Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November 30, 2011 MUC: Ninth List of Commissioner Candidates--George McGuffin, Steve Henrikson, Gene Lynch

The Morristown Utility Commission (MUC) met yesterday and came up with its NINTH list of candidates for the MUC commission seat currently held by George McGuffin.

McGuffin is absolutely, positively determined to get re-appointed--even if it means asking the state legislature to overturn the 2001 CITY REFERENDUM in which the VOTERS approved the current appointment process as part of changes made to the MUC Private Act.

It is McGuffin's quest to retain his seat for another five years that recently prompted the LeBel Five (Councilmembers Paul LeBel, Kay Senter, Bob Garrett, Chris Bivens, and Claude Jinks) to try an end-run around the 2001 REFERENDUM

The LeBel Five voted on November 15 to ask State Representative Don Miller and State Senator Steve Southerland to carry legislation changing the MUC appointment process that was put in place by the VOTERS in the 2001 REFERENDUM.

In the video, McGuffin is chairing the MUC meeting and is at the head of the table.

The NINTH slate of candidates for the Mayor's consideration are: George McGuffin, Steve Henrikson, and Gene Lynch.

From the list submitted by MUC, Mayor Thomas will select one name to present to the City Council for approval or disapproval on December 6. Councilmembers Paul LeBel, Kay Senter, Bob Garrett, and Chris Bivens have thus far rejected all EIGHT of the Mayor's previous nominees.

Councilmember Claude Jinks voted for the Mayor's first recommendation (Mike Minnich) and then quickly joined with the LeBel group to reject the next seven people. Claude's daughter-in-law Jackie Jinks works at MUC. Councilmember Bob Garrett worked at MUC for decades.

The individuals who have been disapproved by LeBel and Company: Mike Minnich, Glenn Thompson, Carroll Fowler, Wally Long, John Allen, Mike Davidson, Bruce Sluder, and Jerry Isaacs.

LeBel and Company have declared that it doesn't matter whose name is submitted by the Mayor---only George McGuffin will get their vote of approval.

Over the past several months, George could have graciously stepped aside at any time so a new commissioner could be appointed. Instead, George has kept pushing and allowing his name to be included on each MUC list.

Now, the LeBel Five have decided that THEY know what appointment process is best. The LeBel Five have decided that the current process that was put in place BY THE VOTERS should be overturned BY THE LEBEL FIVE with the assistance of Miller and Southerland. Why? So George McGuffin can continue his reign on the MUC Board.

NOTE: Jack Kennerly, who was on the previous list presented to the Mayor by MUC, was not included this time. Councilman Gene Brooks questioned Jerry Isaacs' and Kennerly's eligibility at the Nov. 15 council meeting, noting that Isaacs already serves on the Board of the Morristown Housing Authority and that Kennerly serves on the Morristown Planning Commission. City Attorney Dick Jessee responded that in his opinion joint service on the Morristown Housing Authority and MUC does not violate the MUC Private Act but joint service on the Morristown Planning Commission and MUC would be a "closer call."  Click here for the post and video segment on the Nov. 15 meeting. Jessee is also the MUC attorney. Apparently, Jessee put on his MUC attorney hat before yesterday's MUC meeting and advised the MUC Commissioners, including brother-in-law George McGuffin, that Kennerly is ineligible to serve on the MUC Board and, thus, shouldn't have been nominated by MUC the first time and shouldn't be put back on the new list. 

Click here for the exchange between Brooks and Jessee as Brooks asks whether Jessee is wearing his "City Attorney" hat or his "MUC Attorney" hat when Jessee offers opinions on Isaacs and Kennerly and actions taken by his client MUC.

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 21, 2011 Sue and Hobe Williams Honored for Work at Daily Bread

Sue and Hobe Williams were honored at the November 1 meeting of the City Council for their devotion and many years of work with the Daily Bread.

Under the guidance of Sue and Hobe and with the help of a large number of volunteers, the Daily Bread community kitchen has served meals to those in need for 17 years .

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November 16, 2011 MUC Board Appointment: LeBel Five Give "Thumbs Down" to Jerry Isaacs

The LeBel Five (Paul LeBel, Kay Senter, Bob Garrett, Chris Bivens, and Claude Jinks) did it again.

Yesterday, they rejected the Mayor's EIGHTH appointment to the MUC (Morristown Utilities Commission).

As soon as the Mayor nominated Jerry Isaacs, LeBel quickly moved to disapprove the appointment.

The vote to disapprove was 5-2 with the LeBel Five giving Isaacs the boot. Mayor Thomas and Gene Brooks supported Isaacs.

The Mayor has put forward EIGHT different names of candidates sent to him by MUC, and LeBel and company have shot down all EIGHT.

Gene Brooks raised questions about whether three of the candidates that MUC has sent to the Mayor have actually met the requirement set out in MUC's Private Act that an appointee can not currently hold a city office.

