor in his thinking…at least not yet. I think once he realizes that a “legal” deal is the best deal for this city he will come around.

    James and Art seems to be thinking right, and Ted seems to have reached the end of his rope with the county, therefore, it would appear that there is a trio, which is all we need. However, it would be nice to have unanimity among our commissioners on this issue. It would be nice to send the message to the county that this city has been pushed around for the last time. They should send the message, however, they should also send the message that it is not the desire of this city to be enemies with the county and that if it turns out that we become enemies it will be the county’s doing, not the city’s.

  99. Great points, Butch…will be interesting to watch closely and see the city face the county and the county face the truth. BTW, as an aside, if anyone is interested, be watching D. Lambert’s story soon on the pay out to Steve Fox. He is the FF that JJewell has had it out for. The story will show how JJ’s actions cost the tax payers tens of thousands of $$$ in pay out to Fox to settle out of court. You will see this is 99.9% JJ and his rule of terror/abuse of power. Bottom Line: HE NEEDS TO GO. He does not have the experience, education, or basic people skills to lead the WEMA organization. Ask this, if you will…What are the qualifications required to be director of YOUR county wide fire department? He and his way make up a sizable piece of this issue and the need for FULL DISCLOSURE. This is about what the county does with the money for fire/ems protection and what JJ does with what of it he gets. This position needs to be on the ballot next to the sheriff’s.
    Night night

    RP

  100. Good Morning Gents,
    The word of the day is …abstain.

    Abstain: To refrain from something by ONE’s own choice.

    What is the “prime directive” of a representative? Is it not to, by method of yea/nay vote, express the wishes of the constituents? As a constituent, let me ask you, when was the last time you did not have a desire to express your wishes on an issue? In my mind, there is NO WAY a representative can sit there and abstain from a vote. He cannot be representing a group of people with no interest in or on an issue. To cut to the chase, he/she gets paid to cast one vote that represents the wishes of the MAJORITY of his/her constituents. If he/she does not vote, then he/she should not get paid and should be reprimanded for NOT DOING THE JOB. Watch this issue unfold and careful note who says what and who votes how. THIS ISSUE IS OF PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE, OBVIOUSLY. As most important issue do, this could be a split vote. I have to do my job, you have to do your job, OUR REPRESENTATIVES SHOULD HAVE TO DO THEIRS. They all volunteeered for this assignment, no one got that shiny name plate forced on them. If they do not vote, then they are NOT doing the job, then they should not get paid, then they should be FIRED. And come next election, there should be some attrition.

    RP

  101. P.S.

    Mr. “could ya’ll start over, i’m really lost” …if you leave before the vote, YOU WERE NEVER THERE. If I am not mistaken, @87% of us want you HERE…not there. BTW, Archimedes, 87% is a majority and how.

    RP

  102. Butch Huber

    R.P.

    I am sorry to inform you, but your last post is incorrect. The figure 87% represents those of us who don’t want any politician to be able to serve on our commission and in another elected office for county, state or federal government. Far fewer want him “here”. He almost lost to Dick Kasnick if my memory serves. Perhaps 8% to 10% of us want him in office here.

  103. Butch Huber

    R.P.

    Would you have rather James voted no? If so, what would happen next?

  104. I hear ya. You know how I feel ’bout Gump. We’re both right, but I see your point…and I should make myself clear as to not give him the idea that I care. That 87% we speak of is all about the message and not about the man. I find it to be most COWARDLY of him to leave before the vote for the forensic audit. I pity him…I truly pity the man. I hope his constituents see this lack of vote as a non support move on their behalf to investigate the agency that is blatantly gambling with their day to day safety. If you live in his district…HE LET YOU DOWN. He did not represent your best interest, he is not fulfilling his promise to protect you, and he is not advocating your desire for true/honest provision of emergency services. He left work early and did not complete the job he was chosen to do. His pay should be docked and he should be reprimanded, suspended, or fired.

    RP

  105. Forgive me. I forgot to ask, and this is to Butch, Sonny, Publius, et al…How do you feel about a member of the city council abstaining from this important vote or any of the votes that impact this issue?

    RP

  106. I agree with you philosophically.
    Tactics sometimes dictate exceptions.

  107. Butch Huber

    R.P.

    What Publius Said. I kind of wish that Maness would have voted no so that it would potentially make it hard, if not impossible to collect the tax, however, on the other hand, if we are going to have a tax and it is going to be collected anyway, I prefer that it is collected by this city so that this city controls it and can withhold it if need be. Maness was against the tax. If he voted, it appears he would have voted “no”. I don’t know what the outcome of that would have been. It could have led to the county collecting the tax which, given their posture and deeds, wouldn’t have been good. His abstention may have been the best possible move given the circumstances. Now, had Jim not bailed (considering that he was one of the ones who was for the tax) James could have voted no on principle and the effect on the outcome would have been non-extent. I believe Jim caused the issue here, not James. Jim should be removed from office. His outside employment with the county inhibited his performance of his duty on the board. Considering that 87% of us didn’t want him to be able to serve in both office simultaneously, his absence from our commission meeting is unacceptable! He created a mess, then someone else has to abstain to help clean it up. Meanwhile he is up at the county meeting probably making us look bad begging the county again.

    This conflict of interest that exists with his office is obvious. Jim should be given the ultimatum by our commission, resign from one position or the other, or be taken to court and be forced out. An investigation should be opened up on both him and Linda on illegal use of government funds. That investigation should be expanded to include anyone involved in that fiasco.

    Until government learns to self-regulate, there will never be such thing as a civil civil government.

  108. Butch Huber

    R.P.

    I encourage you to give James Maness a little slack. I support your right to voice your opinion, and you certainly have a right to your opinion, you have earned that right, however, I think James is one of the good guys in this issue and he was willing to bring this issue to an audit. He is in your corner. Doing the right thing doesn’t win you a pass if you do the wrong thing also, but he is trying to figure his way through this issue and come to the right conclusion on it. I don’t think he has any sneakiness to him. I don’t sense any corruptness to him. I think the last thing James wanted to do was abstain. I suspect he didn’t know what would happen if he did vote no, and I don’t think he could vote yes in good conscience. That said, you have a right to be upset over an abstention, no matter what reason was behind it, so if you want to let him have it, go ahead. I, for one, will choose to give James a little latitude as he tries to navigate this issue.

  109. Sonny Griffin

    How did Jim B. vote on the ambulance resolution in the last County Commission meeting?

    I agree with Butch.

    James either thought it was the right thing to do or the only thing to do in this particular situation.

    I know one thing. If you call him up and ask him he will tell you why without any bs.

  110. Thank you all very much for the responses. Butch, in looking back to our post of 8/26 (yours @1648 and mine @1701)the appears to be some confusion over the subject matter. My gump shot was not aimed at James…nuff said. I support James wholeheartedly as I do all of our city representatives, even Gump…he needs it the most. What I can not stomach is the COWARDLY use of the abstain vote. In this issue, at this point, there is no way anyone of them can abstain. The mere thought of it is completely inapprehensible. And to leave early=abstain. He left the job site early and his pay should reflect the very minute he left. It is my very dear wish that this is his last Hoorah. As far as giving James some slack…we’ll have to agree to disagree. I support James, I continue to wish him to do well and offer any assitance at any time: however, slack is not an option. He ia a grown man and he made a decision to take on the monumental roll of representative. I do know believe he put near enough thought and prayer in this endeavor. To be so naive as to state he would not vote for a tax…James, how do you expect to pay for things as costs arise. As gas prices increase you better be ready to dip a little deeper in that wallet if you want the go go juice. He stated in the locals when he was running that he had a plan for fire protection and nobody (yours truly included) asked him for the details. I WILL NOT MAKE THAT MISTAKE EVER AGAIN…ALL YOU WANNA BE CANDIDATES, HEED THAT WARNING!!! If you want to give James slack, then for what it is worth you have my blessing. I think the world of you and if you see him as being worthy then I am glad he has your confidence. As for me, support yes, slack NO! I support him on the Israel thing, I do not think for one minute that MJ should recognize Israel. I have recognized Isreal on a national level, I have recognized and support Israel from my church pew…at some point enuff is enuff. But if James feels that strongly about it, then I support his interest and effort. I want him to have the same aggressive approach to the fire solution. He has an opportunity to do something that is going to have a greater impact on his people, I want him to go stand for the people of MJ like he did for the people of Isreal. Not too much to ask. Again, thank you all for the comebacks. Your council is soothing for this old soul.
    RP

  111. Butch Huber

    Good points, R.P.

    Bradshaw should never be given the opportunity to serve in any elected office ever again. When 87% of the voters determine that they don’t want a thing to occur, then you take their money and use it to craftily go against their will, you don’t deserve the opportunity to serve. Bradshaw lost my respect as a politician when he voted against my complaint years ago, not because he didn’t think it had merit, not because what I was saying wasn’t true, but because he didn’t want to have the issue continue. The message was, if you a politician you can do whatever you want, if you are not a politician you have to follow the law.

    As far as James is concerned, perhaps it is good that you are holding his feet to the fire. I will give him some slack because I think he is demonstrating courage and he is sticking to his beliefs to the best of his ability. R.P., this city doesn’t need a property tax. This city needs a new city manager and new city attorney, and it need to deal with the county on the issue of emergency services, but it does not have a money problem, it has a spending problem. The city has twice the money it did just a few short years ago, yet it seems to still be struggling. That is because Randy Robertson spends everything that comes in. Rob Shearer, on half the money the city brings in now, returned a million or more to the city just about every year, if not every year. That was during an economic boom time when building in this city was going like crazy, which means that more was expected of this city then.

    We may be in disagreement on some of the finer points, however, we are not in disagreement in general on the issue of holding politician’s feet to the fire. I think that, by not holding politician’s feet to the fire, we as citizens nationwide have been a part of the problem. If you want to hold James’ feet to the fire, go for it, he is not exception in the need to be kept accountable, in fact, he should invite being held accountable because it keeps you humble and it helps keep your integrity intact, just know that he is trying to achieve the right outcome while there are very, very few who are trying to achieve the right outcome. Too many others, and it includes just about every politician in this county, are looking for the easy way out of this. James is willing to do the unpopular thing and investigate the county and hold them accountable. When we see a politician doing something right we need to fan their flame because it is such a rare sight.

  112. DITTO X 3!!! Agreed. What he is doing is the right thing…THE RIGHT THING. Popular/unpopular doesn’t mean a thing to me. I, like you and the rest of the group here, want the right thing. It should come easy to these men. Popular/unpopular reflects the impact on SELF to doing the job. Doing the right thing in this case is actions concerning ONLY the best for the constituents.
    As far as a property tax, maybe we do and maybe we do not. You are correct about the spending problem and until we get that under control and secured, we will not know for sure about a tax. One thing is for sure, IF we do need a tax, it will by garantee be smaller if our leaders are showing better financial stewardship. And for Pete’s sake, STOP TAXING ME FOR NOTHING!!! If you are going to tax me, have something tangible too show for it. Not some pipe dream you let the county drag you by the short curly’s
    into. Jeez.
    Butch and Posse,
    Have a great day!

    RP

  113. As an aside, remember the big hit in 1988 “read my lips, no new taxes” by then Presidential hopeful George Herbert Walker Bush? It got him elected in ’88 and got him kicked out by some hillbilly nobody from Piss Ant, AR in ’92. There is a lesson there. James AND the voters should have remembered that. Same slogan…WAY different results. Be careful what you wish for, be diligent about what you promise. Some of us are eyes wide open at the wheel.

    RP

  114. Old Blevins

    Re ‘Jim, Not James aka Forrest’: Didn’t you call him ‘Bearded Gump’ in the past? When he heard, ‘Run, Forrest, Run’ he though that meant for every political office in the county.

  115. Absolutely Mr. O.B.

    I believe his career dissipation lamp is starting to illuminate. He barely got by Mr. K and that was before the whole 87% vote. He’ll be out of at least one job next cycle. Going against an 87% majority and using their money to do so has left a very bad taste with his constituents. We need some honorable new blood, not some regurgitated names like Justice and Sorey. Guys like this run on name recognition for the sole purpose of name recognition. It is an epidemic thru out the city and county. They get elected on impractical slogans and ambiguous plans and all of the sudden they are experts on all subject matter and impervious to experienced individuals and groups that only wish to make them better. EVERY ONE OF THEM AT THE CITY AND COUNTY LEVEL have an ego that they must feed at our expense. That does not make them evil, IT DOES MAKE THEM FALLIBLE whether they like it or not whether they can admit it or not. When they are on TV, on the phone, or in person they are burdened with an underlying worry of how they look or how they are perceived. You can tell them all they need to know on a given subject and give them, hand delivered, gift wrapped, and free the best solution to an opportunity and they will miss it or twist it because they do not believe they can take what you have given them exactly or they will seem weak or less educated. They worry about how they are perceived before they worry about being successful for OUR benefir. They forget, if only for an instant, that WE COME FIRST. Butch has a great plan for fire protection…if just one of our city leaders would take it as it is, I would sing there praises forever. Butch’s plan will work as is. It is not the only plan, but at this point we need a great plan that will work and we need it fast. No delays for changing so they can put their spin and initials on it. They will have to deal with the fact that Butch came up with and their responsibility is to make it happen. Let’s see who are the real public servants and who are the self preserving wannabes.

    RP

  116. Butch Huber

    R.P.

    Thanks for your backing on my plan. Like you said, and I have said, it isn’t the “only” plan that could be developed, however, given the geopolitical landscape, the deep-rooted beliefs and emotions that exist, the laws that constrain the options, the distrust that exists, the economy, the needs, the make up of the county, the county’s proximity to Nashville and the consequences and benefits of that proximity, my plan will work, and it is, in my belief, the plan that will work best under these circumstances. The plan that I put together for this is so flexible, everyone can the most important things they want without having to give up much in order to get what they want. One of the major keys to negotiation is to be willing to have things that you give up that you don’t really care that much about in order to get the really big things that you do want. However, you have to act as though those things that you are conceding are very, very important to you. Otherwise, the other side will be prone to feel that they have not asked for enough. That is what the county did. The city gave up not only the things that they didn’t care that much about, they gave up everything. The county took that as being weak, and they took that to mean that they didn’t ask for enough. They may not have consciously done that, but effectively what is exactly what happened. The county wanted this city to start its own fire department. The county wanted this city to have a property tax. They got both in one shot and they got it without a fight. When the city took a baby step toward that direction in application the county saw that as unacceptable considering that they were under the new paradigm that the city was going to give them everything that the county wanted without any phasing in. In other words, the county took the “we want all that we want right now” approach.

    What we need is a real plan that goes into great detail regarding the progression of development of adequate services, not just in Mt. Juliet, not just in the western portion of the county, but in all of Wilson County. We need a plan that removes the provision of emergency services from the political realm. My plan, I think, accomplishes all of that. I have given broad strokes of my plan only. Once there is consensus of agreement to proceed with the plan that I propose, then we can get into the finer details. Those details include things such as; what entity will provide what type of emergency services to each area of the county, to what level will those services be provided, who pays for those services and out of what revenue source, etc….

    In order to resolve this issue so that we can move on and really start to develop as a county we need all of the players to be willing to sit down at the table together and work with one another toward a solution. That solution does not have to be what I propose, however, in the absence of a better plan or alternative plan that is equally as good and that is legal, they should run with my plan. My plan is the only comprehensive plan for emergency services that I have heard of anywhere in this state, none less this county or city. Others may exist, however, I am unaware of their existence. Metro governments probably have plans, I just don’t know about them. I can tell you that, after having made several calls to fire departments across this state, I am of the mind that there really isn’t a good plan out there. I think this plan could be used as a template for the provision of emergency services everywhere in Tennessee.

    A proper emergency services plan should also dove-tail into disaster and emergency preparedness planning and disaster recovery planning so that we have a comprehensive, cohesive, functional plan for emergency services at all levels of need, not just routine levels.

    I was at a seminar where Rudy Giuliani was speaking at a few years back during which he described what happened in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks and he related to us why there wasn’t more loss of life and more harm caused than what we saw happen. He said that they had a comprehensive plan that they had implemented and that they had procedures in place that they followed. That is exactly what we need in Wilson County. We aren’t New York City, but that doesn’t change a thing. We need a system that is capable for most any reasonable contingency that could occur. Having four people stationed at Station 3 is not a capable system. They can’t coordinate emergency medical service and full alarm fire calls simultaneously in West Wilson County, there aren’t enough people to respond and there isn’t enough equipment, and that which does exist is too spread-out. You can’t say that a capable system is for Stations 3, 4, 5, and 6 to send all of their people to a major fire in Mt. Juliet and leave the rest of the western part of the county without protection. Even if they all respond, you still don’t have the required number of people for the job. That is not capable, that is a disaster in and of itself! We have had fortune and luck working on our side so far, but it isn’t wise to press that luck. We need a workable progression plan that enables us to have a fully capable system.

