Mt.Juliet City Manager Randy Robertson leaving for Alabama

According to multiple news sources in Alabama, the city of Vestavia Hills (a suburb of Birmingham, pop. 34,000) has selected Randy Robertson to be its new city manager. “Robertson has accepted the job, said Vestavia Hills City Council President Mary Lee Rice.”

Robertson’s new contract reportedly calls for a salary of $168,000 and a car allowance of $500 a month. It appears he will start his new position on Jan 9, 2012.



Filed under Mt. Juliet City Commission

55 responses to “Mt.Juliet City Manager Randy Robertson leaving for Alabama

  1. Butch Huber

    Don’t anyone say a word to Vestavia Hills.

  2. Southsider

    Don’t you think someone should warn Vestavia Hills about Robertson? I hate it that all those city employees are about pay double for terrible health insurance. I have been to Alabama and a lot of people there do need decent dental coverage.

  3. Butch Huber

    No, nobody needs to say a word. Not a word!

  4. Southsider

    Come on Butch, can’t I even tell them how he had to increase taxes in a city that had already doubled its revenue in the previous 5 years?

  5. Southsider,
    Like my Momma used to tell me, and at times still does, you open your mouth again and I’m gonna pinch your head. hahahahahah. They don’t need to know the circus is coming to town…they’ll find out soon enuff.

    Alpha Mike Foxtrot

  6. Butch Huber

    No, Southsider, not a single word. If you tell them anything they may change their minds. Hey, I don’t remember us getting heads up from Ashland City, Kentucky before he came here (although Publius did discover some information about him), we have done our turn in the barrel with him, now it is time for some other unsuspecting city to take its turn. Robertson has a long list of credentials, he just isn’t very good at the actual job. Twice the budget as we had 5 years ago, and yet we still don’t have enough money coming in? Really? Rob Shearer used to return a million or two to the general fund every year with half the budget! The city hasn’t grown that much since Linda forced Rob to resign under threats and intimidation. Vestavia Hills is a very affluent area of Birmingham, they can afford him a lot more than we can.

    Southsider, mum’s the word! Perhaps the people of Vestavia Hills like paying more taxes, we don’t know.

  7. Southsider

    Come on guys. Can’t I just tell them that he hired a City Attorney that couldn’t figure out when a Charter Amendment took effect?


  8. Old Blevins

    Don’t let the door hit you in the ass, Randy….

  9. Doc Cider

    I have a friend in Vestavia Hills. Can I warn him AFTER Randy leaves?

  10. Doc Cider, Wait until he is out of here. Maybe for Christmas you could tell your friend as a gift…it’d be before Jan! 🙂

    We, Absolute Auto Repair, do Oil Change Fund Raisers. The tickets are $40. We use $20 for supplies and the fund raising group gets to keep $20. Maybe we could have a “Help Randy Move” fund raiser!

  11. Butch Huber

    Melani, how about instead, we do a Randy has moved celebration fundraiser? At $168,000 plus a $500 per month car allowance plus $2,000 per month in living expenses for six months, plus his military pension, plus any side income he has, plus his wife’s income, plus his wife’s pension, plus military benefits, he can pay for his own move. I don’t think they are hurting any.

    That said, this city is hurting considering how badly he screwed up the healthcare program in this city while he was here. Perhaps we need a bailout the city from Randy’s mess fundraisers. Can you do 150 thousand oil changes each year?

  12. Southsider

    I suppose the “my sandbox is all that matters” principle is important here. Randy Robertson probably cannot hurt Mt. Juliet taxpayers from the suburbs of Birmingham Alabama.

    But this guy is bad, real bad. Ashland Kentucky could have saved Mt. Juliet Tennessee four years and millions of dollars with one phone call from one concerned citizen. Our neighbors to the south will not get off the hook even that easy. They probably think Robertson acquired Providence, Providence Marketplace, Paddocks, and Del Webb. In reality, Robertson has only used Mt. Juliet to get better at being awful. And he is about to be Vestavia Hills’ FIRST City Manager.

    Lets at least pray for them.

  13. Butch Huber

    Southsider, you have to look at the bright side, after Randy the only way they will have to go is up, right? Besides, they could be a bunch of liberal spend and waste abusers of taxpayers and a bunch of communist iron curtain types in which Randy will be perfect for them.

    I am very familiar with Vestavia Hills. It is a very nice place with very upscale homes and businesses. It is a shame what is about to happen to them, but it isn’t our responsibility to tell them.

  14. Butch Huber

    Now the commission needs to defund the position of full-time city attorney, get someone in that actually can do the job of an attorney and who can and will do it on a part-time basis, and then hire specialists when they need them using the money they were using to pay someone full-time. The next city manager for Mt. Juliet probably should start at a pay level much lower than what they were paying Randy. If he or she proves to be good at the job then they should consider raising the pay.

    We need a city manager that will actually ensure that the city commission knows how to do the right things. That takes leadership and vision. If they have someone like that come in then that person will be worth their pay at virtually any price provided their vision and leadership leads to prosperity and a bright future for those who call this city home and provided that the prosperity that is ushered in is greater than the pay that person earns.

  15. Doc Cider

    At least we have an improved City Commission- most of them, even Barney Fife and Gump, haven’t been impressed with Randy. And the arguably conservative majority won’t be ready to hire another free spender. Getting rid of the current City Attorney should be job one of the new City Manager.

