Category Archives: YMCA

Former MJES site appraised at $3.4 million

new story posted at the web site of the Mt. Juliet News. [Registration required, but it’s free]

The county-owned, 12-acre former elementary school site and premium piece of real estate in Mt. Juliet has been appraised at $3.4 million, according to Wilson County Mayor Robert Dedman.

“The county has owned it for years, and I was told last night it was just appraised at $3.4 million,” Dedman said. “I’ve had several calls from real estate people interested in it, but we put it off for the reappraisal. Mike Jennings [county attorney] has a list of the people interested, and I think the county commission is ready to let it go.”

Dedman noted the asking price would most likely be $3.5 million.

Best quote from the story comes in the follow-up section on the Town Center Overlay zoning restrictions that currently apply to the site:

“When I was campaigning [for her second term as Mayor], someone told me there were problems with the Town Center Overlay,” she [Mayor Elam] said Tuesday. “I had never heard of such issues, but thought it should be looked at again a few years later from when it was conceived.

Really? Up until the campaign, Mayor Elam had never heard of any problems with the Town Center Overlay? Gosh. It’s a good thing somebody told her during the campaign, so she could leap into action three months later. 

On another note, it doesn’t sound like the county will be interested in selling the site to the City for $1,050,000 [or $2,000,000].



Filed under Mt. Juliet City Commission, Wilson County Commission, YMCA

Headlines from the Chronicle of Mt. Juliet and elsewhere

There really was a City Commission meeting on Monday, November 24th. There’s a two page story about the meeting in the November 26th Chronicle. But there’s no story in the Mt. Juliet News.

chron2008-11-26First step taken to rescind YMCA deal
The City Commission voted 3-1 to approve on first reading an ordinance to prohibit futher action towards purchasing the old MJES property from the county. A resolution, sponsored by Commissioner Bradshaw, to investigate the decision NOT to seat newly-elected D1 Commissioner Ted Floyd at the November 10th meeting died for lack of a second.

Land Use Plan approved, Red Lobster ok’d
At the planning commission meeting held on Thursday, November 20th.  A clarification was added to the site plan for Lowe’s stating that no area of the parking lot may be used as a sales area. The site plan for a “Sherwin Williams Pain Store” [sic] in Mt. Juliet Crossings was approved. Hey, typo’s happen. Still funny when they do. Site plan for Famous Jose’s restaurant on Lebanon Road in Coolview Commons was approved.

from the Mt. Juliet News:

Applications to MJPD hand gun safety course skyrocket
Waiting list now extends to April, 2009. Anticipating hope and change from the Obama administration

‘It’s an ugly eyesore’
A house, relocated from Davidson County, is sitting on a lot on Old Lebanon Dirt Road. Just outside the Mt. Juliet city limits, so it will be interesting to see how Wilson County officials deal with it.

Planners lift Red Lobster’s stop work order
The city’s zoning regulations call for 70% brick on the side facing the street and 50% on the other three sides. Red Lobster has 16% on the side facing the street and 77% on the other three sides. They’re switching from siding to red brick veneer on the street side which will increase the percentage to 45%. The Planning Commission granted them a waiver and allowed them to resume work. They have a projected opening date of Feb 2, 2009. But isn’t granting a variance from a zoning requirement supposed to be a function of the Board of Zoning Appeals?


Filed under Planning Commission, YMCA

County squires silence MJ commissioners and put old MJES land up for sale

Not metaphorically – literally. Commissioner Hagerty and Commissioner Sellers asked for permission to address the meeting of the Wilson County Commission on Monday night on the subject of the City’s purchase of the MJES site for the benefit of the YMCA. The Wilson County Commission denied their request to speak on a vote of 14-10.

The County Commission then voted 24-0 to have the property appraised and placed on the market for sale at the appraised price.

More details (including a few fascinating quotes) in this weeks Chronicle of Mt. Juliet.