    We should be lobbying the state to provide us with resources and help in the development of a model system in this county. We should attack this as a worthwhile project, not a burden. An awful lot of good could come from this if they would just sit down at the table with one another and give this thing some serious consideration. We are stuck in the early 1800’s because two cities want to hold on to a legacy. My plan even allows for that!

  117. You da man, Butch. Now let’s look at some peripheral points. You got a man down there now positioning himself to be the fire chief and from what I can gather he has never done the job. And before anyone goes off spouting that you do not have to have done the job to do a good job….YES, BY GOD YOU DO. You bring in a certificate toting, ego toting, no plan toting, no education toting, no experience toting and you better get ready for money, time, and more money to be wasted. I have seen it, I have been there, it has been done like that. I think he has positioned himself up under James and if I recall James even made mention of the fire inspector being the fire chief. DISASTER!!! First of all, both jobs will take up 40-50 hrs a week EACH. Second, you put a man in ther with no experience and no history of working up thru the ranks and the men, the job, and the cutomers will EAT HIM ALIVE. Don’t believe me…LOOK AT WEMA. For an expect opinion, call Pat O’brian with Lebanon Fire. He is one of the most experienced and trusted fire inspectors in the state. He will give you the info you need for a PROPER selection. Tell James not to take the bait. This guy ain’t the guy. He is a wanna be that never has been.

    RP

    PS Butch, this guy will make your plan fail…not with intention…but the result will be the same. CHECK CREDENTIALS.

  118. Butch Huber

    I agree with you that it takes a person who has climbed through the ranks to lead an organization such as this, but not because a person couldn’t do a great job, but because the men wouldn’t really respect him or her due to the fact that they are not one of you. The brotherhood dictates that the person in charge be one of you, a brother or a sister. In the military, the Captain of the ship or the commanding officer need not have worked in every position over which he or she commands, but they have the respect of the troops or the crew (most of the time) because they are all part of the same branch of the military. In federal government, we have Secretaries over departments of the government in which they have never worked. I think that is a disaster. There are management and leadership skills that are universal and that work just about anywhere, however, you have to be able to assimilate with the group of people you are leading and them you. When you have an organization, such as fire fighters, who pride themselves on being a brotherhood, it is impossible, or nearly impossible, for a leader to come in at the top and assimilate. Unless they are willing to put on the gear and man a hosepipe or perform an extraction and get their hands dirty just like the guy or girl on the line, they will never be accepted. When I first started down this journey many of those in the fire fighting profession thought that I was trying to be a part of the brotherhood just because I stated that I have been involved in fire fighting teams in the military and been on damage control teams. My point was that I know more about it than the average onlooker, not that I was a fire fighter. Regardless, those who wear the uniform didn’t take very well to my references and they let me know about it very quickly. It is clear that you have to have done the job before you could ever be accepted in that culture. Not only do you need to have done the job, you have to have been successful at it and you have to have climbed the ranks. There is no doubt in my mind that whoever is inserted in that role needs to be a star within the fire fighting community. The right person at the top will attract the level of quality fire fighters that we need in the city fire department, they will get more done with the level of equipment and finances that we are able to give them than they ever would if they have the wrong person at the top. All that having been said, just being a star isn’t enough, the person has to have management and leadership skills that are up to the job at hand. This isn’t maintaining a fire department, it is building one, and there is a major difference between the two.

  119. The ARMY of these United states does NOT hire for the position of General right off the street. Light bulb! For those that do (i.e. General Gaddafi/General Hussein) I’ll let the results speak for themselves.
    Later Taters,
    RP

  120. Shawn Donovan

    Very well put Butch and you are very correct about the brotherhood and how we operate. If you simply put someone on top who hasn’t been part of the brotherhood,problems will surface quickly because they will be behind the 8 ball right of the bat with the “troops”. Speaking as a brother its a little hard to swallow if you have someone trying to serve in the incident commander role who has never been in a fire or just read a book about firefighting.

    As one who could be potentially be part of a new department since I currently serve as a Firefighter-Medic with the Volunteers that Mt. Juliet funded, I have too many years in “boots” and don’t blindly follow anyone at this point in my career, so depending on who they select as Chief would determine what involvement I would have as a Volunteer for all the reasons you and RP have listed.

  121. Good Morning Mr. Publius,
    There exist strong evidence to support the accusation that the current WEMA finance director has misaligned certain earmarked monies to the general fund. Your mission, Publius,should you decide to accept it, is to educate yourself as much as possible on the legalities of SAFER grant money and to trace the illegal moving of said SAFER grant money throught the use of a forensic auditor. This caveat of top secret info may nbe passed to him/her at any time. The amount in question is a lump sum transfer of $36,000.00 to which the county had to reimburse. As always, should you or any of your RFMJ Force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This post will self-destruct in five seconds. Good Luck, Publius…..

  122. Sounds like a job for a forensic accountant. Where, oh where, could we find one?

  123. Butch Huber

    An interesting item is that the county elected to provide Watertown with over $600,000 in free money and a loan for over $600,000 (interest free) so that they could build a multipurpose building in Watertown. Watertown paid $479,278 in property taxes in 2010. The benefit to Watertown is perhaps somewhere around $1.2 million when you factor in the benefit of not having to pay interest. The county has provided Watertown with at least 2 years of property taxes worth of freebies here. If they did the same thing with us we would have about 30 to 35 million in freebies from the county. I think we could build a crackerjack fire protection system with $35 million, don’t you? Let me be clear about this, the county provided the citizens of Watertown with about $700 to $800 worth of benefit, using the money of all citizens of this county to provide the benefit. That is tantamount to the county not charging any of us property taxes for over two years if the county were to be equitable. There simply is no way that the county can justify that expenditure. There is no provision that I know of in the law that allows them to do what they have done here. I think when this is all said and done the county is going to be in so much hot water they won’t know what to do.

    They use property taxes to pay for services that are part of the countywide fire department. There is no legal way for them to do that.

    They provide gifts to Watertown that they can’t justify.

    They provide Watertown with about $85 per person worth of emergency services on top of their $1 to $1.2 million dollar gift for their new station.

    They provide Lebanon with $88.85 per person worth of emergency services.

    They only provide Mt. Juliet with less than $55 per person worth of emergency services.

    How can this stand? How can the county ever get out of this mess?

  124. Publius,
    Was my verbage close to the original tape orders of the first Mission Impossible? I just saw where it was added recently on Netflix and have watch 1 or 2 episodes…just as cool today as it was back in the day. Except now when I see Peter Graves, I think of him as the farting and foaming at the mouth Captain on the Airplane movie. Publius, ever been in a turkish prison? Do you like movies about glaiators? Quick note: few people know he was Matt Diilion’s brother (James Arness).

    Butch,
    A quick comment on your 8/31/2011 post concerning the ability of someone to succeed in a fire service leadership position w/o experience or up thru the ranks history. I apologize if I made it sound like the #1 reason he WOULD fail is because the men and women doing the job WOULD NOT follow his leadership. That is actually reason #1.5. The sure and true #1 reason he WILL fail is that, as you know from your experience and from your research, the fire service is a very complicated and detail oriented system of strategies and tactics very few of which come right out of a book and succeed. Rarely ever are 2 calls even remotely the same. That’s why developing standard operating procedures is so difficult. The best SOG’s in the business are still just as vague as can be…come quick, wet stuff on red stuff, strike, and leave. It requires a great deal of understanding about the science and physics of fire. The accepted degree for this field is a fire science TECHNOLOGY degree that goes into detail about the science of fire as well as all the variables like materials, extinguishing agents, techniques, the before, during and afters of a fire etc. This guy has a host of fire code for buildings. Building codes and how they relate to the fire service is just a small part of what is needed to understand fire extinguishment and fire team leadership. My guess is he is taking advantage of James’s lack of education in the area of fire and parlaying these building codes as something way more than they are. All of the FF’s I know have building codes experience. None of which could be or would be used as a sole indicator of a true fire chief. What I am saying is that it takes education AND experience…it takes both. Someone tries to be the chief with just one and it won’t be the subordinates they have to worry about…it will be the catastrophic mushroom cloud they create when they substitues ignorance and arrogance for education and experience.

    Everyone have a great long weekend!
    RP

  125. MI was one of my favorite shows. You got the dialog word-perfect. Graves did well, but I liked the 1st season leader even better. Not a fan of turkish prisons. Love gladiators. Love Braveheart and We Were Soldiers Once Even Better.

  126. Absolute!!! and many thanks. Yes, Dan Briggs/Steven Hill was awesome and if memory serves it was the burdens his strong religious beliefs put on production that led to his being replaced. Braveheart…”if it ain’t Scottish…it’s CRAP!” should’ve remebered the rocks. Also add, for me, Blackhawk Down. I love the true stuff. Still think we might have some unfinished business in Somalia…just sayin’. Take care and pass along that SAFER bit if you get a chance. It just hit me who we need here on RFMJ…are you ready?…wait for it…..hold…hold…unleash HIM…Lt. General Russel L. Honor’e…remember Katrina? that’s THE GUY. He knows, he goes, and he has honor built into his name. I am going to Google him and make the call. Hoooah!!!
    RP

  127. Butch Huber

    R.P. I understand how intricate and detailed things are in fire service. I think perhaps I didn’t really get my point across. Having held many, many leadership jobs in my life, I know that a person doesn’t have to be a subject matter expert to manage an organization provided he or she has immediate subordinates who are subject matter experts and provided that the leader is willing and able to delegate authority to those seconds so that they can make snap decisions that need to be made. Ultimately, the mayor (or city manager) of a city or county is in charge, and they typically aren’t fire fighters. They have to rely on the chief to run the department. What I was driving at is that, regardless of the fact that a great leader and manager could otherwise run a department by leaning heavily on his seconds when needed, an organization such as a fire department, that is so rich in tradition and custom, so deeply rooted in the brotherhood, would typically have a hard time accepting a leader from the outside. A Captain on a ship (commanding officer) typically is not a subject matter expert on every detail of that ship, he or she knows perhaps something about everything, but usually they have a strong background in one, or even several, areas of the ship’s functions, but then have to rely on their department heads in areas in which the captain is unfamiliar and not an expert. In turn, department heads have division officers who they lean on, and so on and so on.

    Even though they are both military, it would be hard for sailors to accept a general running their ship. The general could have as much leadership and management experience and ability as the Captain, and perhaps could even be better, but the crew would not likely assimilate with him nor he them.

    The typical make-up of a fire department appears to be that the chief is the subject matter expert of experts, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however, we have all seen organizations that have promoted people into leadership positions just because they were really, really good at the firing line of the job, only to see them cause a mess of things because the guy is horrible at leading and management. I would agree with you that, if you could find a great leader and manager who also is a subject matter expert on fire protection and emergency services it would be ideal, but let me ask you this question. If you had to choose between someone who is a subject matter expert but who wouldn’t listen to others because he thought he knew it all, and who was not a good leader and good manager, or could deal with someone who recognized that he was not a subject matter expert, but who would listen to his seconds who were subject matter experts, and who also was a great leader and manager and who could politic with the best of them to ensure that you got the materials and funds that you need in order to do the job, which would you choose? I believe that your heart of hearts would be to choose the second guy because the seconds would fill in where he was weak and he would make sure that the crap stayed off of your heads. However, if the second guy wasn’t a brother fire fighter, would he be accepted into the department by the guys and gals on the line? I get it that you don’t want the guy you are talking about to have the job. He seems like a nice guy to me, but I have no idea, other than what you have said here, regarding his real qualifications for the job of fire chief. I don’t remember anyone nominating him to do that job. Regardless, I get your point and your point is well taken. What you and the others would like to see, I believe, is for Mt. Juliet to establish its own fire department and then hire someone who is a great manager and a great leader and who also knows all that anyone could ever need to know about Emergency Services and who could politic with the best of them so that you get everything you need in order to do your job. I, like you, would love for that to happen (within reason). But in the absence of being able to find that perfect person for the job, and just as a curiosity, would you guys accept someone who is a great leader and great manager who would delegate decisions to the lowest level of competency, who is willing to learn the job, but who isn’t a subject matter expert provided that there are men and women within the department who are capable of making the snap decisions that are necessary, who have the leadership skills and background necessary to play a vital role in middle management, and who are empowered to make snap decisions and execute them?

  128. I agree with you Butch. My point was that this person’s lack of knowledge will do him in just seconds before the mutiny. Please trust me on this…there is out there the right person for the job…I know several from experience…a few right here in our own back yard. If I had to choose between someone who knew it all but could not lead and someone who knew next to nothing but could lead….I’d keep looking. It’s too important, especially on start up to settle for anything less than someone who represents the whole package. They are out there and it is our duty to find then. There is a considerable amount to know about the science of fire and the administration of the fire service, but it is not like the military in size and scope. It is a managable microcosm. The problem is, like the military, make one mistake and the cost can be catastrophic.

    RP

  129. Shawn Donovan

    Agree with you RP, and Butch it is a complicated task.. I have personally worked under 5 different Chiefs of departments in my career and you want someone in the top seat that basically knows the business through and through, is a leader, motivator, goal driven, and is able to build those people below him into a team with the same values and mission in mind. Does the Chief have to be highly educated, experienced, and have extensive amounts of training to the most parts yes, but at times the chief who wear their resume on their chests at times are hard to work under because they fall under this “its my way or the highway” mentality. The best Chiefs are ones that can relate to the men and women who serve under them, but also have the political sense to work with the City Manager and elected officials to get was in needed to keep the troops happy.

    Talking of MJFD too, it will be a big task to build a fire department from step 1 and will need a leader who can put together the best team of brothers from the start-up to make that happen. In all reality, the term “hiring” from the inside won’t apply since its a new department but you do have a lot of fire service leaders in the area that I feel could fill the ranks as well like RP noted.

    Butch I can to relate to the Navy comparison to the FD since I to was in the Navy as well and again agree.

  130. For example, I offer our neighbors to the immediate west. Before the current chief, NFD had a man named Buck Dozier. I have known Buck since I was a little kid. He is a good christian man, but never a firefighter. His appointment was a political appointment. He did a fine job and for the most part let those that knew how to do how. However; his lack of FF experience still was an area of concern for the operators. Fast forward to today and you have Chief Stephen Halford. He brings a notable history of ff experience, but his way and approach has caused the union to vote him with no confidence. Things may be different or even better at present, I will look into it. The essence of a hiring for a possible MJFD will come down to the JOB REQUIREMENTS and how stringent the person doing the interview and hire choose to be. If you state that the qualified candidate MUST have X amount of years in the service AND a successful stint in leadership (barring ALL discovered complaints and/or investigations)and you hold strict to these requirements, you will stand a much better chance of finding the right candidate…and I would venture to add you might just find him closer than you think. Yours truly might even drop a name or two. This is good stuff guys, it’s down the road…but I think it is the road we are own…especially if the city representatives are focused on being true public servants. If this were poker, it would be time to call. Everyday they wait, the public’s safety stays at staus quo. Not an option…remember, Ed?

  131. Butch Huber

    I believe this is a very good discussion, but it needs to be narrowed down a bit. I think what we really need to do is identify for our public servant leaders what qualities and level of knowledge, experience, and know-how a leader must possess in order to be accepted by those of you who do the job. I would like to see you end up with someone who you can assimilate with and respect and someone who can do the job from a leadership and management level as well. However, I do believe that the person who holds that position needs to have the quality of being able to get things done and get the things he or she needs in order to provide you with the material, manpower, and equipment that you need in order to be safe and to be able to get the job done. On the other side of that same coin, the person who is put in that job should also have the integrity and character necessary to keep the firefighters in line as well. So far, because of lack of leadership, all of those of you who post on here (don’t get me wrong, I think the world of you guys and don’t blame you for speaking your minds) have had to speak your minds and fight for what you need because your leader won’t do it for you. We need, from a political and citizenry side of the equation, a person who will tell us the truth 100%, whether we like what we hear or not, whether you like what you hear or not. We need someone we can trust. We need someone who you guys can get behind and trust and fully support, someone with whom you guys won’t feel the need to have to fight for something you need on your own and won’t need to get out in front of, and we need someone who, when he or she tells us something, we can take it to the bank because it is the gospel truth. That is the only way that we end up with a functional system and is fully capable and proper. I wonder if that person exists?

  132. Ditto. …and yes, Butch, they do exist.
    RP

  133. Butch Huber

    Interestingly, one angle the city could use in this battle with the county is to threaten to abolish the city police department. The county is obligated to provide police protection to the incorporated portions of the county, including Mt. Juliet, so, if they were to want to play hardball, the city could simply disband the police department and add considerable amount of burden on the county. Through the Uniform Administrative Procedures act and through courts of law the city could actually force the county to provide adequate police protection in this area. (I am not suggesting that we actually disband the service, I am just pointing something out). If the county thinks it is burdened with providing us with $42,000 worth of fire protection services, wait until they are faced with the massive expense they would be faced with if the city were to threaten to get out of the police business. This could possibly be our biggest bargaining chip. This city was supposedly established because the county didn’t want to protect the citizens of this part of the county, perhaps a little cage rattling is in order. If a little politics are necessary, perhaps this could be used as a great leverage against the counties tactics. I’m just saying.

