Wednesday, July 18, 2012

July 18, 2012 McGuffin Thanks the Five Councilmembers Who Rejected Twenty-One Other People and Then Promptly Attacks Mayor

George McGuffin was re-appointed to the Morristown Utility Commission at yesterday's council meeting. No surprise there.

Afterwards, McGuffin strode to the podium to thank the five councilmembers who serially rejected twenty-one other candidates for the MUC post over the past year and who even changed state law to pave the way for McGuffin's re-appointment.  

[Ironically, the law that was changed for McGuff was an appointment process that MUC proposed and brought to the council in 2001. After the 2001 appointment process and other MUC changes were put on a referendum for a vote OF THE PEOPLE, MUC paid for signs and political ads in the local "news"paper supporting the MUC referendum question and asking voters to Vote FOR Private Act 2 which was the MUC Referendum Question.]

In his "acceptance speech," McGuffin bragged on MUC and then directed some very personal remarks to Mayor Danny Thomas who, McGuffin said, should be "ashamed" of changing his cable and internet from MUS FiberNet to a competitor. [With the vitriol shown by MUC toward the Mayor, it was probably prudent of the Mayor to move his personal email and internet from MUC to another provider.]

Sons Frank McGuffin and Patrick McGuffin, councilmember Bob Garrett, and fellow MUC Commissioner Lynn Elkins joined in a round of applause for McGuff's remarks.

Despite McGuff's personal remarks, Thomas made no comment. In fact, Thomas (in suit and tie) went to McGuffin to shake hands after the meeting adjourned. McGuffin (in the red shirt) barely shook hands before jerking his hand back and walking off to hug Kay Senter--one of the Five.

July 18, 2012 McGuffin "Officially" Returns to MUC 5-2.

After getting five councilmembers, State Rep. Don Miller, and State Sen. Steve Southerland to serially reject twenty-one other people and to change state law for him, George McGuffin was re-appointed to the Morristown Utility Commission (MUC) in a 5-2 vote yesterday.

Paul LeBel made the motion. Kay Senter seconded it. Voting for McGuffin were LeBel, Senter, Garrett, Bivens, and Jinks. Voting against were Mayor Danny Thomas and Gene Brooks.

The law that was changed for McGuffin  in 2012 was an appointment process that had been approved and put in place by the vote of the people in a 2001 referendum election.

Just prior to yesterday's vote, Councilman Gene Brooks asked City/MUC Attorney Dick Jessee about the legality of political ads and signs that MUC paid for during the 2001 referendum telling Morristown residents to Vote "FOR" the MUC Private Act. Jessee repeated that MUC could provide "information" about a referendum but hesitated to answer Brooks' specific question about whether MUC could go beyond information to telling people to VOTE FOR the MUC referendum question.

Monday, July 16, 2012

July 16, 2012 MUC Board Meets Today (VIDEO ADDED) To Select George McGuffin and Two Throw Away Nominees

The Morristown Utility Commission Board meets this morning at 8:00 AM to select its twenty-second list of three nominees for the MUC seat held by MUC Chairman George McGuffin.

The MUC Board is composed of George McGuffin, who has been on the Board for over 34 years, Harold Nichols, Gene Jolley, Lynn Elkins, and Max Biery. UPDATE: Only Harold Nichols, Lynn Elkins, and Max Biery showed up for the meeting.

Unless George McGuffin voluntarily steps aside after a year of fighting to stay on the Board and after state law was changed to ensure that he could continue at the helm of MUC, the list will be headed by George McGuffin with two throw-away names included simply because the list has to have two other people on it.

UPDATE: It's McGuffin, and the two throw away names are Jay Smith and Lloyd Etter.

Under the new McGuffin Law that applies only to Morristown and overturns the vote of the people in the 2001 referendum, this list will go directly to the city council tomorrow and the five councilmembers who created gridlock for the past year by blocking approval of 21 previous people will finally get to "officially" put George McGuffin back on the MUC throne.

The councilmembers who voted to change state law for McGuffin are Paul LeBel, Kay Senter, Bob Garrett, Claude Jinks, and Chris Bivens with a big assist from Sen. Steve Southerland and Rep. Don Miller who ushered the McGuffin Law through the state legislature and kept a tight lid on it all by refusing to let the people vote on the McGuffin Law in a referendum.

The seven don't want any pesky people voting again--why, that might open everything up to everyday people. They don't want that.

The list of 21 rejectees is here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

July 10, 2012 Helen Ross McNabb Center Requests $148,000 from MUC for New Building

Helen Ross McNabb Center (HRM), a community mental health organization offering mental health, substance abuse, and social services, is asking the Morristown Utility Commission to provide $148,000 of funding toward lighting at a new building to be built by HRM.

If the request is granted, the money would come from MUC's "round-up" program where actual MUC bills are "rounded-up" to the next dollar and the money collected above the actual billing is put into a fund from which commissioners donate funds for qualified and approved community projects. 

[Your MUC bill is automatically rounded-up unless you opt out and ask to be billed only for the actual amount.]

Mike Fishman spoke to MUC Commissioners on June 28 to start the discussion:

Denise Terry Stapleton spoke of her involvement with HRM:

Helen Ross McNabb's Houston Smelcer spoke:

MUC Commissioner Lynn Elkins: "Addiction and mental illness is epidemic...Our workforce is going to suffer. Why provide services for surrounding counties?...If it weren't for the surrounding counties, we wouldn't have enough people to operate our plants now."

