NO Bobby JR - You may Not!
Council votes NO Re-establishing Court Clerk
Councilmen Henline & Simpson vote NO while Councilman Hines voted yes to repeal an Ordinance to restablish the City Recorder Treasurer.
Council Vote also thumbs Nose at Voters!
By: Pat Hunter
May 11, 2009
To a seasoned political observer like myself, I saw the writing on the wall two weeks ago so Lenoir City Council's actions came as no surprise. In a nut shell, Council told Bobby Johnson., Jr., you may not do the job and duties that you were elected to do. There seems to be little consideration to the good taxpayers of Lenoir City who now pay two people, Bobby Johnson, Jr., and Ms. Jackson, nice salaries and benefits to do the job that one person, Ms. Debbie Cook, managed to do for many years. Debbie Cook was the Treasurer Recorder until she retired; she was well liked and respected by the community.
At today's Lenoir City Council meeting, Council considered adopting an Ordinance re-establishing the court clerk position back to the City Recorder. Mayor Brookshire mentioned at the beginning of the meeting that Councilman Gene Hamby was not feeling well and therefore did attend today's council meeting.
The Mayor opened the floor to discussion or questions. The only thing left to do was make a motion commented the Mayor. If no motion is made, the motion will die for a lack of a motion, added Mayor Brookshire. Several legal opinions were requested by Council including a legal opinion obtained from the Tennessee Attorney General and MTAS- advisory to the city, which favored Bobby Johnson., Jr.
Mayor Matt Brookshire's request for a motion was greeted with dead silence. Councilman Buddy Hines finally made a motion and when no second was made Councilman Bobby Johnson, Sr., read his conflict of interest statement before he seconded Councilman Hines motion. There was no discussion before the vote was taken. Councilmen Tony Aikens, Mike Henline and Eddie Simpson voted No and Councilmen Buddy Hines and Bobby Johnson., Sr., voted Aye. The motion failed with 2 Aye votes and 3 NO votes, on first reading. Had the Ordinance gained approval, two readings would give back all the powers to the City Recorder-Treasurer's office to be in accordance to the City Charter.
Two weeks ago, Bobby Johnson., Jr., requested that Lenoir City Council take action to restore all the duties of the City Recorder’s office. A motion was made to draw up a new Ordinance to replace the old Ordinance that would restore the Court Clerk’s position back to the City Recorder.
Lenoir City Judge Terry Vann was not present however, last April 28, 2008, he attended a Lenoir City Council meeting and he spoke in favor of a proposed Ordinance regarding the appointment of a Lenoir City Municipal Court Clerk. Lenoir City Council approved the Ordinance and at the recommendation of Judge Vann, Ms. Jackson was appointed to the position. She was present at today's Council meeting to report $23,427.40 in Court fines collected for April. Judge Pleads his case
Last August 2008, Lenoir City voters thought that they had laid to rest a ballot question to Lenoir City’s Charter whether Lenoir City Council would be able to appoint the Recorder –Treasurer versus allowing the voters to elect someone to a four-year term. It seems that Lenoir City Council has thumbed their nose to the electorate with today’s vote.
Bobby Johnson, Jr. has several options, he may file a lawsuit and go to Court. He may appeal to the voters so they can ask Councilmen Aikens, Henline and Simpson, why they voted as they did and ask them to reconsider. Or City voters may seriously think about adding Recall provisions and Term Limits to their Charter - just food for thought!