  134. Interesting for sure…but facts is facts. We definitely do not want our citizens having the same level of law enforcement that we do fire/ems. Bad for the good guys…good for the bad guys. Would definitely put the burden of the “big boy britches” brigade, though…you are right there. I say we go a similar route as I did at the cuckoo’s nest. I tried to make the place more so Nurse Ratched’s authority was less. Let’s do whatever we do to the nine’s to the point where people think I40 starts/stops at the 226MM.
    Have a good ‘un!
    RP

  135. Butch Huber

    I think it is a good idea to put everything on the table in a negotiation, including nuclear options. When this city established its own police force there were a scant few people in this city. A small group of people got together and determined to form this city. It was probably a good idea, however, the notion that this city needs to have its own fire department was born out of a couple premises. One premise was that, because Watertown and Lebanon have their own fire department, Mt. Juliet must thus also have one. The second premise is, “Mt. Juliet has its own police department, it should also have its own fire department”. Both premises are incorrect. The county did not have to enact a countywide fire department, however, because they did enact a countywide fire department they are obligated to provide fire protection services to “all” of the county. They took on that obligation, but the city did not. The county is responsible for providing police service to all areas of the county and it is required by law to do so. This is a huge dichotomy from the fire protection situation. The county could at any time rescind the resolution to establish a countywide fire department, however, it cannot throw off its obligation to provide police protection. This city is spending upwards of $6 million per year on its own police department. That is a huge hammer they have in their hands. The city can force the county to provide adequate police protection in this city, it can’t force the county to provide fire protection services (It can until the county rescinds the countywide fire department resolution, but thereafter it cannot). When you are fighting a street fight, you don’t wear boxing gloves and padding. The city could use this as a formidable weapon in these discussions. We are taking on an obligation that is the obligation of the county, I think that has to have some consideration in this discussion. Instead of the conversation being, “you have your own police department, you should have your own fire department”, it should be, “thank you for handling such a huge and costly task for us with regard to police protection, how can we help you with fire protection?” At this point, the county is obligated to provide us with both police and fire protection, yet they have controlled this entire conversation up until now. I think it is time to turn the tables on them a bit.

    Let’s put this all in perspective. Mt. Juliet is spending upwards of $6,000,000 per year to protect about 25,000 people. That comes to about $240 per person, man, woman, or child. There are roughly 114 thousand people in Wilson County. If Wilson County were to invest the same amount per person countywide the county would invest over $27,000,000 on police each year. That figure doesn’t include the costs of the jail and other charges that are real, but that wouldn’t change under the nuclear option. The cost to the county would climb precipitously if we launched the nuclear option on them. They would likely be burdened with an extra $20 to $30 million per year in expenses. Those are expenses that could be made mandatory under court order! The county couldn’t escape those costs. I believe when you are negotiating, you should always make sure that before you begin in ernest, meaning when you get down to brass tacks, that your quiver is full and the other guy’s quiver is empty whenever possible.

    We are under attack by the county, when we launch a counter-attack we should have all contingencies mapped out and planned in advance. I think bringing police into the picture, if for no other reason than to rattle their cage, is a good idea. I am sure the Mt. Juliet police department will not be happy about the potential of being disbanded, however, I am sure it would never come to that. I just think this city needs to get credit where credit is due. We provide a very high level of police protection compared to what is being provided in the rest of the county (except for maybe Lebanon. I don’t know how our department stacks up against Lebanon’s). I believe that the county should recognize that, because we invest so much into police in this city, it doesn’t have to cover those expenses out of the county coffers, but that it could be made to provide adequate levels of police protection. We save the county a small fortune each year in terms of costs of police protection, and that investment on our part should be noted. Six million dollars is not a small amount of money.

    Think about this as well, those who live just outside of Mt. Juliet don’t have nearly the level of police protection that exists across the street from them. We all pay the same level of county taxes, but does the county provide us with uniform levels of Sheriff’s department protection as they do the folks in the unincorporated portion of the county? Those uniformed officers are all paid for using property tax dollars, and considering that we all pay property taxes, shouldn’t about one out of every five Sheriff’s deputies be patrolling in Mt. Juliet at any given time? In fact, we could probably keep our police department and still force the county to drastically increase its investment into police. Perhaps that is they nuclear option. That way, it is all upside to us (except for the expense of our police force) and they can be assured that we have every motivation and incentive to press the switch on the nuclear option and absolutely no reason not to.

    One of the ways to negotiate with obstinate partners is to make not cooperating so unpalatable to them, so unconscionable, so unbearable that they finally have to come to the table and act like gentlemen. If we frame this issue correctly, we could have the county begging us to let them provide us with fire protection services (meaning all emergency services). The county is so far over their heads in this it isn’t funny. They have no idea how weak their bargaining position has become. They have no legs. If this issue blows up into a full-scale battle, the county will be brought to its proverbial knees.

    When negotiating with a partner that loves to throw you into consternation, who is unruly and has no compunction to obey and observe laws, rules, and dictums, you have to give them a good shaking before the negotiation proceedings to snap them out of their illusion that they are in charge. That is, in my opinion, exactly where the county stands, in a place of delusional belief that “they”, not the general assembly, not the people of Mt. Juliet, are in charge of Mt. Juliet and I think they need a good shaking and they need it real soon. They need to know that, if they continue to be obstinate toward this city, if they continue to hold us hostage, we will drag their sorry butts into court and we will make sure that all of our litigative weapons are brought to bear on the subject and that they will not be able to control the process. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for a person is to give them a dose of reality.

    We have to shatter some paradigms in this county. We need to wake up government officials to the truth and reality that exists. There are laws of which they are duty bound to obey. They don’t want to, and in most cases nobody will make them obey, but obey they must. Our laws are designed to bring equity to how we are governed. When we stray from those laws we are disenfranchising someone for the benefit of another. The practice of disenfranchising one to benefit another needs to end. What they are doing is stealing: there is no other word that quite describes what is happening better than “stealing”. Whenever all the people pay for something that is only provided to some of the people, and when that payment is under compulsion instead of charity, the person or entity that is forcing the payment under compulsion is stealing from those who pay and do not receive the benefit from their payment. While in today’s socialist society in America that seems to be acceptable behavior of government, to this constitutional conservative federal republican, freedom loving, capitalist it is an abomination.

  136. Butch Huber

    Having given some contemplation to the issues that we face in Wilson County, I think it is time to “Re-think Wilson County”. In fact, I believe that “Re-think Wilson County” should be a slogan for an effort to bring this county together to forge a new and exciting future for this county. The differences that separate us cost us so much in terms of lost opportunity and prosperity that it is unconscionable for our political leaders to allow it to continue. I believe that, for a very long time, there have been a few rich and powerful lever pullers hiding behind the curtains of the political arena in Wilson County who have controlled the political discourse and who have fostered an atmosphere of disharmony in this county. It is time for a new era in Wilson County, one in which east and west actually learn to get along and under which we recognize and contemplate the other’s perspective so that we can work together to unite and work toward a new community in Wilson County under which we are cooperative and respectful toward one another.

    I think that the West end of this county may very well have to take things to the precipice of political brinkmanship in order to force the body politic that is Wilson County to recognize the need for immediate change in how we operate and how we view ourselves as a community. I have absolutely nothing against the average person in Lebanon, Watertown, or the unincorporated portions of Wilson County that lie east of Rt. 109. In fact, they never really even cross my mind in life much. I have a hard time believing that they sit on the other side of the proverbial line that divides us and stew and fret over whether or not we have a better deal than they or vice versa. I believe it is those who lurk in the shadows and their puppets on the County Commission and on other commissions within this county that stew and fret. They contrive all manner of schemes in order to disadvantage those on this side of the county, and while those contrivances advantage those on the east, those on the east will, like nearly all other people who are being advantaged by a situation, complacently sit idly by and allow the scheme to continue whilst they continue to benefit from the advantage. It is for that reason that I believe it may be necessary to take this to the edge of the cliff before it will be resolved.

    History has shown that those who are being advantaged, even when they know that they are being unfairly and unethically advantaged, have a propensity to allow the unfair advantage to continue under their irrational justification that they can do nothing about it and that it is just a matter of chance that they are being advantaged, or under the equally unfair justification that they some how are just being benefitted because of some other injustice that they have suffered and it is the world’s way or righting things for them.

    This isn’t just an issue about Mt. Juliet, it is an issue for those who live on this side of Rt 109, and it is an issue for those who live in any sector of this County. This is a discourse that ultimately will shape what kind of community Wilson County will become. This isn’t just about Fire Protection, it is about how we will treat each other in this county. There are those who genuinely feel that Mt. Juliet is getting some type of unfair advantage. They think somehow we are getting something for nothing and that it is they, not the people of this city, who pay for that advantage. We, on the other hand, believe that it is we who are paying for their services, which is the exact opposite of their belief. What could be a riper issue in need of resolution, but to resolve that situation will require a resolution to a series of issues. Therefore, it is proper and fitting that we set a course to resolve as many of the underlying issues that divide us as possible in order to bring harmony and decorum to this county once and hopefully for all.

    The city of Mt. Juliet should issue an official statement to the County and to the other Cities in Wilson County that it is the intent of this city to find whatever reasonable and proper resolutions available to the things that separate us and to extend a hand of friendship and cooperation to each of those entities who will agree to cooperate and work with us to achieve those solutions, but that this city will stop at nothing to ensure that it is not being taken advantage of and to ensure that it is not disenfranchised in any way by any government entity or otherwise. We need to draw the proverbial line in the sand and demand that those who endeavor to cause us harm or disadvantage discontinue their disharmonizing efforts and we need to issue a stark warning to those same persons to caution them and advise them that they will be found out and they will be prosecuted either to the fullest extent of the law if their actions are illegal or in the public eye if their efforts are lawful but otherwise unsavory or unjust.

    It is time to salve the wounds and heal the discord in Wilson County, even if that means we have to rip some bandages off and amputate a few limbs.

  137. The role of Huey Percy Newton will now be played by our very own Butch Huber of the MJ “Oh no you didn’t” Players. Butch, you are right, but the whole nuclear bandage ripping limb amputation thing is a little much. Truthfully, to go back to your previous post, I ask…”Why stop at the PD?” Pardon my French but why not shitcan the entire MJ government (PD, Sewer, Roads, Admin, etc) and lay all the underprotected and underprovided west side at the feet of the big boy britches bunch. That, my research ninja friend, will rattle all the way to Rochelle’s evil lair. But essentially, you are right….I’m just leaning a few degrees in a different direction. See, right now we are on our own. The problem is the current city leadership doesn’t have a clue as to where to turn next because they never in a million years thought the county would drop them this fast or at all in the area of emergency services. The county does not care (if actions speak louder than words) about the safety of its citizens, MJ in particular. They are wanting everyone to believe that all that can be done is being done and you and I know THAT’S A LIE!!! They do not want to serve us anymore (using this to hold us hostage for a tax which we have) and to tell you the truth…I do not want to be any more connected or dependant on them than what is absolutely necessary. Right now, the citizens of MJ and zone 3 are GROSSLY UNPROTECTED and this is by design. The county is using this danger as a tool to get what they want. Our people need better protection NOW,NOW,NOW!!! Ed, James, Art, Jim, and Ted have the want to to improve on this, but they are no where remotely close to having the ways and means. All they need is out there and in here, but they cannot bring themselves to the level of humility to accept the suggestions we have given them. They are relying too much on a paper toting wannabe that wants a chip in the game he does not deserve and HAS NOT EARNED!!! Will the PD be abolished to accomplish any goal? No. Will the MJ gov be desolved to creat a burden on the county to step up? No. Then let’s just put them off to the side and work on ways that will help better protect our people. If we do not, then we stand to carry some of the guilt as well. Our people need us NOW,NOW,NOW!!!

  138. Butch Huber

    I think it is both. I think we need to take proactive steps toward augmenting and increasing the level of protection in this city, however, the county essentially has placed this part of the county over a proverbial barrel. If we endeavor to help ourselves, they will pull what scant amount of service that the provide now. The issue is bigger than fire protection, it is cultural, and that can’t be fixed with another fire station. We need to get to the heart of the beast in order to fix the real problem. The rest of what we see and hear are symptoms of the larger problem. Cure the cause, don’t solve symptoms. R.P., from the county’s perspective, this has never been about fire, it has always been about property tax. They have proven with their resolution that it isn’t about fire. They couldn’t give a rip about fire protection in this area. If they gave a damn about fire protection enhancement in this area they would have sponsored a resolution that stated something like, “Wilson County has, up until now, been doing all that it can justify doing for Mt. Juliet in regard to fire protection services. The county desires to see the level of service enhanced for the people of Wilson County who live in and around Mt. Juliet, however, in order to see that desire fulfilled it is necessary that Mt. Juliet contribute to the cause. The Wilson County Commission resolves to enter into a cooperative effort with the City of Mt. Juliet to jointly work toward enhancing the level of fire protection services in the western part of the county. Etc.” That isn’t what happened. As soon as Mt. Juliet raise the property tax rate above zero the debate started to go away immediately.

    Good negotiations sometimes requires making the other guy think you might just be crazy enough to launch a nuclear missile at them. Sure, let’ throw in the possibility of dissolving the city, why not? We are a homerule government, we can make that happen. Let’s really make them think. I love it.

    The city should automatically and immediately begin the process of annexing as much population into this city as possible and then start talking about going metro once we can prove we are the biggest city. I say hit them from every conceivable angle until they recognize it is better to be nice than to pick a fight.

    I kinda like the nuclear bandage ripping limb amputation metaphors, they paint the picture. Obviously, the point is to make the continued jabbing at this city so painful for them they stop. The mutual destruction option, in other words, could be the backdrop to the discourse so that everyone concerned realized that not resolving this issue is not an acceptable option. Only when one’s own ox is being gored does one typically care enough to become involved. For as long as those in the county continue to think that this is “Mt. Juliet’s problem”, and for as long as Mt. Juliet allows that kind of thinking to continue, the problem will be unresolved. As soon as those who keep saying this is “Mt. Juliet’s problem” realize that they have a problem as well, and when they get the message that political armageddon may very well accompany their apathy, perhaps they will be willing to work with us. Nothing seems to bring people together in life quite like a disaster, even if that disaster is just a political one.

    I think we need to pursue this option to make it real. I think the county boys need to come to the realization that they have pushed too far once too often. However, we may not want to dissolve the city, we may just want to offset some of the expenses of the city onto the county, after all, we need to get our money back from them somehow, right?

  139. Brother Butch,
    I gotta stick to my guns on this one…no to the nukes…yes to the annex, though. It will take some doing, but I am all for it. Bigger is better and more is less is more. Cause, symptoms, taxes, britches…what the heck ever. Our people need better protection. All that other is fine for whoever or whatever…but I want to do better by these people and I want to do it SOON. I care not for the show.
    RP

  140. Hey,
    where’s my Sonny? I miss ya , man.
    RP

  141. Butch Huber

    The arsenal this city has at its disposal in an effort to bring this county to its senses and force it to act appropriately includes, but is not limited to,

    Holding hearings at the city using the powers of the board of commissioners for Mt. Juliet. During those hearings they can as any relevant question they want in order to get to the bottom of things and the person being asked is compelled to answer the question under oath!

    File a lawsuit against the county asking for a change of venue before they even get started so that nobody can say that the judge was biased.

    Start a propaganda war with the county to inform all of those voters in the western portion of the county about just how badly they are being treated by the county and encouraging them to join us in forcing the county to stop acting badly toward us.

    File for a hearing under the uniform administrative procedures act. I believe this could force John Jewel to distribute emergency services and allocate resources equitably regardless of the county’s resolution stating that it would not do so.

    Ask the TBI to open an official investigation. It is clear (at least to me) that the county is violating our constitutional rights in regard to how they are using our taxes. Public corruption doesn’t just include doing a thing to provide a benefit to yourself, it includes doing something that benefits another. Watertown received a free gift of $600,000+ from the county, plus an interest free loan of $600,000+. That gift was given to them under a quid pro quo deal to reward Watertown for providing fire suppression to parts of the county. I believe there is something highly suspicious and highly illegal in that action. The Mayor of Watertown is the County Attorney and the Fire Chief of the Watertown Volunteer Fire Department is the Chief of the County Emergency Management Agency. I believe this little item has some serious implications for those involved.

    Ask for an investigation by the FBI. The Department of Homeland Security provides grants to states, then the states distribute funds from those grants to Counties. Wilson County, I believe, received some of those grants. If, in the course of using funds allocated to the county by the state, the funds received from the federal government were directly or indirectly used illegally, it could be a basis for an investigation by the FBI.