  16. Somewhatwacked

    GOOD! Now maybe this city can now get to business and set salary limits and afford more for the taxpaiers. I wonder what the rest of the “HALF TABLE” make, this shows that they have lied just like all politicions, I am in it to represent you the public. GREEDY< GREEDY Little politicians. Let get so-one that will do the job for less, at least by a third.

  17. Chris Allen

    You are all unbelievable, rude, and out of line!

    The City Manager implements what the City Commission approves. The City Manager spends what the City Commission approves. The City Manager follows the direction of the City Commission.

    Why do you have to come out with brands such as “liberal”, instead of just expressing a difference of opinion?

    Randy Robertson did all he could, having his hands tied by a City Commission that wants to be a great city but doesn’t want to have to pay anything to be one. Randy Robertson was instrumental in making the current volunteer firefighter initiative happen. While this certainly is not a complete solution, it is more than anyone else did. He provided on-going data to the City Commission regarding how understaffed / underfunded every facet of Mt. Juliet government is. It is up to the City Commission to act on that data; they continue to fail miserably.

    I have only met Mr. Robertson once or twice at most, and he would not know me if he saw me. But, I believe the man deserves some credit for trying to move this city forward, instead of the bashing he is getting from the posters here.

    Threads such as this do nothing but ruin any credibility you all have in being part of a solution to Mt. Juliet’s public safety needs.

  18. Chris Allen

    At least he wont have to deal with people who dont want to pay for fire protection. His new city has 35 thousand people, five fire stations, and 98 employees. MJ has about 25 thousand people, 1 fire station, and 6 firefighters spread over 3 shifts and about 8 active volunteers. See below from his new employers website:

    On May 21 2003, the Director of the U.S. Census Bureau issued an official update to the 2000 Census effective as of January 1, 2003 giving revised figures for Population (30,418) and Housing Units (13,542).

    Today the department operates from five fire stations staffed by 98 members who are cross-trained in a number of disciplines to preserve life and protect property. Vestavia Hills Fire provides a host of emergency and non-emergency services to the community including fire suppression and prevention, emergency medical services, hazardous materials response, and technical rescue, any of which can be accessed with the touch of 3 digits on a telephone keypad.

  19. Butch Huber

    Chris, because I like you, I am going to let this slide. However, you have no idea what you are talking about when you hold randy robertson up for praise. I don’t want to post anything that would give pause to the Commission in Vestavia hills. I want him gone. Perhaps one day you and I could sit down for a talk glass of coke and I will fill you in.

    Your remarks about this city not being willing to pay for fire protection is uncalled for. We do pay for fire protection, Chris. We pay an awful lot for fire protection. In fact, the argument could be made that we pay more for fire protection than just about anyone else in this state and that we get far less than that for which we pay.

  20. Butch Huber

    Chris, let’s be completely honest and transparent. Mt. Juliet doesn’t have any fire departments. There is WEMA Station 3 and WEMA Station 4, which both cover parts of Mt. Juliet and parts of the county. In each station there are four fire fighters/Emergency Medical responders per shift, for a total of 8 responders on duty at any given time.
    Chris, Vestavia Hills has a budget of $29,625,927. Mt. Juliet has about $13,000,000 to $14,000,000.

    Vestavia Hills spends $8,136,008 on fire. Wilson County spends less to cover 583 square miles and 113,993 people. Chris, where do you think the problem in Wilson County is, in Mt. Juliet, or in the entire county? Even if you add in the expenses of Lebanon’s Fire Department you only have about 10,000,000 being spent on emergency services in Wilson County. Do you think this might be a problem in Wilson County, not Mt. Juliet?

    Chris, in the county budget, Mt. Juliet contributes approximately 20% to 25% of the sales tax collections and the property tax collections. From those two sources, we put about a total of $8,000,000 into schools. However, a total of about $36,000,000 is collected by the county, from this city, from those two sources. That leaves about $28,000,000, where does it go? Can you see why someone like myself might want to have clarity and transparency in government? What, besides schools, does the county do for Mt. Juliet? Sure, there is the sheriff’s department, but how much do they actually contribute to the enforcement efforts in Mt. Juliet? I don’t have a clue, do you? There is the jail, but that doesn’t eat up our $28,000,000. Where does it go?

    Chris, I have a feeling, when this is over, you and others who harp on Mt. Juliet as being the problem, will find that it is the county that is the problem. Chris, get the county to give us back the money that they take from us without providing services that represent that taking of our money and we will spend a lot of money on fire protection as a city, in the meantime, we are spending an awful lot of money without, as you pointed out, much to show for it.

  21. BTW Komrade Allen,
    I have had bullets fly by head in an effort to preserve the right to express an opinion…not just mine, but yours and the others. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? If you do not like what you read, nut up or shut up. RR is a big boy, he don’t need you coming to his rescue. A better approach would be for you to defend his record WITHOUT the communist clamp down on our prosecution of his record. I have met him more than once or twice and we do have differing views. Me not liking him does not strike me or any of the other posters here stupid to the fire/ems issue…our credibility remains intact for the two are not one.
    You got an issue…grab a tissue.

  22. Sonny Griffin


    I think you misunderstand the motives of the posters to this site.

    I definitely respect your opinion and I am sorry you see us in this light.

