Category Archives: City Charter

Rep. Elam & Mayor Elam once again have conflicting responsibilities

Here we go again.

The Mt. Juliet City Commission is scheduled to meet on Monday, March 14th at 6:30pm (Public Hearing at 6:00pm). Agenda is here.

The Tennessee House of Representatives is scheduled to meet on Monday, March 14th at 5:00pm. Schedule (and link to floor calendar) is here.

But wait. It gets worse. Governor Haslam is scheduled to give his State of the State Address to a joint conference of the Tennessee General Assembly at 6:00pm. And this has been known for over a month.

Mayor Elam had to request a rescheduling of the February 14th meeting of the Commission “due to a conflict.” The Commission met on Tuesday, Feb 15th. Here’s a tip as to why: Once the session begins, the Tennessee House meets EVERY Monday evening at 5:00pm. Mayor Elam has known for months that she would face these conflicts.

The regularly scheduled meeting for February 28th was “cancelled.”

There’s a major conflict looming for March 14th.

Prediction: March 28th won’t be any better for Mayor Elam.

And remember: She forced the City of Mt. Juliet to spend over $26,000 finding a loophole so she could continue to serve as Mayor (and draw her paycheck every month) after she was sworn in as a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives.

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93 Comments

Filed under City Charter, ethics, Mt. Juliet City Commission, Tennessee Legislature

Who “cancelled” the City Commission meeting?

At 6:56pm on Sunday, February 27th, the City of Mt. Juliet’s Nixle account was used to send the following message:

The regularly scheduled Board of Commissioners meeting of Monday, 28 February 2011 at 6:30 p.m. has been moved to the next regularly scheduled meeting date of Monday, 14 March 2011. There will still be a public hearing at 6:15pm on 28 February, allowing the public to address issues that would have received their second reading from the BoC at that meeting.

This action by someone at the city (Mayor Linda Elam? City Manager Randy Robertson?) raises a host of questions.

The most important question, of course, is “WHO cancelled the City Commission meeting, and on what authority?” The Mayor (Linda Elam) has NO authority to cancel a regularly scheduled meeting. The City Manager (Randy Robertson) has NO authority to cancel a regularly scheduled meeting. The City Commissioners, meeting as a body, may vote to postpone a meeting, but there is no record of their having done so. If they met privately, or were even polled informally, such an action would violate the Tennessee Open Meetings Act (aka the Sunshine Law).

Legally, the meeting is still scheduled. If Mayor Elam cannot attend, that is no reason to cancel the meeting. The City has a properly elected Vice Mayor who is designated by the City Charter to chair the meeting in the Mayor’s absence.

The citizens should insist, nay – demand, that the Commissioners meet at their regularly scheduled time and transact such business as is properly before it. We urge Vice Mayor Ed Hagerty and Commissioners Floyd, Maness, and Bradshaw to meet at their regularly scheduled time on Feb 28.

WHO cancelled the meeting, and on what authority?

Could it have anything to do with this?

Tennessee General Assembly –
House Schedule for Monday, February 28, 2011

WHO cancelled the meeting, and on what authority?

Adding insult to injury, there is no agenda for the meeting posted on the city website, nor are there any copies of Commissioner Packets with the text of ordinances to be considered posted either. Such contempt for the law and the citizens is deplorable.


17 Comments

Filed under City Charter, Mt. Juliet City Commission, Open Meetings Law, Open Records

The House Schedule for Monday, February 14, 2011

Gosh! Will you look at that! I hope this doesn’t mess up Rep/Mayor Elam’s plans.

Linda's Conflict

She requested that the City Commission move their regularly scheduled meeting on Mon 2/14/2011 to Tue 2/15/2011 because she had “a conflict.”

Perhaps the other Commissioners should politely ask for a few more details the next time she requests a change in the meeting date.

Yet another example of the inherent conflicts that occur when you attempt to serve simultaneously in two elected offices.

2 Comments

Filed under City Charter, Mt. Juliet City Commission

State Rep. Linda Elam can also serve as Mt. Juliet mayor, judge rules

Headline from the Tennessean website

“State Rep. Linda Elam will also be able to serve as mayor of the growing city of Mt. Juliet, a judge ruled this afternoon.”

“Chancellor C.K. Smith issued a ruling stating Elam can keep both her state house seat and the part-time mayor position in Mt. Juliet in Wilson County.”

[. . .]

Smith also ruled Mt. Juliet City Commissioner Jim Bradshaw can keep his city seat as well as serve on the Wilson County Commission.