Filed under YMCA

Five reasons why the Mt. Juliet City Commission’s approval of the YMCA deal is voidable, void, ultra vires, illogical, unethical, and probably fattening

The Mt. Juliet City Commission (or, more accurately five individuals purporting to be the Mt. Juliet City Commission) met on Monday night at City Hall and approved a Master Development Agreement and Lease with the YMCA for eight acres of the old Mt. Juliet Elementary School site.

The action on Monday night is ridiculous and wrong-headed to start with. The County probably won’t sell the land to the City on the terms proposed, but aside from that the City Commission has once again revealed itself to be reckless and willing to violate state law, Roberts’ Rules, and common sense.

Why Ed “Davy Crockett” Hagerty (Commissioner-YMCA) has suddenly decided to park all of his small-government principles and lead the charge to approve this ridiculous deal is but one of many mysteries.

Former Commissioner Ray “Some people just shouldn’t be arrested” Justice (Commissioner-Little League) at least can claim to have consistently supported every hare-brained scheme to build a park in Mt. Juliet that has ever been presented to the Commission.

Will “I did NOT say ‘worry'” Sellers’ (Commissioner-Linda Elam) support for the project is another mystery.

But the action purportedly taken on Monday night is invalid for at least the following five reasons:

  1. The failure to seat newly elected D1 Commissioner Ted Floyd renders any vote cast by Ray justice at the meeting void. See City Ordinance 97-03 where the terms of City Commissioners are set by ordinance to be “UNTIL the regular Federal November election.”
  2. Failing to have written certification from either the City Manager or the Finance Director that the funds are available to undertake the expenditures authorized in the ordinance renders it void. See TCA 6-22-128.
  3. Considering, on second reading, a version of the lease which restored language which had been amended out at the first reading renders the ordinance void. Mayor Elam tried to remind the Commission that they had deleted 6.1(i) and 6.1(ii) at the previous meeting by amendment. A review of the video of the October 27th meeting shows they did amend the agreement, by a vote of 5-0. Yet, the language which had been deleted at the previous meeting was still in the version of the lease that they debated and voted on on Nov 10th. Here’s what they voted on:
    Here’s the section of the minutes showing where the highlighted text was amended out at the Oct 27th meeting:
    In spite of this, the commission considered and voted on a version of the lease where the highlighted sections had NOT been amended out.
  4. Amending an ordinance on second reading resets the consideration of the ordinance to first reading – meaning the action taken on Monday night is incomplete at best.
  5. Approving a lease with a liquidation clause that states “In the event the YMCA willfully refuses to close this Agreement by failing to enter into the Ground Lease, then the YMCA, as its sole and exclusive remedy, may be reimbursed by the YMCA for . . . actual documented costs incurred by the City . . .” may not render the ordinance void, but it certainly ought to embarrass everyone who had anything to do with approving the lease. The City Attorney, the City Manager, and the City Commission are all either grossly negligent, or incompetent, or both.

The full text of the proposed Lease and Master Development Agreement has been posted on the City Website. It’s not pretty.

The City Attorney has (allegedly) carefully reviewed this lease before submitting it to the City Commission.

The City Manager has (allegedly) carefully reviewed this lease before submitting it to the City Commission.

The City Commission has (allegedly) carefully reviewed this lease before voting on it.

Lots of egg on lots of faces.


Filed under YMCA

Will Ray Justice get a final chance to vote on the YMCA deal?

It appears so.  The Mt. Juliet City Commission meets tonight at 6:30pm. This is the first regularly scheduled meeting after the election.

City attorney Jason Holleman has opined that the new D1 Commissioner Ted Floyd cannot be seated until his election has been “certified” by the Wilson County Election Commission. And so, according to the City Attorney, Ray Justice will sit in the D1 seat tonight and get another chance to vote to give the YMCA eight acres in the heart of Mt. Juliet.

