Charter Change A No Go
|In their mad rush to take control of the Lenoir City
Treasurer's office, Mayor Brookshire and pals forgot one very important
point. It wasn't legal to put the question on the February election.
After putting the wheels in motion, bringing in the Charter review
committee and being so confident of the out come to have the charter
rewritten to eliminate the elected treasurer position, Brookshire's
plans came to a screeching halt.
According to Loudon County Election Commissioner, Dana
Zehner, the State Constitution only permits a home rule municipality,
such as Lenoir City, to put the question of a Charter change on state
general elections which are held in November. With such a desire to take
over the treasurer's office, seems the first thing to find out would be
whether the change could be placed on the ballot. According to City
Administrator, Dale Hurst, he had "phoned Dana" Loudon County Election
Commissioner Dana Zehner, and she had said the council could place the
question on the February ballot. Hurst even went into great detail
explaining to the Charter review Committee Zehner's explanation on how
and when the council would need to vote on the matter to place it on the
Problem is, according to Zehner, Hurst nor anyone else from the city ever contacted her nor asked her anything about a charter change before the day of the canceled meeting. According to Zehner, I, your lowly web host, was the first to ask her anything about the current attempt to change the charter and the first to report on it. I recalled the last charter change about four years ago, there had been discussions that charter changes could only take place in November is what prompted my quarry to Ms. Zehner.
Somebody is not telling the truth. Hurst says he
contacted Zehner. Zehner says he didn't. Why does this even matter? Both
Hurst and Zehner hold positions of very important public trust. If
either would be willing to be dishonest about a matter of an election,
we should all be very, very concerned. Was Hurst just so determined to
carry out the wishes of the mayor that when asked by a CRC member about
the the February ballot question he would actually mislead or deceive
them to keep the process in motion? Would for some inexplicable reason
Loudon County Election Commissioner, Dana Zehner, fill compelled to deny
talking to Hurst? Either way, resolution to this matter should be sought
and appropriate actions taken. Is it any wonder citizens have so little
confidence in their public officials.