Friday, October 28, 2011

October 28, 2011 MUS Sends Three Names to Mayor (7th Time)

The Morristown Utility Commission met yesterday. One item on the agenda was to nominate (for the seventh time!) a slate of three candidates to fill the expired term of Morristown Utility Commissioner George McGuffin.

This time around MUC nominated George McGuffin, Bruce Sluder, and Jerry Isaacs. This seventh slate of three will be presented to Mayor Danny Thomas who will then select and present one name to the City Council for approval of disapproval. 

The Council thus far has rejected all six MUC nominees selected by the Mayor. Rejected so far have been local businessmen, a CPA, an engineer, and presidents of local companies: Mike Minnich, Glenn Thompson, Carroll Fowler, Wally Long, John Allen, and Mike Davidson.

What is wrong with these people serving on the MUC Board? Why are they automatically rejected by the LeBel Five? They are NOT George McGuffin.

Although McGuffin's term expired on July 31, 2011, he continues to sit on the Commission and chair the meetings as a "holdover."  

McGuffin is seen in the video (above) sitting at the head of the table chairing the meeting.  McGuffin's brother-in-law is Dick Jessee. Jessee was at the MUC meeting wearing his MUC attorney hat.

On November 1st when City Council considers Mayor Thomas's MUC nomination, Jessee will be at the City Council meeting wearing his City of Morristown attorney hat. 

ASIDE: Jessee's law partner Herbert Bacon was nominated to serve on the MUC Board in 2000 and continued to serve until 2005 when he was forced to resign after the state attorney general opined that Bacon was ineligible to serve on the MUC Board because he was a General Sessions Judge.

The LeBel Five (Paul LeBel, Bob Garrett, Kay Senter, Chris Bivens, and Claude Jinks) have made it clear that they will vote against anyone whom Mayor Thomas nominates to replace George McGuffin on the MUC Board. 

And the LeBel Five will continue to vote "no" on every mayoral nomination while they ask Rep. Don Miller and State Sen. Steve Southerland to get the state legislature to allow the MUC private act to be changed by a vote of the LeBel Five.

They LeBel gang wants to change the law to completely eliminate the mayor's involvement in the nomination process. Then the LeBel Five will nominate and vote to allow the 34-year McGuffin/MUC dynasty to continue.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

October 19, 2011 LeBel Five Reject MUS Nominee Mike Davidson of JTEKT

At yesterday's council meeting, the LeBel Five said Mike Davidson, President of JTEKT Automotive, is not good enough to serve on the Morristown Utility System (MUS) Board of Commissioners. 

The Lebel Five are Paul LeBel, Bob Garrett, Kay Senter, Chris Bivens, and Claude Jinks. 

Davidson is the sixth mayoral nominee to be rejected by a group on council that thinks that there is no one in Morristown--except George McGuffin--who is qualified and able to sit in what has been the McGuffin seat on the MUS Board for over 30 years.

SIDENOTE: Yesterday, Gene Brooks accidentally voted with the LeBel Five against Davidson---just like Bob Garrett accidentally voted with Mayor Thomas on a MUS appointment weeks ago.

Gene Brooks supported Davidson and made a motion to approve Davidson. Brooks' motion died for lack of a second. When LeBel made the motion to reject Davidson, Brooks pulled a "Bob Garrett" and accidentally voted YES on LeBel's motion to reject Davidson.

As Garrett and Brooks have discovered, the vote on a negative motion is sometimes hard to handle. Since LeBel's motion was to reject the nominee, councilmembers who wanted to "reject" Davidson had to cast a YES vote on the reject motion.

It's the difference between asking "do you NOT want Mike Davidson" instead of asking "do you want Mike Davidson?"

LeBel and Senter also did a nice tag-team production whining and demanding that the Mayor act as their social secretary notifying them about upcoming meetings, but that is for another post.

The Mayor handled it well. He told the two-some--who were the ringleaders in the local "Occupy the Mayor's Office" movement--that he no longer had much access to the Mayor's Office. Thomas then  asked the City Administrator to provide meeting information to LeBel, Senter, and all councilmembers which is what should happen anyway.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

October 11, 2011 MUS Submits McGuffin, Davidson, and Sluder to Mayor Thomas for Selection of One as Nominee for MUS Board

The MUS (Morristown Utility Systems) Board of Commissioners met this morning in an "emergency" meeting to pick a slate of three names to submit to Morristown Mayor Danny Thomas to fill the expired term of George McGuffin. 

Acting according to the MUS Private Act, Thomas will submit one of the three MUS-provided names to the full council for approval or disapproval at the next meeting of City Council on October 18th.

At today's MUS meeting, Max Biery suggested George McGuffin, Mike Davidson, and John Stroud. Gene Jolley mentioned Alan Silver in place of John Stroud. Lynn Elkins then put Bruce Sluder's name in the mix, and Harold Nichols quickly voiced his support for Sluder. 

Elkins made a motion to submit the names of  George McGuffin, Mike Davidson, and Bruce Sluder to Mayor Thomas, and the vote by the MUS Board was unanimous.

At the October 18th council meeting, Mayor Thomas will nominate one (of the MUS three) to council approval or disapproval.  All FIVE previous mayoral nominees---Mike Minnich,  Glenn Thompson, Carroll Fowler, Wally Long, John Allen--have been rejected by council. Why? None of them were  George McGuffin.

So, unless George McGuffin voluntarily bows out and releases the LeBel Five to vote for someone else, we may be looking at the SIXTH rejection of a good and highly qualified person simply because that person is not George McGuffin and, therefore, is unacceptable to the LeBel Five. 

