THE HUNTER REPORT
BY: PAT HUNTER
February 16, 2011
Today marks Lenoir City Mayor Tony Aikens first 90 days in office.
Numerous Lenoir City business men and women endorsed Tony Aikens for Lenoir City Mayor. The campaign ad included: Doug Gunnels, Harry Wampler, Chris Wampler, Jimmie Matlock, Mark Matlock, Jim Wilburn and others.
Its not just what you know but who you know.
On November 16, 2010, after the Lenoir City Mayor, Council and School Board members took their oath of office, Mayor Tony Aikens recommended that Harry Wampler be appointed to fill his council seat for the remaining 2-year term. Mayor Aikens stated his reason for recommending Wampler including his numerous years on Lenoir City Council, experience as a local businessman, and his contribution to the community. Harry Wampler served as Aikens campaign treasurer; he is pictured in the front row of the campaign advertisement between new LCUB Lobbyist Doug Gunnels, and Chris Wampler, Lenoir City Insurance representative.
After Lenoir City Recorder-Treasurer Bobby Johnson Jr. unexpectedly resigned (effective December 31, 2010) Jim Wilburn, another business supporter, was appointed by Mayor Aikens, to serve as interim Pro tempore Recorder.
Wilburn was sworn in on Jan. 7 and on Jan 10th Lenoir City Council approved Mayor Aikens appointment. A News Herald article about the Wilburn appointment stated ..."He is well-liked, well-respected, very successful businessman, and I know that he will bring a wealth of expertise to the office of city recorder, " Mayor Tony Aikens said in a statement." As of the Nov 2010 Lenoir City elections, Jim Wilburn did not reside in the corporate Lenoir City limits.
As of February 1, 2011, Doug Gunnells name appears on the Tennessee Ethics Commission website as a registered lobbyist for Lenoir City Utilities Board (LCUB). The Nature of lobbying interest(s) "Local government & special districts utilities/common carriers water."
Has Mayor Aikens selected the best qualified and talented people for the job, or is this nothing more than political patronage?
Click to viewDOUG GUNNELLS LCUB LOBBYIST pdf
02-17-2011 PDF added