Tuesday, August 26, 2014

August 26, 2014 Morristown-Hamblen Humane Society Cancels Today's Meeting WIth Little or No Notice

With a mid-morning call to County Mayor Bill Brittain's office, Morristown-Hamblen Humane Society President Christine Coley cancelled today's monthly meeting of the Executive Board of the beleaguered group.

The meeting had been scheduled for today in the West Wing Conference Room of the Courthouse. The Executive Board was expected to vote on accepting or rejecting the animal control and fiscal accountability contract drafted by the City of Morristown and Hamblen County and approved last Thursday by the County.

I was planning to attend and found out about the cancellation when I called the Mayor's office a little after 9:30 to check on the meeting time.

Hopefully, most of the other people who were going to attend also called or found out by word of mouth that the meeting was cancelled.

I asked the lady at the Mayor's office if Christine Coley. the president of the MH Humane Society, had given a reset date. No. 

The only thing that the Mayor's office knew or would say was that the meeting was "off."

Monday, August 25, 2014

August 25, 2014 Morristown City Council Spends Taxpayer Dollars for 2-day Workshop Get-Away in Gatlinburg

The Morristown City Council met at the Edgewater Hotel and Convention Center in Gatlinburg on Friday, August 22 and Saturday, August 23.

Lots of interesting discussions and comments from the Mayor and councilmembers.

Zero "press" present.

For some reason, the local "news"paper chooses to give the councilmembers privacy in these retreat meetings--even though these meetings, called strategic planning workshops, are public meetings in which public business is discussed.

It is a shame that the council often chooses to meet away from Morristown for these workshops. Mr. Cox has previously scheduled overnight workshops at the Carnegie Hotel in Johnson City and at the Meadowview Resort Center in Kingsport.

There will be more on the "retreat," but here is a starter video where the council--that has been condemning and demolishing substandard houses for several years now--discusses two downtown eyesores that have been ignored.  

Click on the link for the video of LeBel discusses giving TIFs (tax increment financing) to the owners as an economic incentive; Chesney proposes new city "Belk and Bradley's" city ordinances; and Garrett mentions the city condemning and tearing the buildings down.


Friday, August 22, 2014

August 22, 2014 The Industrial Board Elects Officers--New City Landowner Marshall Ramsey Becomes Secretary-Treasurer

At Wednesday's special called meeting of the Industrial Development Board of the City of Morristown, the previous officers were re-elected.

Jack Fishman will continue as chairman.
James Craine continues as vice-chairman.
Marshall Ramsey was elected as secretary-treasurer.
Anderson Smith apparently continues as "assistant" secretary treasurer.

Prior to July 1, 2014, Marshall Ramsey acted as secretary-treasurer of the IDB and signed documents on behalf of the Board although he was not qualified to serve on the Board.

He was not qualified to serve on or be an officer of the Industrial Board of the City of Morristown because he did not live in the City of Morristown nor did he own property in the City of Morristown.

Luckily, Ramsey had friends in high places.

Ramsey finally became a "legal" member of the Industrial Board on July 1, 2014, when George (MUS) McGuffin, Don "TIF" Bunch, and Wayman Skelton deeded him a city lot in Hampton West Subdivision and a few hours later the City Council appointed him to the IDB.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

August 20, 2014 City Council Unanimously Approves the Mayor's Appointment of Rod Isaacs to the MUS Board To Replace Gene Jolley

The latest MUS appointment saga/fiasco is over.

Yesterday, Mayor Thomas nominated Rod Isaacs to the MUS Board. Bob Garrett seconded the appointment, and the full council unanimously voted "yes."

Previously, the council rejected the Mayor's nomination of Max Biery and Jack Kennerly from three-person slates sent to the Mayor by MUS.

Then the MUS Board (George McGuffin, Harold Nichols, Gene Jolley, Lynn Elkins, and Bryan Dickerson) sent two slates to the Mayor that included individuals who were not qualified to serve on the MUS Board because they served on other city boards.

Finally, MUS figured out the qualifications for service on the MUS Board and sent the three-person slate of Jolley, Rod Isaacs, and Jay Smith to the Mayor.

