Two councilmembers supported Strate (Mayor Thomas and Gene Brooks). Five councilmembers (Paul LeBel, Bob Garrett, Kay Senter, Claude Jinks, and Chris Bivens) voted to reject Strate.
The Morristown Utility Commission, made up of Harold Nichols, Gene Jolley, Max Biery, Lynn Elkins, and Chairman George McGuffin, sent Strate's name along with two others (George McGuffin and Jay Smith) to the Mayor last week. The Mayor made his nomination of Strate from the MUC-provided list.
The last three of the 21 rejections have taken place after the new McGuffin law that was ushered through the state legislature by Sen. Steve Southerland Rep. Don Miller and ratified by five councilmembers on May 1st with LeBel, Senter, Bivens, Garrett, Jinks, Southerland, and Miller refusing to allow the people to have their voice heard on the issue in a $250 referendum.
Under the McGuffin Law a/k/a McGuffin Appointment Process, MUC will submit its next list of three nominees directly to the council. The councilmembers who pushed to change state law for one person are positively giddy at the prospect of being able to take the next three-person MUC list, immediately throw away two of those names and then nominate that one special person, George McGuffin, at long last.
It has been noted that the current appointment process was put in place BY THE PEOPLE (72%) as part of the 2001 MUC Referendum Question. The five councilmembers pushing the McGuffin Law were asked to have a referendum on any proposed change to the 2001 voter-approved appointment process. They refused.
Sen. Steve Southerland was asked to provide for a referendum and let the people vote. He refused.
Rep. Don Miller was asked to let the people decide. To quote Don Miller's one-word response to requests from citizens and state legislators to let the people of his district vote on this issue: "NO."
In 2011 and 2012, not one of the following nominees to sit on the MUC Board could get the approval of a majority of the full council.
C.L. "Buddy" Jones, III