UPDATE: A story in yesterday’s Lebanon Democrat (not yet available on line) confirms that Jim Bradshaw was told of the judge’s ruling on Thursday and that he has resigned from the office of Vice-Mayor, though not from his seat on the City Commission. Chancellor C.K. Smith has ruled that he can continue to serve as both County Commissioner and City Commissioner until the end of his current terms.

14 Comments

Filed under City Charter

Complaints filed by Linda Elam & Jim Bradshaw

At 9:05 yesterday morning (Jan 11, 2011), attorneys for Mayor Linda Elam (paid for by the City of Mt. Juliet) filed a complaint against the City of Mt. Juliet.  The Action in Chancery Court in Lebanon is styled:

Mayor Linda Elam, Plaintiff, v. City of Mt. Juliet, Defendant.

It appears that the City of Mt. Juliet has paid for the filing of two lawsuits  against itself in the name of and for the benefit of Linda Elam and Jim Bradshaw.

Mayor Elam has the audacity to state in her complaint that she has filed her suit against the City “at the instruction and directive of the Board.”

It is both a conflict of interest and a misuse of public funds.

They should both be ashamed.

Here are links to copies of the relevant documents:

Linda Elam v. City of Mt. Juliet Complaint

Brief of the Defendant, City of Mt. Juliet

Linda Elam’s Motion for Judgment on the Stipulated Facts

Linda Elam’s Memorandum in Support of Motion for Judgment on the Stipulated Facts

Links for the Documents in re Bradshaw v. City of Mt. Juliet will follow shortly

40 Comments

Filed under City Charter, ethics, Mt. Juliet City Commission

The sad decline of the City of Mt. Juliet’s web site

[while we are waiting for eyewitness and online reports from the Jan 10, 2011 City Commission meeting]

Once upon a time, the City of Mt. Juliet had an actively updated, current web site  – http://www.cityofmtjuliet.org

That time is no more.

The BEST way for any government body to be transparent and open about its actions is to make access to its agendas, meeting items, and minutes easy for citizens. An internet website is the fastest, most convenient way for the government to make documents public and for citizens to access them.

The City of Mt. Juliet has all the necessary framework required to keep the citizens informed and to make information available.

Sadly, what appears to be lacking is any willingness or commitment to serving the citizens.

The City website has a Online Documents section, with a folder devoted to Agendas – Minutes – Packets. There is evidence from prior years that someone used to know how to use the Online Documents section, but the evidence would suggest that the city abandoned the practice of updating its Online Documents section sometime in 2010.

  • City Commission Agendas – no agendas posted after August of 2010, until the agenda for the first meeting of Jan-2011 appears, a gap 3 months with no documents.
  • Board of Commissioner Packets – Last packet posted was for the Nov 22, 2010 meeting. No packet for the December meeting ever posted. As of Jan 10th, 2011 no packet for Jan 10th,2011 meeting has been posted.
  • City Commission Minutes – the last set of Minutes posted is for April 17 of 2010. As of Jan-2011, there are eight months of missing minutes.
  • Ordinances and Resolutions – There are NO ordinances posted. There are resolutions posted through August of 2008 – nothing after that. There is a link to Municode which has a codified version of the City Code updated through April 26,2010. After that there is a single link to a single piece of legislation enacted since April 26, 2010 – ironically enough, it is the ordinance which approved the amendment to the city charter banning simultaneous holding of elected offices.

From its online treatment of ordinances, you might conclude that from April of 2010 till January of 2011, the City had enacted only two ordinances. There are no minutes to record what has happened online. There are missing commissioner packets that might show what was proposed. There is only the one ordinance from August on Municode and the 2010-2011 budget uploaded by the City’s Finance Director.

This is an “F” performance by government at any level. It is particularly embarrassing for a prominent, well-to-do suburb with a population of 30,000+. It’s not as though they have lacked the resources or the ability to do this. The website provides stark evidence that Agendas, Packets, & Minutes have been posted in the past.

The lack of attention to transparency betrays a contempt for local citizens which is reprehensible.

10 Comments

Filed under City Charter, Mt. Juliet City Commission, Open Records

The Day of Reckoning Approacheth

The 107th General Assembly will convene on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at noon.

“When the Legislature initially convenes, the first order of business is the swearing in of the members-elect. The two bodies meet in their respective chambers and the members take an oath of office swearing to support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of Tennessee and to perform their official duties impartially without favor or prejudice and to always to protect the rights of the people.”

– quoted from http://www.capitol.tn.gov/about/

Will Mayor Linda Elam abide by the City Charter (which she has previously taken an oath to uphold) and resign prior to being sworn in as a member of the legislature?

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Filed under City Charter, Mt. Juliet City Commission