On the surface yesterday, the six city councilmembers (LeBel, Garrett, Bivens, Senter, Chesney, and Alvis) had a different attitude and tone toward the Mayor and in regard to the Mayor's nomination of Isaacs.

Just a few weeks ago, these same six rejected the Mayor's nomination of Jack Kennerly.  LeBel then asked all those in favor of Glenn Thompson to raise their hands. Six hands went up. LeBel asked City Administrator Tony Cox to send a letter to MUS telling them that council supports and wants MUS to include Glenn Thompson on its slate of MUS nominees.

MUS ignored LeBel's suggestion--or maybe Thompson didn't want to be involved in the whole MUS mess and declined to let his name be included.

August 20, 2014 Industrial Board Elects Officers Today

At the Morristown Industrial Development Board meeting this morning, the IDB will be electing "officers."

The current officers are Chairman Jack Fishman, Vice-chairman James Craine, and Secretary Marshall Ramsey.

It appears that the IDB is holding an election right now because one of its current officers (Marshall Ramsey) has been serving on the Board and has been signing legal documents for the Board for nearly two years without even being qualified to serve on the Board.

The most basic qualification for IDB membership is that an individual has to be a city voter--i. e. they reside in the City or they live outside the city but own property in the city. [This came from a discussion I had with IDB Attorney Bill Foutch about IDB qualifications several months ago]

Another requirement is that an IDB member can't serve on any other city board.

Ramsey lives in the county.

When questions about Ramsey not meeting IDB qualifications were raised recently, George McGuffin (of MUS and McGuffin Law fame), Don "TIF" Bunch, and Wayman Skelton came to Ramsey's rescue. They deeded a city lot in Hampton West to Ramsey on July 1, 2014, which made Ramsey a city property owner. With that freshly-signed July 1, 2014, deed in hand, Ramsey was re-appointed by city council to the IDB on---yep---July 1, 2014.

Now to tidy things up, the IDB is electing officers so its newly-qualified member Marshall Ramsey can be officially elected as secretary to the Board and can legally sign IDB documents.

And, yes, it is possible that someone else could be elected secretary or to any of the other offices today.

Another item of interest for future posts: Ramsey was not the only member of the 16-person Industrial Board who had been serving without being qualified to serve on the Board...more on the others later.

Monday, August 18, 2014

August 18, 2014 Industrial Board Meets This Wednesday (8/20/14)

This week, the Industrial Board holds a special meeting on Wednesday, August 20, at 7:30, in the basement of the Chamber building.

On the City website, it says the meeting is for the election of officers, more action on the TIF at Popkin Center (the Food City on part of the Berkline site), and any other business that may properly come before the Board.

In addition to placing notice of this meeting on the City website, the Industrial Board put notice of this meeting in the "news"paper owned by the Industrial Board Chair Jack Fishman.

Let's see if the "news"paper changes its practice and sends one of Jack's reporters to cover this meeting.

More on the Industrial Board later---what you don't see in the "news"paper that is controlled by the IDB Chair Jack Fishman.

It was interesting to read the "news"paper's report on the special MUS meeting last week. The meeting was described as being the "second revision" of the third list of nominees for the Board seat currently held by Gene Jolley last week. Why an original list followed  by two revisions?

Because the MUS Board with five members with over 80 years experience apparently didn't know that MUS Board members can't serve on any other city board and/or didn't bother to check (TWICE) whether its nominees were on other Boards.

Scroll down for the two posts on the MUS nominees. The second revision of the third list goes to the Mayor and council tomorrow.

Friday, August 15, 2014

August 15, 2014 Hopefully, MUS Now Understands the Qualifications for MUS Board Membership

The Morristown Utilities Systems (MUS) Board held a special called meeting yesterday (see post below) and nominated Gene Jolley, Rod Isaacs, and Jay Smith for the Board seat currently held by Gene Jolley.

Four members were present (McGuffin, Jolley, Nichols, and Dickerson). Jolley abstained from the vote, and Lynn Elkins was absent.

These names will be sent to Mayor Danny Thomas who will submit one of the names to the full city council for approval or rejection.

The MUS Gang That Can't Shoot Straight thinks it finally has a three-person slate where all three are qualified to serve.