The City Attorney’s interpretation begs the quesion of why Linda Elam and Ed Hagerty get to continue to sit in their seats, but there is a saying that “possession is nine-tenths of the law.”

TCA 6-20-107 Declaration of results (in the section on Cities – Election of Commissioners) says:
“The county election commission shall determine and declare the results of the election. The requisite number of candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected.”

TCA 6-20-109 Beginning of terms of office then goes on to say:
“The terms of all commissioners shall begin at the beginning of the first regularly scheduled meeting of the board of commissioners following the date of their election.”

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Filed under YMCA

Headlines from The Mt. Juliet News and The Chronicle, 10/15/2008

Summit wants to open center in MJ

would like a long-term lease for approximately five acres at this site for the development of medical services. The city is “fine tuning” details to purchase the prime 12 acres from the county. The County Budget Committee has voted to put the 12 acres back on the market. County Commissioner Bernie Ashe said “the time ran out” on the city’s deal. “Nobody has done anything. We want to sell it.”

Candidates spar at Mt. Juliet News’ ‘Your Voice. Your Vote.’ Forum
According to the newspaper, the forum was taped and “will be aired on Mt. Juliet’s Comcast Channel 3.” No schedule for the broadcast given. It’s been a week now. Our bet – the video of the forum will never be broadcast. The “quality” of the video will be deemed “not good enough.”
Elam attacked Marlowe over voting $1,000,000 for a county horse arena, and charged he “never met a property tax he didn’t like,” and pointed out that he continued to serve as a county commissioner for seven months after moving out of his district.
Marlowe defended his vote for the horse arena, saying it would pay for itself. As to moving out of his district he said he stayed on, “because he was asked to do so.”
Mack charged that the City had once again been neglecting the problem of traffic and pointed out that Elam had been censured for a conflict of interest.
Justice said the City should start its own fire department and defended the purchase of land for a YMCA. Justice said his district generally supported a property tax.
Floyd said no property tax is needed at this time.
Mack reminded everyone that he had voted to repeal the city property tax in 2000. Bradshaw added his “no” on property tax as well.

MJ Mayor candidate Marlowe leads in campaign contributions
Did Marlowe accept an illegal corporate contribution?

Marlowe has raised $10,725; Elam has raised $2,499; Mack has raised $699; Bradshaw has raised $100
Elam also reported two personal loans from herself to her campaign totaling $14,000.
John Gipson (developer of the Paddocks Center) has made $1,000 contributions to Marlowe and Elam. The Tennessee Realtors Political Action Committee made a $1,000 contribution to Marlowe, no contribution to Elam.
Marlowe also received $1,000 from Ken Powers (developer of Mt. Juliet Crossing, and Elam’s former employer) as well as $1,000 each from Mark Distefano and Brenda Distefano.
The Mt. Juliet News reports that Marlowe received a $1,000 contribution from Summit Realty Group in Mt. Juliet, but that can’t be right. Why can’t that be right? We’re glad you asked. T.C.A. § 2-19-132(a) provides that:

“it is unlawful for the executive officers or other representatives of any corporation doing business within this state, to use any of the funds, moneys, or credits of the corporation for the purpose of aiding either in the election or defeat in any primary or final election, of any candidate for office, national, state, county, or municipal, or in any way contributing to the campaign fund of any political party, for any purpose whatever.”

Violating this part of the election law is a Class C misdemeanor. A) Surely Summit Realty Group knows that making a corporate contribution is illegal? B) Surely Marlowe knows that he shouldn’t accept a corporate contribution? C) Surely the Mt. Juliet News knows that a corporate contribution is illegal and a criminal act?
For all these reasons, we’re sure the details of the story in the Mt. Juliet News MUST be incorrect and that Summit Realty Group didn’t really make an illegal campaign contribution to Marlowe. . .
[hint: we’ll be happy to provide access to ALL the campaign disclosure reports from ALL candidates]

Summit Medical interested in MJ
And a few other things were done at the Commission meeting last Monday

County squire has “proof” MJ officials overlook fire codes in homes
County Commissioner Chris Sorey says that City officials have been signing off on houses that had not completely passed City fire codes inspections.