    We are not cheerleaders. We will not stand by and let our government run amuck while patting government officials on the back and telling them how great they are doing.

    We are generally a conservative bunch. We don’t believe in spending money that we don’t have.

    We are very interested in the safety and well being of the citizens of Mt. Juliet and Wilson County. We know this responsibility falls on the County and we also know that the County is doing a lousy job. We want to change that and we will.

    We have tried to research the fire issue and have presented helpful information and viable solutions to the City Commission. To their credit, they are finally paying attention to us. Butch has led this charge and I will guarantee that his motives are selfless.

    We don’t understand why we are short on money when massive retail development has taken place. Could this be a sign of mismanagement?

    We love our City and we love our County. We are just trying to make them a better place to live.

    Sometimes, I tend to get a little over zealous in my comments. However, if anyone has a problem with what I say, they can always post a rebuttal. That’s what you did, Chris and I respect your opinion.

    That’s what RFMJ is all about; freedom to express your opinions.

  23. Butch Huber

    R.P. Wow! I had written several versions of response to Chris, but didn’t want to cause reason for Vestavia Hills to back out nor did I want to be too harsh to Chris so I didn’t post them, but your post was just about right! Also, coming from someone in the brotherhood, instead of me, I think it carries a lot more weight. Thank you.

  24. Butch Huber

    It appears that this is now a done deal and randy will be hired in an interim position until November 5th, when he becomes full fledged.

    I saw a note of sweet irony in this story. It appears that the mayor of Vestavia’s name is…………………………………………..oh, this is good……………………………………………..wait for it……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….”BUTCH”!!!!!!! bahahahaha!!!!!! He will remember me every time he deals with the mayor!!!!!!!!!!!!! BAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know, I am sick that way! My luck, the new city manager here will be named randy or linda.

  25. Butch,
    You, me, and the rest of the gang knows alot of what gets posted here sometimes gets taken personally. It is not to be, but sometimes it takes on that flavor. My response is not personal, except when I see someone impinge on liberties that I PERSONALLY witnessed someone die for. I live with this witness in my heart 24/7 and believe everytime all the time in that flag that I draped over too many good men. I NEVER forget YOUR rights or mine, or his for that matter. I do not know Chris personally, I have heard of him and may know him if I saw him…he has a right to defend RR if he wants and make note, I did not rebuke him for his opinion or right thereof. If he knows something good about the man, then he knows something I do not. I applaud his contribution but not his distribution. For the record, I am done with RR, the community conversation circus master. Too much attention might give him the wrong impression, you know? Forget going, going…just get gone.


  26. Sonny,
    YOU ROCK!!!

    P.S. From what I can gather from the youth of today…That is a good thing.

  27. Sonny Griffin

    Thanks, RP.

    I had to check with my granddaughter.

    It seems to be a good thing.

  28. Shawn Donovan

    Butch, Sonny, and RP… Now I understand everyone has the right to their own opinions and this is why we are hear reading and posting on this blog.. but are we all being serious. You blast Chris Allen because he simply puts that he supports Randy Robertson for at least trying to work on a solution and notes the improvements he has made to Mt. Juliet since he came on board in 2007 and you all jump and slam him, but you all have done the same thing in support of others on this same blog, but not once has anyone slammed you saying “let so in so defend themselves”.

    As you all know I worked hand and hand with Randy Robertson on this volunteer firefighter effort that was in the now expired interlocal agreement. Now before you say that it was a “garbage agreement” from the beginning that is beside the point but it was voted and approved by the very people we elected to be our “voices” in Mt. Juliet. Granted I did a lot of the work on this project but it was Randy and his staff that did a lot of the work with the City Commissioners in order to fund the project and get it off the ground and you have 12 fully equipped Firefighters in Mt. Juliet because of it.

    I understand that all the fingers for how “bad” the town are being pointed at a person who has been in the position of City Manager since 2007 (Robertson), but why on earth aren’t you pointing any fingers at the elected officials who are sitting on the Commission (who mind you are all long time residents except Maness)? As Chris notes that everyone points at Robertson as the “circus master” but isn’t it our Commission who approves the budgets and the projects done in this town… As Chris notes the City Manager manages the city as the City Commission basically sees fit with the money they approve him.

    I have personally worked under 3 City Managers in my career as a Firefighter and worked hand in hand with Randy Robertson as a taxpayer and on projects and I see Robertson as one who built a great team for the City with a lot of new highly experienced personnel who are doing a great job. Have a few of the personnel selections not worked out, yes, but every growing city can say that.

    Well and to throw my two cents in Butch on your question you posed to Chris about is the fire protection problem being a Mt. Juliet problem or a County problem, my answer as a professional firefighter is its both their problems. Yes the county takes in a big chunk of revenue from Mt. Juliet for this great city we have built but as I have said countless times it was Mt. Juliet, not the county, that approved every project in the City limits so they in my opinion are responsible for finding the way or working for a way to protect us. Mt. Juliet, not the county, approved every hotel, independent living, nursing home, and a huge active senior community that is located 12 to 15 minutes away from the closest fire station knowing that we didn’t have adequate Fire, Police, or EMS coverage in place. So basically what our City and Planning Commission did was built a town over the last 6 years (majority of the growth on the southside as we all know) knowing we did not have adequate emergency services in place, but now many residents say well we shouldn’t have to pay for upgrades to our emergency services because the county get revenue. Do I agree that Mt. Juliet gets its fair share of what we put in, no, but do you think that all the county residents get their fair share of emergency services, nobody is covered adequately. So I for one, and there is many of us out here in Mt. Juliet, that have no problem paying for better protection in the form of property taxes if it will give us a better fire department and police department. I also suggest that you look at all the major city fire departments with a majority of full time staffing located around northern middle TN and you will not find one that is funded by County taxes, except WEMA.

