Democracy or Banana Republic?


At Monday’s Sept. 10th 6:00 p.m. meeting at the Courthouse Annex, commissioners will vote on several important Agenda items. This includes voting on Commissioner Nancy Marcus controversial employee insurance health plan proposal. The Budget Committee (names below) approved and recommended a plan where all employees will pay 2% more on health insurance, effective Jan. 2008. Currently, Loudon County pays 90% and a county employee pays 10% of insurance cost.


Commissioners will also nominate a Chair and fill numerous committee appointments, but names are not posted on the Loudon County government website even though we employ an IT person, at a salary and benefits of $40K - 50K est.!  


Electing Commission’s Chairperson:


Commission elects a chairperson and vice-chair annually, and adopts its own rules and procedures. Commissioner Roy Bledsoe has been Chair for many years. I believe its time for a change. Commissioners should elect a Chair with courage to lead in a positive direction. The mayor presides or dominates most meetings including workshop meetings. Commissioners adopted rules and procedures, which allow people to speak, Commissioners however, look the other way while some people are bullied and harassed and meetings run amuck!


Leadership starts with the Chair of Commission. It’s time to break away from business as usual. In other counties, the mayor sits in the audience and gives his or her report at the prescribed time on the agenda. Loudon County commission is the legislative body. Government should act responsibly with checks and balance and transparency.


Approving Committees, What about Salary & Benefit Committee?

Also on the agenda is the approval of committee appointments. Missing for a 2nd year in a row, is filling vacancies on the Salary & Benefits Committee (S & B).  This committee has important functions including formulating and recommending proposed policy changes to employee health insurance, wages and salaries, and other benefits.


The S & B committee met regularly since June 2005 but after the 2006 General Election, things changed. Several months ago, Commissioner Nancy Marcus, a member of the S & B committee, asked Mayor Arp if the committee had dissolved? According to Mayor Arp, “elected officials” were meeting 2 and 3 times a month on different employment proposals. Vacancies should be filled and the Salary and Benefits Committee should reconvene and meet publicly in accordance to the Sunshine Law, preferably during evening hours when employees, public and press can attend! Click for video


Global warming may turn Loudon County, Memphis and Carolinas into another floating island in the Atlantic, but until then, we still live in a Republic governed by Democratic Principles and the United States Constitution, not Little Havana, a Banana Republic. Please voice your concerns and hold your elected officials accountable for their actions.



HAROLD DUFF, COMMISSIONER (Resignation, according to mayor)



DOYLE ARP, ASSESSOR (new assessor – Chuck Jenkins)


RICK THOMAS, JUVENILE DIRECTOR (Resignation, according to mayor)



Your Loudon County Elected Officials 2007-2008


Mayor Doyle Arp, Phone: 458-4664 office, 458- 3980 home (Chairman Budget Committee), Email: (Chairman Budget Committee)


1st District - Nancy Marcus, Phone: 458-8581, Email: Budget Committee member

1st District - David Meers, Phone: 458-2414, Email:     


2nd District - Earlena Maples - Phone 986-6772, Email:

2nd District - Shirley Reno - Phone 986-1256, Email:


3rd District - Bob Franke Phone: 856-0303, Email: Budget Committee Member 


4th District Roy Bledsoe (Chairman) Phone: 458-2829


5th District Harold Duff - Phone 988-6647, Email:

5th District Chris Park - Phone: 986-1229, Email: Budget Committee member


6th District - Wayne Gardin, Phone: 988-4433 Email:


7th District - Don Miller, Phone: 458-0658, Email Budget Committee member