Ask the mayoral candidates
Bradshaw, Mack, & Marlowe prefer the Stones. Elam prefers the Beatles.
Bradshaw says the manager/commission form of government works good. Also full-time mayor works well.
Elam says the Mayor should have the authority to match her responsibility.
Mack believes the citizens should be given the opportunity to amend the charter to make the position of mayor full-time
Marlowe doesn’t think the city is ready yet for a full-time mayor, and we don’t have to be in a hurry.

County out $171K in legal fees in ACLU case
Actually, no. In spite of the headline, the text of the article explains that the County is out $100,221. The judge “reduced the award by 30 percent to account for the plaintiffs’ limited success.”

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Filed under YMCA

Headlines from The Chronicle and The Mt. Juliet News, Oct 8 2008

YMCA lease could be done by the end of Oct.
Inside: Long term lease for YMCA could be signed by end of month

YMCA has sent draft of master development agreement to the City
“Wilson County Attorney Mike Jennings is drafting a purchase agreement for the property that would have to be approved by both the city and county commissions.”
“Holleman said the property has a price tag of $1,050,000.”
“. . . the city commission could be signing off on it by the end of this month or early November.”
[Want to bet?]

Political signs slashed in MJ
McCain/Palin sign slashed in broad daylight on Lebanon Road

YMCA, property tax hot topics at mayoral forum
All of the candidates now opposed to the deal, but Mack charges “this whole debacle is the result of her efforts to do some city-funded aquatic or YMCA program.”

County fire fighters’ chili cook-off informs on public safety and upcoming election
Firefighters say there is not enough man power in Mt. Juliet

New Land Use Plan could bring new look to face of MJ
[That’s what we’re afraid of. . .]
City Planner Lisa Keylon: “Businesses have some obligation to step up and pay for part of the roads, water and sewer.”
[And who has the obligation to pay for the rest?]

MJ candidates reveal priorities at forum
– District 1

Justice calls for a full-time paid fire department, says it was “almost criminal” that the city didn’t have its own fire department . . . and 70 police officers, just like Lebanon! Justice further claimed his work with the county toward building the “Reverse L Connector” to the new high school was evidence that cooperation between the city and the county already existed. [How’s that “Reverse L” construction going, by the way?]
Brydalski says he’s not a policeman or a politician, but a businessman. Floyd said it’s time to settle down as a team, and I have the maturity for the job.

Candidates for Mt. Juliet Mayor speak out on issues at chamber forum
[does anyone else find it odd that coverage of the D1 race is on the front page and coverage of the Mayor’s race is on page 5? What’s up with that?]
Marlowe says he can bring order to chaos, “I can build relationships.”
Mack highlighted his service as a veteran, an engineer, former commissioner and mayor
Elam claimed she had “something to do” with changing the face of the city
Bradshaw said he had perfect attendance.
Mack let everyone know what he thought of the new Land Use Plan. He ripped it up.
Elam was the only candidate to support the Town Center Plan.
Mack said the Town Center concept was a ‘colossal failure’ and had stifled development.
All of them said they were opposed to the City giving the YMCA the old MJES site. Mack blamed Elam for focusing on building the YMCA an aquatic center.

Too bad some type of compromise couldn’t have been reached over signs
The realtors aren’t happy. [And of course, the politicians exempted themselves during this year’s campaign]

Breaking news:
Wilson can expect population explosion

[Say is isn’t so! Really? Do ya think? Hello! McFly!]

In a related story:
Fewer apple trees mean fewer apples for everyone

And finally
Meaning of ‘quintessential’
[text of the story does not mention the word ‘quintessential,’ but it does define ‘ambition’]

Really… we’re not making these headlines up.


Filed under YMCA