The next hurdle for any nominee is city council which has the ultimate decision on approval or disapproval. 

In a council meeting weeks ago, Councilman Paul LeBel stated that Glenn Thompson was council's choice. LeBel then asked for a "show of hands" of those in favor of Thompson. Six hands went up--LeBel, Senter, Bivens, Alvis, Garrett, and Chesney. 

The Council Gang of Six asked City Administrator Tony Cox to send a letter to the MUS Gang of Five letting MUS know of council's preference. Apparently, the Gang of Five didn't get the memo from the Gang of Six or decided to ignore it.

That leads us to another twist to the MUS saga. This is MUS' third submittal of three qualified names to the Mayor. The 2012 (George) McGuffin Law provides that if Council rejects the Mayor's third nominee, then MUS and the Mayor are out of the picture, and Council can make its own nominations.

So, if the Gang of Six really wants Glenn Thompson, the Gang just has to reject the nominee that the Mayor selects, and then the Gang can nominate and appoint Thompson.

[Scroll down for yesterday's post on how the self-nominating MUS Board twice nominated unqualified persons for the Board and had to back up and revise its slate of candidates.]

Thursday, August 14, 2014

August 14, 2014 Morristown Gang of Five That Can't Shoot Straight

Thank you to the many people who kept coming to the blog during the past 9-month hiatus and who called periodically and asked when I would post again.

It's time to start posting again and we'll start with The Gang That Can't Shoot Straight (aka the Morristown Utilities System Board). The 5-member MUS Board is having a special called meeting today at 11:30.

They have to have a special called meeting to see if they can finally come up with THREE names of QUALIFIED individuals to nominate for the board seat now occupied by Gene Jolley whose term expired a few weeks ago.

You would think that would be easy. Not for MUS. In their previous two attempts at the three-person nomination process, they have selected two qualified individuals and one unqualified individual.

The nominees have to meet the very simple and basic qualifications to serve on the MUS Board, but the MUS Board (a) doesn't know that you can't serve on the MUS Board if you are on any other City Board and/or (b) doesn't bother to ask their proposed nominees if they serve on any other Board.


Especially since the MUS Board is made up of 5 individuals who have collectively served on the Board for over 80 years and the nominees they are proposing are friends and business associates.

The five current members are Chairman George McGuffin (with 40 years on the MUS Board) along with Harold Nichols (over 20 years on the MUS Board), Gene Jolley, Lynn Elkins, and Bryan Dickerson.

In their previous two strike outs:

1) MUS nominated Gene Jolley, Ray Campbell, and Jerry Isaacs. Problem: Isaacs serves on a City Board and so was not able to serve on the MUS Board, too. New meeting required.

2) MUS then held a special meeting with its attorney Dick Jessee present and nominated Gene Jolley, Rod Isaacs, and Joel Hice. Problem: Hice serves on the Industrial Board for the City and was ineligible to serve on the MUS Board, too. [Jessee is also the City attorney and is McGuffin's brother-in-law.]

So, MUS is holding another special called meeting today to see if they can possibly come up with three nominees--all of whom are not serving on another City Board--to send to the Mayor who will then select one name for consideration by the full City Council.

It's good to be back...Enjoy! 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November 19, 2013 Another Clue in the Kalitta Hangar Deal

It's the deal that has been on the City's agenda twice recently. There has been discussion at council but never with any public mention of the people involved.

It's the Airport-Kalitta contract, termination, buyout-- it has been described in lots of different ways.

Soon the revised deal and the name(s) of the people involved in the new hangar lease at the Morristown Airport will be public.

Since Councilmember Chesney started giving clues on his Facebook website a few weeks ago, I gave a clue yesterday morning.

Here's another clue: RJ

As an aside, Chesney's Facebook page is very nice. You can click here to see his City Hall site,

Monday, November 18, 2013

November 18, 2013 Chesney's Guessing Game

At the last city council meeting, there was discussion, sort of, about a person or persons (never named) who were interested in taking over the airport hangar lease between the City and Kalitta Air.

It seems City leaders approved a contract with Kalitta years ago without reading it or asking questions of the City attorney.

Evidently, council decided they had to pass the contract to find out what was in it!

