Monday, November 30, 2015

November 30, 2015 City Council Holds "Special" Meeting For One Item: To Increase City Administrator Tony Cox's Compensation Package Again

Below is a video of City Council in a "special" called meeting on November 24 voting to increase City Administrator Tony Cox's contract compensation package yet again.

The Council met on November 17 (one week before the special called meeting) and is scheduled to meet in regular session again on December 1 (one week after the special called meeting).

Apparently, someone decided there was an emergency at City Hall that required that council run a newspaper ad so it could meet in special session at 11:00 AM on November 24 for 12 minutes with its attorney present and with no public comments ----to talk about the "urgent situation" involving revisions to Cox's contract. And these revisions won't take effect until January 1, 2016. 

Sort of odd how this urgent situation arose and someone decided consideration of the proposed salary and benefit increase absolutely could NOT wait 7 days for council's next regular meeting day (December 1) and time (5 PM) when the public that foots the bill could be present and when the regular agenda would provide an opportunity for public comments.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Nov 29, 2015 Solid Waste Board Asks DA To Seek Restitution from Ronnie Brady

The Hamblen County/Morristown Solid Waste Board was asleep at the wheel for the 3-plus years during which its Director Ronnie Brady stole nearly $225,000 from the Hamblen County/Morristown Solid Waste Authority.

Brady was indicted after a special investigative audit was completed by the State Comptroller's Office. Click here for a prior post with links to the State Investigative Audit. Tracing the money that Brady took back to its source, the money came out of the pockets of the taxpayers and residents of Morristown and of Hamblen County as the City and County paid monthly garbage disposal/tipping fees to the Solid Waste Authority and Brady, in turn, siphoned a lot of these taxpayer dollars/public funds for his own use.
Recently, the Board voted to ask DA Dan Armstrong to request that Brady make restitution to the Hamblen County/Morristown Solid Waste Authority for the insurance deductible and extra audit expenses that the Authority incurred when the theft was finally discovered. Here is the SWB on November 20, 2015, voting to seek restitution for extra audit services and the insurance "deductible." There are rumors afloat that this restitution is part of a plea deal that has been offered to Brady. It remains to be seen if DA Armstrong plans to let someone steal nearly $225,000 in public funds and only have to make restitution for an audit and an insurance "deductible."

The Board's former chairman Stancil Ford was an "in-law" of Brady up until Stancil's divorce years ago. Ford and the rest of the Board apparently had such great faith in Brady that they didn't bother to make sure that all payroll and other checks that Brady was writing on the City/County Solid Waste Board checkbook were legitimate.

For years, while the SWB did nothing, Brady helped himself to an extra $190,000+ in payroll checks AND paid some of his car repair and credit card expenses (including a trip to Disneyworld) with public funds. Brady apparently felt that his $80,000+ salary along with car allowance and insurance benefits was not "enough." The SWB's former auditor Craine-Thompson-Jones didn't catch the theft until after several years had passed and Brady had helped himself to nearly a quarter million dollars --or more-- of public money!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

November 11, 2015 Veterans Day

vetsday HONOR VETS with wreath and flag.gif
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...

Americans owe a special debt to veterans of all branches of the armed forces. Our freedom has been bought and maintained with their sweat, blood, and devotion to duty.

Many have given the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Freedom is not free.

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.