If You Stay,
You Might Get A Ticket

That's what Doyle Arp told about a hundred county residents that attempted to attend the Loudon County commission workshop Monday night. With a wheel tax and a property tax increase on the agenda to be discussed and the Board Of Education urging people to attend the meeting, a large crown was expected. Yet Arp choose to hold the meeting in the new commission conference room which including commissioners and other officials seats only 40. More than 100 people were forced to stand in the hall out of earshot of the meeting.

There were several requests to move the meeting to a more suitable location such as the annex but Arp refused apparently preferring to prohibit as many as possible from attending the meeting. Surprisingly, a brand new sign, dated with Monday's date, had just been posted in the room by the Fire Marshal stating the total capacity of the room to be 40. Arp told the crowd that if they stayed, they (the citizen) might get a citation from the fire marshal for overcrowding the room. 

This has to be one of the most feeble attempts to keep the public out of public meeting ever attempted. Did Arp really think everybody would just go home?

The new conference room which was part of the $300,000.00 renovation of the county office building has a capacity of 40 people. Given that there is nearly always 15-20 county officials at the meetings, that would only allow 20-25 citizens to attend meetings in the new room. Smart planning. The tax payers got their moneys worth again.