Fast forward to today. Kalitta decided to pack up and move on and sent the City a huge bill for getting out of/buying out the contract.

Presumably, tough negotiations followed and the City decided several weeks ago to settle the matter and buy the hangar from Kalitta for $975,000.

At the last council meeting before a vote was to be taken on approval to take the $975,000 out of fund balance to pay Kalitta, it was revealed that a third party was interested in taking over the lease. The vote was postponed to see if a new lease can be worked out.

That's all well and good. 

But no one at the City would mention the name of the persons with whom the Airport Commission was negotiating. Never mind that this was a city contract and public business. The public will be told what's going on----sometime-----usually right before or after it's a done deal.

On Councilman Gary Chesney's City Hall Facebook page someone asked about the secrecy. Gary said "some" people already know and then he decided to turn it into a guessing game with a clue for his reader: "...it is a local person who has an office near the airport and has a vested interest in air travel."

Well, let me throw out another clue: LM

Soon, very soon, we'll know.

And maybe Gary will give another clue about this and other public business.

Monday, November 11, 2013

November 11, 2013 VETERANS DAY

History of Veterans Day

Excerpts from U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs website
World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” - officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

Soldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meuse in France.
Soldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meuse in France, wait for the end of hostilities.  This photo was taken at 10:58 a.m., on November 11, 1918, two minutes before the armistice ending World War I went into effect

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"

On May 13, 1938, a Congressional Act was passed making the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as "Armistice Day."

In 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history and after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting in its place the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

For more on the history of Veterans Day, click here.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

November 10, 2013 Captain Justice Wins Over General Rettig

This is too good!

The Government's attorney doesn't want to be referred to as the government's attorney because such a reference might "inflame" the jury! The prosecutor files a motion asking the Judge to order that she be referred to by only four "acceptable" (to her) names.

The reply by the attorney for the Defendant has made news in Tennessee and beyond. Click on each image and see if you can keep a straight face as Captain Justice responds.

Wondering how it all came out?

Well, the Judge tossed General Rettig's motion in the trash--figuratively speaking, of course.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

October 1, 2013 Councilmembers Violate Open Meetings Act at Kingsport Retreat

The City Council held a special workshop or "retreat" at the luxurious Meadowview Convention Center in Kingsport on Friday, September 13, and Saturday, September 14. Six councilmembers attended the retreat. [Mayor Thomas was present briefly on Friday but left and did not return.]

It appears that the six councilmembers attending the Kingsport retreat violated the Open Meetings Act by discussing, deliberating, and actually making a decision to give City Administrator Tony Cox a $7,000 increase to his deferred compensation package.

When you hold a "special" called meeting or workshop, there are special requirements for the public notice that is provided. The notice must include the agenda for the meeting and each item that will be deliberated on or on which a decision will be made.

According to the September 6, 2013, public notice for this special workshop/retreat, the council was going to Kingsport to work on "strategic planning" with MTAS facilitator Pat Hardy. 

Apparently, they did more than just strategize in Kingsport. In this video taken at the Finance Committee meeting on September 17, 2013, Councilmember Gary Chesney, who is chairman of the Finance Committee, admits that the six councilmembers discussed and deliberated and reached a decision on additional compensation for the City Administrator--even though this was not an agenda item on the public notice for the special workshop meeting.

You might ask whether council could have amended the published agenda to add the deferred compensation item for discussion and deliberation. The short answer is "no." A special called meeting is just that---it is called for a special and specific purpose. The public must be notified of the purpose or purposes and no other item(s) may be considered. [At a regular meeting, agendas typically can be amended to add items but special called meetings are different]

There is another irony to this violation of the open meetings act. Chesney has recently been posting on his City Hall website about being a "firm believer" in Tennessee's Sunshine laws. (1) The Open Meetings Act which calls for open meetings and adequate public notice of those meetings, and (2) the Public Records Act which requires that public records be available to the public. 

Click here to see what Mr. Chesney had to say about Tennessee's Sunshine laws right before he violated the Open Meetings Act as admitted in the video. 

Mr. Chesney was not alone in this violation. Councilmembers Kay Senter, Paul LeBel, Chris Bivens, Bob Garrett, and Dennis Alvis were present in Kingsport as well and, according to Chesney, all discussed and "agreed" on the additional compensation.