MUC took the request under advisement.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

July 4, 2012 21st Morristown Leader Rejected as Not Good Enough by LeBel Five

Tom Strate, longtime Morristown resident, businessman, and insurance agent, was nominated to the Morristown Utility Commission by Mayor Thomas on Tuesday. His nomination was quickly rejected in a 5-2 vote.  Strate thus joins the 20 other people who are not good enough to sit on the MUC Board. See the full list of 21 rejectees at the end of this post.

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.

Mike Minnich
Glenn Thompson
Carroll Fowler
Wally Long
John Allen
Mike Davidson
Bruce Sluder
Jerry Isaacs
Gene Lynch
Steve Henrikson
David Wild
Steve Isaacs
Chris Horne
Joel Hice
Jo Ervin
John Hodge
C.L. "Buddy" Jones, III
Randy Harville
Terry Brimer
Peter Cantwell
Tom Strate

July 4, 2012 How Did Our Founders Celebrate Independence?



Reuniting Americans
With Their True Heritage
July 4, 2012

On the evening of July 2, 1776, after the adoption of
the Declaration of Independence, John Adams wrote
to his wife Abigail expressing the significance of that
day. In his letter he wrote about how future
generations should celebrate with parades, shows,
games, guns, bonfires and fireworks. For the most part,
Americans have taken heed to Adams' call to celebrate
that day. However, America has forgotten the most
significant act of honoring this great occasion. First
and foremost, Adams wrote, "It ought to be
commemorated as the Day of Deliverance, by
solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty."

Our Founding Fathers believed that God was delivering
us from the tyrannical hand of the British government,
just as He had delivered the children of Israel from the
bondage of Egypt. Evidence of this strongly held belief
can be found in the first proposed seal of the United
States. The seal was designed by the same committee
that drafted the Declaration, which included Thomas
Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams. The seal
had the image of "Pharaoh sitting in a chariot, a crown
on his head and a sword in his hand, passing through
the divided waters of the Red Sea in pursuit of the
Israelites: Rays from a pillar of fire in the Cloud, expressive
of the Divine presence and command, beaming on Moses
who stands on the shore and extending his hand over the
sea causes it to overwhelm Pharaoh."
As long as Israel honored God for delivering them from
Egypt, his hand of protection was upon them. But when
they turned their back to him is when they faced tribulation
and judgment. This is why our Founders felt that the most
important thing for us to do in celebration of our
deliverance from tyranny is to give "solemn acts of devotion
to God Almighty."
On July 4, 1787 the delegates to the Constitutional
Convention recessed their proceedings to celebrate the
"Day of Deliverance." There were many opportunities
to celebrate with games, parades and parties, but instead,
under the leadership of George Washington, the
delegates assembled at the Reformed Calvinistic Church in
Philadelphia to worship and pray. Reverend William Rogers
delivered a sermon about trusting in the wisdom of God
to establish a "free and vigorous government."
This Independence Day, share this story with others, and
be sure to pray for our nation and honor God for his
deliverance and for the strong faith and dedication of our
Founding Fathers.
Georgia State Senator Barry Loudermilk
Franklin Seal

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

July 3, 2012 MUC Selects One Nominee for the McGuffin Seat (and Two Toss-Aways)

George McGuffin, chairman of the MUC Board of Commissioners presided over the monthly MUC meeing last Thursday, June 28, at 8 AM.  Other MUC commissioners in attendance were Harold Nichols, Lynn Elkins, Gene Jolley, and Max Biery.

One of the first items on the agenda was a vote on three names to submit to Mayor Danny Thomas for his selection of one name to submit to the council for the MUC seat currently held by George McGuffin.

The MUC Commissioners approved a three-name list consisting of George McGuffin, Jay Smith, and Tom Strate.

Actually, let's face it. This is really a one-name list (George McGuffin) with two toss-aways (Jay Smith and Tom Strate) thrown in simply because MUC is required to submit three names.

Keeping George on the Board is the name of the game, and it is a very important game.

So important that 20 people--selected by the MUC Board--have already been rejected by what is now a five-member council coalition determined to keep anyone else from sitting in the "McGuffin seat."

So important that these same five councilmembers got Sen. Steve Southerland and Rep. Don Miller to sponsor a bill to change state law to overturn a part--the MUC appointment process--of the 2001 MUC Referendum so that the MUC appointment comes directly to council for a direct vote after rejection of three mayoral nominees.

So important that these five councilmembers (Paul LeBel, Bob Garrett, Kay Senter, Claude Jinks, and Chris Bivens) were afraid and refused to allow the people to vote in a new referendum in 2012 on whether there would be a change to the appointment process that the people had put in place BY THE PEOPLE--at the urging of MUC--in the 2001 MUC referendum. 

So important that Rep. Miller, who was asked by fellow legislators and several of his constituents to let the people vote in a referendum on approval or rejection of the McGuffin Law, repeatedly said "no" to letting the people vote. 

Miller wants the people to vote for him for state representative, BUT he doesn't want to let the people vote in a referendum on the MUC Act as they were allowed to do in 2001.

Monday, July 02, 2012

July 2, 2012 City Finance Committee Meeting on June 21

The Finance Committee of the City of Morristown met on June 21 for 10 minutes to get three handouts from longtime City Auditor Tom Jones of Craine, Thompson & Jones.

Just after the halfway point, Jones asks for the Council/Finance Committee to explain how it exercises financial "oversight." Bob Garrett says he has already answered: "Tony (Cox) takes care of it."