    This is the only time in this post that I will compare Mt. Juliet to Franklin, but why should I as a resident of Mt. Juliet pay city property taxes to fund a county agency (WEMA) to provide me fire protection which allows that equipment I pay for with city dollars to leave the city limits to run calls for service? Using Franklin as an example, we are funded by City funds but you don’t see us running calls out in the county unless we are called for mutual aid. I guess to stay in Mt. Juliet you can relate that to Mt. Juliet PD, we pay for MJPD to cover the city but you don’t see them running patrols in county do you, no.. because those patrol cars are tasked at protecting the city limits. So as the county has told us many times over the summer that they can no longer adequately protect our city due to the population and density, and in all reality haven’t been able to protect us with the number of staff, stations, or equipment for many years that we need, what are we to do. Do we sit here waiting on a audit that comes back and says that WEMA is funded properly or do we begin work on the footprint or plan for the future for emergency services.. I for one continue to ask for what the plan is, but all I get is ??? Saying that, with Randy Robertson leaving we will now once again have to start at square one to get yet another person up to speed on the seriousness of the emergency services issue…

  29. Southsider

    You have a right to your opinion Mr. Donovan, and I have a right to mine. They are very different concerning Randy Robertson.

    Robertson is the CEO of the city. He did nothing to educate the City Commission on how WEMA is funded or how much money Mt. Juliet residents were already paying toward emergency services. He sat by when that Commission voted to pay 400,000 more dollars without commenting. Thank God the county commission was too stupid to take it.

    But Robertson was never silent about the property tax issue – he clearly wanted to increase taxes since the day he was hired. He even pressured city employees to lobby for a property tax (I have been told this by 6 different city employees).

    These are examples of how Robertson doesn’t understand his role as city manager. The current volunteer fire workers (you brag about) were a settlement of the 2006 WEMA contract negotiated by Rob Shearer. Robertson has failed to negotiate a new WEMA agreement to this day – and yes that is the job of the city manager.

    Robertson is a very average tax and spend bureaucrat. I will not miss him.

  30. Butch Huber

    Shawn, this is what was wrong with Chris’ post:

    “You are all unbelievable, rude, and out of line!”

    Shawn, Chris doesn’t have a “right” to post on this site, it doesn’t belong to him. You don’t have a right to post on this site either, both of you have been given the grace of Publius to be allowed to post on here. This site was developed because of the iron curtain that has become Mt. Juliet.

    While you guys protect us, and we appreciate it, we have been on here and in the public square for years protecting your rights against the likes of Randy Robertson.

    I had prepared a very scathing response to Chris’ post telling us that we are all unbelievable, rude and out of line. Neither of you know that rest of the story of what has happened as a result of Randy Robertson.

    Each of us on here believe in free speech, Shawn and Chris, however, when you endeavor to open your mouths and rebuke me you better know what you are talking about and you better pack a lunch because it is going to be a long day. I have a long, long list of things that Randy Robertson has done or failed to do, guys, I just haven’t posted it on here because I want him gone and I don’t want to do anything that would cause Vestavia Hills to second guess themselves. Suffice to say, if you knew what I know you wouldn’t be taking the position you have taken.

    Unbelievable? Yes, we are, thank you very much, we take that as a compliment. Rude? Not nearly as rude as is warranted. Out of line? Who is Chris to tell us we are out of line? Who put him in the judgement seat of who is in line and out of line? When someone endeavors to stop citizens from investigating wrongdoing by public officials and works to overthrow the will of voters, I submit to you that just about anything said about them after that is in line.

  31. Southsider

    Robertson is a great “showman”. He puts on a very good meeting and always awards someone for something. But he hasn’t really done much for Mt. Juliet taxpayers.

    In four years he has failed to finish the road improvements on North Mt. Juliet Road, failed to break ground on the Eastern Connector, and has all but lost the Central Pike Interchange project forever.

    What has he done? He manipulated the fire protection issue to incur a property tax during a recession. He opted to self-insure city employees even though the city is far too small to absorb such risk – the result? – City employees pay more for worse benefits than any other city – and the taxpayers pay more too. Taxpayers will also be liable for this debacle for decades.

    The previous city manager had a budget surplus for 7 straight years with no property tax and he implemented every road project currently underway. Robertson has never had a surplus and had to have a property tax in his fourth year.

    Lets be real folks, he just ain’t that good.

  32. Butch Huber

    Southsider, please don’t cause Vestavia Hills to reconsider. Your points are too accurate, if you keep it up you will cause them to back out and him to stay.

  33. Sonny Griffin


    You list one thing that Randy did. Volunteer fire fighters. I think that probably you and other dedicated people had more to do with that than Randy. Also you can thank the Commission for the interlocal agreement that made volunteer fire service a reality. Where do you think the $100,000 came from? Who do you think told Randy to make that happen?