    Appeal to the State Legislature for intervention. The General Assembly provides the authorization for both the county and the city to exist. Their existence is predicated on the understanding that they will abide by the rules, laws, acts, etc. of the General Assembly. The county is not immune to the law, they, just like everyone else, must follow the law. The State government has a vested interest in ensuring that any entity that is granted a right to incorporate in this State abides by laws passed by the State Government.

    File official charges against anyone who knowingly has or is violating the law in this matter.

    File complaints with OSHA and TOSHA.

    File a Complaint with General Thompson’s office regarding this issue.

    File a complaint with the State Attorney General’s office.

    File a complaint with the Governor.

    The nuclear options mentioned above.

    There are olive branches that can be extended as well.

    Because this city, under the leadership of Ed Hagerty, took the “we can’t win in court” approach to this issue, and because they initially took the “We will do whatever you want us to do” approach, we now have to be prepared to do just about anything within our legal means to force this county into a posture of cooperation.

    The county needs to be shown that it doesn’t have any cards in its hand, and that this city holds all the cards. The county, in my opinion, is violating a whole series of laws in their effort to perpetuate this scam that they have foisted on those who live in West Wilson County. At some point those officials involved go from being ignorant innocent pawns of those who are perpetrating the scheme to becoming knowing and active participants.

    There is a whole litany of emails and correspondence between myself and various public officials that should, in the judgement of a reasonable average person, raise the specter of possibility that laws are being broken under this emergency service plan the county has. At some point in this process, it will become clear that those who are clinging to this scheme are doing so under the full knowledge that what they are doing is illegal, and at that point this matter will take an entirely different turn.

  142. Butch Huber

    I just read on facebook, then verified, that New York Police Officers, Port authority police officers, new york firefighters, and clergy are not invited to the September 11 ceremony in new york due to lack of space.

    Being at the world trade center site today may not be the safest place on earth to be considering that there is a credible terror attack threat that is non-specific, however, to snub those people who were the heros of 9/11 is unconscionable. Mayor Blunderhead said that this ceremony is for the victims. What? All of America fell victim to that attack! That attack has led to trillions of dollars of losses to the American people and thousands of war dead and hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of wounded veterans. The police officers and their families are victims. The firefighters and their families are victims. Who isn’t a victim? I realize that those who had family members in the World Trade Center are particularly victims of this attack, however, anyone who knows anything about how Police and Firefighters think, their culture, their systems of beliefs, their botherhoods, knows that every police officer and firefighter in new york is a victim of this attack on a very personal level. What an idiot Blunderhead is to have taken this position. There should be a parade of police officers and firefighters going through that area and they should be cheered and celebrated for their courage and sacrifice, not shunned.

  143. Butch Huber

    Wilson County has created a legal morass in this county of which it seems to be incapable of extricating itself. There is absolutely no possible path that the county can take to arrive at a place where what they have been and are doing in regard to fire protection services and taxation is legal. Every wiggle, ever gyration, ever turn only sinks them further and further into their legal quagmire. It was once stated to me, “if you find that you have dug yourself into a hole, the first thing you want to do is to stop digging!” I have tried to no avail to get the county to stop digging, but their are insistent on picking up their pick and spade, almost daily, and digging in yet another level. It is time to bring the pressure to bear upon them by beginning the process of legal action into this arena. In doing so, I think it would be prudent for our city leaders to bring that legal action in a shock and awe style of assault against their scheme and break it down and break it apart once and for all. Nothing should be taken off the table, nothing should not appear to the county to be beyond the realm of possibility. They should be faced with every conceivable contingency that the city could use against their hostage taking, money stealing scheme. You see, if they have to defend against all possibilities, without the city have to actually deploy resources to those contingencies, then when the city is ready and has identified the greatest weakness to the counties defense of their scheme against the people of West Wilson County, the city could strike right at the heart of their scam in a salient maneuver that breaches their line of defense and penetrates their inner sanctum and ferrets out those who are responsible. This scam is so egregious against those in West Wilson County it is only fitting and proper that those who concocted this scheme be drug out into the light of day, scrutinized to see what laws, if any, they have broken, and if laws have been broken, those people should be prosecuted, and if found guilty, they should be jailed. It is not acceptable for a group of people to use government to cause harm to a group of people and profit from it at the same time. I believe that it is time to open the curtains on this issue and let the light shine in, don’t you?

  144. To those TRUE public sevants in the fields of police, fire, and ems that have traded in self for selflessness…and to those no longer with us that have sacrificed more than we the living can imagine…WE REMEMBER.
    …through conviction, comittment, and compassion…WE REMEMBER.
    God bless each of you and God bless these United States.
    Yours very truly,
    RP

  145. Sonny Griffin

    Thanks for your kind words, R. P.

    I’ve been keeping up with you and Butch and I agree with both of you. There is no need for me to reiterate, but thanks for missing me.

    There is a definite need for urgency in this matter and I hope our politicians agree.

    The first step is to get the County’s attention. That is going to require an all out attack like Butch has laid out. No holds barred. The City has thrown a punch when it hired the accounting firm but they don’t need to wait for results from that investigation.

    There has been so much lying, double talk, false accusations, threats, etc. from the County that it is a target rich legal environment.

    I hope the City starts playing some of its cards. It’s like you say, Butch, the City has all the cards. All it has to do is start laying them on the table.

    R. P., we will never forget. Amen to what you said.

    Butch, as for Bloomberg, ask him about 48 shootings in one day in NYC where guns are illegal. And he wants to blame lack of gun control.

  146. Butch Huber

    The city took a great step forward in regard to the issue of fire protection services and emergency services during the commission meeting last night. They voted to approve a contract between the city and a third party forensic accounting firm to have that firm investigate and submit a report outlining whether or not the services we receive in this city are a fair distribution of service from the county based on the amount of taxes that we pay into the system. Kudos to Commissioner Giles for ensuring that I am contacted by that company so that I can ensure that they have the relevant materials and information in regard to this issue. I know that sounds self-serving, but it really isn’t. Anyone could research material, it is all there in the public realm, I have just assembled a lot of it. Besides, much of what I have I only have because some friends of mine pointed it out to me, I just used what they provided to me or when down the rabbit trail that they pointed out to me. I do, after approximately 6 years of study of this issue, have a deep understanding of the issue, and I can work with the company that they hired to help them get a firm grasp on things here in this county in a much shorter timeframe than it would take for them to develop that on their own. I can also ensure that they don’t produce a report without considering the legal aspect of how the county provides emergency services. Fortunately, the guy who is heading up the effort for the city is an attorney, so he will easily see that the county is running emergency services illegally. We have one more reading on the budget amendment ordinance, however, it looks like this is going to happen. It appears that we are finally on the way down the road toward rectification of our less than equitable situation in this county. Well done, Mt. Juliet Board of Commissioners.

    p.s. I have to say that it appears that Mt. Juliet may very well be getting a commission that is evolving into a respectable board. I am sensing some good things from this board, hopefully you will continue to progress toward becoming a strong and valuable board for the people of this city. Thank you.

  147. Sonny Griffin

    It seems that Commissioner Maness and Commissioner Giles have had a profound influence on this board.

    I, too, sense good things ahead.

    I hope, come election time, that we can find some more like them.

  148. Butch Huber

    This issue regarding fire protection is nothing more than unresolved issues from before this city was even formed. This city was formed because the county wasn’t providing adequate police protection to this area of the county. The county is responsible, not the city, for providing police protection to all citizens of this county. The county refused to enhance police protection in this area and the citizens here resolved to take matters into their own hands so to speak by forming a city through which they could develop their own police department to protect them. Now, nearly 40 years later, we are still dealing with the same issue, only now it is fire protection. Did the county ever stop taxing the citizens who lived in Mt. Juliet as if they were providing adequate police protection? Of course not. We pay the same property tax rates as the rest of the county. Police are paid from property taxes. I think an investigation needs to include investigating how much police protection the county provides to Mt. Juliet in comparison to the rest of the county. In fact, I think the investigation needs to be broadened to include all aspects of county government. We need to find out just how well or how badly the county is treating us overall and not just regarding fire protection. You can’t cure a cause simply by solving symptoms, you have to get to the root of the problem and fix it, then the symptoms will naturally go away or at least can then be fixed permanently.

  149. working…
    nice avatar!

  150. Thank you and thank you for this avenue of freedom.
    RP

  151. Butch,
    The very last thing in the world you need to worry about is someone thinking that you are self serving. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Your efforts here are in no way, shape, form , or fashion self promoting. You have more than proved yourself here as a publi and civic minded servant. On a personal note, you have my respect without question. People ask me about your method and thought process. My response is resolute. Your way makes you YOU and engages my brain to go beyond the “easy” path. On behalf of my grey matter…thank you. If this were the Justice League, you would be “Encyclopedia Butchtanica” and have the emblem of a cerebral cortex on the chest of your spandex. Bah hah! “POWER, STRENGTH, COURAGE…and now INTELLIGENCE”!

    “A public opinion poll is NO substitute for thought”. Warren Buffet

    Now, before the offers for us to “get a room” start…have you heard the latest? Word on the ward is the Ted Floyd will be running for the middle chair next election. Also on the ballet will be Regurgitated Ray re-running for his old re-seat in D1. $5 and a box of thin mints says that Secret Search Sorey ain’t too far behind. He will soon be calling the Chronicle (the only rag that will take his call) and offering them the scoop betcha, betcha, betcha. Publius, Butch, Sonny, et al…your thoughts?
    RP

  152. Butch Huber

    Thanks for the kind words, R.P.

    As for Ted running for the middle seat, I guess it is his right to run. If he hopes to win, he has to begin to think globally and not just about how the people in his district think. There are a lot of people in this city who are quite upset with the whole issue with regard to fire protection and with regard to other matters that, according to things that I have heard Floyd say, don’t seem to be a huge deal for his constituents in district 1. If he hopes to garner enough votes to win the seat as mayor he will have to take up the issues and run with them to show all of Mt. Juliet he is their guy. As far as Ray is concerned, let him run, it is his right. Should be interesting. As far as Sorey, I think he should probably stay on the porch.

  153. Sonny Griffin

    They all have the right to run, thanks to the blood and sacrifice of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines. Thank you again.

    It is their political and personal records that will haunt them.

    I, personally, wouldn’t vote for any of them.

  154. Butch Huber

    When people run for office they should always consider it to be an all the time type of thing. They should know and accept that they need to engage their brain to work on the problems that we are dealing with and come up with solutions. But that isn’t all they should do, they should look to the future and resolve issues before they even become issues. We need a proactive government, not a reactive government. We need politicians that will look down the road and see what needs to take place now so that we are ready in the future. We need people in office who “THINK”. We need leaders who have the gift of “VISION”. We need leaders who have the capacity to see the problem for what it really is and solve the causes of problems and not just endlessly and aimlessly attack the symptoms of problems. We need leaders with the courage and will to do what is right even when it isn’t popular. We need leaders who do the right thing, the right way, at the right time, and for the right reasons. Being a good politician is hard work and it is never ending work. A person who runs for public office should understand that when he or she gets that office they are taking on a huge responsibility, even if it is only an elected seat on a local city commission. There are lower level seats in politics, but there isn’t once elected seat that isn’t of vital importance if only because that seat is a symbol of democracy and freedom. Any person who holds a public office, who then shames and embarrasses themselves in office, needs to be willing to step down without being thrown out. A person who runs for office for themselves and not for the people is not fit to sit in the seat.
    Next election we need to look at those running and ask ourselves, will they work hard and do good, or will they rest on their laurels and do little? We need to ask ourselves, do they have character and integrity? We need to encourage good honest people to step up to the plate and serve, but only if they are able and willing to fully commit. Being a leader requires that you LEAD, and you can only LEAD if you are fully committed.

  155. Butch Huber

    I have a lot of tickets to the get motivated seminar coming up on October 17th. If you need a pick-me-up in your mental attitude, this could be the ticket for you. Let me know if you would like to attend and tell your friends. I can get about as many tickets as I want. The tickets are free to you if you want them.

  156. I love you guys…you are both as solid as a fist. Don’t go nowhere, the world is a better place with you guys in it. To resond:

    Sonny: Your welcome and I agree with your vote. They all have the right, but do they have the reason…THE RIGHT REASON. Is it public servant or personally serving??? That is what I will find out from conversations with both. In just looking at the fire issue, I know there is more but for the sake of point look at fire, both Ted AND Ray have had ample time and opportu nity to to have done more with this issue. They all have. Utilizing both Butch’s approach and mine…they have had time to hold the county accountable AND provide enhanced protection for their constituents. THEY DID NOT. They are 0 for 2. In my book, as in yours, they do not get another shot with my vote.

    Butch: Try this on for size…Think, Vision, LISTEN, and Lead. Hats off to James and Art for what they are doing with what they have heard…from you. Ed is too set in his ways and Jim/Ted think they know it all…or at least that’s what they want folks to think. Ted does not know anything about fire and Jim knows even less. They are simply satisfying the id in their ego with their offices. It needs to be more than just looking pretty or important on cable access Ch.3 Sorey? Here insert the sound made when you stick out your tongue and blow…nuff said. For anyone running…it is time to ask the tough questions and DEMAND the right answers. If you say you have a plan, my advise is…YOU BETTER.

    Butch (part deux): Is this like the Zig Ziglar conferences where we get a “check up from the neck up” to eliminate “stinkin’ thinkin’ “. Seriously, these types of conferences can be very helpful if you apply the learnings to LONG TERM goals. Best wishes.

    Thanks again to you both.

    RP

  157. Doc Cider

    Trying to remember which district Sorey is in, D1 or D2. I think his County district was D2 but his city district is D1. Sorey vs Ray would be interesting. Ray would probably ask someone to run as his wing man as he has in the past, forgetting he’s not the incumbent anymore. Ray and Sorey would be busily background checking each other. If I were in that district, I’d end up voting for the wing man.

    Art has done a good job despite his long alliance with she whose name should not be spoken. This is a district with both good and awful potential opponents for him. Ed never had an opponent after his first contest, but I don’t think Art will be that lucky.

    In a Mayor’s election that might be Ed vs the Two Stooges (Barney Fife and Bearded Gump) Ed will and should be elected easily. Ted actually had me missing Ray, who was almost tolerable and occasionally sensible towards the end of his second term. Maybe someone like Britt Linville will jump in to the contest to provide even more comic relief than what would already be provided by the Two Stooges. In his last run for office, he made Wendell Marlowe sound like a statesman.

    D2 and D4 are not up for re-election this year. Here’s one to consider: will Jimbo take a pass on his mayoral race this year because of the referendum or will he just plan on suing the city again in the unlikely event he wins?

  158. Butch Huber

    Doc, Sorey is D2. He lives in Willoughby Station.

    R.P., the event should be a good one. I have been to several. I have never walked away wishing that I didn’t invest the time there.

  159. Butch,
    I saw a billboard on westbound Lebanon Rd at the sheep/hog farm advertising your event. WOW! What a line up…you got the Coz’. Good night, Irene.

    RP

  160. Butch Huber

    There is an ordinance on the agenda for monday to appropriate $30,000 to fix the roof on station 3. From what I understand, the need for this repair is evident.

  161. Doc Cider

    That’s right, I remember Sorey saying the mayor was creeping his house or some such nonsense. Of course, she likely drove by his house because she also lives in Willoughby.

    The thought of Ray running unopposed is scary. Almost as scary as having to choose between him and Ted.

  162. Butch Huber

    The argument has been, “Mt. Juliet has its own police department, why shouldn’t they have their own fire department?”

    In FY 2010, Wilson County appropriated $7,649,349 to the Sheriff’s department, which is responsible for police protection in all of Wilson County, regardless of corporate city limits. This year Mt. Juliet appropriated about $6,000,000 to the City Police Department. The city has no mandate to provide police protection as the county has that responsibility assigned to it by the General Assembly.

    $7.6 million to cover 583 square miles and 113,000 people vs $6,000,000 to cover 20 square miles and 25,000 people, and yet, according to the stat that I have seen, there still aren’t enough police officers on the street in Mt. Juliet.

    Our distributive share of the Sheriff’s department is approximately $2 million dollars, or about one quarter of their personnel. I wonder if we get anywhere near that level of protection from the county?

    This is just part of the debate over whether or not we get that for which we pay the county. It is time for this city to really dig its heals in and demand that we be treated equitably.

    Whenever we pay for service that is supposed to be provided to us, and that service is not provided, we are being stolen from.