Today, the full council will try to "cure" this particular violation by taking up the deferred compensation issue at its regular council meeting.

[As a sidenote, I find Mr. Chesney's City Hall website very informative. I recently commended him at a public meeting for taking the time to post about city business and meetings. I wish other councilmembers would do the same and, as always, I continue to ask that the council put its council packets online so that the public can see the contracts, the resolutions, the ordinances, and background information for council actions]

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

August 21, 2013 Council Approves Mayor's Nomination of Bryan Dickerson to MUS Board

There is a new member on the five-person MUS Board of Commissioners.

After councilmembers rejected the first two mayoral nominations (Max Biery and Jim Sexton) to the Morristown Utility System Board of Commissioners,  Mayor Thomas made a third pick yesterday, and the full council then approved his appointment of Bryan Dickerson to the MUS Board in a 7-0 vote.

Dickerson will take the seat currently held by Max Biery who was nominated by the Mayor from a list of three persons provided to him by MUS but whose re-appointment to the MUS Board was rejected by a majority of councilmembers (Garrett, LeBel, Alvis, and Bivens) on July 16.

Monday, August 19, 2013

August 19, 2013 MUS Sends Another Slate of Three Names to the Mayor to Replace Max Biery on the MUS Board of Commissioners

The MUS Board of Commissioners met last Friday, August 16, to prepare a third slate of names to submit to Mayor Danny Thomas for his recommendation of one of those individuals to the full council to replace MUS Commissioner Max Biery.  [Biery's re-appointment to the MUS Board by the Mayor was rejected on July 16 by the council.]
The five MUS Commissioners recommended that the names of Bryan Dickerson, Steve Isaacs, and Wally Long be submitted to the Mayor.
The Mayor nominated Biery for re-appointment back on July 16, 2013, but four members of the council voted to reject the re-appointment. Those opposed to Biery's nomination were councilmembers Bob Garrett, former head of the MUS Water Department; Paul LeBel; Dennis Alvis; and Chris Bivens. The video and vote is here
MUS submitted another list of three names, and five councilmembers then rejected the mayor's nomination of Jim Sexton of MAHLE to the MUS Board on August 6, 2013. Voting to reject Sexton's nomination were Bob Garrett, former head of the MUS Water Department; Dennis Alvis; Chris Bivens; Kay Senter; and Gary Chesney. The video and vote is here
There is a power struggle for control of the MUS Board of Commissioners--especially with steps being taken ever more rapidly to transfer city sewer operations to MUS.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

August 7. 2013 Five Councilmembers Vote To Reject the Appointment of Jim Sexton of MAHLE to the Morristown Utility Systems Board

And the rejection beat goes on...

On July 26, the five-member MUS (Morristown Utility Systems) Board chose a (second) slate of three individuals for appointment to the Board of Commissioners and sent the list to the Mayor. The list was comprised of Bryan Dickerson, Jim Sexton, and Glenn Thompson.

As the law requires, the Mayor presented the name of one of the MUS nominees to the council yesterday--Jim Sexton of MAHLE.

Bob Garrett immediately made a motion to reject Sexton. Garrett is a former longtime employee of MUS and headed the Water Department for many, many years.

The vote to reject was 5-1. Garrett, Kay Senter, Chris Bivens, Dennis Alvis, and Gary Chesney voted to reject Sexton (Paul LeBel was absent).  Mayor Danny Thomas supported Sexton.

No one said anything during the public portion of the meeting as to why he or she opposed Sexton. 

All that is publicly evident at this time is the power struggle to control the MUS Board and that a majority of council do not want Max Biery or Jim Sexton on the Board or maybe they just don't want anyone that the Mayor nominates---even though the Mayor is simply selecting from the list provided to him by the MUS Board of Commissioners.
Back on July 16 four councilmembers (Garrett, Bivens, Alvis, and LeBel) voted to reject the mayor's nomination of sitting MUS commissioner Max Biery---who was on the previous slate of three individuals recommended to the Mayor by the MUS Board of Commissioners.

Click here to go to the post with video of the rejection of Biery by council.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

August 3, 2013 Max Biery Nominates Three for His MUS Commission Position

Max Biery, former head of JTEKT, has served as a Morristown Utility Commissioner for about 12 years.