    You know Shawn, I wish we had a city fire department with three fire/ems stations, fully equipped with the latest equipment and adequate manpower. I’m sure we all do. A reasonable city property tax at this point in time won’t do it. The first step is to get the money back that we are giving the County for services we do not get and lower our county tax rate. That is one of the reasons we are waiting for the audit.

    I hope that you will agree that it is the county’s responsibility, by law, to provide adequate fire service to Mt. Juliet. Until it became time to renew the interlocal agreement with the county everybody was fat, dumb and happy. Then the s— hit the fan. Mount Juliet took a look at how bad we were getting screwed by the county and talk of providing our own fire protection started. The county threatened to pull WEMA out of Mount Juliet. This was a very recent event.

    If you remember, Linda Elam was trying to work with the county years ago on providing adequate fire service to Mt. Juliet. She wanted a station in Providence and rightly so. She ran into the county stone wall.

    Don’t get me wrong. There is plenty of blame to go around. Has anyone heard Randy speaking for enhanced fire protection at a commission meeting? Have you spoken for enhanced fire protection at a commission meeting? Have I spoken on the fire issue? No for me, but I’ve written the hell out of letters to the commission.

    As important as it is, the fire situation is only one of several issues taken on by the city manager. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems that Randy’s only contribution to the fire issue was establishing a volunteer fire fighter force as was required by the interlocal agreement.

    I think it is time to refresh ourselves on the duties of a city manager.

    From our Charter and TCA:

    6-21-108. Powers and duties of manager.

    The powers and duties of the city manager are to:

    (1) See that the laws and ordinances are enforced, and upon knowledge or information of any violation thereof, see that prosecutions are instituted in the city court;

    (2) Except as otherwise provided in this charter, appoint, promote, demote, suspend, transfer, remove, and otherwise discipline all department heads and subordinate employees at any time, subject only to any personnel rules and regulations adopted by ordinance or resolution by the commission. Any hearings on, or appeals from, the city manager’s personnel decisions provided for in the personnel rules and regulations shall be exclusively before the city manager or a hearing officer designated by the city manager;

    (3) Supervise and control the work of the recorder, the chief of police, the city attorney, treasurer, and all other officers, and of all departments and divisions created by this charter or that hereafter may be created by the board of commissioners;

    (4) See that all terms and conditions imposed in favor of the city or its inhabitants in any public utility or franchise are faithfully done, kept and performed, and, upon knowledge or information of any violation thereof, call the same to the attention of the city attorney, who is hereby required to take such steps as are necessary to enforce the same;

    (5) Attend all meetings of the board, with the right to take part in the discussion, but not to vote;

    (6) Recommend to the board for adoption such measures as the city manager deems necessary or expedient;

    (7) Act as budget commissioner and keep the board fully advised as to the financial condition and need of the city;

    (8) Act as purchasing agent for the city and purchase all material, supplies and equipment for the proper conduct of the city’s business as provided in § 6-19-104;

    (9) Execute contracts on behalf of the city when this authority is delegated to the city manager by ordinance; and

    (10) Perform such other duties as may be prescribed by this charter or required of the city manager by resolution or ordinance of the board.

    Shawn, I know you are a fire fighter and the fire issue is very important to you but there is a whole lot more to running the city than carrying out an order to establish volunteer fire fighters.

    Chris, you say that Randy has been bringing data to the commission showing that “every facet” of Mt. Juliet government is understaffed /underfunded. We don’t have any money. Where has all the damned money gone Chris? With all the retail development, we should be rolling in money. His agenda was a property tax with no strings attached.

    Shawn, on a personal note, you say that I blasted Chris and jumped and slammed Randy. I did not do that. I don’t mind being attacked for something I did but I take issue being attacked for something I did not do.

  34. Mr. Donovan,

    You are wrong. And in that single, simple sentence we will see the true measure of a man. How you respond to that sentence will be your true measure as seen here on this blog. Re-read my posts on the subject matter and then re-read Mr. Allen’s first post, especially his opening statement. Finally, re-read my rebuttal to his post. What you will find is that at no place nor at any time did I chastise Mr. Allen for his opinion of Mr. Robertson. Truth told, I do not give a sack of monkey balls if he, you, and Robertson take long walks, hot showers, or swap spit. I am indifferent to the man which, in my opinion, is way worse than disliking him. What I do care about is someone impinging on my right and the right of others to express. You write that I and others “blast Chris Allen because he simply puts that he supports RR”…YOU ARE WRONG. RE-READ and show me where I blast him for his support for RR. I blast him because he blasts me and others for our non support AND our right to do so. I do not know you other than your postings here. You make it abundantly clear in every post that you are a firefighter and public servant heavily involved in what MJ has brought to the table in the form of fire/ems. Hats off to you AND Mr. Allen…brother. There are thousands just like you across this great nation, yours truly included…again, thank you. Now, what is important here is not your measure of sacrifice, but your measure of being a man. You are wrong. Re- read and please respond.


  35. Doc Cider

    This city had something of a renaissance between 2000 and 2004, in alignment with Kevin Mack’s term as mayor. It can be argued that this continued until 2006, with Larry Marchese and Glen Linthicum in D2 and Rob Shearer and Bobby Franklin still in their positions. In actuality alot of the groundwork laid in the early 2000’s started coming on line during those years. Things started declining at city hall after that, and that can be lined up with the arrival of Randy, that awful ‘swine flu’ woman coming to the planning office and Elam becoming increasingly corrupt.