  163. Recently, the Wilson Co. commission granted WEMA 6 new people…2 per shift. They have been deployed, any one wanna guess where? The 2 new extra personnel are stationed now at station 8 just east of Big Springs Rd and Carthage Hwy. Google Map it and you will see that is as far away from staion 3 or 4 as can be. Matter of fact, zone 3, 4, 5, nor 6 were never a consideration. Still think they are going to lend us an ambulance for a new bandaid solution building??? The county mayor recently met with the troops and after crying about not getting a thank you for the 6% one time bonus that started as an 8% across the board raise…he stated, “I don’t know what MJ is going to do for THEIR citizens”. Not for the county citizens in that zone, but THEIR people. Folks, if it were me, I’d start making his words a reality…and a financial nightmare. Ed, he has turned his back on us…let’s close our wallets to him.

    RP

  164. Jonathan Brydalski

    Hello Doc, Butch, Kevin, Rob, and all,
    A colleague of mine mentoned this site to me in regards to the conversations about next year’s elections for D1 City Commissioner and Mayor here in our fine city. I read your posts, very interesting.
    I feel I need to interject. I also ran for D1 Commissioner along with Ted and Ray. I ran solely by myself. I do not know who would have speculated that I was a “wingman” for anyone. I find this ludicrous. I worked hard on my campaign and believe I ran a strong race.
    I have full intentions of running for D1 City Commissioner next year. I truly believe we have a lot to work on as a team here in the city. Please feel free to contact me, I would love to sit down over a cup of coffee with anyone and discuss what needs to be accomplished here in Mount Juliet in the near and distant future.
    Thank you for your time.

    Jonathan

  165. Butch Huber

    Jonathan, I would be more than happy to talk to you about the needs of the city in the near and distant future. If you are going to run, it is important that you be able to see the full spectrum of issues and understand how everything is inter-related. A major issue is that the county continues to take money from Mt. Juliet, including about $16,000,000 in property taxes, millions more in sales taxes, millions more in adequate facilities taxes, and gives very little in return. Every dollar that the county takes from us without representative services in return, means that we either have to do without the services our tax dollars otherwise would have paid for or we have to tax ourselves again in order to get the services. This endless shell game has to stop. We pay the county for services, we need the county to provide those services. It is time for the county to stop looking at Mt. Juliet as some entity to which it owes no allegiance or alliance, but which the county has every right and privilege to tax. To the county, Mt. Juliet is an ATM from which they may make withdraws without ever making deposits. That needs to end.

  166. Mr. Brydalski,
    Good Morning. My name is RP and this is where we cut to the chase. Since you have chosen to throw your hat into the ring on this particular post concerning inadequate fire and ems coverage for the city, what are your SPECIFIC and DETAILED suggestions for improving this opportunity? Please include YOUR plan, How it will be paid for, and WHAT RESULTS you expect. If you have read the posts, you will realize that the group here expects a certain standard of future public servants. Preface your response with WHY you want to represent and serve others. Best wishes and good luck.

    RP

    P.S. Who the heck is Rob??? ha.

  167. Jonathan Brydalski

    Coffee sounds good. Always good to get many ideas about the future. Thoughts and Ideas from many sources always helps.

  168. Butch Huber

    Be careful who you listen to, Jonathan. Ideas and thoughts are only as good as the thought-effort that went into them. Many people have great ideas, however, few have plans to accomplish them and even fewer have any clue regarding the unintended consequences caused by their good ideas.

  169. Jonathan Brydalski

    I agree. I feel that a good leader can not live on the morals alone of what has happened but must think well into the future. Ideas need to be thought through and put into action that will benefit the city as a whole.

  170. Butch Huber

    Jonathan,

    Something to contemplate as you begin to assemble your run for office.

    When communities come together and form cities, counties feel as though something was taken from them. They feel that way because sales taxes, and perhaps other taxes (although I don’t know what they would be) end up being split in the city, whereas before the city was formed the county got all the sales taxes. To explain a little further to ensure that you understand what I am talking about, the local option sales taxes in Wilson County and in Mt. Juliet are 2.25%. Inside the unincorporated portion of the county the county receives the full 2.25%. However, in the incorporated areas of the county the county only receives 1.25%. Though there is a caveat to all of that. You see, for a period of time, the length of which I cannot recall at this time, during which the county continues to receive the level of sales taxes it was receiving before the incorporation or annexation occurred. For example, using hypothetical numbers, if the county were receiving $100,000 in sales taxes from an area before it was incorporated, the county will continue to receive that $100,000 from that area for a definite period of time. However, when that time runs out, the county would thereafter only get half of that $100,000 and the city would get the other half. If, after incorporation, that incorporated area booms with new business, and the same area is now generating a million dollars in local option sales taxes, the county gets half of the million dollars, plus half of first $100,000 until the time runs out, after which the county only gets their half of the million dollars. Does that make sense?

    Counties don’t tend to recognize or appreciate that the growth is likely caused because there is additional government in that area and community focus on growth and prosperity, they simply think that the growth would have occurred had the people in that area not incorporated.

    Would Mt. Juliet have grown like it has had the founders not established this area as a city? I don’t think it is likely that it would have. The county was, from what I can tell, treating this area like the proverbial red-headed step-child (no offense intended toward you red-heads). It seems that all the focus was toward building up Lebanon before this city was formed.

    Long established county-city relationships, such as exists between Lebanon (which I believe was here in some form even before Wilson was a county) and Wilson County, don’t have the same phenomena as the relationship between a new city (like Mt. Juliet) and the county. WIlson County would have a hard time justifying some antipathy with Lebanon saying that Lebanon somehow is taking money from the county, right? However, Wilson County can, in their minds, justify their belief and attitude toward Mt. Juliet on the basis that they believe that Mt. Juliet somehow took something from the county when it incorporated. They can feel that way because we are a relative new entity, even though we are nearly 40 years old now. Deeply rooted feelings die hard, don’t they?

    These feelings are natural and they are understandable. They aren’t proper, but they are understandable.

    Counties tend to look at cities, especially new cities, as separate from the county. They don’t truly see the incorporated areas of the county, nor the citizens that inhabit them, as “County Citizens”. They seem them as “City Citizens”. They love to tax us, but that is the end of the road as far as the relationship exists. In other words, it is more like a one-way street from the county’s perspective. They make withdraws, but never feel any compunction or obligation to make deposits. They take, but they don’t want to give back.

    Something that has happened in Wilson County that adds fuel to the feud in this county is that West Wilson County has been populated by people who have moved here from other places in the country, whereas, much of the rest of the county is populated, I believe, largely by the descendants of people who were here when dirt was made or shortly thereafter. Those who were born here to parents who were born here who were themselves born to parents who were born tend to feel that “they” are the ones who own this county and “they” should be the ones who decide what’s what here and not those pesky newcomers to the area. I get that. I came from a place where my family largely founded much of the area, and even though I don’t live there anymore, there is a sense of history there and some sense of “ownership” feelings that I have deep within me even though I know and realize that those feelings mean absolutely nothing to anyone else in the world but me and those in my family and the families of others who founded that area.

    So, what you have is a county government that doesn’t honor or respect the city and that wants to take from the area but not give back, and you have a large portion of the population that has some level of antipathy or angst toward those who move in on this end of the county because we are upsetting the balance of things. Get it? Well, it gets worse. Not only do we upset the balance of things in this area because we are taking some of the money from the county that it feels belongs to it, we are also taking power albeit little-by-little.

    You see, as this end of the county becomes more and more populated, the people of this area gain more and more control over the balance of power on the county commission. Uh oh! “Soon, those pesky people who keep moving into West Wilson will control everything!” This feeling of loss of control, and the accompanying feeling that they must get things set in place before the power shifts to the “other side of the county” compels them to do, or try to do, things that are not proper and that could be downright illegal.

    Does the county government and do the people of this county have a right to control things here? Yes and no. If they didn’t sell their land to developers or develop it themselves there wouldn’t have been such phenomenal growth in this area of the county in the first place, however, because they sold their land to developers and developed themselves they caused the growth. They are victims of their own doing in other words. They could have controlled the game, but they gave up that control in pursuit of gain. Now they want their cake and eat it, too. It isn’t going to happen for them, but that doesn’t stop them from trying. Actually, in some ways, they may be able to postpone the transfer of power for many years, but in the end there will inevitably be a power shift from the east toward the west. One day it will likely shift back to the middle or the east, however, that day is a long way away.

    Recently they had to redistrict in Wilson County. How did they do it? They elected to have the school board members do the redistricting. They even stacked the deck by ensuring that as many people as possible from the east side of the county were on the redistricting committee. I have not seen the redistricting map yet, however, I understand it is laughable. I project that when that map is made public and we all get to take a look at it we will see that they have done everything in their power to ensure that as much power stays on the east side of this county as is humanly possible to ensure. No matter what they do, in the end, the western portion of this county will eventually control the politics of this area. Besides, even if the power never shifted to the west, the west is going to shift to the east! The growth is coming no matter what, and that growth is from people who live outside this area moving into this area. The people who have deep roots in this area, if they keep selling their land, will eventually be marginalized by the massive numbers of people moving here from elsewhere.

    Where do the people who are moving here come from? The north. They come from a lot of places, but I bet most are coming from the north, and especially from the north-east.

    That could be good news for the people who are deeply rooted here in some ways. Much of the north east is comprised of democrat liberals. Much of the eastern part of this county is comprised of democrats, however, I am not so sure they are “liberals”. The infiltration into this city and this county by liberals will change the make-up of this county throughout. The more the liberals move in, the more we move toward a society that believes that government is the answer to our problems and that we need bigger and bigger government. I am not sure that is the sentiment of the deeply rooted democrats who live in this county. I think a lot of the democrats in this county are more of the 1950s and 1960s democrat persuasion rather than the 2011 democrat persuasion. I could be wrong, but that is my read on things. If I am right, over the next ten years we may find ourselves with strange bedfellows in this county. It could possibly end up that the current east and west end up joining forces against the liberals who move here from elsewhere. Wouldn’t that be weird? It would be kinda like kissing your sister I imagine. Yeah, it’s a kiss, but yuck!

    So, why am I telling you this?

    Because it is important to understand the lay of the land, but more importantly, your job as a commissioner is to protect those who you serve from abuse, even from abuse caused by other government entities. This commission, over the next 8 to 12 years, will have to deal with the abusive practice by the county of taking from us without giving back. This city was formed because the county was not living up to its obligations in terms of police protection in this area of the county. Today, instead of forcing the county to fulfill its obligation to provide adequate police protection to Mt. Juliet, we are shelling out $6,000,000 per year on our own police force, which is nearly what the county pays to protect the entire county! That would be fine if that is what we want and if the county is providing us with our fair share of the protection it provides to all of the county, however, if we don’t get our fair share of the county’s protection then we are necessarily subsidizing the rest of the county. Do you get that?

    Police protection isn’t the only are where we are being hosed in my opinion. The county provides Lebanon with $88.85 per person worth of emergency services, nearly the same level in Watertown, however, in Mt. Juliet we receive the absolute lowest per person provision of county emergency services in all of Wilson County! Is that fair? Okay, let me ask that another way, we pay the highest percentage of the overall tax base per person in Wilson County and on a square mile basis (I believe) and yet we are getting perhaps the absolute lowest level of county service provision in the county, is that fair? Hell no it isn’t fair, and that is why I think our city government needs to take a firm stand. We don’t want more than that for which we pay, but we sure as hell want to receive at least that for which we pay, isn’t that fair?

    If you are going to run, then run to do what is right. Learn the law, learn what is right and fair and equitable, and then go do everything within your ability and power to see to it that things are set right.

    Be sensitive to the feelings and emotions of everyone involved, however, stay within the boundaries of the law. In fact, do everything you can to land squarely in the center of the law as often and as much as you possibly are able to do so, because anything less that smack-dab dead-center of the law means you are necessarily disenfranchising someone somewhere, and that ain’t fair. Although “fair” isn’t always possible, insomuch as you are able to be fair, be fair.

    We need elected officials who are prepared to fight back against the abuse of county government. Cities are not just a place where counties can take from without giving back. The county has obligations and responsibilities within this city and it needs to be forced to live up to those obligations. If the county takes from us for the purposes and under the auspices of providing us with some service, then by God make sure that they provide the service for which they are taxing us, is that too much to ask? If they don’t provide the service for which they tax us be prepared to file suit again and again, including writ of mandamus to force them to provide the service until a judge decides, and make the county be accountable until you break their habit of taking from us without giving back. Does that make sense?

    We need people in office who have backbone and a strong will power.

    We need people who will serve with honor and dignity.

    We need people of good moral character and a sense of right and wrong.

    We need people who can restore faith in government.

    We need people who will do what is right even though it isn’t the easiest or most expedient thing that can be done.

    We need a body of politicians who will hold themselves accountable and who won’t embarrass us or shame us or make us look like laughing stocks. This current commission is the best I have seen for quite some time, if you run for office please make sure that you are going to improve it by making your presence on the scene. It has take a lot of work to get to this point, we do not need to regress. We finally have a commission that is doing good things, let’s keep it going. (Don’t get me wrong, I disagree with why they raise the property tax rate, however, other things seem to be going in the right direction).

    Can you be the person who brings what it takes to hold the county accountable? Will you do something about the lack of service here? Will you do something about how they are taking adequate facilities taxes from this city and using for things other than what they should be? Will you work tirelessly to right the wrongs? Does the job mean more to you than just having your name on a placard saying “District 1 Commissioner”? Is the job something more to you than an extra paycheck? Are you in it for you, or are you in it for us? Are you able to lay down your agenda for the agenda of the people? If you have some philosophical difference from what the masses have, can you lay aside your philosophical beliefs and vote the will of the people? Could you and would you sponsor legislation and take appropriate action against someone on the commission if they did something wrong? Would you move that the commission remove an officer who doesn’t obey the law? If the commission were to vote to spend money to file a lawsuit on behalf of a commissioner so that they can fight against the will of the people in an election, what would you do about it?

    At the end of the day, if you are going to be in politics, you have to struggle every day to keep your honor and integrity, you have to be able to go home everyday and look your wife and kids in the eye, and yourself in the mirror, and be able to say that you did your best and you did the right thing. If you aren’t willing to hold yourself to the highest of standards, then don’t run. We need people in office who will always and forevermore do that right thing, even if it hurts. Are you that guy? Are you willing to do more than that for which you are paid? Are you willing to fully immerse into the job and give it all you have to give? Are you running for ego purposes or are you running to serve? Make sure you are doing it for the right reasons.

    Many men and women have sacrificed, some giving all, in return for ownership of the seats of government, and no politician should ever take the position or attitude that the seat on which they sit is “theirs”. It isn’t “theirs”, it is “ours”, and they are there to sit in it and do our will, not their will. Every politician in this county is a volunteer. There is no whining about the job, about how hard it is, about how much it takes from you, if you volunteer for the job be prepared to suck it up, shut it up, and do the job, no whining and no complaining. Also, no trying to get out of it more than what the job pays and certainly don’t try to get out of it more than that which you put into it.

    Are you that guy? Can we count on you to do the right thing even if you don’t agree with what the people want? If you can’t do that then stay home. However, if you are the guy, then I and many others will support you. I understand that Floyd will be running for Mayor, which if true, will leave district 1 open. It may become a race between you and Ray Justice. That will not be a race easily won. A lot of people in his district know him. You will have to do a lot of door-knocking and hand-shaking if you hope to win. Proving to people that you have a deep understanding of the issues and you have a plan will be paramount for you. I would be willing, if you would like, to help you shape that plan, if you are serious about winning and if you are willing to shake my hand, look me in the eye, and swear that you are the guy I have described. I will take you at your word until you prove your word is of no value, then I will oppose you in much the same way that I have opposed Ray Justice and Linda Elam, and if you have been watching, you would have seen that I have been very, very active against their misdeeds. I will support those who would do right just as ardently and intensely as I go against those who do wrong. To act in any other manner would be disingenuous. Be that guy, and you have my support if you want it.

    It has to matter to you. Even though through the ages it won’t matter, it has to matter here and now. You have to go about the job with the level of seriousness that projects to the people that there is nothing more important that you could be doing right now than serving them. It has to matter. It has to matter because of the blood of those who sacrificed so that we can have the freedoms and powers as citizens that are afforded to us by God, and by our constitutions. Jonathan, it has to matter to you because you are being watched by those who you respect and care for and you want them to be rightfully proud of you and respect you. Are you that guy? Can we count on you? Will you do the right thing even if it hurts?

  171. WTF? I can get this dime store zen from Ray. Mr. Brydalski, what is your detailed plan and how will it be funded?

    RP

  172. Butch Huber

    R.P, you have to know what the lay of the land is and what the score of the game is before you know how to put a plan together. I seriously doubt that Mr. Brydalski has a plan. In reality, I doubt that Mr. Brydalski even really knows where to start with a detailed plan. The issues are so complex and so intertwined that it is doubtful that there are more than a handful of people in this county who even have a clue as to what a plan should look like. If Mr. Brydalski doesn’t look at the entire spectrum of what is happening in this city and this county he would likely vote to establish a city fire department without ever doing anything to bring tax equity in this county. That would ensure that the fire protection issue would remain a burning issue for many years to come.