His current term on the MUS Board expires this year. In June, the MUS Board prepared a slate of three nominees, including Biery, for the Mayor's selection and council's confirmation or rejection in July. That slate consisted of Biery, Steve Isaacs, and Terry Brimer.

On July 16, 2013, the Mayor nominated Biery from that slate, but the Morristown City Council in a 4-3 vote rejected Biery's nomination for another term as a utility commissioner. The votes to reject Biery's nomination came from Dennis Alvis, Bob Garrett, Paul LeBel, and Chris Bivens.


On July 26, 2013, the MUS Board met and Biery, leaving off the names of Isaacs and Brimer, proposed a completely new slate of three nominees to send to the Mayor: Bryan Dickerson, Jim Sexton, and Glenn Thompson.

That video is here:

Earlier in the same meeting, Biery alluded to the fact that this meeting could be his last when he asked Clark Rucker for one "last" explanation of a degree day.

The Mayor's nomination of an individual to take Biery's place followed by a "yes" or "no" vote by the full council will likely take place at the Council's August 6, 2013, meeting.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

July 17, 2013 In 4-3 Vote, Council Rejects Max Biery's Re-Appointment to MUS Board

There is a power struggle going on.  It involves several boards appointed by city council. Many of these boards have control over city infrastructure and/or make recommendations to council regarding city development, tax increment financing awards, and other important issues.

At yesterday's city council meeting, an appointment to one of the most powerful boards in Morristown--the Morristown Utility Commission--was on the agenda.

The Morristown Utility Commission voted on June 27 on three names to send to the Mayor (current MUC member Max Biery, Steve Isaacs, and Terry Brimer). The Mayor then  recommends one name for a full council vote. The MUS video is here:

Yesterday, Mayor Thomas recommended that Max Biery be re-appointed to the Morristown Utility Commission.

Bob Garrett, a 40+ year former employee and former head of the Water Department at MUS, immediately moved to reject Biery's nomination. He was then joined by three other councilmembers who rejected Biery by a 4-3 vote. Those voting to reject Biery were Garett, Paul LeBel, Chris Bivens, and Dennis Alvis. Voting for Biery were Mayor Thomas, Gary Chesney, and Kay Senter.

None of the four stated why they were opposed to Biery or who they have in mind for the position. Biery has served as a Morristown Utility Board Commissioner since 2001 when the Board was expanded to five-members. Biery is a retired head of J-TEKT and his initial appointment was seen as placing a representative of industrial interests on the MUS Board.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

July 4, 2013 The Declaration of Independence

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, - That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. - Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the
Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. - And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Friday, June 14, 2013

June 14, 2013 Industrial Board Recommends Another One-Year Extension for Freedom Energy Diesel Project

At Wednesday's Industrial Board meeting, the Board voted to recommend that City Council give another one year extension to Freedom Energy Diesel to develop a coal-to-gas plant at the East Tennessee Progress Center.

In June 2011, 116 acres in the ETPC was sold at a deeply discounted price to D4 Capital Holdings, LLC which transferred the property to Freedom Energy Diesel, LLC for construction of a $405 Million dollar plant that would use new technology to convert coal into gas/diesel. The head of FED is David Wild of Morristown.

The IDB named FED "Project Victory."

Despite D4 and/or FED assurances that round-the-clock construction of the plant would begin, the City included in its June 2011 deed that if construction had not begun within one year, then the property would revert to the City of Morristown.

One year later, June 2012, grading had taken place but no construction of the facility had begun and no product was being shipped. FED asked for and was granted a one-year extension to go "overseas" for financing. David Wild spoke at that IDB meeting. See the council and IDB video here.

Now another year later, June 2013, no construction of the facility has begun and no product is being shipped. FED has asked for another extension. The second one-year extension is broken into two phases---6 months (December 31, 2013) to obtain and present proof that it has the financing in place for the project and then another 6 months (June 30, 2014) to begin construction.

No member of the IDB asked FED representative David Wild any questions about the status of the project before voting on the extension.  [IDB Chairman Jack Fishman said City Council had requested that the IDB make a recommendation.]