    I don’t blame Randy for the national economy’s effect on Mount Juliet but I certainly don’t give him credit for the cash cow that retail development has been or the rise in the quality of our infrastructure and housing. Randy and Elam wallowed in the successful policies of their predecessors and failed to lead or innovate. Credit for our progress belongs mostly to Kevin Mack, Rob Shearer and Bobby Franklin.

  36. Sonny Griffin

    Well put, Doc.

    Southsider mentioned the Central Pike Interchange. If we have lost that because of complacency on the Commission’s part and failure of the City Manager to do his job, we are in deep s–t.

    When Paddocks is built out, South Mt. Juliet Road will be obsolete.

    Some of my friends have given me some static about my comments about Linda Elam. She was well aware of the fire/ems problem and she tried to do something about it. I give her credit for that. Because of her, we have land in Providence and very valuable land in Paddocks (which I always believed she “stole” from the developer) and if the county hadn’t been so stupid, we would probably have had a ladder truck.

    No, I am not a fan of Linda Elam. I think she should have been prosecuted for her role in suing the City but I give her credit for pursuing the fire issue.

    Wonder how much money MJ could put down on a fire station in Providence by selling the vacant land and Millennium Park that we own? Maybe even work a deal with the Paddocks developer to build a fire station if we gave him the land back in Paddocks.

  37. Butch Huber

    Randy Robertson is quoted in the Mt Juliet News as having said, “I think my biggest accomplishment is changing the culture here”. The article says that he said the first thing he heard about Mt. Juliet was that it was the “poster child for bad government.” He talked about how many of the top level officials in Mt. Juliet were being censored or were censoring each other when he came on board.

    Let me tell you the rest of that story. When Randy Robertson came to Mt. Juliet Linda Elam had just forced Rob Shearer to resign under threats and intimidation, threatening to vote to fire him for cause if he did not resign even though there was no cause to fire him. The point was that he would end up without a severance package if they fired him for cause and he would have to take the chance of fighting them in court and possibly losing and having a huge bill to pay. The Mayor moved to hire Sheila Luckett as the interim City manager. During Sheila Luckett’s short tenure the city got rid of every person who was in a meeting during which the mayor, according to testimony, forcefully tried to get city staff to issue illegal building permits to a local builder who had offered a six figure bribe that he would contribute to the city ladder truck fund (which didn’t even exist) if she could get the permits he sought after. Every person who was in that meeting, except for Marlin Keel, who arrived apparently after the bulk of that meeting had occurred, gave damning testimony against Mayor Elam regarding her actions, and every one of those people found themselves on the outside of government looking in. Keel was the only exception, however, you should note that he apparently was not present when the mayor was causing the commotion. However, Mayor Elam was lobbying the commission to give Marlin Keel more money to do the job he currently is doing than they were going to pay the new city manager (randy robertson). During depositions, it was revealed that Linda Elam had tried to get then City Planner Bobby Franklin to remove an item on the technical review committee agenda. It later turned out that the item she was trying to get removed from the agenda was something that would have affected her new employer, only she never told anyone in the city that she was actually working for that developer! That is what she was censured for, and I guess Randy Robertson feels that it wasn’t right for her to be censured.

    Ray Justice was censured for blasting then City Chief of Police Kenny Martin for not having extended “professional courtesy” to a former city mayor’s daughter when she was arrested for driving under the influence. Even Ray himself voted to censure himself on that one! However, I guess Randy Robertson feels that he shouldn’t have been censured on that one either.

    Ed Hagerty was censured in retaliation for his vote to censure Linda. He had signed a letter that he shouldn’t have signed, however, his signature on that letter had no authority and the person receiving his signature knew that his signature had no authority. I think we all know who filed the anonymous complaint against Ed Hagerty.

    By the time that Randy Robertson arrived on the scene Linda had exacted her revenge. Sheila Luckett had rid the city of all the people who had submitted damaging testimony against linda elam by the time randy showed up and all those people were rewarded with pink slips for having told the truth as they saw it. That is retaliation for past actions, which is unlawful. Bobby Franklin won a very large settlement over that one. The others didn’t file suits.

    What Randy did was stop the flow of public information that would lead to revelation of improper actions, however, he didn’t stop the improper actions. The nefarious deeds continued. If he changed the culture he changed it from one of corruption to one of un-investigated corruption because he was successful in stopping the flow of information in this city.

    The city recently spent tens of thousands of dollars of citizen money to file suits on behalf of linda and Jim Bradshaw so that they could overthrow the will of the voters in the last election. That is obviously misuse of taxpayer money and I believe it was a crime. However, nothing will ever be done about it, and randy has made sure of that.

    Perhaps he is right, he may have changed us from a culture of corruption to a culture of unbridled corruption without fear of prosecution. Well done, Randy.

    Robertson is further quoted as having said he was proud of the insurance program changes and proud of the people he’s hired in many of the department head slots. He opened this city up to huge liability and enormous additional expenses. For much less than what the city is now paying to self-insure, he could have been on the state program! We are now on the hook for liabilities we never should have been on the hook for and he is the cause of such liabilities! Proud of that? He should be embarrassed and he should be ashamed of himself! He is costing the city employees significant additional money for insurance over and above what they should be paying and he is proud of that!