    There is an experiment that is called the funnel experiment. In that experiment you suspend a funnel above a table. In the center of the table is a spot marked with an “x”. The object is to drop marbles through the funnel one at a time, watch where it rolls, and then make corrections as appropriate and necessary in order to ensure that when the marble stops rolling after hitting the table as close to the the “x” as possible. During the experiment, the participants drop a marble through the funnel, it hits the table, and rolls in a certain direction. The participants typically move the funnel equi-and-opposite distance from the mark as the marble rolled from the mark. The thought is that the next marble will roll in the same direction as it did the first time and for the same distance and the next marble will land right on top of the “X”. However, the marble doesn’t do the same thing as it did the first time, in fact, it rolls in another direction all together. The participants then try to triangulate the two results with the position of the funnel and they make a correction, only this time the marble does something else altogether. The best thing to do in that experiment is to put the funnel over the “X” and leave it there. You get the best dispersion around the “X” by doing nothing. The zen of this is, instead of going off half-cocked thinking you have a solution, make sure that your solution doesn’t leave you worse off than you were before.

    Mr. Brydalski needs to understand, as do the others, the complexities and intricacies of the issues and fully grasp the details in order to come up with the solution, however, there is the other component that has to be dealt with as well. You have a media in this county that seems bent on leading the public to believe that this is a city issue, when it is clearly a county issue. Remember, we don’t have a Mt. Juliet fire station, we have station 3 that covers zone 3 and station 4 that covers zone 4, those are county stations, run by the county, how can Mr. Brydalski as a city commissioner force the county to do what is right unless he goes into this ready to take them to court? He has to have all his ducks in a row in order to know how, when, why, and for what to take the county to court.

    Mr. Brydalski, as far as I am concerned, you don’t need a plan, I will give you one. You can use mine. I will help you make it as detailed and specific as you would like. I will educate you about this issue to the point where you can use your bully pulpit to educate the public that the problem isn’t Mt. Juliet, but rather the county, and that we need a city commission that will stand up for the citizens of this city.

    Just say, “My plan is Butch Huber’s Plan” and let it go at that. It would take you an awful lot of time and energy to get the level of understanding of this issue that is necessary in order to develop an alternative plan to what I have proposed and frankly, you don’t have the time before election day. It sounds self-promoting, I know, but really it isn’t. Don’t use my name, just copy my plan, paste your name on it, and say, “here’s my plan”. I don’t care about the credit, I care about the solution. Mark it up whatever way you want, but don’t change the result. However, if you change it, please don’t stick my name on it as it won’t be my plan then and I don’t want credit or blame for something I didn’t put the final stamp of approval on.

    Look around the county, there simply isn’t another plan out there. From as far as I can see, my plan is the only formulated and detailed plan that accomplishes the end result that the county wants, which is Mt. Juliet in the fire department business, and that accomplishes what we want, which is to have adequate fire protection that we only pay for once.

    If you believe you have another plan that is appropriate, I would love to see what you have.

    Mr. Brydalski, this is the most burning issue in this county, and if you would like to be able to articulate the variables of the issue and promote a solution, I suggest that you plan on spending quite a bit of time with me, I can save you a massive amount of study time. You could quite possibly be the most informed candidate in the race if you take me up on this offer.

    R.P. I love ya, guy, but give the guy a little breathing room, the race hasn’t even started yet. If you don’t want Ray back in that seat, you won’t want to run off potential candidates before they even get started.

  173. Butch,
    My zen comment was not about your zen. Your zen is top shelf. The timing of your post and mine didn’t jive right. As in all things, timing is everything. My issue is with Jonathan and his posts so far. They appear to be better suited for fortune cookies…re-read and see if you don’t hear Confucius saying, ” Always good to get new ideas about the future”. or “Thoughts and ideas from many sources always helps”.

    I’ll have the lo mein.

    RP

  174. Butch,
    That is huge of you to just give that plan away. My hat will forever be off to YOU. What these wanna be’s should know is that it would take but a single cell of gray matter to accept such a gracious offer. All they need to fix this situation (both holding the county accountable AND providing adequate fire/ems service to the citizens of this city) is right here in these posts on this blog. Folks like Publius, Sonny, YOU, Shawn, Chris have SELFLESSLY given of your education and experience to provide for the greatest need of this community at present. Anyone that feels differently should do some very serious soul searching.
    As far as the breathing room for Mr. Brydalski…well, I made it very clear that I would hold them to their words. My feeling is he is a grown man and I want him to know (as I want all others to know) that He better know what he is doing because I KNOW WHAT HE IS DOING and I know at what cost. As far as Ray..the ONLY reason he is running is to avenge himself for the 33 absentee votes Ted used to whoop him last time. His intent has NOTHING to do with serving others. He has already had a shot to make a difference on this issue and HE DID NOT DO SQUAT. He did not have a plan/clue then and NOTHING HAS CHANGED. It would not behoove him to announce his intentions here…but he is welcome. ..and he need be ready right off the bat as well.
    They should be so lucky as to have in their heart what you do.

    RP

  175. Butch Huber

    R.P,

    Yes, let’s hold them accountable, but let’s help them also. I have come to know that politics is a place where evil lurks waiting for a place to work. People who run for office need good men and women to hold them accountable and to hold them up and keep them on the straight and narrow. I don’t think it is enough to elect someone and go away, I think we need to be very involved in the process. I appreciate the kind words. However, I think we all know that “my plan” isn’t really “my plan”, but rather it is the culmination of so many posts and so many pieces of advice and so many people pointing in the right direction. Yes, it is uniquely mine in that I sat down and wrote the words, however, there was a whole lot of people, yourself included, that help shaped the thoughts and develop the knowledge that went into that plan. In reality, it is “our” plan, using my words. It is 5 or 6 years of work and learning to communicate with one another and development of trust all wrapped up in one plan. I guess I really shouldn’t call it, “my plan” anymore, however, I don’t want to include people who don’t agree with the plan as authors out of respect for them. Perhaps we should refer to it as “the solution” or the “Radiofree solution”. If we can get three or four city commissioners to adopt the radiofree solution and then take it to the county commissioners and get 13 of them onboard then we have a workable plan. All we need to do is convince a total of 16 people, surely we can do that, can’t we?

  176. I would hope that we could…easily, if not, then convince the 20+thousand affected tax paying citizens and see if they could convince the 16 needed by replacing them at the voting booth with a new RP tested and Butch Huber/RFMJ posters approved 16.

    RP

  177. Butch Huber

    I may have just found something earth shattering in the matter of fire protection services in Wilson County. It appears that the last resolution establishing a countywide fire department is 95-5-4, which clearly states that it is establishing fire taxing districts in Wilson County and the county mayor, county attorney, and county finance director were all directed to negotiate with the Municipalities of Wilson County for the inclusion of those cities into the county fire districts. Mt. Juliet opted to be included in the fire district! There does not appear to be any subsequent county resolution that altered or amended county resolution 95-5-4, therefore, if I am correct, the county is derelict in its duty and obligation to establish fire districts and include Mt. Juliet in the district. It appears that, with the approval of the amendment to the countywide fire department, the county mayor at that time unilaterally opted to use the alternative funding authorization provided in the Rochelle amendment without county commission approval and it appears that every county mayor since that time has continued the practice of violating county resolution 95-5-4. I just sent out a letter to County Attorney Mike Jennings addressing this issue and I included every politician and paper involved in that email, including the Governor.

    If I am correct, the county would be guilty of violating the law since 1995 with regard to how it funds fire protection services in this county! This could be the foundational evidence that Mt. Juliet is not, and never has been, responsible for the lack of service in this city! The city agreed in writing to pay a fire tax when the county asked the city if the city wanted to be included in the fire districts, and it appears that there is no legal authorization for the county to avoid such fire tax districts absent the approval of a county resolution in the future. Wow, if this is what I think it is, this is a major game changer in Wilson County!

  178. Butch Huber

    Also, in reference to my last post, the county was ordered by a judge to establish fire tax districts, and until such time as the county approves a resolution authorizing the county to fund the countywide fire department through the alternative funding authorization of amended TCA 5-17-101, it would seem that the county is in violation of a court order! Uh oh!

  179. Sonny Griffin

    Mr. Brydalski,

    The thing I didn’t like about your response to RP’s questions was that there was no response from you that I am aware of. You seemed to just ignore him.

    Maybe that was a common trait for commissioners of the past but I don’t think that dog will hunt for future commissioners.

    I agree with RP that you must have some kind of plan before you throw your hat in the ring. Otherwise, why would you?

    Sonny Griffin

  180. Butch Huber

    Sonny, R.P., in light of my last two posts, it would appear that the first plan must either be for the county to establish fire tax districts and levy a fire tax and include Mt. Juliet in the fire taxing districts “OR” repeal 95-5-4 and put in its place another resolution establishing a countywide fire department pursuant to TCA 5-17-101 and funded through one of the two alternative forms of funding provided for by the amendment to the countywide fire department laws. We have to go back to the last legal construction of the countywide fire department and work from there. The plan, therefore, must be to determine the legal construction of the countywide fire department in light of the relevant laws and ordinances before we do anything else.

  181. Sonny,
    Thanks. He may be able to ignore the question here, but he will not be able to ignore or even deflect at a public debate. The question WILL BE PRESENTED to him personally and he will be held accountable for his answer right then and there…same goes for Ray, etc, etc.

    Butch,
    That is HONKIN’ huge. Please advise if you need assistance or air support.

    RP
    “everyday I’m shuffling”

  182. BTW,
    just got a City Update from P.T. Barnum Robertson and in paragragh 2 he asks if we have any questions about our property tax. He gives us a website to visit and leaves us with a follow the menu direction…problem is when i went to the website an entered the menu, I did not find a WTF!!! were you thinking function. Go figure.
    RP

  183. Butch Huber

    Just sent out an email to the county mayor regarding the discovery that I made earlier today. I let him know that I consider him to have been informed, based on the information provided, that the county is illegally operating the countywide fire department in contravention to a court order and in contravention to the county’s own resolution. He is responsible for any unnecessary harm that comes to anyone in this county until such time as he take proper and appropriate action in accordance with county resolutions and court orders. Continuing to disobey a court order and county resolution is probably ground for ouster. This is serious. Unless they can provide proof that the county voted subsequent to resolution 95-5-4 to do something differently in regard to funding fire protection services, the mayor is obligated by duty to do what the will of the commission was in 95.

  184. Don’t mess with Obi Wan Research Ninja “these are not the droids you are looking for” Huber. WOW! Message to all you wanna be politicians…You don’t know your stuff? …I’ll let Butch off his chain, he’ll bring it to your office. We deliver. Do you?
    RP

  185. Butch Huber

    Guys, I can’t tell you how interesting it is that after years of study on the issue of fire protection I continue to see more things as the onion is peeled back again and again on this subject. The county is had. They have to deal with this now. They passed a resolution in 1995 that says that they are establishing fire tax districts, it described the boundaries of the fire taxing districts, it laid out everything and then directed the County Attorney, the County Mayor, and the County Finance Director to negotiate with the Municipalities in Wilson County for their inclusion into the fire tax districts. Apparently there was a meeting between the mayor of the county, the County Attorney, and/or the county finance director regarding the inclusion of the municipalities into the county fire tax districts. Lebanon opted out stating that they had what they needed, Watertown and Mt. Juliet both joined the fire tax districts.

    Let’s be clear, if there is no other county resolution that changed the way that the county funds the countywide fire department pursuant to 95-5-4, then we have fire districts in Wilson County and Mt. Juliet is a part of those fire districts. The county is responsible for levying a fire tax and using that tax to provide fire protection services to the areas covered by those fire taxes.

    Here is a huge part of this…..wait for it………. Remember, Lebanon opted out of the fire tax districts. The county, in 95-5-4, established that the purpose of the establishment of the countywide fire department was for the purpose of taking on all powers and DUTIES pursuant to T.C.A. 5-17-2 inclusive. That means “ALL” of the services and operations contemplated in 5-17-2, which includes rescue and ambulance and all other emergency services provided by the Countywide Fire Department through WEMA. It appears to me that we really do have fire districts in Wilson County and because Mt. Juliet and Watertown opted in to those districts they can legally be provided all of the services now offered by the Countywide Fire Department through WEMA, however, Lebanon cannot be provided those services because Lebanon never opted into the Countywide Fire Department Fire taxing districts! The operation of Station 1 inside of Lebanon would appear to be illegal!

    I am so glad that I found this before my meeting with the auditor! You see, in order to have a proper audit they have to look at how things are supposed to be done, not how they are done. There is no way that the auditor can produce anything that suggests that the county is actually conducting its operations according to law. It seems that somehow the county government just completely ignored its own resolution and completely ignored the orders of a sitting judge!

    The city has a right to now file a writ of mandamus to the county judge asking that he enforce the ruling that the County establish fire districts and fund the countywide fire department using fire taxes! How could the judge refuse? He is the same judge that ordered the county to establish the fire districts in the first place!!!!! Hahahahaha!!!!!!

    The county appears to have established the fire districts as ordered, however, they never funded the fire department through fire taxes!!!!

    Man, the hits just keep rolling!

  186. Butch Huber

    What was sent to the mayor of the county:

    Mayor Hutto,

    I sent a letter to the county attorney today outlining a new discovery that I made regarding emergency services in Wilson County. Please be advised that I am considering this email as evidence that I have advised you that the county appears to be in direct violation of a court order and it further appears that the county is in violation of its own resolution.

    I included you in the letter that I sent to County Attorney Mike Jennings, however, I want to make sure that you are fully aware and have been directly informed of this issue. I want you to be able to be held accountable if you continue to ignore the fact that the county is operating the County Wide Fire Department illegally and in the process is jeopardizing the safety of the citizens of this county. You will be held responsible if someone is needlessly harmed because this county refuses to accept that it is not operating the fire department according to a court order or according to a county resolution that directs how the depart is to be funded. I like you, and I don’t want to see you get into hot water, however, continued efforts on your part to deflect the responsibilities of your office by saying that fire service in Mt. Juliet is Mt. Juliet’s issue to deal with are not helpful to you and I advise you to discontinue that tactic and actually accept that the county is operating illegally.

    If you cannot produce a county resolution that is approved after 95-5-4 that repeals or rescinds 95-5-4 or that substantially modifies it in such a manner that it says that the county is electing to use the alternative method of funding option provided by 5-17-101 after having been amended by the Bob Rochelle amendment, then it is clear that the county commission last voted to fund the countywide fire department through fire taxes as ordered by Judge C.K. Smith. This is true even if Judge C.K. Smith later happened to vacate his ruling or change his ruling. The only way that the county could legally be funding the countywide fire department using situs based taxes collected in the unincorporated portions of the county “OR” other sources of revenues that have already been shared with the Municipalities is if the county commission approved a resolution stating that is their will and directing the county finance director, WEMA director, and/or the Mayor to do so. Based on the fact that County Attorney Mike Jennings did not reference any such resolution in his memo that he drafted in 2006, but rather says that it is his understanding that the county is paying for fire service using the alternative funding option, I do not believe you will be able to produce any such resolution. If you are not able to produce that resolution, then it is incumbent upon you to take this matter to the county commission and inform the commissioners that the county has been remise in its duties and obligations under 95-5-4 and that you must begin immediately to prepare to operate the County Fire department according to the directives included in 95-5-4 unless the county commission votes to authorize the county to fund the countywide fire department using one of the two funding options, other than fire taxes, provided for in 5-17-101. However, before you endeavor to do that, you should also prepare to separate out all services other than fire suppression from the Countywide Fire department so that you could actually cover the costs using one of the two alternative forms of funding authorized by 5-17-101. However, before you endeavor to do that, you should determine exactly how you are going to get authorization for the county to operate a rescue squad and hazmat response and water rescue and ambulance and all those other functions outside the authorization provided for in 5-17-101. Before you do that, you should contemplate what the emergency services operations in this county will look like if you break them all up into separate operations. While you are contemplating that, you should also contemplate how exactly you are going to fund those operations. You see, it appears to me that, if you break up those services from the fire department, they have to be funded through sources of money that are not property taxes. If you do that, there will not be any money remaining to pay for fire suppression using already shared revenues or situs based revenues. If I am correct you will have to pay for the fire department using fire taxes! You get back to fire taxes both ways, Mayor Hutto. Wouldn’t it just be easier for you to actually do the will of the county commission in 95-5-4 and establish fire districts? Really? Why do we have to go through this? The county commission voted, we indicated that we want to be a part of the county fire district, so what’s the problem?

    Mayor, we don’t see eye to eye on things, however, I don’t believe you are an evil person. Please, before someone is needlessly harmed or killed, do the right thing. Stop this madness. The county commission has established fire districts, it directed the county attorney to negotiate with the cities as to whether or not they want to be a part of the countywide fire district, Mt. Juliet said yes, let’s go! You see, the ball is in your court. This is, after all, a county problem, Mayor Hutto.