City Attorney Dick Jessee offered his opinion that Isaacs, who was appointed to the Morristown Housing Authority Board in 2009 by the previous Mayor, is "probably" OK.

When Brooks mentioned that another of the current names on the MUC list is Jack Kennerly and that Kennerly is on the Morristown Planning Commission, Jessee seemed surprised and said that would be a "closer" call. 

Jessee did not comment on John Allen whose name was sent to the Mayor several weeks ago my MUC and whose nomination by the Mayor, like that of Isaacs, was shot down by the LeBel Five. Allen serves on the Housing Board of Adjustments and Appeals.

Brooks wanted an opinion on whether MUC was sending names to the Mayor of persons who were not eligible to serve on the MUC Board.

Brooks then asked whether Jessee is wearing his "City attorney" hat or his "Morristown Utilities Commission attorney" hat when Jessee offers opinions on the actions of MUC. 

Brooks didn't even bring up the question of whether Jessee might also be wearing his "brother-in-law of MUC chairman George McGuffin" hat.

Jessee didn't say which hat he was wearing.

More to come in a separate post.

Monday, November 14, 2011

November 14, 2011 MUS: McGuffin, Isaacs, and Kennerly Nominated

The Morristown Utilities Commission Board, minus Chairman George McGuffin, met this morning.  

In a brief meeting, the MUC Board voted to send the names of Jerry Isaacs, Jack Kennerly, and George McGuffin to Mayor Danny Thomas for his selection of one name to submit to the council for approval or disapproval.

Thus far, the City Council has rejected all seven of the Mayor's nominees: Mike Minnich, Glenn Thompson, Carroll Fowler, Wally Long, John Allen, Mike Davidson, and Bruce Sluder.

Vice Chairman Harold Nichols presided yesterday and commented at one point that he was about to run out of names.

MUC Manager Jody Wigington read off the long list of rejectees, and no one even bothered to ask why councilmembers were rejecting local CPAs, engineers, plant managers, and sucessful businessmen.

No one had to ask. The reason for the rejections is all too clear. The only person is the city of Morristown who is acceptable to Council's Lebel Five (Paul LeBel, Kay Senter, Bob Garrett, Claude Jinks, and Chris Bivens) is George McGuffin.

Anyone else, no matter who it is, no matter how accomplished he or she is, is dead in the water.

Pictured (l-r): MUC Members Lynn Elkins; Max Biery; Gene Jolley; Harold Nichols;  MUC General Manager Jody Wigington; MUC Asst. General Manager/CFO Clark Rucker; Tribune Reporter.

Friday, November 11, 2011

November 11, 2011 Veterans Day

In honor and in remembrance of all who have served the United States of America in the armed forces at home and abroad...

In honor of all who currently serve the United States of America in the armed forces at home and abroad...

In remembrance of all who, in service to the United States of America, gave the last full measure of devotion...

The American Soldier

It is the soldier, not the reporter,
Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,
Who has given us freedom to demonstrate.

It is the soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who gives us freedom.

Monday, November 07, 2011

November 7, 2011 Former Asst. District Atty. Doug Godbee Seeks Diversion in "Sex for Leniency" Scheme

Former Hawkins County Assistant District Attorney Doug Godbee has asked Judge Duane Slone to grant him pretrial diversion.

Godbee, charged with soliciting sexual favors from female defendants in return for leniency, wants to avoid a trial, move straight to probation, and have his record wiped clean if there are no new charges during the probation period.

The most recent charges are not the first time that Godbee has run afoul of the law.  In 2006, Godbee resigned as Hawkins County prosecutor amid allegations by a female defendant of improper sexual conduct. He was later re-hired by District Attorney Berkeley Bell.

There are more legal proceedings ahead as a result of Godbee's conduct. Several women who claim to have been victims of Godbee's "pleas" for sex have filed civil suits against the State of Tennessee in the Tennessee Claims Commission alleging negligent supervision of Godbee. 

For more articles, click herehere, here, and here.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

November 2, 2011 Bruce Sluder's Nomination to MUC Board Shot Down by LeBel Five

Mayor Thomas had barely finished his nomination of Bruce Sluder to the MUC (Morristown Utilities Commission) Board when Paul LeBel made a motion to disapprove.  

LeBel, Senter, Bivens, and Garrett  then promptly sent Bruce Sluder to the ever-growing MUC dustbin. [Councilman Claude Jinks, a member of the LeBel Five on this issue, was absent due to a fall earlier in the day.

Mayor Thomas and Councilman Brooks supported Sluder.

Sluder becomes the seventh person to be nominated by Mayor Thomas (from a list that MUC provides to the Mayor) and the seventh to be summarily rejected by city councilman/county commissioner Paul LeBel and sidekicks.

Why the serial rejections of local CPAs, presidents of companies, engineers, and businessmen whose names have been sent to the Mayor and Council by the Morristown Utilities Commission? They aren't George McGuffin.