MUS Chairman George McGuffin did not come to today's MUS meeting. Harold Nichols presided.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

October 5, 2011 Engineer/Businessman John R. Allen Rejected for MUS Board by the LeBel Five (VIDEO)

John R. Allen, a local engineer and businessman, was nominated for the MUS (Morristown Utility System) Board by Mayor Danny Thomas at yesterday's city council meeting. His was one of three names submitted to Mayor Thomas by the MUS Board.

Gene Brooks made a motion to approve Allen. His motion failed to get a second. Mayor Thomas, as chairman of council meetings, can not make or second a motion.

Kay Senter then made a motion to not approve Allen. Paul LeBel seconded the motion.

Allen's nomination was then quickly voted down by the LeBel Five (Paul LeBel, Kay Senter, Bob Garrett, Chris Bivens, and Claude Jinks).  Mayor Thomas and Gene Brooks supported Allen.

The quick rejection was delayed slightly by difficulties with the automated voting machines as everyone had to vote "abstain" on Brooks's motion in order to clear the machines for the vote on rejection of Allen.

Allen thus goes down as the FIFTH person to be told by LeBel and Company that he is just not good enough to sit on the MUS Board--not good enough to take the "McGuffin" seat. 

Brooks asks at one point why these people are being sent up/for rejection. Councilmember Senter says that this is the "process." Councilmember Garrett says this is "democracy."

For the previous rejections, click here, here, here, and here.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

October 2, 2011 MUS Commissioners Nominate Three, Including Their Own George McGuffin, for a 5-year Term on the MUS Board

The MUS Board of Commissioners (George McGuffin, Harold Nichols, Gene Jolley, Lynn Elkins, Max Biery) met on September 29, 2011. The Board wasted no time in nominating three individuals for the seat currently held by longtime MUS Board member George McGuffin.

The three persons nominated by the MUS Board are: George McGuffin, Mike Davidson, and John Allen.

Max Biery made the motion, and in less than two minutes the three were selected by acclamation. Click on the video. [MUS  has rescinded its previous "no-taping" edict, unofficially allowing its 9/20/11 meeting to be taped and voting "officially" at its 9/29/11 meeting to allow taping of its meetings with a few restrictions.] 

At City Council's October 4 meeting, Mayor Danny Thomas will submit one of the three names to City Council for Council's approval or disapproval--just as Thomas has done on FOUR previous occasions. 

Thus far, the LeBel/McGuffin group has rejected all FOUR of the Mayor's previous selections.

With several councilmembers in his pocket or in the pocket of his friends, McGuffin has successfully blocked the appointment thus far of mayoral nominees Mike Minnich, Glenn Thompson, Carroll Fowler, and Wally Long.

Based on the track record of the LeBel Five (Paul LeBel, Claude Jinks, Bob Garrett, Kay Senter, and Chris Bivens), the Mayor's nomination of anyone except George McGuffin at the October 4 meeting of the City Council will be shot down quickly with the LeBel Five insisting that no one within the city limits can take George's place on the MUS Board.

Paul LeBel, who is also a county commissioner, supported  George McGuffin's son Frank in Frank's race against Mayor Danny Thomas in May 2011.  LeBel has never gotten over Danny Thomas's  convincing victory over Frank McGuffin, dislikes Mayor Thomas, and has voted FOUR times to reject all FOUR of Mayor Thomas's previous nominees. 

LeBel is determined to oppose almost any idea, suggestion, or innovation by the man (Danny Thomas) who defeated LeBel's personal choice for mayor (Frank McGuffin).  

LeBel has even resorted to sending out letters to councilmembers --outside of a public meeting--to get councilmembers to sign on to Paul's two-prong plan (1) to take away the City Mayor's cell phone and (2) to "timeshare" the City Mayor's office, purportedly so Paul and buddies can talk with their "constituents" in the Mayor's office at the City Center instead of in the nearby conference room or in council chambers.  

NOTE: LeBel managed a 24-vote victory over Charles Cook in the May 2011 four-man race for the at-large city council seat. LeBel is also a county commissioner, having been first elected to the county commission in a close race in 2006. During the past 5 years on county commission, LeBel has NEVER tried to "timeshare" any county office, has NEVER asked to use any space at the courthouse to meet with constituents, and has NEVER attempted to take away the County Mayor's cell phone.

Claude Jinks, whose daughter-in-law Jackie Jinks works at MUS, has voted three times to reject the mayor's nomination of anyone "other than George."

Bob Garrett, who worked at MUS for over 40 years and supported George's son Frank in Frank's unsuccessful May 2011 mayoral race against Danny Thomas, has voted four times to reject each of  Mayor Thomas's four previous nominees.  Garrett is in his first term on council with a term that expires in May 2013.

Kay Senter is another who has voted four times to reject Mayor Thomas's nominee.  Senter, who has been on council for years and years, will be up for re-election in May 2013 if she chooses to run again.

Chris Bivens, who rode the anti-incumbent tide to a victory over longtime councilmember William "Doc" Rooney, abstained once and then joined the LeBel Five, voting three times to reject the Mayor's nominee.

These are the five councilmembers who have banded together to let everyone in Morristown and across the state know that there is no one in the city limits of Morristown who can serve the next five-year term on the MUS Board of Commissioners except George McGuffin.

The LeBel Five are being encouraged to hold firm and keep rejecting anyone other than George until January 2012 at which time the LeBel Five/George McGuffin intend to ask State Senator Steve Southerland and State Representative Don Miller to change the law so that the LeBel Five can officially put George McGuffin back on the MUS Board instead of simply blocking the Mayor's nomination of CPAs, business owners, and plant managers.

MUS is just another board where one appointment turns into another and another--until for all practical purposes it is a lifetime appointment with no one else getting a chance to serve until the appointed/anointed one steps aside or passes on.