    Respectfully,

    Butch Huber

  187. Butch Huber

    What was sent to Mike Jennings:

    Dear Mr. Jennings;

    I have been going over some documents that I have in my possession in preparation for my upcoming meeting with the auditor that was hired by the City of Mt. Juliet for the purpose of auditing the counties (TYPO) books to ensure that we have tax equity in Wilson County and within the City of Mt. Juliet. During my study, I discovered something that I had not noticed previously during my extensive research in to this matter. As you are aware, the county passed resolution 94-12-15 establishing a countywide fire department. Then, in 1995, the county passed a subsequent county resolution known as 95-5-4. I know that you are aware of this resolution because you have referenced it in a memo you drafted. later, in 1996, the County approved resolution 96-4-21. Resolution 95-5-4 would seem to be a replacement for resolution 94-12-15.

    95-5-4 says,
    Wheras, the wilson county commission has previously adopted resolution 94-12-15 creating a county-wide fire department and assigning the duties of that county-wide fire department to the existing Wilson County Emergency Management Agency; and
    Whereas, in the cases of Corley and Alsup vs. Wilson County, Tennessee, Chancellor C.K. Smith has ordered wilson County to assess a fire tax pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated 5-17-101 et seq beginning with the fiscal year July 1, 1995: and
    Wheras, with the intention of complying with the order of the Court, and the statutes at Tennessee Code Annotated 5-1-101 et seq, Wilson County does hereby adopt this resolution,

    Now, therefore, be it resolved by the board of county commissioners of wilson county, tennessee as follows:

    1. There is hereby created a County Wide fire Department Pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated 5-17-101(a).
    2. The county wide fire department shall have the purpose of providing fire protection services to ALL of the county, pursuant to Tennessee Code annotated 5-17-101(a), and shall have ALL of the powers and duties contained and enumerated in Tennessee Code Annotated 5-17-102 inclusive.
    3. The powers and duties of the county wide fire department are hereby delegated to the existing WIlson COunty emergency Management Agency, pursuant to Tennessee Code annotated 5-17-101(b), and the department shall continue to be known as the wilson county emergency management agency, with the same administrative and support structure.
    4. There shall be created, after proper statutory notice is given, a fire taxing district consisting of all real property located within Civil Districts 1, 2, 3, 22, 23, 24, and 25, excluding any real property within the corporate city limits of any municipalities within these civil districts. The district shall be known as the “fast response fire taxing district”. Included within this taxing district are those stations presently existing at Gladeville, Lakeview, and Mt. Juliet with fire fighting equipment.
    5. There shall be created, after proper statutory notice is given, a fire taxing district consisting of all real property located within Civil Districts 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,and 21, excluding any real property within the corporate city limits of any municipality located within these civil districts. These districts shall be known as the “delayed response fire taxing districts”. This delayed district shall pay one-third (1/3) the total costs for fire fighting services.
    6. It is the intention of this resolution that any of the fire fighting equipment and/or staff located within the fast response fire taxing district may be used to fight a fire at any location within this district. Additionally, this equipment and/or staff may be used as a backup responder to any fire in the county.
    7. Skipped as it is not important to my point.
    8. Skipped as it is not important to my point.
    9. Skipped as it is not important to my point.
    10. Skipped as it is not important to my point.
    11. County executive Val Kelly, Finance director Rob Gilbert, and County Attorney Michael R. Jennings are hereby directed to enter into negotiations with the elected office holders of Wilson County’s three municipalities to contract to provide any and all services of the department, including fire fighting services, to the municipalities in return for the municipalities agreeing that its citizens will pay a fire tax rate at the rate set for the fire taxing district, or for the municipaly to pay a yearly sum, in cash or in kind, equal to the fire tax rate on the real property in the Municipality.

    Mr. Jennings, this was supposed to take effect in the 1995-1996 budget year.

    Although this resolution, for whatever reason, does not repeal 94-12-15, it clearly replaces or supplants the previous resolution and puts in its place this resolution.

    County Resolution 96-4-21 does not replace 95-5-4, but rather amends a portion of it that is contained in section 10.

    In a memo written by you, dated January 5, 2006, you admit that resolution 95-5-4 directed you to negotiate with the municipalities of Wilson County for them to be included in the fire tax districts. You go on to state that you sent out a letter to that effect to the mayor’s of each of the municipalities asking if they wanted to be contracted with the county under the fire districts. Your memo goes on to say that Mt. Juliet indicated that it did want to be included in the fire districts.

    In your memo, you go on to say that the subsequent amendment to T.C.A. 5-17-101 gives counties an alternative method of funding its countywide fire departments. You say that it is your understanding that that “we now fund the firefighting portion of the Wilson Emergency Management Agency through this alternative method.”

    What I found that was so interesting is that you mention no county resolution that was approved that authorized the funding of fire protection services through this alternative funding method. I have not been able to find any such resolution either. It would seem that if there were any such resolution you would have referenced it. It appears that the county’s last resolution establishing a countywide fire department included the establishment of fire districts and it appears that you are not able to provide evidence of a subsequent resolution stating otherwise. I also find it interesting that in your memo you segregated the “Fire fighting portion of the Wilson Emergency Management Agency” from the other services provided under County Resolution 95-5-4. If you cannot present a resolution that segregates “Fire fighting portions of costs of the wilson emergency agency” from other services provided through the resolution directing the establishment of the countywide fire department, which as part of its body states that it is establishing the countywide fire department for the purpose of taking on all the powers and duties enumerated in 5-17-102 inclusive, then isn’t it true that ALL services provided by WEMA in the ordinary and routine operation of its duties are part of the countywide fire department?

    Mr. Jennings, it appears to me that the county is in serious dereliction of its obligations under 95-5-4 which specifically called for the establishment of fire tax districts.

    So, here is my request pursuant to the open records laws of Tennessee. Please prepare to either present to me physical evidence of county resolutions 94-12-15, 95-5-4, 96-4-2, and any and all subsequent resolutions approved by the county commission which relate to emergency services of any kind; make all county resolutions available for my review; or otherwise concede to me that the county has not approved any subsequent resolution that altered or replaced 95-5-4 and admit that the county is derelict in following its own resolution and that it has no authority to fund fire protection services in Wilson County other than through fire tax districts. Mt. Juliet has officially indicated that it is interested in being a part of the countywide fire department fire districts and it did so in a letter dated June 8, 1995, stating, “In accordance with our meeting on June 8, 1995, please be advised the City of Mt. Juliet does choose to contract with Wilson County concerning the fire taxing districts.” I believe your version in your memo regarding the actual verbiage in this letter from the city to the county was not exactly what was stated by the city. The city specifically stated that it was interested in becoming a part of the county fire districts.

    It would seem that there was never any official action taken by the county commission to authorize the funding of the countywide fire department using the alternative methods of funding outlined in TCA 5-17-101 as amended by the proposed amendment presented to the general assembly by Bob Rochelle. If I am correct, then the county has to either repeal and replace county ordinance 95-5-4 or establish fire districts pursuant to county ordinance 95-5-4. I believe that the county is and has been illegally funding the countywide fire department since the effective date of county ordinance 95-5-4. Mr. Jennings, that is a long, long time for the county to be illegally funding fire protection services in this county!

    In the Cc. above I have included every county commissioner for whom I am able to find an email address. Each and every county commissioner who has received this email is now responsible for knowledge of this apparent violation of the county resolution, as is the county mayor, so please take this issue with the utmost of seriousness. As county attorney, it is your duty to advise and counsel the commission as to the law and how it relates to the business of the county. If I am correct, I need not tell you, that you are obligated to advise the county commission that they are operating outside the law. I realize that you have no obligation to answer legal questions for me, and I am not asking you to answer legal questions for me, however, if I am correct in my beliefs as presented here, it would be dereliction of duty of the commission not to take appropriate action on this and I believe it would be dereliction of duty on your part not to advise them of this matter. Thank you for your professional response to this information.

    Finally, I do not wish to be charge for presentment of materials in response to this email. Instead, I would be willing to meet with you in person and review the actual documents free of charge pursuant to the Tennessee Open Records laws. If I need to put this information on a formal request for information I would be more than happy to do so, however, I am hoping that we can avoid any unnecessary formalities in my request for this information and instead get right at the heart of the matter.

    To the Governor, if you are reading this, please notice that I am doing all that I can to get this county to do what is right and what is legal. At some point I believe that it may be necessary for you to step in and assist in this issue. This is about the illegal taking of tax money from one governmental territory for use in other territories, which is nothing more than stealing from one group of money and giving it to another. That is a practice that the State Government, which grants the permission for both Wilson County and Mt. Juliet the right to exist, must be interested in ending in Tennessee.

    Respectfully,

    Butch Huber

  188. Butch Huber

    I just sent out an email to the city commission asking them what they are prepared to do, if anything, with the information that I have just provided to them. Waiting for an answer.

  189. Sonny Griffin

    Should be interesting, Butch.

    Let’s hope for the best.

    They need a resolution for a full investigation of the matter, including subpoena power.

    The first witness should be Jennings. Cut to the chase.

  190. Butch Huber

    Jennings will claim attorney client privilege, however, that is going to be difficult for him considering that he is the Mayor of Watertown and as acting Mayor of Watertown he can be compelled to testify regarding his knowledge and understanding of the events that have taken place in Wilson County. This is one of those pivotal points in time where you prove that it is a conflict of interest for the county attorney to be the mayor or commissioner of a city within the county, or for the county fire chief to be fire chief in a city, or……..

    I sure wish they would form a committee to investigate this matter and put me on it. I would love to dig in a drag this issue fully out into the light of day so that everyone can see what has happened thus far and so that everyone can see that there needs to be a countywide meeting where people can be educated as to the facts about fire protection and so that we can build a cohesive and comprehensive emergency services plan for Wilson County.

  191. Wow. Wouldn’t it be neat to have city representatives that had what it took to find what Butch has found. If this information turns out to be the pies de resistance to our fire/ems plight…crow pie for the five blind mice. Future hopefuls for city representatives should have to take achievement tests before declaring their intent to run.

    RP

  192. Butch Huber

    The county has really stepped in it now. The county mayor showed up in the commission meeting in Mt. Juliet tonight and produced documentation proving that in 1999 the county voted to utilize the alternative form of funding authorization provided for in the amendment sponsored by Bob Rochelle. The county used to charge a fire tax in Mt. Juliet. That fire tax appears to have been 17 cents per hundred dollars assessed value.

    Any services paid for using those fire taxes necessarily, unless there is a subsequent resolution of the county government that segregates ambulance, rescue, water rescue, hazmat, and other emergency services from the county wide fire department, are included in the countywide fire department.

    If those services that were paid for using fire taxes are necessarily included in the countywide fire department then there is no way that the county can pay for those services using only situs based taxes collected in the unincorporated portions of the county OR other sources of revenues that have already been shared with the Municipalities.

    This, I believe, is going to prove to be the smoking gun.

  193. Oy vey! The feline is out of the hand luggage. I hope you lathered his tail in appreciation. He loves big “thank you’s” for doing little bitty things. He wanted a ticker tape parade for getting the WEMA employees a ONE TIME 6% bonus that originally was an 8% across the board raise. Got his feelings hurt cause he didn’t get a group hug. Very sad.

    RP

  194. Butch Huber

    I met with the auditor today. I think that went well. I am going to do my best to ensure that the auditor hears the truth and does the right thing with it once he hears it.

    I have been trying to get official answers from the county on a couple questions for some time now and have still not gotten the answers.

    Question one: What emergency services are included in the countywide fire department and which emergency services are not included in the Countywide Fire Department.

    Question two: Of those services that are not included in the countywide fire department, what statutes allow the county to establish those services outside the countywide fire department and what sources of funding are being used to fund those services.

    Now, wouldn’t you think those would be fundamental questions that would be easy for a government to answer? So far I have not been able to get a straight, solid, official answer to those questions. Can anyone guess why? I suspect that I can’t get an answer because once that answer is given I can definitively prove that the county is in fact illegally funding the fire protection service and I can prove that they have to establish fire taxing districts and charge a fire tax.

    The countywide fire department laws state that the entire county outside of any municipality shall be one fire tax district and that cities can opt into the county fire tax district if they choose to do so. There should be no question that the county needs to increase the level of fire protection services available throughout the county. This inadequate fire protection issue is not isolated to Mt. Juliet.

    Let’s be honest, we all know that all emergency services provided by WEMA are part of the countywide fire department. Can we honestly say that we have enough ambulance service in this county? Anyone who has been spending any time whatsoever dealing with this issue can easily see that there is a darth of ambulance services in this county, however, if they increase the costs of the ambulance service they will tip the scale, even with their convoluted calculations as to the costs of the countywide fire department, on the funding options and force themselves into fire tax districts. The desire to avoid fire tax districts seems to be so strong that the county government would rather let little children die than to relent and do the right thing. Why? I think it has to be that someone is getting rich off of this scheme. It isn’t about the $7 million we pay for fire services, it has to be about something much bigger. The question is, “what is behind this deal?” What are they up to? Why are they fighting so hard to hang on to this deal?

    Before Bob Rochelle sponsored legislation to change the countywide fire department laws fire taxes were the only option to fund a countywide fire department. Where is Bob Rochelle from? I don’t know, but he seems to be from Lebanon. Why would he change that law? What was the motivation behind that amendment? At the time of the amendment we had fire taxes in this county, so why the change? What was the driving force? Was there some sort of problem with fire districts? Once the amendment passed the county jumped on the alternative form of funding for the countywide fire department. Why? What was their motivation? What was behind their actions?

    Now they seem ready to let people suffer in pain and die instead of relenting and doing things the right way. Why? What is their motivation? What is behind their actions?

    Doesn’t this all make you wonder? Doesn’t it at least make you think?

    Now, they want to blame Mt. Juliet, yet the county took on the responsibility to provide fire protection to “ALL” of the county. The county approached this city and asked this city to roll its services into the WEMA services being provided in this county and the city complied with their request. Now the county would just as soon let us die as to change back to fire taxes. Man, that has to get your attention, doesn’t it?

    In 2001 the property taxes in this county were $2.97 per $100 assessed value, today they are $2.437. Could it possibly be that the 53.3 cents difference in property taxes makes a huge difference to someone who owns a lot of property in this county? If you owned $200 million or more in property in this county (I don’t know if someone actually owns that much property) then it is possible that it could mean an awful lot of money to you each year to keep property taxes low. Could it be that there are some fat cats who are behind this? I don’t know the answer to that question, but it wouldn’t surprise me. For some not so fat cats it could mean the difference between making money and losing money I am sure. Could it be that this is all about a handful of people being able to take profits? You decide.

    I don’t know much for certain, but I do know this, for the county to say that Mt. Juliet is the problem is laughable. This little 20 square mile section of the 583 square miles in this county produces 25% or so of all revenues for the county yet receives the least amount of services per person of any area in the county, how could we possibly be the problem?

  195. Butch Huber

    Another day, I wonder if my answers will come to me today?

  196. Butch Huber

    Man are governments stubborn!

  197. Butch,
    Check and see if back in 1996 when the fire tax district resolution was passed if there was a law suit filed suing the county for such action. If memory serves to myself and those that I spoke to yesterday, There was a suit or threat of a suit over this legislature. I am not sure what the basis was, I will call Val Kelly and inquire. Either way, the resolution was never enacted although the 3 municipalities were queried as to their participation.

    Wilson County is Bob Rochelle’s 401k. Book it, Dano. Take it from RP, you can bet your ass, your cowboy hat, and your house cat on that one.

    If anyone thinks MJ is the problem, then I got some swamp land just south of Scotsdale, AZ I’m lookin’ to unload. Gladeville, LaGuardo, and Norene better be paying attention…you are next.

    Please contact your city reps and plead with them not to do anything STUPID like building a building for the county to put an ambulance in, and then when THEY DO NOT, going half ass in on doing the ambulance under the direction of some building codes poser that is worming his way in to be the first chief of the MJFD for personal satisfaction and gain. He does not know anything about firefighting and even less about ems!!! Please do not do something stupid just to say you did something before the election cycle. Stand up and defend your ineptitude like a man and just be honest to the voters and say, ” I do not know anything about what it takes to run a fire department”. For every 2 ambulances you have on the sreet you better have a spare. WEMA has 8 ambulances and 3 spare. Currently, they have 3 trucks in the shop and the 3 spares are on the road. If one goes down today, then the one from LaGuardo or Carthage Hwy will come out of zone and the citizens there will be without. DO NOT DO ANYTHING UNTIL YOU GET SOMONE WHO KNOWS ON THE COUNCIL OR CONSULT. My suggestion is you get with Butch and help him fast track this 1995 resolution for fire tax districts and do it FAST!!! Better to do something right the first time, eh? Do not listen to your little fire inspector wannabe. He is getting you primed for a screwin’! The fire service is littered with wannabes that are in over the heads either because few people understand the fire service and are easily impressed with BS certificates or they choose someone in the boys club that thinks they know it all (just look at WEMA’s current leadership and line up) and they are in OVER THEIR HEADS!