    When Randy Robertson started monkeying around with the insurance issues I suspected foul play by someone in government. I requested electronic files of all email correspondence to and from the city from april 1 of that year through june 30 of that year. Randy Robertson did his level best to run up a huge bill for me to punish me for asking for public records. He went on to tell me how many times I had asked for public information as if I was doing something wrong by asking for public information. If my memory serves, each and every time I had asked for public records I hit on something that the city had done improperly; I think I was batting a thousand. Perhaps that was what Randy was concerned about and perhaps that is why he was trying to make it very expensive for me to seek out public information. In the end, he tried to give me much more information than I had requested and he was trying to give it to me in a format which I did not ask for. Even though I specifically told him not to provide me with the information I was asking for if the information was going to cost me money, he continued to compile that information and develop a bill that he intended to ram down my throat. I refused to pay the bill, he never gave me the information, and he refused, in front of witnesses, to ever provide me with any additional public records until such time as I paid his fraudulent bill. I still suspect that someone did something illegal with regard to the insurance issue, however, I guess the world will never know. It will not know because the commission would not back me up in my pursuit of public information by ordering him to do his duty and provide me with the information I was seeking. His method of stopping the censures was not to stop the nefarious deeds, but rather to go behind those who commit such crimes and misdeeds and cover them up and bar anyone from rooting out the evil they had done.

    He met with me at Charlie Daniel’s park to have a conversation. During that conversation he told me that if I would draw a line in the sand and forget the things that had happened that I would be embraced, however, if I choose to continue to dig into what had happened I would be an anathema to him. That is your city manager, folks. Don’t pursue those who have used their political power to cause harm to others and to abuse city employees, rather, ignore the evil that has been done and move on. That is his way of dealing with things. The crimes occurred, we just never saw justice.

    For you fire fighters who are defending randy, there is a tid bit for you as well. He is quoted as having said he regretted leaving before a solution to the emergency services situation had been solved. It says he talked about the understaffed police department and inadequate police protection issues saying, “someday something bad is going to happen and that it will then be a should have, could have, would have situation. But that it costs money and you have a handful of guys who want to do all this, but not pay for it.” Guys, make no mistake, we pay for it. We are literally paying through the teeth for it. In fact, the more research I do and the deeper I dig the more I realize how much we really are paying for fire protection coverage in this city. WE JUST ARE NOT GETTING THAT FOR WHICH WE PAY!!!! Part of the reason we aren’t getting what we are paying for is because Randy Robertson doesn’t understand the fire protection issue and he does nothing to fix it!!!! He obviously doesn’t know which end is up and he still thinks, after all this time, that we are asking for something for nothing!!!! He thinks “WE” are the problem!!!!

    Guys, randy robertson is not the saint you may think he is.

    As for the commission, the culture of that commission has absolutely nothing to do with randy robertson, it has to do with this voter base voting off Ray Justice and it has to do with Linda Elam being voted to state office. I think the commission has matured and become much more respectable since those two have been off of the board and since we have gotten new players. There is still the issue of jim serving in two elected offices at the same time, however, I think we have a much better commission today than we have had since the beginning years of the Mack administration, but that has nothing whatsoever to do with randy robertson. Randy has been playing politics since he got here to get this commission to raise the property taxes. We owe a great debt of thanks to Randy Robertson for not doing his job on the fire issue so that we could end up with a needless property tax, so for all those who think like I think, let me say, “Thanks a hell of a lot, randy!” Please, don’t do anything more for us, we can’t stand it!

    Thank you Vestavia Hills!!!!!!!!!

  38. Doc Cider

    The city has had some good hires during the Robertson years. The Zoning Administrator hired by Bobby Franklin is one. And Marlin Keel is a capable professional.

    But politics has come into play too. Jay Cameli may or may not be good at his job but it certainly didn’t hurt that his association with Linda Elam predates her political career.

    And don’t even get me started about the ‘swine flu’ planner who wanted to turn Mt. Juliet into Antioch and our infantile City Attorney.

  39. Old Blevins

    I think Robertson started sending out applications as soon as Ed Hagerty become Mayor and James Maness was elected. And Art Giles has been a pleasant surprise, if not for Randy.

  40. Butch Huber

    Wait a second. Marlin Keel was recommended for the position by Linda Elam before Randy ever took office. Marlin was already working for the city as engineer, wasn’t he?

    Randy Robertson is the proverbial guy who woke up on third and now is certain he hit a triple.

    He made the inside of city hall look good, just like I said he would. That is the biggest claim to fame he can make. “Doesn’t everything at city hall look better?”

    Everyone should have gotten his number with the community conversation project he organized. What was supposed to be a town hall meeting was turned into a one way conversation by Randy Robertson in an effort to create the appearance that so many people in this city want a property tax. What he put on was a staged event that any person who was there could clearly see was intended to elicit a specific result. He wanted a property tax, and he got one. I hope to hell he is satisfied. When you goal is to have a property tax, the best way to ensure that you get one is to spend so much money each year that the appearance is that you couldn’t possibly run the city without a property tax. He executed that perfectly!

  41. Shawn Donovan

    RP… you ask me to man up for what I say and re-read what I wrote…. Here’s my response to my “manhood” on a blog “brother”.


    So if you want to manup as you say… please contact me to discuss further

    After re-reading your posts Sonny I apologize for grouping you in with the others since I was making a general statement about how people jump on Chris (and me after some of the posts) for our opinion on Robertson.

