I wish to take issue with Mayor/State Representative Elam about remaining Mayor until she can see the fire issue resolved. What a joke, as she has been a major roadblock on that issue. I just don’t see her being of any benefit in the process and am glad that the City of Mt. Juliet has appointed a representative. Therefore, her services as mayor are NOT needed and she should go on to her new government job.
Since 2002, I have written letters about this issue and it still remains unsettled. The taxpayers of Wilson County, Lebanon and Watertown continue to pay for some of Mt. Juliet fire services. In 1995, a Court, later supported by the State, told Wilson County to establish fire districts because current funding was in violation of the law. The WEMA director established 2 fire districts rather than 4 districts (one for each entity).
In 2006, the County Commission passed a resolution to terminate fire service to Mt. Juliet. A committee was established to reach a solution. I attended all meetings and was very disappointed by both the leadership, its members and the lack of Lebanon to have any elected official attend the meetings. As a result, no solution was reached but rather to extend the current fire service for three years.
Mayor Elam and the Mt Juliet City Manager attended the meetings and presented their case. I had a conversation with Mayor Elam during a committee recess. She advised me she was quite satisfied with the present fire service arrangement. I told her that Mt. Juliet should have their own fire service or we should have districts and each entity pay for their share of the costs. I suggested that Mt Juliet be funded by a city property tax for their fire service. I found it interesting that she was proud of the fact that Mt Juliet had a City Property Tax of $0. I quickly pointed out a $0 property tax is not really a property tax, only that it was on the books and could be initiated.
We are now approaching 2011 and it’s been five years with no resolution. Mayor Elam is positively the very last person to try to reach agreement. It’s my opinion that she would be a hindrance to a fair and equitable monetary resolution. It’s time for her to immediately resign the Mayor position.
By PATRICK HALL, The Wilson Post
Plans have been in the works for years to build the Lebanon Municipal Airport a new terminal building, but the Airport Commission is trying to hammer out the details of renting the second floor as well as funding before moving forward.
The commission believes there is an opportunity at hand to generate revenue for the new building if portions can be rented. At this time there are two potential rental clients for the structure’s second floor including the Joint Economic & Community Development Board and the Wilson County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The JECDB has made a commitment toward renting most of the second floor according to the discussion at Thursday’s meeting while the Convention and Visitors Bureau is less certain.
ELECTION COMMISSION OFFICIALS
By ZACK OWENSBY, The Wilson Post
Together the two have 64 years of public service to the voters of Wilson County, but come Dec. 24, they will both retire to move onto the next chapter in their lives. Lynn Harris, administrator of the Wilson County Election Commission, and her right-hand woman, Martha Ann Sutherland, will be stepping down from their positions after nearly two-thirds a century of elections and polling.
Harris has served as administrator for 34 years and Sutherland has been there for 30 years herself. Together the two have seen drastic changes in election methods, political and geographic composition of the county.
The two have been together for many of life’s most important events, as well as many of the most important moments of Wilson County’s history as well. And they don’t plan on stopping living life together as friends after they lock the doors to the Commission office for their last time.