    Have a nice day.

    RP

  198. Butch,
    are you referring to the ill willed politicians with self serving agendas as the governments? Cuz if you are…you are right.

    Def. #2–A person who acts in a manipulative and devious way, typically to gain advancement. e.g. politians that do not want their ignorance made public but are too lazy to learn what they need to know AND/OR little wormers that have a butt load of certificates that mean nothing and do not translate into positions as important as public safety or service. A red golf shirt with a generic gold badge does not a chief make.

    RP

  199. Ask him if he has ever been investigated on ANY level. State or local…and then do your homework…that’s TRUE representation.

    RP

  200. Old Blevins

    Butch, it’s impossible to hit a home run on this issue, but you’ve come the closest. With a couple of others offering sac flies and hits, you are rounding third heading for home. Hopefully ‘outfielders’ Hutto and Jennings and bat boy Jewell won’t cut you- and Mt. Juliet- down at home plate.

  201. Butch Huber

    Still no answer to my question. Guys, they know their next move puts them in checkmate, so they are stalling. They are looking for a way not to answer that question. If our city commission just pushes to get that answer, and forces them to answer under threat of being subpoenaed if they fail to answer, we can checkmate them. If you are reading, call your city commissioner and ask him to help me get the answer to the questions:

    In regard to the services that WEMA provides, what emergency services are a part of the countywide fire department and what emergency services are not a part of the countywide fire department?

    In regard to those emergency services that WEMA provides that are not a part of the Countywide Fire department, please name the state statute under which the county has established those services and which county resolution/s established those services outside the countywide fire department?

    Call your county commissioner and ask him or her to push for the answer as well.

    Why would the county not want to answer those questions? Because they know by answering those questions their whole shell game collapses. They are probably working on how to answer the questions without having their game end, but there is no way to answer without that happening.

  202. Butch Huber

    Sony, good link. I am not sure that MTAS is getting that part about TVA in lieu of property tax payment, though. If that tax is paid to the cities based on assets that are located throughout the entire county, and if those taxes are not collected into one pot, then split between the cities and the county on the basis that the money given to the cities is for the benefit of the citizens of the city and the money given to the counties is for the benefit of JUST those citizens who live in the unincorporated, it would seem that TVA in lieu of revenues could not be used to pay for the countywide fire department. The reason that I say that is because, according to 5-17-101, the revenues that are collected through the alternative forms of taxes are for the purpose of providing fire protection services just for those areas of the county that are not incorporated. If the TVA payment to the county includes money that is supposed to be a benefit to those who live in the cities as well then it would seem that to use TVA money to pay for services that are only provided to the unincorporated portion of the city would deprive me of the enjoyment of benefits that I otherwise would have had a right to enjoy. I think that sets things up as a potential federal lawsuit against the state or a lawsuit against the county. Even the general assembly doesn’t have a right to violate our rights.

  203. Sonny Griffin

    Butch, the following link describes the distribution of TVA In Lieu of Tax Payments:
    http://ctas-eli.ctas.tennessee.edu/reference/tva-lieu-tax-payments

    It seems to fit the definition of shared revenue between the county and the municipality.

    Butch, I am not a Rochelle fan, but it should be said that Senate Bill No. 508 was sponsored by three other senators, two Republicans and one Democrat, McNally, Leatherwood and Burks.

    Tommy Burks was a conservative Democrat who represented the 15th District which neighbors our 17th District. You might remember him because he was assassinated by his Republican political opponent. From all I ever heard, he was a good guy but he was a pig farmer from a rural area. Nuff said.

    One of the Republican Senators was from west Tennessee (Memphis area) and the other was from east Tennessee (Oak Ridge Area).

    So, it looks like the bill had sponsorship over a wide area.

    My point is, I don’t think we can blame Rochelle for the whole thing.

  204. Sonny Griffin

    All,

    I read my post after it was up for moderation and I want to make one thing absolutely clear. I have nothing against pig farmers or people who live in rural areas. I was just trying to show that Senator Burks was a farmer who lived in a rural area and that might have influenced his view point on rural fire protection. Hell, I grew up on a farm where we raised pigs also. Sorry about any misunderstanding.

  205. Dang Sonny, that was close. I’m glad you clarified that quickly. Me, Porky , Arnold, Babe, Wilbur, Miss Piggy, and the Chinny-chin-chin Posse were headed your way with an attitude and action. We were gonna cook your bacon…hahahahahahahahahaha. No worries, brother. Hope all is well with you, too.

    RP

  206. Butch Huber

    I wouldn’t know Rochelle if he were standing right in front of me. All I know is that he was part of that deal. He was also part of the 20 year growth act which requires that cities that are annexing territory have a plan of service, OTHER THAN THE COUNTY, for fire protection services. When you take that in context of what we know about the good ol’ boy network and what we know about the amendment to the countywide fire department and all, it seems suspicious to me. He also was the one who asked the attorney general to provide an opinion in U92, 134. He is involved. It may not be all his fault, but he is deeply involved.

  207. Butch Huber

    I received an email last night from Mayor Hutto. He says that he is working on the answers to my questions and that he has found something else that the county might want to consider. I cautioned him that if by “working on it” he meant that he was working on how to rejigger how the county is doing things to make it comport with the law that he shouldn’t do that because it could get him in some hot water and I don’t want to see him get in trouble because he is trying to make what the county has been doing appear legal. I told him I just want the truth about what the county is doing and has been doing and let the chips fall where they may. He assured me that he will be giving me the truth. He said I would have the information soon.

    Soon is a relative terms, however, I suspect I will have the answer sometime next week. I really don’t know why it takes so long to answer a question about how you are currently doing something, though. It would seem to me if I were running something I wouldn’t have a hard time explaining in just a few sentences how we do what we do. The amount of time that it seems to be taking to get the answers to my questions causes me to be suspicious.

  208. This ought to be interesting. For the record, the county’s fire/ems/rescue/haz-mat efforts have been the same since WCCD became WEMA. The roles, responsibilities, and regions have NOT changed…ever…at all. Do be sure and lather his tail feathers in thank you’s. He’ll get his feelings hurt if you don’t.

    RP

  209. Butch Huber

    Mayor Hutto has said that he is working on the answer to my questions, and that he will provide me with the answer, however, it is a wonderment why it would take a week or more to answer a question that, were I in his office, I could answer in seconds. I can answer the question here in seconds…”all non-police emergency services”. Four words, that’s all it takes to answer the question. Why does it take a week (or more) to answer a question that only takes four words to answer?

  210. It is a shame you cannot see his eyes when he tries to answer or hear his voice/see his facial expression or body language. However, research has shown the following:

    “…investigators says that long, detailed answers to otherwise simple questions can indicate a lie. It’s as if the more detail the person give the more he tries to convince the questioner he is being truthful”.

    I’ll be curious to see if rather early in his response if he tries to change the subject. Also a useful technique used by those with truth issues. e.g. politicians.

    Either way, better have a thank you card, fruit basket, and ticker tape parade ready…did I mention he is big on getting his thank you’s?

    RP

  211. Butch Huber

    I know you all are not going to believe it, but I still haven’t heard anything. How long does it take to answer a couple questions about how you routinely run government operations? Could something else be going on?

  212. Butch Huber

    Still no answer.

  213. Butch,
    444-1383 Get him on the line.
    RP

  214. Butch, Sonny, et al…

    made some calls the last couple of days to a few of the players at the time
    (1995) and the gist of the conversations is this. Yes, the resolution for fire tax district authorization was passed, but the opportunity to opt in/opt out was never offered to the incorporated parts of the county. The City of Lebanon threatened to sue the county for the proposed tax increase of county protection. Their argument was, “we have our own FD and we will not pay more (county taxes) for you (the rest of the county) to have yours”. Before any of this could sprout legs (fire tax district opts or Lebanon’ suit) Bob Rochelle (State Senator at the time) passed an amendment halting the essence of the fire tax district option. According to the sources, this was done in the dark of night. There was no discussion on the amendment…it was proposed, voted on , and passed. None of the ones I spoke with could readily recall the number of the amendment, but I bet I know someone who can. Super hero Captain Highfalooting Research Ninja Man…that’s you, Butch.

    RP

  215. Old Blevins

    Rumor has it the outgoing City Attorney from the last 20th century administration in Mt. Juliet had a shredding party before the 2000 elections. Maybe there is one going on in Lebanon now……?

  216. Butch Huber

    I think the resolution you are speaking of is S99-8-2. That is the amendment that authorized the county to fund the countywide fire department with either situs based taxes collected in the unincorporated portions of the county “OR” other sources of revenues that have already been shared with the Municipalities.

    The county did charge a fire tax. David Waynick opted us into the countywide fire district on June 8, 1995. Lebanon opted out. Watertown opted in. Watertown was in the delayed response fire district. Mt. Juliet was in the fast response fire district. I don’t know why Lebanon would have threatened to sue, they were not opted in so the county should not have been charging them a fire tax.

    Guys, someone has enlightened me to something else that is going to radically shake things up in this county. I have to get my arms wrapped around it and write about it in a way that I can conceptualize it well so that everyone understands its far reaching implications, but when I have that put together I think it is going to shake some people to their core. A lot of people who think that they have a say so in how things are done are going to find out that they don’t have the kind of say so that they thought that they did. The scope and focus gets narrower and narrower and as a result the intensity of the light shines brighter and brighter and gets hotter and hotter! Slowly, but surely, step-by-step, inch-by-inch, we are getting to a point where the county is completely being boxed in a corner with no way out. Sooner or later they are going to have to stop playing this shell game, institute fire districts and levy a fire tax, and we can then begin to build a brighter, safer, tomorrow.

    Why do you have to fight politicians to get the right things done in this country?! I want to increase coverage, help save lives, reduce pain and suffering, reduce, mitigate and offset costs, and increase effectiveness and efficiency. Why would anyone want to fight me on that?

  217. Butch Huber

    RP, I don’t want to get him on the line, I want to show the world that the county is obviously having problems with this set of questions.

  218. Butch Huber

    Still no answers.

  219. Sonny Griffin

    I just got my property tax bill.

    Does anybody know if this money is directed for fire protection services or does it just go to the infamous general fund?

    I noticed it is being collected by the city.

    Still haven’t heard from the Mayor, Butch? Could it be that they really don’t have an answer because nobody knows what the hell they have done?

    I really believe that they have been baffled by bull shit. The source of the bull shit will be very interesting.

  220. Taxation w/o Representation: A situation in which a government imposes taxes on a particular group of its citizens, despite the citizens NOT consenting or having a actual representative deliver their views when the taxation decision was made. Anybody ever hear of the 13 original colonies??? It was either going to pay Hutto to be our pimp since Ed was trying to whore us out to the county OR it was going to represent the Anti-Christ to the “shop MJ first” idea by being sent out of state to a fire service provider that did NOT want the job. Either way, I seriously doubt that any of the 5 blind mice or “circus randy” could tell you. I have heard on reliable source that the MJPD has made a request.

    RP

  221. P.S. I do hope they do not give it to Chief Dunlop, as in, my belly dun’ loped over my belt. You can look at someone in the service and tell if they have ever done the job OR can still do the job. Some morbidly obese wannabe with red polo, embroidered generic gold fire badge, and a stack of inspector certificates signifying nothing ain’t the guy. It’s like getting your hair cut from a bald barber or having a fat ass endocrinologist work up your diabetes plan…wrong person, wrong job, wrong result. Please city officials..do not look at the clock and panic. You ain’t done nothing to this point, don’t start doing something stupid just to say you did something. And do not take the easy road, do not make CHUBS the fire chief just because he seems convenient. That will be seen as stupid, too.

    RP

  222. Chief O'Hallarhan

    That is what was told to the citizens when voted on that the property tax would be used for fire protection.

    RP.. Chubs as Fire Chief that would be a good one… about as good as when his record from LaVerne and his other employers comes out of the closet…. The firefighters would eat him and his expert stack of code inspections certs for lunch… Playing the role in front of a bunch of elected officials and staff that don’t know anything about the business is one thing, quiet different in front of those who DO know the business like RP does

  223. Butch Huber

    Mayor Hutto says that he will share the answers with me “soon”, however, I can’t seem to get an answer as to what the word “Soon” means. I have even made an overture to him now saying that he doesn’t even have to answer the question if he will just ask me for help. I told him that he has already as much as admitted that the county is illegally funding and operating the service through words that he has spoken, looks in his eyes and on his face, and tones of his voice. He knows, and I know, and he knows that I know that he knows, that the county can’t possibly be funding and operating the countywide fire department legally. I have advised him to just give up trying to make it all legal the way that they have been doing things and just ask me to help him. I have no need to rub the county’s nose in anything, I just want to fix the problem. This issue, as well as our property taxes, seem to be the most divisive issues we face in this county, if we can overcome them we can do just about anything.
    Sometimes you just lay down your arms and shake hands and start working together, in concert, to solve issues. This is one of those times. If a victory is necessary, victory for Mt. Juliet is certain. I don’t think victory is necessary. I think communication and cooperation are necessary. It would be so hard to remedy the past it simply isn’t worth it, it is time to forge ahead with a new plan and a new attitude. I don’t know if their pride will allow them to quit until they are humiliated. I hope they are able, but if they are not, I will oblige them.

  224. Chief OH: Let’s make it clear to the folks, as far as I can find, HE HAS NEVER MANNED A POST OR DONE THE JOB. A friend of a friend told me he heard CHUBS had been investigated on 2 levels…state and internal…for his business dealings. Still looking into that. Bottom Line: If the city officials listen to him…they are idiots.

    Butch: I’ll bet the house limit he has been told to NOT respond further. If he has not formulated a response by now ( or had one formulated by the Rochelle/Dedman thinktank) he cannot in a professional manner give you a viable reason. But just in case, you might want to have a bucket of “thank you’s” and a passel of sloppy wet kisses ready. He’s real big on getting his thank you. Good Luck.

    RP

  225. Butch Huber

    November 7th, 1pm. That is how long I have to wait to get the answers to my questions. It will end up being about a full month to get the answers to questions that the county should be able to rattle off with no problem. I have an appointment with the County Mayor on that date and at that time. Let’s see if the meeting is kept. Any bets?

  226. Chief O'Hallarhan

    Yes they are RP, yes they are. He is a former Cop, CIty Planner, Asst. City Manager, Codes Official, Codes Teacher, and Building Inspector… none of which included firefighting duties. The closest thing that I have found of the gold badged self proclaimed Fire Marshall (note he isn’t even listed as that on the City website) has done to firefighting is checking fire extinguisher and sprinkler system inspection tags…

    Maybe if were lucky the Tahoe he would drive would have a big enough hood to lay out the IFSTA 5th Firefighter Essentials manual, so he could speed read the strategy and tactics chapter as we arrive on scene.

  227. From “Command Safety/Fire Officer Command”:
    For today’s fire officer to be truly effective, accountable, and responsible to their duties, their subordinates, function, and assignments; they must have the requisite experience, training, and skill sets that correspond with their rank…lieutenant to chief. Regardless of your affiliation or membership, career or volunteer, rank or title; if you are performing as an officer in the fire service YOU NEED TO HAVE THE RIGHT COMBINATION OF TRAINING TO SUPPORT AND AUGMENT THE EXPERIENCE you obtain while working in field operations. It is no longer acceptable to be functioning or performing in a rank of responsibility without the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities in order to execute those duties in an effective, efficient, and compliant manner aligned with approved fire service standards. In 1971, the Joint Council for National Fire Service Organizations (JCNFSO) created the National Professional Qualifications Board (NPQB) for the fire service to develop nationally appiclable performance standards for fire service officer personnel. In 1972, the board established those standards using the National Fire Protection Agency standard-making sysytem. The result was NFPA 1021 Standard for Fire Officer Professional Qualifications latest edition 2009.

    Let me save you some time…You WILL NOT find a XXXL fake red polo and generic gold badge anywhere in this document listed as a requirement. Members of the MJ City Council…you might want to read this…you can borrow my copy.

    RP

  228. If he can get passed the stupefied freeze from seeing his first piss rippin’ fire up close, then get past the long multi-syllabled UH? in his first command order…nevermind, I’m givin’ him too much credit. i just thank God I won’t be on the other end of any utterance of an order from this fake, fake, fake wannabe. But…I still might be close. His cheap ass manuvering is a disgrace to the service and the men and women dedicated to it.

    RP

  229. Chief O'Hallarhan

    RP… guess that same question and paragraph could be asked of the department currently protecting us and the admin staff on Oak Street as well. Maybe you could send a copy to Hutto, Hagerty, and Jewell for a response.

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