  42. Sonny Griffin

    Butch, you are right about Marlin Keel. He was working with an outside consulting firm doing work for MJ.

    Marlin is a real professional and I believe all around good guy. I dealt with him some on the Paddocks project.

    I have always gotten the feeling he hates politics.

    I wonder if Randy is going to try to pull that property tax bullshit in Vestavia.
    From what I understand, they don’t have a City property tax.

    Looks like the Mayor was doing a pretty good job. I mean, after all, his name is “Butch”. Wonder why they want to muck it all up with the likes of Randy.

    I have friends that live near Vestavia. They say it is a very nice city.

  43. Sonny Griffin

    Shawn, I accept your apology. Thank you.

    I don’t believe any of this would have happened if Chris had not started his post with: “You are all unbelievable, rude, and out of line!”

    If someone starts a conversation with me saying, “Sonny, you’re a no good SOB”, I tend not to hear whatever else he has to say.

    If he starts off by telling me why he is so pissed off at me and then says; “and that’s why I think you are a no good SOB”, hell, I might agree with him.

  44. marketing 101

    Two words: Good riddance.

  45. Butch Huber

    Sonny, I have a feeling if someone starts off a conversation saying that you are a no good SOB, there wouldn’t be anymore conversation after that, just the thud of the body hitting the floor. haha.

    Vestavia Hills is a beautiful and wonderful place; I think I will move there! Bahahaha!!!!!

  46. Old Blevins

    Butch, I think you just caused Randy to have an involuntary bowel movement. I can see it now….Radio Free Vestavia Hills. ROFLMAO.

    I WAS thinking of moving there but I hear they’re about to have a property tax…..

  47. Butch Huber

    That’s funny, Old Blevins!

  48. marketing 101

    Surely they’re not idiots. All you have to do is Google his name and see everything from here to bumper stickers. But like Butch says, let’s be quiet and let those poor bastards in Alabama deal with him. He might have the same tenure that he had in KY. How fitting – KY.

  49. “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous, not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing for blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing”.
    1 Peter 3:8-9

    WOW! I go away for a couple of days to help my wife get ready for a yard sale and what the heck hapened?!? What a dynamic bunch!!! I offer the above verses because it matters to me that we stay healthy as a group mentally, physically, and spritually. Spiritually not so much in a religious nature, but that from these somewhat differences, our spirit that drives each of us to want to provide better for others not be plaugued with a “dull thud”. It has been on my heart for the last 24 hrs, since reading them yesterday morning before work and nearly wearing my first cup. You guys matter to me and what you are trying to get done, from fully investigating the truth to providing for much better life safety and loss prevention service. I am not so naive to think we will never bump noggins’; but let us not allow that to be anywhere the size of the mission or the heart involved. This is a wonderful outlet and is really showing to be useful for us and others from what I can read and hear. God bless your enthusiasm, God protect your spirits…and your feelings.
    May our works be His will.

    P.S. To all, send me and email @ and I will send you something I did when my wife left me alone with the computer. I was rolling in the floor…you might also. G-rated.
    P.S.S. Shawn, I got your text and responded with voice mail. Get me a hard number as soon as you can and will expedite.

  50. Butch Huber

    Just read on vestavia hills website that they have 307 employees! What in the world does a city that small need with 307 employees? That’s insane! That is about one person on staff there for every 100 citizens! What could possibly cause a need for so many staff members? 307! Really?

  51. Old Blevins

    Randy may be happier than a lovelorn redneck at a family reunion in that kind of environment. ‘Please tell us how we can spend more and be less efficient, Mr. Robertson’. I’m betting they have lots of speed cops if some of their jurisdiction includes I-65.

  52. Chris, Shawn, et al,
    My apologies for my energy and direction. My dedication to you and the cause never waned. In questioning your measure, I took stock in my own. Forgive me.

  53. Sonny Griffin

    You rock, RP.

    I need help from everyone on a little problem.

    If you click on the following link you will find Vestavia’s budget for 2010.

    You will notice that revenues are broken down by City, County, State and Parks.

    Look under County and you will notice real and personal ad valorem taxes.

    Real ad valorem (property taxes) amounted to over 11.6 million dollars in revenue to the City. Would someone explain this to me? How is Alabama so different than Tennessee when it comes to property tax?

    Vestavia’s total revenues were over $29,000,000.

    I decided to look up the budget of a TN City of comparable size to MJ. I chose Gallatin, TN with a population of 28,000 compared to MJ at 24,000. I was surprised that Gallatin had a budget of over 32 million dollars for 2010.

    MJ’s budget was a little over 12.3 million dollars for 2010.

    What the hell is going on?

  54. Butch Huber

    Gallatin has a 99 cent property tax, which means that they are pulling in roughly $9 million from property taxes. They have a college in their city, which I am sure brings in a significant amount of revenue. They, I believe, have more business than Mt. Juliet also. Though we have a lot of new shopping, we are way behind the power curve in terms of attracting business here. If we had a $9 million property tax, on top of projected revenues for this year from other sources, we would be somewhere over $20,000,000. I think that in 6 to 10 years we will surpass many other cities of our size, however, for now we simply aren’t that big.

  55. butchhuber

    I have received word that Randy Robertson has cleared out of his office and that tomorrow is his last day working for the city. Smoke if you’ve got ’em.

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