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Elam is a hindrance to fire issue

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Dear Editor:

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.

Gary Thomas
Lebanon

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