Yesterday, the MUC Board (George McGuffin, Harold Nichols, Gene Jolley, Max Biery, and Lynn Elkins) met at 8 AM.
They selected a list of three candidates for the MUC seat currently held by longtime (34 year) MUC member George McGuffin.
The three candidates on this EIGHTEENTH list of candidates are: George McGuffin (18th time), Peter Cantwell, and Randy Harville.
Harville is the local manager of Holston Gases.
After Max Biery makes the nominations, he asks MUC Gen. Mgr. Jody Wigington if he (Wigington) knows Harville. Wigington laughs and says, "Yes, he's a competitor."
The reason that the MUC Board is submitting its18th list is because there are five councilmembers (LeBel, Garrett, Senter, Jinks, and Bivens) who think that George McGuffin is the ONLY person in Morristown who can serve in this position.
These five think that NO ONE in Morristown--not any of the previous 17 MUC candidates that have been rejected thus far and NO ONE ELSE that might be nominated by MUC in the future--is capable and qualified to serve on the MUC Board.
At the May 1 council meeting, these five will get to approve and officially enact the "McGuffin Law." The McGuffin Law was proposed LeBel and Associates back in November 2011 and sponsored in the state legislature in 2012 by two local legislators: State Sen. Steve Southerland and State Rep. Don Miller.
The McGuffin Law changes the current appointment process--that was put in place by the voters as part of the 2001 MUC Referendum. After the five enact the McGuffin Law, it will let them officially put McGuffin back on the MUC Board a few weeks or months down the road.
Of course, McGuffin never really left the MUC Board. He has remained on the Board as a "holdover" from the date his term expired on July 31, 2011.
Why is a Board appointment so important that state law has to be changed to ensure that McGuffin stays in place?
Certain positions (MUC Board) and certain people (McGuffin) are key to control and power in Morristown.
The MUC Board and McGuffin are two important pieces of the appointed/unelected local power (pun-intended) structure.
To keep those pieces in place, the "McGuffin Law" was sponsored and pushed forward in the state legislature by our local State Sen. Steve Southerland and local State Rep. Don Miller. It was signed by Governor Haslam and now comes back to the "LeBel Five" for final approval.
FYI: Sen. Southerland sponsored the McGuffin Law in the State Senate but refused to vote on it! Rep. Miller was asked by local citizens and later by state legislators to allow a referendum for approval of the McGuffin Law. He refused.
These five councilmembers (LeBel, Garrett, Senter, Jinks, and Bivens) and these legislators (Sen. Southerland and Rep. Miller) asked for your vote when they ran for office, but they refused to write the McGuffin Law or to make changes to the McGuffin Law to allow the people to vote on approval or disapproval in a referendum.
Why are these seven afraid of letting the people whom they serve "vote"?
Why were the people "good enough" to elect these people and "good enough" to put the current MUC appointment process in place as part of the 2001 MUC referendum question, but the people are not "good enough" in 2012 to vote in a referendum on whether to change that appointment process by voting to approve or disapprove the McGuffin Law?
When politicians act in an unusual way---and refusing to allow their constituents to vote IS unusual---it typically goes back to power and fear of losing control. If you are unsure about the result of a referendum or fear that you can't totally control a referendum, then you just do what you want to do without a referendum. And you try to cover yourself by blaming others for the problem!
When crazy things are happening and politicians refuse to let the people they serve vote, follow the money/power trail.